Guess where I just came back from? Ireland! It was such an amazing trip! It took us 16 months to save enough money in our vacation account, but all that scrimping and saving was totally worth it! I’ll be sharing pictures soon…
The only downside was that we went a little over on our entertainment budget (about $300), so I’m looking for some extra ways to make money this month to pay it off.
I’m sure you can relate…
If you need a little help paying off credit card debt or putting a little extra in savings, we’ve put together a list of some of favorite tips from the last few months. There are 12 of them, so you can either do all of them this month, or split them up throughout the year (one a month). Hope they help!
1. Get Paid to Get in Better Shape
Let’s face – every year we all make the same New Year’s resolution to get in better shape. Well, this year you’ll have a little extra motivation if you’re getting paid for it. We’re fans of both HealthyWage and DietBet, two sites that will allow you to place a wager and earn cash when you successfully lose weight.
And if you’re already in great shape, another great idea is to start a boot camp at your local park a couple of nights week. Start with just a few friends – these camps tend to grow pretty organically once people see a group of people working out. Most boot camps trainers can earn $100/hour or more.
2. Scan Your Own Groceries
You’ve head of Nielsen, right? Yep, the same company that tracks TV ratings. They’ve got a new app that will pay you to scan the groceries in your fridge.
Once you sign your family up the Nielsen Consumer Panel, the company will send you a free scanner or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to NCP.
If you want to give it a try, you can fill out an application here.
As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items and even toys for the kids. The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes. You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles.
Nothing on this page is going to get you rich, but sometimes it’s just about making a few extra hundred dollars each month, right? So get to work and have an awesome 2016!
3. Earn Extra Money by Taking Surveys, Listening to the Radio, Reading Emails, etc.
There are a number of websites that will pay you to listen to the radio, read advertiser’s emails and take surveys. I’ve tried about a million of them, but there are only a few of them that I would recommend. Inbox Dollars is one of those companies.
It’s free to join Inbox Dollars and best of all, they give you $5 just for signing up. They’ll even pay you up to $120/year just to listen to their radio station.
Inbox Dollars just requires that you accumulate $30 in earnings before you can “cash-out” and they pay you by sending a check.
Some sample offers include one that asks you to sign up for a email newsletter from AMF Bowling. That pays 50 cents and takes about 15 seconds. Another offer asks you to sign up for a free account at Turbotax.com to earn $3.50. These are simple and there are nearly a hundred of them to choose from. If you are interested in giving Inbox dollars a try, visit the sign-up page here to get started (open to every country).
4. Share Your Info with Google
There are a number of companies, including Google, that will pay you to install their app on your cell phone. And they’ll pay you for every month you keep them installed.
The apps collect data from your cell phone and help companies better understand web and mobile usage better — such as what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).
Here are my favorites (install all of them and earn $400/year or more):
– ShopTracker – If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you can earn money each month contributing to research to help companies understand what people are buying online. Download and connect this to your Amazon account. They’ll instantly send you a free $3 Visa gift card, plus another $3 for every month you keep it installed.
– MobileExpressions for iPhones – This one can only be downloaded on iPhones. After you’ve installed it for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize (everyone wins something). I won a $25 Amazon gift card, but some of the other prizes include iPads & Samsung TVs.
– MobileExpressions for Android – This is the same as the iPhone version, but exclusively for Android!
– Nielsen Mobile for iPhones – This Nielsen panel is unfortunately just for iPhones, but they will give you points worth up to $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone.
5. Open a 2nd Bank Account
We’ve put together a huge list of banks that will pay you just to open a bank account!
There’s no harm in having multiple bank accounts. In fact, I often find it’s helpful to have multiple places to save (I’m less likely to touch the money), so I have savings accounts for my Christmas fund & my vacation fund.
The top bank bonus is $500 right now — head over to this list to see all of the banks in your area that are offering free cash.
6. Write a Letter to Your Member of Congress
You know how etiquette books say to never discuss politics at the dinner table? Well, if you love a good political discussion and need an outlet — or if you just want a way to earn money working from home — consider working for one of two grassroots advocacy groups that offer work-from-home opportunities.
Next Wave Advocacy, LLC, and DDC Advocacy both have “@home” operations. These advocacy groups run grassroots political campaigns on issues such as healthcare, energy, defense and taxes. They hire people (which is where you would come in) to call constituents or advocates, folks who might be interested in the issue at hand. Your job is to help those people communicate their opinions by writing letters on their behalf to Members of Congress.
Both companies like you to work 20 to 25 hours a week during a project, but some people work full-time hours. Campaigns usually last from a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on what the political issue is. The pay varies, but you should earn about $12 to $15 an hour or more.
7. Leave Google.
If you spend a lot of time searching online, you might want to leave Google and make Bing your search engine of choice.
Why? Bing wants to pay you for your searches.
You can earn credits through Microsoft Rewards every time you make a search — credits you can cash in for gift cards to a variety of stores like Amazon, Toys ‘R Us, and Starbucks.
8. Write an Article for One of These Blogs
Did you know that there are blogs that will pay you up to $100 to write an article for them?
And you don’t need to be an established writer to do this. As long as you have some knowledge of the topic and you can string a sentence together, the only thing you’ll need is a bit of creative thinking to come up with outstanding blog post ideas that you can pitch to these paying blogs.
Put your thinking hat on and see what blog post ideas you come up with that you can pitch to one of these blogs:
- Krazy Coupon Lady – This site was founded by Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer, who have both featured on TLC’s Extreme Couponing. They accept articles on a broad range of topics including style/fashion, couponing, family/parenting, and personal finance. The ladies guarantee that you’ll hear back from them within 7 days and will receive $50 via Paypal if they choose to publish your article. You can read all the details here.
- Listverse publishes nothing but lists. Their posts are all long lists (usually beyond 1,500 words long) containing at least 10 items, with an explanation of why each item deserves its place on the list. They’ll pay you $100 for your article. Read more details here.
- Babble is Disney’s parenting website. They’re interested in stories that discuss parenting from an unusual angle or offer fresh advice on a parenting topic. Read more details here.
9. Check Your Wallet for Strange $1 Dollar Bills
Specifically, dollar bills with strange serial numbers — ones that aren’t easy to come by. The collectors at CoolSerialNumbers.com have created a list of their most-wanted serial numbers, and you might have a bill with one of these sequences on it in your wallet.
Depending on the rarity of your bill’s serial number, it could be worth a crazy amount of money — CoolSerialNumbers.com is currently selling one dollar bills for anywhere from $100 to $2,500+. Check out the full list to see if you’ve got any of these rare bills, but here’s a rundown of the sort of serial numbers these collectors are looking for:
- 7 repeating digits in a row on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 09999999, 77777776)
- 7 of a kind on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 00010000, 99999099)
- Super repeaters on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 67676767)
- Double quads on $1 Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. 00009999)
- and more!
10. Answer Some Trivia Questions
If you’ve got a favorite TV show, there’s a site called “RewardTV” that will pay you to answer trivia questions about the last episode you saw.
Do you know who they killed off in Game of Thrones last week? Tell them about it and they’ll pay you.
Did you know which contestant got kicked off “The Voice” this week? They’ll pay you.
You’re not going to get rich doing this, but it’s a fun way to make an extra $15-$20/month. Pretty cool, right?
11. Sell some of Your Old Stuff
We’ve all got way too much extra junk just sitting around. Get rid of some of it and use the extra money for your Christmas shopping.
You could of course have a garage sale or sale some stuff on Craigslist, but one of my favorite ways to get rid of stuff is to use the Bookscouter app.
You scan your book’s barcode with your smartphone and Bookscouter will let you compare the payout of 20+ different buyback companies. Cool, right?
Once you’ve found the buyback company offering the most cash, you just fill out a little information about where you want your payment sent and prepare the books to be shipped. Most of the buyback companies offer prepaid shipping labels too, so there aren’t any costs associated with this.
12. Take Pictures of Your Friends
If you have an iPhone and a photographic eye, making money may have just gotten a lot easier. Oh yeah – you’ll also need access to marketable scenery.
There’s a new app called Foap that allows you to turn your iPhone photos into cash.
Here’s how it works. You download the free app. You sign up for an account. You take a quality photo. You upload photo to Foap’s marketplace. Someone buys the license to your photo for $10. You make $5.
If your photo sells twenty times, you make $5 each time and end up with $100 in your pocket, all for about 5 minutes of work.
Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, but there are some limitations.
For one, your photo must be accepted by the Foap developers. If it’s too small, too grainy or too boring (aka not marketable), it won’t make it to the marketplace. And those cute Instagram shots? They don’t accept those either.
Here’s the full run-down.
Good luck Penny Hoarders!