Hi! I’m Kyle, the Penny Hoarder.

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The 5 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in 2014
2014 Money

by - January 1, 2014 - 54 Comments

Welcome to 2014!! Like every year, the holidays did quite the number on both my bank account and waistline. Bah.

I definitely can’t help you with the waistline (and it’s -4 today in Maine, so there’s no chance I’m going to start working on mine today).

But, I can help you make a little extra cash this month.

So for all of us that need a little help paying off that Christmas debt or getting a jump on the 2014 budget, I’ve put together a list of some of favorite tips from the last few months. Without further ado…

The 5 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in 2014


1. Get Paid to Scan Your Groceries

homescanThis one is also through the Nielsen company and this division will pay you to report the purchases you make at the grocery store each week. Crazy, right?

Once you sign up to become a Homescan family, the company will send you a free scanner (like the one pictured to the left). Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to Nielsen. Pretty easy, huh?

If you want to give it a try, you can fill out the application here: Nielsen Homescan Application

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.  This is a great way to make your consumer voice count and be rewarded handsomely for recording your purchases.  You’re already going to the grocery store anyway, right?



2. Earn Extra Money by Listening to the Radio, Reading Emails, etc.

Listening to music on iPod

One of my favorite ways to make some extra money is with InboxDollars.com. There are a number of websites that will pay you to read advertiser’s emails, sign up for offers, 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).


survey3. Take a Survey with MySurvey

Most of you know that I hate survey companies. :)

There are so many scammy sites out there and often times taking a survey is little pay for a lot of work. However, one of the exceptions I make is with MySurvey.

They’re one of the oldest online survey companies and they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The reason I like MySurvey so much is that they pay you for even the surveys you don’t qualify for. You see, most survey companies make you take a “qualifying survey” before you are given access to the paid survey. And if you don’t meet the qualifications for that particular survey, you earn nothing (despite the fact that you spent 5 annoying minutes answering questions).

MySurvey is different – even if you aren’t given access to the full survey, they will stay pay you for answering the questions in the qualifying survey. Pretty cool, huh? Now, you’re not going to get rich answering surveys, but it can be a fun way to make an extra couple hundred dollars a year. Heck, I do them as I’m watching TV. :)

Signup for MySurvey.com here(USA only)

Update 3/23: Several readers have written me to suggest Springboard Panel as well. In addition to surveys, they occasionally send you free products to test as well. Sounds promising…


4. Try Banking at Nationwide 

The fine folks over at Nationwide bank are giving every reader of The Penny Hoarder a free $200 in cash if you open a checking account with them today!

I love taking advantage of checking account bonuses, because not only are they an easy way to make a little extra cash, but they give me a separate place to save for things like Christmas presents, vacations, and new cars.

And the Nationwide checking account is pretty awesome. They’re interest rate is 3x higher than what most banks will give you, plus you can use any ATM in the world for free (6x a month). Here’s the link.

You’ll need to deposit $50 to get started and use the offer code 03110470 (you can withdraw your fifty bucks later)

To get the $200 bonus, you’ll need to set up an automatic monthly direct deposit of at least $200 into your E-Checking account. Your monthly direct deposit of $200 must be received within 60 days of opening the account. The account must remain open for at least 90 days to receive the $200 bonus. The $200 bonus will be deposited into your new account within 2 weeks following the 90 day minimum requirement! You must open your account by December 31, 2014 in order to get the $200 bonus.

5. Make Money by Hunting for Used Books

Used Book Store

Most people know that you can sell your used college textbooks on buyback sites like Amazon. But did you know that there are a growing number of people who are hunt for novels at garage sales, estates sales, and library sales and then resell them to the online retailers for a higher price?

Here’s how it works:
First, de-clutter your own house with unwanted books to get the feel of how this works. Now, not every book holds value and therefore some books you may end up having to send to the Goodwill. You should also know that there are several sites which purchase books so I recommend that you check a few so can find out who has the best offer. My favorite site has always been BookScouter.net.

Once you get started on one of the websites you’ll notice that they ask you to enter in a the 10-digit ISBN number. It’s located right above the book’s UPC number and it acts as a unique serial number for books. Each site will then spit out a cash offer for your book. You’ll need to pick the book with the highest offer and then ship the book to them. They will pay for the shipping – you simply print out a prepaid shipping label from their site and within a couple of weeks you will receive a check back in the mail or a deposit in your Paypal account. Pretty easy, huh?

Now for the hunting…
Your job is to head to the local garage sales, flea markets, library sales, etc. and look for books that are cheap enough that they can be resold for a profit. It used to be that you needed to be a bit of a used book expert to know which books to buy. Certainly you don’t want to start buying books that you can’t easily resale. However, it has now gotten so easy that you can use your smartphone to look up the value of a book before purchasing it. A few of the sites like BookScouter even have a mobile app that allows you to enter the ISBN number and get a cash offer on the spot. You can use it as you shop.

Just think of the earnings potential. If you are at a garage sale that is selling books for .25 a piece and you  find a dozen that are worth $3-$5 you will make upwards of $50 just for visiting that one garage sale. It’s awesome and it’s no wonder why a few people are starting to make a living out of used book hunting.


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 2014!

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

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  • Kara

    This is awesome! Another one is the workout app Pact, which pays you about $0.40 per workout you complete (if you miss a workout, you have to pay $5 to $20 – whatever you preset). It has definitely helped me be more active, plus I’ve made about $19 so far.

  • Ebie

    Any ideas for books that are worth nothing? I have a bunch of old textbooks that I hate to just throwout but are outdated. Even a recycling program or some sort of points program that will get them out of the house?

    • Des

      You can give them to the good will or second hand stores. Almost all bookstores that sell used books will take them, they might not oat though.

      • Des


    • JLee

      There are a few stores in Massachusetts (Readmore Books & Annie’s Book Stop to name a couple), which will take your old books and give you credit towards other books in their store (both new & used). It’d be worth a shot to see if there are similar stores in your area.

    • wurdnurd

      Older edition textbooks are rarely worth anything, which is why so few companies or orgs will accept them. A note about selling books online: if you sell on Amazon Marketplace, please please PLEASE pay attention to the other sellers’ pricing. Blindly pricing below all other sellers only creates a race to the bottom, and NO ONE makes money once you get down there (unless you’re a warehouse outfit, and you’ll quickly learn you can’t compete against them).

  • Travis

    Donate plasma.

  • ToTheMoon

    Buy Bitcoin!

    • Kevin

      ….interesting advice

  • http://cslplasma.con az1cowboy

    I donate plasma twice a week. I make $64/wk doing that.

    • Cyn

      az1cowboy said, “I donate plasma twice a week. I make $64/wk doing that”

      I thought I had to check that out.

      In St. Louis they only pay at most $35/wk (at $15 + $20) & only $29/wk if you weight under 150#

    • joseph

      Eat fatty foods and I’d stop donating plasma if I were you that’s no good. Unless you’re doing it to save life’s out there.

      • Kevin

        Good advice

    • http://Threepennyhoarder.com Jennifer

      How do you get started donating plasma and getting paid for it? Thanks!!

      • Peter Wiggin

        Look for a center in your area, just google it. Some states don’t have very many and don’t pay as well. To make $64 a week he probably has to donate twice a week. It’s decent money. Idk why joseph recommends stopping, there’s no known danger to doing it. They will reject you if you don’t have enough iron or protein in your blood.

  • http://My Kent Garcia


  • Ted

    Sounds pretty awesome

  • cybergrrl

    “Getting paid to scan your groceries” is legit but is very, VERY time consuming. I did this for awhile and gave it up because of the cost in time. You don’t just ‘scan and send’. You have to answer questions about every product you scan – how many, cost, was it on sale, did you use a coupon, etc, etc! And it needs to be done with EVERYTHING you buy to be “honest”. But if you’re just sitting around the house without a life, I guess it’s better than getting nothing.

    • Kevin

      See Kevin’s comments

  • http://CNS.com Fred

    Be a guinea pig at various research centers (CNS in Orlando is a good one)

  • Angela

    I’m willing yo try your ideas

  • Bob Laidens

    When I’m hard up for cash I will dig around my yard with a shovel. Eventually some neighbor will ask me what I’m doing. I act like I can’t hear them, so they get closer. While they talk to me, my friend slips into their backyard and turns on their hose water.

    Within a few hours the neighbor comes with I didn’t realize is what has happened. While they mopping up all the water on their back porch, they will also be often bring a soft drink out to enjoy while they sweat and labor. when they are finished, they will go back inside, off and leaving the empty can. I collect these and turn them in for cash.

    • Hurricane K

      So SNORT worthy!

    • thehiddentrue

      That one is the best way to make the extra cash,hahahaha. That was very imaginative and funny. 100 points!!

    • Adelina Topleva


    • Sharon Jeanguenat

      What you’re actually doing, is stealing. You’re illegally wasting their water, then illegally removing stuff from THEIR property.

  • Rox

    When I want a couple or more thousands of dollars I sign up for health studies. They help out BIG time.

  • Kevin

    See Kevin

  • jean

    I did this for well over a year and never got over 8.00 dollars I may sound hostel but they paid me 5.00 dollars I think it may be the color thing because I did this all of that time as I keep saying they paid me then I get this email you have been with us for 4 months 1.00 dollar you have been with us for 6 months 2.00 then it was nothing the one year mark and nothing I worked very hard scanning every thing I got from dog food to toilet paper nada not one penny 9.00 I kid you all not then things got bad for me do you think it made a difference to them I had been with this company well over a year I though maybe I didn’t do something correct but I went by the book so you see why this question popped in my mind. I even scanned my best friends things as we would go to the market at the same time because I have a car and she spent well over 1.000.00 each time now you tell me it wasn’t a color thing. but of course you all will lie even she said Jean you got none of the things they said you would get none but go for it. hope it’s good to you

  • balloonpilot

    I wouldn’t piss on cap one if it was on fire in my front yard at 3AM. They still pay American traitor alec baldwin mega bucks to advertise their cards.

    • Kenny Powers

      Alec Baldwin is one of the finest Americans of our time and you sir are a fool and a coward for calling him otherwise.

      • balloonpilot

        Hahaha. And who the hell are you, the Queen of England?

        • PhilliesWS2008

          reading your classless, misspelled, and amateur comments, I see you’re not the sharpest tool in the drawer either….. I agree Alec has issues and he’s not my favorite person but you are a douche.

      • Beaker

        Baldwin is a loud mouth that degrades his daughter publicly. Says a lot about who you appreciate in life.

  • thehiddentrue

    Very pure shit for fools!!!

  • Danielle Lavoie

    HOWEVER, with the Nielsen Homescan, you have to get enough points to get the money…which means, you need to spend a ton of money just to get a little back…I’ve been scanning with them for almost a year and haven’t gotten enough points to redeem for anything yet

    • Gary

      You can get points for every week that you are a member of the panel by either transmitting your scans or a statement that you did not shop that week. It may not be for everybody because free can take some patience and time. I have yet to claim a prize, but with many points now, it will be a good one.

      • ModernMode

        I’ve been scanning with Nielsen for several years. I got a Hoover upright vacuum with my points but it did take a long time to accumulate enough points for that. Some things are cheaper and some are higher. We’re a two person household and it may take 5 minutes to scan everything. Upload data once per week. There are voluntary surveys that also earn points. They also have contests. It may not be for everyone but it is legit.

  • informus219

    are there any legit typing jobs at home

  • http://fdkelly.com/ Felicia D. Kelly

    Inbox Dollars works well, after all it’s just for a little side money. I’ll try the suggestions on #3 and see how they go as well.

  • Jenn Deloach

    I tried a lot of methods to make some extra cash. After 4 years of being a stay at home mom I have learned a few real ways to bring in some money. Check out my blog for tips and ideas


  • Arpit Gupta

    Hi Robin. My name is Arpit Gupta and I am from India. I like your comment. Let’s connect. My email address is Arpit.gupta1980@gmail.com

  • Bryce Bukowiec

    “Sell weed, you’ll make more money dipshit.” -Kenny Powers

  • jai lee

    Best Thing I stumbled on This Year!

  • Kaila Jackson

    Idk… I guess these are decent ways to make okay money. I was coming here hoping to see something different, but I guess not. I make money from home differently and at least the way I do it you make more in a day :/

  • Peter Wiggin

    EXACTLY. I work for a call center, there are many ways scam companies can keep their BBB rating while hiding behind side companies that take the BBB hit while making themselves look squeaky clean. MLM and all that garbage is ridiculous and only helps those who start it and are high level. It’s simple logic.

  • Sienia Arku

    Have any of you ever looked into joining an MLM, not as a career, but as a stepping stone to financial freedom? I understand how some people may feel about it because I felt the same way without proper research. However, I found that it’s a definite way to earn financial freedom if you really want control over your life. I recently joined and I find security in knowing that I control my income and as a result have the opportunity to start working towards saving my true dreams surrounded by equally ambitious people.

  • Sharon

    U better b an african, nut! Don’t let everybody kno how ignorant u r.

  • Wolfgang Kern

    There are a lot better way to make money. Just tomorrow start the IPAS2, which is a now tool to make money online for beginners. Step by step formula and it’s free to try.
    Go check it out 30 days for free

  • http://www.InternetNetworkMarketingTraining.com Corrisa Malone

    Most on this list are not designed to create a life-changing lifestyle although there are people who do quite well selling books on Amazon/eBay especially when you can buy it for less than a dollar and sell it for 10x that amount.

    Surveys can bring in a side passive income when you get referrals – at least I know of one survey site that pays decently for referrals.

    If you want the bigger incomes then you will have to go the business route.


  • Cathys FriendsnFamily

    I do most of what this article suggests to do and I name between $4000-$5000 a month…I have been doing it over 10 years and love it….

  • joseph adam

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  • johnusa0007

    I found a great site that focuses on making passive income online .While being able to earn an income staying home with your kids. Take a look at

  • Lust Served

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