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We’ve all got smartphones these days, and almost everything we do on them requires using an app.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make extra money just for using them? Well, you can.

You're not going to get rich by downloading mobile apps, but you can use these to earn a little extra money every month.

Considering some of them require you to do nothing, or just watch videos or take some surveys, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal to make a few extra bucks.

To get you started, we put together a list of our favorite apps that pay you just for using them...

1. This App Pays You to Search the Web

[caption id="attachment_43652" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Senior woman using mobile apps that pay her for various activities freemixer/Getty Images[/caption]

The folks over at InboxDollars will actually pay you to search the web!

InboxDollars offers cash rewards for a variety of tasks, including online searches through their proprietary search engine.

Earn one cent for each of your first five qualified searches and another cent for every two after that. You can earn up to 15 cents per day through the InboxDollars search engine.

You’ll get a free $5 just for signing up.

2. This App Pays You for Sharing (Anonymous) User Data

[caption id="attachment_54835" align="aligncenter" width="972"]This app pays you for sharing data snagajob/Facebook[/caption]

There's a new company called "Smart Panel" that will literally pay you to download its free app.

The app's purpose is to collect anonymous statistics from your phone to help your favorite web sites, apps, tech companies and mobile carriers give you better services and more features.

The company wants to know how long you're spending on Facebook each week, what YouTube videos you like, and how often you check your email.

It's run by Verto Analytics, a trusted analytics firm.

Here's how it works...

  1. You can't download this from the app store. Here's the promo link. It's free to download.
  2. Once you've qualified and downloaded the app, you’ll earn $5. If you keep it installed for at least two weeks, you'll earn another $10. And then for every month you keep the Smart App installed, you'll get another $5. In total, you can earn up to $75 for the first year!

You can redeem your rewards via Paypal or an Amazon gift card.

3. This App Pays You for Sharing Your Amazon Purchases

[caption id="attachment_38702" align="aligncenter" width="671"]Young man making money with an app by by sharing Amazon purchases Images[/caption]

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.

Companies use this information to improve the online shopping experience.

Before you start the simple download process, let me give you the basic requirements:

  • This will be a waste of time if you don’t shop on Amazon.
  • You must be 18 and live in the U.S.
  • You’ll need at least a Windows 7-compatible PC. If you have Windows XP or a Mac, it won’t work.

All good? Time to download.

To earn your first gift card today:

  1. Sign up and download the ShopTracker app on your Windows computer and Apple or Android phone. It takes about two minutes. You’ll need to answer a few questions about your Amazon use to qualify.
  2. Open the app and log in to your Amazon account to automatically share your purchase history.
  3. You’ll receive your Visa e-gift card code for $3 via email within 48 hours.
  4. Take a couple of minutes to share your purchase history to earn another $3 each month.

Your information is collected securely by The Harris Poll, a trusted market research company for more than 20 years.

ShopTracker removes your name, shipping address and any personal payment information before reporting your purchase history.

4. This App Pays You to Take Simple Surveys

Swagbucks app shows earnings for taking surveys

The Swagbucks mobile app is one of the best, legitimate paid survey apps out there. They're currently rated an A+ with the Better Business Bureau.

The questions are pretty simple. What do you like more -- Coke or Cherry Coke? How many times have you been to the movies in the past 12 months?

You get the idea.

The average payout for answering a series of questions is 75 SBs, which is equivalent to 75 cents. You won’t qualify for every panel, but you can usually earn about $5 for 30 minutes of work.

5. This App Pays You for Walking Into (and Shopping at) Stores

[caption id="attachment_55252" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]This app pays you to walk into stores and make purchases Yuri Arcurs/Getty Images[/caption]

Sick of shopping online and headed to a real, live store? Download the Shopkick app first.

Once you sign up, the app pays you “kicks” for walking into certain stores (including Target, Walmart, Macy’s and more). These can be redeemed for gift cards to Target, Walmart, Starbucks, Sephora, Best Buy and more.

It pays you even more “kicks” for scanning items in stores and purchasing them with a connected credit or debit card.

Here's the link for Android and iPhone users.

6. This App Helps You Start Investing -- And Pays You $5

[caption id="attachment_37067" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Five dollar bill representing a special Stash app promotion Macro of Five American Dollar Bill[/caption]

We’re kind of obsessed with Stash around here (and not just because it gives you $5).

We love that anyone can use Stash to start investing. You don’t have to have an MBA or even make it all the way through “The Big Short” to understand how to invest with this app.

You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals, and it does the rest.

To get the $5 bonus:

  1. Click this link and enter your email here.
  2. Download the Stash app on your smartphone, and set up your account with the same email address. Within two business days, you’ll see the bonus added to your account.

7. This App Helps Sell Your Old Electronics

[caption id="attachment_54803" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]The decluttr app helps you make money from selling electronics sestovic/Getty Images[/caption]

Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Decluttr will pay you for them!

Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods. Plus, enter PENNY10 at checkout to get an extra 10% for your trade-ins!

You scan each product’s barcode with your phone, and Decluttr makes an offer.

Prices vary — usually about 50 cents to $3 per item — but you can unload your media in bulk to make an extra $50 to $100 this week. And never have to look at them again.

With Decluttr, you can sell stuff online without having to deal with individual listings and buyers.

And shipping is free. The company emails you shipping labels to cover the cost. Just print the label, pack your items in any box and ship it.

8. This App Helps You Sell Your Old Textbooks

Bookshelp showing old textbooks you can sell with the Bookscouter app

Have any old college textbooks?  You could have a garage sale or sell them on Craigslist, but one of our favorite ways to get rid of them is using the Bookscouter app.

You just type your book’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number -- it's near the book's barcode and copyright info) into the search bar and let Bookscouter connect you with over 25 of the best-paying and most reputable buyback companies online.

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 (usually PayPal) 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.

9. This App Rewards You for All the Useless Trivia You’ve Learned

Woman researching to build trivia knowledge for this app

Have you added a ton of random knowledge to your repertoire over the years? Use it to earn some cash.

With the QuizXT app, you can test your smarts on topics like sports, history, music and more. You’ll earn rewards points for every answer you get right — so study up, Poindexter!

The app also pays you for taking surveys and playing other games. We know you’re hanging out on your phone, anyway — why not get paid to do it?

You can cash out via PayPal.

Itching to show off the history lessons you’ve learned watching “The Crown”? We thought so. Download the QuizXT app here to get rewarded for it.

10. This App Pays You to Go On Secret Missions

Woman earning money from the QuickThoughts app by giving businesses feedback

Remember scavenger hunts when you were a kid? Ever pretend you were a private investigator on an important mission?

Don’t let a few years get in the way of your fun.

QuickThoughts turns your cell phone into private-eye technology, taking you on top-secret missions in your area.

Was that CVS you visited last month clean? How do the lines look at that McDonald’s you’ve stopped by for lunch?

QuickThoughts Missions relies on your input -- and sneakily-taken cellphone photography -- to give businesses important feedback.

And like any respectable PI, you get paid for your investigative footwork. Pretending as an adult is looking better and better!

Using your phone’s GPS technology, the app will prompt you for information from places you’ve visited in the past few weeks, as well as places it detects you’re visiting right now.

It even has missions you can accept and complete in the future.

For instance, it might prompt you to go to your local Walgreens and snap a photo of the seasonal display.

And you’ll earn valuable gift cards for Amazon and iTunes while you’re at it.

11.  This App Pays You for Your Opinions

Baby looks on while mother uses the Ipsos Panel app

You might recognize the Ipsos Panel name because it’s the same company that does most of the political polling during elections.

Well, it has a survey app called i-Say that pays you for your opinions.

Some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take awhile to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10-15 minutes.

Also, i-Say rewards you with points which can then be redeemed for Paypal or gift cards to Amazon, iTunes and others. (example: 1,000 points can be redeemed for a $10 Paypal deposit).

12. This App Pays You to Deliver Food

Man delivering food through the UberEats app

This app lets you earn money while you’re running errands by getting food to hungry people.

To deliver food through UberEATS, you just have to meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 19 years old and have at least one year of driving experience.
  • Have a driver's license, insurance and vehicle registration.
  • Be able to lift 30 pounds.

Just like the rideshare option, you’ll set your own hours and only work when and how often you want to.

That means how much you earn is largely up to you.

If your car decides not to start one morning, no worries. You can also deliver food on your bicycle!

Your Turn: Do you use any of these money-making apps?

Disclosure: We don’t hesitate to pick pennies off the sidewalk when we spot them. But the affiliate links in this post help our earnings grow even quicker. Plus, it’s a lot cleaner than sidewalk money.

We'll admit it -- we’re a little obsessed with Target.

It’s hard not to be. The store has pretty much everything you need, right in one place. But don't be fooled by the prices on the shelf.

If you know the secrets to Target shopping, you can save a ton on every shopping trip! You don't have to spend all day clipping Target coupons, either.

Here are our favorite ways to save money at Target...

1. Save Your Email Receipts.

It turns out that deleting your emails could be costing you serious money.


An app called Paribus gets you money back for your online purchases, including at Target.

It’s free to sign up for Paribus. Once you do, it scans your email archives for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Target or one of the other 17 retailers listed on its website, it will track the item’s price and issue you a refund if there’s a price drop during the return period.

You don’t have to do anything!

2. Use a Cash-Back App.

Did you know that you can get cash-back on your purchase just for taking a picture of your receipt?

Here’s how it works….

1. Sign up for Ibotta here (you just need a name/email address to start).

2. Browse through the cash-back offers in your area and take note the next time you go to Target. For example, Ibotta's currently paying out 25 cents just for a picture of a Target, regardless of what you bought. Pretty cool, right? Once you’ve reached at least $20 in earnings, you can request payment via Paypal or Venmo. And right now, Ibotta is giving new users a $10 sign-up bonus, just for redeeming their first receipt.

Obviously, you don’t want to buy a bunch of crap you weren’t already planning on purchasing. But, this can be an easy way to get a little cash back for doing something you were already going to do.

3. Use a Visa Card.

Couponing doesn’t have to be extreme.

If you swipe a Visa to pay for your groceries at Target, there’s a tool that’ll automatically find and apply coupons — for free.

It’s called Trim, and you can register for the bot through Facebook messenger.

If you’ve missed a special or coupon the next time you charge your card, Trim will Facebook message you. Opt to activate the offer, and you’ll get paid for what you missed out on in the next 5-7 days with a statement credit.

If you sign up now, you’ll also get $10 off any grocery purchase of $50 or more — and let’s be real, that’s not an uncommon occurrence.

4. Stack Sales With Retale and Rebate Apps.

Yep, Retale. Not retail.

We all know the best way to save is by shopping around. But who has time for that?

Retale shows you all of the weekly ads from stores in your area, including Target. You can search on specific items to find the best deals near you — then add them to your shopping list with one click.

And if you're someone who likes to stack, they even have a tab to discover store coupons to make the deals even better!

Here's a link to download Retale on Android.

Here's a link to download Retale on iPhone.

Finally, make sure you also download SavingStar & Checkout51.

Like Ibotta, you'll scan your receipts and earn rebates for stuff you buy at Target.

Also, you can still use coupons on the items you’re buying, so this can be a nifty way to “stack” your savings. In some cases, you might be able to get the item for free.

Pro Tip: Sometimes you can get rebates on the same product across these apps. More savings without spending any more!

5. Know Your Markdown Tags.

If you do go into a physical store, you'll need to know the secrets of the Target markdown tag. Check the upper right corner of those little red tags for the markdown percentage. The lower left corner of the tag will tell you the original price.

Also, prices ending in $0.04 usually indicate that the item has been marked down multiple times and will probably not going any lower. But, those ending in $0.06 or $0.08 have a chance at further markdowns.

6. Bank 5% Cashback Every Time You Make a Purchase

Listen, it’s okay to admit you get as excited as Kristen Wiig at Target. If you’re perusing the “One Spot” more than once a month, it’s probably time to join the RED club.

Target’s branded RED debit and credit cards offer an insane 5% cash back on every purchase you make at the store and online (excluding prescriptions).

There’s no annual fee on the credit card, but if you don’t want to add another card to your credit report, just go with the debit card. It links right to your existing checking account for Target purchases making it a mindless way to save every time you walk in the store.

Let’s say you spend $150/week on groceries at Target -- that’s $390 in cash back that could go right into your savings account each year!

Plus, if you sign up and qualify before May 20, Target will send you a coupon for 10% off your next shopping trip.

7. Download the CartWheel App.

Download Target's CartWheel app on your smartphone so that you can see the latest discounts on everything from clothing to food. This is where the discounts really start to add up, because you can stack these savings with your coupons & RED card cashback.

Download Cartwheel for free on your iPhone or Android device.

8. Scan Your Groceries When You Get Home.

Did you know that the Nielsen company will pay you to scan your groceries each week? Crazy, right?

Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Consumer Panel family, you’ll be asked to simply scan the barcodes on your groceries and send your data off to Nielsen each week. Pretty easy, huh?

If you want to give it a try, you can fill out an application here:

Sign up to be a Nielsen Consumer Panel family here.

Your Turn: Do you know ways to get Target deals we missed?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By checking out this featured content, you help us bring you more ways to save!

“Dad, how fast can elephants run?”

“Oh, about 45 miles per hour.”

That’s an actual conversation one of our writers once overheard at the zoo.

That’s about the time she began to realize everything our parents tell us isn’t necessarily true.

This exchange about elephants’ running abilities -- which overshot their actual speed by about 300% -- makes us realize there are probably more of these lies, er, “stretches of the truth” coming from our parents.

If you’re a millennial who frequently sought your parents’ advice, you might still believe a lot of these money myths, too…

1. If You Don’t Have an Office, You Don’t Have a Real Job

When our parents were growing up, concepts like remote working, telecommuting and the gig economy didn’t exist.

The technology that makes them possible didn’t either.

So we understand why our parents think people who work from home don’t really work. But millennials know better.

We do everything online -- from dating and paying bills to ordering food. So why should working be any different?

More and more people are starting to work from home, work for themselves and build their own careers with gig-economy apps like Uber.

As an Uber partner driver, you’re responsible for setting your schedule and motivating yourself to work — no one is keeping tabs on you.

Instead of punching a clock and working on someone else’s terms, you work as much or little as you want. You earn money based on how many rides you take.

Getting paid to drive around the city, listen to podcasts and meet interesting people? We’ve really got our parents beat on that “corner office” thing.

2. Banks Are Evil

You left college and entered the job market just as everything came crashing down. Everyone you knew blamed it on the banks — something about bad loans and Ryan Gosling, maybe?

Big banks gave the whole system a bum rap. If you’re looking for something better, we found a bank with a heart — no kidding.

With Aspiration’s Summit checking account, you’ll do all your banking online, which saves a ton of paper and space — we like when our money is green ;)

Plus, the account pays up to 1% APY, which is about 100 times more than a typical checking account. And you’ll never pay to use an ATM anywhere in the world.

The real heart of this bank, though? It helps you support your favorite cause. It donates 10% of its revenue to charity, and you can easily set up automatic donations from your account to contribute on your own.

If you’re ready to make the switch, here’s the link to sign up to open an Aspiration account.

3. Credit Cards are Evil

Many millennials believe credit cards are evil -- a wariness we suspect was passed on by their parents.

Used responsibly, though, credit cards are far from evil -- they’re a helpful financial tool.

The plastic cards build your credit and simplify budget tracking. Many also offer cash-back or travel rewards.

For example, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® offers 1.5% cash back for every dollar you spend, plus a $200 bonus for using the card after you sign up.

That said, we know credit cards aren’t for everyone. If you won’t use a credit card responsibly -- only charging what you can pay off each month -- then your parents were right: You should avoid credit cards for now.

If you’ve been foiled by credit cards in the past, there’s still hope for you.

You can use Credit Sesame to see your credit score and make a plan to pay off credit card debt.

The free app’s “credit report card” makes your credit history easy to understand, and its custom recommendations can help you figure out how to get out of even the worst debt situations.

4. Writing Checks is Safer Than Using Plastic

No one writes checks in public anymore, except your grandmother and — you learned too late — the woman in front of you in line at the grocery store.

When you ask your mom why Grandma won’t put away the checkbook and swipe a debit card, she says, “It keeps her information secure.”

And you’re thinking, “Does she know she’s handing over a piece of paper with her name, address, routing number and checking account number in plain sight?”

The only thing missing is her mother’s maiden name.

On top of that false sense of security, writing checks can give you a false sense of your balance, too.

If you’re writing checks and not keeping immaculate records in your teeny wallet ledger, you can easily miss a transaction or two and overspend. Then you’re hit with a negative bank balance and overdraft fees — or a bounced check.

If you want to keep your finances secure and orderly, don’t be afraid to use plastic. Just protect your information.

A free service like TrueIdentity helps you avoid identity theft by keeping a watchful eye your finances. It sends alerts by email, phone or text if someone tries to apply for credit in your name.

Isn’t that better than counting on Jim at the grocery store to keep his prying eyes off your personal info?

5. You Absolutely Must Go to College

The key to a successful life, according to our parents?


But college isn’t always the answer. It costs more than ever, and doesn’t always provide a return on your investment.

Everyone should explore alternatives, like apprenticeships, trade schools and coding bootcamps before going into debt for higher education.

Too late?

If you’re already battling student loan debt, think about refinancing. You can consolidate your existing loans into one with a more manageable interest rate and monthly payment.

A good resource is Even Financial, which can help you borrow up to $35,000 (with no collateral needed) and compare interest rates from several lenders.

6. You Should Stay at One Job Forever

Back in our parents’ day, staying loyal to one company meant raises and promotions, gold watches and paperweights, sometimes even a pension.

So it made sense.

But today, those perks are few and far between, and hopping jobs is the norm.

You shouldn’t move around too much -- and should probably stay at each position for a year or more -- but it’s perfectly normal to change companies or careers.

Not only will you stave off boredom, you’ll also gain new connections and skills at each company.

7. Insurance is More Expensive for Red Cars

We don’t know where this myth came from, but nearly everyone’s heard it -- and nearly everyone still believes it.

The thing is: It’s total baloney. Your car’s color has no effect on your insurance.

“You may have heard the color of your car is used in calculating car insurance rates, but this is something we don’t even ask for when you get a quote from us,” Progressive Insurance spokesperson Ron Davis told us.

What does affect your rate?

Primarily, it’s based on your driving record, age and driving experience. But there are a few factors that might surprise you — like marital status, sex, your car’s make and model, and more.

8. Only Rich People Need Financial Advice

Your parents always managed their own money and did their own taxes, so you assume accountants are just for rich or lazy people.

But anyone can benefit from a little financial guidance.

We’re not talking about pricy financial advisors — though, depending on your situation, we’re not against them.

Instead, we’re talking about a free app called Clarity Money. It tracks your spending, helps you budget, makes it easy to find and cut unnecessary expenses and automates your savings to help you reach your goals.

Your parents will be proud to see how well you’re managing your money on your own… Clarity Money can be your little secret.

9. You Should Get an Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles

Yup, this is a myth.

It was true back in the day, and still remains true for some old cars. But the majority of cars on the road today can go nearly 10,000 miles without an oil change.

Check your vehicle’s manual to see what’s recommended -- you could end up saving hundreds of dollars on oil changes.

You know how your parents said you can’t believe everything you read?

Well, turns out you can’t believe everything they said, either.

Your Turn: Did you still believe any of these money myths?

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which The Penny Hoarder receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). We do not feature all available credit card offers or all credit card issuers.

Between changing diapers, scrubbing sticky fingers, wiping runny noses, putting away toys (because stepping on Legos hurts), dealing with temper tantrums and toting Junior from school to practice to his pal’s house, being a mom is exhausting.

And expensive.

Sure, kids are real joys for the most part -- many parents maintain they wouldn’t have it any other way. But you might find yourself all too often strapped for time, money and sanity.

We’ve got you covered on one of those fronts: money.

Just when it feels like the last straw might break, here’s how to make money as a stay-at-home mom, without getting a real job...

1. Wait. Don’t Delete All Your Emails

Product prices constantly fluctuate online -- especially on Amazon.

Because we all seem to have the worst timing ever, it’s bound to happen: You buy an item, and the price drops soon thereafter.

But as a mom, when you need something, you it, and you certainly don’t have the time to monitor Amazon’s erratic pricing behavior.

Lotus, the mom behind Mommy to Max blog, put it best:

“But, who has the time to track whether the price has fallen after you’ve made a purchase? Or whether you’ve found the lowest price for a product that you’ve just purchased? I sure as heck don’t. (Not to mention the time and energy involved in requesting said options.)”

Enter Paribus, an online tool that scans your emails, tracks your purchases and pays you (75% of) the difference if it discovers a price change after you buy something. It works for Amazon and 29 other stores, including Zappos, Walmart and Target.

It’s money you otherwise wouldn’t get back. All you have to do is download it and go on your merry online-shopping way.

[caption id="attachment_54827" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom DGLimages/Getty Images[/caption]

2. Take Online Surveys While the Kids Nap

Online surveys are an easy, nearly mindless way to make some extra money or earn giftcards -- especially while the kids nap.

However, it can be difficult to find legitimate sites that won’t spam up your computer and inbox. That’s why we recommend InboxDollars and VIP Voice, which both received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

“I loved earning free gift cards from Inbox Dollars when Jesse was in law school and I had a lot more time than money,” writes Crystal Paine, blogger at Money Saving Mom. (Jesse is her husband.)

You’ll earn money for doing a number of tasks, including taking surveys, playing online games, redeeming coupons, reading emails and shopping online.

Both InboxDollars and VIP Voice are free to sign up for, but if you join InboxDollars now you’ll earn a $5 sign-up bonus.

[caption id="attachment_54838" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom FredFroese/Getty Images[/caption]

3. Participate in Top-Secret Missions While Running Errands

QuickThoughts is another survey site, but it’s a little different in that it uses your location to send you “missions.” (You can take normal surveys, too, but the missions are more exciting.)

Here’s an example: You stop by the drugstore to grab some meds for your sick kid. QuickThoughts might notice and ask you a few questions. Was the line long? Bathroom dirty? The seasonal beachside display on point?

Stephanie, the stay-at-home mom of four who runs Blended Life Happy Wife, uses the QuickThoughts app:

“(QuickThoughts) makes it easy for me to do surveys on the go. I can see the entire question and answer options on my phone screen without difficulty. (QuickThoughts) surveys range from a few minutes to as much as 30 minutes and it is random.”

She says she’s used QuickThoughts for nearly a year. For each survey she takes, she earns $1. Once she reaches $10, she cashes out for an Amazon gift card.

4. Share Your Amazon Purchase History (We Won’t Tell Anyone)

You’ve likely heard of the Harris Poll.

It’s a market research firm that tracks various aspects of consumer behavior, including your Amazon buying habits through ShopTracker -- if you so let it.

Don’t worry, though. It won’t share how much you’re buying on Amazon with your spouse. Rather, it simply tracks it for research purposes.

So what do you get out of it? An easy $36 a year.

“I started using ShopTracker last year and it’s insanely easy,” writes Latoya, a mom of two and the blogger behind Life And a Budget. “The only thing you need to do is register and install ShopTracker’s application. This only takes like two minutes and you’ll be rewarded each month.”

This is perhaps the most passive way for moms to earn a little extra each month, so go ahead and give ShopTracker a try. (Do note, though, you need at least a Windows 7-compatible PC; the platform won’t work on a Mac.)

[caption id="attachment_54839" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom RapidEye/Getty Images[/caption]

5. Strike Up a Work-From-Home Business

Working from home is a great way for moms to earn extra money, especially when you work for yourself.

It might sound impossible, but plenty of online programs will walk you through the steps of starting your own at-home business -- one that’ll allow you to set your own hours.

Learn To Be A Bookkeeper is one such course, and Amy McLaughry shared her experience with the program with Anywhere & Anytime, a blog for stay-at-home moms. She said:

“I get to choose the hours I want to work, where I want to work, and how much I want to work.  I can work while the kids are in school, and then be done for the day when they get home, I am always home for dinner and can make a good dinner for my family, and I can always put my kids to bed.”

If you’re interested in more online courses that’ll help you start your work-from-home, we’ve got you covered.

6. Let These 4 Apps Work in The Background

This is passive income at its finest: Downloading an app and getting paid to do so.

Granted, these apps track your behavior in some sort of way (like ShopTracker), but the data won’t get spilled to your friends -- just research.

Here are four apps you can download now:

  • Smart Panel: Download the Smart Panel app and automatically snag $5. Once you have it for two weeks, you’ll get another $10. Then, you’ll bring in $5 each month after, so you can get up to $75 your first year.
  • Nielsen Mobile Panel: We all know Nielsen, and now it has a mobile app. Download it on your smartphone, and get $50 per year. See if you qualify here. (Note: This panel is currently only open to males that are  between the ages of 18-24 or 45-65)
  • SavvyConnect: Earn $5 per month per device you connect -- up to $180 a year. A mom over at Money Pantry uses it and says:

“To be honest, I don’t even notice it’s there since it doesn’t really interfere with anything. What I love about this whole thing is that although $180 may not be much, I am getting it without really doing anything.”

[caption id="attachment_54829" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

7. Snag a $10 Amazon Card When You Sign Up For This App

This app helps you save money, too. It’s called MyPoints, and it rewards you when you shop online and print out coupons.

Sharon Rowley, the mom who started the Mom of 6 blog, uses MyPoints to earn money when shopping online, which she says she does all too frequently:

“I love to shop online. No dragging kids in and out of stores, no standing in line to pay, no temptation to throw something additional into my cart because it looked all bright and shiny there on the aisle. And I don't even have to get out of my jammies to do it.”

She also loves that you can pair MyPoints with coupons and other existing deals. There’s nothing like a good deal-stack! Check out MyPoints to start earning points towards your next gift card.

8. Sell Whatever Your Kids Have Outgrown

Clothes. Toys. Books. Strollers. Car seats. Cribs…

You name it, and I bet you can find a place to sell those items online.

For example, the letgo app lets you sell just about anything (as long as it’s legal). It takes about 30 seconds to snap a photo and upload it. You’re selling to folks in your area, so you won’t have to worry about shipping. Plus, letgo doesn’t take any cut of your profit.

Ashley, blogger of New Mom in a New Era, says she used letgo to purge all the baby items she knows she won’t need again:

“I know I'm not the only one with baby stuff that I'm definitely not going to use anymore, like newborn clothes! I use Letgo to list all the things I'm definitely not going to need anymore, or things I don't mind buying new for the next baby. It's also a good way to make a little extra cash!”

If your kids are a little older and have college textbooks collecting dust, try getting some money back for them. To find out where you can get the best deal, use Bookscouter. Type the book’s ISBN into the search bar. Then you’ll see which platform is taking the most money.

[caption id="attachment_54830" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom eclipse_images/Getty Images[/caption]

9. Drive for Uber or Lyft Between Carpool Shifts

If you’re a stay-at-home mom and want to make some extra money in your own time, driving for Uber or Lyft could be the perfect gig. 

Nicole Leigh Shaw of Scary Mommy blog muses about moms driving with Uber:

“We moms already spend hours a week toting kids to practices, parties and appointments, why not make money off of it? And if we can scrape the dried applesauce off the middle seat in the back row, we might even get more than one-star ratings from our fares.”

Shaw is joking, but we did chat with Nureka Chapman-Henderson, a mom of five who drives with Uber and makes about $100 per week. She doesn’t drive frequently, but she does do it between trips to the grocery store. For her, it’s perfect.

Worried your car doesn't meet the requirements to drive people around? You can still get paid to deliver food with UberEATS.

10. Sell Off Those Old Movies (or Annoying Video Games)

You can get paid to sell your kids’ old CDs, DVDs, video games, cell phones and anything techy.

This might be especially useful for those of you with older kids who have flown the nest -- but left everything behind.

We suggest downloading the Decluttr app. Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom says it’s super easy:

“Decluttr is quick and easy to use and I love that they offer instant pricing on your items. Unlike other sites, there aren’t any listing, auction, or PayPal fees.”

Just download Decluttr and scan an item’s barcode for an immediate quote. If you like the price, you can send it in -- all with free shipping.

11. Write What You Know (Mom Stuff)

Writing is a valuable skill nowadays, so if you know the tricks of the trade, you could make some extra money freelancing, which you can do while the kids nap.

Tap into your interests. You could get paid to write about anything from travel to cooking to technology to personal finance. Here’s a list of seven blogs that’ll pay you up to $100 per story.

Of course, there are tons of parenting publications out there, too, which are looking for first-hand “experts” (you). For that, we put together a list of six parenting blogs and magazines that pay up to $700.

Hey, you can always pitch a story to The Penny Hoarder, too!

12. Stash Away Some Money in Investments

Do you want to start investing but think it’s not for you? Or that it’ll take forever to build a portfolio? (Whatever that is, anyways…)

The Stash app is an easy way to get started. Plus, you only need $5 (and you’ll earn $5 right back when you sign up through this link).

The Broke Dad Blog wrote about Stash (yeah, we had to throw a dad in this list!).

Here’s what he said:

“Overall I feel like Stash is a great way to try out investing in the stock market if you don’t have a large amount of residual income to invest with. I figure I can come up with $5 a month for sure to invest and I am going to try to go for at least $5 a week to start.”

If you have $5 to spare, and 5 minutes of your time, signing up is easy.

[caption id="attachment_54832" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Getty Images[/caption]

13. Watch Videos and Earn Money

While your kid watches Sesame Street, you can make money watching videos of your own.

Swagbacks is going to be your go-to spot. This is what Elizabeth Hurt said on Mom Always Knows:

“I have had so many friends tell me to use Swagbucks but was never really into it until one day I was home bored on maternity leave. I was weary because so many of those sites are spammy or hard to use but I thought I would check it out!  Much to my surprise, the Swagbucks site was so easy to use, navigate and not spammy at all!”

Swagbucks has a special section called Swagbucks Watch. You’ll earn points toward free gift cards for watching videos. If you’re feeling skeptical like Hurt had been, take the 1-minute tour of the site to see how it works.

14. Pocket a Free $10 Gift Card from Ebates

We’ve established online shopping is a godsend for busy moms, so here’s another way you can earn money back from your purchases: Ebates. The online platform offers a wealth of coupons and promo codes.

Gina at Money Wise Moms has used the platform since 2008. Here’s what she had to say about it:

“I use it for all my favorite stores–Children’s Place for my daughter’s ‘slim’ pants, Shoebuy for my hard-to-fit wide feet, and more–and each time I earn cash back on the purchases I would make anyway. We just had to replace a dead computer tower, and I got $21 back just for shopping through Ebates.”

If you sign up now and grab your first rebate, you’ll earn a $10 gift card to either Target, Walmart, Macy’s or Kohl’s. (You’ll have to wait 30 days to receive it, but hey, it’s free money.)

[caption id="attachment_54833" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom mixetto/Getty Images[/caption]

15. Open a Credit Card For a Bonus and/or Rewards

We don’t suggest you rack up debt, but if you’re a responsible credit card holder, you can earn hearty sign-up bonuses, reward points or discounts just by going about your normal spending.

Plus, you can set up automatic payments, so you don’t have to remember when to pay that sucker off.

One of our contributors, Odysseas Papadimitriou, uses credit cards to save big bucks. “Knowing where to find the best deals -- on credit cards, in particular -- has helped me save hundreds, maybe even thousands, on child-related expenses,” he writes.

We like the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® because you’ll get 1.5% cash rewards on every single purchase — with no limits.

Plus, when you sign up now and rack up a $1,000 tab in the first 90 days (which probably isn’t too hard with kids), you’ll get $200 back. Oh, and there’s no annual fee either. Just make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t get hit with interest.

You can also check out these six credit cards. All of them come with sign-up bonuses and no annual fees -- many feature cash-back offers.

16. Do a Little Extra Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping is probably the bane of your existence, but you likely know your way around those aisles.

If you want to capitalize on that efficiency, consider delivering groceries via Shipt, an on-demand, grocery-delivery service. It works kind of like Uber in that you can accept grocery requests through an app. You’ll receive the list, fill up your cart, pay through the app and head out for delivery.

Last year, we spoke with Destiny Frith, who makes about $20 an hour doing this part time each week. It works perfectly with her busy schedule.

(You can also opt to utilize the service and get groceries delivered to your door. Some even say it helps save money!)

[caption id="attachment_54835" align="aligncenter" width="972"]How to make money as a stay at home mom snagajob/Facebook[/caption]

17. Secure a Part-Time Job That Suits Your Schedule

We all know how overwhelming finding a job can be -- especially with a child attached to your hip. If you’re looking for something part time, maybe even flexible, try starting your search with Snagajob.

Money Making Mommy recommends the platform wholeheartedly:

“After taking a lot of time to comb through this site, I don’t hesitate to recommend it.  While the website is really organized and functional, the content has a nice personal, almost humorous tone to it.  It makes it easy to navigate and fun to use.  Let’s face it… searching for a job isn’t exactly like going on vacation.”

We use this platform here at The Penny Hoarder, too, to find awesome job opportunities to write about.

Make it easier on yourself by creating a personalized search. And you don’t even have to comb through job boards. You can just sign up and opt for job alerts straight to your inbox.

18. Take a Picture of Your Grocery Receipt

You’re not taking a picture to immortalize it -- that would be torturous since grocery bills always seem to end up expensive -- but to earn money back.

The Ibotta app houses tons of rebate offers from more than 340 stores, including Walmart, Target, Publix, Aldi and Trader Joe’s.

Ginny from The Simple Moms blog wrote about the app. She’d earned $117 in rebates -- without cutting coupons:

“I recently stopped my newspaper subscription because I just plain don’t have time to do the coupon clipping. 3 kids under 6 years old makes my brain mush and life busy. The Ibotta app is my coupon alternative and has simplified my life.”

It’s easy, too. Just download the app, find rebates on your favorite products, go shopping, then scan the items’ barcodes and submit a photo of your receipt after.

Some recent rebate examples include $5 back on select Huggies products from Sam’s Club, $2.50 back on Similac infant formula from Walmart and $2.50 back on a case of Bud Light from Target (in case you’re that stressed…).

Sign up now for a $10 welcome bonus after you’ve snagged your first rebate.

[caption id="attachment_54834" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom vgajic/Getty Images[/caption]

19. Find a Work-From-Home Job

Work-from-home jobs are aplenty these days, and they’re especially convenient for moms who have to juggle sticky schedules.

The mom of three behind Work at Home Mom Revolution has worked from home since she bought her first computer back in the ’90s. She started her blog for moms in 2007:

“At the time, I was a separated, single mom raising three children on my own, and working from home allowed me to be available to my girls when they really needed me most.  I wanted to encourage other moms on their path to finding work from home…”

If you’re not even sure where to start, don’t worry. Work at Home Mom Revolution posts some great opportunities.

You can also use these 12 job search sites, most of which are free. And keep an eye on our Facebook jobs page; we post our favorite, hand-picked work-from-home jobs there.

20. Set a Bet to Lose Weight

As a parent, you’re busy. You don’t have as much time to focus on yourself and your health. We get it.

If you need some motivation to lose extra pounds, HealthyWage might help. In short, you bet on yourself to lose weight. If you hit your goal, you pocket money.

Katelyn Pincock and her husband Cort tried it out. The parents of two bet $75 per month for six months. She bet she’d lose 40 pounds, and he bet he’d lose 60. Both hit their goal and banked nearly $3,000 to help pay off their debt.

“The mother of two children under the age of two gets her exercise on bike rides through the park, the kids snuggled into a bike trailer behind her,” senior writer Dana Sitar wrote of Katelyn’s experience.

If you want to see how it works, check out the couple’s story.

[caption id="attachment_54836" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]How to make money as a stay at home mom Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

21. Rent Out Your Baby Gear

If you travel with your little ones, you understand the chaos that can ensue.

Not only are there constant bathroom breaks and “Are we there yet?” sort of questions, you also need to be able to bring along all your gear: the car seat, the bouncer, the stroller, the crib…  

This can get tricky and expensive, especially if you’re traveling by air.

That’s why a mom of two launched the goBaby app, an Airbnb-style marketplace for traveling parents.

Ksenia B. told the goBaby team:

“We’re still planning to have another child, but currently a lot of this well regarded equipment is sitting around unused. goBaby has enabled us to easily make some extra income on the side with it…”

If you have baby gear sitting around, you can make a pretty penny by renting it out through the platform. Cribs can go from $10 to $50 a day, strollers for $15 to $40 a day and car seats $12 to $25 a day.

Check out all the information online and see if you want to rent out your gear to traveling (probably exhausted) parents.

Your Turn: Do you know any ways for stay-at-home moms to make money?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

We’ve all heard the old “make your money work for you” adage, right?

That means taking basic Finance 101 steps -- like investing. But sometimes we’re a little too busy working for our money and forget to invest.

And sometimes the idea of investing becomes a bit overwhelming. You might picture scenes from Wall Street, starched suits and maybe people soaking in a bathtub full of money. (That can’t just be me?)

But investing can be for everyone -- even if you only have $5.

Before You Start Investing, Here’s What You Need to Do…

First of all, your ability to invest -- and how much you can afford to invest -- is going to depend largely on your budget, goals and capacity to face risk.

For that reason, we can’t offer tailored, personalized advice. Sorry. You’ll need a financial advisor for that.

However, we can offer an overview.

Before you start investing, you need to make sure to tie up any loose financial ends and plug up any financial holes in your life. So we’re borrowing money advice from financial guru Dave Ramsey.

Before you invest…

  1. You should establish a cushy emergency fund. Ramsey suggests at least $1,000 to start, but eventually you’ll want to get that up to three to six months of living expenses.
  2. You should have your debt paid off. He suggests using the debt snowball effect.

If you don’t meet these two Ramsey-inspired qualifications, you can still invest; it just might not be in your best interest.

Also, you might already be investing through your employer retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA. Yup, that’s investing, and it’s not too scary, right?

How to Start Investing -- Based on Your Budget

You don’t need thousands of dollars to start investing. You can actually start with as little as $1.

We’ve aggregated four investing platforms and have categorized each one based on your budget.

If you only have $1 and some change to spare…

Rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar is all the rage right now. Those remaining pennies add up fast.

Acorns is embracing the trend and allows you to start investing with just a handful of change. Plus, it’s all done with a few taps on your phone.

Once you download the free app, you’ll pick your portfolio based on your age, income level and your aggressiveness. Acorns determines the rest; you don’t have to pick and choose individual investments.

Then, if you so choose to round-up your transactions to the nearest dollar, that spare change will stack up until it hits $5, which will trickle into your investments.

Each month, you’ll pay $1 for the service. If you work your way over $5,000, you’ll be charged 0.25% of your balance a year.

If you have $5 to spare…

Stash is another fan-favorite app. You only need $5 to get started -- plus you’ll bank an extra $5 when you sign up now. So really, it’s kind of free.

Here’s how it works: When you sign up with the SEC-registered investment adviser (that means your money will be safe), you’ll gain access to more than 30 investment options.

If you don’t know where to start or already feel overwhelmed, Stash will walk you through the process with personalized assistance. It even defines any financial jargon. You’ll buy fractional shares, which basically means you can pick and choose what you can afford to invest in.

Your first three months are free. After that, you’ll pay $1 per month, though if you build a portfolio of more than $5,000, you’ll be charged 0.25% per year.

It all starts with $5. And by clicking, “download.”

If you have $100 to spare…

If you read The Penny Hoarder, you’ve probably heard of Aspiration. We frequently write about how much we love its free Summit Checking Account.

It also has an investing platform called Aspiration Redwood Fund, which invests your money in sustainable businesses that are “leaders in their industry when it comes to caring about their people, the planet, and their company’s purpose and mission.”

That means you’ll feel like a good, socially responsible human when you invest through the platform.

You’ll need $100 to open up an account, but the additional service fee is totally up to you.


You know how some investment firms getcha when it takes a huge chunk of your returns? Aspiration lets you decide how much you pay its portfolio managers.

If you want to make sure this is real, go ahead and read up on the Redwood Fund here.

If you have $500 or more to spare…

We’ve got two options for you: Lending Club and Betterment.

Do note you don’t necessarily need $500 to start accounts with these two options, but the bigger the better.

With Lending Club, you only need $25 to purchase a note. OK, let’s back up.

Lending Club is considered a platform for social lending, or peer-to-peer lending. Basically, it connects you with individual lenders and borrowers through an online marketplace. So you’re lending money directly to an individual -- without the middleman.

Here’s how it works: A borrower fills out a loan application. Lending Club experts evaluate it, set an interest rate and compile loans. The borrower then chooses a loan and activates it.

Then comes the investor (you). You can choose how much you want to fund in $25 increments (called notes). So you’re helping the borrower. Once the loan is funded, the borrower gets all the money. Each month, the borrower starts paying back the funds -- with interest.

Annual returns average 5% to 7%, which is a lot more than your average savings account. But also note 99% of its investors invest in 100 or more notes, which equates to $2,500.

We have a complete guide on how it works here.

The second option we’ll talk about is Betterment, an automated investing service. With Betterment, it’s OK to have a $0 balance, and the annual fee hovers at 0.25% (the same as larger Acorns and Stash balances).

Perhaps Betterment’s best tool is its personalized recommendations. Type in your age, employment status (retired or not retired) and your annual income. Out spits recommended goals.

You’ll get suggestions for a conservative “safety net” portfolio, with 40% of your investment going toward stocks and 60% going towards bonds. It also generates an annual recommended target amount, which is going to be a pretty big chunk of money, depending on what you make.

You’ll also get personalized suggestions for retirement plans and general investing.

Once you sign up, the Betterment team will manage it all for you!

Again, we’ll always recommend speaking with a professional to figure out what your best move is based on your personal finances (because, well, they’re personal).

Your Turn: What’s your favorite investment platform that’s best for your budget?

Disclosure: Here’s a toast to the affiliate links in this post. May we all be just a little richer today.

Meet Genevieve.

She’s an awesome grandma who earned enough cash on one of our favorite rewards sites to fulfill her grandson’s dream: a trip to Disney World.

That’s right -- Genevieve was able to pay for a whole week-long theme park vacation just by taking surveys and watching videos in her spare time.

And did I mention she didn’t even have to leave the comfort of her own home?

How This Grandma Used Swagbucks to Save for Disney World

After working hard for 30 years, Genevieve and her husband were thrilled to retire.

But she soon found money was a little tighter than it had been while they’d both been making a regular income -- and it cut into her ability to surprise her grandkids.

She loved sending them little treats -- “You know, for times that Grammy isn’t around but wants to say, ‘I love you and I’m so proud of you!’,” she says.

That’s when she discovered Swagbucks, and instantly “fell in love” with it.

By taking surveys, watching videos and participating in focus groups, Genevieve watched her Swagbucks points -- or SB -- grow and grow. She cashed them in for Amazon credits, which her daughter paid her for in Target gift cards.

Then, Genevieve used the Target gift cards to buy Disney gift cards.

When added to the $575 in Disney gift cards she already had, Genevieve earned enough SB within a year to fund a week-long trip for herself, her husband and her grandson.

“I have the trip paid for and an additional $400 in Disney gift cards for spending money,” she explains.

“I also redeemed my Swagbucks for Visa Reward Cards that I used to buy Universal Studios gift cards… [and] for Landry’s eGift Cards, which we will use to eat at T-REX Restaurant at Downtown Disney.”

Whoa. Super impressive, right?

By strategizing how she spent her Swagbucks rewards, Genevieve made her grandson’s dreams came true.

Pretty crazy… just for answering some questions online.

Use Swagbucks to Earn Amazon Gift Cards and More

We’ve seen a lot of survey sites in our time, but none offer the level of tangible, achievable and useful rewards as Swagbucks.

If you’re ready to earn your own, it’s super easy to get started.

Once you sign up, you’ll be invited to participate in surveys to earn SB... sometimes up to 300 SBs for a single 20-minute questionnaire. Not bad!

You can also watch videos, search the web and use Swagbucks’ shopping portal -- but surveys are the most lucrative.

Every 500 SB you earn will get you a $5 gift card to vendors like Amazon. And as Genevieve showed us, if you’re smart about how you save or spend them, those rewards can really add up.

Plus, Amazon in particular will actually give you SB back when you spend on certain categories of items. You might earn up to 4 SB per dollar spent -- the equivalent of 4% cash back!

It’ll take some time, but if you put in half an hour a day filling out Swagbucks surveys while you’re watching TV, you could definitely be on your way to the most magical place on earth.

“For anyone who thinks they can’t afford to go to Walt Disney World, you absolutely can with Swagbucks,” Genevieve says. “I know because I did it.”

Your Turn: Where will your Swagbucks rewards take you?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

Garage sales were a big to-do in my family when I was growing up.

The day before any sale, I remember my mom and dad lining our two-car garage with folding tables, organizing each table with a theme of items (clothes, toys, books) then pricing each item with those neon inventory labels.

Early the next morning, while it was still dark outside, they’d shuffle the tables out to the driveway.

It was an all-day affair -- and an especially hot one in Florida.

But that was the ’90s. And sure, people still host successful garage sales, but there are apps for that now.

We identified the most popular e-commerce apps (besides Amazon and eBay) and put them to the test: OfferUp vs. Craigslist vs. Letgo vs. 5miles.

All of these secure apps allow you to sell to locals, which means no shipping hassles. They also offer the most variety in terms of what people are selling -- clothing, books, electronics, household goods, you name it.

Even better: They’re all free to sign up for.

We put these four platforms head to head to determine which is best for you and most worth your time.

1. Letgo

Letgo is arguably the most recognizable name on this list, so let’s start here.

It’s host to nearly everything, including wedding dresses, cribs, TVs, jewelry, movies and cars.

Here’s how we rated it:

The sign-up process

Download the Letgo app on your Apple or Android device. If you’re already looking through the website, you can use the “Send me the App” option and type in your email address; Letgo will send you a sign-up link you can access from your phone’s email.

Your best bet is to just go straight to the app store, though -- or click here from your mobile device.

How to post an item

Open the app, sign up using Facebook, Google or your email, and take a photo of your first product.

Side note: We snapped a photo of an origami dog made out of a $1 bill (because of course we have origami money in our office…).

Once you take the photo you want, the product gets posted. You select the price you want, set it as negotiable, or opt to give it away for free if you just want to purge.

Then you’re done -- the item has been posted.

You can add more photos and details, which experts say typically help with the sale. If you do this, Letgo automatically generates a title, which is startlingly accurate in our case: “1 U.S. dollar bill dog origami.”

You then have 1,500 characters to describe the item (if you so choose), can set the location by zip code and even categorize it. You can also share it on Facebook to see if any of your friends are interested.

In all, it takes about two minutes to post.

Snagging the sale

Within two hours, someone messaged us about our doggie origami.

But the interested buyer didn’t make an offer -- just wanted to tell us how cool it was. The next day, another interested buyer offered $1.

This doesn’t mean you’ll definitely sell your goods. But it does reveal there are actual people in our area using the app and actively seeking belongings. It might be in your best interest to test your market with a few items before going totally ham.

We also combed through iTunes reviews, some of which leaked signs of frustration -- that interested buyers said they’d want to buy something but never committed.

Or never met up.

Or only wanted to pay half the asking price.

Or simply were spammers.

But that’s a risk on many online marketplaces, so buckle up and be patient.

Getting paid

Letgo is simply the online platform you use to advertise your items for sell -- not to complete the sale. That’s up to you.

Letgo offers some recommendations: Meet in person in a public place and transfer money only after the buyer inspects the item. Take cash, or use a secure payment platform like PayPal.

Don’t take a “certified check” -- Letgo says this is a common scam. Shipping items is discouraged, as well.

Really, the whole getting paid part is up to you, so be smart.

And Letgo doesn’t snag any percentage of the sale, which is nice to know.

Overall: Letgo is a solid app -- and the largest platform of its kind surely for a reason.

Signing up and posting an item for sale is easy peasy. However, the easiness does leave way for spammers, robots or pranksters, who might plague your inbox with invalid offers. But the app received $175 million in new financing in January, so we wouldn’t be shocked if new developments are on the way.

2. OfferUp

OfferUp rivals Letgo, though has seen only about half the downloads. But don’t underestimate the rising platform.

Like Letgo, this app allows you to sell just about anything. In our area, we stumble across weedeaters, phones, rain boots and vacuums.

The sign-up process

Download the OfferUp app, enter your zip code, and then click the camera to sign up. You can “continue with Facebook,” which makes the whole process pretty seamless.

How to post an item

Posting an item proves to be a bit more detailed than Letgo.

Here are the steps we took to post the same origami dog:

1. Take a photo, or select a photo from your library. You can add up to five at once. Add a title to your item here, too.

2. Select a category and a condition (new, reconditioned/certified, open box but never used, used, for parts or other). Add a description if you want, too.

3. Add a price. You can select “firm on price” if you’re not willing to budge.

4. Opt to share it on Facebook and select your selling location, then post.

As soon as you post it, you’ll get a message from a customer service rep, who lets you know how excited OfferUp is to have you. It also sends along a FAQ page to your inbox, which is very nice and convenient. It’ll also make you feel a little special.

Snagging the sale

Within about two minutes, we get an offer from a user named Daniel.

He says he wants to buy the doggie for $1,000. We don’t think he’s serious… though he does have four positive ratings.

Our response? “Wow, that’s generous!”

Daniel doesn’t get back to us.

Again, it looks like OfferUp might have some similar downsides to Letgo. You might not get serious offers or inquires, and people might not be willing to follow through.

Getting paid

This follows just about the same process as Letgo: Meet in a public place, let the buyer inspect the item and gather payment in cash or through a payment platform.

Because this is up to you, OfferUp isn’t going to snag a percentage of the sale; it’s all yours.

Overall: OfferUp is really, super similar to Letgo. It’s an app, it’s free and it follows just about the same steps. It also has similar downfalls, including jokesters who offer $1,000 for a fancily folded $1 bill. However, the FAQ page is easy to get ahold of, and customer service welcomed us with open arms.

3. CPlus (for Craigslist)

CPlus is a third-party app because Craigslist doesn’t have its own. But it’s legit. It also has more than 10,000 ratings averaging 4.8/5 stars. Not bad.

The sign-up process

Again, you’ll download the app. You’ll need to agree to Craigslist terms and conditions before choosing your location.

Next, you’ll need to click the little draft icon in the top right corner of the screen.

If you don’t already have a Craigslist account, you’ll need to create one. This redirects you to Craigslist web page. Enter your email, then verify your account and create a password.

Navigate back over to the app, sign in and start posting.

How to post an item

After accepting more terms and conditions, you can create a new posting.

Choose the location (admittedly, a bit redundant), tap “Go,” then answer, What type of posting is this? You’ll likely choose “for sale by owner.” Then you’ll choose a category and select a subarea.

Title your posting, add a price, specific location, postal code and a description. Next, you’ll add images… and then the app crashed on us

We tried again, got through, snapped a photo then published it.

Snagging the sale

We didn’t get a bite on our origami dog. Perhaps people are getting tired of seeing it on every single marketplace app.

However, Craigslist has been around for a long, long time -- a lot longer than these other platforms, and has a huge following. We suspect it won’t take too long to get interested locals if what you’re selling is worthwhile.

Do be aware of safety issues when it comes to Craigslist. As with the other apps, meet in a well-lit public setting and trust your instincts. Your complete guide to Craigslist safety is here.

Getting paid

Securing the payment is up to you and cannot be done through the app. For safety, use cash -- but not a ton.

Like any of the other apps, you’ll likely have people who flake out.

Overall: CPlus is a great app for those who already know and love Craigslist. Unfortunately, there are some glitches, and the app doesn’t work as smoothly as others. You might benefit just as well from using on your favorite mobile browser.

However, through the app, you still post directly to Craigslist, which is one of the largest and most popular selling platforms, so we suspect you’ll have some luck!

4. 5miles

After looking at 5miles for a while, we start seeing “Smiles,” and the app does put smiles on our faces.

The sign-up process

Unlike Letgo and OfferUp (and more like Craigslist), you don’t have to download the 5miles app to post an item for sale. You can do it online, too, though you’ll need to upload photos -- probably from your phone.

Like Letgo and OfferUp, you can choose to sign up with Facebook. It’ll show you which of your friends are using the app so you can create a sort of community. Then enter your zip code.

Now you’re ready to post.

How to post an item

Click the camera icon at the bottom, and take a photo (or video!). You can add a title, a description and hashtags, which will help interested buyers better find your item. Then select a category and price.

You’ll also need to select “cash only” or “cash or 5miles Wallet.” (More on this below.)

Final step: Verify yourself. This just requires you enter your phone number. You’ll then receive a passcode via text you’ll enter. Sure, it’s an extra step, but the verification feature helps cut down on spammers and fakes.

Depending on what you’re listing and how many listings you’re making, you might have to pay a small fee.

For example, you’ll get five free car listings. Anything more than that, you’ll need to pay $4.99. This simply helps weed out spam. (Find the fee details here.)

Unless you’re selling more than five cars, five cell phones or 20 pieces of furniture, you’ll likely be fine.

Oh, and if your item passes “inspection,” 5miles will add $3 to your account, which you can use toward a future purchase.

Snagging the sale

We didn’t get any bites on 5miles, so be sure to check that it’s readily used in your area before posting everything.

It does stand out from the other apps in that it has a neat feature that allows you to promote your items. Categorize it as “must go,” “triple exposure” or “click-to-call.”

If you have a big item that really needs to go, you might consider paying $2.99 for these 3-day promo features (or $1.99 for 14 days of click-to-call, which means buyers can easily contact you).

Getting paid

You have two options in transferring the item: You can meet in person -- again, exercise caution -- or you can ship the item. If you choose to ship, you’ll be charged a fee. Or you can arrange to ship the item yourself.

In transferring money, you can hand over cash or use an app payment option. However, 5miles also has its own wallet, where you can transfer money within the app.

Here are more details on 5miles wallet and shipping.

Overall: 5miles is impressive. Although you have to take a few extra steps to post your item, we realize it helps weed out the frauds and makes the community a better place. We also love the inside payment option -- and the option to ship if you so wish. We predict letgo and OfferUp will follow suite with some of these features.

Your Turn: What’s your favorite app to sell your stuff?

Disclosure: We don’t hesitate to pick pennies off the sidewalk when we spot them. But the affiliate links in this post help our earnings grow even quicker. Plus, it’s a lot cleaner than sidewalk money.

Being a mom is difficult, time-consuming and really freakin’ expensive.

Before your child’s first birthday, a family with a household income of $40,000 is likely to spend over $21,000, according to a recent NerdWallet study.

A chunk of those expenses stem from food (more than $1,100) and another chunk stem from miscellaneous items, like diapers, clothes, toys, and other things that come up (nearly $2,000).

Do these totals give you heart palpitations? Or are you nodding your head in agreement -- maybe even wondering how it’s not more?

We scoured mommy money-saving blogs to find out how some power moms are saving on these essentials.

We found one thing many of them have in common: Busy moms love finding secret ways to save money -- especially capitalizing on cash-back opportunities.

You’re not getting thousands of dollars back, but the small amounts can really add up.

5 Expert-Mom-Recommended Cash-Back Apps and Sites

We couldn’t help but laugh when Ashleigh Allman of Smart Cents Mom exposed her husband’s sarcasm in regards to her cash-back routine: “Wow! What are we going to do with those 10s of dollars you made this month from your cash back sites?”

She says she rolled her eyes in response -- exactly as you should have, Allman, because every little penny counts when you’re dishing out $21,000 a year.

If you want to use some of the same tactics these women have, here are five mommy-blogger recommended tools.

1. Stop driving around town to price compare: Use Retale.

That’s not a typo; it’s Retale, a free app that aggregates weekly ads from all your favorite stores.

Jessica Morgan wrote about it in Jacksonville Moms Blog. She used it when she was running around town to try to find the best back-to-school deals for her kids:

“In an effort to save myself (and the kids) a morning of driving from one sale to another, I was determined to find a way to save time… The answer was as close as my fingertips.”

Retale lets you compare prices at different locations without Googling, calling or scoping out these spots

Download the app, choose “Find local deals” and select your favorite retailers. These range from Target and CVS to Macy’s, Dollar Tree and Whole Foods.

You can also aggregate your favorites deals within the app.

For example, Walmart’s latest coupons appear just as they do in a newspaper -- but they’re not annoying and easy to rip. Flip through to find what you need. Then, click the thumbtack to highlight the one you want to use; it’ll get stored in your favorites.

You can also create a shopping list. Add your favorite brands. If a deal pops up, you’ll be alerted.

2. Use a cash-back card every time you swipe.

Earn points or cash back each time you go to buy another essential with a cash-back card.

Katie Quirk Dunyon, of Mom365, says this makes her feel better about dining out with her picky child:

“When you’re dining out, does your child frequently insist on ordering meals he never eats? Try this: Get a rewards card that gives you cash back or points on spending at participating restaurants. Then check your credit card statement and when it includes rewards from that last family meal out, well, it does help soften the blow of all that wasted food!”

Dining out is just one of the many instances you can earn points, depending on the card you use. We like the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® because you’ll get 1.5% cash rewards on every single purchase -- with no limits.

That means if you don’t have the time or energy to eat out, you’ll still get rewarded for those endless diaper runs (here’s how to get some free ones, too).

Plus, when you sign up now and rack up a $500 tab in the first 90 days (which probably isn’t too hard with kids), you’ll get $150 back. Oh, and there’s no annual fee either.

Just make sure you pay the card off in full each month.

3. Earn cash for printing coupons on MyPoints.

This might sound too good to be true -- earn points for using coupons? But it’s real with the MyPoints online portal.

Rayven Perkins, the brain behind Stay a Stay at Home MOM, highly recommends the tool:

“I love using my points to get free gift cards (though you can use them for airline miles and other prizes too). Sometimes I use these cards to spoil myself, sometimes I get, thrifty, and save them for gifts for family and friends at Christmas, birthdays, or mother's and father's day. / But whatever the reason, it’s fun to get free stuff in the mail.”

She actually signed up for MyPoints way back when -- before her son was born. (Context: Her son was 12 when she wrote this.) She earns points by shopping, printing coupons, playing games and taking surveys.

For example, shop through the MyPoints portal to earn 5 points per dollar you spend on Amazon. When you collect 1,590 points, and you can cash out for a $10 gift card.

Even better, you can get a $10 gift card just for signing up!

4. Take a Picture of Your Receipt

The Ibotta app has tons of rebate offers at over 340 stores, including Walmart, Target, Aldi and Trader Joe’s.

Ginny wrote about her love for the app on The Simple Moms blog:

“I recently stopped my newspaper subscription because I just plain don’t have time to do the coupon clipping. 3 kids under 6 years old makes my brain mush and life busy. The Ibotta app is my coupon alternative and has simplified my life.”

She’d earned $117 in rebates.

Here’s how it works: Find rebates on your favorite products before going shopping. Go do your shopping. Then use the app to scan the items’ barcodes and submit a photo of your receipt.

Some rebate examples include $5 back on select Huggies products from Sam’s Club, $2.50 back on a case of Bud Light from Target (in case you’re that stressed…) and $2.50 back on Similac infant formula from Walmart.

If you join now, you’ll also get a $10 welcome bonus.

5. Let Paribus scan your inbox.

We’ve already established moms are busy, and services like Amazon Prime can be huge time-savers.

And you can save even more money, too, with Paribus.

Lotus of Mommy to Max uses the tool:

“I don’t know about you but I buy almost everything I need on Amazon. I have an Amazon Family Prime membership (worth it for the 20% off on monthly diapers alone!) and it feels like I’m shopping on the site every few days. Anyway, I signed up for Paribus three days ago and I have already received $25 in refunds from Amazon (with $210 in purchases, that’s basically 10% back).”

Paribus registers any online shopping receipts in your inbox. It notes what you’ve bought, and if the price of the item decreases during the return period, it reimburses you the difference. Although it keeps a 25% service fee, your rebates can add up quickly.

Many moms use it for Amazon orders, but it also works for other retailers like Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and more.

Just sign up and connect your email account.

Your Turn: Do you know any secret ways to save money?

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). We do not feature all available credit card offers or all credit card issuers.

What do you have in common with Charlie Chaplin, Al Gore and Celine Dion?

You were all born between March 21 and April 20 -- under the sign of the Ram.

And Aries are phenomenal Penny Hoarders.

You have the entrepreneurial traits necessary to take control of your career, work for yourself and find creative ways to make money when you don’t want to be stuck in a nine-to-five.

If you want to harness the spirit of your sign, here are 10 Aries traits that can help you make extra money this month.

1. Enterprising: You Take Initiative

Rams are bold enough to work for themselves… and maybe stubborn enough to not work so well with others.

Uber has become a go-to gig for anyone who wants to control their own fate and work for themselves.

As an Uber contractor, you get to set your own schedule, and you work when you want to. No one is keeping tabs on you.

You’ll earn money based on a base fare, plus time and distance traveled for each pickup. Uber charges a service fee of 20% to 35%, depending on your city.

If you want to give it a try, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have three years’ driving experience
  • Have an in-state driver’s license and a clean driving record
  • Be able to pass a criminal background check

Your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.

If you don’t have a car that meets the requirements, Uber’s Vehicle Solutions can connect you to options to help you find one from their network of partnerships.

In participating markets, you could rent a vehicle by the week -- a simple way to dip your toes into rideshare driving.

If you qualify, you could also apply for a flexible lease with unlimited mileage and payments deducted directly from your Uber earnings. Ready to buy new? Driving with Uber could get you a discount on eligible vehicles.

Here’s a link to apply with Uber.

2. Impetuousness: You’re Not Afraid of Risk

You might welcome risk… a little too much.

This trait can wreak havoc if you decide to invest in the stock market.

To invest your money without paying someone to make sure you don’t go nuts, try Stash.

This app lets you start investing with as little as $5 for just a $1 monthly fee (but your first month’s free). Stash leaves the complicated stuff out of investing and lets you choose where to put your money based on your beliefs, interests and goals.

You can sign up for Stash here, and you’ll get an extra $5 to invest when you open your account.

3. Audacious: You Love Adventure

Ready to jump into the next adventure? We thought you would be.

It’s easier to take the next big leap if you clear the clutter from your life first.

Use these apps to make extra money cleaning out your closet:

Letgo — You can sell nearly anything through this app. Just snap a photo of your item, and set up a listing in about 30 seconds. Letgo is 100% free to use.

Bookscouter — Hoarding old textbooks? Someone will probably pay you for them! Just search the book’s ISBN on Bookscouter, and the site will connect you with more than 25 of the best-paying and most reputable online buyback companies.

Decluttr — Clear out your old DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs and video games with this app. Scan the barcode with your phone, and Decluttr will make you an offer. It’ll send you a shipping label, so you can ship everything free. Plus, enter PENNY10 at checkout to get an extra 10% for your trade-ins!

4. Driven: You Set Ambitious Goals

You’re hardworking and action-oriented. When you set your mind to something, you’ll achieve it.

Did you know you can get paid to get in shape? We found a company called HealthyWage that lets you actually bet on your weight own loss.

Meet your goals, and you get paid. Fail, and you lose money. How’s that for motivation?

Here’s how it works:

Sign up with HealthyWage. Define a goal weight and the how much time you’ll give yourself to achieve it. Place a monetary bet on yourself ranging from $20 to $500 a month.

Depending on how much you have to lose, how long you give yourself to do it and how much money you put on the table, you could win up to $10,000 — and get in great shape!

5. Brazen: You Make Bold Moves

Being gutsy will take you far… but what if you’ve been a little too bold with your credit card?

If you’ve rammed your way into credit card debt, we found a simple way to get it under control.

Credit Sesame’s “credit report card” acts like your favorite teacher from high school.

It gives you a free credit score, plus lays out your credit history, so you can see exactly how much money you owe and to whom. It even tells you your monthly payments and interest rate, and which debts are in collections.

The app lets you keep track of your credit score and recommends ways to improve it. For example, it might recommend a mortgage lender, credit card or debt refinancing based on your needs and your chances of being approved.

Small business owner Kenneth Bain raised his credit score 234 points using Credit Sesame. He said it became like a game, and he wanted to achieve the high score.

“I literally checked my credit every day, two to three times a day,” he told us. “I remember the day I logged on and saw 721 … And (I thought), ‘Yes, finally! My hard work paid off.’”

You can sign up for Credit Sesame and get your free credit report card here.

6. Passionate: You Love a Good Cause

Aries are inspired by passion — not cash — so we know you care where your money’s going.

That makes sticking your money in a big bank tough. And we suspect a local credit union has a tough time keeping up with your adventurous spirit.

But we think we’ve found a solution.

Through Aspiration’s online-only Summit Checking Account, you can automatically donate money to a cause of your choice each month.

The account is free to use, though you can choose to pay a monthly tip between $0 and $6. Plus, 10% of any tip you pay goes to your charity, too!

This account moves with you, too. Do all your banking online or through the app (including mobile check deposit). If you need to stop at an ATM, it reimburses fees from anywhere in the world.

It kind of checks all the boxes, doesn’t it? It also pays about about 100 times more interest than the average checking account...

If you’re interested, you can learn more and open an account online here.

7. Spontaneous: You Give in to Impulses

We all appreciate a little adventure — but there’s such a thing as being too spontaneous with your money.

You probably have at least one checking and savings account, right? Maybe a credit card account or a few? We hope you have a retirement fund, too.

Clarity Money is a free iOS app that helps you see, organize and control all of these in one place.

Here’s how it works: You download the app, connect your existing accounts, and get ready to learn more about where your money’s going… and how to hold on to more of it.

Clarity analyzes and uses your spending history to provide budgetary insights. It’ll show you exactly how much you spend in different categories — like bars and restaurants, travel or groceries — as a percentage of your total expenses.

It also gives you tools and information to help you make better financial choices.

8. Frank: You Don’t Bite Your Tongue or Beat Around the Bush

If you enjoy writing, chances are you already like to speak your mind through long-winded Facebook posts or your personal blog. It can be hard to keep quiet.

But why do that for free? Learn to harness those subjects you’re passionate about to make money as a freelance blogger.

You could earn at least $50 per blog post. Once you gain experience and build your portfolio, you could work with blogs that pay even more — around $100 to $150 per post.

You just have to figure out what you want to talk about.

Got unique stories about raising kids? Here are six parenting blogs and magazines you could pitch ideas to.

More into fashion and beauty? Try pitching online women’s magazines like Bustle or Refinery29.

9. Ruthless: You Forge Ahead With Conviction

Here’s a fun way to make money harnessing your leadership, initiative and creative thinking.

Join a mock jury!

Serve as an in-person or online mock juror to help lawyers prepare for real cases. You can earn $10 to $60 for about an hour of your time.

In person, you’ll probably sit through a mini version of a court case, listening to opening and closing arguments from each side. Online, you’ll simply review evidence, including documents, videos and photos, from one side.

Like a real juror, once you’ve heard the case, you get to weigh in. In person, you’ll even deliberate with other jurors — “12 Angry Men” style!

10. Innovative: You Think Outside the Box

It’s tough to nail your entrepreneurial spirit down to a day job. You like autonomy, and you want to work on something you care about.

Before saying “take this job and shove it,” stick your passion into a side hustle.

Use your free morning, evening and/or weekend hours to work part-time on your own business. It’s a smart way to earn extra money and a safe way to test the waters of self-employment.

Here are a few simple ways to get started:

Start a bookkeeping business. Want to help other business owners tackle problems and succeed? Read our interview with CPA Ben Robinson, who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers, and learn how you could earn up to $60 an hour doing this work.

Be a proofreader. If you’ve got a knack for grammar and a good eye for detail, this side gig could easily grow into substantial income. can help you learn the skills you need to become a first-class proofreader, and to get clients and make money.

Help your neighbors with odd jobs. Sign up with TaskRabbit to make money helping with tasks like packing and moving, handyman jobs or even assembling IKEA furniture.

Rent your clothing. Do you have the fashion bug? If you own designer dresses or other clothes you don’t wear anymore, list them on Rent the Runway to make money. Users rent your digs for special events, then return them — so you can cash in on the same dress over and over.

Once you’ve banked some extra money, who knows? Maybe you’ll love the freedom of running your own biz and decide to take it full time!

Your Turn: Will you try any of these ways to make extra money?

Disclosure: What would Abe do? Probably pat us on the back for placing affiliate links in this post. Thanks for helping us fill The Penny Hoarder’s beer fridge!

The average credit score in the United States is 673, just shy of what experts consider a “good” score.

And that’s not a very pretty picture.

A lot of people are struggling to pay down debt and rebuild their credit score after years of student loans, credit cards and unpaid bills have destroyed it.

If you’re in the same boat, here are seven smart steps you can start taking right now to raise your credit score faster.

1. Figure Out What You’re Dealing With

Business owner Kenneth Bain raised his credit score 234 points in just seven months.

His first step? Finding out exactly what kind of debt he had.

Which companies do you owe money to? Which (if any) of your debts are in collections? What are your minimum monthly payments on each credit card or loan?

Bain found this information by signing up with Credit Sesame.

The app shows your balance on any unpaid bills, credit cards or loans. It also offers personalized tips to help reduce your debt and raise your credit score.

Through Credit Sesame, Bain found some old bills tainting his credit report, even some that were paid off. He cleared those marks to improve his score.

Once he started tracking his rising credit score and watching his debts dwindle, it started to feel like a game — one with a seriously important goal.

He told us, “I literally checked my credit every day, two to three times a day.”

2. Consolidate Your Debt

If you have debt, high interest rates can sting.

Depending on your credit score these rates can soar to 36%, according to NerdWallet. This might make paying off your debt, securing more loans and hiking up that credit score seem nearly impossible.

But you have options, which include refinancing those loans or consolidating your debt.

By refinancing an existing loan, you’re taking out a totally new loan, which comes with new terms and ideally a lower interest rate. By consolidating your existing loans, you lump all your debt into one big payment, so you’re only making one payment and dealing with one interest rate per month.

Make sense but don’t know where to start? Even is an online marketplace that offers consumers personalized loan offers. Think of it like Zillow -- but for personal loans.

Rates start at 4.83%, and you can check yours by entering a loan amount here (up to$35,000) and comparing your personalized options in under 90 seconds.

Find something with a better rate than your current loans? Consolidate, and lump ’em all together for a credit score boost.

3. Protect Your Identity

What if you work hard to pay down all your debt and you’re totally responsible with your credit going forward...

...Only to take a hit because of identity theft?

We know you don’t want to risk all your hard work.

Identity theft ruined writer Jamie Cattanach’s credit score. She was able to get it back over 700 with a lot of elbow grease, but the experience has made her extra-cautious about her finances.

A free service like TrueIdentity helps you avoid this situation by keeping a watchful eye your finances. It sends alerts by email, phone or text if someone tries to apply for credit in your name.

As Cattanach says, “Before driving face-first into a total credit nightmare with someone else at the wheel, you might as well keep tabs on your stuff — especially if you can do it for free.”

4. Apply for More Credit (No, Seriously)

When she was leaving a bad relationship that ruined her credit, financial advisor Michelle Kuehner told us, “Taking out share secured loans … was the easiest way I knew (to rebuild my credit). Within a year and a half my credit had been repaired.”

When you’re dealing with an already-poor credit score, creating new debt is probably the last thing on your mind.

But it can actually be helpful.

Different factors (payment history, credit age, credit inquiries, and others) are weighted differently into your credit score. Credit usage accounts for a whopping 30%.

If your credit usage is zero, even if you clear the rest of the negative marks from your credit report, it’s still hurting your score.

Opening a credit card, using it regularly for things you’d buy anyway — like groceries or gas — and paying off the full balance each month can raise your credit score without costing you money.

If you can qualify, we recommend signing up for a cash-back rewards card like the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®. It gives you 1.5% cash-back on every purchase — basically a discount on everything you buy.

If you can’t qualify for a rewards card, try a secured credit card, similar to the secured loans Kuehner used. You’ll pay a deposit and get a low credit limit, like $200.

Just make sure you shop around. You want a lender that reports to the major credit bureaus and doesn’t come with exorbitant fees.

5. Sell a Bunch of Stuff

If you want to aggressively pay down your debt, start getting creative about how you make extra money.

Got too much junk sitting around at home? Sell it online.

You can make some quick cash and transform your space into something a little more Zen.

Our editor Matt Wiley and his fiancee were inspired by The Minimalist Podcast to take a second look at all the junk they had lying around.

“The podcast raises the question, ‘Does this add value to my life?’” he explains. “If not, why keep it?”

Wiley decided to dig into the massive CD and DVD collection he’d amassed since college. It was collecting dust in a cabinet, so he decided to sell everything on Decluttr.

That way, they could literally add value to his life... to the tune of over $50.

Decluttr pays you for your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, video games, gaming consoles and other electronics.

To sell other types of clutter, these are our favorite sites:

  • letgo: You can sell almost anything on this app.

Depending on what’s sitting in your garage or closets, you could pocket a few hundred dollars selling it off. (If you can sell enough to empty a storage unit, your savings could be in the thousands!)

6. Rent Your Spare Room

If you want a more consistent influx of extra money without a ton of extra work, turn a spare bedroom into a money-maker.

By listing their spare room on Airbnb (among other money-saving efforts), Ryan Deitrich and Kelsey Swagler paid down nearly $50,000 in student loan and credit card debt — and saved enough money to buy a sailboat.

Airbnb lets you connect with visitors who need a place to stay while they travel to your town. It saves them money over a hotel, and it lets you earn money from unused space.

Plus, the app lets you rate and vet users to ensure guests coming into your home are safe. It also handles the payment, so you don’t have to have that conversation with guests.

7. Choose Which Debts to Repay First

Overwhelmed by a laundry list of loans and credit card payments? We know it can be tough to make progress when you’re staring down a mountain of debt — or even a mighty molehill.

You might have heard conflicting advice about the best way to pay it off. That’s because different methods might work better for different people and situations.

The two most common approaches to paying off debt are called the debt snowball and debt avalanche methods.

The debt avalanche method says to pay off your debt with the highest interest rate first. Those are most likely your credit cards. Doing that can save you a ton of money over time.

The debt snowball method says to pay off your debts with the smallest balances first.

You may pay more in interest in the long run, but this method allows you to eliminate debts from your list more quickly. That can also help motivate you to keep working at it and make your laundry list less overwhelming.

Which method you choose is up to you, as long as it works.

Most likely, you’ll have to get creative to invent a plan that’s just right for you. Take this stay-at-home mom, who used a hybrid snowball-avalanche method to pay down $64,000 in credit card debt in just two years.

Your Turn: What steps are you taking to raise your credit score?

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). We do not feature all available credit card offers or all credit card issuers.

It’s the first of the month, and crap: Rent is due.

At my old apartment, I had a five-day grace period, but there’s no legal requirement for this niciety. Technically, your grace period is built into the last five days of the previous month…

So you need money -- like by tomorrow -- to pay rent.

Unfortunately, companies don’t usually hand out daily paychecks.

And even if you secure a side gig or online hustle, if it’s through an app or online platform, payment likely isn’t immediately.

You could hit up the payday loan store. But please don’t do that. The interest rate is terrifying.

So, instead, here are some make-money-right-freakin’-now ideas to pay tomorrow’s rent.

1. Break up with some of your clothes.

Because if you’re like me, you’re guilty of always wearing the same two things in your closet full of clothes… and yet you still have nothing to wear.

Lately, I’ve been trying to create a capsule wardrobe, so bit by bit, I’m getting rid of the clothes I don’t wear anymore.

My usual sell-back spot is Plato’s Closet. But sometimes I get insulting offers for a stack of nice, gently worn clothes.

There are other options, though. Apps and websites will let you sell your clothes -- and you don’t even need to leave your house.

We like letgo because you get to set your own prices. Plus, it’s easy. All you have to do is a take a photo of the clothing item. The platform operates like Craigslist in that you’re advertising to local consumers, so once someone bites, and you make the transaction, you get paid.

The platform recommends you use something secure like Paypal, but that’s not your only option.

2. Play with some dogs.

Love dogs? Cats? Even birds?

Tons of apps out there help you secure a pet-sitting side gig, but you likely won’t pocket the money immediately. Plus, the apps typically take a cut of your commission.

If you don’t have that kind of time, offer up your services to family or friends. You can even post in a local Facebook community page, advertise on Craigslist, or set up a profile on

You could get paid $40 just to take pup for a walk, according to our pet sitting guide (but you have to pick up the poo, too).

3. Sell your unused gift cards.

Didn’t get your dream birthday present? Got an irrelevant gift card instead?

That plastic is taking up space in your wallet where some cold, hard cash could be.

But no need to hang onto it until it expires. You can sell that sucker on online.

Penny Hoarder Dana Sitar has cashed her gift cards in and wrote about five places that’ll take those things off your hands -- and pay you.

We tend to gravitate towards Raise, because similar to letgo, you get to set your own asking price. So if you’re not willing to sell that $25 Starbucks card unless you get at least $20 for it, you can control that.

The only thing: People might not bite immediately. Whereas the some of other sites Sitar wrote about will pay right away.

4. Do a random chore.

People always need help.

My cousin recently cleaned out her garage and needed someone to come haul her junk away because she didn’t have a truck. So she consulted Craigslist and paid a nice man to do the job.

Craigslist is a great place to sell your services under the “Gigs” section. Pay and tasks will vary, of course.

And if you don’t trust Craigslist, check out TaskRabbit or Fiverr -- to name just a few.

You can also break out of the internet bubble and reach out to your family, friends and neighbors. Chances are someone could use a hand!

5. Sell your old DVDs, CDs and electronics.

I don’t have many old DVDs or CDs sitting around -- not even old phone or electronics -- but my editor Matt Wiley wrote about how he had about 100 DVDs and Blurays he’d stockpiled. 😱

Because you need money ASAP, try selling those suckers to an old video store or a pawn shop.

If you have a couple of days to spare and don’t want to leave your couch because you’re now addicted to Netflix, you could sell them on Decluttr.

That’s what Wiley did. He cashed out the next day and earned $54.

6. Return something.

Look around. Does that jacket you impulsively bought still have its tags? Or maybe you impulsively splurged on something totally random from Amazon

Now that rent is due, those purchases might seem unnecessary.

7. Deal with sticky fingers, and babysit.

Nowadays, sitters can make $12 to $18 an hour to look after kids, and, as one Penny Hoarder wrote, “It’s not just a business for teenagers anymore; as an adult, you may be more likely to find work.”

Keep your ear to the ground -- in classes, at work, around town or within your family. You can even volunteer, because an exhausted parent might not even realize they need a night off.

8. Dust off your bookshelf.

I stockpile way too many books. I even have old college textbooks stacked in my closet; I never touch them.

If you’ve been meaning to get rid of some of these, your dire rent situation could be the perfect motivation to purge.

For the most immediate results, venture over to your local used bookstore. See what they’ll take for your books.

If you have a little more time, there are online platforms, such as Bookscouter. You’ll enter your book’s ISBN, and it’ll tell you how much the book is worth -- and which buyback company will grant you the best deal.

It’s free to use and will help you make the most off those dusty pages.

If you become addicted -- you could make up to $750 each month?! -- dive into the book-hunting industry. This guide will tell how you to find the most valuable books for cheap.

9. Get the most out of your grocery run.

Just because rent is due and you can’t afford it doesn’t mean you can give up grocery shopping. Food is a non negotiable in my book.

However, you can earn some money back with rebate apps such as Ibotta. All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt.

It’s No. 5 on this list -- which also shares other ways you can earn money back.

10. Suck it up, and borrow from your family or friends.

This isn’t ideal, but if worse comes to worse, see if your family or friends will loan you some money to get by this month.

If they can afford it, your loved ones often want to help out when you need it, so ask. Just be upfront and honest with them. We also recommend writing down whatever you agree upon, just so everyone’s on the same page.

Your Turn: What’s your go-to way to piece together your rent payment?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Adding these links helps us keep the lights on in The Penny Hoarder HQ, which makes it a lot easier to play shuffleboard after a long day of deal-seeking!

Thanks to Minting Nickels for some of these ideas!

Want to make some extra money from home?

We’ve got 36 ways you can boost your bottom line -- most of them you can do without even leaving your couch.

DISCLAIMER: This post is LONG -- so we recommend you bookmark it and tackle a few things each day and watch it add up.

How much do you want to earn this week? This month? This year?

Get started with small steps today. You may be surprised how much you can make!

1. Make Money Off Your Love for Disney


We’ve come to realize people who like Disney aren’t casual about it. Disney fans friggin’ love everything about the company: movies, rides, costumes, characters, you name it.

Did you know you could cash in on that lifetime of cherished memories?

We keep an eye on open casting calls, and we see calls for Disney movies and commercials all the time, all over the world. We even found a work-from-home opportunity with the Disney Store!

Could there be a better way to earn money than by working for the most magical place on Earth?

Keep an eye out for these casting calls -- Disney always has something going on. These are our favorite sites:

And if you want to keep up with what we find, follow The Penny Hoarder Jobs on Facebook.

2. Stop Deleting Your Emails

‘Nuff said.

It turns out that deleting your emails could be costing you serious money. Intrigued?

Paribus is a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It's free to sign up, and once you do, they will scan your email archives for any receipts.

If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Amazon, Target or one of the other 16 retailers listed on their website, it will track the item’s price and issue you a refund anytime there's a price drop!

You don't have to do anything!

3. Get Paid to Watch Videos

Carl knows what's up...

Did you know you can actually get paid to watch videos online? They're not all "Grumpy Cat" quality, but if you're just sitting around watching TV anyway, you might as well make money doing it.

FusionCash is one legit site that will pay you for watching videos. Just sign up and start watching... and earning. Right now, it'll even give you $5 just for signing up.

4. Download These Apps

ways to make extra money pajamas

Why not make it every day?

Did you know you could earn money just for having certain apps on your smartphone? It’s one of the simplest ways we can think of to set up a passive income stream!

Companies want to know how people are using their phones, and they’re willing to pay for the information.

These apps collect data from your phone and help them better understand web and mobile usage -- like when you’re browsing, how long you stay on sites or use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).

So, you get paid to use your phone like you normally would: to ignore the people around you.

And the data is reported anonymously, so don’t worry; no one will tell your boss how much time you’re spending on Facebook!

Install these apps, and you could earn $400 a 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.

 - SavvyConnect - You can earn $5 per device (phone, tablet, computer) for each month SavvyConnect is installed. You can make up to $180 per year to help rank the most popular sites and apps. Make sure you keep it installed at least one month to get your first $5 per device.

- MobileXpression 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.

5. Get Paid to Share Your Opinions

ways to make extra money ipsos

Hard to argue with her…

OK, we’re probably not the first to admit surveys aren’t the best way to make extra money. But if you’re just lounging, why not put that time to use?

You can just click a few buttons -- no one has to know you got paid without even getting dressed today.

Ipsos Panel and Vip Voice and  are legitimate paid survey companies (both with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau). You might recognize the name Ipsos from the news, because they conduct a lot of presidential polling.

Some top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are going to take some time, and they don’t come around often. Most will pay $1-$2 and take about 10 minutes to complete.

You could earn $100 or more a month just doing surveys during commercial -- or bathroom -- breaks!

6. Get a $5 Bonus When You Download Stash

ways to make extra money Stash

No more excuses. It’s time to start adulting.

We’re kind of obsessed with Stash around here (and not just because it gives you $5).

We love that anyone can use Stash to start investing. You don’t have to have an MBA or even make it all the way through “The Big Short” to understand how to invest with this app.

You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals, and it does the rest.

To get the $5 bonus:

  1. Click this link and enter your email here.
  1. Download the Stash app on your smartphone, and set up your account with the same email address. Within two business days, you’ll see the bonus added to your account.

For what it’s worth, though, “The Big Short” is worth your time. It has Ryan Gosling in a tailored suit and Margot Robbie in a bubble bath.

7. Get Out of the House, and Drive With Uber

ways to make extra money Uber

This could be us…

If you want to work for yourself without sacrificing human interaction, Uber is a great way to do it! Get out of the house and meet new people every day.

As an Uber driver partner, you set your own schedule and decide when and how long you want to work each day. So how much you can earn is up to you. Your earnings will be calculated by adding a base fare, plus time and distance traveled after your pickup, and Uber charges a service fee (20-35% depending on your city)..

If you want to give it a try there’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Have three years’ driving experience
  • Have an in-state driver’s license and a clean driving record
  • Be able to pass a criminal background check
  • You car must be a four-door and seat at least four passengers
  • Your car must be registered in state and covered by in-state insurance

If you don’t have a car that meets the requirements, Uber’s Vehicle Solutions can connect you to options to help you find one from their network of partnerships.

In participating markets, you could rent a vehicle by the week - a simple way to dip your toes into rideshare driving.

If you qualify, you could also apply for a flexible lease with unlimited mileage and payments deducted directly from your Uber earnings. Ready to buy new? Driving with Uber could get you a discount on eligible vehicles.

Here’s a link to apply with Uber.

8. Sell Your Unnecessary Clutter

ways to make extra money decluttr

Lucky mom!

For virtually anything, you can use letgo. This intuitive app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. Not only does it remove a lot of the hassle of selling things online, it’s also 100% free to use.

Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Clear some space to help you breathe, and put that old stuff to work for you.

Decluttr will pay you for these items -- plus your Blu-rays, video games and other electronics like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods. Plus, enter PENNY10 at checkout to get an extra 10% for your trade-ins!

Seriously, it’s time to let “Jagged Little Pill” go. Or at least sign up for Spotify.

You can sell used textbooks through online textbook buyback company Bookscouter. Just search using your book’s ISBN, and the site will connect you with more than 25 of the best-paying and most reputable buyback companies online.


9. Get Paid to Lose Weight (Seriously!)

ways to make extra money healthywage

The one time you definitely want to be a real BIG loser.

Picture this: You step on the scale and finally see your goal weight.

Congratulations! But it gets even better.

You’re about to receive a generous check you can spend on a celebratory dress in your new size, use stock up on household necessities or wisely stick into your savings -- all just for losing weight!

It’s not a fantasy. If you wager on your own commitment with HealthyWage, this could very well happen for you… as long as you stick to your guns and lose the weight.

Here’s how: Sign up for HealthyWage, and define a goal weight and a timeframe to achieve it. Place a monetary bet on yourself, between $20 to $500 a month.

HealthyWage’s calculator will consider how much weight you have to lose, how much time you give yourself to do it and how much money you wager to determine your reward. You could win up to $10,000!

10. Get a Free $10 Gift Card When You Shop Through MyPointsways to make extra money Mypoints

Got something to say?

You’re not going to believe us when we tell you you can get paid for shopping and sharing your opinions, but it’s true.

Have you heard of MyPoints? It’s a cash-back site that lets you earn rewards by shopping online, printing coupons and taking paid surveys.

MyPoints’ shopping portal is an instant way to save on everything you buy at thousands of retailers. For example, you’ll get up to 5% cash back on purchases in some categories on Amazon.

Plus you’ll get a free $10 gift card just for signing up. Here’s how to get it:

  1. Sign up for MyPoints here using your email address (it’s free).
  1. Use the MyPoints portal the next time you need to shop online. You can shop thousands of stores, including major retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Target.
  1. Make a purchase of $20 or more within 30 days, and MyPoints will reward you with 1,750 bonus points, which you can redeem for a $10 gift card to a retailer of your choice.

You’ll also receive invitations to surveys you may qualify for, and you’ll earn extra points for completing those.

11. Attach This Device to Your Browser

Surf's up!

Digital Reflection Panel will pay you over $200 a year to let the company gather information about your internet habits in hopes of one day making online experiences even better.

All you have to do is connect a simple device to your wireless router and do device updates every now and then. It takes about seven minutes to fill out the necessary panel and survey to participate.

The meter will end up on your doorstep and you'll earn a $25 bonus for installing it within four days of it arriving.

On top of that, you'll get $60 after the first two months, and $10 each month you keep it plugged in after that.

12. Start Investing With $1 Today

ways to make extra money clink

Our pleasure!

Do you ignore opportunities to start investing because you don’t think you have enough money? You could be missing out.

We found an app called Clink that lets you invest in the stock market with just $1 a day. Plus, you’ll get a free $5 bonus to invest just for downloading the app.

And you don’t have to be a financial genius to get started. (We even have writers who figured out how to invest with this app…)

Clink does the heavy-lifting for you. You’ll link your bank account and decide how much you want to invest and how often -- daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, and it’ll handle the rest.

To get the $5 bonus:

  1. Enter your email here to download the Clink smartphone app.
  1. Set up your account with the same email address. Use the promo code: PH2016

13. Provide Customer Service -- in Your PJs

ways to make extra money customer service WFH

This guy takes casual Friday to a whole new level.

Have you ever considered doing customer service from the comfort of your home? An increasing number of companies are hiring work-from-home customer service reps, instead of running call centers.

These jobs can be full– or part-time and offer a variety of schedules, including daytime, evening and weekend shifts with a range of pay depending on the position and location.

Your job is usually to answer customer questions over the phone or via online chat. You may find sales positions that include higher pay and performance incentives; or technical support positions, which are best if you’re tech-savvy and have an interest in helping people understand technology.

You should enjoy helping people, though! You know how a bad customer service call can totally ruin your day? You don’t want to be the bad rep on the other end of that call.

If you don’t like working with customers, keep an eye out for other work-from-home jobs at these job sites.

14. Apply for a Job With One of These Companies

ways to make extra money online tutoring

‘Nuff said.

Work-from-home companies can get a bad reputation. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams out there that take advantage of your desire to make money online.

It’s not fair.

So we did some research and put together a list of 16 legitimate companies that let you work from home and set your own schedule.

These all have a B+ or higher Better Business Bureau rating -- and they span a variety of interests, so you should be able to find something to fit your skills and lifestyle.

15. Be an Image Reviewer for Shutterstock

Um, we call that winning, Alice.

Like looking at photos?

Mountain landscapes? Cats? Food? Funky illustrations? Your own face?

If you have some professional photography experience, but want a break from the field, a work-from-home job with Shutterstock could be perfect for you.

Shutterstock offers millions of royalty-free photos, illustrations and videos and has openings for work-from-home editorial image and illustration reviewers.

As a reviewer, you’ll check images to be sure they meet Shutterstock’s guidelines before hitting the online stock image or illustration catalog. You’ll work from home on a freelance basis for about 25-30 hours per week.

Interested? Apply here to review editorial images and here to review illustrations.

16. Hang Out With Cats and Dogs

ways to make extra money pet sitting

Not a bad way to make new friends!

Do you want to make extra money spending time with cats and dogs? Pet-sitting could be a great side gig.

Take a dog for a walk -- or just stop by to keep them company while friends or family are out of town -- and you could earn about $40. It’s a fun way to make some bank and get your Fido fix, especially if you can’t have a pet of your own.

Get an even closer connection -- and more cash -- by offering to watch pets overnight while their owners are out of town.

17. Sell Stuff Through Fulfillment by Amazon

ways to make extra money FBA beanie babies

I think it’s time to downsize…

We all knew those Beanie Babies and Furbies would be worth something one day, right?

Well, maybe they’re not the cash cows we hoped, but if you have a stock of toys or other items like this, you could make some money selling them through Fulfillment by Amazon. You provide the goods, and FBA handles the rest, from storage and shipping to customer satisfaction.

It’s one of the simplest ways to run an online business from home.

Choose from Amazon’s categories to sell anything you want, ideally something you know well.

The Penny Hoarder founder Kyle Taylor used to buy and resell toys, and he made $10,000 through FBA in November and December 2014!

FBA offers a great opportunity to do a little bit of work around other daily tasks. It’s perfect if you want to make extra money around raising kids, doing housework or even a day job -- or just clear your basement and clear out those old collections.

18. Start a Blog

ways to make extra money blogging

We hear ya…

It’s definitely not a quick way to make money, but starting a blog can eventually help you earn extra money. If you enjoy writing, this is a super fun way to cash in on it.

You can blog about anything you want, so choose something you’re passionate about! Read our step-by-step guide to building an audience and making money from your blog. If you work hard, it could even replace your full-time income.

“As I worked to develop my blog, it began to attract advertisers,” says Cat Alford, blogger and mom of twins, told The Work at Home Woman.

“Now, I field emails (from advertisers) every day, and in the last three months, I’ve made a full-time income from my website after only making pocket change for several years,” Alford explains.

19. Sell Unused Gift Cards

ways to make extra money gift cards

It’s like a surprise gift from yourself!

More than $44 billion dollars in gift cards went unused between 2008-2014, according to the New York Post. We’ve got a much more productive way to put that money to use!

Sure, it’s disappointing to receive a gift you might not want. But if it’s a gift card, quietly thank the aunt (or other distant relative) who gave it to you for not trying too hard to buy something you wouldn’t have liked anyway.

It’s not cash, but a gift card is the next best thing -- even if it’s for a store where you don’t usually shop.

That’s because you can sell it to someone who does want to shop at that store.

List your unused -- or even partially-used -- gift cards on a gift-card exchange site. Buyers use these sites to find a good deal on gift cards, and you get to turn that unwanted present into cash!

20. Rent Out Extra Baby Stuff With This App

MAKEMONEYPJS gobaby baby passport

They seem so small…

Traveling with kids can be rewarding, but also very challenging. The goBaby app aims to make it a little easier on parents -- while giving other parents the chance to make some extra cash.

Babies and young kids need a lot of stuff, apparently, to survive. Packing and hauling that stuff across airports, planes, trains and automobiles sucks, and it might even cost you extra money.

Through the goBaby app, New York City-based mother of two Natalie Kaminski created a parent-to-parent marketplace where traveling parents could rent baby gear like strollers, car seats and other items from local parents with the same to spare.

This Airbnb-style exchange for baby supplies is available in New York City and will be launching soon in Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Chicago.

If you live in one of these cities, use the app to monetize your extra baby gear!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the app for free here.
  1. Take a photo of the item you want to rent out. Add a brief description, and set your price.
  1. Choose whether you’ll deliver the item or have the renter pick it up.
  1. Give the item to the renter, and get it back within the scheduled dates.
  1. Get paid. Repeat!

21. Start a Freelance Business

ways to make extra money freelancing

Freelance life is simply the best.

If you’re dreaming of setting your own schedule, working in sweats most days (or even your underwear, we won’t tell) and letting your facial hair fill out without consequence, freelancing could be perfect for you.

It could be your full-time job or a part-time side gig -- the beauty of freelancing is you get to choose your work and how much time to put into it.

You can start a freelance business based on any skill you want, but these are some of the most common areas:

  • Writing
  • Graphic design
  • Social media
  • Photography
  • Coaching

But don’t just start a business doing what sells!

You’re going to put a lot of time and effort into this, so it should probably be something you love. Find the service that fits what you enjoy doing, what you do best and what people are willing to pay you for.

Once you know the kind of work you want to do, follow our ultimate guide to starting a freelance business to take the next steps.

22. Earn Money Off Your Psychic Abilities From the Comfort of Your Home

ways to make extra money psychic

I see working from home in your future.

Do you have experience and skill in any of these metaphysical abilities?

  • Astrology
  • Tarot
  • Dream interpretation
  • Numerology
  • Clairvoyance/clairaudience/clairsentience
  • Crystals
  • Runes
  • Empathy
  • Medium or channeling

Psychic Source has openings for advisors for its phone or chat readings. You’ll get to work from home and set your own schedule, anywhere between eight and 40 hours per week.

You’ll receive support and promotion from Psychic Source, and pay is a base rate per call (not specified), plus a per-minute bonus depending on the length of your calls.

To apply, access the application process here. Or just apply telepathically (just kidding, don’t do that).

23. Do Other People’s Grocery Shopping

ways to make extra money instacart


Some people hate grocery shopping so much they’ll actually pay someone else to do it for them.

That someone else can be you!

If you’re 21 years or older with reliable transportation, you can sign up to be a delivery driver with Instacart.

This app and website lets people who don’t have the time or motivation to battle the crowds for a box of cereal skip the grocery store. And it lets you make money as their personal shopper.

You should be relatively comfortable with common groceries, so this might not be the gig for you if your typical grocery trip is just a beeline to the Pizza Rolls.

Your application will include a short online quiz about common grocery store items. You’ll need to identify grocery items like a lemon or an 18-pack of eggs, and you only have two minutes to answer the 21 questions.

After that, your local manager will call you to set up a 15-minute phone interview to learn about your background and experience.

24. Make Music Videos for YouTube

ways to make extra money playing guitar

Then you ought to make money doing it!

Want to make money playing music? You can do it without leaving home by putting your music on YouTube.

There are two primary ways to do this. First, simply make and monetize YouTube videos. If you get enough traffic, you can make some serious money.

Second, create YouTube music lessons.

If you’ve been playing a while and know how to explain the basics to beginners, set up some video lessons. Some YouTube music lessons get millions of pageviews. Monetize your videos, and that kind of traffic can translate to serious money.

25. Sell Your Old Makeup

ways to make extra money groceries

Because eating is so overrated.

Do you have makeup sitting around that you know you’ll never use? It’s time to part with that palette of 42 shades of eyeshadow. You always knew you’d only use the brown.

The website Glambot buys your old -- yes, even used -- makeup to resell to users at a discount.

It’s a great way to make some extra cash clearing out your vanity drawers!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Enter your items to see how much they’re worth here.
  1. Decide what you want to sell, and Glambot will email you a free shipping label.
  1. Ship your items via USPS.
  1. Glambot will email you an offer within within five business days of receiving your package. Accept your offer in cash store credit.

If you’re worried about sanitation, don’t worry. This writer was concerned, too, and learned from experts that used makeup is generally OK to apply.

Plus, Glambot authenticates and sanitizes all products before selling. 

26. Write Songs (and Sell Them)

ways to make extra money songwriting

They’re pretty much always coming to you.

You may have heard the music industry isn’t the best place to make a living these days. That’s not totally wrong -- but it’s not totally right, either.

While the move to digital downloads has made record deals less lucrative for artists than in the heyday of rock ‘n’ roll, flexible musicians know there are still smart ways to cash in.

Songwriting is one of them.

Selling songs outright isn’t common, because it’s not a great deal for the writer. If you sell all the rights to a song, you’ll only make a few bucks, even it becomes a huge hit -- or, even better, gets played in a movie or TV show.

A better plan is to set up a royalty deal. That way, the amount you earn is based on the song’s success.

Mechanical royalties earn you a statutory rate of 0.091 cents per song, per manufactured unit (such as a CD). If the song you wrote is on an album that sells 10,000 copies, you would make $910.

Performance royalties are a separate deal. To collect royalties for the right to perform your song, join one of these three performing rights organizations:

If you can’t break into the music industry in the usual ways, you can always look for contests to enter. For example, the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) hands out cash, prizes and recognition to 71 winners.

ASCAP maintains a list of songwriting competitions.

27. Add This App to Get Paid for Picking Up Your Phone

ways to make extra money Slidejoy

Can’t argue with “free” money, can you?

We’re constantly told we have a smartphone addiction in this country. You glance at that tiny screen dozens of times a day to check the weather, answer emails or text the next love of your life (you hope).

And you can actually get paid for it. Take that, technophobes.

Instead of a picture of your dog or some flowers on your lock screen, the Slidejoy app presents ads for various products and services. Like what you see? Swipe left on the ad to go straight to the advertiser’s website, YouTube video or app download page.

If the ad doesn’t resonate with you -- or if you’re in a hurry -- simply swipe right to go to your phone as normal.

It’s like a dating app for ads, except instead of nonsensical pick-up lines, you get paid for your swipes. You can earn up to $60 a year just by using your phone as you normally would.

Click here to download the app for your Android phone.

28. Earn Cash Back for Shopping Online

ways to make extra money online shopping

Don’t you love cracking open the mailbox to see a package inside?

Yeah, we can come up with a lot of ways to save money when you’re shopping. But isn’t it better to get paid to go shopping?

When you shop through a cash-back site like Ebates, you’ll earn cash-back rewards you can redeem for gift cards.

Even better, it’s giving away $10 gift cards if you sign-up as a new member and earn your first cash-back rebate. You can choose either a $10 Target, Walmart, Macy’s or Kohl’s gift card.

You do have to wait 30 days. But, it’s free money so can you really complain?

29. Do Some Freelance Proofreading

ways to make extra money proofreading

Classic proofreader humor.

If you’ve got a keen eye for grammar and formatting, freelance proofreading could be your next great gig -- one that pays about $17 an hour.

Got your attention? Yeah, we thought so.

To get started, sign up for this free seven-day mini-course on to learn how to build your freelance proofreading business.

Typical pay for proofreading is about 35 cents per page, so how much you earn depends on how efficiently you can work. To earn $17 an hour, you’ll have to proof about 49 pages each hour, which you’ll need experience to work up to.

Proofreading is a great gig for Type A personalities -- perfecting grammar, punctuation and formatting and getting paid for it? That’s much better than just keeping a pencil in your nightstand to mark up your library books.

30. Help Companies Improve Their Websites

ways to make extra money UserTesting

Please spread the word.

Have you ever clicked on a link because it promised valuable information, but bounced off the web page immediately because it was so unpleasant to look at?

Some websites are just so annoying to use or difficult to navigate that users don’t want to hang out on them.

You can help change that -- and get paid to do it.

With UserTesting, you’ll help companies determine how customers use their websites.

You’ll make about $10 for spending 20 minutes evaluating websites or testing apps. The best part? You’ll be paid via PayPal within seven days.

This opportunity is available in the U.S., and we’re hearing there are a also ton of jobs in the UK, Canada, Germany and Australia right now!

31. Rent Your Designer Clothes

ways to make extra money rent the runway

Can’t get enough!

Have a pricy dress you bought and only wore once wasting away in your closet? Earn your money back -- and more -- renting it to others looking for a good deal.

You can make money renting clothing through sites like Loanables or Style Lend.

If you’ve got lots of special-occasion or high-end clothes, you could practically be running your own Rent the Runway from your closet!

Rent the Runway is popular with frugal fashionistas, especially around the busy wedding season. People can rent your designer dresses for just a few days to save on cost of buying a new one.

You get to cash in on the demand. Plus, it takes the sting out of splurging on that designer dress for your friend’s wedding last summer you’ll never wear again -- it’s just an investment!

32. Test Drive Cars as a Mystery Shopper

ways to make extra money bestmark

Here’s your chance!

Working through a mystery shopping company like BestMark, you can go to car lots and pose as a potential buyer.

So you get to test drive a car, which is pretty cool.

It also means you listen to the sales pitch, which is less exciting. But then you report back on your experience and get paid. Joke’s on them...

The Penny Hoarder founder, Kyle Taylor, used to do automotive mystery shopping, and reports earning $60 for each dealership he visited. Not too bad for less than an hour’s work acting like a P.I., not to mention the chance to drive a new car!

33. Work From Home as a Bookkeeper

ways to make extra money bookkeeping

We don’t hear that too often. This is a perfect job for you, Ashlee.

Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? Duh, of course it does. How about the freedom to work remotely with small business owners?

Those are the perks of working as a bookkeeper, says Ben Robinson, a certified public accountant and business owner who teaches others to become virtual bookkeepers.

And no, you don’t have be a CPA to be successful in this business. In fact, all you really need are decent computer skills and a passion for helping business owners tackle real-world problems.

It’s a great opportunity for moms who want to work part time, millennials who are just out of college and anyone who wants to bring in real money while working from home.

34. Get Paid for Your Useless Knowledge

ways to make extra money watching the voice

So do we, Jessica. So do we.

Do you like to stay up-to-date on the latest popular -- and not-so-popular -- TV shows? Get paid for the TV you’re watching in your spare time by writing reviews!

Writing about TV comes in a lot of forms, according to NPR television reporter Linda Holmes. Lots of sites pay writers to review or recap shows, but they come with different tones.

You could do a straightforward review of the craft of the show, search for symbolism in the story or start a conversation with readers about the lives of the characters.

If you prefer a bit of snark, you might write for a site that prefers to riff off TV shows. These turn your review into an opportunity for biting punchlines.

A few places to get you started:

Get your foot in the door at Mic writing TV show recaps.


35. Sell Your Weirdest Stuff

ways to make extra money seashells

And, oh, those summer nights… selling them online.

If you want to work directly with buyers, you can list your most unique treasures to sell on Ebay.

Seriously, when we say “unique,” we mean it. Did you know you could sell dentures on Ebay? What about old -- sorry, vintage -- panties?

If you’ve lived in one place for a while, you’re bound to have a few odd items stuck in the back of your closet. Those could be valuable to someone.

You can also cash in on your location through Ebay. If you live by the beach, collect bunches of seashells and driftwood to sell to crafters. If you live near the woods, collect pine cones. Don’t underestimate the value of those things you see everyday!

36. Take Care of Someone Else’s House

ways to make extra money house sitting


House-sitting is a killer way to make money for introverts, travelers and anyone who just wants to make a little extra money in their free time.

It’s like a sleepover you get paid for. Just water some plants, mind the temperature and keep the lights on at intervals that alert potential ne’er-do-wells that the place is occupied.

When you’re traveling, house-sitting could mean free lodging -- and it’s usually cushier than a cheap hotel and more private than couch surfing.

House-sitting in your own town is a way to make money just for stopping by a couple times a day, or even spending the night in a place that’s probably a step up from your own.

Read our guide on how to find house-sitting gigs to get started.

Your Turn: Will you try any of these ways to make extra money?

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.