ScoreCard Research The Penny Hoarder - The Penny Hoarder

When you live paycheck to paycheck, the end of the month can be a tough time. (Case in point: the way we celebrate those months with an extra Friday — woot!)

Regardless of when or how frequently you’re paid in the month, those last few days can get tight. You’ve poured all your money into monthly bills and expenses, and now next month’s rent is right around the corner.

We know you’re doing your best to budget with what you’ve got — but what happens when that’s not enough?

How to Make Extra Money to Boost Your Bank Account

When you can’t stretch what you’ve got any further, get creative to add money to your bank account.

Here are some clever ways to bring in a little extra cash so you’re not running out of money at the end of the month.

1. Look for Money in Hidden Places (Not the Couch Cushions)

We’re not saying you should stop digging in couch cushions for loose change — just expand your search a little.

Items you would normally throw away could be worth a few bucks that’ll pad your bank account each month.

Look how this guy made $1,500 in a year collecting aluminum cans from his company’s break room. That’s a spare $125 a month!

Here are seven more wacky things in your trash that could earn you cash. For example, did you know you could find a website dedicated to selling your used moving boxes? What a great way to reduce waste and make money!

Finally, here’s a fun secret our readers love. The $1 bills in your wallet could be worth thousands of dollars. Just check for these sought-after serial numbers.

2. Save Your Shopping for When Everything Is on Sale

Do you waste money impulse shopping? You could save a lot — without giving up those purchases — by buying only when they’re on sale.

Enter Shoptagr, a mobile app and browser extension that keeps an eye on prices for you.

It lets you save items from over 1,600 online retailers to a single wish list. Then it notifies you in real time when an item goes on sale. Shoptagr will even watch items in a specific size and color, so you don’t have to settle for second best just to save money.

Online shopping prices are constantly fluctuating. Make sure you’re not overspending just because you’ve got an itchy “buy now” finger.

Here’s the link to sign up with Shoptagr.

3. Turn Your Spare Room Into Cash

Have a spare room? Might as well use Airbnb to make some money with it.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds -- even thousands -- of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

Taking a few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events in your area.
  • Be a good host, and make sure your place is stocked with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

4. Get a Refund for Things You’ve Already Bought

Can’t hold off on that purchase for a big sale? Do the next best thing: Buy it now and get a refund next time the price drops.

Your secret weapon here is an app called Earny. It scans your emails for receipts, looking for online purchases from participating retailers like Amazon and Target. Then it tracks competitor prices for items you purchased and gets you money back when it finds a better price.

Earny takes advantage of retailers’ price-match policies to negotiate a refund on your behalf. So you don’t have to do anything — just wait for a notification that you’ve earned cash back.

You’ll get a refund via your original payment method, store credit or a check in the mail, and Earny keeps a 25% “success fee,” only when it saves you money.

5. Earn Cash Back on Everything You Buy

Make sure when you spend money you’re at least making something back in return. With a cash-back credit card, you can do just that.

Try, for example, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®. With this card, you can get 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase — no restrictions. You can also snag a $200 bonus if you spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening the card. Oh, and there’s no fee.

You can redeem your rewards every time they reach $50 — plus, you’ll get a 5% bonus towards your next redemption. So, if you spend about $1,000 a month on the card, that’s an extra $200 a year.

Check out this list to explore more cash-back cards with no annual fees.

6. Earn Rewards for Shopping With Any Debit or Credit Card

There’s a new rewards platform on the market. Drop is a financial tech company that rewards you for your purchases.

As a Drop user, you’ll link your credit and debit cards. When you make a purchase with a participating retailer — like Walmart and Starbucks — you’ll automatically earn points.

You can cash in your points for gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon.

It’s the ultimate loyalty card — without the card.

Penny Hoarders must use a special code “backtoschool”. You’ll automatically score 5,000 points, which is equivalent to $5.

7. Eliminate Your Hidden Expenses

We all sign up for stuff. Sometimes it’s easier to put subscriptions on a recurring payment and forget about it — looking at you, Netflix.

From entertainment to razors to toothbrushes to magazines, we’re all about the set-it-and-forget-it convenience of the subscription model.

But that “forget it” part can end up costing you a lot of money.

To keep track of everything you sign up for, check out an app called Trim. Once you sign up and connect your bank account and phone number, it analyzes your transaction history for recurring payments.

Trim lets you know when it finds a new subscription and helps you cancel any you don’t want to keep. This is a good time to rethink that gym membership you haven’t used since January.

To get rid of it — sans judgment from that buff guy at the front desk — sign up for Trim here.

8. Get Your Paycheck 2 Days Earlier Than Everyone Else

Always feel like your last paycheck of the month disappears into next month’s rent and bills before you can even enjoy it? Gain a little buffer by getting paid earlier.

With an Chime online bank account, you’ll get your direct deposit up to two days earlier than your coworkers.

Samuel Demeny switched from Wells Fargo to Chime to get away from unnecessary fees and restrictive daily spending limits. Now he says he gets his paycheck on Wednesdays, while his co-workers wait until Friday.

“The fact that I’m paid on Wednesday versus Friday… helps me budget before the weekend even starts,” Demeny told us, “so … I can set up my plans accordingly without overspending.”

Unlike most financial institutions, Chime doesn’t wait to give you access to your money until your pay date. It immediately posts the funds to your account as soon it receives notification from your employer.

Plus, using Chime comes with a few other perks you might enjoy

9. Earn Extra Money in Your Spare Time

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft!

Demand for ridesharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

Since it's simple to switch between apps, many Lyft drivers also sign up as a driver partner with Uber.

As an Uber contractor, you’re responsible for setting your schedule and motivating yourself to work -- no one is keeping tabs on 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 are a few things to keep in mind. You must be at least 21 years old, have three years of driving experience, have an in-state driver's license, a clean driving record and be able to pass a criminal background check.

10. Sell Your Stuff

When you’re short on cash, start looking to the back of your closet and in the depths of your attic or basement. No, you probably won’t find cash hidden there (bonus if you do!). But you’ll probably find a bunch of things you don’t use anymore.

A lot of people see this clutter and start plotting a garage sale to earn extra money. The prospect is tempting — but a garage sale might not be worth your time.

Try these alternatives to sell your stuff online or in town to earn more money with less hassle than hosting a full-blown garage sale.

Apps like Letgo and Decluttr make it super easy to sell your stuff without sitting in the front yard and dealing with strangers all day.

Good luck Penny Hoarders -- we really hope these tips help you keep from running out of money!

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.

Listen - we all know the internet is full of work-from-home scams, so we've scoured through thousands of different ideas to find you 32 legitimate ways to make money at home.

These are all ideas that we've done before, so we know that they're real and that you'll get paid. Plus, I guarantee there are some in here that you've never heard of...

1. Share Your Amazon Purchase History

[caption id="attachment_72060" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder[/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.

Download and connect Shoptracker to your Amazon account.

It’ll instantly send you a free $3 Visa gift card, plus another $3 for every month you keep it installed.

2. Watch YouTube-Like Videos

[caption id="attachment_43652" align="aligncenter" width="900"]jobs freemixer/Getty Images[/caption]

The folks over at InboxDollars will actually pay you to watch videos!

Now, most of them aren’t as entertaining as the Grumpy Cat series, but you’re getting paid -- so who cares?

The videos are sponsored by brands who need to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Every time you watch one of the ads InboxDollars will credit your account with a little bit of cash.

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

3. Give Your Opinion to Make $100+/Month

$100

Most of you know surveys aren’t our favorite way to make extra money, but we make an exception when we're just vegging out on the couch. We figure as long as we're just watching TV, there's no reason we can't click a few buttons at the same time.

Vip Voice & Ipsos Panel are two legitimate paid survey companies (both are rated an A+ with the Better Business Bureau).

I've heard some of the top-end paid online 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, making it pretty easy to earn $100 or more per month.

4. Stop Deleting Your Emails

Portrait of a handsome young man working on a digital tablet in a cafe

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

My new secret weapon is called Earny — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It's free to sign up for Earny. 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 20+ 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!

5. Earn Up to $60/Hour as a Part-Time Bookkeeper

Stay at home bookkeeper

Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? How about the freedom to work remotely while helping others succeed?

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 to have 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.

We talked to Robinson about what it takes to become a virtual bookkeeper, as well as tips and advice for making this career track work for you. You can read the full interview here, or check out his website for more information.

6. Rent Out an RV

[caption id="attachment_59326" align="aligncenter" width="2121"] darrensp/Getty Images[/caption]

How many people do you know who bought an RV for one awesome camping trip or music festival… only to look back a few years later and realize they don’t use it as much as they thought they would?

If you’re in that boat (er, camper), you can turn your unused RV into cash.

You can rent your RV to other travelers through RVshare, a peer-to-peer rental marketplace.

How much you’ll earn per day will vary based on your location and the type of vehicle you have. We ran a quick hypothetical and found that Class A models made in the past 15 years range $185 - $375 a night here in St. Petersburg, Florida!

That’s a smart way to make your pricy RV pay for itself — or to bank some cash for your next big road trip.

To see how much you could earn renting out your RV, enter the specs here.

7. Sell Your CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, Video Games and Electronics

Decluttr

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.

One user, Gil Flores, sold about 100 DVDs and 75 CDs and made $275 -- an average of $1.57 each.

Just download the app and start scanning the barcodes on your media to get immediate quotes. It’s completely free to use, there are no listing or seller fees, payment is super fast and there is even free shipping.

Plus, enter PENNY10 at checkout to get an extra 10% for your trade-ins!

8. Get Paid for Your Useless Trivia Knowledge

[caption id="attachment_54902" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]cutting cable franckreporter/Getty Images[/caption]

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.

9. Snag a $10 Amazon Gift Card

Amazon Gift Card

Have you heard of MyPoints?

It's a cash-back site that lets you earn rewards by shopping online and printing coupons. We use it all the time at our house, because it’s instant way to save on everything you buy (for example, you can get up to 5% cash-back on purchases in some categories on Amazon).

But, enough about that, here’s how to get a free $10 Amazon gift card that you can use to buy groceries (or anything for that matter):

  1. Sign up for MyPoints here using your email or Facebook account (it’s free).
  2. Use the MyPoints portal the next time you need to shop online (it's connected to thousands of stores including Walmart, Amazon, and Target).
  3. As long as you spend $10 at any of those stores, MyPoints will reward you with 1,750 bonus points which you can redeem for a free $10 Amazon gift card.

10. Let Someone Borrow Your Place for the Night

Rental Real Estate Sign in Front of house

Have a spare room? Might as well use Airbnb to make some money by renting it out.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds -- even thousands -- of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

Taking a few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events in your area.
  • Be a good host, and make sure your place is stocked with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

11. Get a Free $5 From Stash

[caption id="attachment_42875" align="aligncenter" width="900"] martin-dm/Getty Images[/caption]

It’s no brilliant secret that investing can be a smart way to make money. 

But it feels restricted to a few wealthy elite.

But Stash is different. This app lets you start investing with as little as $5 and for just a $1 monthly fee (the first months is free).

Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money. 

But they leave the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.

Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to match your first investment -- so you’ll get an extra $5 to get started!

To get your $5 match:

  1.  Enter your email here.
  1. Download the Stash smartphone app and create your account with the same address.
  1. That’s it! Within two days, they’ll put $5 into your account!

12. Download These Apps

[caption id="attachment_57506" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Tim Snell under Creative Commons[/caption]

A number of companies will actually pay you for downloading apps on your smartphone -- and you’ll get paid for every month you keep them installed.

The apps collect data and help companies better understand web and mobile usage — such as what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).

  • Nielsen Panel – If you have a PC or laptop, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this software on your computer and browse the web like you normally do.
  • MobileXpression for Android: After you’ve installed this app for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize. (Everyone wins something.) We won a $25 Amazon gift card, but some of the other prizes include iPads and Samsung TVs.
  • SavvyConnect -- You can earn $5 per device (phone, tablet or computer) for each month SavvyConnect is installed. That’s a total of up to $180 per year to help rank the most popular sites and apps. Make sure you keep it installed at least a month to get your first $5 per device.

13. Earn a $100+ Bonus by Opening a New Credit Card

$100 Credit Card Bonus

As long as you pay down your credit balance in full each month, rewards cards are a great way to make some extra money. 

We’re not advocating that you open 1,497 credit cards like this guy, but taking advantage of a sign-up bonus here or there can definitely help your bank account!

Check out this list of seven credit cards with no annual fee that offer a $100 bonus or more when you open a new account.

14. Earn $250 By Opening a Second Bank Account

[caption id="attachment_29876" align="aligncenter" width="640"]saving money hidesy/Shutterstock[/caption]

We've put together a huge list of banks that will pay you just to open a bank account! Some of them will pay you up to $250 just for opening a savings account!

There’s no harm in having multiple bank accounts. In fact, I often find it’s helpful to have multiple places to save (I’m less likely to touch the money), so I have savings accounts for my Christmas fund and my vacation fund.

The top bank bonus is $250 right now — head over to this list to see all of the banks in your area that are offering free cash.

15. Drive Folks Around Town

[caption id="attachment_60460" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] PHILADELPHIA, PA - JAN 13, 2017: Lyft driver Paul Pruce in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 13, 2017. (Jessica Kourkounis)[/caption]

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft!

Demand for ridesharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

Since it's simple to switch between apps, many Lyft drivers also sign up as a driver partner with Uber.

As an Uber contractor, you’re responsible for setting your schedule and motivating yourself to work -- no one is keeping tabs on 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 are a few things to keep in mind. You must be at least 21 years old, have three years of driving experience, have an in-state driver's license, a clean driving record and be able to pass a criminal background check.

16. Get Paid to Go On Secret Missions

[caption id="attachment_72689" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Woman texts on her cell phone. filadendron/Getty Images[/caption]

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 Target clean the last time you shopped there? Were the checkout lines long?

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.

17. Rate Your Local Pizza Place

[caption id="attachment_48391" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]domino’s pizza Samantha Dunscombe/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Awww...yeah! Who wouldn't want $5 and a free large pizza? :)

As many of you know I was a professional mystery shopper for many years (I got my start conducting liquor audits all over the Southeast).

One of the most popular types of mystery shops is for pizza companies -- both Papa Johns and Pizza Hut regularly conduct mystery shops at all of their locations. As part of the assignment you're required to time their delivery service, quality of pizza, etc.

It's pretty easy to do and you can do it several times a year. If you're interested in giving it a try, here's a list of my favorite mystery shopping companies.

18Get a Free $5 From Clink to Start Saving

[caption id="attachment_32397" align="alignnone" width="1695"]Macro of Five American Dollar Bill. Macro of Five American Dollar Bill.[/caption]

I’m kind of obsessed with Clink (and not just because they give you $5).

Clink helps you save for a rainy day or retirement by taking small amounts of money out of your checking account each day (around $1).

To get the $5 bonus, download the Clink smartphone app and setup your account with the same email address. Be sure to use the promo code: PH2016

I already got my bonus and now I’m investing $5/week. I’m already up to $40! That might sound small, but for someone who resists saving money like the plague, it’s a pretty remarkable start!

19. Earn up to $700/Month Fixing Search Results

work from home

I'll make about $700 this month for evaluating search engine results this month.

And the best part? Most of it is done while sitting at home in my pajamas. What am I doing? Let me explain...

Search engines use complicated algorithms to determine the results you see. For example, if you type the name of one of our writers, Steve Gillman, into a Google search box, a half-million possibly-relevant web pages will be narrowed down using various criteria until a second later you see his smiling face. You'll also see links to his personal website, his blog on the Huffington Post, and LinkedIn profiles for a bunch of guys who share his name.

But the search engines don't always get it right.

They are full of errors, so they need real humans to look at the results and judge them for quality, relevancy, and usefulness. If you're interested in this type of work, head over to this article to get more info on how to apply.

20. Take a Picture of Your Receipts

[caption id="attachment_57341" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Ibotta review Colleen Rice, TPH email marketing specialist, uses Ibotta to search through deals at Publix. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Yeah, did you know that you can get paid cash back 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 the store (the offers change every week). For example, in my city, Ibotta will give 2% cash back on Best Buy purchases, $0.25 cash back on any Target purchase, and $3 cash back when I buy an appetizer from any restaurant.  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.

21. Sell Your Old Clothes

[caption id="attachment_47912" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Guess Guess/Facebook[/caption]

Do you still have a prom outfit from, like, 10 years ago?

It’s never going to fit -- or come into style -- again, but something just keeps holding you back from sending it to Goodwill.

Maybe money could change your mind? Instead of storing clothes indefinitely, try selling them on an app like letgo.

22. These U-Haul Jobs Let You Work-From-Home

[caption id="attachment_60398" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Telecommuting Alija/Getty Images[/caption]

Some good news for those of you who want to work from home

Thanks to one of our readers, we found out U-Haul is hiring part-time, work-from-home customer service representatives all across the country. (Thanks for the tip, Tasha!)

Even better, you don’t need a college degree OR experience to snag one. U-Haul lists three work-from-home positions on its site. They’re categorized as “moonlighter jobs” with flexible hours, which U-Haul says are ideal for people with other work or familial responsibilities.

For each, you’ll need to have a headset, high-speed internet and a computer with Windows XP or 7. Training is paid and lasts four weeks. We reached out to U-Haul for further details about the jobs, and will update the post if and when we hear back.

23. Provide Customer Service -- in Your PJs

[caption id="attachment_49505" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] BrianAJackson/Getty Images[/caption]

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.

24. Sign Up for Free Gift Card Promotions

Believe it or not, there are sites that will give you free gift cards just for signing up with them.

One of my favorites is Ebates, the cash-back shopping site. They're giving away $10 gift cards if you sign up as a new member and earn your first cash-back rebate. You can choose a $10 gift card from Target, Walmart, Macy's or Kohl's.

You do have to wait 30 days, but it's free money so can you really complain? :)

25. Sell Your Trash

Trash

Americans throw away approximately 266 million tons of trash every year, and it turns out we might as well be throwing away cash!  There’s a reason dumpster diving has become so popular in recent years and that’s because things that you think are worth nothing often have value.

Anything from your empty wine bottles to old magazines can be sold online. Here's a full list of the things in your trash that might be worth cash.

26. Sell Your Skills for $5 on Fiverr

Earning $5 at a time may not sound like much, but those little sales can add up to thousands of dollars.

That’s the idea behind Fiverr.com, an online platform where users sell their products and services for $5 each. Fiverr says users create 4,000 new listings, or “gigs,” every day.

Gigs range from the standard data entry and research tasks to the truly out-there. For example, as I write this, sellers in the "Fun and Bizarre" section are offering:

  • A piece of rare metal that will melt in your hand
  • A prank phone call to anyone you choose
  • Three balloons released into the sky with your message in them
  • Your name written on two grains of rice
  • A photo of you on the cover of "Rolling Stone"
  • A video of a woman pretending to be "crazy in love with you" -- which has 253 buyers and a 98% positive rating so far

You can seriously sell almost anything on Fiverr. Here are some more ideas.

27. Make Your Own Schedule as a Data Entry Clerk

Data entry isn’t the best-paying online job, but it is one you can do with few skills or previous experience.

Typically, all you need is a computer and an internet connection. Fire up a pot of coffee, and find online data entry jobs through these freelancing sites:

28. Become an Online Tutor

Education is one of the world’s leading industries, and the private tutoring market alone is expected to top $102 billion by 2018.

Have you ever considered becoming an online tutor to make extra money?  Well, if you haven’t, you most certainly should.  You can make some serious coin by answering student’s questions, explaining your notes and uploading tutorials.

That’s right, by sharing your knowledge, you can be rewarded handsomely.

Ty marketing your services on a site like Tutor.com, where instructors earn $9-$13/hour, plus $5.50/hour just for being logged in waiting for students.

29. Become a Dog Masseuse 

Puppy3

We’ve talked before about ways to get paid to spend time with cats and dogs, but this is a new one: pet massage.

That’s right -- some people earn money for massaging animals. It might sound a little strange, but apparently many cats and dogs enjoy a good massage as much as humans do.

If you like petting your furry friends, why not explore this option? With a bit of training you can make $50 per hour as a pet massage therapist. Here's how to get started.

30. Sell Board Game Pieces

[caption id="attachment_54419" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Diane Macdonald/Getty Images[/caption]

Ever seen a board game in the thrift store but noticed with great sadness it was missing half the pieces?

You might want to put the game in your shopping cart anyway. One Penny Hoarder made $250 in six months selling spare board game pieces online. You can even sell “mystery bags” of pieces for $12 a pop!

It may take some time for your listings to sell, but if you follow Laura’s guide, you can probably make $100 in about three months.

31. Write Slogans for Major Companies 

voice acting
Can you sum up a product in a sentence? Think of something funny — and not another joke about too many candles — to put on a birthday card? Make a point in few concise words?

If so, you might be able to make money writing slogans.

Companies sometimes need new corporate taglines, advertising slogans and jingles. Bumper sticker and greeting card makers want cute, endearing or funny thoughts to put on their products.

When these businesses need help, they sometimes collect submissions from freelance writers or run contests that anyone can enter — including you!

Try one or more of these platforms to get started:

  • Slogan Slingers helps companies create slogan contests in which their registered writers compete. It’s free to sign up as a writer, and the company claims you can “make up to $999 per contest (minus our small admin fee).”
  • Get a Slogan is a “crowd-sourcing platform that brings in custom, creative and catchy slogans from a variety of sloganeers.” Companies come to them for help, and writers submit their ideas. It’s free to sign up, but you initially have only “qualifying” status. Once you obtain “qualified” status, you’ll receive $50 for each of your winning slogans.
  • Freelancer.com has a section devoted to slogan-writing projects, which are sometimes run as contests. For example, at the moment a personal injury law firm is offering $150 for the best “unique and memorable tagline/slogan.”

32. Watch More Television

Watching Netflix

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:

For a lot of people, just the thought of saving money when you're living paycheck to paycheck barely getting by is a joke.

The Paycheck to Paycheck Epidemic

In fact, a 2017 CareerBuilder survey of about 6,000 full-time workers found that 78% were living paycheck to paycheck (up from 75% the year before).

It's not that working people don't want to save; it's just that too many of us are struggling with trying to pay the rent and put gas in the car.

By the time the month is over, there's nothing left to save.

To help end the vicious paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, we put together this month-by-month guide to get you on track and potentially put $1,000 in your bank account.

These methods could help you get on better financial footing, no matter where you live.

Month 1

Open an online savings or checking account and deposit $5. Heck, roll your quarters if you have to.

There are a bunch of great online banks, but Aspiration is one of my favorites because they offer an interest rate around 100x what a normal bank offers -- plus there are no monthly fees:

Starting small may not seem worth it, but getting started is an extremely important first step! Just trust us.

Month 2

This month we want you to save $15 in your new savings account. Again, if you can do more, awesome!

An easy way to earn $15 is with Earny -- a free tool that searches your emails for companies that owe you money.

Once you sign up, the app scans your email archives for any receipts.

If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Amazon, Target, or one of the other 20+ retailers listed on their website, it tracks the item’s price and issues you a refund if there's a price drop during the return period!

You don't have to do anything!

Month 3

Your goal is to work up to saving $100/month in the savings account. It seems lofty, but we’re going to help you earn it.

For this month, try and put $35 in the account.

An easy way to do is with these two market research companies: Harris PollPoint Club.

These panels will pay you for your opinions on politics, movies and other subjects. If you sign up for both, you should easily make an extra $35/month (most surveys pay between $3-$4 each for 20 minutes of your time).

Heck, sometimes I fill them out while I'm watching Netflix.

Need another idea?

The folks over at InboxDollars will pay you up to $225/month to watch videos online! This works because the videos are sponsored by brands who need to get them in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

Every time you watch one of their ads, they'll credit your account with cash. Plus, they give you $5 for free just for signing up.

Congrats! You've saved your first $55. That's something to be proud of!

Month 4

Try selling some of your old stuff online. You can sell virtually anything on 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 100% free to use.

But there are also apps for selling more specific stuff to people who might actually be looking for it. For instance, you could sell old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, cell phones and iPods to Decluttr.

Need another idea?

If you have a PC or laptop, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep their software on your computer and browse the web like you normally do. The software collects data and helps companies better understand our web and mobile usage — such as what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).

Month 5

Alright, this month it's time to try and put away $100. Do you have a spare room? Might as well use Airbnb to make some money by renting it out.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.And there’s no reason you can’t be creative. We even found a guy that earns $1,380/month renting out a backyard tent on Airbnb!

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

Need another idea?

You can try our list of 16 Companies giving away $1,810.25. These companies want you to try them out and will pay you to do so. Some of them are easier than others, but just check it out.

Or how about mystery shopping? Before our CEO Kyle Taylor became a blogger, he was a full-time, professional mystery shopper. And he got pretty good at it -- earning around $5,000/month.

Here's a list of the companies he worked for. None of them will charge you money to sign up. And if a mystery shopping company ever tries to charge you, it's a scam. Stay away from those.

We know a lot of people are already working two jobs, but mystery shopping can help you earn money and relax with your friends/family at the same time.

Keep an eye out for restaurant mystery shops -- you get a free meal and you get paid!

Months 6 - 12

Continue saving $100/month for the entire year. We want your year-end account balance to be $950.

Here are some ideas on how to make your extra $100/month:

How to Make $750/Month Selling Used Books

Get Paid $50 to Write a Guest Post

What's in Your Fridge? Get Paid to Share…

How to Make an Extra $50/Week Working for Amazon.com

How to Get Paid $200/Month Testing Websites

Year 2

It's important to continue saving at least $100 each month.

Use your regular paycheck for living expenses and save any extra money you make from the ideas on this site.

Once you've reached year two, you've saved nearly $1,000. At this point, it might be a good idea to open an investment account.

We like Stash because it gives you a free $5 to invest when you sign up through this link, but opening an account anywhere will do.

Just one more piece of motivation: If you can continue to save $100/month for the next 20 years, you could end up with $106,022! Can you imagine? More than $100,000 in a bank account!

You can do this. End the cycle today.

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

Your Turn: Have you ended the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle?

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

Climate change: Who needs it, right?

We know you want to do your part for the environment, fight climate change and help stave off the impending doom of rising oceans and dying polar bears.

But you don’t exactly want to rely on a horse and buggy for transportation or do all your late-night reading by candlelight, either. We get that.

So we found two ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and barely change the way you consume energy at home. Watt a deal.

Oh, and did we mention these companies will pay you to go green? Yeah.

Take five minutes today to sign up for these two free services to earn money while boosting your clean energy consumption.

1. Get Paid Up to $300 to Use Less Energy at Home

California residents can earn up to $300 a year by syncing their utility accounts to an energy-sharing program called OhmConnect and agreeing to help reduce energy usage by about an hour a week.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for a free OhmConnect account, and sync it with your online utility account though Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric or Southern California Edison.
  1. Once or twice a week, you’ll receive a text message to participate in an #OhmHour, an hour of reduced energy consumption. Turn down unnecessary lights, hold off on the laundry and the dishwasher and opt for a fan instead of the AC. It’s a perfect time to go outside, play games on your phone or go to dinner or the movies.
  1. OhmConnect will send you weekly payments for reducing your electricity consumption during #OhmHours

Why? By cutting your electricity use, you help keep demand low and prevent unclean power sources from kicking in. So you get to earn up to $300 a year and help save the planet — not bad!

Your earnings are based on how much power you save. The more you save, the higher your OhmConnect status, which helps you earn even more.

And, hey, here’s a good promo going on right now. If you sign up for OhmConnect and get four friends to join in, you’ll bank $80 plus an Amazon Alexa-enabled Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat, which is $249 regularly. This device will automatically help you make more money through OhmConnect by scheduling your thermostat to turn off — or up — during OhmHours.

The deal is available until Labor Day (that’s September 4, 2017).

2. Opt for Clean Energy — Without Installing Solar Panels

You can promote using clean energy, even if you don’t live near wind turbines or have solar panels on your home.

With renewable energy company Arcadia Power, you can offset your monthly energy consumption with 100% renewable sources in about two minutes.

Arcadia Power matches each kilowatt-hour of power you use with a kilowatt-hour of wind energy. Basically the company purchases certified renewable energy certificates in your name, so others can take advantage of clean energy in their area.

To get started:

  1. Find out if your area qualifies.
  1. Create an account, and provide your local utility information. Arcadia Power will monitor your monthly electricity use and purchase certificates accordingly.
  1. When you sign up your home or apartment (yup, renters are eligible, too!), you’ll get $20 off your next electric bill.

The site even has a dashboard that lets you keep track of how you’re helping the environment.

“I’m always looking for ways to be green in life, and one of my biggest contributions to the planet is the energy I use at home, so I like that Arcadia can help me have a small impact there,” says The Penny Hoarder founder Kyle Taylor, who tried the service.

“It costs you nothing to do something good — only two minutes of your time,” Taylor says.

Get Paid to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Fight Climate Change

Going green doesn’t have to mean giving up everything — or anything, really — you love about the 21st century.

Check these companies out to start saving energy and getting paid today.

If you’re in the market to make money from home, know you’re not the only one.

It’s a cutthroat work-from-home world out there. You’ve got to dodge the scams and take your time into consideration. Is one cent for an hour-long survey worth it? Probably not.

But we’re going to make the process a bit easier for you. Here are 40 ways real people have made money from home.

Warning: This post is a bit lengthy, so we suggest you slap a bookmark on it and make your way through it bit by bit — and watch your money add up in the process.

1. Monetize Your Love for Disney

We’re from Florida, so we’ve seen firsthand that Disney fans are, well, fanatical.

Don’t let all that love, passion or random trivia go to waste. There are several ways you can capitalize on it.

Consider:

  • Apply to work from home for the Disney Store, a childhood — and maybe adulthood — mall favorite. The listing is currently open, but we don’t suspect it’ll stay that way long; Mufasa. (Get it? Move faster…?)
  • Keep an eye on open calls for Disney movies and commercials. These happen more frequently than you might suspect, and the perks are magical. (Like this one, which was casually located in Iceland.) Follow these sites for more: Auditions Free, Project Casting and Backstage.

Keep up with any notable Disney happenings we find on our Facebook jobs page. (That’s where we share our favorites.)

2. Stop Deleting Your Emails

Annoying emails worth money? What?

They are if you use Paribus, a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You buy a toaster on Amazon.
  2. The price of that toaster drops a week later.
  3. Paribus refunds you the difference.

It’s free to download, and it works passively as you continue to online shop your little heart out.

3. Watch Some TV

This one is kind of fun.

You can get paid to watch TV through InboxDollars.

Really, it’s pretty straightforward (we’ve got a guide here), but let us tell you how it works:

  • Sign up with InboxDollars, and snag a $5 bonus in a few minutes.
  • Navigate to the TV tab.
  • Watch some TV.
  • At the end of a few short segments, you’ll see scratch-off cards.
  • Scratch.
  • Win something!

You’ll have to accumulate $30 to cash out, but watching the videos is so mindless and the whole scratching off part offers a bit of a thrill.

4. Look for a Flexible Work-From-Home Job

This post is all about branching out from that 9-to-5 grind, so one easy way is to find a flexible work-from-home job — one that allows you to set your own hours.

Easier said than done.

But we know a site where a stash of these jobs hide: Lionbridge.

Now, you’ll have to act fast because these jobs are in high demand, but when you land one, it’ll be worth it.

It hires for a number of work-from-home positions throughout the year, including, recently, data validators.

Keep an eye on our Facebook jobs page for the latest opportunities.

Keep tabs on what’s available, or simply submit your application. It’ll get in touch with you when it needs you!

5. Share Your Opinions (Not on Facebook, Please)

These days too many people resort to social media to share their opinion — wanted or not. But there are companies out there that do want to hear what you have to say. And they’ll pay you.

Vip Voice and Point Club are two legitimate paid survey companies. (Both have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau!)

On these platforms, you’ll get paid to answer questions. Some of the higher paid surveys can bank you an extra $95. Do note, though, those will take some time. You’ve got to earn it!

Most pay $1 to $2 and will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Think of it as the perfect way to pass time during commercial breaks.

6. Strike Up a Micro-Investing Account

The thought of investing might be intimidating, but micro-investing apps can make it easy. And you don’t need an exorbitant amount of money to start. Actually, some of these apps pay you to start.

Take Stash as an example. It’s free to download, and you’ll bank $5 when you sign up.

You can set your account to automatically deposit money. For example, set it to withdraw $5 from your checking account each week. It adds up. And the investing is done for you.

Even an 8-year-old can do it.

7. Slide into the Driver’s Seat

Technically you’re going to have to leave your home to drive for a ride-sharing service.

But that’s all right seeing as you can just plop into the driver’s seat — and you can make some pretty solid money…

In fact, this guy makes $750 a week driving for Lyft.

The perks are similar to a work-from-home job: You can set your own schedule and dictate just how much you work.

Use Lyft’s calculator to find out how much you could make.

8. Declutter Your Closet

Or go crazy and tackle your garage.

If you have boxes of old CDs, DVDs or videogames, think: When was the last time I touched these?

Exactly.

Consider selling them on a buyback site like Decluttr.

Next, move to your clothes. When was the last time you put that on?! List your clothing items on Letgo and market to locals in your area.

Finally, let’s take a look at those books. We value books, sure, but sometimes you just don’t need those boxes of them. Contribute to our greater society and see how much they run for on BookScouter. It’ll tell you where you can sell what for how much — so you get the most money.

9. Get Paid to Lose Some Weight

So this is the part where you scratch your head and say, “No way.”

Way.

HealthyWage is a program that allows you to place a bet on your weight loss. The idea is that maybe, just maybe, a cash prize will motivate you.

It has worked for many others.

Take, for example, Angie Richards who bet herself she’d lose 40 pounds in six months. She ended up losing 52 pounds and won $1,200.

Then there’s Katelyn Pincock and her husband Cort who bet $75 per month for six months. They ended up winning $3,000.

Here’s another one who’s on the way to her goal — and the money:

Unfortunately, the program doesn’t come with a magical diet or sweatless workout regimen. But hopefully cash can motivate you.

See how much you could win by entering your information into the HealthyWage Prize Calculator.

10. Sign Up for a Cash-Back Site and Score $10

Earn points for printing coupons? Exchange those points for giftcards? I’ll do that.

Sign up with cash-back site MyPoints. You’ll get rewarded for, yes, printing coupons, shopping online and taking surveys.

You’ll get a $10 gift card just for signing up. Here’s how:

  1. Sign up for MyPoints here using your email address. (It’s free.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Snag that bonus here.

11. Rent Out Your Space Through Airbnb

Have a spare room? Might as well use Airbnb to make some money by renting it out to visitors of your town.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your bank account with Airbnb.

And if you don’t have a spare room, be creative. We even found a guy who earns $1,380/month renting out a backyard tent!

Here’s the link to sign up as an Airbnb host.

(Hosting laws vary from city to city, so make sure you understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing. How much you actually make may vary with your pricing, type, and location of your listing, season, demand, and other factors.)

12. Contribute $1 a Day to the Stock Market

Here’s another micro investing app we like.

It’s called Clink Savings, and it lets you invest in the stock market with as little as $1 a day. You have other options, too. You can invest weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. Then Clink does the rest.

You don’t even need to understand what an ETF is.

Oh, you’re welcome.

You’ll get $5 towards your future when you download the app (here).

13. Launch Your Own Work-From-Home Business

If you’re having trouble finding that solid work-from-home job to support yourself and perhaps your family, consider launching your own business.

It’s not as difficult as it might sound, either. There are tons of online programs out there that’ll teach you the tools of the trade and how to get started.

Let us share three of our favorites with you:

  • Strike up an online proofreading business with Proofread Anywhere. You can take notes from stay-at-home mom Joanna Kelley, who makes up to $1,200 a month.

  • Finally, consider transcribing with Transcribe Anywhere. That’s what Alaina Roth did, and she makes about $2,000 a month.

Feeling empowered? Now’s the time!

14. Find a Work-From-Home Job in Any Industry

Work-from-home jobs come in all shapes and sizes these days.

Don’t know where to start? Peruse some of these sites. Those are the ones we use here at The Penny Hoarder, and we love ’em.

But, while you’re poking around, be careful. Be sure you’re not getting entangled in any scams. Before applying to anything, you’ll need to ask yourself four questions.

15. Sell Your Photos

Those thought-out photos you take can get you more than just Instagram “likes.”

Consider uploading your iPhone photos to stock photography sites.

You likely won’t become a millionaire; sites like Foap pay about $5 per purchase.

However, if you have a nice camera, you can step up your game like Eliza Snow, who quit her corporate job to sell photos full time.

16. Hang Out With Your Favorite Fur Babies

Pet-sitting is easier than ever with apps out there like Rover and DogVacay, which is also for cats; it doesn’t discriminate.

You can set your own rates and market yourself to others in your area. You can opt for simple dog-walking or go all in and stay the night. Either way, you’ll set your own schedule.

You could even take ’em to the local doggy bar, too, we suppose.

17. Sell Your Stuff Through Amazon Fulfillment

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

Just starting a blog isn’t as easy as it might sound. But it’s worth it if you’re willing to work for it.

Do your research first.

Just kidding. We already did it for you. Use this ultimate guide to understand what it takes to start a blog.

Read more about affiliate marketing, which, fun fact, is how The Penny Hoarder got its start.

19. Review Images for Shutterstock

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.

20. Rent Out Your Baby’s Old Stuff

Do you have an old stroller in perfectly good condition sitting around? A crib stashed into storage because your kid finally transitioned into a “real” bed? Maybe you have a car seat hanging out in the garage.

Make some money off all of it by renting it out to traveling parents. (Because carrying a car seat through the airport is NOT fun.)

There’s an app called goBaby, and it aims to help parents traveling with kids — and parents who have perfectly good baby necessities sitting around.

21. Hang Out in Someone Else’s House

Working from home is wonderful, but sometimes it’s nice just to experience a new space — perhaps in a new town or a new country.

Consider house sitting. You can make big bucks by keeping someone’s house company. There are tons of websites out there that’ll help you find the perfect, gig, too.

Check out a few of these.

22. Sell Your Unused Gift Cards

Find an old gift card? Grandma get you another Starbucks gift card that you don’t need because you know that $10 can go a lot farther somewhere else?

Consider selling it online.

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.

23. Grocery Shop for Someone Else

Some people really enjoy grocery shopping. Like really.

Perhaps they enjoy the methodical movements through the aisles or the sweet whiffs of cookies from the bakery.

If you can relate, consider getting paid to do someone else’s grocery shopping through an app like Shipt.

Last year, we chatted with Destiny Frith who’s delivered groceries through Shipt. She’s had an overall positive experience and says it’s an easy way to make extra money on her own schedule.

She works about about 10 hours a week and says she’s earned up to $2,000 a week.

Frith explains what it’s like to shop for Shipt and how to get started.

Hey, you might even meet the love of your life.

24. Upload Videos to YouTube

Is your cat hilarious? Or are you really good at impersonations? Maybe you like doing crazy stunts.

Upload a video to Youtube.

Contributor Steven Gillman did just that. He monetized his YouTube videos with Google AdSense. For example, he shot 10 videos about ultralight backpacking. No, they didn’t become huge hits, but he’s made more than $1,000 since uploading them.

He outlines how you can start a YouTube channel.

25. Deliver Delicious Food

If you’re not so keen on driving people around, then consider signing up to deliver food with Uber Eats.

It’s recruiting drivers across the country. You’ll pick up food and drop it off to hungry patrons. Just be sure to air out your car every now and then.

And don’t eat the fries.

But do eat up all the details about the delivery service here.

26. Test Drive Cars

Yes, you can get paid to test drive cars.

Try looking into a mystery-shopping company like BestMark, which will pay you to go out and test drive cars. I mean, you’ll also have to listen to sales pitch, which isn’t as cool, but still.

The Penny Hoarder founder, Kyle Taylor, used to do automotive mystery shopping and reported earning $60 for each dealership he visited. Not too bad for less than an hour of work!

27. Download These Apps

A number of companies will actually pay you for downloading apps on your smartphone — and you’ll get paid for every month you keep them installed.

The apps collect data and help companies better understand web and mobile usage — such as what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).

 

  • Nielsen Panel If you have a PC or laptop, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this software on your computer and browse the web like you normally do.
  • MobileXpression for Android: After you’ve installed this app for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize. (Everyone wins something.) We won a $25 Amazon gift card, but some of the other prizes include iPads and Samsung TVs.
  • SavvyConnect -- You can earn $5 per device (phone, tablet or computer) for each month SavvyConnect is installed. That’s a total of up to $180 per year to help rank the most popular sites and apps. Make sure you keep it installed at least a month to get your first $5 per device.

28. Earn Money Back When You Shop Online

Ebates is an online shopping portal that offers cash-back opportunities at more than 2,000 stores.

You’ll need to sign up (and score a $10 sign-up bonus!) and shop through the platform.

You can score up to 40% cash back on your purchases. Here are some examples of our favorite deals (at the time of writing this):

  • Get up to 10% cash back on wedding decor and gifts from Etsy.
  • Score $20 off your Tom’s order.
  • Take up to 25% off your next car rental from Thrifty.
  • For a limited time, Macy’s upped it’s 3% cash-back offer to 10%.

The deals are always changing. Just a few weeks ago, Ebates was offering 10% cash back at Walmart. There are thousands of offers, so I’ll spare you. But you can see if Ebates has something for your favorite online retailer (probably) by signing up.

And don’t forget that $10 bonus!

29. Write Love Letters Greeting Cards

Even in this digital age, greeting cards are still “a thing,” and you can contribute.

Some greeting card companies will pay you for your words, art or photos. We put together a list of eight card companies that’ll pay you up to $300 for submissions.

You don’t even have to leave your computer!

30. Get Paid to Search the Web

Become a search engine evaluator through Lionbridge, a company notorious for its work-from-home positions.

Similar positions have paid $12 to $15 an hour, and at Lionbridge you’ll work part time — 10 to 20 hours a week on your own schedule.

Find out more about the contract gig here.

If it’s full by the time you get to it, be sure to search other work-from-home opportunities at Lionbridge or keep tabs on our Facebook jobs page.

31. Monetize Your Phone Addiction

We’re constantly told we have a smartphone addiction in this country, but it’s not always a problem. You can get paid for it.

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.

Download the app for your Android phone. (Sorry Apple addicts.)

32. Channel Your Favorite “Law & Order” Episode

Fascinated by courtroom drama, but hate wasting the day in jury duty for a measly payout?

Serve as an online mock juror to help lawyers prepare for real cases.

You can earn $10 to $60 for about an hour of your time. Instead of hearing arguments from both sides of the case, you review the evidence like documents, videos and photos — at your computer.

33. Deliver Packages for Amazon Same-Day

Amazon Flex is that service you’re utilizing when you choose one-hour delivery.

Flex needs drivers across the country. It’ll be your job to pick up packages from your local Amazon facility and deliver them to locals who use that one-hour delivery option.

It’s like a pizza delivery job — but you never know what people are going to order from Amazon. Plus, your car won’t stink.

You can read all about the requirements on Amazon Flex’s FAQ page. Then sign up. If Flex isn’t recruiting in your area, you can always join the waitlist.

Take a look at some more information here.

34. Enter Writing Contests

If you have a way with words, consider making money by submitting your fiction, nonfiction or poetry to writing contests.

Nope, writing contests aren’t just for middle school students. There are tons of year-round competitions including a few of these from last year.

Learn the ups and downs of submitting your work to writing contests. Then start your own search on a site like Write Jobs.

35. Design Your Own Stamps

Not like the mail kind — the rubber kind.

If you love to draw, submit your work to Stamp Press, “a world of exciting craft stamps!”

You don’t need to be a professional artist, either. It encourages those who simply love doodling or sketching to submit their art.

“So if you’re always doodling after putting the kids to bed or you have a sketchpad of things you’ve drawn for art college then we’d be really interested in hearing from you,” it writes.

Read more about how to submit your designs and get paid here.

36. Complete Random Tasks for Cash

When we say random, we mean random…

Fiverr is an online platform that allows people to sell their products and services for $5 each. More and more folks are using it as Fiverr boasts 4,000 new listings (or gigs) each day.

Tasks are broken down by categories. Here are a few examples of what you might find under “Fun & Lifestyle”:

  • A unique gift idea
  • To send you a telepathic message
  • To write your message on their chest while playing a kazoo
  • To prank call anyone
  • Balloon popping

OK, so some are totally silly, but people have made some big bucks using the platform — like Charmaine Pocek, who quit her full-time job and banked $1 million.

If you want to get started, take some tips from other freelancers on how to make the most money.

37. Squirrel Away Your Change

In a world of credit cards, spare change is a little more rare; our piggy banks have been looking a little thin.

But that’s OK because Acorns is an investment app that collects your spare change and dumps it into investments for you.

You can connect your most-used debit or credit card, and Acorns rounds up your purchases and squirrels away the change.

For example, if you go to the grocery store and pay $32.02 for groceries, 98 cents of that will go into Acorns.

This adds up.

When you sign up, you’ll get $10.

38. Gotta Ibotta

As much as you don’t want to leave your house, you know you’re going to have to go to the grocery store at some point.

Make it fun by using a cash-back app like Ibotta.

Before you head to the store, find the items on your shopping list that are listed in Ibotta. Guac? $1 back. Bud Light? $3 back. Ice cream? Another $1 back. Check, check, check.

After you get home and unload your groceries, take a picture of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes, and money will be added to your account. You can cash out for gift cards or a PayPal deposit.

Sign up now and earn $10.

39. Play Cupid

Have you ever played matchmaker? It’s thrilling when you can smoosh two friends together, and it actually works out.

You can get paid for this talent now, as a matchmaker with Tawkify. The matchmaking service is always open to hiring more matchmakers to join the team.

Some matchmakers, it claims, make up to $100,000 a year.

40. Put Your Useless Knowledge to, Well, Use

Are you the one who carries your trivia team to the end? (There’s always one of those in the group.)

Rather than winning a free beer coupon from the local dive bar, start playing Perk Pop Quiz. It’s an app that allows you to play trivia for points. Those points can then be exchanged for gift cards to your favorite stores (like Amazon!).

Unfortunately, you won’t get rich doing this (though one claims it’s saved her life), but you can make an extra $15 to $20 a month, which will cover your bar tab come next trivia night.

How would you feel if you had an extra $180 right now?

You’d probably feel preeettttty good -- I know I would.

And recently, I figured out an easy way to earn that over the course of the next year. All you need is the help of your favorite technological devices.

Here’s what you’ve gotta do…

How to Get Started With SavvyConnect

The key is to use a platform called SavvyConnect.

Install its software on your devices -- phone, tablet, computer -- and let it work in the background. While you browse the internet, it “unobtrusively includes you in behavioral market research.”

In return for your contributions, SavvyConnect will pay you $5 per device, per month. If you install three devices, that adds up to $180 over the course of a year!

And once you install the software, it requires ZERO effort on your part.

The software is compatible with iPhones and iPads running iOS 8.0 or higher, but you can’t download it onto a Macbook (I tried). I guess two out of three ain’t bad. You can also download it on Android devices running OS 4.1 and newer, as well as on computers running Windows XP SP3 or higher.

If you aren’t comfortable sharing your information, there are still other ways to earn with SavvyConnect.

The easiest? Refer your friends and family to the platform.

For every project your referrals complete, you’ll earn $5-$15. And for every project completed by someone they refer (indirect referrals), you’ll earn another $2-$6.

Don’t forget they’re earning money, too.

“In order for you to qualify for these incentives, your referrals (direct or indirect) must install and keep active the SavvyConnect software,” the website explains.

Alternatively, you can complete surveys with parent company SurveySavvy -- once you fill out an online profile, it’ll send relevant surveys your way.

And, as a member of SavvyConnect, you might be eligible for “exclusive high-paying” surveys, according to the website.

There is one notable downside to the company: It pays via check. In the mail. I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty archaic to me.

Still, if you’re (nearly) effortlessly earning money, it might be worth tolerating the old-fashioned payment method!

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

Every day I get dozens of offers in my inbox asking me to take a survey for cash. It’s a fun way to make a little extra money, but the problem is it’s getting harder and harder to tell which offers are for real and which offers are trying to scam me.

To help us all avoid getting burned, I’ve put together a list of my top seven ways to spot a survey scam.

1. They Ask for Money

This one may seem obvious, but scammy survey sites wouldn’t keep popping up if people weren’t falling for them.

There are hundreds of these scams on the internet and they usually promise you access to “top-paying surveys” -- as soon as you hand over some cash. Once you pay the fee, all you get is a small e-book filled with a few links that you could easily have found for free by searching Google.

2. They Post an Ad on Craigslist

It seems innocent enough. A company says they’re looking for survey participants and that all you need to do is email them your contact information.

Stop! These types of offers are usually email farms that collect the email addresses of everyone who responds so they can spam the accounts later with offers for Viagra, etc.

3. They Offer Too Much Money

If a survey is promising $75 for 15 minutes of work, you should click the back button as fast as possible. My rule of thumb with any survey or internet offer is “if it sounds too good to be true, than it is probably a scam.”

4. They Want to Pre-Qualify You... for an Hour

These types of surveys are very sneaky. It’s not uncommon for surveys to begin with a few pre-qualifying questions to make sure you meet the company’s target demographic.

The problem is when the pre-qualifying portion seems to go on forever and asks a hundred questions. When you finally reach the end, the survey says, “Sorry, it doesn’t look like you qualify.”

The trick is that you really just took the survey and they didn’t pay you for it because it was all in the name of “pre-qualification.”

5. They Try Too Hard

Everybody is looking to make an extra buck these days, so it’s not very hard to find people to take paid surveys.

If it seems like a survey operator is pushing too hard for you to take the survey, it is probably a scam.

One red flag to watch for is a web page filled with testimonials from former survey takers. Real survey companies don’t have to put up such a front to attract participants.

6. They Require an Unachievable Minimum Before Sending a Check

This one annoys me the most. You join a survey group, and they promise you a dollar or two for each survey you take.

There’s nothing wrong with that, unless you find out later you must accumulate a ridiculous amount of earnings before they’ll send you a check.

This type of scam is popular because the survey company knows very few people will stick with it long enough to see an actual check.

7. They Lack a Privacy Policy

Always check to make sure a survey company has a privacy policy before signing up; otherwise your email address and personal information could be at risk.

These sites often take your information and resell it to other companies. That means you’ll see a lot more spam than you will cash.

Don’t get discouraged, Penny Hoarders. If you like taking surveys for cash, there are plenty of legitimate companies out there. Here are a few of my favorites.

Traveling for free. It’s the ultimate dream, right?

It might sound impossible -- but it’s not.

Combine some travel points with a dose of seasonal jobs, a sprinkle of creativity and voila: You really could travel for free.

I know because I did it for many years.

For the better part of a decade, I trotted the globe using frequent flyer miles, teaching English abroad, volunteering in several countries and working a variety of seasonal adventure jobs.

All these strategies allowed me to travel for much less money than you can imagine -- and often, for free.

Because I want all of you to experience the magic of exploring somewhere you’ve never been, here’s how to travel the world for free.

1. Take Online Surveys

Spend less than a hour on this site, and earn $20 to $30 towards your next getaway.

eMiles caters to U.S. residents who love to travel — or are simply craving a weekend getaway. You’ll get paid in airline and hotel points for watching ads, signing up for free services and taking surveys.

You can then use these points towards brands like American Airlines, United, Alaska, Southwest and Hilton Honors. You can even redeem them for a coffee at the all-too-expensive airport Starbucks.

The points will stack up quickly. If you sign up now — it takes about 10 seconds — you’ll score some bonus points.

2. Play With Polar Bears

Due to retreating sea ice, polar bears have become classified as a threatened species.

Though we’ll hopefully figure out ways to reduce climate change and bring their numbers back up, now is still the time to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.

And if you spend the summer working at Deadhorse Camp in Alaska’s arctic, you’ll get to do it for free.

In addition to an hourly wage, you’ll get free lodging, three meals a day and a $1,000 end-of-season bonus to cover the costs of your plane tickets.

2. Move to Antarctica

Want to live in one of the most remote corners of the planet?

Get a job in Antarctica.

You’ll get free housing and food -- plus a decent income -- for spending months on the bottom of the world.

Because you won’t have anywhere to spend the money during your stint, you’ll also leave with a significant chunk of change…

Not only that, but Antarctic employers also pay for your transportation to the continent.

Because you can still use your own frequent flyer account, these round-trip flights will earn you enough miles for a free ticket to a different destination during the off-season.

3. Cuddle With Baby Goats

This is a real thing that exists. Trust me, I’ve done it.

Through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), you can get free room and board in exchange for four to six hours of work per day. Gigs range from crushing grapes in New Zealand to cuddling goats in North Carolina.

And WWOOF is far from your only option; there are several more types of work exchanges that’ll help you travel for free.

4. Get Free Plane Tickets

Transportation is one of the most expensive parts of travel.

Without a doubt, the quickest and easiest way to get free flights is to rack up points with a rewards credit card.

We’ve got a whole list of some of the best rewards credit cards right here. None of them come with annual fees and they all have sign-up bonuses.

What I like to do is just put my regular purchases on the card each month (groceries, gas, and everything else) and then save the cash-back up until the end of the year. I'm usually able to save about $1,000, which I can use to cover the cost of 2-3 plane tickets.

We advocate responsible credit card use -- so, please, only get a credit card if you'll pay the bill off in full each month.

No rewards are worth going into debt over.

5. Hoard Points

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

I use it all time because it’s an instant way to save on everything you buy, including travel accommodations.

For example, it gives you up to six points for every dollar you spend on Expedia. Later, you can redeem those points for cash.

But, enough about that, here’s how to get a free $10 Amazon gift card that you can use to buy travel supplies (or anything for that matter):

  1. Sign up for MyPoints here using your email address (it’s free).
  2. Use the MyPoints portal the next time you need to shop online (it’s connected to thousands of stores including Walmart, Amazon, and Target).
  3. As long as you spend $10 at any of those stores, MyPoints will reward you with 1,750 bonus points which you can redeem for a free $10 Amazon gift card.

6. Join the Cartel

Traveling for free takes a lot of work -- otherwise everyone would do it. So sometimes it’s smart to get help from the experts.

Chris Guillebeau, one of my personal heroes, has visited every country in the world. Lucky for us mortals, he shares his secrets through the Travel Hacking Cartel.

As a Cartel member, you’ll receive several emails each week with promotions and tips to help you earn more travel rewards.

Membership only costs $1 for the first 14 days, and $15 to $39 per month after that. It also comes with a unique guarantee: Earn 100,000 miles -- enough for four plane tickets -- in your first year of membership, or get your money back.

I’d say that’s a bet worth taking!

7. Eat Out at Restaurants

Cooking at home is an excellent way to save money, but sometimes you just can’t be bothered.

If you do decide to eat out, make sure you sign up for travel rewards programs first.

Major airlines such as United, Delta and American all have dining programs that give you miles when you eat at one of their affiliated restaurants. And, oftentimes, you can get a bonus just for signing up.

8. Set Sail

Is there any better way to see the world than by boat?

Probably not.

But #yachtlife is never gonna happen for me, unless I happen to marry a millionaire.

Since that’s looking fairly unlikely, I’ve often considered joining the crew for a sailboat or cruise ship. These travel jobs cover room and board and allow you to see many different locations within a single season.

Don’t be like the countless people who wish they could go places -- but don’t want to put in the effort travel hacking requires.

From experience, I can tell you: It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it.

Instead of sitting around wishing you could travel, follow these tips, and explore the world for free.

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which ThePennyHoarder.com 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.

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.

Managing your money can be easy to put off.

Tomorrow turns into next week. Next week turns into next month. Then next month turns into a New Year’s resolution, and we all know those never get accomplished…

But we have four tips that’ll help you quickly get a handle on your finances.

By quickly, we mean pour yourself a glass of wine and dedicate one evening to your money. Or brew a pot of coffee on a Saturday morning.

Whichever you prefer, managing your money doesn’t have to be a drawn-out chore.

Here’s how to manage your money in a single sitting.

1. Get a Big Picture View of Your Financial Situation

For this, we recommend you pull your credit report.

*Gasp.*

It’ll be OK. We promise. And it’s free.

Use a service like FreeCreditReport.com. Here, you can check out your account history, hard inquiries and any negative information.

Not to be negative… but that last part is key. If you have any loan defaults, late payments, delinquencies — you name it — set up a plan of action to tackle those and sort those out.

Every 30 days, the report will update, so if you’re taking steps in the right direction, it should show.

Gain access to your free report here.

2. Clean Up Any Unnecessary Expenses

Colorful charts and graphs are excellent visual aids in understanding where your money is coming from — and going.

Clarity Money offers just that. But it also goes beyond those charts; it informs you how to make better financial choices.

For example, Clarity will show you a rundown of your monthly recurring charges. Think: Netflix, gym memberships, rent and that magazine you subscribed to years ago. Rather than just saying, “Oh, I’ll cancel that… soon,” Clarity lets you cancel it right then and there with one tap.

The app will also help you negotiate your existing bills, too — so you don’t have to deal with any annoying hold music on customer service lines.

Sign up in silence here (however it’s currently only available for Apple devices).

3. Set Up an Automated Savings Plan

Establishing a savings plan might seem difficult.

Knowing how much you can spare can be a challenge to figure out, but you also need to determine where you’re going to stash it -- because keeping it in your checking account is too tempting and isn’t earning you any interest or rewards.

Also, seeing a chunk of your money disappear into a far-off account isn’t fun. But Chime, an online-only, fee-free bank account has gamified the savings challenge -- and rewards you for it, too.

Here’s how it works: Open a Chime account, and set up automatic savings. Each time you swipe your Chime Visa Debit Card, the transaction is rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the extra cents trickle into your savings.

It’s like your own automated piggy bank (without the germy coins and annoying drugstore change machines).

Even better, each Friday through the end of July, Chime will grant you a 10% bonus on your round-ups.

Here’s an example of how much you could earn back in just one day:

  • Grocery store: $30.08
  • Gas station: $42.92
  • Coffee shop: $2.38

With these three transactions, you’ll bank $1.38. Plus you’ll earn 10% back, making that $1.50 in one day. If you keep this up for a year… that adds up to over $500.

And you don’t even have to think about it -- just go about your daily transactions.

Another plus: If you sign up for direct deposit, Chime gives you access to your money immediately. So you can get paid up to two days earlier than many other traditional banks.

4. Start Investing — Even With as Little as $5

Now that you’ve got all of that taken care of, here’s a little bonus for the brave.

Start investing.

No, we’re not crazy. Start by downloading a micro-investing app like Acorns or Stash.

You can set it up with as little as $5. Then, just like your savings account, automate it. Let even just $5 go into that account each month.

You’re letting your money build and grow without even thinking about it.

Now, managing your money isn’t that miserable, is it?

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 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. 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]

4. 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.

5. Let These 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 some apps you can download now:

  • - Nielsen Panel If you have a PC or laptop, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this software on your computer and browse the web like you normally do.

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

6. 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.

7. 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]

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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!

11. 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]

12. 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.

You'll get a $5 bonus for signing up and watching your first video.

13. 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]

14. 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.

15. 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!)

16. 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]

17. 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.

18. 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]

19. 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.

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.

Gasp.

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…

For another option that lets you invest with flexibility, check out Ally Bank’s self-directed trading tools.

Through Ally, you can choose which companies you want to buy stock (or fractions of stock) in and invest as much (or little) as you want.

There’s also no minimum deposit to open an account. However, you’ll need to make a minimum opening purchase order of $100 to start investing.

You can open an Ally Invest Securities brokerage account by clicking on the banner below to get started.

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).

When I heard about a website calling itself “the ultimate shopping hack,” I had to investigate.

The site in question?

Jet, a “smart shopping platform” boasting that it turns “built-in costs into opportunities to save you money.”

Here’s how it works: When you add items to your cart on Jet, other products’ prices get even lower.

The more you buy, the more you save.

Plus, Jet offers free shipping on orders over $35 and free two-day shipping and free returns.

Sounds pretty good, huh?

I wanted to check it out myself, so I made my shopping list -- and compared Jet’s prices on a dozen popular food and household items to those at my neighborhood grocery store.

(Spoiler alert: Jet was cheaper… but just wait until you see the final price.)

Because Jet sells many products in larger sizes, I sometimes had to use the grocery store’s unit price to determine a comparable price.

I figured I’d start with two of the essentials: cereal and coffee. Because, really, who can live without either of those?

1. Cereal

 

Cheerios (18 ounces)

Local Grocery Store: $4.99

Jet Starting Price: $2.98

2. Coffee

 

Folgers Ground Coffee (48 ounces)

Local Grocery Store: $16.82

Jet Starting Price: $10.68

3. Granola Bars

 

Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (98 count)

Local Grocery Store: $25.68

Jet Starting Price: $14.23

As I continued down my list, I realized Jet has a ton of grocery items I buy on a regular basis, which made it pretty easy to hit the free shipping minimum of $35.

4. Soup

Campbell’s Soup (10.5 ounces; 12-pack)

Local Grocery Store: $21

Jet Starting Price: $24.46

5. Pasta

 

Barilla Spaghetti (32 ounces)

Local Grocery Store: $3.38

Jet Starting Price: $2.90

6. Vinegar

 

Great Value Distilled White Vinegar (1 gallon)

Local Grocery Store: $2.99

Jet Starting Price: $3.91

If you’re in need of household or family goods, Jet has those, too -- so I surfed over to those sections next.

7. Diapers

Pampers Cruisers (Size 3; 174-count)

Local Grocery Store: $51.05

Jet Starting Price: $41.41

8. Laundry Detergent

 

Tide Pods (81-count)

Local Grocery Store: $21.93

Jet Starting Price: $18.99

9. Toilet Paper

 

Charmin Ultra Soft (18 mega rolls)

Local Grocery Store: $13.99

Jet Starting Price: $17.96

10. Dish Soap

 

Dawn Hand Renewal With Olay (18 ounces)

Local Grocery Store: $2.57

Jet Starting Price: $4.17

Last stop? Toiletries. Let’s see how Jet checks out.

11. Shampoo/Conditioner

 

Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner (32.1 ounces)

Local Grocery Store: $10.49

Jet Starting Price: $10.79

12. Toothpaste

 

Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous (4.1 ounces)

Local Grocery Store: $3.41

Jet Starting Price: $4.24

How Much You Could Save With Jet

All right, here’s what you’ve been waiting for… the totals.

Local grocery store: $178.30

Jet subtotal: $157.48

Though that’s already looking pretty impressive (plus that extra $7.54 I saved when adding more items to my cart), there are still three more discounts to add.

Watch how they stack on top of each other…

  • First-time shopper discount: Jet offers 15% off your first three orders (a maximum of $20 per order).
  • Debit-card discount: Since it has lower transaction fees than credit cards, paying with a debit card saves you an extra 0.8% on each item, though some items might not be eligible.
  • No-return discount: If you agree to not return certain non-perishable items, Jet will give you an additional discount.

Taking all of those into account (except the no-return discount), the TOTAL Jet price, excluding taxes, comes out to $129.22 -- a $49.08 savings, over 30% less than the grocery store.

Holy what?!

Of course, you have to consider you won’t always have the 15% new customer discount; it’s only valid for your first three orders. But even without it, you can still save a significant amount.

And, you don’t have to go fight crowds, stand in line or even look for parking.

Want to give Jet a shot? Use code SAVE15 to get 15% off your first three orders!

Sponsorship Disclosure: A huge thanks to Jet for working with us to bring you this content. It's rare that we have the opportunity to share something so awesome and get paid for it!