We all know how tough it can be to raise a family on a budget.
Summer vacations drain you. School shopping sucks you dry. Thanksgiving dinner empties your wallet. And somehow you’ve got to fulfill holiday gift lists.
We want you to be as stress-free as possible, so we’ve put together a list of 10 ways you can make extra money to help throughout the year.
Get started with everything on this list this month, and you could be $1,190 richer this year.
Pretty cool, right?
1. Take 10 Surveys from Swagbucks: $20
Swagbucks is one of the only legitimate paid survey companies out there (and it’s rated an A+ with the Better Business Bureau).
I’ve heard some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take a while to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10 to 15 minutes.
Also, Swagbucks rewards you with points you can redeem for cash via Paypal or gift cards to places like Amazon or iTunes.
You can usually expect to get roughly $1 on a gift card for every 100 SBs you redeem. The redemption rate is the same across the board, so 500 SBs will get you a $5 Amazon gift card or $5 on PayPal.
Click here to sign up — you’ll get a free $5.
2. Watch YouTube-Like Videos: $30
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.
Once you watch enough videos to reach $30, you can cash out — just look for a check in the mail.
You’ll get a free $5 just for signing up.
3. Download These Apps: $300+
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).
Here are my favorites (install all of them and earn $300/year or more):
– ShopTracker – If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you can earn money each month contributing to research to help companies understand what people are buying online. Download and connect this to your Amazon account and you’ll instantly earn a free $3 Visa gift card, plus another $3 for every month you keep it installed.
– MobileExpressions for Android – This is the same as the iPhone version, but exclusively for Android!
– Nielsen Mobile Panel – If you have a smartphone, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone. After you’ve installed it for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize (everyone wins something). I won a $25 Amazon gift card, but some of the other prizes include iPads & Samsung TVs.
– SavvyConnect – You can earn $5 per device (phone, tablet, computer) for each month SavvyConnect is installed. You can make up to $180 per year to help rank the most popular sites and apps. Make sure you keep it installed at least one month to get your first $5 per device.
4. Let Fronto Put an Ad on Your Smartphone: $60
You pick up your smartphone dozens of times a day, whether to check the weather, answer emails or text a friend.
What if you could make extra money doing all those ordinary things?
Instead of a picture of your dog or some flowers on your lock screen, Fronto presents ads for various products and services, as well as trending articles, flash sales, coupons and the latest apps.
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 slide right to go to your phone as normal.
Either way, you get paid just for looking at the ads on your lock screen. You can cash out for cash via PayPal, Amazon gift cards or coupons just for using your phone normally!
5. Get Paid $100+ to Write an Article for These Sites
If you like to write and have a strong knowledge of your favorite topic (or several), find blogs that will pay you to write articles.
As a freelance blogger, you can work as much or little as you want, so this makes a nice side gig. Check out these seven blogs that pay $100 or more per post.
Want to share your parenting expertise? Check out these parenting blogs and magazines looking for writers.
6. Earn Money for Healthy Activities: $10
Need extra motivation for your daily workout? The health app Achievemint lets you earn money for completing healthy activities.
Connect Achievemint to workout apps like Apple’s Healthkit, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, Rundouble C25K, Twitter or any other app you already use to track your health and fitness goals.
You’ll choose what data to securely share with Achievemint to earn cash for your activities.
For example, you can earn points for logging your weight with MyFitnessPal or hitting step goals with Fitbit. You’ll make extra money in $10 increments in cash or on an Amazon Gift Card once you reach 10,000 points — and there’s no limit on how much you can earn.
Plus, you’ll get 10 points just for signing up with Achievemint and connecting an app!
7. Sell Some of Your Old Stuff: $50
Are your closets and shelves packed to the brim with stuff you never use — or even look at?
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 old books from college, you can use Bookscouter. Just type your book’s ISBN into the search bar and the site will connect you with more than 25 of the best-paying and most reputable buyback companies online.
There’s even a site for old purses and designer accessories! Sell them on CashInMyBag.
8.Turn Your Carpool Skills Into Cash: $600
A hectic family schedule of school, extracurriculars, sleepovers and weekend get-togethers has probably forced you to find the best routes around town. Put that to use to earn some extra cash!
As an Uber driver partner, you’ll set your schedule — no one is keeping tabs on you. You get 80% of everything you earn as a driver (Uber keeps 20%).
Set yourself a small goal to earn about $50 and work a few shifts each month. That little bit could be enough to cover gifts for the holidays.
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.
Finally, your car must be a four-door, seat at least four passengers (excluding the driver), be registered in-state and be covered by in-state insurance.
Plus, making money from your car is great motivation to clear out the extra toys and vacuum the loose Cheerios to keep it looking nice!
Here’s a link to get started driving with Uber.
9. Sign Up for Free Gift Card Promotions: $10
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. It’s giving away $10 gift cards if you sign-up as a new member and earn your first cash-back rebate. You can choose either a $10 Target, Walmart, Macy’s, or Kohl’s gift card.
You do have to wait 30 days. But, it’s free money so can you really complain?
10. Evaluate Your Local Stores with Mobee: $10
Have you ever tried mystery shopping?
The Mobee app will pay you to go undercover in your local stores and rate the level of customer service and cleanliness, among other things.
Most of you know I’ve done quite a bit of mystery shopping, so I was pretty excited to find this app. It’s really easy to use and the shops went pretty quickly, but I wasn’t super impressed with the payment amounts.
For example, there was a Subway mystery shop in my area paying $8. It’s not a huge amount for a mystery shop, plus I had to buy a sandwich during the shop that wasn’t reimbursed.
Regardless, it was still like getting a free lunch, so I’ll take it!
Your Turn: How do you make extra money from home?
Disclosure: We don’t hesitate to pick pennies off the sidewalk when we spot them. But the affiliate links in this post help our earnings grow even quicker. Plus, it’s a lot cleaner than sidewalk money.