How to Boost Your Christmas Fund By $1,620 Before The Holidays Get Here
Believe it or not, the holidays are almost here! And if you're stressing out about money, trust me - I'm right there with you.
The holidays should be a time for joy and as stress-free as possible, so we've put together a list of 10 ways you can make extra money.
Take 2 hours today, complete everything on this list and you'll be at least $1,620 richer. Pretty cool, right?
1. Download These Apps
There are a number of companies, including Google, that will pay you to install their app on your cell phone. And they’ll pay you for every month you keep them installed.
The apps collect data from your cell phone and help companies better understand web and mobile usage better — such as what times of day people browse, how long they stay on websites and use apps, and what types of sites and apps are popular (or not).
Here are my favorites (install all of them and earn $400/year or more):
– ShopTracker – If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you can earn money each month contributing to research to help companies understand what people are buying online. Download and connect this to your Amazon account. They’ll instantly send you a free $3 Visa gift card, plus another $3 for every month you keep it installed.
- MobileExpressions for Android - This one can only be downloaded on Androids. 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.
- Nielsen Mobile for iPhones - This Nielsen panel is unfortunately just for iPhones, but they will give you points worth up to $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone.
– SavvyConnect – You can earn $5 per device (phone, tablet, 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.
- Smart Panel – This app will pay you up to $110 just for downloading it and keeping it on your smartphone for a year. All the info the app collects remains anonymous.
- Nielsen Mobile Panel – If you have a smartphone, this Nielsen panel will pay you $50/year to keep this app on your cell phone and browse the web like you normally do. After you’ve installed it for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize (everyone wins something, from gift cards to TVs). The longer you stay an active panelist, the more rewards and prizes you can earn and win. (Note: This panel is currently only open to males)
2. Take 10 Surveys from This Company
Swagbucks is one of the only legitimate paid survey apps out there. I've heard some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take awhile to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10-15 minutes.
This company conducts polls for governments, public bodies, and local businesses. I usually get 5-10 surveys a month from them, so it’s not uncommon for me to get a check every couple of months.
3. Go On a Purge
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.
Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Decluttr will pay you for them!
Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods. Plus, enter PENNY10 at checkout to get an extra 10% for your trade-ins!
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.
4. Join a Group Savings Challenge
Want to save $500 in seven days?
Sign up for the Brightpeak Financial $500 Savings Challenge and they'll send you homework assignments each day via email meant to help boost your savings quickly.
The challenge lasts a week, so make sure you sign up when you can really dedicate some time to this!
5. Open a New Checking Account
We've put together a huge list of banks that will pay you just to open a bank account!
There’s no harm in having multiple bank accounts. In fact, I often find it’s helpful to have multiple places to save (I’m less likely to touch the money), so I have savings accounts for my Christmas fund & my vacation fund.
The top bank bonus is $500 right now — head over to this list to see all of the banks in your area that are offering free cash.
6. Get Cashback on All Your Shopping
Are you familiar with cash-back shopping sites like MyPoints? They’ll give you a cash rebate if you do your online shopping through their site.
You just need to create a free account and then use their site to shop at your favorite places like Target, Amazon, and Kohl’s (there are thousands of stores on there – those are just a few). MyPoints will then give you up to 25% cash-back on whatever you purchase! Crazy, right?
I use this year round, but it’s especially helpful at Christmas time. Consider that the average family spent $801 in gifts last year and you can see how fast this would start to add up.
7. Search the Web
A great way to earn extra money is with Microsoft Rewards. The company will actually reward you for making searches on Bing and for browsing the web.
The rewards come via gift cards and it’s not a ton of money, but think about how many times a day you search for something. Those pennies can start to add up pretty quickly…
Use this site for your Christmas shopping, average around 10% in cash-back rebates, and save at least $80 this year!
8. Earn a $100+ Bonus by Opening a New Credit Card
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.
9. Become a Nielsen Family
You've heard of Nielsen, right? Yep, the same company that tracks TV ratings. They've got a new app that will pay you to scan the groceries in your fridge.
Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Homescan family, the company will send you a free scanner or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to Nielsen.
If you want to give it a try, you can fill out the application here: Nielsen Homescan Application (you can't download this one from the app store; you'll need to visit their website first).
As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items, and even toys for the kids.
The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes. You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles.
10. Earn Money Renting Out Your Car
If you own a reliable vehicle, but leave it sitting in your driveway all the time, you could turn it into an income stream by renting it!
Through Turo, you can rent your car to a community of approved drivers.
Here’s how it works:
- To get started, list your car for rent here.
- Create a calendar to let travelers know when your car is available.
- You’ll get notified when someone requests your car. Just coordinate a meeting place, or deliver the car right to the traveler at the airport or other location.
- Get paid!
Turo will dynamically set your car’s rental price based on market value, location, time of year and other data. For a car with a market value of $10,000, Turo suggests you could earn about $1,800 a year renting it just five days a month.
You’ll earn 65% to 85% of the trip price, depending on the vehicle protection package you choose. If you provide your own commercial rental insurance, you’ll earn 90%.
We hope this list makes your holidays a little less stressful. Have a Merry Christmas! And thanks for being a reader!
Disclosure: Here’s a toast to the affiliate links in this post. May we all be just a little richer today.