The 15 Fastest Ways to Increase Your Checking Account Balance

Want to quit your job someday? So do we.

Want to increase your checking account balance? So do we.

Want to have some cash to leave to your family someday? So do we.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the fastest ways to increase your bank account balance. None of these are going to make you rich, but if you can do all 15 of them this week, you’re going to be sitting pretty next month!

Let’s go…

1. Earn Money While You Watch TV

monety-making apps Ipsos i-say survey
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Surveys aren’t our favorite way to make money, but if you’re just vegging out on the couch — or shielding your eyes while being forced to watch “Final Fantasy 113” — why not click a couple buttons and earn a few bucks?

There are a bunch of paid survey sites out there, but two of the best we’ve found are Swagbucks and MyPoints. Both are run by companies rated A by the Better Business Bureau.

On MyPoints, you’ll earn a $5 bonus when you complete your first five surveys.

2. Get Free Virtual Scratch-off Tickets

A young couple buying lottery tickets at a kiosk.
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There’s something so satisfying about those gas station scratch-off tickets, but it’s better to avoid them because, well, that’s not Penny Hoarding.

Instead, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. You can also earn tokens, enter contests and play games.

The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free.

3. Earn $10 When You Turn In Your Receipts

a man's hands holding a money clip with a $5 bill
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

We know it sounds strange, but Ibotta will pay you cash for taking pictures of your grocery store receipts.

Here’s how it works:

Before heading to the store, search for items on your shopping list within the Ibotta app. When you get home, snap a photo of your receipt and scan the items’ barcodes.

Bam. Cash back.

Ibotta is free to download. Plus, you’ll get a $10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt.

Some cash-back opportunities we’ve seen include:

  • 25 cents back for any item.
  • 25 cents back on strawberries.
  • 50 cents back on frozen fruit snacks.
  • $1 back on a box of tea.
  • $5 back on a case of Shiner Bock beer.

Notice a lot of those aren’t tied to a brand — just shop for the staples on your list and earn cash back!

4. Share Your Emails

Cropped shot of a man using a laptop and a cellphone
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It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you serious money. Intrigued?

One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. It’s free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email archives for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund anytime there’s a price drop.

Paribus compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

5. Could Being Forgetful Help You Score $4,300?

Man lying in bed looking at his phone.
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Saving money is tough. So what if you could do it in a way where you wouldn’t even notice?

Digit makes that possible.

This innovative app automates saving for you. Simply link it to your checking account, and its algorithms will determine small (and safe!) amounts of money to withdraw into a separate, FDIC-insured savings account.

Bonus: Penny Hoarders will get an extra $5 just for signing up! Additionally, savers will receive a 1% bonus every three months.

Using this set-it-and-forget-it strategy, one Penny Hoarder saved $4,300 without noticing — read his Digit review.

6. Earn up to $25 For Downloading a Free App

Heather Shmitt enjoys a break of hanging out on her phone between classes
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

A number of companies will actually pay you for downloading apps on your smartphone or computer —  this is a great way to boost your passive income!

One we love is called MobileXpression. After you’ve installed this app on your smartphone for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize (everyone wins something). We’ve seen users win a $25 Amazon gift card, but some of the other prizes include iPads and Samsung TVs.

The app collects data and helps 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).

Try it out for iPhone or Android.

7. Score $36 For Sharing Your Amazon History

college student using smartphone outdoors on campus
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This is such an easy, passive way to rake in an extra $36 a year. ShopTracker, one of the leading public opinion research companies, wants you to share your Amazon purchase history. And you’ll be paid for every month you share!

When you sign up for ShopTracker, it keeps your private information, well, private. All it wants to see is your order information.
To earn your first gift card today:

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

8. Get Paid for Paying Your Bills On Time

money-making apps MoneyLion
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Your parents probably gave you an allowance for washing the dishes and sweeping the floor when you were a kid. Now all you get for doing it is a kitchen that’s clean for, like, 15 minutes.

As an adult, you don’t typically get rewards for doing things that are expected of you… until now.

This invention kind of rules them all: MoneyLion, a free all-in-one app for managing your personal finances.

MoneyLion offers rewards to help you develop healthy financial habits and will literally pay you for logging onto the app.

You can earn points in the rewards program by paying bills on time, connecting your bank account or downloading the mobile app. You can redeem those points for gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart.

9. Save Up to $500 By Making a Simple Switch

View from back seat of a man driving a car.
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For many, car insurance is just one of those things where we cave in and pay. Because, just like the electric bill and phone service, we need it, right?

Yes. There’s no getting around car insurance, unfortunately. But one way you could save money is by shopping around and comparing rates at least once a year. Less than 50% of us do that, according to this survey from The Zebra, though 81% of us report wanting lower rates.

So, just like you compare the prices of flights, shoes and laptops before purchasing, why not compare car insurance?

The Zebra, an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds.

If you don’t drive a lot, here’s another strategy for paying less for car insurance: An insurer called MetroMile lets you pay by the mile.

If you aren’t spending as much time in the driver’s seat, you shouldn’t have to pay as much. For example, if you only drive 5,000 miles per year, you could save $500, according to MetroMile’s calculations.

Approximately 65% of drivers overpay on car insurance to balance out those who drive a lot, according to MetroMile. It’s ideal for people who drive less than 30 miles a day or about 200 miles a week.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Your car must be a 1996 or newer to qualify.
  • After signing up, the company will mail you a free device that plugs into your car and tracks mileage (that’s how it saves you money!)

Find out if it’ll help you save by snagging a free quote.

10. Save 10 Cents on Every Gallon of Gas

A gas pump fills up the tank of a red car.
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

If you’re a savvy saver, you probably already use GasBuddy to help you find the cheapest gas station in town. It’s an easy — and free — way to avoid overpaying.

But once you pull up to the pump, here’s something else you can do: Swipe your Pay with GasBuddy card to automatically save 10 cents per gallon on your first purchase (and 5 cents per gallon after that).

The free discount card is tied directly to your checking account. It works at 95% of gas stations throughout the country, so you don’t have to drive around town just to find “your” station. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a rebate — it’s immediate savings.

Simply and securely sign up through GasBuddy. Connect your bank account, enter your address, and GasBuddy will put a card in the mail.

11. Sell Your Old Clothes, Accessories and More

A woman goes through her old clothes to sell online.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

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.

One app we especially like is Letgo.

You know all those unused frocks, jumpers, peasant tops and jean jackets that are currently raising an army of dust bunnies in your closet? You can literally list them in less than a minute.

12. Get a Side Gig That You Can Do From Home

A man talks to a person on the phone while sitting in a park.
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

For some people, working from home offers the most perfect scenario. Maybe it cuts your one-hour commute down to, well, nothing. Maybe it allows you to see your kids more often.

Whatever it is (even if it’s that you get to spend more time with your cat — valid reasoning), the most difficult part can be landing that perfect work-from-home job.

We recommend starting your search with ZipRecruiter.

When you click here to search, ZipRecruiter sends you to a list of geo-tailored work-from-home job openings. (Because, yes, even some work-from-home job opportunities have location restrictions.

13. Sell Your Place For $100+/Night

Chairs surround a campfire in someone's backyard.
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Have a spare room? Might as well list it on Airbnb to try to make some extra money.

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:

  • Airbnb covers you with a $1,000,000 host guarantee as well as penalty-free cancellations if you’re uncomfortable with a reservation.
  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events.
  • 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.

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

14. Pick Up an Extra Shift

a man in an apron serving sausages
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

If you’re looking for hourly gigs, try signing up for ShiftGig. The platform connects workers to gigs in a number of industries, including food service, hospitality, retail and customer service.

Here’s how it works:

  • Download the app and apply. You’ll talk about yourself, your interests and your experience.
  • The Shiftgig team will review your application, and, if you pass, you’ll be onboarded. (It’ll also perform a background check on you.)
  • If you’re approved, you can start searching through available shifts in your area

15. Get Paid to Lose Weight

Man Jogging With His Dog.
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So this is the part where you scratch your head and say, “No way.”

HealthyWage is a program that allows you to place a bet on your weight-loss goals. The idea is that if nothing else, maybe, just maybe, a cash prize will motivate you.

It’s 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 winning $1,200.

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

Unfortunately, the program doesn’t come with a magical diet or sweatless workout regimen. But hopefully the potential to win some cash will help you keep your eyes on the prize.

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