11 Ways to Get Rewarded for Becoming Your Best Self

Robin White is seen around downtown Atlanta.
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder


In theory, we want be our best selves.

In reality, that’s a tall order.

Would you rather save for an emergency or venture off on vacation? Hit the gym after work or veg on the couch? Save the environment or crank the air when it’s 100 degrees outside?

Exactly. Exerting willpower and choosing to be your “best self” is difficult.

How to Become a Better Person — and Earn Some Extra Money

What if you could get paid to become a better person? You know, like a pat on the back.

Here are a few ways you can get rewarded for becoming your best self:

1. Become Your Most Eco-Conscious Self

ight Switches turned off and on, Tampa Fla
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

California residents, you can earn extra money by syncing your utility accounts to an energy-saving program called OhmConnect and agreeing to help reduce energy usage a few hours each week.

We talked with one San Diego resident, John Hastie, who’s made more than $400 in one month through the platform.

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.
  2. Once or twice a week, you’ll receive a text message to participate in an #OhmHour, a period of reduced energy consumption. Turn down unnecessary lights, hold off on doing the laundry or the dishes 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.
  3. OhmConnect will pay you 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’re earning money while helping the planet — not bad!

2. Become Your Most I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T Self

girl on laptop at coffee shop
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Does earning $60 an hour sound appealing? How about the freedom to work from home 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 parents 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.

3. Become Your Thriftiest Self

Kristy Gaunt shops at Trader Joe's in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Sure, Ibotta is traditionally known as a cash-back app for groceries — and you can still earn a heap of cash on your next haul — but you can also earn cash back on just about anything you purchase.

Yep, the app has expanded, and you can bank cash when you make an Amazon purchase, sign up for Hulu, book your next vacation or even order groceries through Shipt.

If you sign up now, you’ll snag a $10 bonus when you claim your first cash-back offer.

4. Become Your Best Debt-Slaying Self

woman online shopping using credit card
kitzcorner/Getty Images

If you need some motivation to become your best debt-free self, how does an Amazon gift card sound?

MoneyLion is a free all-in-one app for managing your personal finances. It will reward you for things like paying your bills and monitoring your credit — even just setting up an account in the app.

If you want to take it a step further and work on paying down debts, for example, MoneyLion can help with a loan to consolidate your debt and potentially reduce your interest rates. And it’ll reward you for that, too.

Exchange your hard-earned rewards for gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart.

5. Become Your Most Minimalist Self

Grace Schweizer, a TPH junior writer, sorts through her clothes to create her own capsule wardrobe at her apartment in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Living that #Minimalist lifestyle is all the rage right now, so why not use this mentality to become your best self?

Start taking a good hard look at your belongings. What do you actually need? What would you rather make money from?

You can sell virtually anything on Letgo. This app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds. It removes a lot of the hassle of selling things online, and it’s 100% free to use.

6. Become Your Most Prepared Self

TPH photo editor, Alexa Vincent, uses various budget apps in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

You’ve been meaning to start an emergency fund. You know you need one. If something happens, well… you’re kind of screwed otherwise.

Here’s a way to reward yourself for becoming prepared: Play games with Long Game.

As you save and accomplish missions, you’ll earn coins to play mini games for cash prizes. We’re talking the classics, like slot machines, scratch-offs and spin-to-win wheels.

I use Long Game to save money. Every two weeks, it sneaks $5 out of my bank account and rewards me with coins.

In two months, I saved $35.70, just by playing games on my phone. Plus, my winnings amount to a gain of about 2% — way higher than interest on any other savings account I’ve had.

Once you link your bank account, you’ll earn 300 points, so you can start playing while you wait for payday.

You’re playing games, saving money and becoming your best self.

7. Become Your Most Fit Self

Grace Schweizer, TPH junior writer, shows off her Asics Outlet shoes she got to work out in.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

There’s a wellness company that’ll pay you to lose weight. It’s called HealthyWage, and we’ve interviewed several successful participants who won money when they hit their weight-loss goals. One woman, Teresa Suarez, lost 68 pounds — and earned more than $2,400.

How’s that for motivation? Here’s how it works:

  1. Read our full HealthyWage review, and sign up.
  2. Define a goal weight and the amount of time you’ll give yourself to achieve it.
  3. Place a bet on yourself ranging from $20 to $500 a month.

Depending on your “HealthyWager,” you could win up to $10,000.

8. Become Your Most Retirement-Ready Self

senior couple at the lake having a picnic.
Halfpoint/Getty Images

Got a 401(k)? You’re on the right track.

Now you just need to make sure it’s doing what you need it to. However, tapping into that account and deciphering the information — or lack thereof — can be hard.

There’s a robo-adviser for that. Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm, will optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

It gives you an initial 401(k) checkup for free, and you’ll get to know your account a little more intimately. Find out if you’re paying too many hidden fees, have the appropriate amount invested in stocks versus bonds, that kind of fun stuff.

After that, the tool is $10 a month to use to continue to monitor your retirement account. Let Blooom know your target retirement age, and it can help you get there by investing more and less aggressively.

9. Become Your Most Artistic Self

young woman taking pictures with phone outdoors
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Got a good eye? Embrace your inner artist and turn your smartphone photos into cash with an app called Foap.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download the free app and create an account.
  2. Take a quality photo and upload it to Foap’s marketplace.
  3. Someone buys the license to your photo for $10. You make $5.

If your photo sells 20 times, you make $5 each time and end up with $100 in your pocket — all for about five minutes of work. Pretty cool, right?

10. Become Your Most Viral Self

Young woman fixing her camera
Anchiy/Getty Images

Think you have something that might go viral? Or have expertise in something folks might be interested to learn? Make a YouTube video.

Contributor Steve Gillman has done just that. He’s 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 has made more than $1,000 over the years.

He outlines how you can start a YouTube channel.

11. Become Your Most Friendly Self

female friends walking into coffee shop together
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Fun fact: You can make money renting your friendship out. RentAFriend is a “strictly platonic friendship website” that allows its members to search for friendships. Cue: Your friendliest self.

“Friends” charge anywhere from $10 to $50 per hour.

We chatted with several Friends, who acted as a wedding plus-one or tagged along to a movie showing.

Are You Motivated to Become Your Best Self?

Now, when it comes to those tough decisions — should I spend my money on meals out or saving for an emergency? — hopefully some of these perks will help you make the more responsible decision, at least most of the time.

After all, it’s kind of fun watching yourself grow… and make money while doing it.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s her best self after a good 12 hours of sleep.

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