This Is How to Make Some Money the Next Time You’re Sitting on the Toilet

close up of toilet paper and a phone to work from the toilet
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Honest Abe


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You’re busted.

Study after study shows a lot of us use our smartphones when we’re in the bathroom. The most recent I’ve seen says nearly 90% of us “admit” to doing it.

It’s not a big secret. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just a smart use of otherwise idle time, IMHO.

Get through some emails. Catch up on the news. Respond to your @mentions on Twitter (you’re so popular). Play a game, because this is the only alone time you get all day.

Or… make money.

If you’re just scrolling to waste time while you’re on the can, try tapping a few buttons that’ll help you earn money.

We’ve found tons of apps that are quick to set up and let you start saving, earning or managing your money simply. Most offer a way to earn a few bucks right away — so you can emerge richer than when you entered.

So that’s what that satisfied grin is all about…

How to Make Money on Your Phone… From the Toilet

Check out these apps to bank more than $50 in bonuses and other cash — plus set yourself up to earn more in the future — next time you take a seat on the porcelain throne.

1. Play This Game

Something about gas station scratch-off tickets is so satisfying, but I tend to avoid them because, well, that’s not Penny Hoarding.

Instead, try using a free 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.

You’re playing games on the toilet anyway, aren’t you? (You don’t have to answer that.) Even if you just win $1, you’re still ahead!

The app is free to download — and play.

2. Sign up to Earn Money Telling These Companies What You Think

Regretting that frozen burrito you had for lunch? It might not be all bad: Packaged food companies will pay you for your thoughts.

These companies are hungry for data on what shoppers think of their products, so paid food panels are becoming more and more common.

You can also earn rewards for sharing your thoughts on a variety of topics.

Take the Swagbucks mobile app, for example. It’s one of the best, legitimate paid survey apps out there. The questions are pretty simple.

Which do you like more: Coke or Cherry Coke? How many times have you been to the movies in the past 12 months? You get the idea.

The average payout for answering a series of questions is 75 SBs, which is equivalent to 75 cents. You won’t qualify for every panel, but you can usually earn about $5 for 30 minutes of work.

3. Save Your Emails to Get Money Back From Stuff You’ve Already Bought

Admit it: You’ve made a few impulse buys from the toilet. Unless you had Indian food for lunch, you don’t have enough time to carefully consider your decision before tapping “buy now.”

If you’re an avid online shopper, you might not like keeping evidence of your binges. We found a free tool that might make you reconsider.

Paribus 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.

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get money back for what you paid for shipping.

4. Start Investing — but Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Saving money is hard. Investing? Usually harder. Automating the process lets you get started on both without thinking about it.

The micro-investing app Stash does that for you.

With Stash, you can start investing with as little as $5. And you don’t have to know a lot about the stock market to get in. Just tell the app what you care about — the environment, for example — and it’ll invest your money into a portfolio that matches your goals and values.

In Auto-Stash mode, the app automatically withdraws a set amount of cash from your bank account as often as you’d like — from once a week to once a month. Pick whatever you feel like you can handle — even just $5 a month.

Or you can use Smart Save mode, which studies your spending and earning patterns to figure out how much cash you can spare. Little by little, the app automatically saves into your Stash account.

The best part? Sign up here, and you’ll get a bonus $5 when you make your first investment!

5. Take This Survey to Earn $25

OK, not sure how long you’re on the toilet, but this offer might convince you to linger a little.

JOANY is a health care concierge service. It helps people find and compare plans, discover doctors and navigate complicated medical bills.

To best cater to customers, it needs you to answer some survey questions. It takes less than 10 minutes, with fewer than 50 (HIPAA-protected) questions.

If you meet these qualifications and complete the survey, you’ll pocket $25:

  • You purchased health insurance for 2017 through your state exchange,, a broker or a plan like Oscar or Aetna.
  • You don’t receive health insurance through your employer or school.
  • You aren’t on Medicaid, Medicare or VA health insurance.

Good fit? Take the survey here.

6. Text This Financial Assistant to Drop Your $10 per Month Gym Membership

Analyzing your monthly budget is, to put it simply, not fun. But you’re just sitting here for the next few minutes. Put it to use by cleaning up your monthly bills with this simple trick.

We all sign up for stuff. Sometimes it’s easier to put subscriptions on a recurring payment and forget about it. Getting rid of the subscriptions you’re not using and socking away the savings could save you a ton of money.

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

Trim works like a digital financial assistant — for free — through texts or Facebook Messenger. Text it to ask things like your bank account balance, how much you’ve spent on Amazon this month and which subscriptions you’re paying for.

If you don’t use, say, that dusty gym membership anymore, go ahead and cancel it right from Trim.

7. Sell That Wall Hanging Your Girlfriend is Sick of

You fought over whether you’d buy the framed picture of a bass for, like, a week. She finally gave in, but only if you’d hide it in the bathroom. Now you stare at it every time you’re on the toilet and wonder, “What was I thinking?”

It’s time to let it go.

With the app letgo, you can list pretty much anything you want to sell directly. All you have to do is snap a photo, and you can create a listing in less than a minute.

You don’t even have to leave the commode.

Who knows what you can get for it? Give it a shot.

You can download letgo for Android here.

8. Fill This out While You’re Just, uh, Sitting There

Surveys aren’t the best way to make money fast. But there’s a certain appeal to clicking a few buttons and earning money when you’d otherwise be doing nothing.

Here’s our recommendation: Sign up for these legitimate survey sites all at once. Chances are, you’ll qualify for at least one or two surveys on each site a month, and the rewards will add up.

  • PointClub is awesome because you’ll get points for every single survey you take — guaranteed. Plus, the company gives you $5 just for signing up! Once you accrue enough of them, you can redeem those points for gift cards to a ton of useful vendors like Walmart, Amazon and PayPal.
  • Ipsos i-SayYou might recognize the Ipsos Panel name because it’s the same company that does most of the political polling during elections. 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 to 15 minutes.

9. Scan Your Favorite CD — Then Get Rid of It, and Turn on Pandora

Do you still have a CD player in the bathroom with that one CD inside? Sell it and go digital.

We appreciate your impeccably-alphabetized CD tower, but it’s time to dust off those jewel cases and cash in on your once-impressive music collection.

Decluttr will buy your old CDs, video games, DVDs and Blu-rays through its app. You scan the barcode with your phone, and Decluttr makes an offer.

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

Prices vary — usually about 50 cents to $3 per item — but you can unload your media in bulk to make an extra $50 to $100 pretty quickly. And never have to look at them again.

With Decluttr, you can sell stuff online without dealing with individual listings and buyers.

And shipping is free. The company emails you shipping labels to cover the cost. Just print, pack your items in any box and ship it.

Decluttr’s average basket price is between $50 and $60. If you’ve got a particularly impressive collection of dusty old media, you could make quite a haul.

Plus, enter FREE5 at checkout to get an extra $5 for your trade-in!

P.S. Don’t Flush Your Cash Down the Drain

As you’re finishing up, just a quick reminder: Don’t squander your earnings.

If you struggle to stay on top of your bills, credit card spending or debt, I recommend my favorite financial tool (really), Credit Sesame.

Credit Sesame gives you a free credit report card — including a credit score — and provides you with recommendations and financial education resources. It’s free to use and makes managing your money actually, well, manageable.

Dana Sitar ([email protected]) is a writer and editor at The Penny Hoarder. Say hi and tell her a good joke on Twitter @danasitar.

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