11 Popular New Year’s Resolutions — and How to Make Money Achieving Them

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Thirty-two percent of people want to lose weight in the new year.

Twenty-five percent want to spend less and save more money.

Fourteen percent want to travel more.o

Thirty-seven percent want to be healthier.

None of these common New Year’s resolutions come as a surprise, do they? We hear them every year — often from the same people, over and over again.

We all want to improve our lives, but maybe we need a bigger nudge than just turning the calendar page. We’ve gathered some of our favorite tips and apps to help you achieve your goals this year — and maybe even get a little richer while you do it.

Here’s how you can get paid to achieve some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions in 2018.

1. Lose Weight

ISO3000/Getty Images
ISO3000/Getty Images

Picture this: You step on the scale in June and finally see your goal weight.

Congratulations! But it gets even better.

Imagine, you’re about to receive a generous check to spend on a celebratory outfit in your new size, stock up on household necessities or to stick into savings — all just for losing weight!

It’s not a fantasy. If you wager on your own weight-loss commitment with HealthyWage, this could very well happen for you… as long as you stick to your guns and lose the weight.

Just sign up for HealthyWage, set a goal weight and a timeframe to achieve it. Place a monetary bet on yourself, of at least $200 a month.

Depending on how much weight you have to lose, how long you give yourself to do it and how much money you put on the table, you could win up to $10,000!

2. Eat Healthier

close up of green salad
Dan Gold/Unsplash

After the decadence of the holidays, a lot of us are trying to get back to healthier eating habits.

But that, unfortunately, proves expensive.

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 $5 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!

3. Exercise More

Tempura/Getty Images
Tempura/Getty Images

Need extra motivation for your daily workout this year? The health app Achievement lets you earn money for completing healthy activities.

Connect Achievement to workout apps, including Apple Health, Samsung Health, MyFitnessPal, Strava, Fitbit and other apps you already use to track your health and fitness goals.

You’ll choose which data to securely share with Achievement 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 can exchange points for cash or an Amazon Gift Card (10,000 points = $10), and there’s no limit on how much you can earn.

Plus, you’ll earn 10 points just for signing up with Achievement and connecting a fitness  app.

4. Pay Down Debt

Geber86/Getty Images
Geber86/Getty Images

A lot of us are being crushed by credit card interest rates north of 20%. If you’re in the same boat, it might be worth seeing if you can consolidate and refinance your debt to get a handle on it this year.

A good resource to get you started is Fiona. If your credit score is at least 620, it can help you borrow up to $100,000 and compare interest rates from a number lenders. APR varies from 4.995% to 35.99%.

If you decide to consolidate your credit card debt, be sure you don’t close your old accounts immediately. The length of your credit history affects your credit score, so closing all your longest-running accounts could hurt it.

5. Spend Less and Save More Money

Geber86/Getty Images
Geber86/Getty Images

We get it: You’ve got to spend some money when it comes to the essentials. But here’s a passive way to earn some money back. Use Capital One Shopping Price Protection.

The online tool combs your inbox for your online shopping receipts. It keeps tabs on price drops, so when you purchase an item from one of its partners, and the item’s price drops, you may receive a refund.

Now, you’ll want to tuck that extra money away. Try an app like Stash.

This app lets you start investing with as little as $5 and only charges a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000. (The first month is free.)

Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money. But it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.

Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to give you an extra $5 after your first investment.

Capital One Shopping Price Protection compensates us when you sign up using the links we provide.

6. Travel More

Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

A lot of us wish we could travel more, but think it’s too difficult and too expensive.

But did you know you could travel the world for free?

You can earn rewards points and miles that pay for your flights, hotel rooms or other travel expenses. One of the best ways to earn miles is to use rewards credit cards responsibly.

But what if you can’t (or don’t want to) get involved in that shtick? You can still collect travel rewards.

You can earn points and miles by completing simple tasks through eMiles. These might include taking surveys, signing up for a daily newsletter, watching ads, claiming shopping deals or going about your normal consumer behavior.

It claims you can earn $20 to $30 in rewards by spending less than an hour on its site. Give it a try!

7. Get Organized

gpflman/Getty Images
gpflman/Getty Images

Are your closets and shelves packed to the brim with stuff you never use — or even look at?

Instead of hosting a labor-intensive garage sale, we’ve got a few suggestions:

  • You can sell nearly 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 also 100% free to use.
  • If you don’t want to deal with people when selling your items, try Decluttr. It’ll pay you for CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods.
  • Got books? 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 online buy-back companies.

Feeling lighter already.

8. Contribute More to Charity

Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

It’s easy to say we want to give back more. But how easy is it to be charitable when you’re trying to hoard your own pennies?

We promise — it’s possible! Here are a few simple ways to get started:

  • Volunteer at a job-search center to help people find jobs.
  • Teach computer/tech skills at a local library or senior center.
  • Earn cash back when you eat out, and opt to donate it to charity through an app, such as Dosh.

Or if you’re willing to allot some cash to your favorite charity, be sure to do research beforehand so you know it’s legitimate and that your money will be put to good use. Here are three things to consider when donating money to a charity.

9. Get a New Job

close up of hands fist bumping

Not happy with your job? Don’t worry: You have options!

Read our tips for starting a new career at any age to help you get the transition started this year.

If you prefer to work for yourself, check out opportunities in the sharing economy — like driving with Lyft. You’ll set your own schedule and get to drive around town all day.

10. Spend More Time With Family

Imgorthand/Getty Images
Imgorthand/Getty Images

As winter breaks from school wrap up, you might be grateful for some distance from your kids. But that relief fades quickly as you get wrapped up in work, hobbies, classes and chores again.

Suddenly you never see each other — let alone make time to visit Grandma and Grandpa.

If it feels like you can’t make plans to spend time with family because everything fun is too expensive, try these ideas for completely free — fun! — ways to connect:

  • Try geocaching. (i.e. a treasure hunt)
  • Call or video chat with family that lives far away.
  • Start a workout routine, or do yoga together.
  • Volunteer together.
  • Go to the library for books, movies and community events.
  • Bake or cook dinner together.
  • Go for a hike, walk or swim.

Need more ideas? Read on for 103 ideas for a money-free weekend.

11. Quit Smoking

solidcolours/Getty Images
solidcolours/Getty Images

Every smoker you meet seems to want to quit, is trying to quit or has quit several times in the past.

So how do you actually kick the habit without spending hundreds of dollars on products?

We’ve rounded up some free resources to help you quit smoking.

See Also >> How to Make Money Online (45 of the Best Ways!)