10 Ways to Make Rent This Month So You Don’t Have to Move in With Your Parents

Woman lying down on sofa in home with cardboard boxes
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Have you ever had to move back in with your parents as a (mostly) fully functioning human adult?

Yeah, we’re telling you from experience: You’re not going to want to.

Even if you consider your parents life’s built-in best friends, it’s not the most pleasant experience. They barge into your room while you’re changing. Nope, no knocking — just want to see what’s up.

They hint at curfews and frown upon hangovers. They let you know when you’ve disappointed them… All that high school angst bubbles up and — sometimes, in an ugly way — over.

Sound like fun? Didn’t think so. Most adult children don’t move back home by choice. It’s usually because money’s tight.

Creative Ways to Make Your Rent Payment on Time

Here are some of our most creative tricks to help you make rent on time — so you never have to experience that teenage angst again.

1. Share Your Opinions for Extra Cash

Young woman lying down on a hammock, using her smartphone and relaxing.
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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?

We’ve tried a lot of paid survey sites, but two of the best we’ve found are MyPoints and InboxDollars, which are run by companies with A+ ratings with the Better Business Bureau.

Another fun one we love is Opinion Outpost. What sets this apart from other survey sites is it gives away $40,000 every year. It has a quarterly drawing for a $10,000 cash prize — and for every survey you complete, you’ll get one entry into the sweepstakes!

2. Stop Deleting Your Emails 

Derek Mateo sorts money while paying bills in Orlando Florida
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Reclaiming money you’ve already spent has to be the easiest way to stretch a tight budget we’ve ever heard of.

It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you 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 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 when there’s a price drop.

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get compensated.

3. Play the Lotto (for Free)

scratch-off tickets
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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. For more info, check out our full review.

4. Get Paid 2 Days Early (No More Payday Loans)

payday concept calendar with marker and circled day of salary
ronstik/Getty Images

Want to get a jump on payday? Let Chime be your secret weapon.

Unlike most financial institutions, this online bank account doesn’t wait until your pay date to give you access to your money. As soon as it receives notification of a direct deposit from your employer, it immediately posts those funds to your account.

That means you’ll get your paycheck early — like Samuel Demeny, who recently switched to Chime. He uses direct deposit. His company technically pays everyone on Fridays, but Chime gets him access to that cash two days earlier than his co-workers.

“The fact that I’m paid on Wednesday versus Friday… helps me budget before the weekend even starts,” Demeny told The Penny Hoarder.

5. Earn $150 for Opening a Credit Card (Plus Cash Back When You Use It)

Close up of credit card on keyboard
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Might as well take free money where you can get it. A credit card sign-up bonus is one clever place to get it.

You just have to be sure you don’t get too carried away with those purchases — and that the card is paid off at the end of each billing period.

Here’s an option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card*. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $500 in your first three months of opening the card (hi, groceries), you’ll pocket a $150 bonus.

There’s no annual fee, and the cash-back rewards don’t expire.

6. List Your Expensive Space on Airbnb

airbnb listing in malibu
Photo courtesy of Airbnb

Have a spare room (or couch)? Might as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

And there’s no reason you can’t be creative. We found a guy who earns $1,380 a month listing a backyard tent on Airbnb!

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

7. Play Virtual Pinball — and Build a Nest Egg

U.S. $10 and $5 bills
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For most, saving money is the furthest thing from fun. After all, it means you’re taking money away from cool stuff you want to do today and putting it toward adult things like buying a home, your next vacation or an emergency fund.

But we found an app that makes saving actually fun. It’s called WinWin Saving. Let us explain…

First, download the app (for iOS only). WinWin will walk you through how it all works, but here’s the gist: You’ll connect your bank account and set up an automatic amount to stick into your WinWin Savings account.

Plus you can play games (think: classics like pinball and breakout) for chances to win more money to boost your savings.

So you’re saving money without thinking about it — and playing for a chance to win even more. Fun, right?

The app is free to download. You can use it for 60 days free, then it costs $2 per month after that. Note: You can withdraw your money or cancel your account at any time.

Pro tip: If you’re having trouble getting the pinball into the right hole, tap the pause button at the top-left side of your screen. Turn on easy mode.

8. Start a Flexible Side Gig

The Penny Hoarder visual editor poses for lifestyle photos in St. Petersburg
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?

Try driving with Lyft.

Demand for ridesharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

We talked to Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver.

Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!

Want more options? Look for work-from-home jobs in your area through 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.)

9. Ask for Help

Man talking on telephone in office
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If you’ve exhausted all your options, call a local resource line for help.

Start with 2-1-1, a confidential service offered through United Way that’ll help you find the resources you need to find affordable housing, make rent or pay utilities.

To use the service, head to 211.org and enter your location. It’ll show you services in your community and give you a number to call.

You can also look into applying for a grant. Take, for example, Modest Needs grants, which are designed for workers just about the poverty line who are ineligible for most other methods of social assistance.

10. Drink Away Your Worry

Neil Callaghan, an advanced level cicerone, currently working at Cigar City Brewing. 
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

The craft beer industry is hoppin’, so take advantage of it by, well, getting paid to visit breweries.

You can get paid to mystery shop — and drink — at breweries in your area through Secret Hopper. (Clever, right?)

The company is looking for detail-oriented beer-drinkers to hop around to different breweries and objectively rate and review their experiences. One Penny Hoarder gave the gig a try. He paid $16 on his visit to a local brewery. Secret Hopper paid him $20 via PayPal within a few days.

So, no, you’re not going to get rich, but you will get free beer and a few bucks for your change jar, and that makes us hoppy.

Bonus: Save Money on Renters Insurance

Man and a woman hauling boxes into an apartment.
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If you have homeowners or renters insurance, you might be paying too much for it. Try shopping around.

If you’ve never looked into it, start by getting a free quote.We recommend the online insurance company Lemonade, through which renters insurance starts at $5 a month and homeowners insurance starts at $25 a month.

Beyond affordable rates, Lemonade adds a layer of transparency you don’t often see in the insurance world. Instead of profiting extra when it doesn’t have to pay out claims, the company keeps a set 20% of your premium for itself, and 80% goes into a pool for paying claims. Money left over after paying claims each year goes to a cause of your choice.

That also means Lemonade isn’t going to be super stingy about granting customers the claims they deserve — ’cause the money isn’t going into its pockets.

Lemonade is available in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.

*The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.

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