It may sound too good to be true, but you can learn to make money easily from your normal activities. By making a few changes to your routine, you can continue to do the things you are currently doing and bring in extra income. You’re not going to get rich, but a few extra dollars each month can come in handy. Over the course of a year, a few simple changes to your routine can add up big. Although a few options require shopping, your extra income won’t require you to spend a dime on products or services you’ve already planned to buy!
Ibotta It’s a rewards program that gives you cash back on items picked up during a standard shopping trip, including groceries, home goods, back-to-school items, gift cards and even adult beverages. Ibotta also rewards you for shopping at dozens of online sites like Orbitz, Nike, REI, Under Armour, Expedia and Microsoft.
Benefits: Most of us buy milk, eggs, bread and more every week. We take vacations, buy shoes, and get our kids ready for the new school year. With Ibotta, you can get anywhere from $.10 to a few dollars back on several of your purchases.
Cons: You have to select items for rewards in the Ibotta app (like using a digital coupon) and watch a short (15 seconds or so) ad. After making a purchase, scan the barcode of the items you purchased via your smart phone app and submit a digital photo of your receipt.
SavingStar is a similar app I use that doesn’t require barcode scanning. Instead, it’s linked to your grocery store rewards card. There are no app restrictions at the moment. Why not stack those earnings?
Ebbets This is a rewards program that will give you back a percentage of your total online shopping bill if you visit a store’s site through an Ebates link.
Pros: Ebates is a reputable company that actually sends you a check for your shopping experience. With tons of stores to choose from, including nearly every major chain in America and online giants like eBay and Amazon, your earning opportunities are plentiful. Cash back rewards typically range from 2 to 15 percent, and stores often offer significant discounts for online shoppers. Ebates rewards you with cash for referring friends who end up making a purchase. Since you’re going to make the purchase anyway, you might as well get some cash back for it. You also earn money for referring friends to the program. Including bonuses, I typically make about $1,000 per quarter with the Ebates program.
Cons: You have to shop online. For many of us, brick and mortar stores offer the convenience of trying on or trying on merchandise before buying. Others desire the simplicity of exchanges and returns through customer service counters so things don’t work as intended. For many of us work-a-homers, this is not a problem. However we do most of our shopping online.
Many grocery stores, retailers, airlines and gas stations offer Loyalty or rewards card. With a rewards card, you get cash and rewards for buying products and services you already pay for each month
Pros: Cards are free, and rewards can add up quickly Many stores reward you with monthly or quarterly discounts based on purchases made within a predetermined period. Purchases made with WIC or food stamp coupons also usually count. Several chains like Safeway and Kroger also offer discounts on gas based on your rewards points. Target offers a 5% discount on purchases. If you can save $.50 or $1.00 off each gallon of gas, you can save tens, even hundreds of dollars a month.
Cons: You have to remember to swipe your card during each transaction
Gone are the days of regular credit cards. If you have a card that doesn’t give you rewards points or cash back, it’s time to switch. From airline miles and hotel points to cashback, you’ll get something in return for every purchase.
Pros: No matter what you buy or pay for, even utilities, day care and medical bills, you get rewarded. Rewards can add up quickly and amount to thousands of dollars in flights, hotel rooms, or cash back each year. Many cards offer benefits such as free bags and advanced boarding on airlines, free room upgrades at hotels and special discounts at stores. When combined with store rewards cards or online rebates, the savings and rewards can be even more significant. However you are paying for products and services, you may also be rewarded. discover And Capital One Two trusted names offering cashback cards.
Cons: Some cards may have annual fees. If you choose one of these cards, make sure the rewards you earn outweigh the fees you pay. Plus, if you’re not dedicated to paying off your card balance on time each month, you’ll end up paying interest on your purchases or late fees on your payments. Interest and fees can quickly negate your earned rewards.
Thrift store Get paid to throw away high-quality items you no longer need.
Pros: Dropping off your goods at a store like Once Upon a Child or Play It Again Sports is considerably easier and faster than hosting a garage sale, and infinitely more profitable than throwing things away. You can often drop off a bag of clothes or household items on your way to work or out to dinner, then return later to collect your money.
By hosting a consignment store or garage sale, you may not make as much money selling it. Stores will generally not accept items that are functional or usable but not in high quality condition
Bank and credit union accounts. If you have a savings account or checking account, you need to make sure your money isn’t just sitting there. Don’t be afraid to move your money around or even choose a new bank or credit union. Your money transfer is free and you can actually earn some cash.
Pros: Banks are competing for business, and many of them will offer you cash, often hundreds of dollars, just to try them. New customers also often receive higher, promotional interest rates. One bank that often runs promotions is Capital One 360
Cons: You usually have to set up direct deposit at the bank to qualify for the promotion.
A Certificate of Deposit (CD) An investment made with your bank. You agree to hold your money for an agreed period of time in exchange for a fixed interest rate. Rates vary based on the length of investment period.
Pros: Moving your money to a short-term CD offers no risk and a higher interest rate than a standard checking or savings account. CD rates aren’t particularly high right now, but you still earn more interest than letting your money sit in the average savings or checking account. If you won’t need your money for three months or more, and you’re not going to put it into other investments like stocks, bonds or mutual funds, a CD just makes sense.
Cons: Once you put your money in a CD, you can’t access it until the investment term expires without penalty. If you may need the money in the near future, a CD is not a good investment option.
We all shop, pay bills, clean and bank. By making some adjustments to the way we do these everyday tasks, we can put some hard-earned dollars back in our pockets. When used together, the savings and rewards mentioned above can easily earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.