21 Casual (But Not Creepy) Ways to Make $2,500

Disclosure: We’re letting you know that this post contains sponsored links which The Smart Wallet receives compensation for, which may impact their order of appearance because talking about money should always be an honest discussion.

Don’t worry, no weird pics or videos suggested. 

Instead, let’s go over some fun and unknown ways to make some side cash that you may not have heard of. We’re all about trying new apps and services here, so we’ve picked some of our favorites below.

It’s a good mix of practical, fun, and legit ways but by no means would take the place of a full-time job. Yep, you still need one of those. So if you have some extra time, and want to break the stay-at-home funk but still want to be productive, here are some casual ways to make money online. 

1. Get Paid in Gift Cards if You’re Chill with Lock Screen Ads

The average person unlocks their phone 110 times per day – that’s a lot of time spent looking at a screen for free.

With S’more you get paid every day you unlock your Android. It’s even easier than it sounds, and since you can cash out with as little as $1 there’s no waiting around for your rewards.

New features make it even easier to earn for stuff you’re already doing too. Earn rewards by using your lock screen, watching videos, shopping, and even trying out apps.

S’mores pays in gift cards so you can redeem for:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • CVS
  • GameStop
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Starbucks and more!

Just use your Android normally, and your earnings will apply daily. Pretty much the easiest thing to do and you’ll be earning gift cards to use online while social distancing and for IRL fun when the pandemic is over!

2. Get Paid for Playing Free Lotto Tickets

When you’re stuck at home, you have to keep yourself occupied. Make killing time fun and productive when you play free digital scratchers on Lucktastic to win money from the comfort of your home. It’s just like getting the ones from the gas station, but…free.

There are a ton of different scratchers to play where you can earn both cash prizes and tokens. Tokens turn into gift cards or contest entries so collect as much as you can!

PRO-TIP to get the most gift cards for free: The more you play, the more big bonuses you can unlock! Play all your scratch cards, look out for Today’s Bonus, and head to the Reward Wall to discover more fun games and cool products. That’ll build up your tokens much faster to redeem for more rewards!

Redeem tokens for:

  • Amazon gift cards
  • Walmart gift cards
  • Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards
  • Check mailed to you
  • Payouts start at just $5!
  • Contest entries into big cash winnings

Lucktastic keeps things free by showing a few ads here and there plus it’s easy to play and multi-task at the same time.

Also until April 2021, their Crack the $1 Million Safe event will reward a lucky winner with up to $1 million dollars! Not bad for playing free scratchers, right? So download now to start earning free gift cards!

3. Get $5* to Invest in Google, Amazon, Tesla, Netflix, and More

Office Manager Sarah investing with $5 / Danny Guinta /*Photo for illustrative purposes only

You might think that investing is complicated. Or that you’ll never get a share of these well-known brands like Google, Amazon, Tesla, etc., but you can. And you don’t have to be rich either.

That’s because Stash, an investment app, lets you start investing1 with just $1. You can choose where to put your money in and they provide guidance and tools to help you along the way. You can invest in major companies that you use or buy from regularly to make the investing process custom to you. Plus, it’s affordable.

As a bonus, Stash is giving new members $5 for any first investment so create an account to get started.*

4. 5M Players Agree - This Bingo Game is 🔥🔥🔥

We’re not talking about the bingo game that cute grandparents play.

Blackout Bingo counts on speed and accuracy. You play against real people and everyone gets the same card and balls so winning comes down to your skills, and not chance. Winners can get both cash and prizes!

Play for free without pop-up ads and when you’re ready, participate in cash tournaments where you can join in on the guaranteed $128,000 prize pool tournament! Get satisfaction winning against others as well as satiating some wanderlust as you travel from New York to Paris, to Hawaii, and more in-game.

Hot Tip: Wait until almost the end of the game to hit Bingo for the most points!

It’s free to download and play and while cash tournaments aren’t available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, MT, SC, SD, and TN, you can still play for prizes.

5. Switch to Car Insurance as Low as $29/Month to Save Big

When was the last time you thought about car insurance? Most people only think about their insurance if they’re involved in an accident but rates change constantly.

Meaning you could be saving a lot of money and you wouldn’t have even known. On average, you’re probably spending $800+/year more than you need to.

You can easily check how much you can save with QuoteWizard, an auto insurance matching service provided by LendingTree. It’s just one form, and they’ll search through providers that include known companies like State Farm, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, and more.

Your monthly rate could be as low as $29/month! All you need is to fill out one form that asks the usual questions related to driver, car, and location and you’ll be matched with the best-for-you options. It’s easy and free to check, so see how you can save!

6. Get Paid Up to $600+ Listening to Free Music

If you don’t go a day without listening to some music, then immediately download this app.

Current is a free Google Play app that literally pays you to listen to music. The more music played, the more you can earn points to redeem for cash, gift cards, and rewards. Choose from 100,000+ radio stations worldwide to discover new music or revisit your favorite artists.

Reward options include Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Google Play gift cards, PayPal Cash, and tech prizes like smartwatches, mini drones, bluetooth speakers, and more.

You can earn up to $600/year or more just listening to free music! The music plays from your Android lock screen and will periodically display muted video ads.

Other ways you can earn while listening to music (all optional):

  • Completely simple tasks/offers + surveys
  • Play games, the longer you play the more you earn
  • Watch simple 30-second video ads
  • Save money on your monthly bills
  • Refer friends to get up to $250 and 5% of their music earnings for life

Turn on the app whenever you want to listen to music and earn extra money while doing errands, jogging, working, or when you need a mood booster!

7. Make Easy Money Just Trying and Playing Games

One of the best ways to kill time is to check out new games that you can play to have fun and still feel productive. How?

Check out AppStation, an Android app that pays you to try out new games. Yes, you’ll get paid just to play games.

When you earn coins from trying new games, you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And too much more to list

Nab a 4,444 coin welcome bonus too, which is basically around 50 cents in value. And if you don’t like to wait, you can choose to payout as low as $1.

If your friends want to get it on the money action from afar, introduce them to AppStation on Google Play, where you’ll get bonus coins and 25% of all their earnings. To make it a supportive group, your friends will also earn 25% of your earnings too!

8. Fetch All Your Receipts (Even Virtual) & Get Free Money Back for the Holidays

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

Check your pockets; check your purse. And keep email receipts.

Grab all the recent receipts you have and scan them into Fetch Rewards to earn points towards free money. Even better? Connect your email inbox and it’ll count your email receipts too from Amazon, Instacart, Shipt, and more!

Basically, shop at any store (grocery, drugstore, warehouse, everywhere), snap a pic with the app, and boom, you’ve got points for money. Upload your restaurant and drive-thru receipts too.

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from any store and it’ll automatically reward you.

Be sure to grab 2,000 welcome points on us when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

9. School Competitors in Solitaire and Ca$h In

When you’re looking for something to do at home, check out Solitaire Cube, which is like regular Solitaire, except you get to play for real cash.

The game matches you with players of the same skill level, so all is fair. You could win some serious cash and prizes, like Katie N. who took home $380,984 as one of the Top 10 Solitaire Cube players! Even casual players like Amanda, a stay-at-home mom from IL, won a 55″ TV, $6,000, and was able to recarpet her home.

It’s easy to start:

  1. Tap now to download from the Samsung Galaxy Store
  2. Follow the instructions on screen to install
  3. Open the app and play!
  4. Practice playing for free and when ready, play for cash!

So if you think you can handle playing some Solitaire Cube to win legit cash, definitely download this game for free to play on your Samsung.

Cash tournaments aren’t available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN.

10. Instantly Get Paid $1 for Each Survey (No Limit!)

By now, you’re probably familiar with surveys. If not, it’s a great way to earn side cash for just giving anonymous opinions and you can join several survey programs to increase earnings.

Add SurveyTime to your list, because what makes them different from others, is that you’ll instantly get paid $1 after each survey completion. No waiting around to accrue at least $15 to cash out, you can get paid right after!

And there’s no limit either, so you can take as many surveys as you want available. You can choose between Target, Amazon, or Walmart gift cards, PayPal, or Bitcoin via Coinbase.

It’s free & easy to start. Just head here to sign up, check your confirmation email, and answer a few introductory questions.

It takes a few days until the system learns your profile to match you with the best surveys so you might be disqualified for some surveys at the beginning. Then you can take as many surveys as you want and it’ll be clear on the site how long each survey would take. On average, each could take 10 minutes with some being as quick as 3 minutes!

11. New Year, New Financially Responsible You Can Save Up to $720

How much did you spend over the holidays? On average, Americans spend about $1,000!

You can get up to 70% of that back in the new year by using Truebill, a free money management app that’s like your own financial control center and personal finance assistant in one. The app groups all your banking accounts together so you can see your earnings and spending in one spot. Plus, it helps you budget even if you don’t know how to.

Truebill will also alert you when services quietly raise fees, and will even cancel your hidden and unwanted subscriptions for you. Most importantly, Truebill can help lower your monthly bills by 20%! Yup, they negotiate for you so you don’t have to deal with talking to reps.

It’s also time to look forward to new life events since 2020 ruined most of our plans. But that usually comes with a cost. So prepare ahead of time by using Truebill which can save you over $720/year!

12. Get a Personal Loan Fast Even if You Have Bad Credit

Your credit score is important but sometimes, unfortunate circumstances happen to good people. It’s not always a fair representation of your financial history to be judged by 3 digits.

Even if you have a poor credit score and have been turned down by credit card companies, you could still qualify for a personal loan* for your short-term financial needs.

OppLoans can help. They work to rescue and rebuild middle-income credit-challenged members for a brighter financial future.

Submitting an application won’t impact your FICO credit score^ and you’ll be able to get the best personal loan that you may need for car repairs, medical, family, rent, major purchase, etc.

Here’s who can qualify:

  1. Residents of FL, AL, AR, AZ, DC, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KY, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, ND, NE, NV, NM, OH, OK, OR, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, SC, WA, WI, WY, or VA
  2. Have a minimum monthly income of $1,500 for the states listed above except AL is $3,500, and GA & ID is $3,000
  3. 18+ years old (19 if from AL or NE) and cannot be an active duty service member
  4. At least 90 days at current employer
  5. Have direct deposit

Qualified borrowers can borrow up to $4,000 depending on creditworthiness and state of residence.* “Payback is on a set term so no surprises and they are cheaper than those payday loans. I was able to get approved in just a few short hours. They really came through and helped me out!” Mike from Clover, SC.

And when monthly payments are made back on the loan, OppLoans will notify the 3 credit bureaus to build up your payment history!+

13. Get Paid to Take Popular Surveys, Watch Videos, and Even Read Emails With This Site

Priscilla Du Preez

If you’re looking for an easy way to snag a little extra cash by being online, look no further. Inbox Dollars has a wide array of ways to make some money on the side.

Founded in 2000, Inbox Dollars has been around and paying customers for their opinions for over 19 years and counting! They are one of the most trusted survey sites with fun, multiple ways to earn extra cash that sets them apart from the others.

You can stick to sharing your opinion and take surveys, but you can also watch videos, play games, and even read email for some extra cash. Who wouldn’t want to watch movie trailers for money?

They also offer cash back for online shopping and coupon cash rewards to use at the grocery store too!

So if you’re looking for some extra cash and enjoy a wide array of options to earn, Inbox Dollars is a great platform to make a little side money. It’s free to sign up, so give it a try today!

14. The Secret to Getting Free Cash Back

Alice Ly / The Bill Wizard

$860 million dollars. That’s how much free money members have gotten back so far just by using Ibotta, a free app that pays you real money on your everyday purchases.

That includes your groceries (online/in-store), essentials, food delivery, online shopping, basically anything. All they need is a receipt.

It’s super simple, just check Ibotta first before:

  • Shopping at your fav stores and services like Target, Ralph’s, Trade Joe’s, Uber Eats, and more
  • Ordering groceries and delivery services like Walmart Grocery, Instacart, Shipt, and more. Link the accounts together and maximize on free cash back!
  • Online shopping from retailers like Amazon, Sephora, Under Armour, Gap, and more

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up! It’s like you’re getting paid to shop.

15. This Paid Survey Panel Gives Out 7,000 Gift Cards Daily

There are a lot of survey programs out there, but none as popular as Swagbucks, a free rewards program where you can earn cash for your time and opinion. Members can earn an average of $50 a month!

You get rewarded for doing surveys, searching the web, reading articles, watching videos, and playing fun games but the one activity that earns you the most points is completing surveys. (Don’t skip out on those!)

Points can then be redeemed for free gift cards, cash, and sweepstakes entries. All just by completing fun activities and giving your opinions.

New members can get a free $5 just for signing up, so join the other 10 million members already part of Swagbucks and start earning free rewards!

16. More New Games, More Cash to Earn

When you’re ready to add even more games to your lineup, then download Cash ‘Em All, an Android app that pays you to try out new games for yes, you guessed it, for cash. All are free to download!

Just earn coins from trying new games, and then you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And more good stuff

A 4,444 coin welcome bonus is yours immediately too when you sign in.  (Worth 50 cents!) If you’re impatient, you can cash out as low as $1 as well.

Enjoy playing new-to-you games for some side fun money on your Android!

17. Get Up to 15x Cash Back Rewards with This Sleek, Black Premium Debit Card

A credit card isn’t for everyone, particularly if you know your own spending habits. So when a debit card comes around that has credit-card like perks, take notice.

Current is the first mobile bank to offer up to 15x points whenever you swipe this sleek black premium (or white) debit card, at over 14,000 participating merchants. These points are redeemable for unlimited cash back!

For example, swiping the card at gas stations could net you back $165/year!

Along with the unique rewards program, a Current account has no hidden fees, no minimum balances, over 55,000 fee-free ATMs, and includes money management tools such as savings pods and round ups. Premium members ($4.99/mo) can also enjoy getting paid up to 2 days faster with direct deposit, as well as never worrying about a negative balance since they can use Overdrive™, a benefit that covers them up to $100 when they need it.

Current is free to use (with optional premium upgrade) so don’t miss out on earning points for stuff you were already buying! It takes less than 2 minutes to sign up!

18. Affordable Car Insurance Exists - Here’s How You Could Save $610

You’re sharing the same roads with a lot of different people. Distracted people, oblivious people, road-rage people, etc. It’s best to cover yourself with insurance when everyone is operating a giant motor vehicle.

That’s why car insurance exists and is mandatory. You might be overpaying on your current insurance premium since it can be a hassle finding another provider.

However, you can search for quotes easily on EverQuote. They help match you among dozens of regional agencies and insurance carriers to filter the best matches to save on your car insurance.

It takes less than 4 minutes to fill out the form and you’ll see a list of matches that show online quotes, email, and potential phone quotes.

EverQuote can save drivers $610 a year on average* compared to their current insurance premiums. Once you see your list of potential matches, choose the online ones you want or wait for more information via email or phone.

It’s a pretty simple process, so try it out to see how much you could be saving on the road!

19. Never Pay Overdraft Fees Again - Banking That Has Your Back

On average, people pay $250/year just on overdraft fees!

Instead of charging you for silly fees, Chime, has your back. It’s an award-winning (and free to use) mobile banking app that lets you overdraft up to $100 with no fees1 via their SpotMe benefit. This means that $8 you were short on at the grocery store gets spotted and your account won’t overdraft, saving you money. Plus, you get a sleek-looking debit card!

Combined with no hidden fees, the ability to get paid up to 2 days earlier,2 and auto-savings starting at 0.50% APY3 makes Chime a stellar online banking option that doesn’t focus on profiting off of you like traditional banks.

Since Chime is free to use, give it a shot and see how you like it.

20. Get Paid to Try New Games. Every Gamer’s Dream.

Adobe

Who would’ve thought you can play games to make some money? Especially now when that’s easy to do from home.

All you need is Mistplay, an Android game platform where you can try new games to earn points redeemable for gift cards like Amazon, VISA, PlayStation Network, XBOX Live, and more.

In this Google Play app, all available free games are listed so just take your pick to try, especially high unit multiplier games! For example, the 4x unit multiplier games will earn you 8 times more units (and dollars) per level than the 0.5x unit multiplier games.

You’ll only get paid for playing games if Mistplay is running so be sure to always install games from the Mistplay app!

21. Talk to a Financial Coach & Earn Cash Rewards

Hiring a financial advisor can cost $1,000 or more, so we’re suggesting the next best thing.

Status Money, a free-to-use personal finance app, lets you anonymously crowdsource financial advice from a community of more than 350,000 people for free.

You can also anonymously compare your finances with people like you and earn cash rewards for acting on money-saving recommendations.

The app’s newest feature lets you video chat with a certified financial coach for just $3/month! Since coaches receive public reviews after each call, they have a big incentive to give you great advice.

As an added bonus, new Status Money members get $5 to sign up!

BONUS: Try Games, Get Gift Cards. Play More to Earn More

Alice Ly | The Smart Wallet

We’ll probably be the only ones to tell you this but, please play more mobile games.

Play more games so you can earn more gift cards through the Rewarded Play Android app, a free to download game platform that lets you try as many games as you want.

Popular games include Yahtzee, Wheel of Fortune, Words with Friends, mystery games, fantasy games, puzzle games, and a lot more.

You can then redeem for gift cards from 20+ retailers including favorites like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, etc. The games are fun, it’s an easy way to earn some cash especially when we’re bored at home, and bonus, there is an active customer support team!

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