13 Simple (and Legal) Ways that Help Millennials Pay Rent

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.

No matter your level of adulting, there’s an invisible line that should be avoided. And that’s the “move-back-in-with-your-parents-cause-you’re-outta-money” line.

For real though, you don’t want to resort to that.

Even if you have the best relationship in the world with them, it’s not your own space.

They probably also have a knack for saying stuff that really riles you up, or is that just my own immigrant parents? (“Don’t eat so late, you’re gonna get fat,” “You’re throwing this away? Why? I’ll save it for later.”)

So to avoid that situation altogether, let’s make rent. Regularly.

Of course, you’ll still need a full-time job on your own.  But to give you some extra cushion though, you can check out these simple ways to make rent.

1. School Competitors in Solitaire and Ca$h In to Pay Rent

When you want to take a 5-minute break, check out Solitaire Cube, which is like regular Solitaire, except you get to play for real cash.

Is there a catch? Yes but not really. I tried playing for free when I first started but I realized it would take me forever to get the tickets I need to play for real cash. I gave up and deposited $25 last week and I’ve already won $120.

The game matches you with players of the same skill level, so you have a solid chance of winning. If you’re a good Solitaire player, you could win some serious cash, like Katie Nguyen who took home $380,984 last year as one of the Top 10 Solitaire Cube players!

So if you think you can handle playing some Solitaire Cube to win legit cash, definitely download this game for free. It’s a nice but potentially profitable break to pay your rent!

Cash tournaments aren’t available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, FL, LA, ME, MD, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN but residents can still play the free games for swag up to a real car!


2. You Gotta Eat! Get Up to $240 Cash Back in Grocery Savings 

Drobot Dean

Did you know that it’s 325% more expensive to eat out versus eating at home*? Maybe it’s time to make more trips to the grocery store instead.

You’ll be aware of all the ingredients in your meal,  in addition, you’ll get paid just for shopping!

It’s simple. All you have to do is take a picture of your grocery receipt and Ibotta will pay you cash.

Here’s how it works:

Before you go to the store, search for your shopping list items in the Ibotta app. After your store visit, take a photo of your receipt to get cash back.

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up!

Some offers we found:

  • 25 cents back on any item
  • $3 – $5 back on various wine
  • $2 back on KIND Protein Bars
  • 25 cents – $4 back on ice cream
  • $2 back on Herbal Essence Haircare

Popular stores are Walmart and Target, but Ibotta also works at restaurants, online shopping sites, and at the bar! On average, active Ibotta users save up to $240 a year or more that can go back to your rent.

Welcome Bonus: Up to $20
Average savings a month: $20
What it could add up to in a year: $240
Additional Referral Earnings: $5 per referral


3. Save $610 on Car Insurance So You Can Better Afford Rent

Logan Fisher

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.

And chances are, you’re probably overpaying on your current insurance premium when you can be using those savings on rent.

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 up to $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!

Average savings in a month: $50.83

What it could add up to in a year: $610


4. 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 you could still get a personal loan for your short-term financial needs.

OppLoans can help.

Submitting an application doesn’t affect 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 AL, AR, AZ, DC, DE, FL, 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, 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. Employed at your current job for at least 3 months
  4. 18+ years old (19 if from AL or NE) and cannot be an active duty service member
  5. A traditional bank account in your name that’s been open for at least 90 days
  6. You get your paychecks via direct deposit

Qualified borrowers will be able to borrow up to $4,000 depending on their state.

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

5. Figure Out Where You’re Wasting Money and Stop With This App

Realistic budgets are hard to make, especially if you’re kind of lazy, to begin with. (No judgment, I can be too).

You know you should start, but it just gets put off.

Here’s an easy solution though: Truebill.

Their simple to follow budgeting pulls your historical spending, organizes it, and allows you to clearly see your spending so you can set a target budget with context. (Aka you can see where you’re wasting money on).

It’ll also track budget pacing, which sounds fancy, but it just means you’ll see the percentage of how much you’ve spent so far in each category. Like it’s only the 2nd week of the month, and I’ve already spent 74% of my dining budget? Time to eat out less.

Truebill will also alert you if you’re getting a little too spend-happy in your budgeted categories so you know when to curb it.

It’s simple but actionable budgeting that anyone can follow and it’s free to use!


6. Fun Times in 3 Minute Increments – Blackjack for Rent $

Michał Parzuchowski

3 minutes.

Make as many 21s as you can within that time or until you run out of moves.

That’s the basic gist of 21 Blitz, a modern take on Blackjack where you’re no longer just playing against the dealer but with actual people around the world.

It’s fast-paced and it basically does all of the math for you. This game is great for killing time and earning cash all at once.

You can play for free against real people for prizes or switch over to cash games to win…well, cash! Cash game winners can win up to $7,000 or more in the mini-tournament. That can be pretty good rent money.

Stanley from The Smart Wallet deposited $25 into 21 Blitz and won $120 for his matches!

Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, FL, LA, ME, MD, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN but residents can still play the free games for swag up to a real car!


7. Play Games & Boost Your Savings at the Same Time. Win-Win.

Look, we know saving money is boring, but it’s just one of those non-negotiables in life. 63% of Americans don’t even have enough to cover a $500 emergency. Yikes.

That’s why Long Game Savings is actually making saving fun by just playing free games on their app. Games are light and easy-to-play (think lotteries, scratchers, slots, and more) and you can win daily cash prizes up to $1M (yes, million) and crypto!

When you set up a savings account, you access the games. The more money you save, the more you can play and now, their new debit card lets you earn more rewards just by spending normally. It has a RoundUp feature that lets your purchases be rounded up to the nearest dollar with the change going towards your savings. So every time you’re buying a meal, getting stuff at Target, etc, you’re contributing to your savings and earning interest!

Long Game Savings is completely free-to-use as banks pay them, not you. There’s no way to lose money, but plenty of ways to earn and win! Plus you can withdraw your money at any time.

8. Don’t Toss That Receipt! Do This First for Free Money

Before you crumple up that receipt in your pocket or forever lose it in the abyss of your purse, scan it into the Fetch Rewards app, and earn points towards free money. I repeat, free money.

It’s ridiculously simple and actually fun to use.

Shop at any grocery store, convenience store, club store, neighborhood store, or big box store, take a picture with the app, and that’s it. (Favorites include Target, Kroger, and Walmart!)

Unlike other apps, you don’t have to go to specific stores, there’s nothing to pre-select prior to shopping, and there’s no minimum spend. Just scan in any receipt from a store that sells groceries (even when you didn’t actually buy any groceries) and boom, points for money.

You can start cashing out as soon as $3 (3,000 points) and you can grab a $2 welcome bonus on us (2,000 points) when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

  • Welcome bonus: $2
  • Average savings a month (depends on purchases): $25
  • What it could add up to in a year: $302
  • Additional referral earnings: $2 per referral

9. Cashing Out on The Everyday Things You Do Online

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!

More Surveys, More Cash

When you have the downtime, there’s nothing easier than answering some questions in return for cash. If you want more surveys in your life, head over to MyPoints to sign up for free and similar to Inbox Dollars, you can participate in surveys, watch videos, and even read emails for points!

Points turn into gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, as well as PayPal Cash.

Get a $5 bonus when you complete your first 5 surveys!

10. Get the Big Picture – Then Work on Fixing Your Score

Drobot Dean

It’s smart to keep an eye on your credit score to make sure it doesn’t fall too much due to unpaid bills. Did you know that a low credit score could affect your ability to actually rent an apartment or even get a car? Yea, let’s try to prevent that from happening.

Credit Sesame is a free credit monitoring service that helps you improve and maintain your score.

You’ll get an easy-to-read view of your total debt plus everything that is contributing to your current score like credit usage, credit age, inquiries, and payment history. It also comes with personal recommendations to help increase your score.

Credit Sesame alerted me immediately when my score decreased because of a credit card and I was able to fix it right away. It’s free to use so this is definitely a must-have in everyone’s life.

11. Make 1.92% Interest On Your Money with This Fee-Free Banking App

No fees banking with Varo

Traditional banks seem to take every opportunity they can to squeeze more money out of you. With everything from a monthly service fee to various hidden fees nibbling away at your account balance. Enter Varo which was founded to provide a fee-free banking service2.

Yep, Varo has no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM withdrawal fees.

On top of having no fees, Varo lets you make more money on your money. Varo provides a high-yield savings account that starts at 1.92% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)1 that can move up to 2.80% APY1 based on qualifying activity. To put this into perspective, the average APY of the 5 biggest national banks is 0.09%.*

Varo has a few sweet extra features too:

  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier4 (super helpful for rent!)
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Over 55,000+ AllPoint® ATMs worldwide to use your Varo Visa® debit card
  • Offers personal loans to pre-qualified customers who want to consolidate debt
  • Varo will send any paper check to anyone in the U.S. on your behalf
  • Varo Personal Forecast tracks your spending to manage your cash flow
  • “Save the Change” rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves the difference to your Varo savings account

If you’re sick of being charged banking fees and want to make more out of your money, check out Varo. It takes less than 5 minutes to learn more and apply for free.

12. Earn Up To $40,000 (!) A Year By Renting Out Your RV On the Most Trusted Platform

If you own an RV, you know this better than anyone else: it stays dormant almost all year. And it’s true, 80% of RVs go unused for 300 out of the 365 days.

While it’s great to have one ready for road-trip purposes, there are more productive (and profitable) ways to handle the sleeping beast.

With RVshare you can earn up to $40,000 a year by renting out your RV when you’re not using it. List for free on their marketplace and people looking to rent can connect with you. It’s kind of like an Airbnb but for RVs.

The marketplace is completely free to use, so you don’t have to worry about getting hit with a fee while your listing is active. RVshare only makes money when you do, so after your listing is booked they’ll take a small portion to keep the site up and running.

Your RV is protected. There’s nationwide (plus Canada) insurance for both parties along with 24/7 roadside assistance to ensure your RV is taken care of while on the road.

You could also list your RV as a stationary rental, meaning it can stay on your property. This works best if your RV is parked near potential travel destinations. (Sorry, HI residents are ineligible to list!)

So take that dormant RV and start turning it into cash! Since it’s free to list, just add your make and model and RVshare will show you how much you can earn this year.

13. Pay Less on Student Loans. Get More Out of Life.

If you feel bogged down by student loans, you’re not alone. 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt, making the total student loan debt in the United States above $1.47 trillion dollars(*). However, there are options to ease that financial burden.

One way is to refinance your student loans (whether they’re federal, private, or ParentPLUS), consolidating that debt at a lower interest rate.

Credible’s made that part easy. Their loan marketplace helps you find prequalified rates from multiple lenders in just 2 minutes.

They can help you find options to lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payment, or both! To see your options, just fill out a quick information sheet and compare your prequalified rates – without impacting your credit score. You can even get your finalized offer in as little as one business day.

There are no prepayment penalties, loan application fees, or origination fees through Credible’s lending partners, and the marketplace is free to use!

*325% more expensive eating out vs home source: Investment Zen

*OppLoans APR ranges from 59%-199% depending on your state of residence (Rates and Terms here). Credit reporting not available for Texas residents.

*EverQuote’s individual savings, if any, and premiums will vary by customer. Savings amount based on countrywide survey of users from Nov 2018 to Apr 2019 who reported old and new premiums.

*0.09% national average APY: FDIC for the week of Feb 11, 2019- https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/#one

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