20 Stupid Simple Ways to Make Extra Cash in 2020

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.

At the beginning of each year it’s New Year, new you, right? But how long does that last? But 2020 isn’t just another year. It’s a new decade. It’s a leap year. And honestly, sounds cool as hell.

You’re probably going to make your lose weight, save more money, and travel more resolutions, but let’s face it, these “goals” aren’t going to come true without a solid plan.

And to save more money? Well, it’ll be easier if you have more money to begin with, right? So we’ll focus on that and lay it all out – Here’s our list of stupid simple ways to make extra cash for 2020.

 

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

Drobot Dean

Since we’re all saving a lot of money by not eating out, you can still save when you’re spending on groceries and essentials!

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. You can even get cash back with grocery delivery from Walmart if you don’t want to leave the house!

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up! They’ve already given out $186 million dollars cash back to savers in 2019 alone.

Some offers we found:

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

Popular stores are Walmart, Target, Kroger, and Trader Joe’s but Ibotta also works at online shopping sites too. On average, active Ibotta users save up to $240 a year or more but the highest saver got $13,000 in cash back this year! What would you do with that extra money?

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

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

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

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

3. Never Overpay for Car Insurance - Save $826 a Year

Let’s talk about the not-so-sexy topic of car insurance. You need it, you have it, but you’re probably overpaying for it. By how much though? It can depend on your car, location, age, and more, but on average you’re probably spending $826/year more than you need to.

You’ll know how much if you use Savvy to check for fast and easy savings. There are no forms to fill out since it uses your existing insurance info, and the system will instantly check for a better deal. It literally takes 30 seconds and they protect your phone number and email from spam.

Once Savvy finds you a better deal and you choose to switch, they’ll help you cancel your old policy, enroll you in the better one, and get a full refund on the unused portion of your prior payments. It’s the simplest and easiest way to get a refund on your overpriced car insurance policy.

4. Stop Losing Money on Recurring Subs and Budget Better

Autopay can be both a blessing and a curse.

No more late payments, woohoo!

Wait, I’ve been paying for a service that I signed up as a free trial? Ouch.

And you wouldn’t be alone. 84% of people forget they have some sort of recurring subscription.

So stop letting money slip away and budget smarter with easy-to-use Truebill.

You’ll see all your current subs at a glance and then you can decide which to cancel, which the app does for you. Even that pesky gym membership that’s typically so hard to get out of.

Truebill also has a killer budgeting feature: it 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).

Already spending 74% of your dining budget and it’s not even mid-month? Time to cut back and the app will even alert you.

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

5. Get Paid for Playing Free Digital Scratch-Offs

Don’t bother going to the liquor store to buy physical scratchers (they get expensive too).

Instead, play digital scratchers for free on Lucktastic.

There are a ton of different scratchers you can play, and you can earn both cash and tokens.

Scratched all of them for the day? Don’t worry, there are specific night-time scratchers that are available every night too!

When you want to redeem your earnings, you can choose from:

  • Amazon gift cards
  • CVS gift cards
  • Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards
  • Check mailed to you
  • Visa gift cards

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. Get a chance of up to $1M in cash prizes!

6. Scan the Stuff You Buy & Get Free Rewards

The exclusive National Consumer Panel (NCP) program is opening up again for more participants! This is your opportunity to make your consumer voice heard! (And get paid for it)

When you become a panelist, just use the app to scan the barcodes of items you purchase, provide a few additional transaction details, and you’ll earn points for:

  • Gift Cards
  • Tablets
  • Electronic Equipment
  • Flat Screen TVs
  • and much more from their gift catalog!

Plus, all panelists are automatically entered into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual drawings to win extra points and gift cards – even a quarterly sweepstakes to win $5,000!

The more you share your shopping habits (scan barcodes), the more rewards you can get. You can also answer surveys and share information about your overall shopping trip.

“Scanning my purchases is fun! I also enjoy taking the surveys. Earning points is fast and easy and they have a great selection of rewards.” – Jennifer B.

It’s a fun way to earn more rewards on items you’ve already purchased and at no extra cost to you.

Register now to see if you’re eligible to be a National Consumer Panelist. Eligibility will be based on your location. If you don’t get accepted this time, don’t worry! They’re always expanding locations, so check back again.

7. 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, especially during these uncertain times.

OppLoans can help if you’re qualified (see list below).

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, 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. 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!

8. Everyday Saving & Spending is Actually Fun Now

Look, we know managing your money is boring, but it’s just one of those non-negotiables in life. Especially these days, we need all the good vibes we can get with our money.

That’s why Long Game is actually making banking 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. You get a full banking experience with all the bells and whistles; an FDIC-insured savings account earning interest, a Visa debit card for instant access to your cash, custom savings goals, and more.

The more money you save, the more you can play and the 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 costs $3/month, or get it for free if you set up auto-deposit or direct deposit and use your card. They offer a 30-day free trial so you can check it out and see if it’s right for 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.

9. Be Prepared: Get $1 Million in Life Insurance for as Little as $8/Month

When you hear “life insurance” the first 2 things that might come to mind are death and finances. Ultimately it’s “I love you” money to your family after you’ve passed away, which should be talked about during these crazy times.

For most people, life insurance is logical but the long process could be deterring. Some life insurance companies can take up to 2.5 months for the approval process to complete, including paperwork and a comprehensive medical exam which may be inconvenient.

But one company is trying to change all that. Bestow’s mission is to offer affordable term life insurance in under 5 minutes without you having to talk to anyone. No exam needed either.

You can get up to $1 million in coverage and they offer 10 years and 20 years term options.

All of Bestow’s policies are issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, who’s been around for over 100 years and holds an A+ (Superior) rating with A.M. Best, a global credit rating agency for insurance companies.

In plain English terms, it means your policy is provided by a dependable insurance giant who has been serving customers for many years.

So if you’re between the ages of 21-54, here’s what they’ll ask:

  • Your basic information (Name, Email, Address, SSN, etc)
  • Some Life questions (medical history, hobbies, lifestyle)
  • Beneficiaries (who would receive the money after insured’s death)
  • Policy and payment details (If approved, you choose the monthly payment and enter credit card info)

Each policy has a “free look” period (usually 30 days) which means you can cancel if it’s not right for you and get a full refund.

And you can easily cancel your policy at any time.

Life insurance talk isn’t fun but Bestow is attempting to make it as easy as possible for people to get covered quickly. Go ahead and see what your rates are in just under 5 minutes. It’s the biggest “I love you” you can give to your loved ones.

*Bestow is currently not available in New York

10. Get a Mid-Week Boost with Earlier Payday

What would you do with an earlier payday?

Besides feeling pretty good about it, you might pay off bills earlier or budget for the weekend easier. No matter what you do, an earlier payday can give you peace of mind.

Typically, paydays occur on a Friday but with Varo your payday could arrive up to 2 days earlier with direct deposit!^ Here’s looking at you, Wednesday.

This is because Varo processes your direct deposit as soon as they receive it rather than holding onto it like traditional banks.

It’s a pretty sweet feature and the banking account offers other perks too, like no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and fee-free withdrawals at 55,00+ Allpoint® ATMs.

In addition, they offer a high yield savings account where you’ll start at 1.61% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)* and could then move up to 2.80% APY* based on qualifying balance and activity. The average APY of the 5 biggest national banks are only 0.09%** You don’t need to be a numbers person to understand that Varo wins.

So get that mid-week boost and start banking with no hidden fees. It takes less than 5 minutes to learn more about Varo and apply for free.

11. Buy Stuff Normally = Get Gift Cards You Actually Want

If you have room for 1 more app on your phone, then it needs to be this. Actually, delete another app to make room for this one. It’s that good.

It’s called Drop, a free app that’s rewarding their 3 million+ members for everyday activities – like shopping at brands such as Sephora, Walmart, Uber, Instacart, Uber Eats, Drizly, Ollie, and tons more.

Download Drop and you’ll get points back on all those purchases. Points translate to gift cards so the more you collect through shopping, surveys, and games in the app, the more gift cards you can redeem!

Earning points is simple. Just open Drop, select the brand’s offer and continue the checkout flow through the app like normal. That’s it! Drop will take care of the rest and add the points to your account once your transaction clears.

There’s literally no downside to using this free app to get more gift cards. Use it on top of your loyalty points and credit card points for even more rewards!

BONUS OFFER: Use promo code SMARTWALLET to unlock 10,000 points ($10!!) automatically when you earn your first 1,000 points.

12. Cashing Out on The Everyday Things You Do Online

Now that our screentime is up even more nowadays, capitalize on all that online time by earning points you can redeem towards gift cards, and even better, cash.

You can do it with Swagbucks, a free rewards program for the everyday things you do online.

Earn points by:

  • Watching entertaining videos
  • Shopping at your favorite retailers
  • Searching the web
  • Participating in surveys
  • Playing fun trivia games

Then you can redeem for a large variety of gift cards (Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks are popular) or my favorite, Paypal Cash and Visa Gift Cards. Cash out in as little as $3!

You’ll even get a $5 bonus when you earn 2,500 SB points within your first 60 days.

The best way to earn SB? Surveys. You can get up to 300 SB for each qualified one you participate in. While you obviously won’t get rich doing this, you can nab an extra $10-$20 a month on them.

Keeping your profile updated and doing the Daily To-Do List will also earn you extra SB. There are a lot of opportunities so you can cash out early and often!

13. An Innovative New Way to Improve Your Credit Scores Instantly - And it’s Free

Having a low credit score can impact a lot in your life, like the ability to rent an apartment, get a car, and even a cellphone plan.

That’s why it’s important to maintain positive credit card payment history and to keep credit utilization ratio in check (not using more than 30% of your credit line on any credit card).

Regardless of what your score is currently at though, everyone can use a boost to their 3 digit number, and Experian® wants to help.

A new feature called Experian Boost™* can help instantly improve your credit scores for free.

Experian does this by adding your positive payment history from utility and telecom bills to your Experian credit file. This is huge, because previously, your gas, water, electricity, TV, internet, and phone bills that you already pay for didn’t affect your credit. Now it does and to your benefit of potentially increasing your credit scores!

It’s simple to start, and all you need is a free Experian Boost membership and a few minutes to connect read-only permission to the online bank accounts you use to pay bills. Experian will check only utility and telecom payments and get you credit for the payments you’ve already been paying.

This process doesn’t hurt your credit at all and you can choose to remove the boost if you want.

Compared to expensive and drawn out credit repair services, this new alternative is the fastest and no-cost way to instantly improve your credit scores.

*Results may vary, see website for details.

14. No Drama, No Fuss - Save Thousands on Car Repairs

If you lease a car or you’re still under your dealership’s warranty, then this doesn’t really apply to you and you can move on.

But if you’re past your warranty and have an older car, then you know car repairs are pretty damn expensive. That’s why you can protect yourself with an extended car warranty if you plan on driving your car for a long time.

Save thousands of dollars with an extended warranty from Complete Car Warranty and you can start quickly with a free quote.

Just fill in your vehicle’s make, model, and mileage to get free quotes on extended warranties that cover unlimited repair claims. All dealerships and mechanics will accept them too!

So do your car and your wallet a favor and save up to 60% by getting an extended warranty. Consumer Advocates also ranked them as Top 10 for car warranties!

15. Affordable Car Insurance Exists - Here’s How You Could Save $610 This Year

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 about 4 minutes to fill out the form and you’ll see a list of matches that show potential 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!

16. Binge on Food, Entertainment, Health & Tech News TV for Money

I can barely cook but I love watching food videos. The new season of Ugly Delicious? I’m there.

If you’re a video junkie too, become an Inbox Dollars member where you can watch their TV and Videos section that ranges from Trending News, Entertainment, Food, Health, Tech, and even the latest World News to earn some cash. You’ll also get $5 as a sign-up bonus too!

They set it up in playlists though and they’ll tell you how long it takes as it can range from a few minutes to half an hour. Tip: You can set it to Play, open up another browser tab and let the videos run while you continue doing something else if you’re multi-tasking!

Playlists and earning potential can change, but it’s possible to earn up to $200 a month, watching videos!

17. When Life is Getting Crazier: Refinance Student Loans or Borrow Money Responsibly

We don’t even know what’s going to happen a week from now but anything that can help financially should be considered.

If you have student loans, you can refinance with Credible’s online marketplace that matches you with Federal, private, and/or Parent PLUS personalized loan rates. Since the Federal Reserve has slashed interest rates, it’s the opportune time to refinance which can save you more money over time.

Colleen refinanced, which cut her federal rate down to 4.5% (originally 8%) and that saved her $12,000 over the life of her loan! During these uncertain times, we need to save wherever we can.

Personal loans are also on the marketplace if you need to borrow money to help with medical expenses, home projects, or anything else.

You just fill out one form and get personalized rates in a few minutes. Since it’s a soft credit inquiry, your credit score won’t be affected by using Credible.

18. Keep Calm and Invest - Starting with Just $1

Cait Brice - The Smart Wallet | *photo for illustrative purposes only

Yes, the COVID-19 news that’s bombarding your feed can be scary. In addition to the Fed cutting interest rates and events getting banned, you might not even think about investing.

But it’s actually the time to start if you haven’t already. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you can easily start with Stash, an investment app that only takes $1* to start and you’ll also get a $5 bonus* after funding your first investment.

Investing is for the long-term and in the app, you can choose where to put your money in.

Consider certain industries whenever there’s political, economic, or financial unrest. Stash offers investments in precious metals, pharmaceutical companies, major retailers, utility companies, as well as media, entertainment, and communication companies since more people will be staying home now. So keep calm, and invest!

19. Earn Money Renting Out or Lending Your RV To Those in Need

RVs 4 MDs

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.

Now with quarantine in place, there are additional ways you can handle the sleeping beast if you’re not using it.

With RVshare you can earn money by renting out your RV to those who need a separate place to stay. 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. They’ve become popular with essential workers who need to isolate themselves to protect their families but can still be nearby.

The marketplace is completely free to use, so you don’t have to worry about fees 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.

So take that dormant RV and start earning some money as every bit helps. If you want, you can also list your RV as a relief unit if you want to lend it out with no charge as featured on the popular TODAY Show.

20. Earn $20 Per Hour to Start Teaching English To Kids Online Working From Home

If you’ve been considering a side gig to supplement your primary income or love the idea of working from home, consider teaching English online to kids ages 6-10!

EF Online (Education First) is a teaching platform helping to connect students in China and native English speakers for over 20 years now. It’s a flexible schedule where you can work from home, earn up to $20/hr to start, and all lesson materials are provided.

Here are the requirements:

  • Must be a native English speaker living in the U.S.A or UK
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • By the start of your teacher’s contract term, you must earn and submit documentation of a 40 Hour TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification (or higher)
  • Agree to an online background check (no cost to you)
  • Be available to work during set hours
  • Have a solid wifi connection and headset
  • And lastly, be passionate!

Classes are 25 minutes each and they encourage repeat classes, so you might be teaching the same students regularly. In addition, their parents can book you up to 6 months in advance leading to a more stable income.

If you enjoy interacting with kids, this is definitely a rewarding and flexible gig from home!


*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.

*OppLoans APR ranges from 59%-199% depending on the state.

* Varo Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of March 31, 2020. This rate is variable and may change. No minimum balance required to open account. Balance in Savings must be at least $0.01 to earn interest.

**0.09% national average APY: FDIC https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/#one

^Early access to direct deposit funds depends on timing of payer’s submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.

*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.

*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

The Smart Wallet is a paid solicitor of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian. For current fee schedule, please see the Stash Wrap Fee Brochure. Other fees apply to the debit account. Please see Deposit Account Agreement for details.

*Promotions are subject to Terms and Conditions.


Some of the sponsored links that appear on this page are from companies that offer investment advisory services. They compensate us; for details on our compensation arrangements, please click here.