15 Things for People Who Pay Over $800 in 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.

You feel it every month.

When that chunk of rent payment leaves your bank account and into someone else’s. It’s the price to pay for having your own living space and basically, a non-negotiable.

Because no matter what, you gotta keep adulting when you don’t want to move back in with family. Seriously.

So keep making those rent payments and we’re making it a little bit easier by suggesting some things you can do to earn some side cash as well as manage your money more efficiently. Even better when you can get paid for doing stuff you already do!

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. 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.

3. Budgeting Made Easy With This App, Even if You Don’t Know How

First things first, if you have trouble budgeting, you’re not alone as most people actually don’t know how to. When you understand how much money comes in and how much goes out, it’ll all start making sense.

Truebill easily helps you budget, even if you’re clueless. 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).

Truebill’s five-star reviews come from people formerly bad at budgeting. Nicole M. said Truebill “tracks spending and makes you accountable for every place your dollar is going. Shows you how a ‘few bucks’ here and there can really add up over time. It also gives you clues on how to save based on your spending. It’s like having a personal accountant tracking my money.”

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. Another user, Krystyna D. said, “This app is a lifesaver for budgeting. It lists your transactions in a minimalist and customizable way, has a spending graph that compares your current spending based on last month, and has a really great budgeting feature. I’ve been using the app for just about 7 months and they’ve done nothing but make a really great improvement to the service. I’ve tried some of the other services and they’re all cluttered and give you too much info without making what you want to see accessible.”

It’s simple but actionable budgeting that anyone can follow and it’s free to use! Join the many users today and control your spending with Truebill!

4. 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.

5. 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.

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. Never Pay an Overdraft Fee Again - Here’s How

Overdraft fees. Sometimes your bank account is low and you forget about your upcoming Netflix auto-payment. Next thing you know, you’re in the negatives and the bank is emailing you that you’ve been charged a hefty fee.

There are also monthly maintenance fees ($10-$12 per month) and out of network ATM fees ($2.75 per transaction), both of which can add up over time. With those fees and overdraft fees of $35, you could be spending up to $329 a year(*) on hidden fees alone! Skip all the bank fees and download Chime, an online bank account with absolutely no hidden fees (yes, seriously).

With no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement, and no foreign transaction fees Chime makes it easy to switch over. It’s also FDIC insured up to $250,000 and allows members to get direct deposit paychecks up to two days earlier than their coworkers. Chime processes your employer’s deposit immediately, giving you access quicker than traditional banks.

No hidden fees and potentially earlier payday. Chime is free to use, so why not give it a shot for a while and see how you like it?

9. 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

10. 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!

11. 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!

12. 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!

13. 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!

14. Make 1.61% Interest On Your Money with Fee-Free Banking

Traditional banks may2 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 banking services without the hidden fees.

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 1.61% 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 earlier^
  • 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
  • “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.

15. 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!


*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.

*SpotMe limits start at $20 and can be increased to $100 or more based on factors like Chime account activity or history

*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.

*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

1 – 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.

^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.

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.