13 Ways to Rack Up $1,500 Before Halloween

A roll of $5 bills wrapped in red rubberband highlighting Abraham Lincoln's eye
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.

An extra $1,500 would really help out a lot right? After bills and rent, it just doesn’t seem like our accounts are left with much each month.

So before your numbers get even more in the red, check out some options below to help make it easier on yourself. Save and make enough to get the essentials taken care of so that you might have some leftover for the fun stuff, just in time for Halloween!

1. Get $5* to Invest in Amazon, Apple, 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 Apple, Facebook, Spotify, 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.*

2. 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.

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. 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. 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 $5,000 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!+

5. Free Money Back for Your Store and Restaurant Receipts (Even E-Receipts!)

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.

Shop at any store (grocery, beauty, drugstore, convenience, anything!), take a picture with the app, and that’s it. Favorites include Target, Kroger, and Walmart! This includes your physical receipts and your email receipts.

You can even upload all your restaurant receipts too (+ drive-thru receipts!)

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from any store and boom, points that you can redeem for free rewards including gift cards.

Grab a $2 welcome bonus on us (2,000 points) when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

6. Get Extra Cash Back on Grocery Pickup & Delivery Plus More

Who wouldn’t want cash back?

Use Ibotta, an app that pays you real money on your everyday purchases, from groceries (both online and in-store), essentials, personal care items, to meal delivery to online shopping.

It’s simple:

  1. Just check Ibotta first to find offers, and when you purchase your items, scan the receipt to get cash back. Popular stores and services include Target, Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, Uber Eats, and more.
  2. NEW: Online grocery purchase for pickup & delivery – Just open Ibotta, and see a list of supported grocery retailers and delivery services including Walmart Grocery, Instacart, Shipt, and more. Link accounts & get cash back on eligible products within 24 hours after your order is picked up or delivered!
  3. Online shopping – purchase from 100+ online retailers that include Sephora, Under Armour, Gap, and more to get money back.

Ibotta has also teamed up with 50 leading brand partners like Flipz®, Macy’s, TOMS, Jell-O, and more to be committed to giving $10 million in extra cash back for the new school year. This means you get more cash back than normal!

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up so use it before buying anything!

7. Banking That Has Your Back - Easily Autosave & Never Pay Overdraft Fees Again

The best way to save money, if you didn’t know already, is to just automate it. Out of sight, out of mind, but works in your favor when you see your money grow.

Do it easily with Chime, an award-winning mobile app that’s got your back when it comes to banking. It helps you save money every time you make a purchase or pay a bill with the Chime Visa® Debit Card by moving your spare change from your transactions into savings. You can also set up automatic transfers from your paycheck too. Save at 1.00% APY!

Combined with no hidden fees, the ability to get paid up to 2 days earlier1, and the fact that you don’t need to worry about any overdraft fees because Chime will spot you up to $1002 when you need it, makes this a stellar online banking option.

It’s also free to use so give it a shot to see how it can improve your banking life!

8. Improve Your FICO® Score Instantly With Streaming Services Payment History - 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 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. Even better is your on-time payment history to streaming services also counts now!

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, telecom, and streaming services payments to 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. Try out the fastest and no-cost way to instantly improve your credit scores!

*Results may vary, see website for details.

9. Make 1.21% 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 1.21% 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.

10. Renters: Protect Your Important Stuff for the Price of a Latte a Month

Imagine if your laptop, phone, camera, jewelry, etc. got destroyed in a kitchen fire or stolen from a break-in. What about water backup damage or natural disasters?

Now imagine all the money it would take to replace everything. Ouch, right?

But if you had renters insurance, then your policy would’ve helped cover those costs. Coverage includes household items, furniture, electronics, jewelry, and clothing. Even if your landlord has property insurance, it doesn’t cover your belongings.

Affordable renters insurance starts at just $5 a month and you can easily get a custom price from Toggle, a Farmers Insurance® company. For the price of a latte a month, you can get some peace of mind for your important stuff.

Even if you’re away from home, and your laptop gets stolen on the train, that item is covered up to your policy limits. Your belongings can be covered both inside and outside the home!

Toggle serves the following 25 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

11. Find Out Why 1 Million People Start Their Day With This

While in college and preparing for the business world, Alex Lieberman and Austin Rief realized their classmates all felt the same way: traditional business news was dry, dense, and boring. Their fellow millennials wanted to keep up with what was happening but didn’t have a news source that spoke to them.

That’s why they started Morning Brew – the free daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Written in a conversational tone and sprinkled with punchy humor, it makes reading the news actually enjoyable.

From Elon Musk’s latest move to the stock market’s highs and lows, Morning Brew covers the top news shaping the business world. With a touch of culture and lifestyle stories, you’ll get up-to-speed on what you need to know in just five minutes.

Find out why over 1 million people start their day with Morning Brew — sign up for free here.

12. 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.

13. Empower Yourself Financially, Especially for Women

Whether you think about it or not, there are important realities in a women’s life.

Gender pay gaps where women make less than men, career breaks where women’s earnings drop significantly after having a child,(*) and longer than average lifespan meaning women need more money to live.

That’s why it’s vital to save for retirement and invest, especially if you’re female and why
Ellevest exists, an investment service and money membership created by and designed for women.

Men and those that identify as non-binary are welcome to join as well but it’s the first company to take on women’s unique set of obstacles when constructing an investment portfolio.

With affordable flat monthly fees starting at $1 and maxing at $9, you can be sure that your financial health is taken care of with personalized retirement planning (Plus and Executive memberships), investments with no asset management fees outside of your membership fee, and discounted sessions with career coaches and financial planners. Membership also includes an Ellevest debit card,* which gives you the option to round up spare change to help you save further** as well as unlimited ATM fee refunds.***

With the current world events, it’s even more important to make sure that your “future you” will be comfortable, so take advantage of the first free month and see how it can help you.

BONUS: Get Up to 80% Off Anything In The Hottest Shopping App of 2020

When you think of auction sites, eBay might come to mind. But instead of waiting 7-10 days for an auction to end, how about just 60-90 seconds? Almost instant gratification.

That’s Klever, a highly interactive, fun, and I admit, addictive shopping app where you can bid on shopping auctions that are up to 80% off. It’s free to download and use!

You can find these categories every day: Fashion & Beauty, Electronics, Home & Hobby, Trendy, Kitchen, Pet, and more.

Most are auction-style and start at $1 bidding. It’s free to bid and you only pay when you win. Just tap to bid, and you’ll see in real-time if you’re winning or not. If no one outbids you within the extremely short time-frame, you win! (Or you can just bid again)

Other bonuses are “Buy Now” options where you can skip the auction, a 30-day return policy, and free shipping on items.

In addition to getting massive discounts, your activity in the app can also earn you Klever Cash, which is basically free money! More ways to earn include just logging in, bidding, winning auctions, referring friends, and more so download now.


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