21 Satisfying Ways to Get Paid For Your Good Habits

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.

Every year brings a desire to “be better” or to develop more favorable habits. It’s inevitable because we’re only human.

But what if you already practice some good habits? First of all, you rock.

Secondly, people, in general, tend to be too hard on themselves. So you might already have positive habits that you’re not recognizing. We’ll help with that!

There’s a feeling of satisfaction when you know you’re doing something good for yourself or for others that can change your mental and physical state. So we rounded up ways where you can continue to feel awesome about your good habits and get paid for them too.

1. You’re Trying to Take Steps to Be a Healthier Version of You

Dejan K.

Just the mindset of wanting to become healthier is a great habit to start.

And if you need some more motivation there’s a health and wellness company that will pay you to lose weight. Seriously!

It’s called HealthyWage and we interviewed some successful people that participated who won money after hitting their weight-loss goals. One participant, Debby Michaels, won almost $4,000 after losing 80 pounds.

So if you need some motivation to lose weight and become healthier, here’s how it works:

1. Check out our full HealthyWage review and sign up
2. Decide on a weight goal & amount of time to achieve it
3. Bet on yourself ranging from $20-$500 a month
4. You could win up to $10,000 depending on your HealthyWager!

2. You’re Pretty Chill – How About Lock Screen Ads in Exchange for Gift Cards?

Unlocking S'More in Bed

The average person unlocks their phone 110 times per day – that’s a lot of time spent looking at a screen for free. And since it doesn’t really matter to you what picture is on your lock screen, you’ll get gift cards in exchange. Win-win.

With S’more (Android only) you get paid every day you unlock your phone. 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!

They partner up with brands looking for more impressions (aka your eyeballs) and you don’t need to click on anything to get paid either.

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

  • Amazon.com
  • AMC Theaters
  • Best Buy
  • CVS
  • Target
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Starbucks and more!

Just use your phone normally, and your earnings will apply daily. Pretty much the easiest thing to do.

3. You Already Have Savings But Could Use a Little More Help

If you’re part of the 80% of Americans that have some sort of savings but could use a little more help, you’re definitely not alone. The key to saving is automation.

You won’t even notice it but Digit will make it happen.

Just link a checking account and their smart algorithm will determine small but safe amounts to withdraw into your separate FDIC-Insured Digit savings account.

Regular savers will get a 1% bonus every three months, netting you some free money!

It’s the perfect set-it-and-forget-it app where the AI will watch your savings back.

You can withdraw your money at any time you need and it’s free to use for the first 30 days. After, it’s just $5 a month.

Average savings in a month (varies): $144 or more
What it could add up to in a year: $1,728 or more
Quarterly bonus: 1% on your total savings amount
Additional Referral Earnings: $5 per referral

4. You Try to Keep Up With the News – Even When You Don’t Have Time

You know staying on top of current events is vital but really, you don’t have time to read every single news story.

This is where short news clips can be useful. And yes, you can earn money just by brushing up on the news!

When you become an Inbox Dollars member 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 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 on audio 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!

5. You Try to Spend Your Time More Productively 

They say that 84% of people forget they have a recurring subscription still charging them. In this case, auto-pay isn’t so great but don’t spend time going through them one by one.

Here’s a more productive way:

When you download Truebill (iOS or Android), the money management app will display all your current subscriptions (in 2 minutes or less) so you can see it all in one place. Then you can decide which to cancel, and the app will do it for you! Even that pesky gym membership that’s typically so hard to get out of.

With the app, I realized I still had a very niche streaming service that I haven’t touched in about 7 months. (Thanks, free trial subscription…) I immediately canceled it through Truebill and saved $70 from that sub.

Other things that Truebill (iOS or Android) can help out on? Their team of experts can help lower your monthly bills by negotiating down rates and even getting you back credit on internet or cable outages.

6. Find Out Why 1 Million People Start Their Day With This so You Can Too

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.

7. You’re Naturally an Optimistic Person (Perhaps Lucky At Times)

You’re more of a half-glass-full kind of person, and we dig that.

How about transferring some of that optimism to scratchers? And no, not the kind you pay for at the convenience store.

Instead, play digital scratchers for free on Lucktastic (Android).

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 (Android) keeps things free by showing a few ads here and there. It’s so easy, just turn it on the next time you’re binge-watching on Netflix and multi-task!

8. You’re Usually On the Go and Staying Somewhat Active

You’re rarely at home, and that’s ok. Do your thing at work, school, hanging out with friends or exploring new areas. Wherever you are, you’ll easily get compensated for just being you.

Panel App (iOS or Android) is a loyalty incentive app that will give you points just by leaving the app running in the background.

Because it gives you points on location, go ahead and enable location services. Then just turn the app on before you go about your day and head to your normal spots.

After testing it we think it’s a great (lazy) app that rewards you for doing almost nothing. If you’re still skeptical, know this:

  • You don’t have to complete offers
  • You don’t have to watch ads
  • You don’t have to buy anything
  • You don’t have to do anything but leave the app running

We snagged a $5 Amazon gift card via email after a few weeks of just leaving the app on and forgetting about it. You can also choose VISA gift cards, MasterCard gift cards or sweepstakes entries.

Overall, a solid choice for earning a bit of spending money for literally just leaving the app running on your phone!

9. Up To 40% Cash Back Automatically? Sign Us Up!

Saving money and getting cash back on purchases always sounds like a great idea – until you completely forget to take the steps to get the savings. There are SO many ways to save money while shopping, who can remember if it’s not automatic?

Ebates (iOS or Android) can help you get cash back on everyday shopping as well as apparel, beauty, and more, automatically. With Ebates, you don’t even have to upload your receipts after your purchases. They’ll send you simple push notifications when your favorite stores increase their cash back deals or have a good sale.

Offering simple one-tap savings with no points or fees helps ensure that you get the most out of your purchases. So, before buying anything, hop into the app (iOS or Android)  to see if you can get up to 40% cash back at over 2,500 stores.

They also have an amazing referral program where you can earn $25 for each eligible friend. New members get a $10 bonus too!

10. You Want to Save on Groceries Whenever You Can 

Joshua Rawson-Harris

This year is the year that you’re going to cook at home more. You’re pumped to eat healthier and save more money on food. You can do it!

And with more trips to the grocery store, make sure you’re not missing out on free money.

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

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

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

On average, active Ibotta users get back up $240 a year. What would you do with that extra money?

11. You Like Keeping Your Mind Active by Playing Games

You know there’s more to life than incessantly scrolling through social media. And there is growing evidence that playing games have positive effects on the brain for people of all ages and could even help slow the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s!

So go ahead and download Long Game Savings (iOS or Android) a savings app that turns saving into a game.

Just play 1 game a day, and you could win cash daily.

Yes, it’s safe. Your money is FDIC-insured up to $250,000 and you can withdraw money at any time.

After setting up your savings account, you’ll be able to play quick games like Spin to Win, Flip Cards, Slot Machines, and more for chances to win money to increase your savings. Eons better than 0.01% interest rate.

It’s like you’re getting paid to save and it only takes less than a minute of your day to play. And there’s no judgment on playing too many games this new year.

12. You Want to Make Your Money Work For You

Hannah Nelson

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 1.92% 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 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.

13. You Want to Do Something About the Gender Pay Gap (Free $25 to Invest in Women)

You already know that women make less than men.

20% less actually*

So while women are almost half the workforce, earn more college and graduate degrees than men, there is still a gender pay gap to this day.

Also? Women’s salaries tend to peak earlier than men and their earnings drop significantly after having a child.* Men don’t.

That’s why it’s even more important to save for retirement, especially if you’re female. With females living at least 5 years longer than men*, we have a very unique set of obstacles to overcome with our financials and to make sure we have enough money when we most need it.

That’s why Ellevest exists. It’s an investment service created by and designed for women.

Men are welcome to join as well but it’s the first company to take on the gender pay gap, different lifetime earnings, and longevity into account when constructing a portfolio.

It’s great for women that are just beginning to invest, want a more hands-off approach or those interested in goal-based investing (like Home, Retirement, Emergency Fund etc).

So while fewer women tend to invest vs men, studies show that when they do, they outperform men because they don’t overtrade, don’t panic in down markets, or pay too much in fees.*

When you start with Ellevest, you’ll choose some goals and then rank them in importance. You’ll then fill in some details on your current financial standings and then their system will analyze what you’ll need to achieve your goals. All the while, taking into account your current savings contributions, inflations, salary growth projects and other variables unique to females.

With a $0 minimum and low fees, you could be taking control of your retirement in a few minutes when you set up a customized investment plan. Review first then commit later. Your future mature you will be thanking you.

Bonus: For a limited time, The Smart Wallet readers get a $25 promo towards their first funded goal with no minimum balance!

We’re excited to be working with Ellevest to start this conversation about women and money. We will receive compensation if you become an Ellevest client.*

14. You Try to Help the Environment as Much as Possible

Vlad Bagacian

You know the planet is slowly dying but you’re doing your part to help save it. Less plastic use, recycle, reusable containers whenever possible, etc.

But here’s global warming in a nutshell: Since the world demand for energy is growing so fast, we’re meeting most of it by using oil, coal, and gas (which comes from digging up dead animals and plants hence the term “fossil fuel”). Burning fossil fuels contribute heavily to global warming and pollution.

Over 80% of the world’s energy comes from these 3 major fossil fuels and also generates two-thirds of all climate pollution.*

That’s why energy from clean, renewable sources (like the sun, wind, waves) will help the future of the world and save the planet. Plus, these sources won’t run out!

So you can invest your hard earned money in things you care about, including making sure Earth doesn’t die due to human infestation, and you can do it with $5.

Stash makes it happen. It’s a micro-investing app that lets you invest for as little as $5 and it takes less than 2 minutes to get started. We’ll even give you $5 to get started.

They curate from over 150 investments which include stocks and Exchange Traded Funds and you’ll get to choose an investment blend that meets your goals and interests.

Take the $5 that we’re giving you and start investing with Stash.*

15. You’re Open to Trying New Things. Especially Games.

Who would’ve thought you can play games to make some money?

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

In the app, all available free games are listed so just take your pick to try! The more time spent on each game, the more money you can earn.

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

BONUS: You’ll automatically get 200 welcome points upon sign up but use promo code Bonus_100 to get an additional 100 points for a total of 300 total points!

16. You Can Multi-Task. Tackle Debt While Saving At the Same Time

Adobe Images

If you don’t want to go into your next decade of life with debt looming over you, consider a debt consolidation. In the long run, you’ll save money from not having to continuously pay high-interest.

Debt consolidation just means you’re borrowing money at a low-interest rate and using that money to pay off the outstanding balances from your high-interest credit cards.

If it sounds foreign to you, don’t stress. You can keep your research simple and annoyance-free with Fiona, which is basically a marketplace of consolidation and refinancing options.

It’s free to use and takes only three easy steps to sign up.

Fiona will search all the top online lenders to get you the best personal loan anywhere between $1,000 and $100,0000. And loan lengths can last 24-48 months depending on the lender.

Not only will they help with debt consolidation, but they can also help with any big moment in your life that you may need a personal loan for like Home Improvement, Wedding, Medical bills and more.

17. You Try to Walk Whenever Possible and Keep Track of Health Data


You may already have a Fitbit and get a kick out of making your steps count each day. (I like competing with my friends on the leaderboard.)

Or you consult your health data on your phone to see how you’re doing. Regardless, you like to walk whenever you can.

Now you can get paid to keep track of your steps with Achievement.

They’ll pay you via PayPal or direct deposit just for doing healthy things like tracking steps, your sleep, meals, and more!

18. Avoid Getting Dinged by Hidden Bank Fees

Hidden fees can really eat up your money.

For instance, traditional banks can charge monthly maintenance fees ($10-$12 a month), out-of-network ATM fees ($2.75 per transaction), and overdraft fees ($35 per).  That’s $329 a year* just on hidden fees alone! Ridiculous.

Avoid silly and frustrating fees by using Chime, a mobile banking app with no hidden fees whatsoever.

No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement, no overdraft fees, and no foreign transaction fees. It’s also FDIC-insured up to $250,000

Even better? Chime processes your employer’s check immediately so that you could get paid up to 2 days earlier.

It’s banking like it should be. So take a few minutes to get set up with Chime and say goodbye to annoying fees, and hello to a better bank!

19. You Try to Be a Great Host Whenever Guests Are Over

Daria Shevtsova

Chances are, you’ve heard of Airbnb or have used the service at least once before.

But if you need a refresher, Airbnb is an online marketplace that lets people list their space for short-term rentals.

It makes a great option for travelers to live locally, save from hotel prices, and feel more culturally connected. For hosts (potentially you), it’s supplemental income and the opportunity to meet people from around the world.

So if you naturally like to play host, that spare room in your apartment or home could be paying for your next trip overseas and even monthly rent/expenses!

How much can you make? To see if it’s worth it, you can see a free income estimate via Airbnb’s calculator. It just needs your city, type of space, and the number of guests it can accommodate to provide your monthly earning potential.

Is it ok with your city? Check with your city’s website regarding short-term rental laws. In addition, with your neighborhood association and landlord, if you’re a renter.

Hosting isn’t for everybody but Airbnb is a great opportunity to try it out. If it doesn’t work for you, feel free to stop anytime. If it does work for you, then you’ve just got an extra stream of income!

20. Cashing Out on The Everyday Things You Do Online

How much time do you think you spend online? Most likely more than you think.

The average American spends 24 hours online a week(*), but for me, I know I definitely surpass this since I have to be online for work. Along with post-office hours shopping, browsing, reading, it’s rare that I’m not online.

If it’s the same for you, 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 (iOS or Android), 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 (iOS or Android) when you earn 2,500 SB points within your first 30 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!

21. The App That Helps (Broke) Millennials Invest Easily

Investing sounds complicated but it doesn’t have to be.

And you don’t have to be rich either to play the investment game.

That’s why Acorns is a popular choice amongst millennials and anyone new to investing since they make it so easy.

For every purchase you make, Acorns automatically rounds it up to the nearest dollar and then saves & invests the difference into your Acorns account.

So, for instance, if you bought lunch for $10.50, Acorns will round it up and deposit $0.50 to the app’s savings account. Pretty simple, right? It can do this for every purchase.

Just connect Acorns to your credit/debit card and it’ll save automatically or you can manually choose which transactions to round up if you prefer.

Since roundups are less than $1 and basically spare change, you’ll barely notice the impact initially but over time it’ll grow to make a big difference. Acorns will continue to round up and save for you, while at the same time, investing those savings so that your portfolio can grow.

The very minor catch? It only costs $1 a month for accounts that have under $5,000. It’s way cheaper than an investment advisor.

*80% world’s energy statistic source: EDF (Environmental Defense Fund)

*Fluent is a paid Affiliate/ partner 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.

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