15 Ways to Save Money This Month Even on Minimum Wage

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.

It may seem a little hopeless to save when you’re barely squeezing by on minimum wage income.

Since the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, that’s only $15,080 annually before taxes (!) but at least 22 states have raised their minimum wage rules earlier this year.

It’ll definitely take time to save, but it’s not hopeless. You can do it, and we can help.

Here are some ways to get you started:

1. 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!

2. Free Gift Cards Just for Going Grocery Shopping? Yes, please.

Go on your normal grocery shopping trips. Scan your receipt after. Get points towards gift cards.

No extra fuss. No digital coupons to pre-select or specific stores to go to.

It’s perfect for the lazy but smart saver.

And it’s called Fetch Rewards, an app where you can scan ANY grocery receipt to get rewards.

Scan receipts from supermarkets, neighborhood corner shops, wholesale clubs, drugstores, convenience stores, and even liquor stores. Unlike other apps, you’re not restricted to specific stores. As long as your receipt has any of the thousands of participating products, you’ll earn points to redeem for gift cards.

You can start redeeming points for rewards with as little as 3,000 points ($3). Grab a 2,000 points bonus ($2!) when you enter this referral code: REWARD before you scan 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. Most People Forget They Have a Recurring Subscription. Are You Losing Money Too? (Save up to $720/Yr)

They say that 84% of people forget they have a recurring subscription still charging them. In this case, auto-pay isn’t so great.

When you download Truebill, 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 can help out on? Their team of experts can help lower your monthly bills by negotiating down rates and even getting you back refunds on internet or cable outages.

4. Student Loan Debt Affects 44.5 Million Americans - So What’s Next?

Christine Hume

The numbers don’t lie. 3 out of 4 millennials are in debt* and around 44.5 million** Americans are drowning in student loans.

While it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone, it’s what comes next that will set you apart.

The process of paying it down.

But if the thought of all those payments stresses you out, an option to consider is student loan refinancing with LendingTree, an easy-to-use loan marketplace.

Refinancing just means you’re combining your federal student and private loans that have multiple interest rates into 1 new loan from a private lender. This new loan makes it easier to manage with one monthly payment and one interest rate.

With LendingTree, your new interest rate is based off your credit score, so the higher your score, the better rate you can get, bringing down your monthly payments.

You can easily start browsing through refinancing options and click Apply Now to learn more about each lender.

If you have a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD, you’re eligible to refinance. Don’t get swamped in student loan debt anymore and view your options!

5. Automate Your Current Savings and Save an Average $1,720 a Year

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

6. Get Paid to Try New Games. Every Gamer’s Dream.

Adobe

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

All you need is Mistplay, a game platform where you can try new games to earn points redeemable for gift cards like Amazon, VISA, PlayStation Network, XBOX Live, 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!

7. Don’t Get Gouged at 29% APR on Your Credit Card. You Could Get a Low 3.84% APR Instead

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 with Fiona, the fastest, easiest, most comprehensive way to search for loans from the top providers.

It’s free to use and the application takes less than 60 seconds to complete. Fiona will search all the top online lenders to get you the best personal loan anywhere between $1,000 and $100,0000. You’ll find rates as low as 3.84% APR and loan terms from 24-84 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.

8. The Card That Only Gives You Cash Back and No Credit Card Debt

Cash back credit cards can be pretty awesome.

You can fill up your tank, eat out, get your groceries, and buy almost anything to get cash back. This is essentially free money as long as you’re responsible and pay the full balance off each month.

However, not everyone can qualify for a sweet cash back credit card if their credit history isn’t stellar so we found another option instead.

It’s called the Aspiration Spend & Save Account, a cash management account offered through Aspiration Financial LLC that includes a debit card that gets you 0.5% cash back on everything.

Basically, it turns your debit card into a cash back card!

The account also lets you pay bills, save, and earn interest too. Here’s the rundown:

  • Get 0.25% cash back on all purchases and 0.5 % on socially-conscious businesses
  • Pays up to 2.00% APY on your savings
  • Your debit card gives free access to every ATM in the world!
  • Zero fees (yes fee-free!)

*All extra services provided at cost.

You can get all that with just a $10 minimum deposit when you switch over to an Aspiration Spend & Save Account.

Since there are no monthly fees, all of their accounts are on a “pay what is fair” model so you can “tip” them up to $20 or as little as $0 a month. Aspiration also commits to donating 10% of earnings to charity!

The account is also perfect for those looking to earn more high-yielding interest on their deposits since you’ll get up to 2.00% APY on the entire balance.

It’s extremely simple to set up, and the mobile app lets you access your account anywhere, along with depositing checks from your phone. Take less than 5 minutes to sign up and start getting your cash back debit card!

9. Just Save Your Emails to Get Money Back (Avg Savings $240/Year)

If you never delete emails like me (unless it’s spam) and shop online, then you’ll always have a chance at getting some money back.

A free tool called Paribus gets you money back on select online purchases even after you’ve bought them.

Price changes happen all the time after checkout. And now you can get a refund of the price difference back at online stores that Paribus monitors! (For example, Target, Kohl’s, GAP, Best Buy, Walmart and more.)

They do this by checking your inbox for email receipts. (Don’t worry, they don’t open any other email and their tech logic only identifies emails that are receipts.) Once they’ve found a receipt that has at least a $3 price drop, they’ll alert you then contact the retailer on your behalf to get the money or tell you how to get the refund back.

Also? If your guaranteed shipment is late from Amazon Prime or Walmart, they’ll help you get compensated! Perfect for the upcoming holiday season when gifts in hand are important.

Your savings mileage will vary but Paribus is 100% free to use and all the savings are yours to keep. Your pair of shoes dropped $7? You get $7 back.

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

It’s okay to relax with some mindless games. We just take it one step further by making it productive.

Go ahead and download Long Game Savings 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.

11. Save an Extra $840 This Year to Put Towards Debt

Valerii Honcharuk

Your mountain of debt may seem daunting and unscalable, but the first step is to just chip away at it. Consistently, as well as automating it.

Qoins can help you pay off your debt with just pocket change. (Interesting spelling but it’s an easy pronunciation of “coins” in case you’re wondering!)

Get started on your debt payoff journey:

  1. Connect your account(s) with Qoins (all data is encrypted)
  2. Let them know who to pay (they’ll send payments for you)
  3. Round Up: All purchases will be rounded up to the nearest dollar and excess change moved into your Qoins account to pay off your debt
  4. Smart Savings: Set your Smart Savings level for their algorithm to auto-save for you at a pace you’re comfortable with

Once a month, Qoins will use your auto-savings to send an additional payment on your behalf. On average, members save an extra $70 each month to pay down debt!

You literally set it and forget it. After spending five minutes setting up your Qoins account, the rest is automated.

Qoins is free to try for the first month and then it just costs $1.99 per month after as it’s an invaluable tool to help you pay off debt quicker. If you have a high-interest loan, it can save you serious money over time.

12. 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! 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 restaurants, online shopping sites, and even at the bar. 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

13. Never Pay Overdraft or Hidden Fees Again*

Common bank fees.

You’re aware of them, you try to avoid them, but you still get hit from time to time.

The worst are overdraft fees (especially when they come in bunches at around $33 per bounce).

Good news is that it can be completely avoidable by setting up No-Fee Overdraft with Varo.

There are no monthly account service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and fee-free withdrawals at 55,000+ Allpoint® ATMs worldwide. Also, Varo lets you overdraft up to $50 without charging any overdraft fees! You can conveniently use the Varo Visa® debit card anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted — and the Zero Liability‡ guarantees you won’t be responsible for any unauthorized charges made.

When you open your Varo bank account, you can open a high yield savings account too. Start earning 1.92% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)* on your savings and then move up to 2.80% APY* based on qualifying activity. To put this in perspective, the national average APY is only 0.09%!***

In addition, get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with direct deposit.^

This is the new way to bank and it takes less than 5 minutes to learn more and apply for free.


*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.

*Millennial Debt Statistics Source:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/poll-majority-millennials-are-debt-hitting-pause-major-life-events-n862376

**44.5 Million Americans Statistics Source:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/data-center/student/portfolio

[2% APY] The Annual Percentage Rate (“APY”) associated with the Aspiration Summit Account is fixed and accurate as of 2/20/19. Rates may be changed from time to time without notice.

[Zero ATM fees] All ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Aspiration Summit Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using an Aspiration Debit Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Mastercard®, Interlink®, Cirrus®, or Maestro® logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.

[Earn up to 200x] *Based on a comparison of Aspiration’s 2.00% APY interest rate to the following checking account interest rates reported by Bankrate for 2019:

[Zero fees] Aspiration is committing to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that we’ll only charge you what it costs us to provide the extra service (such as a wire transfer), and not a penny more. Besides these at-cost service charges, the only account fee you pay is the fee you choose, even if it’s $0, which is why we call it Pay What Is Fair.

*Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.

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

*Varo Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of December 1, 2019. 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.

**Average ATM fee source: Bankrate

***0.09% national average APY: FDIC for the week of Feb 11, 2019 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.