20 Secret (But Not Sketchy) Ways to Make Money

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.

Don’t worry, no feet pics or OnlyFans suggested. Because, no thanks.

Instead, let’s go over some fun and unknown ways to make some side cash that you may not have heard of. We’re all about trying new apps and services here, so we’ve picked some of our favorites below.

It’s a good mix of practical, fun, and legit ways but by no means would take the place of a full-time job. Yep, you still need one of those. So if you have some extra time, and want to break the stay-at-home funk, here are some ways to make money online. 

1. A Legit Way to Earn $750 This Week

You can get $750 direct deposited into your Cash App account and all you have to do is try out some deals. The catch? You can only do this once a year!

Seriously, anyone 18+ can participate in Flash Rewards, a rewards program that’s been around since 2016 and has rewarded $12 million to members over time.

So how do you get the money? Answer: You just have to follow the instructions carefully!

Flash Rewards work by showing you “deals” they think you would like. This includes mobile apps and games, subscriptions, financial services, etc. Each type of deal you choose has its mini task to complete.

  1. Head over to Flash Rewards and fill out basic info (Email, Name, etc.)
  2. Take a quick Survey (it helps figure out the optional offers & required deals to recommend)
  3. Complete deals by shopping Flash Rewards’ great brand name partners.
  4. Important: Follow the instructions on completing the specific number of deals for each level and get to Level 5 to get the maximum reward! (there are plenty of deals to try – some are free trials or app downloads, others require a purchase!)
  5. Claim the reward and get it in about a week!

You won’t get your reward if you don’t complete the required amount of deals and some paid participation is required. Sure, it takes a little more effort, but it’s legit. Get your $750!

2. Get $10 to Invest in the Legal Cannabis Industry and Crypto. No Experience Necessary.

6 million customers already use Stash, an investment app, lets you start investing with as little as $1 and you can choose where to put your money, and they’ll provide guidance and tools to help. You can invest in some of the major companies that you regularly use to make a custom Personal Portfolio.

You can even invest in the legal cannabis industry which is big business as retail sales are projected to hit $70 BILLION by the end of 2028.* 

Plus, with Stash Growth and Stash+, you can also choose the Smart Portfolio option which offers hands-off stress-free investing based on your risk tolerance. You also get exposure to cryptocurrency through handpicked trusts managed by Grayscale. Stash’s customers can invest in the world’s largest Bitcoin fund, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, and Grayscale Ethereum Trust, giving access and exposure to emerging asset classes via trusted investment vehicles. They make it easy to invest in crypto when you don’t know where to start!

It takes less than 2 minutes to start and they’ll even give you $10 to start investing when you sign up and deposit $5 or more into your Personal Portfolio.

Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.

3. This App Can Help You Earn an Extra $5,500 Per Year

Side gigs and WFH opportunities are here to stay, and one of the easiest ways to find these opportunities is via the free Steady app. Their community of 5 million members agrees- it’s one of the best free ways to find flexible jobs, cash grants, along with quick Income Boosters to earn extra money!

It’s simple:

  1. Download Steady and create a free account
  2. Securely link your bank account to track financial progress and receive income boosters
  3. Try your first Income Booster; earn up to $75 each and they’re easy to do!

On average, Steady Members can lift their income by an extra $5,500/year after joining Steady. So set those financial goals, pay off the bills, and take that summer vacation!

It only takes a few minutes to sign up for free. Just answer a few work history questions, and start seeing opportunities immediately!

4. Never Pay Overdraft Fees Again - Banking That Has Your Back

On average, people pay $250/year just on overdraft fees!

Instead of charging you for silly fees, Chime, has your back. It’s an award-winning mobile financial app and debit card that lets you overdraft up to $200 with no fees1 via their SpotMe benefit. This means that $8 you were short on at the grocery store gets spotted and your account won’t overdraft, saving you money. Plus, you get a sleek-looking debit card!

Combined with no monthly fees, the ability to get paid up to 2 days earlier,2 and auto-savings starting at 0.50% APY3 (which is 8x4 the national average!) makes Chime a stellar online financial option that doesn’t focus on profiting off of you like traditional banks.

Since Chime is free to use, give it a shot and see how you like it.

5. Fetch All Your Receipts (Even Virtual) & Get Free Money Back

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

Check your pockets; check your purse. And keep receipts.

Grab all the recent receipts you have, even gas receipts, and scan them into Fetch Rewards to earn points towards free money. Even better? Connect your email inbox and it’ll count your email receipts too from Amazon, Instacart, Shipt, and more!

Basically, shop at any store (grocery, drugstore, warehouse, everywhere and online), snap a pic with the app, and boom, you’ve got points for money. Upload your gas station, restaurants, and drive-thru receipts too.

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from any store or gas station, and it’ll automatically reward you. Use the free money to pay for your next tank of gas!

Be sure to grab 2,000 welcome points on us when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

6. The Best Financial App That’ll Save You $720/Year + Track Your Net Worth

Knowing your net worth isn’t just for rich people. It’s a financial report card that can tell you if you’re on the right track or if you need a wake-up call. To calculate it, you need the value of all your assets (things you own) minus your liabilities (things you owe). But wouldn’t it be nice if there were a tool that tracked your net worth over time for you?

Enter Truebill, the free money management app that’s like your personal finance assistant. It groups all your banking accounts together so you can see your earnings and spending in one spot. Plus, it helps you budget even if you don’t know how to.

  • The app will find all your recurring bills and subscriptions (even those you forgot about)
  • Truebill can help lower your bills by 20% (they negotiate for you)
  • The app also helps you start budgeting and set up auto-savings too
  • Their newest feature easily tracks your net worth

See what your savings could be with Truebill and start tracking your net worth too!

7. Affordable Car Insurance Exists - Save Up To $610

You’re probably overpaying on your current auto insurance without even realizing it.

  1. Just check on EverQuote to start comparing
  2. They’ll check from plenty of agencies to find you the best deal
  3. Pick your savings!

It literally takes less than 4 minutes to fill out the form to start saving big. EverQuote can save drivers up to $610 a year on average* compared to their current insurance premiums.

It’s super simple so try it out to see how much you could be saving on the road!

8. 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.

9. Invest in Real Estate Without Buying an Expensive House - Start with Only $10 (+Get $10 Bonus!)

Building wealth through real estate is smart but not everyone can drop down major cash to own entire properties especially when house prices have risen by 20% This is where HappyNest comes in, offering you the opportunity to invest in real estate with no platform or broker fees.

It only takes $10 to start and you’ll be earning guaranteed passive income from the rent that’s collected from Fortune 100 tenants, like CVS Health, FedEx, and more!

  1. Start by signing up with HappyNest (industry-standard bank-level security)
  2. Set up your first deposit of $10 and you’ll get a $10 BONUS on top!
  3. Earn guaranteed quarterly income

Signing up takes 2 minutes and you’ll be on your way to a low-risk, long-term investment as well as a fun way to diversify your portfolio. Plus, our readers get a special $10 bonus!

10. Pay the Mortage Renting Out Extra Space to Neighbors

The housing market is insane right now & if you managed to snag one, here’s how to help pay it off. Turn any unused space (a closet, a portion of the garage, a shed, etc.) into passive income by becoming a Neighbor Host. It’s free to list your space and you’ll earn extra money that can go towards your new mortgage!

Becca P., a middle school teacher, makes an extra $10,000 a year being a host!

  1. List your space for free (describe the space you have available, upload photos, and how much you’d like to earn)
  2. Review renter requests (what they want to store/when) and approve
  3. Schedule a move-in time with your new renter for their belongings

There’s no extra paperwork, and Neighbor automatically deposits money into your account each month, even if the renter doesn’t pay. Plus, there’s $1,000,000 property coverage for you and protection plans for your renters.

11. Fast Personal Loans For Any Type of Credit

Personal loans get a bad rep but if you use them for the right reasons and can pay the reputable lender back, then it’s a valid option when you need some help. For instance, debt consolidation (credit card, student loans, etc.), house repairs or remodel, and unplanned major expenses like medical bills.

Save time and searching effort by using LoansUnder36, a loan matching service for those looking to borrow $500 up to $35K. They’ll find loans regardless of your credit status, with APRs from 5.99% up to 36% max. Their network has over 100 vetted lenders and you’ll be able to easily compare side-by-side with no obligation.

There’s no credit score impact by applying for quotes and the repayment periods are flexible ranging from 61 days to 72 months (6 years). But of course, the longer the period, the more interest it can accrue so plan accordingly!

12. Get Paid Up to $225/Month While Watching Viral Videos and Taking Fun Surveys

If you’re looking for an easy way to snag a little extra cash by being online, look no further. Inbox Dollars has a wide array of ways to make some money on the side.

Founded in 2000, Inbox Dollars has been around and paying customers for their opinions for over 21 years and counting! They are one of the most trusted survey sites with fun, multiple ways to earn extra cash that sets them apart from the others.

You can stick to sharing your opinion and take surveys, but you can also watch videos, play games, and even read email for some extra cash. Who wouldn’t want to watch viral videos and get paid up to $225 a month?

They also offer cash back for online shopping and coupon cash rewards to use at the grocery store too!

So if you’re looking for some extra cash and enjoy a wide array of options to earn, Inbox Dollars is a great platform to make a little side money. It’s free to sign up, so give it a try today!

13. Make Easy Money Just Trying and Playing Games

There are so many new games coming out on the daily that it’s hard to choose which to play, even if we’re experiencing extra time at home.

My strategy? Only focus on the games that pay for my time.

You can do it with AppStation, an Android app that pays you to try out new games.

When you earn coins from trying new games, you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And too much more to list

Nab a 4,444 coin welcome bonus too, which is basically around 50 cents in value. And if you don’t like to wait, you can choose to payout as low as $1.

If your friends want to get it on the money action from afar, introduce them to AppStation on Google Play, where you’ll get bonus coins and 25% of all their earnings. To make it a supportive group, your friends will also earn 25% of your earnings too!

14. Get Free Stock Worth Up to $225

@MayoFi | Unsplash

Investing may seem expensive and most people put it off until they have “enough” money for it.

But time is the most important factor and Robinhood lets new investors get started with just $1.

This free trading app lets you trade stocks, ETFs, and options, along with cryptocurrency, commission-free! When your application is approved, they’ll give free stock worth $2.50 up to $225 for new members, with chances to get a high-value stock in Facebook, Microsoft, etc.

With a near-perfect 4.8 score from 2.3 million people, it’s a popular app that you should check out if you’re interested in investing.

15. This Paid Survey Panel Gives Out 7,000 Gift Cards Daily

There are a lot of survey programs out there, but none as popular as Swagbucks, a free rewards program where you can earn cash for your time and opinion. Members can earn an average of $50 a month!

Get rewarded for doing surveys, online shopping, uploading receipts, and playing fun games, but the one activity that earns you the most points is completing surveys. Redeem points for free gift cards, cash, and crypto vouchers. There are hundreds of different offers to explore and complete!

New members can get a free $5 just for signing up, so join the other 10 million members already part of Swagbucks and start earning free rewards!

16. Android Users: Get Paid Up to $600+ Listening to Free Music

If you don’t go a day without listening to some music, then immediately download this Android app.

Mode Earn App is a free Google Play app that literally pays you to listen to music. The more music played, the more you can earn points to redeem for cash, gift cards, and rewards. Choose from 100,000+ radio stations worldwide to discover new music or revisit your favorite artists.

Reward options include Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Google Play gift cards, PayPal Cash, and tech prizes like smartwatches, mini drones, bluetooth speakers, and more.

You can earn up to $600/year or more just listening to free music! The music plays from your Android lock screen and will periodically display muted video ads.

Other ways you can earn while listening to music (all optional):

  • Completely simple tasks/offers + surveys
  • Play games, the longer you play the more you earn
  • Watch simple 30-second video ads
  • Save money on your monthly bills
  • Refer friends to get up to $250 and 5% of their music earnings for life

Turn on the app whenever you want to listen to music and earn extra money while doing errands, jogging, working, or when you need a mood booster!

17. Simplify Crypto. Join Coinbase & Get $10 Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency is here to stay and major brands along with celebrities are leaning way in. If it’s piqued your interest too then check out Coinbase to help you get started as over 89 million people already trust them to do so.

Coinbase is the most secure and one of the most established exchanges to buy & sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As a bonus, you also get $10 in Bitcoin when you sign up and verify your account on Coinbase with code: TSW10

It only takes a minimum of $2 to start buying on Coinbase so if you’re interested in getting into the crypto market, this is it!

After your photo ID is verified, $10 in BTC will be added to your portfolio within 24 hours.
Limited time offer. Only new Coinbase users are eligible.

18. You Can’t Control Gas Prices so Save $720/Year on Car Insurance Instead

Gas prices are continuously hitting record highs but there’s little you could do besides checking which station has the lowest price at the moment.

But with car insurance, you can check in 30 seconds if you’re overpaying since on average, people spend $720/year more than they should. It’s easy:

  1. Head over to The Smart Wallet’s auto insurance portal and connect your current insurance (no long form to fill out!)
  2. We’ll instantly check for a better deal
  3. See your savings!

A satisfied customer had said “I left Geico. I was paying $150, now thanks to you guys, I’m only paying $50!”

Once we find you a better deal and you choose to switch, we’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.

19. The Money App That’s Backed by Paypal, “The Rock,” Ashton Kutcher, and More

Celebrities and leading investors can be particular about where they put their money, but Acorns has caught the attention (and their investments) of Blackrock, CNBC, Paypal, and major celebrities like Dwayne Johnson, JLo, and more. Not to mention, they already have 9 million+ customers!

That’s because Acorns Banking does more than other types of accounts as it automatically saves and invests for you. Every time you make a purchase with your new metal debit card, the spare change gets invested into an expert-designed, diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds. When you make your first investment, you’ll get a $20 bonus!

You can get started in under 3 minutes with no financial experience or expertise needed. You’ll also get access to retirement, investing for families, rewards, and more, all in one app.

With no hidden fees, Acorns makes it easy to invest in your future with your spare change.

20. Join the Millions of People Earning Up to $20 Per Survey

Karolina Grabowski

Companies are always looking for feedback to improve their products so get paid for just giving your honest opinion!

Just sign up for Survey Junkie (it’s free!), and join over 20 million members already earning cash. Completing a survey earns you 20 to 100 points. Each point is worth one cent, and when you hit 500 points (or $5) you can cash out, which is one of the earliest cash out points we’ve seen!

Redeem for popular online gift cards, Paypal cash, or bank transfer.

It only takes a few minutes to join Survey Junkie and you’ll earn your first 100 ($1 value!) points just by creating an account and verifying your email address. Earn even more when you take more surveys.

BONUS: Get Paid to Take Surveys and Cash Out Up to $30 via PayPal

What’s the best lifehack?  Getting paid to do something you’re already going to do and KashKick makes this possible. You’ll get cash rewards just by answering surveys, playing games, shopping, and more. It’s easy (and 100% free) to use Kashkick.

Earn up to $25 for each mission completion. For instance:

  • Get $20 to reach level 20 in select mobile games (plenty to choose from)
  • Get $1 for each completed survey that just takes a few minutes
  • Get $ for just reading email

Shelly Ways says: “This is a GREAT platform and it’s so easy to make money. Definitely recommend it, KashKick is amazing & yes, they really do pay you!”

KashKick also has a sweet referral program that rewards you with 25% of your friends’ earnings if they sign up through you!

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