15 Dead Simple Ways to Save $5,294 or More This Year

A woman smiling holding fanned out $100 bills
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’s time to turn your saving money goals into reality. This means it’s time to stop thinking it’ll happen and just start doing it. We’ll show you how to stop overthinking and implement these dead simple ways to save into your life now, starting with a little over $5K.

And just for fun, do you know what $5,294 can get you if you were to spend it all on one thing? (on average)

  • 1,050 cups of coffee
  • A year’s worth of gas (practical)
  • 70.5 pairs of Nike shoes
  • 105.8 pairs of Vans shoes
  • 1,058 delicious Costco Rotisserie Chickens
  • 3,529 Costo Hot Dogs (the ones that come with a drink)
  • 1,764 packs of Oreos
  • 44.4 years of Amazon Prime
  • 407 months of Netflix (or 33.9 years!)

Or you can go on a vacation, and invest the rest. Up to you!

1. Affordable Car Insurance Exists - Here’s How You Could Save $610

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 less than 4 minutes to fill out the form and you’ll see a list of matches that show 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. 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 $4,000 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!+

3. Stop Losing Money on Recurring Subs and Budget Better

Did you know that 84% of people forget they have some sort of recurring subscription that’s auto-paying without them knowing?

Stop letting money slip away and budget smarter with easy-to-use Truebill, a free money management app that’s like your own financial control center and personal finance assistant in one.

You’ll see all your current subs at a glance and then you can decide which to cancel, which the app does for you.

Truebill also has a killer budgeting feature: it 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).

It’s simple but actionable money management that anyone can follow!

4. Fun Times in 3 Minute Increments – A Classic Game for $

3 minutes.

Make as many 21s as you can within that time or until you run out of moves.

That’s the basic gist of 21 Blitz for iOS, a modern take on a classic game where you’re no longer just playing against the dealer but with actual people around the world.

It’s fast-paced and it basically does all of the math for you. This game is great for killing time and earning cash all at once which is perfect for home!

You can play for free on iPhone against real people for prizes or switch over to cash games to win…well, cash! Cash game winners can win up to $7,000 or more in the mini-tournament.

Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN.

5. 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

6. Binge on Food, Entertainment, Health & Tech News TV for Money

I can barely cook but I love watching food videos. The new season of Ugly Delicious? I’m there.

If you’re a video junkie too, become an Inbox Dollars member where 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 some 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 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!

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

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

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

Grab all the recent receipts you have 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 restaurant and drive-thru receipts too.

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from any store and it’ll automatically reward you.

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

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Work From Home: Earn $20 Per Hour to Start Teaching English To Kids Online

The past few months have been rough on Americans and their livelihoods. If you’ve been considering a side gig to supplement your primary income or need a job working from home, teach English online to kids ages 5-13!

EF Online (Education First) is a teaching platform helping to connect students in China and native English speakers for 20+ years with their global network of 600+ schools. You’ll experience a flexible schedule where you can work from home, earn up to $20/hr to start, with all lesson materials are provided. While teaching experience is preferred, it’s not required. Earn extra rewards the more you teach!

Here are the requirements:

  • Must be a native English speaker living in the U.S.A with a 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 a set range of hours
  • Have a solid wifi connection and headset
  • And lastly, be passionate!

Classes are 25 minutes each and since EF Online encourages repeat classes, you might be teaching the same students regularly. In addition, 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!

Note: The following U.S. states are excluded from this gig – CA, IN, MA, NH, NJ, NY, and IL.

11. How to Get Paid $22/Hr Being a Grocery Shopper

Shipt.com

When you’re looking for a legit side gig, consider grocery shopping for others, instead.

Shipt is an app where members can request same-day deliveries on grocery, household, and more. After browsing through millions of products from stores like CVS, Target, ALDI, Costco,  and a lot more popular retailers, members create a shopping list.

This shopping list is then sent to a professional Shipt Shopper (potentially you!) who’ll head to the store, grab the items, and deliver. Shoppers are independent contractors and are paid up to $22/hr and more. Plus 100% of all tips are yours to keep!

So if you’re interested in a flexible side gig that helps out the community, have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance, a reliable car, know the difference between romaine and iceberg lettuce, apply here. Work whenever you want and get paid weekly!

12. Earn Up To $40,000 (!) A Year By Renting Out Your RV On the Most Trusted Platform

Hanson Lu

If you own an RV, you know this better than anyone else: it stays dormant almost all year. And it’s true, 80% of RVs go unused for 300 out of the 365 days.

While it’s great to have one ready for road-trip purposes, there are more productive (and profitable) ways to handle the sleeping beast.

With RVshare you can earn up to $40,000 a year by renting out your RV when you’re not using it. List for free on their marketplace and people looking to rent can connect with you. It’s kind of like an Airbnb but for RVs.

The marketplace is completely free to use, so you don’t have to worry about getting hit with a fee while your listing is active. RVshare only makes money when you do, so after your listing is booked they’ll take a small portion to keep the site up and running.

Your RV is protected. There’s nationwide (plus Canada) insurance for both parties along with 24/7 roadside assistance to ensure your RV is taken care of while on the road.

You could also list your RV as a stationary rental, meaning it can stay on your property. This works best if your RV is parked near potential travel destinations. (Sorry, HI residents are ineligible to list!)

So take that dormant RV and start turning it into cash! Since it’s free to list, just add your make and model and RVshare will show you how much you can earn this year.

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