23 Stupid Simple Ways to Make Extra Cash in 2021

Two women standing against a wall laughing
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.

Well, 2020 is over. We have hopeful dreams for this year but first, let’s start by focusing on our finances. If you have more money, you can save even more. A recent FINRA study showed that 40% of Americans have less than $400 saved.

You can pinpoint areas where you can cut back spending on but if you feel saving would be a little easier if you have more money to begin, then here’s our list of stupid simple ways to make extra cash for the rest of this new year.

1. 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.

2. Get $5 to Invest in Google, Amazon, Tesla, 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 Google, Amazon, Tesla, etc., but you can. And you don’t have to be rich either.

That’s because Stash, an investment app, lets you start investing 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 some of the major companies that you use or buy from regularly to make a custom Personal Portfolio.

With Stash Growth and Stash+, you can also choose the Smart Portfolio option which offers hands-off stress-free investing since Stash will invest for you based on your risk tolerance. Plus claim bonus stock when you attend Stash’s virtual Stock Parties!

As a bonus, Stash is giving new members $5 for any first investment so create an account to get started.

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

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 $225 a month, watching videos!

4. Android Users Can 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!

5. Android Users Get Paid in Gift Cards In Exchange for Lock Screen Ads

With S’more 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.

Just by using your lock screen, watching videos, shopping, and even trying out apps can earn you money. S’mores pays in gift cards so you can redeem for:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • CVS
  • GameStop
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Starbucks and more!

Just use your Android normally, and your earnings will apply daily. Plus until 12/22, get double the points!

6. Instantly Get Paid $1 for Each Survey (No Limit!)

By now, you’re probably familiar with surveys. If not, it’s a great way to earn side cash for just giving anonymous opinions and you can join several survey programs to increase earnings.

Add SurveyTime to your list, because what makes them different from others, is that you’ll instantly get paid $1 after each survey completion. No waiting around to accrue at least $15 to cash out, you can get paid right after!

And there’s no limit either, so you can take as many surveys as you want available. You can choose between Target, Amazon, or Walmart gift cards, PayPal, or Bitcoin via Coinbase.

It’s free & easy to start. Just head here to sign up, check your confirmation email, and answer a few introductory questions.

It takes a few days until the system learns your profile to match you with the best surveys so you might be disqualified for some surveys at the beginning. Then you can take as many surveys as you want and it’ll be clear on the site how long each survey would take. On average, each could take 10 minutes with some being as quick as 3 minutes!

7. Get Paid to Take Surveys and Play Games

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!

8. 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!

9. Side Hustlers: Save $1,700 a Year with This Bank

Finances can already be confusing but add in self-employment taxes, varying income, 1099-NEC, business deductions, etc? It can be a lot.

That’s why Lili, (awarded best bank account for side hustlers!), helps you focus on what you do best by offering mobile banking designed specifically for freelancers.

Enjoy no account fees, no overdraft fees, no minimum balance, no foreign transaction fees, and you can get paid up to 2 days earlier via direct deposit.

Lili also provides tools that traditional checking doesn’t have like:

  • Expense reports – They’re automatically generated!
  • Expense management – It’s easy (and fun) to categorize by swiping left/right plus no need for separate bank accounts
  • Tax Bucket – Helps you plan & prepare taxes all year long (instead of at the last minute).

It takes 3 minutes to sign up and you’ll get a sleek, fee-free black VISA business debit card that can be used at 38,000+ free ATMs.

They’ve even done the math and by using Lili, you’d save 60 hours and $1,700 per year. And yes, it’s free to sign up!

10. The Easiest Way to Save $826 This Year

What’s something that could save you $826 a year and you can check in literally 30 seconds?

Your car insurance. 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!

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.

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

11. The World’s First App That Pays You to Pay Rent

Paying rent each month is non-negotiable but with Piñata, you’ll get paid to pay rent on time.

It’s super simple. Pay rent on time and earn rewards and discounts for doing so. Plus get optional boosts to your credit score too (average increase of 42 points!)

Piñata is completely free to use and any renter can join. Members save over $4,500 a year!

Every time rent is paid, the member gets $20 Piñata Cash, which can then be saved and redeemed for free gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, The Container Store, Class Pass, and more. You’ll also get access to Piñata Perks, a marketplace that has over 300K+ deals to help you save even more money on top of your rewards.

New members get a welcome bonus of $20 Piñata Cash as well as a $30 gift card so sign up for free now to start getting rewarded for rent day!

12. Get Paid for Playing Match 3 Games

Puzzle game lovers will love Match to Win, a free to play game where you can win cash rewards through 300+ exciting levels spanning across Hawaii, Paris, San Francisco, and more.

It’s simple. When you clear a level, you earn coins, which are redeemable for instant win scratchers, prize wheels, and sweepstakes up to $2,500! And yes, it’s legit – there are already over 135K reviews with a 4.5 average rating!

Also, join the daily Cash Dash event where players enter a sweepstakes race by collecting in-game trophies. Be among the first Top 25 players for bonus prizes of $5 to $10! Cash out via PayPal when you reach $7.

So download and play for free to start winning cash!

13. You’re Probably Wasting $720 Without Even Knowing It - Here’s How to Check

We know you’ve had a lot on your mind. Everyone is going through mental Olympics to stay sane during this on-going pandemic.

But if you realized you could be wasting $720 and didn’t know, you’d race to figure out how to stop it. And you can do it easily with Truebill, a free money management app that shows you exactly where you’re wasting money, all your subscriptions, your bills, and teaches you how to budget even if you’ve never tried.

Also, the average American thinks they pay about $80/month on various subscriptions but it’s actually over $200/month. Let Truebill root out all the subs you forgot about and cancel the ones you don’t want anymore. You don’t have to make any phone calls since they do the legwork for you. They’ll even find opportunities to lower monthly bills. On average, Truebill members save over $720/year!

5-star reviews include “It’s like having a personal accountant tracking my money” and “this app is a lifesaver.” They’ve already helped people save over $14M in unwanted subs, lower bills, and refunds on fees and outages so check to see where you can save too!

14. Flex the Bod: Get Paid to Lose Weight

There’s nothing like money motivation right? Especially for fitness. It’ll also give you something else to do besides being a couch potato and reading about unhappy news.

You might be extra inspired because there’s a health and wellness company that will pay you to lose weight. Seriously!

It’s called Healthywage.

They have a ton of testimonial/pictures on their site along with legit places reviewing them from CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.

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

1. Start with the HealthyWage calculator (Read more)
2. Decide on a weight goal & amount of time to achieve it
3. Bet on yourself ranging from $20-$150 a month
4. Achieve your goal and you could win up to $10,000 depending on your HealthyWager!
5. If you don’t achieve your goal, the money goes to support HealthyWage, including prizes for others who achieve their goals

15. 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!

16. Instantly Raise Your Credit Scores (For Free!) Using Phone & Utility Bills

Adobe

The 3 most important digits of your life are your credit scores. Get an instant increase for free with Experian Boost™ which adds your positive payment history from phone, utility, & streaming services payments to your Experian® credit file. (Yes, your Netflix® payment counts!*)

On average, members see a 13 point increase. All you need is a free Experian membership and a few minutes to connect read-only permission to the online bank accounts you use to pay bills so Experian can credit your history properly.

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.

17. Get Paid for Playing Free Lotto Tickets

Play free digital scratchers on Lucktastic to win money from the comfort of home!

The more you play, the more big bonuses you can unlock! Play all your scratch cards, look out for Today’s Bonus, and head to the Reward Wall to discover more fun games and cool products. That’ll build up your tokens much faster to redeem for more rewards!

Redeem tokens for:

  • Amazon gift cards
  • Walmart gift cards
  • Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards
  • Payouts start at just $5!
  • Contest entries into big cash winnings

Lucktastic keeps things free by showing a few ads so it’s easy to play and multi-task at the same time. And until 12/8, a winner will get a chance to win an extra $250 in the Sugar Plum Surprise giveaway!

18. Over $7 Million Paid Out to Steady Members to Date - Sign Up for Your Share!

Over 3 million people are already using Steady to find extra income, and on average members make $5,500 a year more, perfect for the holidays. So open more presents to yourself, the Steady way! 😉

Find thousands of new part-time opportunities daily. Once you link your bank account (it’s secure!), the app’s Income Tools feature will give you personal insights into the extra money you’re making.

Plus, earn cash rewards through Income Boosters. Basically, they pay you to try out useful brands to help manage your money even more.

It only takes a few minutes to sign up for free so answer some work history questions & what type of job you’re looking for to see opportunities immediately!

19. 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!

You get rewarded for doing surveys, searching the web, reading articles, watching videos, and playing fun games but the one activity that earns you the most points is completing surveys. (Don’t skip out on those!)

Points can then be redeemed for free gift cards, cash, and sweepstakes entries. All just by completing fun activities and giving your opinions.

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!

20. Affordable Car Insurance Exists - Here’s How You Could Save Up To $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 up to $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!

21. 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.


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