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. 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!

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 investing1 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 major companies that you use or buy from regularly to make the investing process custom to you. Plus, it’s affordable.

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

3. Literally, Get Paid to Use the Internet

What’s the best lifehack? 

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

Each task comes with requirements and rewards which you can earn up to $25 each completion.

For instance, here are just some:

  • $1 to complete a three-minute survey
  • $8 for first time DoorDash users to place an order
  • $20 to reach level 20 in King of Avalon, an Android game

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

4. 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!

5. The Secret to Getting Free Cash Back

Alice Ly / The Bill Wizard

$200 a year. That’s how much free money on average a member gets just by using Ibotta, a free app that pays you real money on your everyday purchases.

That includes your groceries (online/in-store), essentials, food delivery, online shopping, basically anything. All you need to do is scan the receipt.

It’s super simple:

  1. Just check Ibotta first before shopping at your fav stores or delivery services
  2. Choose what offers or digital rebates you want (even mall rebates and restaurants!)
  3. Scan your receipt(s) into the app and get cash back!

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up! It’s like you’re getting paid to shop.

6. 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.

7. 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 for Android, 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!

8. Android Users Get Paid in Gift Cards if You’re Chill with Lock Screen Ads

The average person unlocks their phone 110 times per day – that’s a lot of time spent looking at a screen for free.

With S’more on Android 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’more pays Android users 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.

9. 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!

10. Get Up to 15x Cash Back Rewards with This Sleek, Black Premium Debit Card

A credit card isn’t for everyone, particularly if you know your own spending habits. So when a debit card comes around that has credit-card like perks, take notice.

Current is the first mobile bank to offer up to 15x points whenever you swipe this sleek black premium (or white) debit card, at over 14,000 participating merchants. These points are redeemable for unlimited cash back!

For example, swiping the card at gas stations could net you back $165/year!

Along with the unique rewards program, a Current account has no hidden fees, no minimum balances, over 55,000 fee-free ATMs, and includes money management tools such as savings pods and round ups. Premium members ($4.99/mo) can also enjoy getting paid up to 2 days faster with direct deposit, as well as never worrying about a negative balance since they can use Overdrive™, a benefit that covers them up to $100 when they need it.

Current is free to use (with optional premium upgrade) so don’t miss out on earning points for stuff you were already buying! It takes less than 2 minutes to sign up!

11. 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!

12. Never Overpay for Car Insurance - Save $826 a Year

On average you’re probably spending $826/year more than you need to on car insurance but in general, people don’t make the effort to check.

But you can check how much you can save in literally 30 seconds. It’s easy:

  1. Head over to Savvy and connect your current insurance (no long form to fill out!)
  2. It’ll instantly check for a better deal
  3. See your savings!

Once Savvy finds you a better deal and you choose to switch, they’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.

13. Freelancer or Independent Contractor? This is the Bank for You

1099-MISC. 1099-NEC. Business expenses. Deductions. Tax time is never fun for freelancers and independent contractors. Plus it’s confusing on separating personal and business spend.

That’s why Lili, (awarded best bank account for freelancers from Fundera!), helps you focus on your business or side gig by offering mobile banking designed for freelancers.

There are 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 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).

All you need is 3 minutes to sign up, along with your SSN, (this is a bank account after all), and you’ll be on your way to a sleek, fee-free black VISA business debit card. Plus, there are over 38,000 free ATMs to withdraw money from.

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!

14. How to Leave Your Family $1 Million Dollars

With the way 2020 is going along with all the doomscrolling, people are thinking about their future more than ever. If anything should happen to you, will your family be financially covered?

What if you could leave them up to $1 million dollars?

The savings route to $1 million would take many years (35+ depending on retirement) plus consistent high monthly savings. However, you can help protect your family’s future by applying for an affordable term life insurance policy up to $1 million in coverage at affordable rates offered by Bestow.

The application takes under 5 minutes to complete with no medical exam needed. (Other life insurance companies take up to 2.5 months.)

Plus, the payout is tax-free and your beneficiaries can have the ability to spend the money on funeral costs, mortgage payments, education, basically anything!

Each policy has a “free look” period (usually 30 days) which means you can cancel if it’s not right for you and get a full refund. See what your rates are in under 5 minutes. It’s the biggest “I love you” you can give to your loved ones!

*Bestow is currently not available in New York

15. 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

16. 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.

17. 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!

18. Buy Stuff Normally = Get Gift Cards You Actually Want

If you have room for 1 more app on your phone, then it needs to be this. Actually, delete another app to make room for this one. It’s that good.

It’s called Drop, a free app on iOS or Android that’s rewarding their 3 million+ members for everyday activities – like shopping at brands such as Sephora, Walmart, Uber, Groupon, The Gap, Old Navy, and tons more.

Download Drop (iOS or Android) and you’ll get points back on all those purchases. Points translate to gift cards so the more you collect through shopping, surveys, and games in the app, the more gift cards you can redeem!

Earning points is simple. Just open Drop, select the brand’s offer and continue the checkout flow through the app like normal. That’s it! Drop will take care of the rest and add the points to your account once your transaction clears.

There’s literally no downside to using this free app to get more gift cards. Use it on top of your loyalty points and credit card points for even more rewards!

BONUS OFFER: Use promo code SMARTWALLET to unlock 10,000 points ($10!!) automatically when you earn your first 1,000 points.

19. 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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