22 Stupid Simple Ways to Make Extra Cash in 2020

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.

Let’s face it, everyone can use a little help on their finances.  Regardless of what gets shared on your friend’s and family’s social media, no one knows the whole picture but themselves. Some may even be afraid to admit it.

It doesn’t have to get overwhelming though! When you’re ready to buckle down and tackle your finances, we can help.

Especially if you’re currently making less than $60,000 a year.

After taxes, that salary goes down quick but just start small with the money moves below to get back in control.

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. 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 that’s rewarding their 3 million+ members for everyday activities – like shopping at brands such as Uber Eats, Instacart, Drizly, Old Navy, and tons more.

Download Drop and you’ll get points back on all those purchases. Points translate to gift cards so collect points through shopping, answering quick surveys, and playing games in the app to redeem even more! 

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! And double-dip further with their Stacked Deals section.

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

3. Make Up to 2.80% Interest On Your Money with Fee-Free Banking

Traditional banks may2 seem to take every opportunity they can to squeeze more money out of you. With everything from a monthly service fee to various hidden fees nibbling away at your account balance. Enter Varo which was founded to provide banking services without the hidden fees.

Yep, Varo has no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM withdrawal fees. On top of having no fees, Varo lets you make more money on your money. Varo provides a high-yield savings account that starts at 0.81% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)1 that can move up to 2.80% APY1 based on qualifying activity. To put this into perspective, the average APY of the 5 biggest national banks is 0.09%.*

Varo has a few sweet extra features too:

  • Get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier^
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Over 55,000+ AllPoint® ATMs worldwide to use your Varo Visa® debit card
  • Offers personal loans to pre-qualified customers who want to consolidate debt
  • Varo will send any paper check to anyone in the U.S. on your behalf
  • “Save the Change” rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves the difference to your Varo savings account

If you’re sick of being charged banking fees and want to make more out of your money, check out Varo. It takes less than 5 minutes to learn more and apply for free.

4. 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

5. 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 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, 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!

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. Free Money Back for Your Store and Restaurant Receipts (Even E-Receipts!)

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

Before you crumple up that receipt in your pocket or forever lose it in the abyss of your purse, scan it into the Fetch Rewards app, and earn points towards free money. I repeat, free money.

Shop at any store (grocery, beauty, drugstore, convenience, anything!), take a picture with the app, and that’s it. Favorites include Target, Kroger, and Walmart! This includes your physical receipts and your email receipts.

You can even upload all your restaurant receipts too (+ drive-thru receipts!)

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from any store and boom, points that you can redeem for free rewards including gift cards.

Grab a $2 welcome bonus on us (2,000 points) when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

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

Adobe

Who would’ve thought you can play games to make some money? Especially now when that’s easy to do from home.

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, especially high unit multiplier games! For example, the 4x unit multiplier games will earn you 8 times more units (and dollars) per level than the 0.5x unit multiplier games.

You’ll only get paid for playing games if Mistplay is running so be sure to always install games from the Mistplay app!

9. 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.

10. Get Paid for Playing Free Digital Scratch-Offs

Don’t bother going to the liquor store to buy physical scratchers (they get expensive too).

Instead, play digital scratchers for free on Lucktastic.

There are a ton of different scratchers you can play, and you can earn both cash and tokens.

Scratched all of them for the day? Don’t worry, there are specific night-time scratchers that are available every night too!

When you want to redeem your earnings, you can choose from:

  • Amazon gift cards
  • CVS gift cards
  • Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards
  • Check mailed to you
  • Visa gift cards

Lucktastic keeps things free by showing a few ads here and there plus it’s easy to play and multi-task at the same time. Get a chance of up to $1M in cash prizes!

11. 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 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’mores pays 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.

12. 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 $5,000 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!+

13. Invest with as Little as $1 From Your Phone

Cait Brice - The Smart Wallet | *photo for illustrative purposes only

If you feel a little clueless whenever there’s talk about investment portfolios, you’re not alone. It can sound overly complicated.

However, there’s an app that’s like an easy gateway to investing.

It’s called Stash, an investment app that only takes $1 to start and you’ll also get a $5 bonus after funding your first investment!

They offer thousands of investments which include stocks and Exchange Traded Funds. You’ll get to choose where to put your money based on things like your personal beliefs, interests, and goals. Their newest feature, Stock-Back™ rewards* lets you invest in brands you spend on with the Stash debit card.* Purchased something at Amazon? Earn Amazon stock rewards. It’s like cash back but with stock!

Finally, investing is no longer for the elite 1% with Stash helping to make it so easy for the rest of us.

14. 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!

15. 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.

16. 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.

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. 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.

19. Federal Student Loans are Paused But the Best Time to Pay is Now

Student debt in the U.S. totals more than $1.5 trillion and is one of the biggest consumer debt categories since it affects more than 44 million Americans.*

And even though Federal student loan payments are paused and most interest rates are set to 0% via the CARES Act through September 30, 2020, the best time to pay is during this temporary relief period if you can. That’s because however much you send will basically double the payment impact as 100% goes straight towards the principal balance.

You can use FutureFuel to make it easier. It’s a personalized Financial Health platform that’ll help save time and money off your student debt and on average, members save $15,000 off their debt plus shave off 4 years of payment!

Utilize their valuable Round Up feature, which sweeps your spare change directly to your student loans as extra payments. As well as the Giveback feature, where you can earn up to 30% cash back on everyday purchases from 450+ popular brands to use towards your loans!

Give yourself peace of mind and you could shave an average of $15,000 off your loans. We think that’s worth it and it takes less than a minute to connect your loan(s).

20. Never Pay an Overdraft Fee Again - Here’s How

Overdraft fees. Sometimes your bank account is low and you forget about your upcoming Netflix auto-payment. Next thing you know, you’re in the negatives and the bank is emailing you that you’ve been charged a hefty fee.

Skip all the bank fees and apply to Chime, an online bank account with absolutely no hidden fees (yes, seriously) and savings at 1.00% APY.

Their latest feature, SpotMe, lets you continue with a needed transaction even if you overdraft. That extra $20 you needed for groceries? No worries, Chime will spot you up to $100.* When your next deposit arrives, Chime will just apply it to your negative balance.*

No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement, no foreign transaction fees, and the account is also FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Members can get paid up to 2 days earlier** too since Chime processes your employer’s deposit immediately, giving you access quicker than traditional banks.

Chime is free to use, so why not give it a shot for a while and see how you like it?

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

Let’s talk about the not-so-sexy topic of car insurance. You need it, you have it, but you’re probably overpaying for it. By how much though? It can depend on your car, location, age, and more, but on average you’re probably spending $826/year more than you need to.

You’ll know how much if you use Savvy to check for fast and easy savings. There are no forms to fill out since it uses your existing insurance info, and the system will instantly check for a better deal. It literally takes 30 seconds and they protect your phone number and email from spam.

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.


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