17 Helpful Ways for Parents to Juggle Home Life (Kids, Finances, and More)

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.

Parents put a lot of pressure on themselves to handle everything. And with the pandemic, even more responsibility has been piled on to give parents more to do.

Take it easier on yourself and find ways to help alleviate some of that pressure.

Whether it’s with juggling the kids’ education, the household finances, working, and even setting aside time for yourself.

We think the below suggestions can help with some of those! And remember, you’re doing the best you can.

1. Parents: Give Yourself a Break with Fun, Educational Activities for the Kiddos

Since quarantine started, parents are attempting to juggle multiple roles. They are expected to be the breadwinner and uphold parenting duties, all while simultaneously homeschooling their children. That’s a lot!

Plus, there are so many factors that complicate learning at home: a child’s learning style, age, attention span, interests… That’s where ABCmouse.com comes into the picture. Alleviating the stress of creating and teaching lessons, this award-winning education curriculum guides kids ages 2–8 on a Step-by-Step Learning Path boosting key skills in reading, math, science, social studies, and more!

With over 10,000 engaging learning activities all accessible on computers, smart devices—some even offline—young minds are driven to learn through fun games, songs, videos, puzzles, as well as the program’s Tickets and Rewards System.

Parents can easily monitor a child’s progress, add up to three profiles to an account, and be assured children are in a safe learning environment with zero pop-up ads, external links, or advertising.

Start building the foundation for academic success now. Try ABCmouse free for 30 days! Elementary and middle school kids are also invited to expand their knowledge in an interactive, virtual world that brings learning to life at Adventure Academy — free 30-day trial!

Learning at home is possible. Try the learning program designed by education experts and loved by parents and children alike.

2. Take Control of Your Money When Things Seem Out of Control

Investments are down. 401(k)s are down. As indicative of the red arrows aiming down, things just seem to be out of control during these uncertain times.

There are, however, ways for you to control your money now. Through proper budgeting as well as getting rid of any non-essential subscriptions through Truebill, a free finance app that helps you track your money and offers services to make your life way easier.

Quarantine life is the best time to really go through on what you need, so let Truebill find all your current subscriptions (even ones you forgot about) and have them cancel any for you. They’ll also negotiate for lower bills (like cable, internet, and cellphone bills) and with job insecurities at the moment, knowing that you’re not overpaying for bills is a relief!

In addition, their solid budgeting feature helps everyone see where their money is going and how to handle it. Even if you don’t know how to budget!

3. Get Extra Cash Back on Groceries, Delivery, and More

Getting cash back has always been important but even more so now, where every bit helps.

Use Ibotta, an app that pays you real money on your everyday purchases, from groceries/grocery delivery, essentials, personal care items, to meal delivery to online shopping.

It’s simple:

  1. Just check Ibotta first to find offers, and when you purchase your items, scan the receipt to get cash back. Popular stores include Target, Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, and more.
  2. Online purchases including groceries? Just open Ibotta, and complete your grocery, Uber Eats, GrubHub, or purchase from 100+ online retailers that include Sephora, Under Armour, Gap, and more to get some money back.

And since these are especially trying times, Ibotta has teamed up with brand partners like Kellogg’s, always, Huggies, and Suave to be committed to giving $10 million in extra cash back. This means you get more cash back than normal!

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up so use it before buying anything!

4. Free Money for Your Grocery Receipts Online, Offline, and Friends

If you’re already using Fetch Rewards, you’re ahead of the game and you know you can scan in any grocery receipt (both online and offline!) to earn points towards free money. Get bonus cash when you refer friends (2,000 points = $2) and your friends will get a bonus too! There’s no limit to referrals.

Take a picture of your receipt with the app as well as connect your email accounts to automatically earn points from your e-receipts from popular retailers like Instacart, Target, Walmart, Costco, and more. Yes, get points for cash for your grocery deliveries!

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from a store that sells groceries (even if you didn’t actually buy any groceries) and boom, points for money.

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

5. Save Time (And Money) By Unsubbing From Marketing Emails

Alice Ly | The Smart Wallet

When the “unread” number in your email inbox is growing by the day, it’s time to wrangle it in.

There’s no doubt that our inboxes get slammed with a lot of marketing emails. And now, every corporation that we’ve ever given our emails to is expressing how they’re handling COVID-19.

Instead of wasting time unsubscribing one by one, just use Unroll.me, a free service designed to help clean your inbox by displaying all the email subscriptions you have in less than a minute.

You then have the following options to: Keep in Inbox, Unsubscribe, or Add to Rollup.

“Add to Rollup” is like a summary of the emails you might want to look at but don’t immediately have time for. Think of it as a daily, weekly, or monthly digest (you choose) of all the subscriptions you picked to be contained in one convenient, scrollable email (like a newsfeed).

It ignores all your personal emails and only looks at the commercial emails so save time and money (don’t be tempted by sales!) by getting rid of marketing emails.

6. Pop Some Colorful Bubbles to Make Some Bank

Alice Ly | The Smart Wallet

The classic bubble game comes back with a modern twist where you have 3 minutes each game to pop or clear as many bubbles from the board as you can.

It’s called Bubble Cash, and no matter your skill level, you can have fun against real players around the world.

Our favorite strategy? Hang multiple bubbles from a “parent” bubble, and then POP the parents so all the bubbles drop at once! It’s extremely satisfying to get those combos.

Play for free, and when you’re ready, switch over to cash games to earn faster! Cash game winners can win thousands of dollars (no joke).

Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, IA, LA, MD & SC.

7. 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.

8. 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!

9. Banking That Has Your Back - Easily Autosave & Never Pay Overdraft Fees Again

The best way to save money, if you didn’t know already, is to just automate it. Out of sight, out of mind, but works in your favor when you see your money grow.

Do it easily with Chime, an award-winning mobile app that’s got your back when it comes to banking. It helps you save money every time you make a purchase or pay a bill with the Chime Visa® Debit Card by moving your spare change from your transactions into savings. You can also set up automatic transfers from your paycheck too. Save at 1.00% APY!

Combined with no hidden fees, the ability to get paid up to 2 days earlier1, and the fact that you don’t need to worry about any overdraft fees because Chime will spot you up to $1002 when you need it, makes this a stellar online banking option.

It’s also free to use so give it a shot to see how it can improve your banking life!

10. Get Paid to Save and Bank Just by Playing Games

If you were rewarded for doing something, wouldn’t it make you more likely to continue doing it?

In this case, Long Game is rewarding its members for responsible saving and spending just by playing free games on their app and making banking fun. Games are light and easy-to-play (think scratchers, slots, spin-to-win, and more) and you can win daily cash prizes up to $1M (yes, million) and crypto too!

When you set up a savings account, you access the games. You get a full banking experience with all the bells and whistles; an FDIC-insured savings account earning interest, a Visa debit card for instant access to your cash, custom savings goals, and more.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download Long Game
  2. Set up a savings account (Note: They ask for SSN to verify your identity but don’t worry, all info is encrypted and transmitted securely. Plus, it’s required by law and your SSN will not be stored)
  3. Link your bank so money can be transferred or withdrawn whenever you want
  4. Start playing games!

The more money you save, the more you can play and the debit card lets you earn more rewards just by spending normally. The RoundUp feature lets your purchases be rounded up to the nearest dollar with the change going towards your savings. So every time you’re buying a meal, getting stuff at Target, etc, you’re contributing to your savings and earning interest!

Long Game is completely free when you set up auto-deposit or direct deposit and use your debit card. Otherwise, it’s $3/month. There’s no way to lose money, but plenty of ways to earn and win! Plus you can withdraw your money at any time.

11. Stack Your Cash Back Earnings with This App

When the coronavirus outbreak passes and the economy starts to rebound, we can get back to racking up rewards through our credit cards and travel reward programs.

In the meantime, free cash back apps like Drop, offers a practical and rewarding alternative that gives points back for shopping online at all your favorite brands, completing super-quick surveys, and playing fun arcade games in-app.

There’s virtually limitless earning potential and the points you earn turn into free gift cards that you can redeem at places like Amazon, Whole Foods, Target, Uber Eats and so many more. Double-dip on earning points with their Stacked Deals section too.

Here are some of our favorite offers on Drop right now:

  • Uber Eats – 50 points per $1
  • Walmart – 20 points per $1
  • eBay – 5 points per $1
  • Glossier – 80 points per $1
  • Lululemon – 120 points per $1 (limited time 3x boost!)
  • Disney+ – 10,000 points for new members
  • Instacart – 400 points for new members

This app is a no-brainer for anyone looking for new and fun ways to stretch their dollar at home!

Kickstart earnings today by using promo code SMARTWALLET to unlock 10,000 points ($10!!) automatically when you earn your first 1,000 points.

12. Find Out Why 1 Million People Start Their Day With This

While in college and preparing for the business world, Alex Lieberman and Austin Rief realized their classmates all felt the same way: traditional business news was dry, dense, and boring. Their fellow millennials wanted to keep up with what was happening but didn’t have a news source that spoke to them.

That’s why they started Morning Brew – the free daily email that delivers the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Written in a conversational tone and sprinkled with punchy humor, it makes reading the news actually enjoyable.

From Elon Musk’s latest move to the stock market’s highs and lows, Morning Brew covers the top news shaping the business world. With a touch of culture and lifestyle stories, you’ll get up-to-speed on what you need to know in just five minutes.

Find out why over 1 million people start their day with Morning Brew — sign up for free here.

13. An Innovative New Way to Improve Your Credit Scores Instantly - And it’s Free

Having a low credit score can impact a lot in your life, like the ability to rent an apartment, get a car, and even a cellphone plan.

That’s why it’s important to maintain positive credit card payment history and to keep credit utilization ratio in check (not using more than 30% of your credit line on any credit card).

Regardless of what your score is currently at though, everyone can use a boost to their 3 digit number, and Experian® wants to help.

A new feature called Experian Boost™* can help instantly improve your credit scores for free.

Experian does this by adding your positive payment history from utility and telecom bills to your Experian credit file. This is huge, because previously, your gas, water, electricity, TV, internet, and phone bills that you already pay for didn’t affect your credit. Now it does and to your benefit of potentially increasing your credit scores!

It’s simple to start, and all you need is a free Experian Boost membership and a few minutes to connect read-only permission to the online bank accounts you use to pay bills. Experian will check only utility and telecom payments and get you credit for the payments you’ve already been paying.

This process doesn’t hurt your credit at all and you can choose to remove the boost if you want.

Compared to expensive and drawn out credit repair services, this new alternative is the fastest and no-cost way to instantly improve your credit scores.

*Results may vary, see website for details.

14. Invest Time in Planning Your Family’s Future: $1 Million in Life Insurance Starting as Low as $8/Month

Death usually doesn’t cross our minds on a frequent basis but 2020 is changing that for a lot of people. If you have a family that’s dependent on your income, give yourself (and them!) peace of mind should you pass away. Morbid to think about, but it’s just one of those topics to take care of sooner than later.

With Bestow, you can apply for affordable term life insurance in under 5 minutes with no medical exam needed. Other life insurance companies can take up to 2.5 months for the approval process!

Apply for up to $1 million in coverage and 10 years and 20 years term options starting as low as $8/month. The life insurance payout is 100% tax-free and your beneficiaries can spend the money on funeral costs, mortgage payments, education, basically anything!

If you’re between the ages of 21-54, here’s what they’ll ask:

  • Your basic information (Name, Email, Address, SSN, etc)
  • Some Life questions (medical history, hobbies, lifestyle)
  • Beneficiaries (who would receive the money after insured’s death)
  • Policy and payment details (If approved, you choose the monthly payment and enter credit card info)

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. Find Curated Remote and Flexible Jobs With This Site

@bongkarn-thanyakij | Pexels

With a record 40 million people that filed for unemployment,* it’s crucial to be able to hold a remote or flexible full-time or part-time position in these uncertain times.

Instead of searching through irrelevant job boards, use FlexJobs, a 13+ year old company that specializes in finding only remote and flexible schedule jobs. For a limited time, their membership plans are 50% off (with promo code JOB) so it costs just $3.50 to search through a highly curated job board for a week, $7.50 for a whole month, or the best value option – $34.95 for a whole year.

Memberships include access to jobs as well as resources like Career Coaching, Resume Review, 170 expert skills tests to better assess and promote your skills, and more.

Lori S. from Colorado Springs, CO said, “I would have spent hours trying to find these jobs on my own. I LOVE this website!! These are jobs that are not easy to find—I found the membership fee very reasonable and worth every penny considering I have found two wonderful jobs through FlexJobs.”

Non-essential workers are being asked to stay home during these times but making money is essential to everyone so take advantage of the 50% off membership plans to look at what could be your next new job! Remember to use promo code JOB.

16. Take Guitar Lessons from GRAMMY Award Winners Without Leaving Home

Add one more skill to your repertoire and easily learn it from home with TrueFire, the best way to learn how to play the guitar with their massive library of 40,000+ instructional videos.

Made for all skill levels, the crystal clear HD videos are taught by GRAMMY award winners and world-renowned teachers. TrueFire’s comprehensive library covers all skill levels, from beginner through advanced, and a range of styles including blues, jazz, rock, country, and more.

Access and learn from any device, anywhere, and utilize their progress tracking tools as well as slo-mo and looping to learn at your own pace! If you’ve been wanting to learn the guitar or need to fine-tune, try out TrueFire free for 30 days and make staying-at-home fun. After the free trial, there are several options to continue starting at just $29 a month for invaluable lessons, tabs & notations, jams, and much more.

17. The App That Helps Anyone Invest Easily

Investing sounds complicated but it doesn’t have to be. And you don’t have to be rich either to play the investment game. That’s why Acorns is a popular choice amongst anyone new to investing since they make it so easy.

For every purchase you make, Acorns automatically rounds it up to the nearest dollar and then saves & invests the difference into your Acorns account.

So, for instance, if you bought groceries for $30.50, Acorns will round it up and deposit $0.50 to the app’s savings account. Pretty simple, right? It can do this for every purchase.

Just connect Acorns to your credit/debit card and it’ll save automatically or you can manually choose which transactions to round up if you prefer.

Since roundups are less than $1 and basically spare change, you’ll barely notice the impact initially but over time it’ll grow to make a big difference. Acorns will continue to round up and save for you, while at the same time, investing those savings so that your portfolio can grow.

The very minor catch? It only costs $3 a month but it’s way cheaper than an investment advisor. It includes investing, a retirement account as well as a checking account. Plus, all plans come with up to 10% bonus investments when you shop with 400+ Found Money partners and useful money tips from top financial experts!


1Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the payer’s submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.

2SpotMe limits start at $20 and can be increased to $100 or more based on factors like Chime account activity or history

*40 million unemployed source: Forbes


Some of the sponsored links that appear on this page are from companies that offer investment advisory services. They compensate us; for details on our compensation arrangements, please click here.