2021 Goal: Learn How to Make $1,500 By Spring

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.

“Invest in yourself first, the rest will follow.” – #bossbabe™ 

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.

So we rounded up all the ways that you can start earning extra cash on the side since every bit can help! Start investing in yourself now and you could have a nice sum by the time Spring blossoms. 

1. Never Pay Overdraft Fees Again - Banking That Has Your Back

On average, people pay $250/year just on overdraft fees!

Instead of punishing you for silly fees, Chime, has your back. It’s an award-winning (and free to use) mobile banking app that lets you overdraft up to $100 with no fees1 via their SpotMe benefit. This means that $8 you were short on at the grocery store gets spotted and your account won’t overdraft, saving you money. Plus, you get a sleek-looking debit card!

Combined with no hidden fees, the ability to get paid up to 2 days earlier,2 and auto-savings starting at 0.50% APY3 makes Chime a stellar online banking option that doesn’t focus on profiting off of you like traditional banks.

Since Chime free to use, give it a shot!

2. Get Paid Up to $600+ Listening to Free Music

If you don’t go a day without listening to some music, then immediately download this app.

Current is a free Google Play app that literally pays you to listen to music. The more music played, the more you can earn points to redeem for cash, gift cards, and rewards. Choose from 100,000+ radio stations worldwide to discover new music or revisit your favorite artists.

Reward options include Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Google Play gift cards, PayPal Cash, and tech prizes like smartwatches, mini drones, bluetooth speakers, and more.

You can earn up to $600/year or more just listening to free music! The music plays from your Android lock screen and will periodically display muted video ads.

Other ways you can earn while listening to music (all optional):

  • Completely simple tasks/offers + surveys
  • Play games, the longer you play the more you earn
  • Watch simple 30-second video ads
  • Save money on your monthly bills
  • Refer friends to get up to $250 and 5% of their music earnings for life

Turn on the app whenever you want to listen to music and earn extra money while doing errands, jogging, working, or when you need a mood booster!

3. 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!

4. 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!+

5. 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 Android. 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.

New features make it even easier to earn for stuff you’re already doing too. Earn rewards by using your lock screen, watching videos, shopping, and even trying out apps.

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. Pretty much the easiest thing to do and you’ll be earning gift cards to use online while social distancing and for IRL fun when the pandemic is over!

6. Fetch All Your Receipts (Even Virtual) & Get Free Money Back for the Holidays

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), 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!

7. More New Games, More Cash to Earn

When you’re ready to add even more games to your lineup, then download Cash ‘Em All, an Android app that pays you to try out new games for yes, you guessed it, for cash. All are free to download!

Just earn coins from trying new games, and then you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And more good stuff

A 4,444 coin welcome bonus is yours immediately too when you sign in.  (Worth 50 cents!) If you’re impatient, you can cash out as low as $1 as well.

Enjoy playing new-to-you games for some side fun money on your Android!

8. Get $5* to Invest in Amazon, Apple, 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 Apple, Facebook, Spotify, 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.*

9. Get Paid for Playing Free Lotto Tickets

When you’re stuck at home, you have to keep yourself occupied. Make killing time fun and productive when you play free digital scratchers on Lucktastic to win money from the comfort of your home. It’s just like getting the ones from the gas station, but…free.

There are a ton of different scratchers to play where you can earn both cash prizes and tokens. Tokens turn into gift cards or contest entries so collect as much as you can!

PRO-TIP to get more gift cards: Play all your scratch cards, Spin the Wheel daily for instant prizes and go to Today’s Bonus and try out free offers & games like Slotomania to earn the most tokens!

Then redeem tokens for:

  • Amazon gift cards
  • CVS gift cards
  • Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards
  • Check mailed to you
  • Visa gift cards
  • Contest entries into big cash events

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.

Also until April 2021, their Crack the $1 Million Safe event will reward a lucky winner $1 million dollars! Not bad for playing free scratchers, right? So download now to start earning free gift cards!

10. The Secret Shopping Hack To Use Before Buying Anything

Drobot Dean

Make it a habit to check this free app before buying anything online or in-store and you’ll be glad you did. Why? Because you’ll get major cash back!

Cash back. Our favorite word, since it’s essentially free money. Just use Ibotta, an app that pays you real money on your everyday purchases, from groceries (online/in-store), essentials, personal care items, to food delivery, to online shopping just by your receipts.

And with the holidays coming soon, this will be your best shopping hack to save.

Just remember to check Ibotta first before:

  • Shopping at popular stores and services like Target, Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, Uber Eats, and more
  • Ordering groceries and delivery services like Walmart Grocery, Instacart, Shipt, and more. Link accounts & get cash back on eligible products within 24 hours after your order is picked up or delivered!
  • Online shopping from 100+ online retailers that include Sephora, Under Armour, Gap, and more to get money back

Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up!

11. 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, an Android 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 this Google Play 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!

12. Make Easy Money Just Trying and Playing Games

One of the best ways to kill time is to check out new games that you can play to have fun and still feel productive. How?

Check out AppStation, an Android app that pays you to try out new games. Yes, you’ll get paid just to play 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!

13. New Year, New Financially Responsible You Can Save Up to $720

How much did you spend over the holidays? On average, Americans spend about $1,000!

You can get up to 70% of that back in the new year by using Truebill, a free money management app that’s like your own financial control center and personal finance assistant in one. The app groups all your banking accounts together so you can see your earnings and spending in one spot. Plus, it helps you budget even if you don’t know how to.

Truebill will also alert you when services quietly raise fees, and will even cancel your hidden and unwanted subscriptions for you. Most importantly, Truebill can help lower your monthly bills by 20%! Yup, they negotiate for you so you don’t have to deal with talking to reps.

It’s also time to look forward to new life events since 2020 ruined most of our plans. But that usually comes with a cost. So prepare ahead of time by using Truebill which can save you over $720/year!

14. Get $5 to Check Your Finances & Feel More Empowered in the New Year

Financial advisors are expensive, so that’s why we’re suggesting the next best thing.

Status Money, a free-to-use budgeting app, tracks your finances and shows how your Spending, Income, Net Worth, Assets, Debts, and Credit Score anonymously compares to other people like you. Do you have more debt than others in your age group? How much do your peers spend on groceries every month?

It’ll also help analyze your finances to help you make better money decisions. You can even chat with your peers anonymously to get tips and advice from the huge community.

Anonymous is the keyword here. You’ll get access to a lot of insight without the pressure of feeling small. It’s also important to start the new year with good financial know-how right?

For Status Money to get the whole picture of your finances, you’ll need to link your bank accounts. It’s safe. They use bank-grade security, encrypt your info, and will only have read-only access.

Get $5 when you sign up and continue getting cash bonuses like $1 for linking a first bank account and $1 for linking a credit report. Earn even more when you act on the app’s personalized recommendations with no limit and no expiration!

15. Start on New Year, New You - Get Paid to Lose Weight

Time to get rid of that quarantine 15…or more!

Get extra motivated 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. 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!

17. 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!

18. Try Games, Get Gift Cards. Play More to Earn More

Alice Ly | The Smart Wallet

We’ll probably be the only ones to tell you this but, please play more mobile games.

Play more games so you can earn more gift cards through the Rewarded Play Android app, a free to download game platform that lets you try as many games as you want.

Popular games include Yahtzee, Wheel of Fortune, Words with Friends, mystery games, fantasy games, puzzle games, and a lot more.

You can then redeem for gift cards from 20+ retailers including favorites like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, etc. The games are fun, it’s an easy way to earn some cash especially when we’re bored at home, and bonus, there is an active customer support team!

19. Switch to Car Insurance as Low as $29/Month to Save Big

When was the last time you thought about car insurance? Most people only think about their insurance if they’re involved in an accident but rates change constantly.

Meaning you could be saving a lot of money and you wouldn’t have even known. On average, you’re probably spending $800+/year more than you need to.

You can easily check how much you can save with QuoteWizard, an auto insurance matching service provided by LendingTree. It’s just one form, and they’ll search through providers that include known companies like State Farm, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, and more.

Your monthly rate could be as low as $29/month! All you need is to fill out one form that asks the usual questions related to driver, car, and location and you’ll be matched with the best-for-you options. It’s easy and free to check, so see how you can save!

BONUS: Get Paid to Take Popular Surveys, Watch Videos, and Even Read Emails With This Site

Priscilla Du Preez

If you’re looking for an easy way to snag a little extra cash by being online, look no further. Inbox Dollars has a wide array of ways to make some money on the side.

Founded in 2000, Inbox Dollars has been around and paying customers for their opinions for over 19 years and counting! They are one of the most trusted survey sites with fun, multiple ways to earn extra cash that sets them apart from the others.

You can stick to sharing your opinion and take surveys, but you can also watch videos, play games, and even read email for some extra cash. Who wouldn’t want to watch movie trailers for money?

They also offer cash back for online shopping and coupon cash rewards to use at the grocery store too!

So if you’re looking for some extra cash and enjoy a wide array of options to earn, Inbox Dollars is a great platform to make a little side money. It’s free to sign up, so give it a try today!

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