23 Weird (but Totally Legal) Ways To Pay Rent When It’s Over $800 a Month

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.

Note: These suggestions are meant to help supplement your finances. If you’re in a more dire situation we suggest speaking with your landlord immediately, calling 211 for organizational assistance, applying for industry grants, and asking friends/family for help.

You feel it every month.

When that chunk of rent payment leaves your bank account and into someone else’s. It’s the price to pay for having your own living space and basically, a non-negotiable.

Because no matter what, you gotta keep adulting when you don’t want to move back in with family. Seriously.

So keep making those rent payments and we’re making it a little bit easier by suggesting some things you can do to earn some side cash as well as manage your money more efficiently. Even better when you can get paid for doing stuff you already do!

1. Play 3 Minute Games & Win Cash Over $1,000 Every Day

When you’re looking for more games to play that could actually be productive to your wallet, check out Pocket7Games on iOS which despite the name, actually has 9 different classic games to choose from.

Bingo Clash is the most popular, followed by Solitaire!, Bubble Shot, 21 Gold, Block Blitz, 2048 Blitz, Dunk Shot, Bubble Gold, and Cube Blast. Easily switch between games to play for fun or for cash against real players 1v1 or in a group.

Every day over $1,000 free cash is awarded to players who join the free entry events. You can also win Amazon gift cards, and tech prizes like Xbox, AirPods, iPads, and more. Never be bored with plenty of surprise events and activities that give free cash plus earn up to $40 per friend you invite to play Pocket7Games!

More than $70M in prizes have already been rewarded so get in on your share of the fun. Note that cash games are not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, MT, SC, SD, TN, VT.

2. Play B-I-N-G-O for Up to $25,000 C-A-S-H!

When you think of bingo, you probably envision a room full of seniors stamping number cards. In other words, not terribly exciting.

But Bingo Clash on iOS, is the free modern version where you can play on your iPhone, and win big with cash and real-life prizes. There are daily cash prizes as well as weeklong tournaments with prize pools that can go up to $25,000! You can also win items like iPads, kitchen appliances, LEGO sets, other electronics, even cars!

You play against other people of similar skill in 1v1, tournaments, or multiplayer. It’s fair play as everyone gets the same card and the same numbers called out, but it’s how fast and accurate you are that will declare the winner!

Pro-tip: Don’t hit the Bingo button until almost the end of the game to rack up bonus points!

Play cash games for the bigger prizes but note that they aren’t available in these states AZ, AK, CT, DE, LA, MT, SC, SD, TN, and VT. However, Bingo Clash iOS is free to play, is fun, and you could win cash/prizes, so check it out!

3. 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.*

4. Get Paid for Playing Free Digital Scratch-Offs

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

Instead, play digital scratchers for free on Lucktastic to win money from the comfort of your home.

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 the most gift cards for free: 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
  • Check mailed to you
  • Payouts start at just $5!
  • Contest entries into big cash winnings

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 with up to $1 million dollars! Not bad for playing free scratchers, right? So download now to start earning free gift cards!

5. Play Solitaire to Win Cash. No Longer a Single Player Game.

Less than a few minutes. That’s all you need to win real cash when you play Solitaire Cash, a fun Solitaire iOS game with a modern twist.

It’s like regular Solitaire but you compete against other players at the same skill-level as yours to see who can solve the deck the fastest, and for cash! Play in groups of 5 or more and the top 3 for each game wins.

Players have already won thousands of dollars! Solitaire Cash is free to download and play on iOS but cash tournaments are specifically not available in AZ, AR, IN, IA, LA, ME, MD, SC, MT & SD.

If you like playing quick games for chances to win cash, check it out.

6. 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!

7. 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!+

8. Not Your Grandma’s Bingo - Play Anywhere for Cash

Classic bingo is a game based on both luck and skill since it takes strategy to beat the odds of the house and the players around you.

However, you can ditch the paper sheets and giant stamps in favor of Blackout Bingo on iOS, a fast-paced and competitive bingo game that you can play anywhere on your phone. And even against your friends virtually.

2 minutes. That’s all you need per game where you play against another person around the world. Everyone sees the same card and balls so by daubing (tapping the number) fast and correctly, you’ll get bonus boosts for more points! Tap the incorrect number and points will get docked so don’t get sloppy!

This easy-to-learn game is awesome for killing time and earning cash all at once, anywhere which is perfect for home.

You can play for free on iPhone against real people for prizes or switch over to cash games to win…cash! Cash game winners can win up to $1,000 or more in mini-tournaments.

Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, MT, SC, SD, and TN.

9. 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!

10. 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!

11. 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!

12. Not Your Grandma’s Bingo - Play Anywhere for Cash

Classic bingo is a game based on both luck and skill since it takes strategy to beat the odds of the house and the players around you.

However, you can ditch the paper sheets and giant stamps in favor of Blackout Bingo on iOS, a fast-paced and competitive bingo game that you can play anywhere on your phone. And even against your friends virtually.

2 minutes. That’s all you need per game where you play against another person around the world. Everyone sees the same card and balls so by daubing (tapping the number) fast and correctly, you’ll get bonus boosts for more points! Tap the incorrect number and points will get docked so don’t get sloppy!

This easy-to-learn game is awesome for killing time and earning cash all at once, anywhere which is perfect for home.

You can play for free on iPhone against real people for prizes or switch over to cash games to win…cash! Cash game winners can win up to $1,000 or more in mini-tournaments.

Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, MT, SC, SD, and TN.

13. 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 rewarding 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!

14. The Secret to Getting Free Cash Back

Alice Ly / The Bill Wizard

$860 million dollars. That’s how much free money members have gotten back so far 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 they need is a receipt.

It’s super simple, just check Ibotta first before:

  • Shopping at your fav stores and services like Target, Ralph’s, Trade Joe’s, Uber Eats, and more
  • Ordering groceries and delivery services like Walmart Grocery, Instacart, Shipt, and more. Link the accounts together and maximize on free cash back!
  • Online shopping from retailers like Amazon, Sephora, Under Armour, Gap, and more

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.

15. Pump Up Your Savings at The Pump

Save each time you get gas by using the free BPMe Rewards app to find BP or Amoco gas stations nearby since you’ll instantly get 5 cents back on every gallon.* It adds up! On average, people spend over $2K on gas alone a year.*

Don’t even deal with touching a germy pin pad or fumbling with a wallet. You can use the app to pay using either a credit card or PayPal to stay contact-free. (You’ll still have to hold the gas pump though, no short cut there).

All transactions are saved automatically in the app so you can see how much you’ve saved. It’s a no-brainer if you get gas regularly and it’s free to use!

NEW MEMBER BONUS: Use promo code SAVINGS and get a one-time 15₵/gallon additional discount on your next fuel up after you complete your first in-app transaction of $15 or more only until March 31st!

*BPMe Rewards not available in AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, LA, ME, MT, ND, NM, NV, OK, OR, SC, TX, UT, VT, WA, WY

16. Talk to a Financial Coach & Earn Cash Rewards

Hiring a financial advisor can cost $1,000 or more, so we’re suggesting the next best thing.

Status Money, a free-to-use personal finance app, lets you anonymously crowdsource financial advice from a community of more than 350,000 people for free.

You can also anonymously compare your finances with people like you and earn cash rewards for acting on money-saving recommendations.

The app’s newest feature lets you video chat with a certified financial coach for just $3/month! Since coaches receive public reviews after each call, they have a big incentive to give you great advice.

As an added bonus, new Status Money members get $5 to sign up!

17. Easily Compare Competitors or Name Your Own Price for Auto Insurance

You may or not be driving as much. But it’s all the more worthwhile to see if your car insurance rates could change for the better. After all, you’re supposed to check every 6 months to a year.

Touted as the #1 insurance website, you can easily compare auto quotes with Progressive against their competitors. The form simply asks for a zipcode, vehicle, some personal information, and driving history.

You’ll immediately get 3 quote options at different price points or you can utilize their Name Your Price® tool to enter exactly what you want to pay. They’ll then show you coverage options based on your budget.

“I talked to many insurance companies who made me feel like a number, not a person. Progressive was able to help me find the right policy that met my auto insurance needs!” said Samara H.

It’s free to check and they already insure 22+ million drivers nationwide, so see if you can get a lower premium immediately. Average savings are over $750!

18. Fun Times in 3 Minute Increments – A Classic Game for $

3 minutes.

Make as many 21s as you can within that time or until you run out of moves.

That’s the basic gist of 21 Blitz for iOS, a modern take on a classic game where you’re no longer just playing against the dealer but with actual people around the world.

It’s fast-paced and it basically does all of the math for you. This game is great for killing time and earning cash all at once which is perfect for home!

You can play for free on iPhone against real people for prizes or switch over to cash games to win…well, cash! Cash game winners can win up to $7,000 or more in the mini-tournament.

Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN.

19. Play Dominoes With Anyone to Win Cash

When you’re looking for a different type of puzzle gaming experience that’s not just swapping candies or jewels around, check out  Dominoes Gold for iOS, where you can play the classic board game for cash prizes.

The game follows the popular “Fives” rulebook where you match the ends of the domino tiles and make the ends of the board a multiple of 5. Any leftover tiles after a Domino will be counted as points for the winner of that round.

There are daily domino tournaments up to $6,000! Play for free on iPhone and when you’re ready, switch over to cash tournaments to get serious prizes. Memories of slamming chips down at your family’s house will come rushing back.

Cash tournaments not available in: AL, AR, AK, CT, DE, FL, LA, KY, MA, MT, NJ, NY, OK, PA, SC, SD, or TN but you can still play for free if you’re in these areas.

20. Get Free Stock Worth Up to $200

@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 makes it really easy for new investors to get started with just $1.

This free trading app lets you trade stocks, ETFs and options, along with cryptocurrency all for free. No commission fees! When your application is approved, they’ll give free stock worth $2.50 up to $200 for new members, with chances to get a high-value stock in Facebook, Microsoft, etc.

You’ll also earn interest on any uninvested cash too. 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.

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

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

Instead of charging 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 is free to use, give it a shot and see how you like it.

22. 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.

23. 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!


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