15 Things to Do When Those $600 Extra Unemployment Checks Stop Next 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.

For those out of work, the extra $600 weekly unemployment checks have been vital. But those benefits will be expiring July 31st.

There hasn’t been any confirmation yet if the benefits will extend so be prepared if the extra money does get cut off. For now, resist the urge to spend (if you can) and budget like mad.

In the meantime, while you’re looking for a job or just waiting for your previous one to start up again, try these methods below to make some extra side money. Some are self-explanatory, while some are pretty offbeat. Anything that can help is worth trying!

1. 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.

2. School Competitors in Solitaire and Ca$h In

When you’re looking for something to do at home, check out Solitaire Cube, which is like regular Solitaire, except you get to play for real cash.

The game matches you with players of the same skill level, so all is fair. If you’re a good Solitaire player, you could win some serious cash, like Katie N. who took home $380,984 last year as one of the Top 10 Solitaire Cube players! Even casual players like Amanda, a stay-at-home mom from IL, won a 55″ TV, $6,000, and more!

So if you think you can handle playing some Solitaire Cube to win legit cash, definitely download this game for free. 

Cash tournaments aren’t available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, FL, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN.

3. 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!

4. 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 Blitz, 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 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, FL, LA, MT, SC, SD, and TN.

5. 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.

6. Don’t Toss That Receipt! Do This First for Free Money

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.

It’s ridiculously simple and actually fun to use.

Shop at any grocery store, convenience store, club store, neighborhood store, or big box store, take a picture with the app, and that’s it. (Favorites include Target, Kroger, and Walmart!)

Unlike other apps, you don’t have to go to specific stores, there’s nothing to pre-select prior to shopping, and there’s no minimum spend. Just scan in any receipt from a store that sells groceries (even when you didn’t actually buy any groceries) and boom, points for money.

You can start cashing out as soon as $3 (3,000 points) and you can grab a $2 welcome bonus on us (2,000 points) when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

Welcome bonus: $2
Average savings a month (depends on purchases): $25
What it could add up to in a year: $302
Additional referral earnings: $2 per referral

7. 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!

8. 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!

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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!

12. Keep Calm and Invest - Starting with Just $1

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

Yes, the COVID-19 news that’s bombarding your feed can be scary. In addition to the Fed cutting interest rates and events getting banned, you might not even think about investing.

But it’s actually the time to start if you haven’t already. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you can easily start with Stash, an investment app that only takes $1* to start and you’ll also get a $5 bonus* after funding your first investment.

Investing is for the long-term and in the app, you can choose where to put your money in as well as being a well-informed investor with Stash Coach, a fun way to increase your knowledge.

Consider investments in certain industries whenever there’s political, economic, or financial unrest too. Stash offers investments in precious metals, pharmaceutical companies, major retailers, utility companies, as well as media, entertainment, and communication companies since more people will be staying home now. So keep calm, and invest!

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

BONUS: 7+ Million People Use This App to Easily Invest

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 for 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.

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.

It only costs $1/month for accounts that have under $5,000. It’s way cheaper than an investment advisor. Or you can choose the all-in-one $3/month plan that includes investing, a retirement account as well as a checking account!

BONUS 2: Pop Some Colorful Bubbles to Make Some Bank

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 Shooter, 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 up to $10,000 (no joke).

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


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

*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

The Smart Wallet is a paid solicitor of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.

You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian. For current fee schedule, please see the Stash Wrap Fee Brochure. Other fees apply to the debit account. Please see Deposit Account Agreement for details.

*Promotions are subject to Terms and Conditions.


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