During uncertain times, it pays to have a few ideas in your pocket for how to quickly make and save more money each month.
Now, while a lot of side hustle ideas take a while to actually start making money, there are still some money-moves you can make today that will have an immediate benefit on your finances.
So, today we’re going to break down some instant ways to make extra money each month, as well as some fast and simple methods you can use to save more of your hard-earned money.
Let’s get to it!
6 Ideas To Make & Save Money Instantly
Let’s be clear…the following apps and services won’t make anyone rich.
However, if you want to boost your savings with a bit of extra pocket money each month, read on!
1. Earn Cashback & Free Gift Cards When Shopping Online
Online shopping is already a useful way to compare prices, find deals, and actually save money (as long as you don’t have an online shopping addiction!)
Personally, I buy most of my household essentials online. It’s just hard to beat the convenience and deals, and you don’t have to spend time or gas going to stores.
But, you can actually get 2 birds with 1 stone here and earn free gift cards and cashback for spending online if you know how to go about it.
Personally, I use a few shopping browser extensions and cashback platforms to maximize my earnings:
- Capital One Shopping – Great for earning loyalty credits for free gift cards, applying coupon codes, and adding items to a price watchlist. Note that Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up using the links provided
- Honey – Automatically applies coupons at checkout and also lets you earn cashback.
- Rakuten – The best way to earn cashback online when shopping. To date, I’ve earned more than $550 from using Rakuten.
Ultimately, all of these programs are free, so there’s no harm in trying them out to see how much cashback you can earn!
2. Get Control Over Your Monthly Spending
Taking control of your finances during difficult times and reigning in your spending is by far the most immediate way to keep more money in your wallet each month.
With Truebill, it’s easier to stay on track with your spending and to even get rid of unwanted or overpriced subscriptions that drain your bank account each month.
Truebill provides a quick snapshot of your financial habits to help you understand your spending habits. The app also helps lower your monthly bills by cancelling unused subscriptions and negotiating prices with your internet, cable, and cellphone providers.
If you don’t know how to budget or you want help trimming your monthly expenses, Truebill is definitely worth checking out.
3. Earn Cash Back On Your Grocery Bills
Grocery and food expenses are one of the largest cost categories for households following bills like rent or mortgage payments.
Thankfully, apps like Fetch Rewards let you recoup some of your grocery bill through cash back rewards and free gift cards.
The premise behind Fetch Rewards is simple. All you have to do is shop at a partner like Walmart, Korger, Target, or dozens of other stores and then upload a picture of your shopping receipt.
After you upload a receipt, you earn points. Points can be cashed out for free gift cards to dozens of different stores. If you shop for specific sponsored offers, you can earn extra points as well.
Unlike other grocery reward apps, you can cash out with Fetch Rewards with just $3.00 in your account, which is possible to reach in a single shopping trip.
Download Fetch Rewards and start saving money on your grocery bill! Use code “APREWARDS” to redeem 3K points!
Download Fetch Rewards for Android. Same reward code still applies!
4. Get Paid For Using Your Smartphone (2 Ways)
There are two free apps that pay you for using your smartphone, and they can earn you around $10 per month in free gift cards for doing absolutely nothing.
Again, these apps don’t make you rich. But, if you are looking for a quick way to earn an extra $120 per year or so, these apps aren’t a bad call.
Here are the two apps that pay you for using your smartphone like you normally do:
SMores Lockscreen App – This app pays you $0.10 per day, or $36.50 a year, for unlocking your smartphone at least once per day. I figure this is something most people do anyways!
MobileXpression – This app pays you in free gift cards to run in the background of your phone. MobileXpression is a market research company, and I earn anywhere from $5-$10 per month from using this app.
As long as you don’t mind using data collection apps, this is an fast way to make extra money each month.
Extra Reading – Checkout our S`more App Review!
5. Earn Cash Back At Your Favorite Stores
There are plenty of cash back apps out there, but by far, my favorite one so far has been Drop.
Drop is a very simple app. Once you install Drop, you get to pick 5 of your favorite stores from a list of dozens of merchants. When you shop at these stores, you earn cash back in the form of Drop points.
Drop partners with plenty of popular retailers like Walmart, Starbucks, Target, Uber, and Trader Joe’s, so there’s plenty of ways to actually earn cash back.
I’ve been using Drop for a little over a year, and have earned a little over $50. Again, not making me rich, but hey, I don’t shop that much and it’s free money after all!
Drop points are redeemable for a variety of free gift cards to stores like Target, Walmart, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Getting started with Drop just takes a few minutes, so hopefully this app scores you a few free gift cards!
Extra Reading – 18 Awesome & Free Cashback Reward Apps.
6. Get Free Gift Cards For Playing Mobile Games
Mistplay is the reward platform for mobile gamers. In exchange for playing mobile games, you slowly earn free gift cards over time, no catch.
Now, this app isn’t ideal for anyone who isn’t a mobile gamer since it’s really designed to be a passive way to get free gift cards while doing something you already enjoy.
However, if you spend time playing games on your phone, you might as well try out Mistplay to make some money in the process.
As you play games, Mistplay rewards you with points. Points are redeemable for free gift cards to Amazon, Best Buy, or even prepaid Visa cards.
Mistplay is only available on Android for now, but it’s worth trying out if you want to get free gift cards for doing something you enjoy!
Extra Reading – 10 Apps That Pay You To Play Games.
Side Hustles Ideas To Make Money Quickly
Making money immediately through apps and cash back is awesome. But, if you want to boost your income more significantly, here are a few side hustle ideas to check out.
7. Deliver Food & Groceries For Extra Cash
Right now, food and grocery delivery companies are on a hiring spree. If you want to earn a solid hourly wage by delivering food via foot, bike, or car, this is a potential side hustle to explore.
Here is some additional information to know:
DoorDash – DoorDash drivers can get paid $23 per hour while out on deliveries.
Instacart – Shoppers earn approximately $11 to $17 per hour based on Glassdoor and Indeed salary reviews.
8. Bet On Yourself To Get In Shape!
If you’re on a mission to get in shape, you can actually bet on yourself to complete your fitness goal through HealthyWage.
The way HealthyWage works is pretty simple. Players set a weight-loss goal, time-frame to get in shape, and how much they want to bet on themselves to complete their goal.
If you reach your goal in-time, you win your bet plus interest. Depending on how aggressive your goal is, you might be looking at a few extra hundred or even thousands of dollars.
HealthyWage pays up to a maximum of $10,000, and you can also compete in team challenges if you don’t want to take on a fitness challenge by yourself.
Use the HealthyWage calculator to estimate your potential prize for getting in shape.
9. Try A Variety Of Micro Jobs
It isn’t always easy to find an online job if you want to make money quickly. Remote job boards are your best bet for finding high-paying, long-term work, but applications usually take time.
Personally, I absolutely hate doing online surveys for money. But, there are a few micro task websites that provide slightly higher hourly pay, or at least have low enough cash out thresholds to make it possible to make money quickly.
Some popular micro task websites include:
Amazon MTurk – Earn money through data entry jobs, transcription, survey panels, and a variety of other tasks.
Prolific – Make money for participating in research panels. Prolific states that participants earn at least $6.50 per hour.
Survey Junkie – I still hate survey websites, but Survey Junkie at least has one of the lowest cash out threshold in the industry at $5.00. Don’t expect much from this type of app, but if you have to try a survey website, this might be it (or Grindabuck). You can read more about paid survey work if you’re really interested in this line of work.
Extra Reading – 18 Ways To Make Money On Amazon.
Smart Financial Moves To Make Extra Money Quickly
Once you boost your monthly income through different side hustle ideas or easy reward apps, there are several wise financial moves you can make to further improve the health of your wallet.
10. Grow Your Savings With CIT Bank
There’s no way around it…if you keep your savings in a basic savings account (or even under your mattress), you are making a mistake.
Most savings accounts barely pay any interest. This means that you actually lose money each year due to inflation. Not fun.
In contrast, signing up for Savings Builder account with CIT Bank unlocks 1.30% APY, which absolutely blows your average savings account out of the water.
It just takes $100 to open and fund your account, and CIT Bank is FDIC insured and secure.
If you want to earn 15X the national average, opening an account with CIT Bank is definitely a smart move. Don’t let your money waste away in a basic checking or savings account!
11. Overcome Credit Card Debt Once & For All
Using credit cards to earn cash back rewards is awesome…but if you lose control of your spending, you’re in for a world of hurt and debt.
Tally is a credit card and debt management app that is designed to help people overcome the pains of carrying credit card debt.
Tally consolidates existing debt into a more manageable line of credit, making it easier to pay off debt faster and to even save money in the process.
According to Tally, members find an average of $5,300 in lifetime savings by using Tally to pay off their debt.
Your credit history will impact your rates, but Tally is free to use and doesn’t carry any hidden fees. All you have to do is qualify for a Tally line of credit.
12. Optimize Your Savings & Credit Score
Another simple and free money move you can make to benefit your finances is to optimize your credit score and monthly savings.
Once you signup for a free account with Credit Karma, you gain access to free credit score checks Credit Karma savings, another decent option for parking your emergency fund or idle cash.
Plus, right now, Credit Karma is giving one lucky winner $20,000 after they open a free savings account with Credit Karma.
Ultimately, signing up for Credit Karma is a zero-fee, low-effort way to stay on top of your credit score and to unlock other nifty Credit Karma features, like their new savings account.
13. Invest In Real Estate For As Low As $500
Personally, I like investing in ETFs or using a high interest savings account since it’s possible to grow your wealth without requiring a tonne of money to start.
I want to start investing in real estate in the future, and thankfully, companies like DiversyFund make it possible to get started with as little as $500.
Some REITs, or real estate investment trusts, can be expensive to buy into and therefore aren’t easily accessible to beginner investors.
In contrast, DiversyFund helps investors diversify their portfolio through real estate investing, and the platform truly simplifies the process of getting your foot in the door of real estate.
The company has seen promising growth since it’s inception in 2017, and at the very least, I’ll be keeping my eye on DiversyFund to see what the future holds.
At the end of the day, the most important things you can do for your financial well-being is to set a budget, track your spending, and live within your means.
If you can’t follow these basic practices, no money-making app or cash back reward platform is going to fix your woes!
However, if you’re looking to make some extra money in a pinch or save money fast, these nifty apps, 2020 side hustle ideas, and money-moves can help out. These ideas won’t make you a millionaire, but every little bit helps!
Thanks so much for reading! Do you have a go-to money maker up your sleeve? Let us know what it is in the comments!
- 40 Ways to Make Money Online in 2020.
- 16 Easy Ways to Earn Free Money Through Signup Bonuses.
- 5 Income Stream Ideas to Boost Your Monthly Income.
- 16 Passive Income Apps That Pay in 2020.
- 45+ Gig Economy Jobs to Find Your Next Side Hustle.
DoorDash Disclaimer: Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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