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Wouldn't it be nice to make some extra cash on the side each month? Well, making money on the side does not always have to involve a full-blown small business. You can very easily make more money by creating a side hustle from doing things you already do or by doing things you love to do and then you can put those extra funds towards saving, investing or debt repayment - not bad huh?.
Here are a few suggestions that I have tried, tested and really like that you can help you earn more money so you can save an extra $1,000 (at least), this year.
"You can very easily make more money by doing things you already do or by doing things you love to do."
1. Start investing your spare change
If you want to invest but think you need a ton of money to get started, think again. You can get started by investing small amounts of money or your spare change and build up a portfolio over time. Here are my favs:
Stockpile makes it easy to buy fractional shares in the companies you love and are familiar with from using their products e.g. Disney, Facebook, Apple, Coca-cola etc. I personally have custodial accounts for my kids with them as I'm teaching them about investing in the stock market.
There are thousands of stocks to choose from, there is no monthly maintenance fee (although you do pay a 99c transaction fee for your purchases) and you can give stock as a gift - a great gift idea for kids and young adults. In addition, they give you a free $5 to get started. Minimum transfers into your Stockpile account are $25.
Rize is an online savings and investing platform. I keep the money I'm saving for my short to mid-term goals there using their savings feature and I really like the fact that they allow me to have my savings goals split up based on what it is I'm trying to save for.
They have two cool savings features that I also really like. The first is called accelerate, which you can toggle on or off, and it increases your savings amount by 1% each month to help you save more.
The second is called boost, and it helps you save more spare change (based on assessments of your bank account and spending) when it makes sense. Their investing feature allows you to put money away for the long term and there are no minimums to get started. Rize also gives you a free $5when you sign up.
2. Get cash back or refunds when you shop online
If you find that you do most of your shopping online why not get cash back when you do? I do most of my own shopping online and one of my favorite ways is to get cash back on items I already planned to buy. Once the cash back arrives, it goes into my saving accounts. These are the platforms I use:
eBates is a website (and app) that gives you a percentage of your purchase back when you shop at one of the over 1,500 stores they are affiliated with. For instance, if you spend $100 at a specific online store affiliated with eBates and they offer 10% cash back, you will get $10 deposited into your eBates accounts.
eBates is set up so that your earnings can accumulate and so every 3 months they send you a check or make a deposit into your Paypal account.
Initially, I was a bit skeptical but I did some research and once I tried it, I was hooked. Basically, eBates makes deals with retail stores and offers to drive sales to their websites by offering cash back discounts. They make money through commissions earned for each sale the retailer gets.
It's free to set up and when you do you get a $10 bonus. It's definitely a great way to earn some extra cash! They also have a great referral system where you can earn $5 for every person that signs up and uses their account make a purchase ( as long as they make a minimum purchase of $25).
Setup your own eBates account and try it out!
Swagbucks allows users to earn points through different online activities, including shopping, taking surveys, playing games, and discovering online content, and the points can be redeemed for retail gift cards, PayPal cash, or other rewards.
Similar to eBates, Swagbucks partners with major brands like Gap, Target, Walmart etc. Be sure to add Swagbucks and eBates to your browser bookmark, and every time you plan on buying something online compare the discounts from both to decide what will earn you the biggest bonus!
3. Get cash back on your grocery shopping
Similar to eBates and Swagbucks, you can earn cash back on your grocery shopping too by using Ibotta (a website and app too).
Ibotta is specific to grocery and household shopping (but includes some retail options) and is affiliated with over 300 stores that carry groceries and/or pharmacy items in the US e.g. Target, Walmart, RiteAid, your local grocery shop etc.
In order to use it, you'll need to download the Ibotta app and set up your account. Once you've set up your shopping list, log in to your account and unlock the rebates on the items you intend to purchase at a qualified store.
When you are done shopping, you'll need to scan your product barcodes and take a photo of your receipt to confirm your purchases and then Ibotta will deposit cash into your account within 48 hours that you can withdraw.
Similar to eBates, Ibotta also offers referral earnings of $5.00 per person when you invite other people and if you use the app and set up a group of friends within it, you can collectively earn more from each others shopping. So far I've saved/earned a good amount of money using this app before I do my grocery shopping!
Click here to try Ibotta out.
4. Start a blog
I personally love to write and I create a lot of content right here on this blog which has been a great source of income for me. By blogging, I'm able to share my expertise, sell my products, work on brand collaborations and get paid to create content on other platforms based on what I create for Clever Girl Finance and you can certainly do the same thing too. Here's a detailed post on exactly how I've built my blog.
These are all tried and trusted ways in which I earn and save extra money!
Ready to step up your savings game even more? Check out this blog post I wrote on some additional ideas to increase your income streams. Be sure to build your savings into your budget to keep track and allocate the funds properly.