With the holidays just around the corner, most people are beginning to stress out about money. It is no wonder that credit card debt skyrockets during the holiday season. The good news is that, for this year, and hopefully many years to come, you no longer have to empty your bank account or stretch your budget to pay for the gifts you want to purchase or pay off your credit cards after you max them out with holiday spending. Here are some tips so you can earn some quick extra cash before Christmas.
Besides becoming a freelancer (i.e. writer at freelance service sites, such as Upwork or Freelancer, virtual assistant, web designer or consider Fiverr, who will pay you $5 to offer something, from writing a short article to creating a logo or shooting a quick video) or fill out surveys (Swagbucks is a legit app you can try), you can put more money in your pockets by:
1. Download Apps
You can get an easy $400/year by just installing apps (all of those mentioned below) on your cell phone. There are several companies that will pay you for that every single month for as long as you keep their apps installed. They do so because companies are very much interested in understanding mobile and web usage the best they possibly can (i.e. what do users browse, when, how long they stay on the websites they visit, etc.). Their apps help them accomplish that by collecting data from users’ cell phones. Some of these apps are:
- Savvy Connect – They will pay you $5 per device for each month the app is installed.
- Shop Tracker – This is great for those shopping from Amazon regularly. You just download the app and connect it to your Amazon account. It pays $3/month, plus a free $3 Visa gift card.
- Mobile Xpression (for Android and iPhone) – Install it for a week and play a game (instant rewards) for a prize. From Amazon gift cards to Samsung TVs, everyone wins something.
- Nielsen (for Android, iOS, and Kindle operating systems) – They will give you $50/year in points.
- Smart Panel – You will get $5 for qualifying and $5/month if you are an active panelist; plus, a loyalty bonus every 3 months.
2. Clear the Clutter
Sell all superfluous stuff you keep at home online or rent some of them. For example, SnapGoods.com will allow you to list literally everything you want to rent, including your clothes to people in the same city. They also guarantee that if something goes wrong, the rented item will be replaced or repaired (depending on the case). And, while your goods are getting fixed, you get a temporary replacement. The same applies to iRent2u.com and Zilok.com, where you can rent, for example, a pair of earrings for $50/month! As for the more valuable assets (i.e. home and car) assets, we’ll talk about them at a separate section of this guide (see below).
3. Open a New Checking Account
There are several banks that will pay you up to $500 bonus for opening a new checking account with them. You can check out TD Bank, for example, or Chase. The first, will give you a $300 bonus if you set up direct deposits to put, at least, $2,500 into the checking account within 2 months of opening it or a $150 bonus if you open a new Convenience Checking Account if you set up direct deposits to put, at least, $500 into the account within 2 months of opening. The second one will give you a $200 bonus when you open a new Checking Account, and an extra $150 if you open a Saving Account (you must maintain a $10,000 balance for 3 months). You will need a unique bonus coupon they will send to your email to take advantage of their offer (NOTE: It expires 1/15/2017).
You can have these new accounts for your Christmas or vacation funds!
4. Rent Out Your Car
Have a car sitting in the driveway most of the time? Rent it out (as long as it is reliable) or choose to drive people around with it and earn about $220. Here is how:
- List your car for rent at Turo and let travelers know when the car will be available and for how long. The rest is easy. You will get notified when someone is interested in renting your car, you meet with them (or deliver the car at a designated location or the airport) and get paid. Your car’s rental price will be based on data, such as market value and time of the year (extra bonus for driving around holidays!). Turo experts suggest you can earn about $1,800 per year for driving a car with a market value of $10,000 only 5 days a month. Plus, depending on the car protection package you select, you can earn 65%-85% of the trip price or 90% if you provide your own commercial rental insurance.
- Uber and Lyft are just 2 of the services that will allow you to get paid for becoming a driver. You will be asked to pick people up and take them to the desired location. The average Uber driver makes around $19/hour, although pay rates can climb to $30/hour in big cities like New York).
You may also consider Amazon Flex that is willing to pay $18-$25/hour to deliver their packages with your car! You can set up your availability according to your daily schedule while you may also sign up for the Amazon Restaurant Delivery service, where you will be assigned to restaurant delivery shifts and deliver food from local restaurants to customers. Besides the hourly rate, you can also count in the tips customers can give you using their credit card!
5. Obtain A Title Loan
You can receive a loan using your car title, provided it is in your name. The process is pretty straightforward, and you can get your money in less than half an hour (depending on the selected title loan brand). You retain the use of your car throughout the duration of the East Las Vegas title loan. Besides earning from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars (based on the value of the vehicle) and spend as you please, you may also get a car title loan to refinance a previous title loan with a better rate.
6. Rent an Extra Room or a Home for the Weekend
Think about listing a spare room you have at home or a home that you won’t visit this weekend (or during Christmas holidays) on Airbnb. Holiday travelers will appreciate the home-away-from-home feel when they rent your room and also get the comforts of their own home at the home you rent out for a few days around Christmas (and every other month). If you take this one seriously, you could earn enough to pay your mortgage or more!
7. Shop for Others
You read that right. If you don’t mind shopping groceries or goods for others, check out Instacart. They need shoppers to deliver goods to their customers. Depending on the hours you put into it, you can earn big bucks. Also, if you choose to work on Sundays too, you will get extra money for it.
8. Take the $500 Saving Challenge
Bright Peak Financial has a free 7-day program that will help you build financial strength. You will be emailed daily challenges, as well as insider tips, expert advice, and easy tricks to help you save $500 in 7 days. As the challenge is only for a week, make sure you sign up when you feel the time is right so you can focus on the program.
9. Get Cashback on Shopping
Cashback sites give you cash rebates if you use their site to do your online shopping. The reason they offer you money for it is that they use affiliate links which allow the retailer to monitor the source of their traffic and then pay the cashback sites for the lead accordingly. Two of these sites are TopCashBack, which can pay up to 105% cash-back and Mypoints that pays up to $25% cash-back on your purchase (pretty helpful at Christmas time, when an average 4-member family spends about $800 on Christmas gifts, right?). To get started, create an account (it’s free) and use the website to shop at your favorite places.
10. Rate Music
Do you know a lot about music and make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest in the industry? Then, you can earn some extra cash for writing short, yet very detailed and well-written, reviews and rate new music at Slice the Pie. They pay with PayPal every Tuesdays and Fridays. The longer and more thoughtful the review, the better they pay.
Hopefully, with this list, your holidays this year will be less stressful and a whole lot more enjoyable!