Making money is hard. A tough economy makes it worse. You can be forgiven for feeling like you are running on the proverbial hamster wheel, chasing your tail, getting nowhere. Most of us rely on making ends meet through the daily nine to five grind. Does it have to be that way? Maybe not.
There are plenty of ways to make money quickly that do not involve trading your time for dollars. Even if you have a full-time job, there is usually an extra hour or two in our day that isn’t filled – how shall we say it delicately – productively. Facebook, YouTube, cable television. You get the idea.
In this article, we have compiled 14 strategies to earn money instantly. These are perfect suggestions for downtime fillers. Some of these ideas you might have already heard of. Others might be new to you and worth exploring. Take a look and see what you think.
Earn $$ Instantly with Sign Up Bonuses
Sign-up bonuses are such a no sweat means of making extra bucks. It is essentially like free money in your pocket and definitely is a win-win game for businesses and consumers alike. While sign-up bonuses engage more customers, it also allows you to enjoy benefits or perks while making use of their service or product. Below are some of the most well-known apps that offer sign-up bonuses as their way of welcoming you to smart investing:
Acorns is an app that operates through micro-investing, which means its members are encouraged to regularly save small amounts of money. There is no minimum requirement to open an account. Acorns offers a tiered fee structure depending on your financial needs.
The subscription options are (1) Acorns Personal which caters to one person only for a personal financial wellness system. This is billed at $3 per month, and (2) Acorns Family is billed at $5 per month and is open to investment accounts for unlimited kids per family.
With these monthly fees, Acorns diversifies your portfolios, connects you to a support team for your investment concerns, helps organize your retirement through Acorns Later, and many more services. It is definitely worth giving a look at. On top of these features, you earn a $10 bonus investment when you sign up.
Chime is a fintech app that groups your checking account, savings account, and credit card all in one interface. Take note that Chime is not a bank but rather a financial technology company. It has partnered with Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank, though, which makes it FDIC insured.
Chime stands out from similar apps by avoiding fees as much as possible. Towards that end, there are zero monthly fees and no minimum balance. Furthermore, it offers a competitive savings APY at 1.50%¹, accelerates receipt of direct deposits up to 2 days earlier*, and is known for plenty of features easily accessible via a convenient dashboard.
¹The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is effective as of August 25th, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
*Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
Earn Money Instantly with Surveys
Believe it or not, advertisers and retailers do care about your opinion. They’ll even pay for them. Easy money, right? True, though maybe not a fortune. Still, killing boredom while making money is possible with online surveys and survey sites. Check out some of the ways to deploy this tactic:
This market research company pays users to offer their unique points of view on a wide array of products. While it doesn’t promise to make you wealthy, it is a good place to make pocket change during your spare time. You can easily cash out your points for free PayPal money.
InboxDollars is a cash rewards website founded back in 2000. One popular feature is InboxDollars Surveys which pays members for completing online tasks and filling out surveys. The amount you earn from it largely depends on the length of the survey you take and the particular financial arrangement agreed upon.
InboxDollars has other money-making options such as the InboxDollars Games which allows users to binge play on paid games. And don’t overlook InboxDollars Videos – these allow you to earn money by watching videos. InboxDollars Coupons provides downloadable coupons of a wide variety of popular brands. Now boredom and laziness can be at least a little bit productive.
Swagbucks is an online rewards platform that issues Swagbucks points redeemable for gift cards or cash when users perform simple tasks online like completing surveys, watching videos, or searching the web. Definitely another portal to add to your downtime binge schedule so you can make fast money. Swagbucks works on iOS, Android and on desktop platforms so you can earn even when you're on the go.
Apps That Make You Money for Little Work
When we say little work, we mean very little work. And it can be as modest as sitting on your couch, surfing the web, doing what you usually do – only getting paid for it! Learn what we mean by this through the apps below:
The Nielsen Company allows you to earn up to $50 each year when you download and install their app on your mobile device where it tracks your online activities (data is encrypted and remains anonymous). The app’s goal is to be able to collect more data about internet behavior in order to improve accuracy for the mobile industry.
8. Rocket Money
Truebill is a money-saving app that allows you to lower bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions, get fee refunds, and set up budgets and savings. Just download the app, create an account, and Truebill will connect to your bank accounts and credit cards to track down your transactions and note recurring payments. It also identifies and cancels unnecessary subscriptions that you might have forgotten about.
9. Capital One Shopping Price Protection
Price Protection aims to be every smart online shopper’s secret weapon for getting cashback and free money. Some merchants have little-known policies that allow buyers to get a refund if the price drops after their purchase. Most of us are too busy to monitor the price of purchases. That’s where Price Protection comes in. Once it notices a price drop, it files a refund request on your behalf or helps you connect to the merchant to reclaim the price difference.
Make Money Instantly with Cash Back Apps
You don’t mind a cash-back app, right? For businesses, it’s a smart marketing tactic to keep their brand front and center without compromising the selling price of their products or services. Instead, they offer a financial incentive linked to frequent purchases. Consumers love the idea that their loyalty will be rewarded – eventually. Here are our favorite cash back apps:
Capital One Shopping is a money-saving tool that alerts its users of better deals for items they’ve been browsing for online. It also searches for applicable promo codes and helps you earn reward points from credit card purchases through Capital One Shopping Credits.
Drop is a popular mobile app that offers rewards to consumers based on their shopping activities. Activate it by installing the app and linking the card you use for shopping. Like magic – or at least technology – it provides rewards every time you shop with your favorite major brands like Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and more.
Ibotta is a favorite cashback app for many shoppers. You take advantage of purchases by uploading grocery or non-grocery receipts. Expect to begin receiving bonuses as early as your first receipt. Also, get referral bonuses when you share the app with your friends.
Make Money with Gig Economy Apps
Thanks to the continuing innovation of technology (and a little thing called Covid), the traditional work arrangement has evolved. Today, the workforce is no longer constricted to the classic nine to five daily grind but is flexible to accommodate more creativity and increasing earning potential in the process.
The combination of technology, the boom of online team communication tools, and the pandemic gave birth to the meteoric upsurge of the gig economy. The internet has, unsurprisingly, been a huge outlet for accessible gig economy apps.
We have listed below a few of the most widely known ways to nab a profitable side hustle.
DoorDash is an option for those at least 18 years old with a vehicle available to use for delivery services, a Social Security number, valid driver’s license, and insurance. With that in place, simply download the DoorDash app to your phone and you’re all set. Dashers earn money by delivering food door-to-door to users who order through the DoorDash app. They are guaranteed a base rate of $2 to $10 or more per order, largely depending on the time and distance required for the delivery. They may also earn tips from customers. For those who don’t mind hard work, the more deliveries, the more money you can make.
Instacart is another food-oriented delivery service, this one for the grocery-buying clique. A driver earns money by fulfilling a grocery list at partner stores and delivering them to the customer. Instacart shoppers are paid a fixed, hourly wage each week either via direct deposit or immediate transfer to their debit cards. There is also the potential for tips from satisfied customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much money can I make instantly?
None of these methods guarantee great wealth. Even taken all together, you may not earn a ton of online money so keep your standards low. Instant money should not be anyone’s main plan for existence, any more than the lottery is. Rather, think of it more as a side hustle on top of a main job or business. Maybe you’ll make enough to cover your Starbucks addiction or utility bill or credit card payment. But there’s no guarantee.
A couple of money-saving apps, cashback and rewards apps, sign-up bonus offers, and gig economy apps offer a range of opportunities. You can multiply your earnings by just downloading an app, writing a review, sharing referral codes with friends, completing surveys, watching videos, trying out new games, or exploring the gig economy.
Can I make instant money with PayPal?
PayPal has been a financial friend to hundreds of millions of users over the years. The service allows you to send money to friends, families, business partners, as well as receive payments from anyone with an email address. It’s possible (though not always preferable) to use PayPal in place of a bank. Start by downloading the free app and set up your account. To get paid, all you have to do is send your email address to anyone who owes you money.
PayPal has partnered with many of the money-making methods we’ve mentioned already. You can take surveys through apps like Survey Junkie, InboxDollars, and Swagbucks and earn money that will instantly be deposited in your PayPal account, check or money order.
Another idea is creating a blog and earning money through affiliate marketing by using affiliate links on your blog post. That is how you can earn money to your readers or through social media by referring them to research companies like Vindale Research and Inbox Dollars.
At this point in the article – near the end – you know enough to start making a little scratch on the side immediately. You know what happens next, right? Nothing unless you take action. Or don’t. You can keep on goofing off and not getting paid if you prefer. As we’ve said, don’t expect a ton of money unless you hit it big on the lottery. It really comes down to whether or not you want to make money in your free time without changing habits much – or not.
The funny thing about this whole thing is you never know what kind of idea might spring to mind while you’re out there being unproductive for pennies. Maybe you’ll have an idea to build your own money-making app that catches fire and start making the big money. Probably not, but you never know. And when it comes to the gig economy, there is decent money to be made if you don’t mind hustling.
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