Do you have a plan in action to save money for the holidays? For a vacation? Or even an emergency fund? Finding extra money can be difficult, especially if you do not plan ahead and make changes to save that money ahead of time.
Below are some creative ways to save money so you will be prepared for a large expense. You will be amazed at how quickly your funds will add up just by being creative and following a few simple tips.
1. Effortlessly invest.
You can use an investment app like Acorns. It rounds off your purchases to whatever amount you set, typically $1, and invests the change. So if you spend $5.32, it would put $.68 into your account. You can choose what type of investments you prefer, and the app does the rest.
The idea is that no one will miss a little pocket change, so you may as well hide it in an investment and rejoice later. There is a small fee of $15 to use the app if you have a balance under $5000.
2. Earn cash back on your purchases.
There are actually websites that will give you free gift cards just for signing up with them. If you are cautious and want to avoid junk mail in your main email account, you can simply create an secondary free email account for signups like these. Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is one example of a site that has a signup offer. New members receive a $10 gift card to Target, Walmart, Macy’s or Kohl’s for their first purchase.
3. Earn money from past purchases.
Believe it or not, you can actually get apps that search your email for receipts to see if you are eligible for money back on your online purchases. Paribus is an example of such an app. It tracks your purchases and lets you know if you are eligible for any refund based on store policies, price changes, and competitor prices. It will also help you get compensated if your guaranteed shipment arrives late.
4. Join an online survey group.
Filling out online surveys isn’t usually peoples’ idea of fun, but it is a simple way to make extra money while doing other tasks.
There are a ton of sites that make these offers, but here are a few recommendations.
- MyPoints: It allows you to earn gift cards for taking polls, answering surveys and other things you do online. You also earn a $5 bonus when you complete your first 5 surveys.
- Opinion Outpost: This site gives away $40,000 every year. It has a quarterly drawing for a $10,000 cash prize — and for every survey you complete, you’ll get one entry into the sweepstakes.
- InboxDollars: Offers several short, daily surveys you can take. If you take all of them each day, you could earn an extra $730 a year.
5. Consolidate debt to lower bills.
This is a simple way to save money that a lot of people don’t know about. If you are struggling to pay your bills and you are constantly frustrated over the interest payments, then this is a must. Look into what it would take for you to consolidate things like your credit card balance, which will often have over 20% interest rates, and get a lower interest loan for the whole lot. This will allow you to make 1 payment a month and pay less interest.
Upstart is an example of a business that will help you find a loan. Rather than use credit score like banks and other lenders, they look at other factors such as education and work history.
6. Rent out your extra room.
If you are fortunate enough to own a house with an extra room, you can list it on Airbnb to make some quick, extra cash if you don’t mind hosting a stranger.
If you don’t want to do it often, then you can focus on high demand times such as big sporting events or concerts. Be sure to stay stocked on toiletries and tend to the needs of your customer so you can get good reviews and future income.
If you are able to get $100 a night, that would add up to $2,400 a year if you only do it two nights a month.
7. Open another bank account.
Because banks focus so much on getting new customers, you can earn up to $350 simply for opening a bank account. Check with your local banks and online ones to find current promotions. You could use the new account for a specific reason, or simply close it when you don’t want it anymore. Be sure to read the fine print on the promotion to be sure the bank will not try to take the money back if you close it too quickly. We have a list of these promos that don’t have a direct deposit requirement in our article Bank Promotions Without Direct Deposit.
You probably don’t want to open a new account every week, but it would be easy to do it a few times a year for some extra money.
8. Drive in your spare time.
Another excellent way to make extra money on your own schedule is ridesharing or making deliveries. Companies like Lyft and Uber allow people to decide when they work and makes it possible to earn thousands of dollars a month just for driving people where they need to go. They do have a few requirements:
- You must be at least 21-years-old and pass a driving record check and criminal background check.
- You must be a licensed driver for at least 1 year.
- The insured vehicle must have 4 doors and may require an inspection. The maximum age of the car depends on the area, typically about 10 years old or newer is acceptable.
Other rideshare and delivery companies also have very similar requirements for drivers.
If you set a realistic savings goal for the year and plan in advance, then you should have no problem getting there with the help of the above tips. Have some tips of your own? Share with other Banks.org visitors below.