The theme of this post is Every Little Bit Helps. This is about ways to make a little extra money to help pad your wallet.
I absolutely love my teaching job, and would not change it for the world. However, ….as many people know…the pay stinks. I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck and paying bills is always stressful. Even being a coach and getting extra stipends is not enough.
A lot of people would argue….”why don’t you get a second job?” Well, that’s easier said than done, as I generally work 10 hour days during the week, with some weekends, and my summer is littered with training’s that I have to go to so having a summer job is next to impossible.
Many people can understand this. So what can we do? How can we make a little extra money on the side without it taking too much extra time from our day, and still have a life?
Below are examples of programs that I use all the time that are easy ways to make a little extra money, and it does not take much effort to do. None of these will make you rich (sorry), but it’s enough to put aside for emergencies. Last summer I had to drop around $1000 on my car for various repairs. Normally this would destroy me financially, but with the extra money I had saved up from doing some of these activities, it saved me.
If you are looking to clean out your closet this is the site to use in my opinion. I’ve tried several apps and websites to sell my things, but this one is by far my personal favorite because of how easy it is to use, and there are several ways to make money with it.
- Sell your gently used clothes – if you have nice items that you know you will never wear again this is a great place to try to sell it. Name brands like Lululemon and Banana Republic generally sell pretty fast, with no name brands taking a bit longer. My Lululemon articles sell within 1 day with others having taken a year or more to sell.
- Sell boutique items – buy clothing wholesale from either Poshmark (they have a boutique program) or other retailers and up the price to sell and make money.
Pros of using Poshmark
- Easy to list items and navigate the app
- Poshmark makes it easy to share your items for many views
- Buyer pays the shipping and you receive a prepaid shipping label. You can either drop it off at the post office or if it fits stick it in your mailbox. Very easy process.
Cons of using Poshmark
- Can be time-consuming if you do it right. The more items you have the longer it takes to share everything. It also takes time to build a following. It can be slow going at first, but it picks up if you manage it right.
- Poshmark takes a 20% cut of your final sale. This can cut into your profit so plan accordingly. However, keep in mind that no one will buy anything if you overcharge.
- Definitely not a consistent form of income. Some months I might make several hundred dollars, and some $0.
- Because of their flat rate shipping, this program is only offered to residents in the US.
Overall, I have been using Poshmark since 2016 and have made over $1500 so far. Not a lot over the long term, and I have been slacking off the last year so I haven’t made a lot of sales. There are some people on there though that can almost make a living on selling their boutique items. You just have to know how to market it.
In my mind the best rebate app there is. If you go grocery shopping you need to use this app. Again, you’re not going to become rich, but every little bit helps. For example, If you know you are buying apples at the store, check Ibotta because a lot of times you can get $0.25 back for those apples. Your already buying them so why not right?
I’ve been using Ibotta since 2015 and have made around $530. Again, not a lot but a good chunk of that money went to fix my car, and all I had to do was buy groceries I was already planning on buying. On average, I get back around $3 – 5 every shopping trip (but that’s mainly because I am very picky on what I eat so I don’t choose every rebate that’s offered).
The picture I included is a screenshot of my app to give you an idea. These are the first 4 products that popped up for the grocery store I use, but there are over 50 products on this particular thread to choose from.
Pros of Using Ibotta
- Very easy to use and navigate
- Lots of items to choose from and growing
- Ibotta is expanding to other markets other than grocery stores. Amazon, Lowes, Ulta to name a few
- Different bonuses can get you extra money
Cons of using Ibotta
- You have to wait to reach $25 before you can cash out
- While there are a lot of rebates to choose from you are limited to what’s on the app
- Currently only available in the US, but at the rate it’s expanding I would not be surprised if it becomes available in other countries soon.
Overall, I don’t go shopping anymore without checking Ibotta, and now that they have Amazon on there my savings should go up.
3. National Consumer Panel (NCP)
If your interested in helping influence the market then this is a good place to start.
NCP is a joint venture between the two leading consumer insights providers in the United States – IRi and Nielsen. You have to apply to be a member (I was accepted the second time I applied). They track consumer purchases and use the data to see what is driving the market.
If accepted they send you a scanner, and you use the scanner to scan all items purchased. They also ask if you used a coupon, or if the product was on sale, or did you buy it full price. Every time you submit a scan they award you points, and you can use the points towards products in their rewards catalog, or for gift cards (Amazon is what I usually get).
Depending on how often you shop depends on how fast you can accumulate points.
Pros of NCP
- Once you get the hang of the scanner it’s easy to use
- There is also an app you can use to scan items if you’re out of town
- It’s pretty mindless work. Just scan what you have already bought and they reward you for it
- Bonus points if you log in every week for a month
- If you want, there are also surveys that you can complete for extra points
Cons of NCP
- It might take some getting used to, and depending on how much you buy could be time-consuming to scan every item and log coupons and sales.
- Only available in the US.
I actually almost got kicked out of the program because I kept forgetting to log my purchases, or I just didn’t want to deal with it. However, I kept at it and now that I am used to it it’s not so bad. I don’t mind getting paid for things I am already buying.
Let me start this by saying that I really do not like paid survey sites. A lot of time spent on a computer for very little return, and they can be very frustrating. You could spend several minutes answering all these questions for them to all of a sudden deny you, and now you wasted all that time.
I have tried many of these, and I never last long with them. Until I found Crowdtap. It is a survey site that deals in very short question surveys. Most of them ask 1 question and reward you 3 points for it. For those people who like a quick turn around this is the place to be. Some surveys ask around 5-10 questions and get 15-45 points from it. I’ve never had a survey from them ask more than 10 questions (if that). Once you get 1000 points you can cash out for a $5 gift card. Not a lot, but this is so easy to do. I had my first Amazon gift card in around 2 weeks.
Below is a screenshot of my account to give you an idea of what it looks like, and what kind of questions it might ask you.
Pros of Crowdtap
- So easy, this takes no time out of my day
- You are never denied a survey, if it’s on your dashboard you can answer it to get the points
- They add new surveys pretty regularly
- Every once in a while you can apply to do product testing
Cons of Crowdtap
- There is not an infinite amount of surveys. Once you answer all the ones on your dashboard you might have to wait a day or 2 for them to add more (hence why it took me 2 weeks to reach 1000 points).
- Product testing gigs are very few. You have to fill out an application, I have not been chosen for one yet so I can’t comment too much on it.
- Only available in the US.
This app was featured on Shark Tank and literally meets the definition of every little bit helps.
You take a picture of a recent receipt and the app gives you money back. The better quality of the receipt, the more you will get and you get the money immediately after scanning the receipt.
You can also earn from online purchases but those have to be made through the app itself.
Pros of Coinout
- It’s so easy. All you have to do is take a picture of the receipt and it will give you money.
- Unlike a lot of similar apps, there is no minimum to cash out if you are depositing it in your bank or putting it toward an Amazon gift card.
- They are expanding so the opportunities to earn are getting greater.
Cons of Coinout
- The amount you receive is very minimal. The average for me is about 3 cents and is completely randomized. It is not based on the amount spent on the receipt.
While the payout is extremely minimal this app is to easy to say no to. Once I hit around $.50 in my account I usually transfer it to an Amazon gift card. Remember, every little bit helps.
All the extra money I make from these gigs I put in a separate account that I call my “fun/emergency money”.
Aspiration is an online banking system that pays you 1% annual interest on money in your account. The only fee they charge is an amount that you choose. You pay what you think is fair, even if it’s $0.
Everything I make off the above sites/apps I put in my Aspiration account. I use this money to go out with friends, buy that new top I’ve been looking at, etc.
They also have a savings account that I also put money into, and this is my emergency fund.
You can track your money through their website or an app for your phone. It’s very convenient has been helping me monitor my spending habits.