After our mortgages, car payments and credit card bills, we could all use a few extra bucks here and there. But between our full-time job, family commitments and social life, who has the time to take on a second income? Don’t overthink it (and overwork yourself). Here are five easy ways to make money without really even trying.
1. LET YOUR PHONE DO IT FOR YOU
A great way for anyone who’s on a limited budget to start saving easily is to take advantage of new apps that do the work of saving for you.
Digit is an app that reviews your bank account to see how much you make and what you spend, then automatically saves a bit of money for you. Every few days, Digit checks your spending habits and removes a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it. It will send you a text just to make sure you’re okay with it (also: no fees are involved). Digit saves nominal amounts of money for you on a regular basis until one day you wake up and go, ‘Holy crap! I have $200 saved in 6 weeks?! That was so easy and painless!’”
Another app to know is Acorns. It rounds up the change from your everyday purchases and invests it. So say you buy a doughnut for $2.75, Acorns will automatically take $0.25 from your bank account and put it into an investment pool. People have banked 100 bucks after using Acorns for just a month. All from spare change!
2. GET PAID TO WATCH VIDEOS ONLINE
Swagbucks is a site that will reward you for watching videos, taking surveys and playing games online. They get paid through advertisers and companies that put content on their site, and you get paid for engaging with said content. Earn SB points every time you watch a video (could be anything from a short YouTube clip to an entertainment show) or when you take a survey. You can also play popular games like Wheel of Fortune or your favorite casino games. Once you’ve amassed a certain number of points, you can redeem them for gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon and Macy’s, or get cash back from Paypal. Swagbucks has already paid out over $120 million in cash and free gift cards. Click HERE to find out more.
3. SELL YOUR CLOTHES A SMARTER WAY
Consignment stores and thrift stores are always looking for clothing and accessories, but it’s important to consider the season and the type of pieces you are selling in order to get the best return for your threads. If you’re trying to get rid of shorts and swimwear, for example, it’s best to sell them in the summer, when those pieces are in high-demand. Similarly, hold onto your jackets and sweaters until the fall, when stores are looking to stock their racks with warm clothing.
The most suggested times are Sunday afternoons and evenings, when people are winding down for the weekend and most likely to be browsing or killing time online. Make sure to also end your auction during a time when people are home, like after work on on a weekend. Having an auction end at 6 a.m. on a Monday morning probably won’t have many people rushing to make a bid. Experts say you could easily make a 20% or more profit just by taking these two tips into consideration.
4. ONLINE GOES A LONG WAY
When’s the last time you actually walked into a bank? Open a savings account online instead. You’ll find higher interest rates than brick-and-mortar banks. Online bank Synchrony, for example, has one of the best rates today at 1.05% APY.
The key, experts say, is not how much you save, but how often you’re doing it. Which brings us to…
5. SET IT AND FORGET IT
Even if you can only afford to save five bucks per paycheck, the important thing is that you’re doing it. But sometimes, it’s easy to forget. The trick is to automate your savings. In other words, set it up so that a certain amount of money automatically gets deposited into your savings account every month. And while those couple bucks don’t seem like a lot, the fact is, you’ll always end up with more money than you actually put in.
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