The Search for Free Money

I have been off work now for just shy of two months. I have no kids, but my husband works part time, and our savings is dwindling. Problem is, I know I will be starting my new job in two weeks, so there is no real reason to look for a different one. So, my solution, look for places to make a few bucks for little effort. I have always been on the look out for free, easy money. A few places deliver with little problem, but beware. I’ve got a list of the Apps I have been using to make a little bit of side money and warnings about a few.

Lucktastic- This is an android app. I don’t know if you can get it on Apple, but I do know the Apple iPhone is a no go. I am a zero risk gambler. Yes, if the powerball gets to $500+ million dollars, I am going to buy a ticket. I can spend a little bit of money on that pipe dream. Thankfully $10 won’t make or break us. With that said, Lucktastic is a scratch card game. You get x amount of scratch cards every day and earn tokens from them. You do have an exceedingly small chance of winning money. I don’t bank on this. You can earn tokens off of the cards, watching videos, and downloading additional apps. After saving up 130000 tokens, you can get a $50 Amazon gift card. This is not a speedy way to earn gift cards, but I have also won a little over $10 in the last 6 months as well. I project that playing every day will garner me roughly $100 in gift cards in a year.

M+Places- I got tuned into this from The Weather Channel app, which can also earn you m+points. Pretty much all you do is click on it and every hour you can open a present and check into places (25 a day) to earn points. Checking in earns you additional gift boxes that you can open for additional points. Surveys, video clips, special offers, etc. can all earn you more points. Coupled with the points you can earn through The Weather Channel, you can earn about 400-600 points a day. When you get 62500 points, you can redeem gift cards worth $25. Rough projection of money, ~$300 an year.

Vegas Slots- I learned about this from Lucktastic. It was a download for extra tokens and it offers real life rewards in Las Vegas. If you aren’t going to go to Vegas, bypass this. If you are, you can earn comped drinks, Cirque du Solei tickets and a few other goodies. It isn’t going to earn you money, but it might save you some money during an awesome trip to the strip.

Shopkick- I just picked this one up this year and I need to be more attentive to it when I go shopping. This app awards you points for walking into stores, scanning items in stores, and purchasing items. I tend to go shopping once a week, to various stores depending on what I need. 500 points equals $5 in gift cards. I made 500 points in my first month and so did my husband. If it had just been me it would have been close to 1000 points, or $10 a month. Not bad for doing something I have to do anyway. Beware, if you are low on mobile data (thank you no internet for 2 weeks) this app can get a bit glitchy. You have to scan the products in the store. Projected additional income ~$120 a year.

Swagbucks- I use this sporadically. You earn bucks by participating in offers, surveys, watching ads and downloading apps. 1 buck equals about $.001. You aren’t going to break the bank very quickly, but there is on perk to it. When you download their TV app you can let the ads run and walk away. It is helpful when you have other stuff to do, a good wifi connection, and want to make sort of passive income. The problem is that it takes 6 videos to earn 2 bucks. Again, if you aren’t using your phone, or tablet, let it run, but if you are, not the best use. Also, it can glitch out, so I would still check it every hour or so to make sure it is running (maybe when you are getting your prize box off of m+?). That was a lot of punctuation. if I were much more focused on it projected income could roughly be $100 a year.

RealBucks. I picked this one up today. Careful, careful, careful with this one. This is a Publisher’s Clearing House app. It is basically the same as Swagbucks but you can get sucked in to giving up info that lets marketers contact you. Avoid the offers! Stick with the videos and the surveys. Big problem with these videos is that you have to babysit your phone or tablet to go to the next video. I will have a better idea at the end of the money about the projected yearly extra this could give.

InboxDollars- Similar to Swagbucks and RealBucks but with the added bonus of reading e-mails for cash. Each e-mail is about $.02. You won’t break the bank with this, and I haven’t focused on it either, so I have no projections for this, but you could make some fairly easy money with this and it is actual money. Several years ago I made about $50 in a month on it and they cut me a check.

Ibotta- I have a love/hate relationship with this app. If you live in a dry state, like Texas and South Carolina, the alcohol rebates are worthless so I am not sure I would recommend this app. If you don’t drink, it isn’t that big of a deal. Basically all you do is check out Ibotta before you go shopping to see if there is anything you were already going to buy, or something that you weren’t planning on buying, but since there is a rebate, you might as well. For instance, there could be a rebate for the laundry detergent you use. You don’t need it this week, but detergent doesn’t spoil and there is a rebate, you decide to grab it anyway. If I hadn’t struggle bussed with this for the last three months, I would have gotten over $200 in rebates. Now that I have it fixed, I am looking at about $300-$400 a year in rebates for things I already buy, am willing to try, or will need in the future.

Receipt Hog- I don’t know how I feel about this one yet. I suspect this will be more useful when I have an income and can shop at multiple stores for the best price (as opposed to buying very few things and making it work with what I have in my pantry). All you do is snap a picture of your receipts after shopping. Boom, done. You get coins or spins on the slot machine for each of your receipts. This works with any receipt. If you work an envelop system for debt purposes and retain your receipts for book keeping, this is perfect for it! Side note, you need receipts for Ibotta and Shopkick (sometimes). After collecting so many coins you can turn them in for gift cards. 1000 coins = $5 or 4500 = $30. If I were consistent with it, and had about 5 receipts each week (make sure your significant other coughs them up too), I project this could make about $60-$100 a year.

That’s it, those are the apps I use to make a bit of side cash. Let me know what you do to make free money or if you have anything to add to the apps I already listed.

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