Searching for ways to save and earn extra money this year?
If so, you’re exactly where you need to be.
Whether your financial goals include paying down debt, saving for a much-needed vacation or building a long-overdue emergency fund, you’re sure to find at least a few ideas that can help you reach your financial goals.
Quick Note To My Readers: Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you purchase. However, none of the fees of these resources have been increased to compensate me.
Use Ebates When Shopping Online and In-store
I try to shop when these stores are having double cash back and/or sales with 50% or more off certain items I’d purchase anyway.
Some of my favorite stores to shop online include Nordstrom (Always Free Shipping), Sephora and Express to name a few!
Over the last year, I’ve been able to earn almost $50 in cash back by simply shopping through Ebates instead of going directly through the retailer’s site.
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- What’s a Good Credit Score and How Do I Get One?
Re-evaluate your Cable TV Package
If you’re paying more than $100 per month for Cable TV, you should seriously re-evaluate your current package and shop around for other options.
With so many online streaming services available through gaming consoles like PlayStation and X-Box as well as add-on options via Smart TVs, you could be throwing away thousands of dollars each year by simply “going with the flow” and not considering your options.
Save some of that money and check out some of these prices (as of Summer 2018) to get an idea of what you could be paying for some of your faves!
- Streaming Devices- Devices like the Amazon TV Fire Stick, Roku and Apple TV are a few of the most popular streaming devices that can be used to view some of the TV applications below if you don’t have access to a Smart TV or Gaming System such as an X-Box or PlayStation
- Netflix– 1st Month is Free and membership plans range from $7.99-$13.99
- Amazon Prime– 1st Month is Free. Monthly membership plan for students $6.49 / Non-students $12.99 per month / Amazon Prime (video only) $8.99 per month (excludes 2 Day Free Shipping, ad-free music streaming etc.)
- Hulu– 1st Month is Free. Monthly and yearly membership can range from approximately $7 – $70 and have options for commercials or no commercials.
- Sling TV– The monthly subscriptions currently range anywhere from $40-$50 per month. Sling gives you the ability to customize live TV shows you love and stream them into your home via wifi.
- YouTube– Free.
- YouTube Red– 1 Month Free Trial. YouTube Red includes uninterrupted, ad-free music and videos as well as free membership to Google Play Music.
- Enjoy Basic TV
- Turn off the TV and be more productive outside of technology-Free!
Save on Groceries with Ibotta
Ibotta is a really neat free app that you can download straight to your phone to save money on groceries (my initial reason for downloading) and other items as well.
You can typically purchase items like bread, eye drops, juice etc. without having to conform to specific brands you may not like and you still get to save.
Pretty cool, right?
Receive a $10 Welcome Credit when you download using my exclusive link.
Once you reach $20 in savings, you can transfer your cash savings to your PayPal or Venmo accounts.
If you prefer gift cards, this is an option as well!
Become a Mystery Shopper
I’ve personally earned money as a mystery shopper with AlbatrossCX.
The certification process is simple and they consistently email me with opportunities to mystery shop around the city I currently live in.
The payout for being a mystery shopper is typically between $25-$40 for each opportunity.
Completing the store evaluation and write-up typically takes an hour total.
If you have a reliable car and a desire to earn money and make your own hours, driving for a drive-share company may be an ideal side-hustle for you to start right away.
With options to get paid either daily or weekly, you can quickly earn money for your services no matter which company you choose to drive for.
Sell Your Pre-loved Clothes and Goods
- Poshmark – For sales under $15 you’ll pay Poshmark $2.95. For sales over $15, sellers keep 80% of the earnings.
If you use my invitation code during sign up, you’ll receive a $5 Posh Credit to use towards future purchases and I’ll also receive a $5 credit if you ever decide to make a purchase.
Pay Cash for EVERYTHING
Spending cash reminds you that you’re actually spending real money. Keep yourself in check and pay cash for everything (except maybe bills).
It’s so much easier to spend more money when using plastic. I thank Dave Ramsey for breaking this down for me in his book, The Total Money Makeover.
These days, you can even use Apple Pay or Android Pay via your cell phones which is an even more convenient way to literally shop til you drop and lose site of what you spend.
Check out this article on how one woman saved over $1,000 by going on and 8-week cash diet spending only $60 per week.
Create your own YouTube Channel and Monetize It
Creating YouTube videos is in no way a short-term way to make loads of cash (unless you’ve got the secret sauce).
If you do, I’ll take a triple scoop!
Being consistent is one of the key factors in building an audience and being able to generate earnings from your efforts.
Check out a few questions I’ve compiled to determine if becoming a YouTuber is something you’d consider:
- Do you have something valuable to teach and share with the world? Weight loss tips? Financial advice? How to start an online store? Outfits you love and wear to work or vacation? Possibilities are endless so be creative!
- Are you comfortable in your own skin and are willing to be criticized on a social media platform?
- Can you commit to consistently creating valuable content for your target audience?
- Are you willing to engage with your target audience to build your online reputation?
- Are you willing to be patient with an initial “no” or “slow” income?
- Do you understand that YouTube is not a way to “get rich quick” if you get rich at all? More often than not, YouTube is a way to supplement your income over an extended period of time.
If you’ve answered, “yes” to these questions, you should consider sharing your information with the world in a way that feels authentic and fun to you.
If you need a little inspiration on the vast possibilities that creating content that people love, you can check out this article from Business Insider on 10 YouTube Millionaires!
Meal Prep – Decrease How Often You Eat Out
Studies like this one from Business Insider claim that food is one of the top 3 categories where Americans spend most of their money.
I recently checked the last few months of my bank statements and although I know I spend a lot of money of eating out during lunch, I had no idea of how much money I waste by not preparing meals for work.
Sigh. There will DEFINITELY be a blog post about this coming up in the near future.
Making a conscious effort to meal prep and buying certain items in bulk are a couple of ways we can all avoid overspending on food.
Learn to Make (and keep) a Budget
In the words of financial teacher and author of Total Money Makeover and creator of Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey…
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
I’m working on getting better at budgeting myself.
I recognize the need to be more aware of where each dollar is going instead of being surprised (and aggravated) at the end of the month.
Say “No” to Things You Can’t Afford
Not right now doesn’t mean not ever. Keep your goals in mind when faced with things you want but don’t need right away.
Keep Up Maintenance on Your Car
Maintaining car services now saves money later. Check out this article from Kiplinger on 9 Ways to Save on Car Maintenance.
Teach English Online
Did you know you can earn money teaching English online? There are quite a few sites that need native English speakers to teach the language online.
I plan on creating a comprehensive list in the near future. However, for now I’ve added one site to the list to get you started in your research.
- VIPKID – As a VIPKID teacher, you’ll teach kids in China between the ages of 4-12 years old and can earn between $14-$22 per hour.
- A Bachelor’s Degree AND a 6 month minimum contract are both required.
Become a Tutor
If you’re savvy and experienced in other fields of study, reach out to parents with kids to see if they need help in certain subjects.
Offering services to church groups, by word of mouth and of course social media are great places to market your services.
Babysit for Friends and Family
Participate in Market Research Focus Groups
You can visit Focusgroups.org and check out the list of cities offering opportunities. Doing a simple Google search of focus groups in your area can yield a pretty solid list as well.
Host your Home via Airbnb
With Airbnb you can host your home to travelers and earn money along the way. Whether you’re interested in hosting a room or your entire home, the choice is up to you.
If you sign up through my exclusive referral link, you’ll receive a $40 credit towards your next Airbnb vacation. I’ll also earn an incentive at no extra cost to you of course.
Sell Items on Etsy
I stumbled upon Etsy a few years ago and fell in love!
If you’re have a cool hobby like making dolls, stationary, planner stickers or purse inserts (just to name a few of my faves) this would be the perfect option for you to sell our homemade items.
In a nutshell, Etsy prides itself on being a marketplace where you can sell homemade, vintage and craft supplies.
Become a Part-time Waitress or Hostess
I suggest becoming a waitress or hostess at a high-end restaurant or bar if possible.
High-end restaurants are more lucrative and what’s better than discounted food at an amazing restaurant?
Also, if you have a full-time job, many restaurants don’t require you to work full-time hours so you may have the flexibility you need to make this a serious side hustle.
Become a Virtual Assistant or Freelancer
As a freelancer, you have the ability to set your own pay-rate and schedule. The options are almost endless. From resume writing to building a website and data entry, the options are endless. For every skill you have there’s an option for you to offer your services online.
Check out the freelance-friendly sites below to get started:
Start a Blog and Monetize It
I started this blog by downloading a free template from WordPress and am currently using SiteGround to host it. I have yet to earn a dime on this blog at the time of writing it, as it is my very 1st post (June 2018)!
However, I’ve checked out many other bloggers who were able to grow their blogs from the ground up and earn a substantial income by providing valuable content on a consistent basis.
My goal is to see if I cannot only fulfill my love of writing by creating and maintaining this blog, but to also see if I can develop the discipline and know how to get paid to do it.
My goals for this blog are to do the following:
- Help pay down some of my consumer debt. I don’t care if it’s $50 at this point. Ok, I actually do care. But this would be a cool start!
- Create content women can use and relate to.
- Grow as a person and savvy online blogger.
Sell Your Photography Online
- Stocksy– Pays some of the highest royalties in the industry (50-75%). Applications are open to all and requires image and video exclusivity.
- Shutterstock– Easy to upload photos via phone or online. Earnings depend on the type of license purchased by subscribers.
- Adobe Stock– Must be at least 18 years old and sole owner of photo rights. Commissions are between 33-35%.
Earn Up to $25 Per Hour Grocery Shopping
Check each website to review which companies may be available in your city. Through research, I’ve found you can earn between $10-$25 per hour depending on location and demand.
Be sure to do your own research before getting started!
Have a Yard Sale
Get Rid of Money Sucking Apps and Unsubscribe for Tempting Email Offers
Letting go of the Starbucks and Smoothie King apps was HARD for me to do!
However, I have both a Keurig AND a Vitamix so there was absolutely no reason for me to have either of these apps when my goal is to pay down my credit card and student loan debt!
It’s time to get serious and be more practical.
Take Advantage of Your Company’s Money Saving Incentives
Most companies extend some type of corporate discount to employees. Check out your company’s internal benefits portal to check out offers useful to you.
Here are a few options that I’ve either taken advantage of in the past or had access to from my employer(s).
- Pre-tax Retirement Plans
- Therapy/Counseling Sessions
- Financial Advisers
- Budgeting Tools
- Healthy Lifestyle Incentives (Fitbit, Gym Memberships etc.)
- Discounted Electronic Purchase Offers
- Tuition Assistance/Reimbursement
- Childcare Tax Incentives
- Corporate Discounts for Travel, Cell Phone Plans and Rental Cars
- Discounted Theme Park Passes
Track your month over month progress and determine which changes made the most, if any, impact on your bottom line and adjust as needed.
Remind yourself daily on why you’re so focused on earning and/or saving more money.
Remind yourself that downsizing in some areas of your life is temporary and look at the BIGGER and LONG-TERM picture.
Are you saving for a big trip? Buying a home or paying off your car or paying down student loan debt?
Keep your goals in sight and be laser-focused on what you need to do to get there.
If you’ve found other ways not on this list to save and earn more money this year, please share in the comments with the rest of the community. We’d love to hear your ideas!
Do you plan on trying any of the ideas listed above? If so, I’d love to hear about your plans as well.