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Being frugal is only one half of the financial freedom equation. When saving is not nearly enough to make ends meet, people start trying to figure out the second half of that equation: how to make more money.

For many, that means working longer hours at their current job — or picking up a second job altogether.

Fortunately, the digital age has made it possible to earn extra money without having a traditional job. Now, nothing replaces hard work, and making money will always require at least some effort, but there are legitimate ways make extra cash that don’t require back-breaking effort on your part.

Here are 10 simple ways to improve your finances in 2018.

1. Get paid to voice your opinion

Major brands are always looking to get a leg up on competitors and one of the easiest ways to do it is to simply know more about their customers. If you can tolerate taking the surveys on the back of store receipts, taking online surveys is an easy way to bring in more income. Here are some tips to help you get started:

    • First, sign up for a reputable survey site like Survey Junkie (they’ve got over 3 million members and they’re one of our favorite survey sites).
    • Second, complete your user profile with legitimate information.
    • Survey Junkie will match the information you submit with brands looking for people similar to you.

Payouts are redeemable through popular e-wallets such as PayPal or Venmo (or by gift cards to major retailers).

2. Help companies collect simple research

Consider helping companies like Vindale Research in their quest to collect information in order to better target consumers. Completed questionnaires typically pay out between $0.25 and $50.00 depending on your qualifications and how long they take to complete.

With hundreds of questionnaires added daily, nearly $7,000,000 paid out to date, and cashouts via PayPal or check, there’s no reason you can’t make a few extra bucks each month in your spare time.

Better yet, they’ll give you $2 just for signing up.

3. Make money playing video games

Believe it or not, this is a real thing. Swagbucks will actually pay users to play video games.

Ever heard of Solitaire, Wheel of Fortune or Trivial Pursuit? Enjoy traditional casino games such as video poker or slots? If you play any of these games, for any amount of time, you may as well get paid to do it. Users can redeem their “Swagbucks” for gift cards or cash through popular e-wallets such as PayPal.

And the best part? Swagbucks gives users $5 just for signing up.

4. Try the Paribus app

This neat little app links up to your email inbox and scans your emails for receipts. If you’ve made an online purchase recently and they find the product you bought cheaper somewhere else, or the company lowers the price within a certain time period, they’ll help you make extra cash by paying you the difference.

The best part about it is just how hands off it is. Paribus works in the background and doesn’t require any effort on your part.

Link your inbox with Paribus here and start saving from your email today!

5. Earn unlimited cashback when shopping

Popular cashback sites such as Ebates work by negotiating with major retailers to get you anywhere from 2% all the way up to 60% off your everyday purchases. They’ve negotiated discounts on nearly every brand so there’s no reason not to save on all of your normal purchases.

Ebates also has a generous referral program where you can refer friends to earn even more. It’s tiered so you’ll have to check out their site to learn more but your first referral earns you a crazy $25 — and $15 per referral for every one thereafter.

Through Ebates, and my cashback credit card, I’m able to save, at minimum, 2% on every single purchase I make. It may not seem like a lot but that earned me well over $2,000 last year.

6. Move your money to a high-interest savings account

Compound interest is a powerful thing. Everyone knows that. Yet so few people are actually taking advantage of it. If you’re wondering how to make extra cash without actually having to do any work, take just a couple of minutes out of your day and open a CIT Bank account (which pays 25x higher interest rate than most banks).

Five minutes and you’re done. The perks? You’ll earn many times the national average on your savings and you can take it out at anytime without incurring some sort of penalty.

7. Link your loyalty cards to the Ibotta App

Think of Ibotta like your normal store rewards cards on steroids.

The app gives you a rebate for virtually any brand of item you buy and is especially valuable at popular food retailers such as Kroger, Food Lion and Walmart. Better yet, you can earn even more money for inviting your friends to use the app.

You get $10 just for signing up, and they’ll also pay you $10 more for each friend you refer.

To get your cash back, all you have to do is scan an item’s barcode, take a photo of your receipt, and the money gets credited to your account within 48 hours.

8. Get paid to use search engines

A company named InboxDollars will actually pay you to use their search engine instead of some of the more prominent ones like Google and Bing.

You get $0.15 for every 4 qualified searches you complete and an additional $0.05 each time you use the search tool 4 times in a week. You’re not going to get rich quick but you may as well make a few extra bucks for searching the web like you normally would.

They offer users a free $5 just for signing up and earnings are credited to your account in under 15 minutes.

9. Get paid to lose weight

Would you like for someone to actually pay you money each time you lost a pound? How about $200 for each pound you lost?

Well that’s actually a distinct possibility through a little-known company named HealthyWage. The company poses itself as a support community to help people lose extra weight…but let’s be honest, they’re basically betting against the fact that you can’t.

If you think you’re up for a serious challenge this year you can start by tinkering with their Prize Calculator. Their prizes max out at $10,000 (which is pretty hard to achieve) but if you start with something fairly realistic, let’s say 20 pounds in 6 months, you could win up to $1,200 with a $100 monthly bet.

10. Start your own business for less than $100

Michelle at Making Sense of Cents is a good example of an ordinary person with an extraordinary story. A mid-twenty something at the time, Michelle yearned for something more than a desk job. She started her own blog, despite having zero experience, to document her life of travel and frugal living — and it’s now a multi-million dollar enterprise.

Bloggers make money by promoting affiliate products, using display ads, and writing sponsored posts for bigger brands looking to score new customers.

Blog packages start as low as $2.78/month and afford you the opportunity to make extra cash from the comfort of your own home (or in her case, anywhere in the world). If you’ve got a strong work ethic, can tolerate writing, and would like to set your own hours, blogging will be a good fit for you.

DollarSprout readers get a FREE website (a $15 dollar value), plus 60% off any hosting package, with coupon code BTOP60 when starting a blog with HostGator.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, this tutorial will help you get your blog up and running in just 15 minutes.

Ben Huber

Yo! I'm Ben. The other personal finance nerd who works in tandem with Jeff to bring you all the most epic money making and saving content around. For inquiries, HMU on FB or Twitter.

JoeHx 5 months, 23 days ago

I certainly do the eBates and cash back credit card thing. Easy, effortless money.

Matio 3 months, 6 days ago

I want in

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