First of all, don’t let the title mislead you. These small side gigs can easily generate a little extra income but are definitely not going to make you rich. In fact, you might not make much more than the cost of your phone or cable bill. How much you can earn will ultimately depend on how much time you have to spend and how you choose to spend that time. I, for one, am not a fan of wasting time so instead of watching TV and doing nothing, I choose to earn a few dollars a day on the apps and sites I am about to share with you. I personally around 20 sites/apps but I have found that I get the biggest yield from about 10 of those. For me, filling out short surveys has been the easiest way for me to make small amounts of extra cash. Most of these sites give you the opportunity to make additional income through a variety of different ways. You can play games, watch TV, take surveys, check paid email, complete offers, enter sweepstakes and contests, buy stuff from retail giants, and obviously, refer all your friends.
The first site I came across with good reviews and seemed to be legit was Inbox Dollars. This definitely isn’t my favorite app but it has helped generate a portion of extra cash over the past few months. Inbox Dollars has a minimum payout of $30 dollars and can be deposited into a pre-paid Visa or a variety of gift cards including Amazon. If you are doing mostly surveys, as I am, the process can be slow and tedious. There are a lot of surveys that you don’t qualify for so don’t waste all your time on this app.
The nice thing about some of these sites is that most of them have mobile apps that allow you to keep your surveys on the go. Apparently, that name was so catchy that I found a mobile app actually called Surveys on the go that can help bring some revenue into your pockets. I really like this one as you can redeem cash straight into your Paypal after earning only $10 bucks. Surveys tend to pop up when you are near stores. Occasionally, there will be some really high payouts her for consumer studies/ research. I have received a few around $8 – $10 dollars but that has been rare.
Probably one of the most rewarding apps I have found is Quick Thoughts. It also has a $10 dollar minimum payout but only in redeemable gifts cards via Amazon. The nice thing about this one is that almost every survey is offered with a $1 dollar payout. If you are not qualified, you can usually bank $0.10 cents and you are usually disqualified quickly if so not at the end of the survey. I find the average survey running from 7 – 15 minutes but some will run 20-30 minutes.
The next site/app I found was Swagbucks. I thought this one would be just the same as Inbox Dollars but it has actually been much more rewarding. You can earn points here by checking for daily codes, surveys, watching Swagbucks TV, and one of the easiest ways is by using the search browser. It has payouts as low as $3 in many different redeemable gift cards including Amazon, Amazon but can do paypal after $25. Another cool feature with Swagbucks is that if you buy stuff online, you can get cash back by going to the online retailers through the Swagbucks site or app. Some places give back as much as 10%!
Speaking of buying stuff, if you are anything like me and trying to save or pay off that credit card that keeps accumulating interest or pay a phone bill, then you probably aren’t spending that much online. However, we all have to buy groceries so why not try to save here, too. I love to eat and for the most part, I eat healthy. I found this awesome app, Ibotta, and it has become one of my favorites mostly because I like to watch the savings add up then deposit them into paypal. It has a $20 dollar minimum payout but it gets there fairly quickly depending on how much you shop for groceries and where you get them. They have recently added Amazon, Amazon where you can get cash back from specific purchases as well.
If getting cash back via buying groceries is something that interests you, Checkout51 is very similar to Ibotta. The only downside to this one is that you have to request a check in which they will mail to you after you reach a minimum of $20 bucks. Surprisingly, the check gets to you really quick, though so there isn’t that much of an issue.
One of the most recent sites I have found is Mintvine. This site doesn’t have a mobile app but has definitely proven itself to be a significant source of extra cash via surveys. It offers a variety of decent offers for surveys and often gives you a few points for just attempting them. You can also earn points by participating in a daily poll and completing available offers.
Vindale Research has been a fairly rewarding site for high paying surveys. the surveys here go fast so once you get the email, you should definitely check to see if the survey is still available, especially if it seems worth your time. I have had a few surveys end after a brief amount of time with no compensation here so I do warn you on that. Now, I don’t use this one often unless the surveys pay really well for only a few minutes.
Mechanical Turk is a bit different than the typical survey sites like you will find above. The is a crowdsourcing-based work platform affiliated with Amazon. It basically gives you the opportunity to do as many small jobs as you want. There are some qualifications and tests to take and pass to get higher paying jobs but the jobs also take much longer. You can take jobs as small as $0.1 cent but I usually don’t find those to be sufficient for what I’m aiming for. If I am going to spend time on any of these sites, I usually shoot for a minimum of $6 dollars an hour but often will cover that in 10-minute increments spread out all through the day. Although, I have found a much higher pay rate with Mechanical Turk work than the surveys sites above.
One last thing I want to throw on here is Amazon Associates. This is an opportunity offered through Amazon as well as lots of other similar sites that allow you to write blogs including affiliate links to related items. If someone happens to read your blog, clicks the link, then makes a purchase… Well, then you get a commission on the sale. No, it’s not much money but given the right traffic to your blog and depending on your niche you can definitely increase the chances of making a significant amount of earnings. Once again, this is not the same as the survey type work and can’t guarantee anything but sometimes the risk is worth taking. Besides, this might be a more fulfilling route than sitting and clicking at surveys all day.
Like I had said before, don’t go and download these apps with idea that you can make a monthly living solely on the apps. If this is your plan, there is a good chance you will end up homeless and just might starve. Initially, I began my quest just to see what I could find for extra cash. Then, I decided I wanted to make at least $1 a day. I started making a spreadsheet of all the extra cash that was accumulating and thought, “man, it would be cool to throw this in an account somewhere that collected interest. That’s when I stumbled upon an investment app called, Stash Invest. They will actually give you $5 bucks to get started and waive the first monthly $1 maintenance fee. What better reason to try this one out! This is a super cool app for anyone that wants to get started in investments but doesn’t really know much about it. Once I started making around $3 – $5 a day with the apps above, I started transferring the funds into Stash. It has to be linked to your bank account so I calculated my app earnings and deposited the money from my bank. You can also set up monthly, weekly, and even daily installments if you want to really start saving. The cool thing about this app is that you can invest in portions of shares and stocks/bonds then actually see returns on your investments. You can buy and sell whenever you like but it’s best to go for the long haul if you want to see return
Stash works well alongside another app I found and also linked to my bank account called Acorns. This app takes the remaining change from debit/ check card purchases and deposits them into an investment account as well. Just like Stash, you can take your savings out at any time. I have actually been seeing a much larger return on Stash so I transfer my saving from Acorns into Stash each month. As a self-employed musician/ freelancer, I thought this would be a great opportunity to save for the dreaded year-end tax payments. With the funds being hidden away in an account, you quickly forget about them and the savings really start to pile up.
So there you have it! Of all the random stuff that you will find on the internet, these 10 or so apps have been successful in getting me up to $8 a day in savings by simply tinkering with them in my spare time. If you go the survey route as I am, don’t waste your time trying to do all the surveys you can. Pick the highest pay with the lowest amount of time invested. If you don’t qualify, simply move on to the next survey or even the next app/ site. After depleting your options, go enjoy the day or go back to whatever you were doing before.