15 Legitimate Ways to Make Extra Money

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Looking for ways to make extra money? Read on.

At SavingJunkie, we've tested dozens of different ways to make a little extra cash. After going through them all we ranked our top easy ways to make money.

There's a lot in here and we add to this make extra money list often, so you might want to add this page on your bookmarks to reference later. All of these legitimate ways to make money fast are run by well-known companies so you don't have to worry about when you will be paid.

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It’s no wonder why these earning opportunities to earn extra cash are gaining popularity. Here is a long list of our favorites ways to make extra money – scroll on through and decide what is best for you.

Easiest Ways to Make Extra Money Fast

This list will work for just about anyone. I'll list all the different ways to make extra money, most of them don't require much work.

Ready? I’ll only list legit ways that I’ve personally used to make money, and make it fast. We’ll first start with the quick wins, companies that’ll (legit) pay you money just for signing up:

1. Earn Cash in Your Spare Time Taking Surveys

ways to make extra money

Taking online surveys with Survey Junkie to make extra money is a no-brainer!

You definitely won’t get rich or make hundreds of dollars per day with surveys alone, but you won’t waste much time, and you can make some money the easy way.

It is my #1 favorite (and highest paying) survey site is Survey Junkie. This is a free survey app for your phone that pays you to take online surveys, participate in focus groups, and try new products.

And, I really mean free all around – free to join and they don’t charge anything to be a member (they will actually pay you in cash via PayPal). Join for free through this link and get your free registration bonus.

2. Get Paid to Take Surveys, Watch TV, & Play Games

$100 per survey

The next thing you can do is sign up for InboxDollars which pays you, in cash, to watch fun videos & take surveys. 

If you sign up before the end of this month, they also give you a $5 free bonus just to give it a try.

By spending just 5-10 minutes per day on this (either on your lunch break or during TV commercial breaks) you can earn and earn an extra $50/month.

More people should be doing this to earn extra cash!

3. Get a Personal Loan

how to make money

If you actually need money now, then you can opt for a personal loan.

When you need money in a hurry ZippyLoan is where to go.

You apply for a loan through the Zippy Loan site, if approved they send your loan application to one of many loan providers.

You review the loan details and e-sign if you like what you see. No risk in checking what offers you'll get.

You can borrow between $100 and $15,000 as soon as tomorrow.

Loans service for up to 60 months.

ZippyLoan connects borrowers to lenders through their network of lenders.

They'll find you the lowest interest rate and is one of the best no credit check loan. You can visit ZippyLoan here.

4. Become an Instacart Shopper

Earning potential: $15 to $25 per hour

If you’re free nights and weekends, you can earn extra cash delivering groceries with Instacart. You can earn money by becoming an Instacart Shopper – as a shopper, you'll pick and deliver the items that customers want and get paid for it.

There are no set hours with this gig economy job. Just open the app and shop whenever it works for you. Download the Shopper app to start earning and working when you want with this on-demand app job.

5. Earn Cash for Your Opinion

ways to make extra money

Vindale Research asks for information about you so that they can match you with fitting surveys.

At up to $75 a pop for some surveys and a free $1 just for signing up, it pays to check in daily to see which ones are available to you.

Ready to get free cash now by turning your free time into extra income?

6. Make Extra Money Investing in Real Estate

passive income websites

Are you fascinated with investing into billion-dollar businesses but never knew where you could get started?

Fundrise can help you get your feet wet with high-value real estate investments with only $500. Here, it is all about investing in private markets rather than the public.

They have an expert team of investment professionals who can help you with smart investments into several high returns businesses and it's really easy to get started.

7. Cancel Subscriptions You Forgot You Had

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trim

Trim is a high-tech AI assistant that you can use which streamlines your financial requirements. Automation is the key phrase here – Trim can help you save money by effectively automating a user’s everyday spends.

SIDE GIGTYPE OF WORK

billshark

Let BillShark negotiate your bills
Save 25% on monthly bills in 2 minutes with Billshark

Has a 90% success rate to lower your bills
Can lower your internet, wireless, tv, satellite radio bills and many more
Get estimated savings in minutes
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Lower your internet, cable and phone bills
Don't pay full price. Let Trim find ways to save on your bill and do the work negotiating it lowering for you.

Sign up for free
As seen as Fortune, The New York Times, NBC News, TechCrunch
Uses bank-level security with 256-bit SSL encryption to keep your data safe

truebill

Easily cancel unwanted subscriptions
80% of people save money by using Truebill to find and cancel unwanted subscriptions!

Easily track your spending
Start a savings account
Easily lower bills

It has some features that will surprise you like automatic Comcast bill negotiation. Trim trims the excess fat from your spending habits and keeps your financial profile lean and mean!

8. Join the Postmates Fleet

Earning potential: $18 to $25 per hour

If you are looking for a way to support yourself full time in the gig economy you can look into joining the Postmates Fleet. There are good chances that you’ve come across Postmates and even used their services when you wanted something delivered to your home.

Postmates is another gig app where you can download the app and come online whenever you want to make money. You get to keep 100% of your tips and earnings every time you complete a delivery. Plus, you can cash out instantly anytime you want, or get free weekly deposits.

9. Walk Dogs with Rover

rover gig economy app

This one is for all the animal-lovers out there. Dog walking has two lucrative benefits – you get to spend time with your four-legged friends and you yourself get some exercise.

You can find dog-walking gigs on Rover. They are one of the nation’s largest networks of pet sitters and dog walkers. Users can easily search for the services they need, connect with a sitter or dog walker, and even book and pay securely without the need for cash, checks, or tips.

10. Start Investing Your Change

Acorns Review 2020

Interested in investing your own spare change with Acorns? Once you connect the app to a debit or credit card, it rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and funnels your digital change into an investment account.

I downloaded it and within a year I had $1394.25 in my account. Once you get the process automated, Acorns investments make your digital change work for you.

You can see our full Acorns review here.

Plus you’ll get a $5 bonus when you sign up and make your first investment!

The sooner you start investing, the sooner your money can start to grow toward your goals.

This is one of the best ways to make extra money that can help you earn real passive income over time.

11. Surf the Web and Take Fun Surveys

get paid to save

Swagbucks is another great way to make extra money for just pushing a few buttons in your free time. I personally use it and usually make up to $35 per survey while watching TV, and it does add up.

Getting started is easy:

  1. Click here to sign up. Remember, it's 100% free.
  2. Confirm your email to get the $10 sign up bonus.
  3. Take paid surveys anytime and anywhere.
  4. Get paid cash via PayPal

Enjoy knowing that Swagbucks is one of the highest paying survey sites that actually works.

You can also earn free cash (via Paypal) for everyday activities like shopping, watching videos and searching the web.

If you're interested you can get started with a $10 sign up bonus.

12. Get Money Refunded Back to You When Prices Drop

how to get free amazon gift cards

So this happened.  I bought something online from Target.  The price of the item that I purchased dropped in price after the fact.

I effortlessly got refunded (for free) without doing a thing, other than originally sign up for Paribus. It's as simple as that.

This free app will scan your emails for any purchase receipts from dozens of online retailers. You don’t even have to know about the price drop in order to get your refund. It’s 100% free and will save you a lot of money. 

I pocketed around $50 in the first few weeks of signing upRemember, it’s 100% free!

13. Download an App and Earn $50

apps that pay you to shop

By using the internet as you do every day, Nielsen invites you to make a difference – and you can make money too.

With Nielsen, they’ll pay you a legit $50 per device you download its app on.

You don’t have to do anything other than initially registering your computer or phone.

This company will pay you $50 a year to keep their app on your favorite internet browsing device and they also give away $10,000 each month. So you can possibly make more than $50.

Sign up through here for a registration bonus.

14. Get an Easy $5 Right Now

ways to make extra money

The Dosh app is the free cash back app that finds you money for shopping, dining out, and booking hotels and travel activities with more than 100,000 merchants and brands nationwide.

This company not only allows you to get cash back on everyday purchases, but no receipt scanning required!

Click here to get started with Dosh and get a $1 sign up bonus after linking your first card.

15. Get A Free $10 Amazon Gift Card

gig economy apps

If you are a fan of getting rewards for purchases online, then you’ll love MyPoints. You can take surveys, watch videos, read emails and more to earn points that you can reimburse for various online services.

They are also partnered with Swagbucks who was mentioned earlier. You can even redeem your points for cash and travel miles which makes it more flexible.

What To Do With Your Extra Money?

Making money online fast isn't hard, but you need to know where to look.

But how should you categorize your earned extra cash? Make sure every dollar from your side gig income has a purpose with these 4 strategies:

Don’t double count your earnings

I recall my first non-wage side gig income. It was the simplest introduction possible: I started selling my old stuff on eBay.

My primary motivation wasn’t even the income, but rather the decluttering that selling my stuff would facilitate. I was looking to ditch dead weight, and focusing on physical clutter seemed like one way to begin. But, when the sales actually began hitting my PayPal account, I began thinking of all the things that new income stream could offset.

And I do mean all the things. I was full of excitement about how that $75 I earned selling a handbag could cover my groceries for a week! And half a plane ticket to Vegas! And a nice restaurant meal out! I needed to slow down and realize it might offset one of those areas of spending, but not all. And that it ultimately represented a net loss anyway given the handbag probably cost over $200 new.

Once your side hustle income starts flowing, check that you’re not allocating it to more than one area. Give each dollar a singular purpose, be it covering day-to-day spending, bulking up your emergency fund, or investing.

Don’t spend it before you earn it

Closely correlated to the above, be mindful about adjusting your spending upward, especially before your earned income really starts materializing. My preferred way of looking at it is, earning side gig income is not a good reason to spend recklessly, or in a way, you wouldn’t have done otherwise.

An example of this is income earned from Airbnb, particularly if it’s only when you travel. I list my apartment on Airbnb when I go away on travel, but I only do so for trips I would’ve taken (and would’ve been able to afford) anyways. If I started taking trips just for the purpose of earning more Airbnb cash, I’d want to be very mindful of the overall cost of that travel, relative to the potential income generated.

With that in mind, I would recommend Airbnb as a great way to make extra cash and listed it on our money list above.

The same could be said of buying items to flip, which is a really interesting area to look into. Just be conscious that the inventory you bought doesn’t represent actual cash until you’ve successfully flipped it. And it should go without saying, but please don’t go into debt chasing ways to make extra cash.

Budget for taxes

Depending on the magnitude of your extra cash, you may need to report it as self-employment income. One way or another, in most cases it will ultimately end up on your tax return. One exception would be when you have a loss on the sale of personal-use property, such as your car, home furnishings, or clothing (i.e. that $200 handbag I sold for $75), which is not reportable, as it’s not a deductible loss.

In general, any source that has paid you more than $600 is required to issue you a 1099, which is reported to the IRS, and is then your responsibility to report on your tax return.

For a broad overview, the Turbotax blog provides a summary of what to think about. You should consult a tax professional for the specifics on this as related to your personal circumstances.

Enjoy the process of making extra money

I’ve found delving into different gig economy apps to be a really fun process. Even just those first few eBay sales started building up my entrepreneurial drive. My side hustle muscle, if you will. It’s remarkable how different it feels earning your first independent income, versus getting the same old paycheck you’re used to.

I’ve found, and have noticed in others, that it tends to spark the desire to do more, to seek out new opportunities, to optimize other areas of life.

As side hustlers, we’ve tapped into the power of developing multiple income streams, and we certainly love the freedom and flexibility that allows. Keeping a few key concepts in mind as we do this will serve us well as those income streams grow and change over time. Whether your goal is to replace your day job income, pad your savings, or fund your next adventure, thinking more like an entrepreneur is going to get you there faster.

Ways To Make Money Extra Money? Go Get It!

While most of these ways to make money won't generate a full-time income for most people, it's exciting to make some extra money! Next, take a look at how you can get paid to watch TV in your free time.

Which ways to make extra money are you currently interested in? Let us know!

Want free money?
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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian is the chief editor of SavingJunkie and is a personal finance expert who has spent the last few years writing about how Millennials can make smarter money moves. He has been fortunate enough to have appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN Money, AOL, Discover Bank, GOBankingRates, and more. He is also diversifying his portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in hands off real estate investing via an app called Fundrise.

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