(Disclaimer: I have referral links listed throughout this post.)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever wished you had a little extra room in your budget for things.
If you have your hand up, put it down. Cause you’re lying.
At some point or another, everyone has wished they had a little bit more money they could do things with.
Now, let me start by saying that none of these are “get rich quick” tricks. In fact, I don’t expect you to get rich doing any of these. But finding an extra $25-$50 a month can be HUGE for some people.
And if you’re like me, and you have a new baby coming (or you already have kids), then every little extra dollar you can come up with helps.
So, here we go:
7 Ways to Build Extra Room In Your Budget
1 — Swagbucks
If you’ve never heard of Swagbucks, you’re missing out.
I started back seriously trying to earn with Swagbucks back in May. Since then, I’ve gotten a $25 giftcard to Amazon for May, June, and July so far. For me personally, since Amazon is one of the best deals for buying diapers (which I’m going to need a LOT of come this fall), I’m kinda stockpiling Amazon giftcards to use towards baby stuff I will need.
Your earning potential with Swagbucks is endless. But don’t count on it being able to replace your income or anything; it’s not that good.
2 — EBates
EBates is a website that offers cash back for the online shopping you do. It’s actually quite simple. First, search on EBates for the store you’re going to be shopping at, click through to the store from the Ebates site, and voila! You will be earning cash back based on how much you spend!
I will suggest that you compare your potential cash back savings between Ebates and Swagbucks though, since you can earn money back for shopping from both places.
Also, if you sign up using my referral code, we each get $10! How awesome would it be to get $10 JUST for signing up??
3 — ReceiptHog
ReceiptHog is an app for iPhone or Android that lets you take pictures of your receipts and turn them into either PayPal or Amazon giftcards.
When you take a photo of a receipt in ReceiptHog for a store that sells groceries, health items, beauty products, pet supplies, or items such as these, your receipt will grant you coins. For receipts less than $10, you will earn 5 coins. For receipts $10 – $50, you will earn 10 coins. For receipts $50 – $100, you will earn 15 coins. For receipts over $100, you will earn 20. This payout schedule works for up to 100 coins per week. After that, every receipt you take photos of will grant you only 5 coins.
For photos of receipts that do not come from stores mentioned above, you will earn “spins”. You can use the spins on the ReceiptHog slot machine that is in the app. If you are lucky, you can earn additional coins from your spins!
4 — Panel App
Panel App is another app available for iPhone or Android. The drawback to this app is that you are allowing it to track where you are at all times, and I know that some people will be immediately turned off by that. However, so far, I have seen no adverse affects to allowing this app to track me.
You will also typically receive a survey at least every couple of days within the Panel App. These surveys ask you to verify what stores/location you were at, how much you spent at a certain store (if you purchased anything), and things like that.
The payouts for this app are a little more complicated as far as trying to explain them. So far, I have redeemed $5 towards Amazon from this app. And, it seems that since I have redeemed this, I have been accumulating points much faster, so that’s a perk.
5 — Checkpoints App
Checkpoints is another app for iPhone and Android that I actually came across on Clark Howard’s website. The way to earn the points the quickest is by scanning the barcodes of specific items when you are in certain stores.
You can also earn points with Checkpoints by “checking in” to certain stores that it says you are near. The neat part about this form of earning points if that you don’t actually have to be at that particular store! As long as you are close enough for the app to recognize that you are near the store, you can check in!
Additionally, you can earn points by watching videos within the app or completing special offers.
AND! If you input my referral code (jhfoster413) when you join, we can both earn some free points!
Then, when you are ready, you can use your points to cash in for giftcards to any number of various stores!
6 — Ibotta App
Ibotta is another iPhone and Android app. This one grants you cash back (either through PayPal or Amazon giftcard) for purchasing certain products or shopping at certain stores.
I typically use Ibotta to save on groceries, but you can also use it for baby items (I’ll be using it for that eventually), clothing stores, restaurants, etc.
There are even special bonuses the app offers for special occasions or for meeting goals with your team (which is most likely going to be all your Facebook friends).
7 — Checkout 51 App
Checkout 51 is yet another iPhone and Android app. This one updates with new deals every Wednesday, and it offers cash back if you purchase certain items. One of the neatest things I like about this app is that it allows online purchases to qualify. Which means when I start buying diapers from Amazon, I can still qualify for the offers with this app!
When your Checkout 51 account balance reaches $20, you can cash out and Checkout 51 will mail you a check.
So, there you have it. There are 7 ways that I am using to try and build a little extra room in my budget.
Do you have any tips or tricks that you are using to find extra money or save money to help your budget? If so, please share in the comments so that the rest of us can benefit!