I hate money. But I also hate that I love money.
Money may not be everything, but it is important. Even if you work a full-time steady job, you might be longing for a little extra cash.
Here are a few easy ways to help you make money and save it too.
GET A PIGGY BANK
Okay, okay. It might sound silly, but it really works.
Last year, I was planning a trip to Disneyland. In an effort to save a little cash apart from my job, I started putting all my change in a jar.
You know how you pay cash at the store, and they give you change back? Sometimes those coins fall to the bottom of your purse, shoved into your pant pockets (and then forgotten about and thrown into the washing machine, right?), or even find their way allover your house (I’m talking on the dresser, kitchen table, and in between couch cushions).
Obviously we prefer dollar bills over pennies, but guess what? Pennies and nickels and dimes and quarters HAVE WORTH TOO. So save them. Instead of throwing them wherever and forgetting about them, throw them into a piggy bank!
You might not collect much, but you’ll be surprised at how much you do save. Within about a month, I had over $60 saved — all from coins! That $60 helped a ton with parking and snacks at Disney. And the best part (besides the fact that you get extra spending money) is that it’s so easy! It takes two seconds to dump your change into the jar instead of sporadically in random household places.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Ebates. And I’m sure you’ve doubted whether or not it actually works.
I doubted it too, but I’m here to tell you that it honestly works.
Here’s how you do it:
When you shop online, Ebates connects you to the store of your choice. You buy whatever you were planning to buy. And then you get a percentage of your purchase back!
That’s literally it. You’re getting cash back for doing shopping that you would’ve done anyways.
TALK TO YOUR BANK
Alright, you’re right. Sometimes banks are intimidating. But here’s what has helped me.
First and foremost, start a savings account. Every time I get a pay check, I transfer a percentage of it into my savings account. Maybe transfer $1, maybe transfer $50. Do what’s best for you and your financial situation. Trust me, it doesn’t matter if you build up $1000 or $20 in your savings account — $20 is $20, right?
Also, every time I use my debit card, a dollar goes into my savings. So, let’s say I buy $20 worth of groceries. The store will charge my account $20 and an additional $1 will be transferred out of my checking account and into my savings. You hardly even notice it’s happening — until you look at your savings account and see that you have $10 more than you did last week.
IF YOU’RE A STUDENT, TAKE ADVANTAGE
Student discounts are everywhere. Literally everywhere.
Movie theaters, restaurants, newspapers, clothing stores, phone services, literally so many places offer student discounts (I even received nearly $200 off my new MacBook).
Even better, Amazon offers discounted prime membership and free two day shipping. Let me tell you something — Being an Amazon prime member is one of the best things to happen to me on the Internet.
STUDENTS: BUYING — OR BETTER YET, RENTING — TEXTBOOKS
During my first semester, I bought all my books at the campus bookstore. Big mistake.
The next semester, I bought them on Amazon. I can recall one book being $140 in the bookstore. How much was it on Amazon? $60.
And buy used. It’s the same book, maybe a little torn and rough around the edges, but generally a lot cheaper.
Buuuuut, if renting is an available option, do that! It’s usually a lot cheaper, and I mean, are you really going to need the book after the semester ends? Probably not.
But if renting isn’t an option and you need to buy your books, sometimes Amazon will buy your books back. They won’t pay you the original price, but they paid me $30 for a $70 book. Yeah, I lost out on $40, but $30 is better than $0.
If you aren’t into Amazon, there are a ton of other online bookstores that offer cheap textbooks. Look into Chegg or Big Words.
I’m not a couponer by any means, but coupons do help.
Once a week, I get a ton of junk mail in my mailbox. Amidst that junk mail are usually a few coupons to my local grocery store, restaurants, and sometimes retail stores like Michaels.
This is FREE MONEY. You don’t have to search or hunt down these coupons, businesses literally SEND THEM TO YOU.
But of course, if you do have the time and the desire, tons of sites offer printable coupons.
SIGN UP FOR MEMBERSHIPS
A lot of memberships for stores are free and credit-less.
Here’s an example. I work at a Hilton hotel. We have this thing called Hilton Honors. It’s free to sign up. When you stay at a Hilton hotel, all you have to do is attach your Honors number to your reservation and you’ll start getting points for each dollar you spend.
Points accumulate into free things like water, snacks, alcohol, and FREE ROOMS.
I once met someone who had enough points to stay seven nights in Hawaii FOR FREE. Signing up for memberships like this are completely free and only take a few minutes of your time. Who knows, maybe you’ll be staying in Hawaii for free next year.
Other places (like Safeway) offer free memberships too, and all you have to do is swipe your card at checkout for discounted items.
Listverse is a site of LISTICLES. Top 10 Shocking Documentaries, Top 10 Influential People Who Never Lived, Top 10 Ridiculously Common Science Myths. They’re pretty interesting to read, but guess what?
If you write a list for them and they like it, they’ll pay you $100. Yep, $100.
(I haven’t tried it though, so I’m not sure how strict their criteria is.)
Did you know you can earn money just for having an app downloaded on your phone?
One time, Amazon paid me $5 just to download their app.
Other sites will pay you for 1) downloading the app and 2) will continue to pay you depending on how long you actually keep the app on your phone.
Some apps will also pay you for doing their surveys or watching informational videos.
RECYCLE CELL PHONES, ALUMINUM CANS, ETC.
Some places will pay you for recycling certain products.
There are places in my hometown that will pay you for giving them soda cans. Other places will pay you for scrap metal or bad car batteries.
And if you have any old cell phones lying around, places will take those too!
SELL YOUR OLD CLOTHES
If you’re anything like me, you have a ton of clothes in your closet, but don’t wear half of it.
So, sell it! You can donate to Goodwill and get a percentage back during tax season. (Or you can always donate just to donate!)
Or you can sell your clothes to places like Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, or thredUP. See which ones will give you the best deals!
MAKE MONEY ON YOUR HOBBY
Sometimes hobbies can make you money, too. And if it’s your hobby, you probably like doing it, and you’re probably good at it, so why not?
Here are some examples.
Maybe you’re good at photography. Take someone’s senior pictures.
Maybe you’re good at baking. Sell your cookies!
Maybe you’re good at doing hair/makeup/nails. Help someone get ready for prom.
Maybe you’re good at fixing cars. Help someone with their car.
Maybe you’re pretty crafty. Start an Etsy shop or sell your merchandise to your friends.
Maybe you’re good at writing. There are a ton of sites that will pay you to write articles for them.
Maybe you love watching kids or animals. Babysit or dog sit for someone.
You get the picture.
There’s an endless amount of ways to make money and save money. Maybe you won’t earn cash by the thousands, but you’ll earn something. And that little something will always add up!