One of my favorite ways to make a little easy pocket change every day is through apps on my iPhone. Let me go on and say this before I even start the post: you’re not going to get rich this way. Not even close. But, if you use a few minutes of your spare time each day to do a couple of games/videos/clicks on your phone, you can easily make a dollar or two a day…and that adds up quickly!
A few years ago, I did a post about my favorite money-making apps…but, I think we all know the shelf life of an app right now. A lot of them just don’t stick around for very long! Several of the apps I mention in this post weren’t even around when I wrote that first post, and I’ve phased out a few of my favorite apps as they’ve paid less and less. Here’s a round-up of the apps I’m loving for making a little bit of change daily!
(This post contains affiliate/referral links. It’s usually easier to sign up for these from your computer, so I’d click through these links on a desktop if possible and download the apps on your phone as you sign up!)
Checkpoints – I love Checkpoints…this has consistently been my favorite money-making app over the years. There are several different things you can do to make money in the app, but my favorite is by using their check-ins feature. At some point in the day (usually for about an hour around mid-day), you will find gold-star check-ins on the “In-Store” section of the app…I can usually check into around 10 of those for 10 points each. If the gold star check-ins aren’t available, the gray stars are still worth 2 points each.
Every 3 points is worth about a penny (which doesn’t sound like much, but if you get 10 gold-star check-ins a day, that’s 33 cents for doing basically nothing!). You can also watch videos through the app for points (the first few pay well, but past that they aren’t great), scan barcodes in stores for points (these opportunities usually pay pretty well), and take surveys in the app.
If you want to sign up for Checkpoints, click here and use the code lflambert to get a sign-up bonus!
Acorns – This one is a new one for me, but for the past few weeks I’ve been using Acorn to invest a little change here and there and I absolutely love it! It’s a no-fuss investing app that lets you either invest a set amount of money every week/month or round up purchases on a card/account and put that amount into your investment portfolio. Acorns turns around and invests your money in your choice of stocks/bonds/markets.
Trust me, I know absolutely zero about investments or the stock market…you can consider Acorns an “investing for dummies” app. They let you decide how conservative/aggressive you want to be and they do the rest (but you can still get a peek at what types of investments your money is making if you ever want to see). I ran the idea of using it by Noah (who knows WAY more about the market than I ever will) before I signed up and he thought it was a good idea! We now joke that this is my retirement fund. ? I’m only putting about $10 a week in right now, but if it continues to go well, I’d like to increase that slowly!
Of course, this isn’t a sure-fire way of making money…you’re kind of subject to whatever the market decides to do. But, if you’re looking for a way to make little investments, it’s a great way to do it! (I’ve even made three cents off of my fund so far! ?).
If you want to sign up for Acorns, click here (by using that link, we’ll both get a $5 bonus in our investment account)!
Swagbucks/Swagbucks TV – Swagbucks has probably been the most consistent of my money-making apps over the years. The easiest way to earn with Swagbucks is searching – simply use their website as your default search engine, and you’ll randomly get anywhere from 4-20 Swagbucks (each Swagbuck is roughly the equivalent of a penny), usually about once a day. I have the Swagbucks search page for my most commonly used sites (like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) bookmarked in my browser – that way, when I need that page, I can just click on that link and Swagbucks will automatically do a search for me, usually with the page I’d like to visit as the top result. It makes it where I have to click through one extra page (and takes maybe another second or two) and occasionally pays me a few cents!
Swagbucks TV is a great app for watching videos…you’ll usually get 2 Swagbucks every 2-4 videos you watch, and they auto play, so no need to babysit your phone. And FYI – you can favorite one of the short 10-second videos and have that one play over and over, saving the time it takes to watch each video and upping your earning potential! (For example, right now, there’s a 10 Sec Tip Video under Home and Garden…swipe left on that video to favorite it, then go to your favorites in the left sidebar, click it, and it will play over and over).
iBotta – iBotta is just easy money…you’re getting cash for things you’re (usually) buying anyway. Once you download the app, scroll through the products available and select the deals you might buy (from a number of stores, but I normally just use it at the grocery store). There are usually generic/store brand options available too, and they almost always have staple items (like bread/milk/cheese) on their list! They even have 25 cents cash back for “any item” right now…so literally anything you buy from a grocery store pays with this deal.
Once you select your deals and you’ve gone grocery shopping for the items you selected, scan your store receipt in and get paid for each item you bought! It’s actually pretty rare that I buy something just because there’s cash back through this app…I typically only cash in deals on items I’m buying anyway. Such easy money!
Click here to sign up and use the code nfxjxq for a $10 bonus!
Checkout 51 – This is basically the same concept as iBotta…select cash back options, buy those options, scan in your receipt, get money! There are also usually generic options (there’s one right now for any fresh produce!)
Perk – There are actually a number of apps under the Perk name, but the one in particular that I normally use is PerkTV. This one is super straight-forward…watch videos and make money. These are great to leave running beside you if you don’t need your phone for a few minutes. The Perk website actually says I’ve earned over 100,000 perk points…I had no idea!
There is also the Perk Pop Quiz app that’s fun if you need a quick game to pass the time – you just answer trivia questions and earn points through that one. Viggle, one I mentioned in my last post, is owned by Perk now, but I honestly haven’t used it in a long time (it won’t let me sign in, for some reason, and I just never made enough to worry about fixing it). If you can get it to work, it “listens” to shows (kind of like Shazam, but for TV) and lets you check into shows for points, among other activities.
You can sign up for Perk by clicking here!
shopkick – This one reminds me a lot of Checkpoints, and I’ve been using it for years. The main thing I use it for is check-ins…when you walk into many major retailers (like Walmart, Best Buy, Target, American Eagle, etc.), shopkick uses your GPS to know you’re there and awards points when you open the app. It’s a super easy way to earn a few cents every time (of the many times) I have to go to Walmart! You can also scan barcodes on products and buy products/scan your receipt for points. You’re supposed to be able to link a credit card to get cash back, but it has never worked for me for some reason.
Upside – This is the newest app on my phone…and, admittedly, I haven’t gotten to use it yet (not by choice!). But I’m keeping this one around for when it comes to my area! If you’re an east coaster, I’d check this out. It’s an app that lets you earn up to 50 cents/gallon cash back on your gas purchases at several popular stations. You redeem your offer by paying with a credit/debit card and scanning your receipt for proof.
Sign up here and use the code M2VB8 for an extra 20 cents/gallon off your first purchase!
Achievemint – I will forget about this app for months at a time, but that doesn’t matter…it still makes money if you use a fitness tracker like a Fitbit! Simply connect your fitness apps (like Apple Health, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun, etc) and Achievemint gives you points for things you’re doing anyway (activity, logging meals, even sleep!). Every 10,000 points is worth $10, and I’ve gotten 6,000 in about a year (and, literally, I forget to even check this app for months at a time!)…so it’s slow, but pretty effortless.
ebates – You might be using the ebates website, but did you know that they have an app too? So any shopping you do on your phone might be earning you cash back!
If you’re not familiar with ebates, it’s a site that you use to click-through and get deals on many (most) popular websites. So, let’s say you wanted to buy something from Target.com…go to ebates.com, search for Target, and click their link to get to the Target website. If you make a $100 purchase in that website visit, you’ll get $1 deposited in your ebates account (their current cash back is at 1%). I don’t ever shop online (or on my phone now) without checking ebates first!
Alright friends, what am I missing? Leave your favorite money-making apps in the comments (and you’re welcome to leave your referral link if that app hasn’t been shared yet!).
One more note… I wrote this post Tuesday night during one of my work sessions. As soon as I got home, Noah decided he wanted to go for a jog. We live in a pretty safe area of town, so it’s never really concerned me to be out and about, even at night (and I’m a worrier…if there’s something that should worry me, it will). About 30 minutes after he left, Noah came in telling me he got robbed at gunpoint as he was jogging near the local zoo.
Y’all, I am absolutely sick over it. Besides a couple of scrapes, he’s fine…they took his Fitbit and phone (total, 100% coincidence that I was talking about iPhone apps today), but he’s ok…we can replace things. I can’t stop thinking about what could have happened.
But…I’m going to take this opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade. After this happened, I decided to add a couple more apps to my list.
Noah and I saw Emergensee on Shark Tank a few weeks ago…it’s a wonderful app to have if you’re in a similar situation. For free, you can stream live audio, video, and GPS data to friends and family in case of an emergency. There are also paid plans if you want to be connected to security professionals.
I also love the Safetrek app. This is simply a button you hold down if you feel at all threatened. Once you release it, you put in a pin to let the app know you’re ok. If you don’t, the app calls local emergency personnel and relays your GPS data.
Be safe out there, friends. Sometimes this day and age can be scary, but other times there are wonderful resources we can use to make ourselves safer. Take advantage of them!
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