This is my first month reporting additional income I’ve generated. I am writing these posts to hopefully help others discover new, easy, and creative ways to add a little money to their pockets each month. For more information on income reports check out the Introduction to Monthly Income Reports.
- I am not an accountant nor do I claim to be one, all income should be reported to the IRS if you live in the United States.
- This page may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you sign up through my links, at no cost to you.
- Earning extra money online takes work and planning and you may or may not achieve the same level of results.
Now onto the fun stuff!
Total for Month: $1,345.80
Best Day: $450.00 on January 27, 2021
This is a fitness app I downloaded quite a while ago and honestly forgot about when I switched to a new phone last year.
How it Works:
Download the Achievement app and connect your smart devices such as FitBit, AppleWatch, and smart scales. The app does the rest of the work and you’ll earn points while engaging in healthy activities. You can also answer short surveys in the app. Once you reach 10,000 points and you can cash out for $10.00 with PayPal. (Who doesn’t like free money for their PayPal account?)
Swagbucks: 2,200 points for a $25.00 Walmart Gift Card
I was able to land a discount on this Walmart gift card with a monthly promo saving myself $3 worth of points.
Swagbucks is a combination of things: surveys, games, search engine, shopping portal, and much more. I frequent Swagbucks when I’m shopping online and often land killer deals purchasing discounted gift cards through their affiliate MyGiftCardsPlus.
How it works:
Install the Swagbutton on your web browser to remind yourself to use the shopping portal.
You can also install various Swagbucks apps to add to your points:
- SB Live is a live trivia app and turning on alerts will tell you when the next trivia game is coming up.
- The Swagbucks app is a great way to add codes you can find by adding Swagbucks to your Facebook page.
- The Swagbucks Answer app is a way to work on surveys in spare time to pick up some points here and there.
Check out my guide to Swagbucks for more information.
Keybank Bank Bonus: $200 cash added to my account
Free money from a bank?? What?! I know right?!
How it works:
All across the country banks are eager for new customers and often offer lucrative bonuses for meeting certain criteria when opening an account with them. In this case I needed to open up a KeyBank checking account and make a direct deposit of $500. I changed my paycheck to direct deposit that amount the day I signed up for the account. Within days of my statement closing I had a nice extra $200 sitting in my account. Often with these bonuses you have to keep the account open at least a few months so my account is still open with $125 in it.
How to find them:
By subscribing to the SlickDeals updates and regularly checking DoC I’m able to see when new bonuses come out.
I will caution you, opening multiple bank accounts can be confusing. You have to be organized and make sure you’re following all of the requirements for each account or you can lose the bonus itself and possibly have to pay fees. A common requirement for some of the higher bonuses is keeping a minimum balance (more about this later in this write up).
BBVA Bank Bonus: $50 cash for having at least $1,000 in savings
This is actually part two of the overall BBVA bonus of $250. I achieved the first part by direct depositing $500 into the account. As mentioned above bank bonuses have a wide array of rules to follow.
Chase Amazon Rewards: $37.65 in statement credit (basically they pay part of your bill)
Chase Sapphire Rewards: $95.00 in statement credit – I usually don’t cash out Chase UR points
Dosh: $37.01 cashed out to PayPal
TopCashBack: $58.14 (cashed out $54.19 and they gave a +5% bonus if I chose a Visa gift card)
The Amazon Prime card from Chase earns 5x points when you shop on Amazon with it. We order from Amazon a lot so it makes sense to use this card as our primary on the account. Every so often I’ll cash out my Amazon points for statement credit. I always pay my statements IN FULL so please do not be misled that we are just charging a bunch of crap for points.
Normally you make out better cashing out the Chase points for travel, with the Sapphire Preferred card you would add a multiplier to add 1.5x to your points. Why does that matter? When you’ve got a trip to book this cash out method can add 100s in free travel.
Choosing a Visa gift card from TopCashBack is a great way to add a little extra to your cashback. Check out my article How to Stretch Your Visa Gift Cards Further to see how you can add even more value.
Disclaimer: link above will give you some starter points when you apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card of your own. Please note that you must have a decent credit score to apply (usually 700+) and that this is a hard pull on your credit. Do not pursue credit cards if you are disorganized or may need a large loan in the near future (like a mortgage).
Dosh is a nifty little passive app that acts like a constant cashback portal for purchases.
How it works:
Download the Dosh App and link your credit/debit cards (it’s safe!). When you have enough points you can cash them out, simple!
TopCashback is a cashback portal that often has some of the highest percentages of cashback when shopping online.
How it works:
Create a TopCashBack account and download the TopCashBack App. You can also install the TopCashBack extension on Google Chrome to help remind yourself to use it when shopping online. Every time you shop you have to either go to the TopCashBack site first and find your store or use the extension (please note that if you installed Swagbucks too that you can only use ONE cashback portal at a time so pick the better offer!).
You should always use a cashback portal when you shop online, it’s free money right back in your pocket. The amount of time it takes for an offer to appear as cashback in your account can vary so please be patient.
Discover IT: $29.37 + $50.00 referral to my wife (both taken as statement credit)
Discover IT is a pretty interesting card to own. Every quarter they have specific places you can use the card and earn 5% cash back (on up to $1,500 per quarter). You have to enroll in the program every quarter but it’s a nice way to earn some extra cash when you’re buying from these places anyways. The first year you have the card Discover will double your points when you reach the end of the year so basically if you’re able to max each quarter with $75 cashback you’ll get $300 from Discover on your anniversary with them.
A good strategy here is to buy gift cards from the 5% vendors to meet the $1,500 for the quarter. I typically sell off the gift cards I’m not going to use. It works really well if you can find a sale on the gift cards themselves to pair with this and boost savings further.
Disclaimer: link above will give you $50 when you apply for a Discover IT card of your own. Please note that you must have a decent credit score to apply (usually 700+) and that this is a hard pull on your credit. Do not pursue credit cards if you are disorganized or may need a large loan in the near future (like a mortgage).
TopCashBack: $190.63 (really it was ~$170 but I added 5% cashback by taking a visa gift card and then another 2% by loading it to my Amazon Prime account as a debit)
I’m not sure if loading the debit to your Amazon Prime account will always be a thing but a little 2% boost never hurts and we use Amazon often enough that it won’t sit too long. Check out my guide on how to load your Visa gift card to your Amazon account for detailed instructions.
NetSpend: $20 for adding at least $40 to my NetSpend Account
I plan to use the NetSpend account as a mini savings account. Once you set up their debit account you can link a savings account that has a 5% rate on the first $1,000. DO NOT USE NETSPEND as an actual debit card, it’s a rip off otherwise. You need to set up a complex network of bank accounts to get your money back out.
I’m not including a link for this until I can write up a detailed post on how this works so you don’t end up with money stuck in this account.
GooglePay: $93.00 cashed out to my checking account
Back in December GooglePay had a nifty signup where you earned a bigger bonus for getting your friends to signup and transfer money. I also hit a nice deal for Target where if I spent $50 I got $21 back so I bought a $50 Target gift card for almost half off after my rebate. I also hit a nice cashback offer for signing up for Walmart+ to get my groceries delivered that gave me $30 back.
How it Works
GooglePay is the new guy on the playground when it comes to payment apps. Sign up for a GoogplePay account and install the app. You can add bank accounts, credit cards, and debit cards and use GooglePay like a cashback portal. The important thing here is that right now GooglePay stacks with other neat offers so you can end up getting almost 100% cashback in some cases. The only downside here is that you have to go into the app and keep adding offers to your account if you want to earn cash back.
Sign up with my link above and spend at least $10 and you’ll get $5 for your account.
Bank Bonus – PNC Bank: $400.00
DiscoverIT – Anne’s referral bonus: $50
This bank bonus was a little more difficult requiring $5,000 in direct deposits. This account also required me to keep at least $5,000 in it (I parked my emergency fund here for now).