If you’re using apps all day every day anyway, why not make some money back from them?
Not to bring up an overused topic, but the reliance on mobile devices is something we shouldn’t forget. Tech Crunch estimated back in 2017 that we use, on average, nine apps a day!
Whether you spend your time scrolling Facebook or Instagram, constantly checking news or weather reports, or even playing Candy Crush, our mobile phones are basically our technological best friends.
So have you ever thought about making money using apps on your phone? Not the scammy kind of apps that track your movements and sell your data to companies, but real applications that can actually help you make an extra buck (or a few hundred).
Earny is a great way to make back money that you’ve already spent if the price of an item goes down after you purchase it. It does this by monitoring price protection features on your credit cards. When prices drop after you’ve purchased something, you might be entitled to get the difference back!
This app does need some of your personal data to function and it accesses your email to track receipts, but if you plan on making a big purchase this app could help save you hundreds of dollars.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you spend $1000 on a camera bundle at Best Buy on Black Friday, using your Best Buy Card. Cut to a month later, and the price of that bundle has dropped by $250! When Earny spots that decrease, it will process a refund for that $250 back onto your Best Buy credit card.
Earny does ask for 25% of what it saves you at the end of each month. But when utilized for those major purchases, you could still save a lot of money.
We asked one of our featured contributors from our article on focus groups for side hustling, Nick Loper, for his personal favorite free money app. Loper, chief hustler at SideHustleNation.com, said that while he still enjoys using receipt scanning app Ibotta, his new favorite free money app is Drop.
“There’s no scanning receipts or searching for which items qualify,” Loper said. “You just connect your card and automatically earn extra cash back at the five stores you spend the most at. It’s super passive, and I find that every few months, I’ve earned enough for another $10 Amazon gift card. (Also there are no rules as far as I know against using both apps and stacking the deals).”
Drop connects with your debit or credit card and when you make purchases at a few of your favorite places (that work with Drop) you rank up points that can be used to redeem gift cards.
Like rebate redemptions of old, Ibotta is basically the modern way to get rebates. After you make a purchase, if the item is listed as having a rebate on Ibotta, you scan your receipt and start collecting dollars back.
Ibotta is listed third on ScottAlanTurner.com’s February 2019 article, 10 Free Mobile Apps That Earn You Extra Money Fast. It is also a favorite of Loper’s, while it’s as passive an extra income as Drop, it’s still relatively easy to use.
This isn’t so much a “free money” app as it is a money maker. Acorns rounds up your purchases to invest in a stock portfolio for you. You can passively have it just round up your purchases or you can invest amounts anytime using the app.
Jeff Proctor, owner of financial advice website Dollar Sprout, said Acorns is one of his favorite found money apps because it’s such a great introduction to investing.
“For example, if you go out on a date and the bill is $24.50, Acorns will round the purchase up to $25 and invest the 50 cent difference,” he said. “This app is great for someone who might think they don’t have enough money to invest, but knows that investing is important. By ‘finding’ small ways to contribute money without adding extra stress to your budget, Acorns helps you start to build your long term investing foundation.”
Proctor also acknowledged one drawback to Acorns which does charge a monthly fee of between one to three dollars depending on the level of personal investment.
Ready to get paid for staying active? Achievement does just that! Achievement rewards you in small increments for staying active and logging your food/exercise in certain connected apps.
The Penny Hoarder listed Achievement in its list of 16 of the best money-making apps. Their pro tip for utilizing Achievement is “the more apps you connect, the more earning opportunities.” There are over 30 compatible health and fitness apps for Achievement to track your work.
Once you hit 10,000 points, Achievement sends you a $10 check! That’s pretty great, considering that you’re also enjoying the benefits of healthier living!
Nick Loper (@nloper) helps people earn money outside of their day job. He’s an author, online entrepreneur, and host of the “Best Business Podcast”-nominated Side Hustle Show, which features new part-time business ideas each week. As Chief Side Hustler at SideHustleNation.com, he loves deconstructing the tactics and strategies behind building extra income streams.
Jeff Proctor (@DollarSprout) is a personal finance nerd and entrepreneur at heart, He has written about all latest cool ways to make and save extra money over at Dollar Sprout. He’s been quoted in several online publications, including Entrepreneur, NBC News, GoBankingRates, Student Loan Hero, Business.com, Credit Karma, The Simple Dollar, US News & World Report, Lifehacker, MSN Money, Moneyish, Zumper, IdeaMensch, Discover Bank, PrimeRates, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, Club Thrifty, Guru Focus, Rent Track, Fit Small Business, Coupon Chief, and more.
Amanda Finn is a freelance writer based in Chicago. She largely writes about lifestyle and travel with a focus on making the most out of life and all it has to offer (without going over budget). When she isn’t writing, she’s spending quality time with her husband Kyle, her puggle Puggsley, and her two bunnies.
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