It’s rare to go anywhere these days and not see the majority of the people you run into with their eyes glued to their phones. While I’m sure the majority are posting their lattes on Instagram or thinking their lives sound way may important than they are as they voice the injustice of having to stand in line. The horror! Some, however, may actually have found a few apps that will pay you money for a few seconds of your time.
There are quite a few articles out there sharing how to earn money with apps. Some of the lists are huge, but many of those apps aren’t worth your time. Some take way too much of a time investment to see any return. Or, they just don’t have enough opportunities available.
This list may be shorter, but I’ve handpicked my favorite ways to make money from apps. Many of these I have tried myself and been impressed with the possibilities or uniqueness. And, there’s a pretty good mix here. You are bound to find something of interest whether you are looking for local task-based work or passive income through investing.
If you are a car buff – or not – you may be interested in learning more about WeGoLook. This app provides Lookers with gigs on a local level that usually involve inspecting a vehicle or auction item for a buyer from afar. You will be taking pictures and looking for defects. Most Looks pay around $20 and you are free to pick up work as you choose. There is no minimum commitment. WeGoLook pays weekly by direct deposit.
I love Ibotta and was able to earn over $1,200 with the app in 2016. You make money with this app by grocery shopping. It’s kind of like couponing without the clipping. You simply select the available rebates for items on your grocery list and scan your receipt. Money is deposited in your account within 48 hours. You can then get your cash by PayPal. Get $10 for a limited time when you sign up through this link.
So Job Spotter doesn’t pay cash, but it does pay in Amazon store credit which is as good as cash in my book. It’s super simple to earn money from this app. When you are out and about just look for help wanted signs on local businesses. Take a picture of the sign and a picture of the store signage and submit. Once approved, you will earn $.50 that can be turned into an Amazon gift card once you hit $1. Let’s this one roll and use it to pay for your holiday shopping.
Who doesn’t love Swagbucks? This app lets you earn money in so many ways like taking surveys, shopping online or playing games, but many of my readers love racking up SB (Swagbucks) watching videos in their spare time. You can cash out your SB as gift cards to hundreds of merchants or get your cash by PayPal.
Gigwalk is another in-person, task-based app. You make money by performing activities in your community. You may be visiting a store to see if a brand display is up or something more involved like checking inventory. Your pay will be determined by the involvement and ranges from $3 up to $100 per gig. Once you have completed the gig and it’s been approved by the client, you will be paid by PayPal.
This is another cash back opportunity that earns me quite a bit over the course of a year. While we traditionally think of Ebates as being a website, they also have an app that provides in-store coupons and allows you to check prices. You can even connect your favorite credit card, or apply for an Ebates card, to earn cash back on in-store purchases. Ebates pays quarterly by check with a $5.01 minimum. For a limited time, get a $10 gift card when you sign up for a free account through this link.
While investing still makes me a nervous wreck and there are no guaranteed returns, I’ve come to terms with the fact that isn’t a necessary evil to create wealth and passive income. While I do have a financial advisor to manage my IRAs and big investments, I do have a few little things on the side. Acorns is a cool little app that allows you to link up a debit or credit card. When you make a purchase using that card, Acorns rounds up the purchase and uses the overage to invest in exchange traded funds or ETFs. You let Acorns know whether you are interested in long-term investments, short-term investments, a major purchase, children or general. It then makes recommendations according to your risk tolerance. Acorns takes care of the investing so you don’t have to worry about being hands on or having a lot of investment knowledge.
There is no minimum investment to get started, just allow Acorns to start rounding up purchases on your selected card (you can also choose to exclude certain purchases by logging into the app). There is a $1/month fee for accounts under $5,000. It’s free to those under 24 or attending college.
Stash is an app similar to Acorns in that their target audience is “micro-investors.” What is a little different this time is that you have some more control over where you are investing your money and Stash serves up a lot of education along the way to help you choose the best picks for your goals and risk tolerance. They categorize the investment options by I Believe, I Want and I Like. And you can then choose from catchy renamed ETFs like “All That Glitters” which includes investments into precious metals or “Blue Chips” which is buying into some of the biggest companies in the U.S.
The fees here are similar to those at Acorns – $1/month for accounts under $5,000 then 0.25% for those over. You do get your first three months free. The minimum investment is $5 and there is no automatic investing. You invest when you choose. With both of these, keep in mind your earnings are taxable. These are not tax-advantaged retirement accounts which you should highly consider self-employed or not. Get $5 to start investing when you sign up through this link.
Field Agent is very similar to GigWalk. You will be completing tasks locally that typically pay $3 to $12 each. You may be checking store displays or prices or doing consumer surveys. You can get your cash by PayPal with this one.
If you sign up with these apps that will pay you money, I highly recommend making a list of where you have signed up, your login information and how payments are made. You can then check your balances on a monthly basis especially in the case of those you visit infrequently or involve investing. This will help you keep tabs on your earnings and insure you don’t forget about any money you have available should an emergency arise. And apps are a great way to make money on the side for those!
And don’t forget to check your favorite apps for opportunities to earn money from referrals. Many give you a cash bonus for referring your friends. This is another great way to make easy money.