Let’s face it, interacting with our smartphones has nearly become a full-time job for many of us, and it’s a job that isn’t helping us earn money.
Nearly all adults -- 95 percent of us -- own a cellphone, according to the Pew Research Center; and 77 percent of us have smartphones. And we’re all focused on those tiny screens a lot. U.S. consumers spend five hours a day on their mobile devices, according to analytics firm Flurry. That’s 35 hours a week -- almost the equivalent of an entire work week.
Sure, it’s fun to scroll through your social media feeds, but there is a more lucrative way to spend that time with your phone. What if you could actually earn money with it? If you’re like many adults, finding ways to make some extra money would be helpful!
Whether it’s tracking your purchases or even just walking into a store, apps make it possible to earn money in small amounts doing just a little bit of work.
Now, don’t get us wrong: You probably won’t pay off your student loans or medical bills with these apps. But you could add some cash to your wallet, which will come in handy as you pay off debt, build your emergency fund or buy those sandals that you’ve had your eye on.
So far, this popular app has paid users a staggering $268.4 million. In fact, Swagbucks issues a whopping 7,000 gift cards a day.
To earn those gifts cards to retailers such as Amazon or Walmart or cash back from PayPal, all you need to do is shop online as you normally do at participating retailers (and there are hundreds of them), watch online videos and take surveys. It’s worth noting, that earning a bit of extra money doesn’t make much sense of you’re spending money to do it, so limiting yourself to only the purchases that you need to make anyway will keep you on track financially!
Swagbucks can be an all-consuming pastime for some users, who get caught up in the chase of the Swagbuck. SimplyFamilyFinance.com offers some great suggestions for using it wisely.
When you sign up for this app (available on the Android platform), you agree to see advertisements on the lock screen of your phone. Slidejoy lets you ignore the ad by simply sliding right and unlocking your phone. Or, you can engage with the ad by sliding left and going to, for instance, the advertiser’s website. However, when you earn cash, paid through PayPal, or gift cards, you will receive an equal amount regardless of whether you pop over to the advertiser’s website and buy something or simply slide right to unlock your phone, according to its website.
The company’s CEO estimated that users could earn between $5 and $15 per month using the app.
Ebates users enjoy up to 40 percent cash back for shopping at one of more than 2,500 stores in its system. According to the website, stores pay Ebates a commission for sending shoppers their way. Then, when you shop at that store, Ebates shares part of that commission with you. They’ll either send you a check or pay via PayPal.
The blogger at Good Life of a Housewife says she’s saved and earned hundreds of dollars using the site and shares how she’s done it.
Ibotta takes a little bit more work than some apps. Before you head out to the grocery store, for instance, you’ll head to the app to select the products that you plan on purchasing, according to the website. Then you buy the products at any participating store. Once you’ve completed your purchase, snap a photo of your receipt. The app will match the items that you purchased with the offers that you selected. You’ll earn money within 48 hours in your Ibotta account.
Ibotta also lets you earn by linking a store loyalty card or making mobile in-app purchases. The blogger at Don’t Waste the Crumbs explains the best way to save using Ibotta.
MyPoints is another app that involves shopping online, taking surveys, watching videos, reading emails and more to earn points, which can be redeemed for gift cards, travel miles or cash via PayPal.
If you download these apps, don’t get too caught up in the hunt for points and cash back. Don’t buy things you don’t need just to earn points. And don’t spend so much time on the apps -- or your phone -- that you forget to look up and enjoy the people in your life.
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!
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