7 Effortless Ways to Make Extra Money

It’s time to give the couch cushions a rest. No matter how many times you take them off to do yet another search for coins, it’s not the most effective way to find extra money.

Here are some ideas for relatively painless ways to make additional cash by doing things you might be doing anyway — from online shopping to collecting receipts. Plus, we have a few ideas for performing easy tasks that will also earn you some cash.

1. Get cash back whenever you shop

Cash-back websites earn you money for something you’re doing anyway: shopping.

With Ebates, for example, simply provide your email address and within seconds you’ll be ready to start earning cash back when you shop at thousands of online stores. After registering, take another few seconds and download their browser tool. Then, whenever you search for anything online, you’ll automatically see which stores are offering rebates on that item.

Swagbucks offers another simple way to get cash back. Using the Swagbucks Shop service earns you “Swagbucks” that can be exchanged for gift cards. You can get all the details here.

If you don’t do anything else, join both these sites right now. Otherwise, you’re leaving easy money on the table.

2. Share your receipts

Others are interested in the money you spend on groceries or gas. In fact, some companies are willing to pay for this valuable market research.

Services like Ibotta will pay you to scan receipts you accumulate in the course of your day-to-day shopping.

Here is how it works: Ibotta shows you special rebate offers from participating stores. You shop, then take a picture of your receipt with your smartphone and submit it using the Ibotta app. Your rebate is deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours.

3. Be a Nielsen home

Just as many past “Nielsen home” TV viewers agreed to track and report what they watched on TV, the modern version of the service involves allowing Nielsen to track the websites you visit.

Nielsen Digital Voice offers a $10,000 monthly sweepstakes draw and says it gives away up to $120,000 each year.

4. Offer your opinion

Why share your opinion on Facebook for free when there are websites that will pay for it? Harris Poll Online — another modern offshoot of a well-known market research company — offers rewards from brands like Amazon, Starbucks and iTunes if you provide your opinion on a whole range of issues, including politics, products and customer service.

Past Harris Poll Online surveys have included topics like gender equity, leading retail brands and professional football.

To learn more about Harris, Nielsen and other survey opportunities, see “5 Survey Websites That Will Pay You for Your Opinion” and “Earn Up to $2,700 a Year Watching Videos, Answering Surveys.”

5. Share your pictures

If you’re one of those people who’s always getting compliments for the pictures you take, why not make a little money doing it?

Stock photography websites like Shutterstock are always looking for good images on a vast variety of themes and topics.

6. Look under your virtual cushions

Somewhere in the world, money might be looking for you: Security deposits you didn’t get back, rebate checks you lost, retirement plans you left behind, money you inherited from forgotten relatives, uncashed tax-refund checks.

Millions of Americans have money waiting out there. Are you one?

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators operates a website where you can search for lost loot, but there are others. For details, see “How to Find Money You Didn’t Know You Had.”

7. Clean up by cleaning out

If you’re going to clean out your closet, spare room, garage or other cluttered area, you might as well make some money off your castoffs.

Before you throw anything away, check out stories like these to find out if there’s an easy way to sell your unwanted stuff:

Do you have some easy avenues to extra cash? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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