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.
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.”
(BTW, we publish cool stories like these daily. If you’re not a subscriber, fix that right now by clicking here.)
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 up
While this idea doesn’t really fit the description of “effortless,” we thought we’d throw it in here anyway, in case you don’t mind a little movement.
If you’re the type that can’t stand a messy room and feel compelled to clean it up, services like Thumbtack can help you make a tidy sum (pun intended). They can hook you up with a broad range of jobs, from cleaning to painting to mowing lawns. Just about anything you can imagine.
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.