By Kyle Taylor
The holidays are here! And if you’re stressing out about money, trust me – you’re not alone.
We want the holidays to be as stress-free as possible, so we’ve put together a list of 10 ways you can bank some extra cash.
Just take 2 hours and complete everything on this list and you’ll be $628 richer. Pretty cool, right?
1. Open An Extra Bank Account at Nationwide
The fine folks over at Nationwide bank are giving every reader of The Penny Hoarder a free $200 in cash if you open a checking account with them today!
I love taking advantage of checking account bonuses, because not only are they an easy way to make a little extra cash, but they give me a separate place to save for things like Christmas presents, vacations, and new cars.
And the Nationwide checking account is pretty awesome. They’re interest rate is 3x higher than what most banks will give you, plus you can use any ATM in the world for free (6x a month). Here’s the link:
You’ll need to deposit $50 to get started and use the offer code 03110470 (you can withdraw your fifty bucks later)
To get the $200 bonus, you’ll need to set up an automatic monthly direct deposit of at least $200 into your E-Checking account. Your monthly direct deposit of $200 must be received within 60 days of opening the account. The account must remain open for at least 90 days to receive the $200 bonus. The $200 bonus will be deposited into your new account within 2 weeks following the 90 day minimum requirement! You must open your account by December 31, 2014 in order to get the $200 bonus.
2. Write a Blog Post for One of These Sites
OK, so you’ve heard there are blogs that will pay you to guest post. Woop woop! Easy money.
And you don’t need to be an established writer to do this. As long as you have some knowledge of the topic and you can string a sentence together, the only thing you’ll need is a bit of creative thinking to come up with outstanding blog post ideas that you can pitch to these paying blogs.
Put your thinking hat on and see what blog post ideas you come up with that you can pitch to one of these blogs that will pay you $100 to write a post:
Listverse publishes nothing but lists. Their posts are all long lists (usually beyond 1,500 words long) containing at least 10 items, with an explanation of why each item deserves its place on the list. Read more details here.
Babble is Disney’s parenting website. They’re interested in stories that discuss parenting from an unusual angle or offer fresh advice on a parenting topic. Read more details here.
3. Become a Nielsen Family
You’ve head of Nielsen, right? Yep, the same company that tracks TV ratings. They’ve got a new app that will pay you to scan the groceries in your fridge.
Once you sign up to become a Nielsen Homescan family, the company will send you a free scanner or you can use your smartphone. Every time you go shopping, you simply scan the barcodes on the back of each product and send your data off to Nielsen.
If you want to give it a try, you can fill out the application here: Nielsen Homescan Application (you can’t download this one from the app store; you’ll need to visit their website first).
As an active participant, you earn gift points which you can redeem for different types of merchandise. You can choose electronics, jewelry, household items, and even toys for the kids. The longer you stay on the panel, the more opportunity you have to earn points towards prizes. You also receive entries for the panel’s many sweepstakes. Prizes include money, vacations, and brand new vehicles.
4. Take 10 Surveys from Ipsos Panel
The Ipsos I-Say Panel is one of the only legitimate paid survey apps out there (they’re the same company that does most of the political polling during elections).
I’ve heard some of the top-end surveys can pay up to $95, but those are rare and can take awhile to complete. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10-15 minutes. Also, Ipsos rewards you with points which can then be redeemed for Paypal or gift cards to Amazon, iTunes, etc. (example: 1000 points can be redeemed for $10 Paypal). Use the link above to fill out an application and then they’ll send you a link to download the app.
5. Go on a Scavenger Hunt Around the Mall
Do you like scavenger hunts? Download the Shopkick app and take it to the mall. Their app will rewards you with points for scanning certain products at hundreds of different stores (you don’t even have to buy them!).
Just to give you an example, my local Target is offering 30 Kicks just for me to walk in the store (the app uses your phone’s GPS to know you’ve arrived), plus I can earn up to 605 Kicks by scanning the 30 items on their “scan list.”
It only takes 1250 Kicks to get a $5 gift card, so if you scan all the products on the list at 8 different stores, you should have enough for a $20 gift card!
One reader told me her and her husband have made it into a game. They both downloaded the app and now they race every time they’re at the store to see who can get all of the scans first. 🙂
6. Open a Checking Account at Capital One 360
Here’s another easy $50 just for taking 5 minutes to open an account. And the best part? This one has no minimum deposit – heck, just put a dollar in the account!
Here’s how to do it:
1. Open a free checking account with Capital One 360.
2. There’s no minimum deposit with this account, but you’ve got to make at least 3 purchases with your Capital One 360 debit card during the first 45 days of opening the account.
3. On the 50th day, Capital One 360 will deposit a free $50 in your account. Sweet! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Capital One 360, they are a pretty popular virtual bank that gives spectacular interest rates. It’s completely free to open and maintain an account with Capital One 360.
7. Get Cashback on All Your Shopping from SendEarnings
Are you familiar with cash-back shopping sites like SendEarnings? They’ll give you a cash rebate if you do your online shopping through their site.
You just need to create a free account and then use their site to shop at your favorite places like Target, Amazon, and Kohl’s (there are 1000s of stores on there – those are just a few). SendEarnings will then give you up to 25% cash-back on whatever you purchase! Crazy, right?
I use this year round, but it’s especially helpful at Christmas time. Consider that the average family spent $801 in gifts last year and you can see how fast this would start to add up. Use this site for your Christmas shopping, average around 10% in cash-back rebates, and save at least $80 this year!
8. Sell Some of Your Old Stuff
We’ve all got way too much extra junk just sitting around. Get rid of some of it and use the extra money for your Christmas shopping.
You could of course have a garage sale or sale some stuff on Craigslist, but one of my favorite ways to get rid of stuff is to use the Bookscouter app.
You scan your book’s barcode with your smartphone and Bookscouter will let you compare the payout of 20+ different buyback companies. Cool, right?
Once you’ve found the buyback company offering the most cash, you just fill out a little information about where you want your payment sent and prepare the books to be shipped. Most of the buyback companies offer prepaid shipping labels too, so there aren’t any costs associated with this.
9. Open An Account at OptionsExpress
The folks over at OptionsXpress are offering new, USA customers a $100 bonus when you open an Individual or Joint account and make three trades in the stock market. I love signup bonuses like this because they take very little time and are usually pretty profitable. This one took me about 10 minutes to complete.
Now, OptionsXpress charges $8.95 for each trade you make, so after making 3 trades, I’ll still be netting $73.15 in extra cash. If you want to do it, here’s the step-by-step…
1. Open a new Individual or Joint account (IRAs, other tax-exempt, linked, or shared accounts are excluded from this offer). You’ve got to deposit $500, but you can withdraw it after 6 months. I’m not really worried about that, because this is money that is in my savings account and it’ll go right back into savings when I’m done with this offer.
3. Make at least 3 trades within 12 months of account opening. I’m not going to be trading any risky stocks here, because I don’t want to lose any money. This isn’t a stock recommendation, but I chose the most conservative Vanguard mutual fund that I could find (VWINX). It’s traded between $24.50-$25.50 for the better part of a year, so it’s pretty steady and I know I’m not going to be taking a big risk.
4. The $100 bonus will be deposited into my account within one month. Sweet! It’s not instant cash, but I don’t really care. It’s all going into the long-term savings account.
10. Watch More Television
Alright, just hear me out on this one. It’s definitely possible to get paid to watch TV… There’s a new company called “RewardTV” that pays you to answer trivia questions about last night’s TV shows.
Do you know who they killed off in Game of Thrones last week? Tell them about it and they’ll pay you.
Did you know which contestant got kicked off “The Voice” this week? They’ll pay you.
You’re not going to get rich doing this, but it’s a fun way to make an extra $15-$20/month. Pretty cool, right?
We hope this list makes your holidays a little less stressful. Have a Merry Christmas! And thanks for being a reader!