10 Ways For College Students To Make Extra Money That Actually Work

Alex Nettheim
March 21, 2018
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors, and we might earn a commission if you click on one. We are letting you know because, as our grandmother taught us, an honest penny is better than a stolen dollar. Now, back to filling up your piggy banks.

Despite what most people think, being a college student doesn’t mean being broke. There are plenty of ways to make and save hundreds of dollars every month without leaving campus. Or even changing out of your pajamas for that matter.

These reliable and legitimate money moves will help get your finances in order, right now.

1. Scan your receipts to save money

I get paid to go grocery shopping and you can too. Wondering how? With the free Ibotta app.

Just scan your shopping receipt and Ibotta will instantly pay you based on your purchases. I recently got paid 75 cents to buy Milk, $5 for beer and $1 for pasta. How awesome is that?

To sweeten the deal, Ibotta is offering a massive bonus for new college users – a bonus $10 when you scan your first receipt! This one is essential.

Get paid to go grocery shopping with Ibotta HERE

2. Turn saving money into a game and win real money

People spend billions of dollars a year playing mobile games (yes, that’s correct, billions with a b). That money doesn’t amount to much of anything (except for some time playing Candy Crush), but wouldn’t it be nice if you could play games on your phone and have your wallet be the one that sees a boost for a change?

That’s exactly what the new app Long Game does. Start saving money using the app, and you’ll start earning points which you can use to play games. This is where the app gets really good: Start winning at the games and you’ll earn prizes including cold hard cash (up to $1,000,000).

On top of getting to play games, you’ll be earning interest on your savings while you start to build a nice nest egg for yourself.

To get started, download the app, link your bank account, and open your own FDIC-insured Long Game savings account. You’ll even get 300 free bonus Coins plus up to 3,000 free bonus Coins when you make your first deposit.

Turn saving money into something that is actually fun with Long Game today

3. Invest in the stock market with just $5

A common investing misconception is that you need lots of money to start. While that used to be the case, services like Stash allow college students to begin investing with as little as $5.

Stash lets you buy fractional shares of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), meaning you can invest exactly the amount you want. ETFs are baskets of shares, so you aren’t taking on the risk of investing individual companies.There are over 40 investment themes to choose from depending on your risk tolerance and social beliefs.

It’s important to fund your account immediately after registering to start investing.

Invest your first $5 with Stash

4. Make beer money with survey sites

When you need extra cash fast, Survey Junkie is by far your best option.

They have tons high paying surveys available from recognizable household names. Best of all, the cash out threshold is just $10 (1,000 points) so it’s easy to always have money coming in quickly. That extra cash can be huge if your budget is feeling a little tight.

Make money from anywhere with Survey Junkie

5. Go shopping for somebody else

If earning money shopping for other people sounds too good to be true, think again. Instacart, an on-demand delivery service, has job opportunities for college students that are exactly that. Instacart offers two roles for shoppers: As a “Full Service Shopper” select your own hours and shop and deliver orders for customers (you need a car to be able to do this). As an “In Store Shopper” you are assigned a shift to shop for orders in a single store (you don’t need a car for this).

It takes five minutes to apply online! During busy shifts, shoppers can earn between $11 and up to $28 an hour according to testimonials.

Earn up to $28 an hour shopping with Instacart

6. Shopper’s Voice

Online surveys like Shopper’s Voice® let you earn awesome rewards like coupons, samples, and free stuff at home.

To join you just need to take a questionnaire. Plus after you’ve completed the questionnaire you’ll also be entered to win $1,500 this month. How sweet is that?

Join Shopper’s Voice today

7. Reduce Your Phone Bill In Minutes

Truebill’s goal is to lower your bills. Period. Sign-up for Truebill and either log-in or snap a photo of your bill and Truebill’s negotiators will get to work finding hidden discounts and promo rates you would never have been aware of otherwise. Just a few of the companies that Truebill has negotiated with include AT&T, Spectrum, and Comcast. There’s zero risk to see if Truebill can get your bills lowered because you only pay if they are successful. Customers have attested to saving hundreds of dollars a year thanks to Truebill.

Cut your phone, internet and cable bills with Truebill now

8. Credit Sesame

A poor credit score can prevent you from getting a high paying job after graduating. That’s a big deal if you need to start working anytime soon.

The first step to good credit score is to get a credit report, history and score for free from Credit Sesame. See who you owe money to and every negative mark that’s dragging down your score. Once you’re able to fix these errors, that job hunt (and eventual sweet payrise) is one step closer.

Check your credit with Credit Sesame

9. Save money for when you need it without trying

Budgeting for all of your expenses from textbooks to your groceries is hard stuff. Sometimes when you run out of money at the end of the month you have no choice but to dump stuff like groceries on a credit card with a high-interest rate and hefty fees.

There’s a better way, though. Digit is an app that automatically pulls small amounts of money from your checking account throughout the month so you can start saving for the end of month squeeze without even realizing it. No more getting to the end of the month with no money left for food.

Digit also has a great new feature that will help you start paying off your credit card debt the same way!

Get your monthly budget under control with Digit

10. Get cash back when you shop online

There is nothing like earning cash back for shopping in the exact same way you normally would. Here’s how: Simply sign-up for Ebates, and continue shopping online at your favorite stores from Amazon to Walmart, all while earning cash back. Of note: Every retailer available on Ebates offers a different amount of cash back, usually between 2 to 3%. Make sure to check the “Flash Cash Back Stores” tab on the site to find the special cash back offers (we’ve seen up to 22.5%)!

Sign-up for Ebates and start getting cash back on groceries

Final Thoughts

Earn money going grocery shopping – Ibotta
Save money while playing games – Long Game
Start investing in the stock market with just $5 – Stash
Make money on your phone – Survey Junkie
Go shopping and get paid – Instacart
Take a questionnare and get rewarded – Shopper’s Voice
Check your credit score for free – Credit Sesame
Lower your phone bill in minutes – Truebill
Automatically save for the end of month without trying – Digit
Get cash back when you shop online – Ebates


10 Side Gigs That Let You Earn $250+ A Month Without You Leaving Your Couch

Working side gigs from home can be incredibly lucrative. But sorting through all the scams, particularly when it comes to participating in paid surveys, to find legitimate opportunities, can be difficult.

To make life easy for you, we’ve rounded up our favorite ways to make up to $250 (plus earn awesome rewards) from home.

The trick, especially when it comes to earning money from surveys, is to sign-up for multiple opportunities at once because the real money is in working lots of income sources at the same time.

So here we go, the best side gigs you can do from home that you can start right now…

1. Ibotta

It pays to keep a copy of your receipt every time you go shopping. That’s because a popular cash back app called Ibotta will reward you for taking photos of your receipt. The app scans your receipt for deals and then instantly applies cash back to your account. It works with a ton of retailers, from Walmart to Costco, so there is no shortage of stores you could be earning cash back from.

To help you get started, Ibotta is offering a massive $10 bonus for new users! This one is essential.

Get paid to grocery shop with Ibotta

2. InboxDollars

Let’s be honest – if you’re reading this, you’re really just looking for a good way to make some decent money. Your best bet is going to be InboxDollars.

They’re a market research company that’ll pay you top dollar for every survey you complete and they let you cash out quickly. If you need money right now, taking three surveys with InboxDollars is the quickest way.

Start earning with InboxDollars

3. Shopper’s Voice

Taking online surveys via Shopper’s Voice® let’s you earn awesome rewards like coupons, samples, and free stuff–all from the comfort of your home.

To join you just need to take a questionnaire. After you’ve completed the questionnaire you’ll also be entered to win $1,500 this month. How sweet is that?

Join Shopper’s Voice

4. Survey Junkie

When you need extra cash fast, Survey Junkie is by far your best option.

They have tons high paying surveys available from recognizable household names. Best of all, the cash out threshold is just $10 (1,000 points) so it’s easy to always have money coming in quickly. That extra cash can be huge if your budget is feeling a little tight.

Get quick money with Survey Junkie

5. Chime

What are you going to do with all this extra cash if you don’t have a savings account yet? Consider joining a 100% free bank like Chime which does more than practically any bank when it comes to helping its customers save.

Unlike traditional banks, Chime operates fully online and doesn’t have any physical branches. That means something amazing, that they are able to offer 100% fee-free banking. Chime’s “Automatic Savings” feature saves you money by rounding up your transactions to the nearest dollar and then transferring the change to your Savings Account. It’s a dead-simple way to save.

You can also get your paycheck two days early when getting paid via direct deposit. If your fridge is bare right before payday, those two days are huge.

Open a free savings account with Chime

6. Stash

Instead of just sticking whatever extra money you have in a savings account, the smart financial move is to invest that money and allow compound interest to grow your wealth. Despite most experts overwhelmingly believing this is the way to go, only 54% Americans invest in the stock market, believing that only the super rich can afford to have an investment portfolio.

Stash proves that this belief is a complete misconception as it allows its users to start building an investment portfolio with as little as $5. It takes just two minutes to sign-up for Stash and then you can start building a portfolio of ETFs and stocks that fit with your interests, beliefs, and financial goals.

Start investing with Stash

7. Take some surveys

One of the most profitable and fun survey sites online is InboxDollars. They’ll pay you for sharing your thoughts and opinions with companies you use everyday so you’re earning decent money while actually enjoying yourself. Being able to redeem points for PayPal cash is also a nice touch.

It’s a great option if you’re looking for quick, easy money.

Start earning with InboxDollars

8. Swagbucks (Android users only)

The average person spends over two hours on their phone a day. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could turn that time spent into cold hard cash? Thanks to the Swagbucks mobile app, you can.

Download the app, and follow Swagbucks’ prompts to set up the app so it can alert you to cash back opportunities. Then, earn gift cards every time you shop at participating stores including Amazon and Walmart (of note, this particular feature is only available on Android). But the cash doesn’t stop there: Watch fun videos and answer surveys directly within the app and get free gift cards, too!

Earn with Swagbucks (Android only)

9. Even Financial

One of the biggest mistakes that people making is putting purchases that they can’t afford on high interest credit cards. A better option might be to consider a personal loan, that comes with a lower interest rate if you have a credit score over 660.

A great way to find out what kind of loans you might qualify for is via EVEN Financial. EVEN isn’t a lender itself, but rather a technology platform that helps to match people to the loans that are right for them. The best part? It is completely free to use. No gimmicks, no hidden fees. The best deals are for people with a credit score of 660 or above.

The loans offered are between $1,000 and $100,000, lasting between 24 and 84 months. Interest rates start at 4.99% which is much lower than most credit cards.

Check your eligibility with EVEN Financial

10. Ipsos i-Say

Some people say surveys are time-consuming. If you don’t have much free time but still want to earn, Ipsos i-Say is a good option.

They send activities less frequently but they are always surveys with great rewards. It’s a good option if you value your time and would rather take higher paying surveys less regularly.

They payout with great rewards like Visa prepaid cards, Amazon gift cards, PayPal funds, Starbucks e-gifts and more.

Earn rewards with Ipsos i-Say

Final Thoughts (TL:DR)

Earn money with your shopping receipts – Ibotta
Get paid to save and play games – Long Game
Top site to make money at home – InboxDollars
Earn coupons, samples and free stuff – Shopper’s Voice®
The quickest way to earn – Survey Junkie
Let a free savings account work for you – Chime
Start investing with spare change – Stash
Make cash with your phone – Swagbucks
Get a quick financial helping hand – EVEN Financial
Earn in your (limited) spare time – Ipsos i-Say

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