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When you log into your bank account, how do your savings look? Probably not as good as you’d like. It always seems like an uphill battle to build (and keep) a decent amount in savings.
But what if your car breaks down, or you have a sudden medical bill?
We’re not judging — we don’t roll like that. We’re here to help. We just don’t want you to have to sell those Elvis-Presley-signed velvet pants you inherited just to pay some lousy plumbing bill. Those pants are sweet.
Try these eight tips to get the ball rolling, and start building up your savings so you can breathe a little easier.
1. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
No, like… the whole bill. All of it. All that debt racked up from the 300 destination weddings your friends made you attend (thanks!) could be paid by the end of this month.
Your credit card company is ripping you off with insane rates, and it’s getting rich off of you. But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out. A website called AmOne knows the best ones and could pair you up as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: AmOne will match you with a loan that’ll cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt a lot faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
AmOne won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
Now you can finally stop holding a grudge against that friend who thought a Mexico wedding was a good idea.
2. Get Paid Every Time You Buy Toilet Paper
Grocery shopping was never exactly pleasant. But these days, it’s a downright struggle. Fighting crowds; keeping six feet of space — just buying toilet paper is a feat. Shouldn’t you have something to show for it?
A free app called Fetch Rewards will reward you with gift cards just for buying toilet paper and more than 250 other items at the grocery store.
Here’s how it works: After you’ve downloaded the app, just take a picture of your receipt showing you purchased an item from one of the brands listed in Fetch. For your efforts, you’ll earn gift cards to places like Amazon or Walmart.
You can download the free Fetch Rewards app here to start getting free gift cards. Over a million people already have, so they must be onto something…
3. Ask for Some Help — You Deserve It
If you’re really in a bind, start with 2-1-1, a confidential service offered through United Way that’ll help you find the resources you need to find affordable housing, make rent or pay utilities. It’s there for people like you.
To use the service, head to 211.org and enter your location. It’ll show you services in your community and give you a number to call. It’s a clearinghouse for help with food, housing, utilities and employment. If you’ve never asked for help before, that means you don’t know what kind of help is out there.
You can also look into applying for a grant. Take, for example, Modest Needs grants, which are designed for workers just about the poverty line who are ineligible for most other forms of social assistance.
4. Get Paid to Watch Cooking Videos
If we told you that you could get paid to watch videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.
It’s too good to be true, right?
But we’re serious. A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.
No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month.
Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.
5. Get Paid to Pick up Milk From Your Neighbors
Not everyone can get to the grocery store these days, but that’s where you can help — and get paid.
With an app called Postmates, you could get paid to pick up a few extra groceries for them.
Even better than getting paid to grocery shop? If you need the money, like, now, you can cash out instantly after each delivery.
Holly Gaston, of San Francisco, California, has tried plenty of side gigs. With Postmates, she made an average of $15 an hour. Plus, she said it was much more enjoyable than any of her previous side gigs.
Signing up shouldn’t take you more than about three minutes.
6. Get Free Lottery Tickets
Hitting a big jackpot could solve a lot of your problems right now. It’s tempting to buy those scratch-off tickets from the gas station. But that’s not the best use of your money when you’re in a bind.
Instead, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000, in cash or gift cards to popular retailers.
The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free.
It’s not guaranteed money, but at least Lucktastic is free to play. And hey, somebody’s gotta win.
Take single dad Oneil Campbell, from Boston. He was shocked when he won a $5,000 Lucktastic prize.
“I didn’t see that one coming,” Campbell says with a laugh. “I really didn’t. This is something good that happened to me at the right time — when I can really use it.”
7. See if You Can Get Money From This Company
Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on free money. And who doesn’t want free money?
Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 10% kickback every time you swipe.
Need to buy groceries? Free money.
Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Free money again.
You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get free money in the process?
Enter your email address here and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with a free Aspiration account. Don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s just nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
8. Get Paid to Grocery Shop
These days, grocery delivery is a convenient (and sometimes necessary) service. But are you getting extra cash when you do it? If not, you’re missing out.
For years, an app called Ibotta has been paying people for buying certain items at the supermarket. (It’s paid people more than $600 million to date.) Now it has a new feature: online grocery delivery and pickup options, right there in the app.
You don’t even need to leave your couch. Just open up Ibotta’s app and go to the “Grocery Pickup & Delivery” category. It’ll automatically hook you up with delivery services like Instacart, Walmart Grocery and more.
You can then tap into hundreds of cash-back opportunities. How’s $3 for diapers sound? Or $2 back on beer? Or 50 cents on brownie mix? (All the essentials, y’know.) Claim the offers and get the cash within 24 hours.
Download Ibotta for free, and get a nice little cash bonus next time you order your groceries.
This story was originally published at The Penny Hoarder