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Split the United States in half.
In one half — 25 states — people who are out of work will keep on receiving a $300-a-week federal unemployment extension through at least September.
In the other half of the country — the other 25 states — that extra money is about to disappear a lot quicker. Most of these states have decided to end the payments in June, with a few to follow in July. (Hey, no judgment here — the Penny Hoarder is based in one of those states.)
Governors in those latter 25 states are planning an early end to the extra $300 weekly benefit provided by the federal American Relief Plan. Unemployed workers can still qualify for state benefits, but many will face stricter requirements, such as mandated documented job searches.
Even in states that are keeping these federal benefits going, those payments are still slated to end by Sept. 6.
If you’ve been counting on that money to help make ends meet, we’ve got tips for how you can make up the difference.
1. Cancel Your Car Insurance
If you need to free up some more room in your budget, one of the easiest places to start is to cut back on your monthly bills — like your current car insurance.
In most places, it’s straight up illegal not to have it, so you’ve probably accepted that you’re going to pay through the nose for it. But you don’t have to.
A free website called Smart Financial will help you find the best rates — in just 30 seconds. In fact, it saves people an average of $715t a year.
All you have to do is connect your current insurance, then Smart Financial will search hundreds of insurers for a better price on the same coverage. It’ll even help you cancel your old policy and get you a refund from your current insurer. Best yet: This is totally free.
If you find a better dea l, you can switch right away and don’t have to wait for your next renewal or even your next payment.
2. Let This App Pay You up to $83 When You Win Solitaire Games
Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?
There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.
You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?
Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.
With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.
Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.
3. Make an Extra $225 this Month By Watching Cooking Videos
If we told you that you could get paid to watch cooking videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.
No way, right? But we’re serious.
A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute, you might watch a chef teach you how to make fudge brownies, and the next, you might get the latest celebrity gossip.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. Brands pay InboxDollars to get these videos in front of viewers, and it passes a cut to you.
Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos, which could make a serious dent in your grocery bill.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll get a $5 bonus to get you started.
4. See if You Can Get Free Money From This Company
Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash right now?
Yep. A debit card called Aspiration gives you up to a 10% back every time you swipe.
Need to buy groceries? Extra cash.
Need to fill up the tank? Bam. Even more extra cash.
You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process? Let’s say you use this card to spend $1,500 a month on groceries, gasoline and other essentials — that could mean putting up to an extra $1,800 in your pocket this year!
Enter your email address here , and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
5. Get Paid up to $80/Month — Just for Sharing Your Opinion
Taking surveys might not sound like the best way to make money, but if you’re just vegging out on the couch — or pretending to be interested in your partner’s new favorite show — why not click a couple buttons? It could earn you up to $80 a month. Seriously.
There are a bunch of paid survey sites out there, but one of the best we’ve found is Survey Junkie .
They’ll ask you questions about things like, what kind of laundry detergent you use, or if you prefer Pepsi or Coke. You get points for answering, and many people accumulate enough points to request a check within a few hours.
More than 10 million people already use Survey Junkie, and it has 4.5/5 stars on TrustPilot.
Give it a try by visiting Survey Junkie and clicking the “Join Now” button. It’s free.
Mike Brassfield (email@example.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.