Vital Dollar Personal Finance Blog Thu, 12 Dec 2019 11:57:51 -0500 en-US hourly 1 Dollar 32 32 15 Ways to Get Free Concert Tickets Thu, 12 Dec 2019 11:57:51 +0000 Concerts are a favorite event for many of us, but let’s be honest… they can be very expensive. If you like going to concerts, you can quickly spend a lot of money. Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to get free concert tickets? I’m guessing your answer to that question is “yes”, otherwise […]

The post 15 Ways to Get Free Concert Tickets appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Get Free Concert Tickets

Concerts are a favorite event for many of us, but let’s be honest… they can be very expensive. If you like going to concerts, you can quickly spend a lot of money.

Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to get free concert tickets? I’m guessing your answer to that question is “yes”, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be on this page reading this article.

You may be wondering how you could possibly get free tickets to a concert when the person next to you paid $100. Well, there are several possibilities, so let’s take a look.

How to Get Free Concert Tickets

1. Sign Up to Be a Seat Filler


Event promoters want their concerts to be packed. It doesn’t look good when a venue is empty, and as a result, at times they’ll take measures to ensure that an event doesn’t have too many empty seats. That might involve finding people to fill seats (or to pack in a standing-room-only event that doesn’t have seats).

However, don’t think that you’ll be able to show up at the door and get in for free just because an event is undersold. In order to benefit from a situation like this, you’ll need to do some legwork ahead of time. Fortunately, that legwork is easy!

Signing up to becoming a seat filler in your city can be your pass to landing a free ticket, and you may get free tickets to some shows that you really enjoy. If you’re a music lover, it’s a great fit.

You can sign up at SeatStir to be a seat filler. You’ll pay a monthly membership fee starting at $9.99 per month, and get tickets to an unlimited number of events in your area. Members get to choose the events that they attend, and the tickets are free!

SeatStir has tickets to concerts, live theater, comedy shows, and more.

2. Be a Friend

What are concerts without friends?

Have you ever wanted to go to a concert but had no one to go with? This happens to plenty of people, especially those who are new to a city. Some of these people will be willing to buy a ticket for a “friend” who will go with them.  You can be a friend, in order to get free admission to a concert and to help someone else who doesn’t want to go alone.

You may be hired for a fee or simply get a free ticket in return for your company. It may sound odd, but it’s totally legit. Many people are making money by offering their services as a friend. You can either do it to make money, or you can simply try to get free concert tickets.

To be a friend, you should set up your profile at You may want to add to your profile that you love attending concerts, so it’s more likely that people find you and hire you for the right events.

3. Start A Music Blog

Starting a music blog can also be your gateway to getting that free concert ticket you desire. By starting a blog, you could write extensively on new songs by popular and up and coming artists. Write reviews of albums and live performances. Bands and their representatives may be interested in having you review their shows in order to get some exposure to your audience.

With the blogger status, you can reach out to artists and public relations companies to request free media access. Every artist wants to be covered, and concert organizers will believe that your presence will help boost public acceptance through your reviews. It’s a win-win, and you might even be able to make some money from your blog on top of the free tickets.

Starting a blog is actually really easy. See our article How to Start a Blog that will walk you through the process.

4. Start a Local Entertainment Blog

Another blogging-related option is to start a local entertainment blog. Regardless of where you live, people in your area are looking for things to do, and that presets a perfect opportunity for a blog.

These types of blogs can be very popular because they are so useful for readers/visitors. They attract a range of visitors from young to old since they tend to keep one informed of what’s going on in the local area.

Concerts, music festivals, and live shows fall in this category, but it wouldn’t be limited to music. Other types of entertainment like museums, parks, parades, fairs, festivals, and much more could be covered on your blog.

Since your blog focuses on local happenings, it will be easy to convince concert organizers to give you a ticket so you can gain access and write about their event. You could also offer some sort of coverage or promotion leading up to the event.

And just like starting a music blog, there are plenty of opportunities to make money with a local entertainment blog. You could sell sponsorships, use affiliate programs, or put ads on your site.

5. Become A Freelance Writer

If you don’t have a blog or have an interest in building your own blog from scratch but you like the idea of writing about concerts, you might want to consider working as a freelance writer.

Becoming a freelancer could land you some free tickets for the same reason, exposure for the performers and promoters. As a freelancer, you write unbiased reviews about artists, concerts, venues, bands, music, and virtually anything, but instead of publishing it on your own blog, your writing will be published on another website or in a periodical. Local newspapers, magazines, and local entertainment blogs/websites sometimes hire freelancers to cover events.

Often, the owners of the blogs pay you to write for them to garner massive traffic. But it doesn’t end there. You can request access to concerts by reaching out to organizers and stating where your articles have been published on the internet and offline and how granting you a media pass would help publicize their concerts and give them more credibility and awareness.

To learn more about how to do this, please see our article How to Become a Freelance Writer.

6. Earn From Swagbucks, My Points, and InboxDollars to Pay for Concert Tickets


So what do you do with your spare time? Do you take a walk, watch TV, or hang out with friends? Well, I’ll let you know that there are platforms that are willing to pay you for spending a percentage of your spare time taking up short tasks on your smartphone or computer. You can even do these tasks while you’re watching TV or doing something else.

Swagbucks has paid out over $150 million by having people take surveys, search the web, watch the video, and earn cashback from shopping online. MyPoints and InboxDollars are very similar, and in fact, they are all owned by the same parent company. You get paid to pass the time on your phone when you have nothing going on. You can then use the money earned to pay for your tickets.

7. Use Cashback Earned from Credit Cards

One of the easiest ways to come up with some extra money is to take advantage of cashback credit cards. You can easily earn 1% – 5% cashback on every single purchase that you make. That may sound like a small percentage, but when you add up all the money that you spend throughout a year, it becomes a very significant amount of money that you get for doing next to nothing.

If you’re not currently using a cashback credit card, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. And if you do have a cashback or rewards card, you should be sure that you are maximizing the rewards that you are earning from each purchase.

You can do anything you want with the cash that you earn from your credit cards. You could use that money to purchase concert tickets and essentially go to concerts for free.

Now, to be clear, I’m suggesting that you pay for your essential purchases with a credit card (groceries, gas, and as many regular/recurring bills as possible). You certainly don’t want to make additional purchases just to get cashback. And if you think having a credit card in your wallet would lead you to make bad purchasing decisions, simply skip this tip and pay with cash or a debit card.

Be sure to see our updated list of the best cashback credit cards.

8. Use Cashback Apps

Like credit cards, certain apps offer coupons and cash back options when you make a purchase. This could be online purchases or in-store purchases, depending on the app. With just a small amount of effort, you can earn cash back (and sometimes a very significant amount) on the purchases that you need to make.

And best of all, you can stack the cashback that you earn from these apps with cashback and rewards that you earn from credit cards. Some of the best cashback apps are:

Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) – The most well-known cashback website has thousands are partner websites and retailers that offer generous amounts of cashback.

TopCashback – Very similar to Rakuten. Although it is not as well know, TopCashback often offers a higher amount of cashback than Rakuten or others.

Ibotta – Definitely one of the best cashback apps, Ibotta will save you money on groceries, clothes, and purchases at many retail stores.

Fetch Rewards – The best cashback app specifically for groceries.

Drop – An easy cashback app that links to your credit card to automatically provide cash back at many of your favorite stores and restaurants.

9. Work as a Concert Photographer

Are you skilled at taking photos or at capturing the right moments? Of course, there would always be a lot of photo-worthy moments at a concert, and being able to do an excellent photography job can land you a free ticket into your dream concert.

You can do this by reaching the organizers and asking to be one of the photographers for the event. If you already have a commendable portfolio, you can send it along with your request. An impressive portfolio can mean that you’ll get paid to join the photography team with the ticket being an extra.

Photographers usually have access to the front of the stage. This means you’ll have one of the best views in the house so you can take perfect shots of the performers. Of course, you’ll be working, but you’ll still be able to have some fun and enjoy the music.

10. Attend Free Concerts In Your Community

Many towns and communities have one or two concerts or festivals at specific times of the year. You can attend those free concerts in your neighborhood or city to get the first-hand experience and some entertainment without the cost.

The best way to find out about the events is through the websites or Facebook pages of local government or organizations. Check your township’s website or the sites of non-profit groups that host events in your area. You can also pay attention to bulletin boards and newsletters that may be circulated to local residents. If you read the newspaper, you may see ads for some events.

11. Volunteer at the Events

As you may have guessed, there are many things you can gain from being a volunteer. But volunteering to help at a concert has its benefits, one of which is getting free entry to the event. Check the websites of venues or organizations that plan and host events. If you don’t see anything listed, reach out to them about volunteer opportunities. Outline your skills and the things you’re good at to see how they may be needed in the show. Most organizers also want free services too.

12. Work As An Event Security Guard

Security is essential to the success of every concert, and organizers are always looking for security guards. As event staff, you’ll not only get into the show for free, but you’ll also be paid. Of course, you’ll be working so it’s not all fun and games. But you can still enjoy the music from your favorites artists even while you’re working. Check the website of venues to see if there are any openings.

13. Check Craiglist and Facebook Marketplace

It’s not unusual for someone to buy a concert ticket only to have something come up that prevents them from attending. I know it’s happened to me. Craigslist comes to the rescue. The person who bought the tickets may be looking to get rid of them, and you may be able to get them at a very low price, or possibly even free.

Checking on Craigslist a day or two before the event can be the way to land yourself a near free ticket. The seller knows that they are very close to getting nothing for the ticket, and they’ll be more likely to take a low price. Another way to get a free or cheap ticket is to use the Facebook Marketplace.

14. Win Ticket From A Radio Station

This is one I’ve used myself a few different times. Local radio stations are great, not just for the music they play. Radio stations often work with concert organizers to publicize their shows, and that way, you can earn free tickets.

This could be done in a few different ways. Maybe you need to call into the station to try to win. Sometimes it could be a game or some competition. Other times you might be able to enter online.

Of course, this will depend partly on luck or random chance and there is only so much you can control, but it’s definitely worth trying.

15. Social Media

Organizers do everything they can to get word out about their concert, and ultimately to sell tickets. One of the ways that they do this is through social media. Sometimes, in order to get people to spread the word and to generate buzz, they may give away some free tickets.

If you hope to get free tickets, you should be following local venues on social media, as well as following your favorite bands and artists. Like their Facebook pages, follow them on Instagram and Twitter, and find whatever profiles they use the most actively. You may come across some giveaways or competitions that allow you to win some free tickets.

To Wrap Things Up

Getting your free concert tickets doesn’t have to be a Herculean task. Just pick any of our tips, and you could be on your way to your dream event without paying! It might take a little bit of effort, and in some cases a little luck, but the free tickets will be very rewarding.

The post 15 Ways to Get Free Concert Tickets appeared first on Vital Dollar.

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How I Make A Full-Time Income On YouTube At 24 Mon, 09 Dec 2019 12:24:58 +0000 When it comes to the qualities people look for in their dream job, it is often things like a flexible schedule and location freedom. Let’s be honest, who really wants to go to the office every morning anyway? I got sucked into the corporate 9 to 5 lifestyle after college. I had a job working […]

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How I Make a Full-Time Income on YouTube

When it comes to the qualities people look for in their dream job, it is often things like a flexible schedule and location freedom.

Let’s be honest, who really wants to go to the office every morning anyway?

I got sucked into the corporate 9 to 5 lifestyle after college. I had a job working for the local power utility as a planner, meaning I would do the blueprints and estimates for overhead utility construction.

By everyone else’s standards, this was the dream job. I was in a union, I was making over $60,000 a year at 20 and I was eligible for a pension when I retired. However, by my standards, this was a terrible job. I was stuck with a 45-minute commute, I got 2 weeks of vacation per year and I was essentially a paper pusher.

Driving home from work one day, I made a list in my head of the qualities I was looking for when it came to my dream job. I ended up coming up with just three.

Here’s what they were:

  1. Time Freedom – Ability to work when I wanted to.
  2. Location Independence – Be able to work from anywhere in the world.
  3. Passion-Oriented – Do something that I love.

Little did I know at the time, my YouTube channel would eventually fulfill all of those needs.

I spent a little over two years working this job before I “retired” from the 9 to 5 grind. Even though I spend many hours a day working, I call it a retirement because I am doing work that I truly love and enjoy. To me, retirement is being in control of your time and doing the type of work you enjoy. I officially left this job in June of 2017, just eight months after starting my YouTube channel.

Fast forward two and a half years, and I am still going strong with this channel. I also branched out by launching the Investing Simple blog a little over a year ago. I just recently surpassed 500,000 subscribers on YouTube and I am consistently getting 1,000,000 views most months at a minimum. Between the ad revenue from this channel and the other income streams, I am able to make a great living.

“Wow, that’s great Ryan! But why should I care?” – You

Here’s the thing… I am nothing special. I was simply an average guy working a 9 to 5 job just three short years ago. The reason why you should care is that it’s just as possible for you to do the same thing that I did. The growth of my channel has little to do with luck, and a lot to do with a simple yet effective strategy that I am going to share with you.

So, here’s exactly how I was able to grow my channel and make it my full-time income source.

1. Niches

Have you ever met someone who seems to be good at everything? Maybe they can do carpentry work, grill a mean steak and even change their own oil. Well, here’s the problem with this type of person… This is what you call the “jack of all trades and the master of none.”

Now don’t get me wrong here. This type of person is extremely helpful, and if you meet one you should befriend them! The issue is that this type of person very rarely accumulates a serious amount of wealth.

In this world, people pay for expertise. There is a reason why a lawyer can charge $500 an hour while a landscaper is lucky to charge 10% of that. Sure, the landscaper can cut grass, lay pavers and even recommend the best plants for shade. But what is he/she an expert at?

For the most part, people who are successful with building an audience online are deeply rooted in one niche. They establish expertise surrounding one topic, and then they become the authority or “go-to” source on that subject.

Take Vital Dollar for example. Marc and his team are experts at a few topics, such as saving money, making money, managing your money and so on. Since they have produced so much valuable content on these subjects, they have become a well-known and credible source.

What if tomorrow, Vital Dollar posted an article on how to fix a broken lawn mower pull cord? As a reader, you would be totally confused. All of a sudden, they jumped from the topic of money to lawn care. There’s a reason you won’t see this happen.

Those who make this unfortunate yet common mistake of jumping from topic to topic end up destroying their credibility, if they had any in the first place. It is just like the “jack of all trades” mentioned earlier. People want to learn from the experts.

So, the first lesson here is that you need to be crystal clear on what your niche is and then stay in your lane. It is okay to dabble at first and test the water. Maybe you have a few different hobbies and interests, so you create videos about each one. However once you start gaining traction with your channel, you need to hone in on one niche. Become the expert, not the dabbler.

It’s simple; find your niche, create content in your niche and stay in your niche.

2. Ad Revenue

Here’s the thing about ad revenue… It is the low hanging fruit of the YouTube business. It’s the most simple and straightforward way to make money on the platform. You basically create content, place ads before and during that content and then earn money when people watch your videos and see the ads.

Sound’s great, right? Well, not so fast.

The problem is, views on YouTube are very inconsistent. Just this year alone, my monthly views fluctuated between a low of 676,000 in June to a high of 3,374,000 in January. The amount of money you make in ad revenue is directly tied to how many views you get. The more people watching your videos, the more ads get played.

Stats from Ryan's YouTube channel

This drastic fluctuation in view count happens with nearly every channel out there. Maybe you have a video go viral, or search traffic for your niche peaks during a certain month or season.

As much as people complain about their jobs, one huge advantage the traditional 9 to 5 has is consistent income. Unless you are in a commission-based environment, you typically know exactly how much money you are going to make this month and in the next month.

What if your boss told you that one month you were going to make $1,000 then the next month it would be $5,000 and then $2,500 the following month?

Most people would be an emotional wreck if they had their income change every month! They would jump for joy the month they made $5,000 and then barely sleep during the month they made $1,000. This is exactly what happens when you rely on ad revenue as the sole income source for your channel.

Here’s the best analogy; ad revenue should be the gravy, not the main course.

If you are just doing a channel as a hobby, these fluctuations in views and ad revenue don’t matter as much. However, when this is your full-time income source, you need more consistency. And that comes from… diversification! You need different avenues or streams that allow you to make money.

For my channel, I make money from ad revenue, affiliate marketing, sponsored videos and digital products. I also launched my finance blog so I have platform diversification as well. You need to have multiple things bringing in money for you. The reason is that if you have a particularly bad month ad revenue wise, these other income streams will help to offset that.

For More Articles on Making Money Please Read:

3. Side Hustle

I started my channel as a side hustle back when I was working my 9-to-5 job. I had extra time in the evenings and on the weekends, so I decided to give it a shot as a hobby. I have always been passionate about money and investing, likely because it runs in my family. My father is a financial advisor and I have multiple accountants in my family.

My motivation behind starting this channel was to help fill the knowledge gap between high school and the real world. There are so many important financial topics that are just not covered in school, such as what is a 401k?

I never had the goal of making money with my channel, I simply wanted to provide valuable information and help others. Money was just a byproduct.

After a month or so of running this channel, I started making some money. It was slow at first, just a few cents a day. I can remember the first month that I earned money with the channel, I made $2.57. The next month was just over $7. The third month was enough to fill my gas tank at around $30. Then, six months in, I had a month where I earned over $1,000 from ads. That was the first time that I actually considered doing this full-time.

Ryan Scribner Revenue

Here was my thought process; if I can make $1,000 a month doing this part-time, what could I make doing this full-time?

In June, the month I “retired,” I made just under $2,000 from the channel. I was still living at home and my expenses were very low. I had saved up over $10,000 working at my job and I decided to take the leap.

If you are considering leaving your job to do something like YouTube, I think this is the exact strategy you should follow. Rarely is it ever a good idea to blindly quit your job to go start a business or follow your dream. Most jobs only take up 40 hours a week, meaning there is time where you can work on whatever you are building as a side hustle. Once you see the results and have proof of concept, you can consider whether or not you want to do it full-time.

I see so many people make the mistake of diving in headfirst into a new business or venture with the goal of making money. I’ve never seen it end well. Remember, your goal at first should be to have fun and provide value. A few months down the road, the money is simply a byproduct. It should never be the focus or the goal.

4. Content Strategy

The biggest thing that has contributed to my success on YouTube is my content strategy. I remember when it hit me.

I was having lunch with my cousin who was an avid supporter of my channel early on. I had just crossed 100 subscribers (which took me 7 weeks) and I was making 3 to 5 videos a week. I found myself getting frustrated with the pace things were moving. I asked my cousin for advice, and he pulled up my channel and looked at it.

He said something along the lines of this.

“Ryan, you have a lot of videos. But is anyone actually searching for this stuff? Like this one on what is a credit card. Do you think anyone is really looking for that?”

That’s when it hit me. My previous content strategy was making videos that I thought people were interested in. I would read every finance book I could get my hands on and jot down my ideas as I went. I never once considered whether or not people were looking for these videos.

From that point forward, I began doing market research before creating content. I wanted to make sure there was proven demand for the video before I spent a few hours putting it together. For me, this was as simple as putting it into the search bar. If I was going to make a video about credit score, I would simply type “credit score” into YouTube and see what other people were making videos about.

This ultimately led to one of my most successful videos early on, which was how to establish credit at 18. Three years later, this video has over 75,000 views.

Ryan Scribner video

If you are creating content online, you should be following this strategy of seeing what people are actually interested in. This is just like when a company launches a new product. They don’t randomly create something, they do market research and aim to identify pent up demand for the product.

It is as simple as doing a Google search or a search on YouTube in your niche. If you wanted to make content about scuba diving, you should see what the most popular videos and articles are currently about scuba diving. Then, you simply make your own version of the content! You don’t copy them, because that is plagiarism and that is illegal.

There’s a reason why just about every finance blog has an article on side hustle ideas or how to make money online. It’s proven content that has demand, so it is worthwhile to spend a few hours creating the content.

Final Thoughts

Building this YouTube channel and blog has been one of the best decisions of my life. If you have ever thought about creating your own channel, blog, podcast or whatever it may be, my advice is to do it. Even if you don’t know exactly what you are doing at first, you will learn as you go.

→ Related reading: How to Start a Blog

The four strategies mentioned here are exactly what has allowed me to amass over half a million subscribers and counting. There is no secret sauce or special skill requirement. The recipe for success is getting started, consistently taking action and focusing on the right thing. So, what are you waiting for?

The post How I Make A Full-Time Income On YouTube At 24 appeared first on Vital Dollar.

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Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. M1 Finance: Which is the Best Robo Advisor? Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:47:27 +0000 Robo advisors have become an extremely popular alternative to traditional financial advisors, as many investors prefer to minimize fees. Three of the most popular robo advisor platforms are Betterment, Wealthfront, and M1 Finance. These companies all have something similar to offer, but there are some crucial differences. Here we’ll delve a little deeper into Betterment […]

The post Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. M1 Finance: Which is the Best Robo Advisor? appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. M1 Finance

Robo advisors have become an extremely popular alternative to traditional financial advisors, as many investors prefer to minimize fees.

Three of the most popular robo advisor platforms are Betterment, Wealthfront, and M1 Finance. These companies all have something similar to offer, but there are some crucial differences.

Here we’ll delve a little deeper into Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. M1 Finance to help you to decide the best option for your circumstances.

The M1 Finance Basics


As a popular online investment platform, M1 Finance allows you control over how you manage money. What makes it unique is the pie investment model. On sign up, you can create a chart to detail how much money you want in each investment. The system will then invest money deposited automatically according to your preferences. M1 offers a wide selection of professionally-crafted pies, or you can create your own (more on that later).

M1 Finance has been specifically designed for long-term investments. There is an Android and iPhone app that offers a clean and appealing user interface. M1 Finance also stands apart from other platforms with no fees on your investments.

→ Related reading: 10 Legit Ways to Get Free Stocks

The M1 Finance Experience

When you start using M1 Finance, you will create investment pies. There are more than 60 pre-made pies created by expert investors, and they can be adjusted to your preferences. There is also the option to build your own pie from scratch. The pie dictates how your money is invested. You can use multiple pies or a single pie. Whenever you add new money, all you need to do is make a deposit to M1 Finance and the money will be invested based on your pies.

As you search for the investments of interest, M1 Finance will provide a performance overview and some basic company information. You can even sort for pies and stocks based on particular characteristics such as socially responsible investment. M1 Finance also offers dynamic rebalancing to keep your portfolio on track.

One aspect that is particularly helpful with M1 Finance is the possibility of fractional shares. This provides investors with greater control and flexibility over a portfolio. Rather than buying an entire share, it is possible to invest in a portion, making it easier to invest in any high-value stocks without the need for vast amounts of capital. M1 Finance investments tend to be highly liquid, so you can quickly transfer money without any long processing times.

M1 Finance also features M1 Borrow, a lending function. M1 Borrow allows borrowing of up to 35 percent of the value of your portfolio to pay it back at a low rate. This is an excellent alternative to bank or other lender borrowing, as the rates are more attractive, and there is no need for wading through a long approval process. You can automatically qualify for M1 Borrow, as long as your taxable brokerage account is over $25,000.

M1 Finance also offers M1 Spend, a platform that essentially provides a debit card and checking account connected to your M1 Finance portfolio, so you can manage more of your finances in one place.

The Wealthfront Basics


Wealthfront has established a reputation as one of the best robo advisors in today’s marketplace. Wealthfront offers automated investment portfolios, guidance tools, and finance education features to help you to plan for the future. What makes Wealthfront popular is the user-friendly investing approach and the myriad of features offered. You can use the online platform or via the Android or iPhone app.

Wealthfront has been designed to make the entire process of investing as simple as possible with lots of automated features. The platform is especially helpful if you’re saving for an important financial milestone such as saving for college, buying a new home or retirement.

→ Related reading: The 10 Best Investment Apps for Growing Your Money

The Wealthfront Experience

Like many robo advisors, Wealthfront requires new users to answer a questionnaire. You will be asked a number of questions about your finances, including your goals, plans, and risk tolerance. Your answers will be used to create an automated investment portfolio specifically for you.

You can also specify investment strategies such as socially responsible investment, so your portfolio reflects your specific needs. Wealthfront portfolios are designed to be highly diverse, with investments in multiple asset classes to maximize growth potential while minimizing risk. As needed, your portfolio will be automatically rebalanced and reinvested to eliminate guesswork.

All of the automated Wealthfront strategies use investment best practices that maximize growth potential. However, because advanced automated strategies are offered, Wealthfront does charge an annual fee of 0.25 percent.

There are several unique portfolios offered, including a Smart Beta, requiring a starting investment of $500,000 and Risk Parity Fund with a minimum of $100,000 and attracts a larger annual fee of 0.50 percent.

Smart Beta provides a unique investment strategy with a potential for higher returns. Rather than using conventional index-based investments, your portfolio is created based on a complex formula of different factors. The Risk Parity Fund is the first mutual fund offering from Wealthfront, using leverage on some portfolio investments to achieve higher returns.

Like M1 Finance, Wealthfront also offers a variety of other client features. One of the most notable is the financial planning services. These automated services can be accessed online or through your mobile device. By inputting information about your finances and goals, Wealthfront will create a plan to help you to effectively manage your money to reach your goals. These tools are easy to use, making them ideal for younger people who lack financial planning experience.

This platform also provides a high-yield cash savings account with four times the normal FDIC insurance, making it ultra-secure. If you are already using Wealthfront’s financial planning tools and investment services, it’s a simple way to keep all your finances in one place and save for any financial goals.

Wealthfront also offers a line of credit for its clients. You need to have a minimum of $30,000 in your account, and you will be able to borrow up to 30% of the account value at a relatively low-interest rate of between 4.75 and 6%. Just like the M1 program, Wealthfront’s credit is an attractive alternative to a bank loan for those who already have a Wealthfront account. You can enjoy a low-interest rate to pay back the capital on your own timetable. Additionally, since having an account provides pre-approval, you don’t need to have concerns about qualifying for a loan.

The Betterment Basics


Betterment has approximately $15 billion under management and has become a clear leader in the robo advisor niche. There are two service options to tailor your experience with a basic Digital Plan that has a zero minimum balance and fees of 0.25% of the assets under management each year.

→ Related reading: 9 Ways to Start Investing Without a Lot of Money

The Betterment Experience

Betterment is one of the few platforms with no minimum deposit and its investment philosophy is based on modern portfolio theory. The platform offers free financial planning tools before you fund your account and portfolio flexibility and coaching to reach your financial goals.

Betterment has also recently launched a high-yield savings plan checking accounts that make it possible to keep all your finances in one place.

The initial sign up process takes you through goal setting, including your current income and age, suggesting a variety of goals based on your answers with a safety net for expenses. Each of the goals comes with recommended targets and allocation of assets, which is adjustable. However, you can also add personalized goals and auto deposits for greater control.

Goal Setting

One important area for comparing these platforms is goal setting. Tracking and goal setting is where Wealthfront really shines. The dashboard shows your liabilities and assets in full, so you have a quick visual to check in on your goal progress. Wealthfront also provides third party data to help you to track for specific goals such as buying a property or saving for college expenses. This makes it easy to run scenarios beyond your current investment requirements, so you can plan out how long you can take a break from work and still make sure that all your other goals work.

Betterment also provides excellent goal-setting potential, exceeding M1 Finance. Since M1 Finance is not a registered advisory service, you cannot interact with a human or even a digital advisor. While this does allow you to enjoy an automated investment platform, there are not many tools to set goals beyond some articles about saving for retirement. Betterment has easy to follow steps to help you set goals, allowing you to monitor each separately. The platform allows you to set various goals with a variety of target dates, and your portfolios will vary in reaction to your parameters. There is even a graphic to show your asset allocation, so if you are falling behind on a particular goal, Betterment will encourage you to catch up by putting more aside.

Winner: Wealthfront


A crucial concern for many investors, particularly new investors, is the free structure of their chosen investment platform.

M1 Finance is particularly appealing for new investors, as there is no commission or fees with the basic account. This platform makes their money through the other financial products on offer, so they can offer trades without any fees for clients. You will only be charged a maintenance fee if there is no trading activity on your account for 90 days, and your balance is less than $20. M1 also has a low minimum deposit of just $100, making it accessible for those with a limited financial background.

Betterment offers two types of plans, which both attract fees. The Digital Plan has a zero minimum balance and an annual fee of 0.25%, while the Premium Plan has a minimum balance of $100,000 and a 0.40% annual fee. Although this is more expensive than M1 Finance, it does provide access to some great tools, including personalized advice, tax-saving strategies, and automatic rebalancing with the Digital Plan and advise on assets that are held outside of Betterment with the Premium Plan.

Wealthfront falls in the middle of the pack for its fee structure. They offer in-depth financial services, but there is an annual fee of 0.25% for this service, and there is a minimum deposit of $500. This makes it an attractive option for those who want access to more in-depth advice that is lacking from M1 Finance.

Winner: M1 Finance


M1 Finance offers a combination of automated investment while offering customization, so you can create a portfolio that is tailored to your specifications. This allows you to create portfolios that contain EFTs or individual stocks with a long-term focus. There is also access to the M1 Finance expert portfolios that combine different investment theories for a wide list of options, and portfolios are rebalanced once a month. You can also force a rebalance at any point in the month. Each of your stocks is displayed as part of a pie chart to represent your total portfolio. So, if a stock shrinks, the slice is also reduced, and when you make a deposit, the slice is shored up.

Wealthfront offers a slightly wider choice of bonds, ETFs, and stocks, in addition to investments in natural resources and real estate. Wealthfront is also a more automated service, so it does mean relinquishing more control. However, the platform does support individual or joint taxable broker accounts, IRAs, 529 college, and trust plans.

The Betterment platform has a more structured portfolio system with five types of portfolios, based on the classic Modern Portfolio Theory. There is a standard portfolio of diversified stocks, bonds, and ETFs, a socially responsible portfolio with holdings scoring well on the environmental and social impact theme. There is also a Goldman Sachs Smart Beta portfolio, an Income focused all bond portfolio, and a Flexible portfolio.

Betterment rebalances accounts dynamically when they deviate from intended goal allocations, and the portfolio will get more conservative as the target dates approach to help you avoid major losses and lock in gains.

Winner: Three-way tie (the best option depends on your specific needs)

Customer Service

M1 Finance offers customer support via email. The website also features a very detailed FAQ section that answers most customer queries and includes video tutorials of specific features.

Wealthfront offers a similar level of customer service with phone and email support. However, Wealthfront only offers assistance during normal business hours on weekdays.

Betterment has an online chat function built into the website and mobile app whenever you need it. Direct customer service is available Monday through Friday 9 am to 6 pm Eastern time, and 11 am to 6 pm at the weekends. If you have a premium account, you will also have access to financial planners at any time; a service that attracts a fee of up to $299 for basic account holders.

Winner: Betterment

Which is Best?

All three platforms are highly-rated robo advisors. M1 tends to score higher on account services and fees, while Wealthfront scores high on portfolio flexibility, and Betterment offers better customer service.

So, the choice of which platform is best for you will depend on your goals and experience level. If you’re an experienced investor wanting to automate your portfolio management, M1 Finance is a great choice, while Wealthfront is better suited to beginners. Betterment is targeted at investors who would typically opt for a self-directed account with an online brokerage.

READ NEXT: 7 Steps to Grow Your Net Worth

The post Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. M1 Finance: Which is the Best Robo Advisor? appeared first on Vital Dollar.

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40 Ways to Make Money With Your Phone Mon, 02 Dec 2019 13:25:17 +0000 These days most of us are never very far from our phones. We use our smartphones to check our emails, route plan on Google maps, update social media, and surf the web. However, you may not be aware that you can use your smartphone to make money. So, here we’ll explore 40 legit ways that […]

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40 Ways to Make Money With Your Phone

These days most of us are never very far from our phones. We use our smartphones to check our emails, route plan on Google maps, update social media, and surf the web.

However, you may not be aware that you can use your smartphone to make money. So, here we’ll explore 40 legit ways that you can make money with your phone.

Ways to Make Money with Your Phone

Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)

Swagbucks is an almost universal favorite to get paid to complete small tasks. Many of the tasks only take up to five minutes to finish and range from playing games and watching videos to taking daily surveys. You can even get paid to search the web. So, many of these tasks don’t even feel like work.

For each completed task, you will receive points (they call them “Swagbucks”). The points will vary according to the task, but they can quickly start to add up. Once you reach the minimum level, you can redeem the points for your choice of gift cards or PayPal cash. There is even a signup bonus to give you a solid start.

Swagbucks also has some special offers that allow you to rack up the points quickly. You might earn Swagbucks for trying a particular service, creating a bank account, making online purchases, and much more.

Signup for Swagbucks here to get a $5 bonus.

MyPoints ($10 sign up bonus)

MyPoints is a sister site to Swagbucks with very similar earning options but different rewards, and some of the specific tasks are different. This means that you may earn more points on MyPoints or benefit from a gift card sale that is not available on Swagbucks, so even though they are owned by the same company, there are plenty of reasons to use both.

There is some overlap with Swagbucks, but the welcome bonus is more generous, so it may hold greater appeal for you. MyPoints is a great option for those who do a lot of online shopping as you can quickly rack up rewards. You can even earn points for printing coupons.

Signup for MyPoints here to get a $10 bonus.

Inbox Dollars ($5 signup bonus)

Next to Swagbucks, InboxDollars is probably the next largest platform to get paid for small tasks. It is similar to Swagbucks in that there are a number of different ways that you can make money, including taking surveys, watching videos, and even reading emails.

InboxDollars also offers a joining bonus, but it is a better option if you prefer to earn cash rather than gift cards, as there are several payment options. However, there is nothing to stop you from joining two platforms, so you can make money with InboxDollars and Swagbucks (in fact, that is the best way to maximize what you can earn).

Signup for InboxDollars here to get a $5 bonus.

Survey Junkie

If you enjoy giving your opinion on products and services, then Survey Junkie could be a great way for you to make some extra cash in your spare time. While Swagbucks, MyPoints, and InboxDollars all allow you to earn points or cash for taking surveys, they also offer a lot of other things. Survey Junkie focuses exclusively on surveys. If you’re interested in getting paid for taking easy surveys, Survey Junkie is a must.

Once you create a profile, you’ll be linked with the surveys that are most appropriate to your age group, interests and circumstances. You can take surveys at any time on your phone, and you will be helping to shape new product designs. For every survey that you complete, you will receive points that can be redeemed instantly for gift cards or cash.

Vindale Research ($1 signup bonus)

Vindale Research is another survey site that offers daily options and focuses primarily on surveys. Along with Survey Junkie, it is near the top of the list of best survey websites/apps.

Additionally, for every completed survey, you can get paid up to $75. There is also the option to earn further cash by leaving feedback, watching videos, or looking for special Vindale Research codes on certain websites.

Once your account balance is more than $50, you can request an instant payment via PayPal or paper check. If you’re enjoying using Vindale Research, you can also supplement your earnings by referring friends. Vindale will pay you $5 for every friend you refer.

Signup for Vindale Research here to get a $1 signup bonus.


If you like playing games, the Mistplay app can help you to earn extra cash. After you complete the registration process, you can look through the available games to choose one that captures your interest. There are different playing periods for each game on the app, which can be up to five minutes. There are also different achievement requirements that you need to accomplish to get Mistplay units.

After you’ve completed a game or made an achievement, Mistplay will send you a notification. You then need to respond to questions or give opinions on the game. Depending on which games you play on the app, you can earn up to 200 points. There is also a referral program offering 50 points for each person who joins with your affiliate code. Those points can then be translated into cash, with 1500 points being approximately worth $5.


MobileXpression is a market research app that analyzes the internet patterns and behaviors of people on their mobile devices. When you join the panel, you will automatically be entered into a sweepstake draw, with prices of $100, $2500, $5,000 and $100,000. New members who install the app and are an active member for at least a week are automatically sent a $5 Amazon gift card. The bonus is that once the app is set up, you just use your phone normally and receive points every week.


Paribus makes it easy to get money back from your shopping trips. When you link your Amazon account or email address to Paribus, every time a price drops, you’ll get a price refund (if you made the purchase from a participating retailer). The Paribus platform allows you to receive cashback from over 30 online stores, including some of your favorites.

While it is possible to file a price protection claim yourself and receive a refund for the price difference, most of us never know when the price drops or take the time to file the claim. So, Paribus will help you to get this money with minimal effort. Paribus can also help you to claim compensation for late deliveries and track your return windows, so you don’t miss out.


The Ibotta mobile app helps you to earn cashback whenever you visit a grocery store. Before you check out, you will need to activate the cashback offers in the app. Ibotta allows you to get cash back at almost every grocery store, and it also works at some discount stores such as Target and Walmart and other types of stores and restaurants.

There are two types of cashback offer that you can activate with the Ibotta app. For example, you might get cashback if you purchase a loaf of bread of any brand or get a dollar cashback when you buy a 12 pack of soda. This can add up to significant savings, and you don’t need to spend time clipping paper coupons.

When you cash out of Ibotta, you can request your payment by gift cards, Venmo, or PayPal.


The free Drop smartphone app turns your credit or debit cards into cashback earning potential. This means that your everyday purchases can generate free money. You just need to spend as you normally would, and you’ll accumulate cash. After you link your card to the app, you will be shown a list of the Cash Back available locations. However, you are limited to your top five, so think carefully and choose the five places where you will spend the most without drastically altering your spending habits. Once this is done, when you use your linked card at the five locations, you will automatically earn cashback. After you’ve been spending as normal, you can exchange your drop points for gift cards to a whole list of your favorite retailers.


There is no purchase necessary to earn points with ShopKick, but you can earn more points if you do make purchases. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you will need to enable the location services on your phone; then, you will start earning points.

You can earn points for just walking into a store, then earn even more points when you scan product barcodes. This can be a fun way to get a little exercise while you do some window shopping, and there is the potential to earn free gift cards every time you leave your house.

Read About More Ways to Make Money:


With the EasyShift app, you can get paid to be a mystery shopper. As you shop, you can check the prices and take pictures of storefronts and products. During each shift or job, you will receive a checklist within the app. When you check all of the task checkboxes in real-time, you’ll get paid. There are EasyShift jobs available in most major U.S cities, and you’ll receive a PayPal payment within 48 hours of the job completion. There is no application or previous experience required, and you can start earning for browsing your favorite local stores.

Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel

This app allows you to help to improve products and services by participating in Nielsen research. The app uses your internet usage to build a picture of internet behavior, and there is $10,000 given away each month.

You will need to answer some registration questions to let Nielsen know about you, your devices, and your household. You will then need to download the app to all of your registered devices. This is noninvasive and will not affect your device performance. Once the app is installed, you’ll enjoy rewards just for using the internet in the way you usually do.


Perk is a reward engagement platform that brings consumers and advertisers together to provide insights and help develop brand loyalty. You can earn Perk points by answering questions, watching videos, and playing games. These Perk points can accumulate and then be swapped for rewards that include Amazon gift cards, gift cards, PayPal cash, or even charitable donations. You can even earn points by watching your favorite TV shows with Perk.TV, which is focused on syndicated television shows. Perk is completely free and pays real cash rewards with gift cards for over 100 retailers.


Decluttr allows you to sell your used CDs, DVDs, electronics, and books. The app has a barcode scanner, so you can quickly sell multiple items. Decluttr will then email you a prepaid shipping label to send your items to them. Decluttr will even mail you shipping supplies if you don’t have them. Within a day of Decluttr receiving your items, you’ll receive a PayPal payment. This makes it easy to not only make a little extra cash but also clear the clutter from your home.


OfferUp is similar to Craigslist, eBay, or the Facebook Marketplace, with a wide range of product categories that you can sell from. The OfferUp app is only currently available in America, but you can sell to millions of potential customers, so you can turn clothes, collectibles, or even old furniture into cash on your phone.


Another app that allows you to make some money clearing out your home is Poshmark. This app allows you to sell unwanted quality clothing and maybe even buy a bargain or two to supplement your wardrobe. The listing process is easy; you just need to take a picture using your phone within the app and upload your pricing details. Within minutes, you can list multiple items, making it easy to sell all of your unwanted items.

When your item sells, Poshmark will provide a prepaid shipping label that you just need to attach to your package before you put it in the mail. Once the item is received, you’ll get paid.

→ Related reading: Selling on Poshark vs. eBay vs. Mercari


Mercari is another app that makes it easy to sell your unwanted items for cash. Unlike Poshmark, you can sell practically anything on Mercari. The only restrictions are for illegal items such as counterfeit goods, weapons or drugs, or anything that may not be safe to ship, such as flammable items. Like Poshmark, you take a photo of your item through the app and add your listing details. Once the item sells, you’ll be sent a printable shipping label, and you’re required to ship the item within three days, confirming you’ve sent the item by inputting the tracking number. Once the item is received, and both you and the buyer have rated each other the funds are added to your Mercari balance.


LetGo is another app to help you get rid of your unwanted items. The stuff you have may not be right for you, but it could work well in someone else’s home. The LetGo app was designed to help make it second nature to second hand. The app makes it quick and simple to buy and sell locally. With the snap of a photo, you can sell your unwanted items or even buy something new to you at a great price.


If you have a reliable, four-door vehicle, and a valid driving license, you can become a Lyft driver. You’ll get paid to transport people around town. You will need to pass a background check and have your vehicle run through a safety check before you can start driving. However, once all of this clears, the app will allow you to accept ride requests and start earning money.

Lyft matches passengers who request a ride with drivers, allowing passengers to automatically pay using the app, so you don’t need to worry about carrying cash. This can help you to offset your vehicle costs, create a supplemental income, or even replace your full-time wage while being your own boss.


Like Lyft, Uber is a large ridesharing platform that can make a great side hustle. As an independent contractor, you can set your own hours and minimize the downtime between fares. Just like Lyft, before you can get started, you will need to complete the background check process and download the app, so you can manage your fares and your new income. Uber has also expanded into other areas, including food delivery, so there are lots of ways to make money.


This app helps you to earn money performing tasks in your local area. Gigwalkers can earn money verifying prices at your local stores or taking pictures of the shelf displays to verify that the products look appealing. You can even earn money by verifying that public events are held at the proper place and time.

Gigwalk allows you to be the eyes and ears of brands and national companies to ensure that they are properly represented in the real world. All of these gigs will translate into PayPal cash, making it a great side gig for people in most large U.S cities.

Field Agent

Like Gigwalk, Field Agent is another app that allows you to earn money by performing gigs. When you’re ready to work, you simply accept a job, and you will have two hours to complete the tasks. Once the tasks are marked as complete, you’ll receive PayPal payment.

You’re not limited to either Field Agent or Gigwalk, so why not compare both of the platforms, to see which one offers the better gigs for you? You could even join both platforms to increase your chances of getting paid.


The Instacart app pays you to deliver groceries in your local area. You can either choose to be an instore shopper where you do shopping for other people or a full-service shopper where you shop and deliver orders.

If you like spending time browsing grocery store shelves, you can help out busy families, seniors, or other people who use the Instacart platform. This allows you to earn money around your own work and life as a side gig or develop a fruitful career path. You can choose to get paid by weekly direct deposit or for a small fee, a same day direct deposit. You can even earn tips from your customers if they are happy with your services.


Trim may not help you to develop a second income from your phone, but it can help you to save money on your recurring expenses, including bills and subscriptions. It acts as an automated savings assistant that will review your services to identify any cost-saving opportunities.

This free app can analyze your subscriptions, negotiate bills, find deals, and provide you with price protection. Through the app, you can securely link your accounts, so that your spending can be analyzed. Trim can automatically cancel unwanted subscriptions, find you a better deal on your insurance and negotiate a better rate on your services. This can add up to serious savings over a year without you needing to lift a finger.


Like Trim, the TrueBill app is designed to manage your subscriptions and help lower your bills. Rather than manually looking through your statements for your credit cards and bank accounts manually for any subscriptions, the app will help you to keep track of all your subscriptions to change your spending behavior. When you download the app, you will need to connect your accounts, and once everything is synced, you can view all your bills in one place. The app will also send notifications if there are changes in your bill to provide an opportunity to lower them on your behalf.


Another app that can help you to save money on your bills and subscriptions is BillShark. This is a free app, but you will be charged 40% of any savings made. This means that if there are no savings to be made, you will pay nothing. However, if BillShark can save you money, you’ll still be 60% better off. For example, if BillShark can save you $500 on your subscriptions and bills, you will need to pay them $200, but you’ll still be $300 better off.


HoneyGain is another network company that allows businesses to gather data and perform market research. You can get paid for sharing your internet, and the more devices connected to the app, the more money you can make. After you download the app and sign up for an account, your unused data will be used by the HoneyGain team to manage the connections. You can make money by installing the app, but also by referring friends through your own personalized link. You will receive 10% of your friend’s daily earnings, and if it reaches $50, you will get an extra $5.


WeBull is an app-based brokerage platform that allows commission-free trading. It is fully regulated by the SEC and FINRA, offering active traders ratings from ratings agencies, economic calendars, technical indicators, short selling and margin trading. This app is a great choice for intermediate or experienced traders, but beginners can also use the app.

→Related reading: Robinhood vs. Stockpile vs. Webull


Like WeBull, Robinhood offers commission-free trading, but it is aimed at beginner investors. The app has been designed to be a straightforward platform without any complicated tools or order types. You can open your account directly through your smartphone, and with a few questions, you will receive an approval notification. There are no hidden fees or strings with no purchase minimums, so you can start investing immediately.

M1 Finance

The M1 Finance app is designed to help you take control of your finances, so you can optimize your money and make savings. You can use the app to build a custom portfolio of stocks and ETFs to capture the full potential of your money, but unlike Robinhood or WeBull, you can also borrow and spend through the app. Your M1 portfolio can allow you to access a flexible line of credit, and even replace your checking account, so you can pay bills, spend with a debit card and set up your direct deposits. This allows you to seamlessly invest, borrow and spend to save money.


The Enroll app provides an opportunity for you to help companies to make better choices about customer interaction, paying you for your help. You can help companies to choose the best logo, clarify content, and receive opinions on page designs.

You’ll be asked demographic information about yourself, including your schooling and annual income. Once this data is complete, you can complete tests through the app that pay varying amounts of between $0.10 and $1.50. While this may not seem like much, as a side hustle, it can allow you to rack up some cash, which can be withdrawn to PayPal, with just a $1 minimum amount.


The UserTesting app is a great way to make a few dollars on the side by testing websites and apps, and the opportunities are based on your quality rating and demographics. You can take mobile tests, but you need to have a stable internet connection.

The sign up is simple, and you can immediately start to earn money. For example, you can earn $10 for each 20-minute video that you complete, but you can also earn for visiting websites, completing tasks, or just giving your opinion. Testers are paid via PayPal, and you can receive a payment seven days after you complete a test or task.


The UTest platform is a pro network for testers, so you can earn money as a freelance tester. Projects are posted on the platform, and you can apply. The applications are reviewed, and qualified testers are invited to start testing. You will be paid based on the bugs you find, how the test cases are executed, or the verified fixed bugs. How much you get paid will depend on the projects and tests you complete, but to make the most money, you need experience on functional, usability, localization, security, automated or user experience testing.


Like UTest, UserFeel is a pro tester freelancing platform. You will be asked to navigate sites and provide feedback, so your experience is recorded. In order to get projects, you will need to complete tests based on your demographics and skillset, so that UserFeel can match tests and orders with you. This can help you to earn a decent side income. You can earn $10 for tests that take approximately 15 minutes, but you aren’t guaranteed a specific number of tests. However, payment is made via PayPal, so you can work around your commitments with easy payment.


If you’re a dog lover, the Rover app is a great way to earn money pet sitting. Rover is a little like a babysitting site, but for pets. You sign up as a dog sitter through the app, and you’ll be connected to pet owners who need pet sitting, dog walking, or boarding. Some may want their dog to be cared for while they are away, but others may want someone to stay at their home where their dog is most comfortable. Rover encourages sitters to send updates each day, so the owners can have their minds eased. You need to submit an application and create a profile to become a Rover sitter. The screening process is thorough, and standards are strict, but you can determine your own rates and your availability.


The Handy app allows you to put your cleaning or handy person skills to good use and earn money as a lucrative side gig. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information for the application process, verifying your identity with a government-issued ID. This allows Handy to complete a background check to protect users.

The application process can be completed through the app and only takes five minutes, then you just need to wait for approval. You can then set your rate for your tasks and match to users looking for your services.

Task Rabbit

The Task Rabbit app allows you to connect with clients looking for jobs in your area. This includes services like cleaning, delivery, furniture assembly, handyman tasks, moving, and even being a personal assistant. You select the job you want to complete and confirm your details with the client. You can then complete the work and submit an invoice.

Once you register your details, you will be invited to an info session in your city, so you can start accepting jobs. You will receive payment for your services within five days of approval as a direct deposit.


The Foap app allows you to turn photographs into money. You can upload photos from your phone, and they will be immediately available for sale. These photos can be sold multiple times. Buyers looking for images can purchase them using the Foap Market. Foap charges a commission, but for every photo sold at $10, you’ll receive $5.

However, you can also earn money with Foap Missions. These are challenges organized by well-known brands. The company provides a project brief with the type of images they are looking for, and you can submit your photos. If your photos are picked, you’ll get paid.

Job Spotter

The Job Spotter app (from Indeed) is based on a fairly simple premise. You can get paid to take photographs of “help wanted” signs. Job Spotter pays different amounts according to the value of the sign. You can typically make 5 cents to a dollar for each sign, with an average of 50 cents. This can add up to some extra income each month, for just 20 seconds of work for each image.


While you’re not likely to get rich with these apps, they can allow you to make extra cash while you’re sitting on your couch or completing your regular routine. This creates the potential for impressive side gigs that can supplement your income and bring in some extra cash each month.

READ NEXT: How to Make Money Online Without Paying Anything

40 Ways to Make Money With Your Phone

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3 Actual Ways to Pay Off Student Loans Faster Wed, 27 Nov 2019 12:05:00 +0000 Student loan debt is a big line item in the monthly budget of more than 43 million Americans. Student loan debt can chip away at your budget for housing, your car, and can even impact your ability to retire. Plus, it can hurt your overall happiness and outlook for the future. For some people like […]

The post 3 Actual Ways to Pay Off Student Loans Faster appeared first on Vital Dollar.


3 Actual Ways to Pay Off Student Loans Faster

Student loan debt is a big line item in the monthly budget of more than 43 million Americans. Student loan debt can chip away at your budget for housing, your car, and can even impact your ability to retire. Plus, it can hurt your overall happiness and outlook for the future.

For some people like me, owing this debt can have a big impact on your emotional wellbeing. Instead of feeling trapped or overwhelmed, you can do something about that debt level by finding ways to pay it off quickly.

With three easy tips, you can pay off your loans much sooner than the 10 or 20 years that is typically expected.

1. Pay Off Higher Interest Loans First

Often times, the worst part of student loan debt isn’t the amount you owe – it’s the interest that keeps piling up. If you have a high interest rate, you may be paying very little on your principal each month, keeping you trapped in a cycle of never-ending debt. You may feel like you’ll never get ahead. Personally, when I graduated from college in 2016, I had a couple of private student loans with rates above 9%!

That’s why it’s a good strategy to pay aggressively on your student loan with the highest interest rate. You’ll see faster progress, and you’ll be saving hundreds, if not thousands, over the life of your loan.

Your goal should be sending extra money each month to your loan that has the highest interest rate. In the meantime, you’ll make the minimum payment on any other student loan you have.

It can take some serious willpower to earmark all your extra money toward that loan with the highest interest rate, but you’ll feel incredibly accomplished when it’s paid off. After you get that one paid off, the other ones with their lower interest rates won’t seem as daunting.

→ Related reading: How Ashley and Her Husband Paid Off $45,000 in Debt in 17 Months

2. Refinancing to a Lower Interest Rate

You may want to think about refinancing your student loans into a loan that carries a lower interest rate. In general, to refinance your student loans you will need to have a good credit score, history of income, and on-time repayment history. If you have a low credit score, you might not be able to do this yet. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to at all.

When you refinance student loan debt, you can consolidate multiple loans into one single loan. Most often, when you refinance student loans you will be able to choose a new term length and rate type (ex. fixed vs. variable).

If you don’t currently qualify for a lower interest rate because of low credit, check back in a few months if you’ve been good about decreasing your debt and paying bills on-time. You might find your credit score will improve enough to earn you a better rate.

→ Related reading: How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report and Fix Any Errors

Another route you could go to get a better interest rate is to apply for student loan refinancing with a cosigner who has a good credit score. Many lenders will take that into consideration because a qualified cosigner can decrease some of their risk of default. Not all student loan companies allow you to apply with a cosigner, however, some do.

3. Prioritize Bonuses and Pay Increases Towards Student Loan Debt

When many of us receive bonuses and pay increases, we think of that as fun money. After all, our basic bills are already covered. Don’t we deserve a treat for our hard work?

While those temporary rewards will feel good, think about how much better it will feel to have that student loan paid off. It will feel better than a new pair of shoes or jeans – and it will benefit your future much more, too.

If you feel you must buy yourself a treat with a pay raise or bonus, keep it to just one and try to make it an inexpensive reward. And put every spare penny after that toward your student loans instead of making the common move of inflating your lifestyle. Over the last few years since graduation, I’ve work to prioritize my raises and bonuses into larger student loan payments.

→ Related reading: Improve Your Financial Health in 30 Days

If your boss hasn’t given you a pay increase in a while, you can ask for one. If you are turned down, perhaps they have some overtime for you to work. That can go a long way toward paying off your student loans faster.

Also, if you have the spare energy and talent, consider adding in a side hustle. You could turn your talent into extra cash that will retire your student loan debt even faster. And if it’s something you enjoy, it won’t even feel like work.

4. Bonus Tip

Just in case the first three tips don’t work for you, I’ve decided to give you a spare. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you simply can’t afford to make your monthly payments. Maybe you took on too much debt to get through college, and you’re working in a low-paying industry.

You may want to consider income-based repayment options. If you have a federal loan, you may be able to qualify for these payment plans, which, as the name indicates, uses your income as a determining factor of how much your payment will be. This calculator can be used to calculate the amount you would need to pay under IBR.

With these plans, you may pay longer than you would with other plans, but you’ll be able to make student loan repayment more manageable.

READ NEXT: Debt Snowball vs. Debt Avalanche: Which is Better?

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Credit Karma vs. Credit Sesame vs. CreditWise: Best Free Credit Monitoring Mon, 25 Nov 2019 12:18:03 +0000 In the wake of data breaches that seem to be happening all the time, credit monitoring services have become extremely popular. Credit monitoring can also help you to keep track of your credit score to work towards pulling yourself out of debt or repairing damaged credit. However, trying to decide what service fits your exact […]

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Credit Karma vs. Credit Sesame vs. CreditWise

In the wake of data breaches that seem to be happening all the time, credit monitoring services have become extremely popular. Credit monitoring can also help you to keep track of your credit score to work towards pulling yourself out of debt or repairing damaged credit.

However, trying to decide what service fits your exact needs can be a challenge. So, here we’ll compare three of the most popular; Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and CreditWise.

Whether you just want to see your credit score quickly or whether you are looking for on-going credit monitoring for free, all three have something to offer.

Credit Sesame Overview

Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame focuses on consumer lending and credit, helping their customers to learn more about managing their own credit. When you sign up with Credit Sesame, you have access to a variety of services, including a monthly credit score. This provides you with an idea of your current credit score, and the factors that impact it, so you can check back to see how any changes you make impact your score. Credit Sesame also has an app that allows you to check your credit score on the go.

Credit Sesame will also provide recommendations for different credit related products, such as credit cards. The system analyzes your financial habits to determine the products that will work well for you. Companies use Credit Sesame to showcase their services and products, and they can be targeted to customers who have the appropriate credit score and financial habits.

There is a recommendations page that breaks down credit cards into categories based on your perceived needs. This may include cashback credit cards or ones offering zero percent interest introductory periods.

The recommendations feature a quick breakdown of each card, explaining the interest rate, fees, and any promotions. Any cards that Credit Sesame thinks that you have a good chance for qualifying will be highlighted. This will help you to find new cards that fit with your habits. You can save time and potential credit score points by avoiding the cards that you won’t qualify for and concentrate on the cards that you have the best chance of getting.

Credit Sesame will also recommend other types of products to match you to lenders, including personal lenders, mortgage lenders, and auto lenders. You can even get guidance on the banks that offer the best interest rates, creating a one-stop shop for your credit-related questions.

You can also upgrade from the basic, free membership, to one of three levels of premium service. Advanced Credit allows daily credit monitoring, and you can check your credit report at all the credit bureaus. Pro Credit provides access to a live expert if you have any queries, while Platinum Protection provides Social Security number monitoring and other services to help identify theft, such as monitoring black market websites and public records.

Sign up for Credit Sesame here.

Using Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame is easy to use with a dashboard to help navigate your account, recommendations, and premium services. All you need to get started is an email address and to answer a short questionnaire. You’ll also be asked some multiple-choice questions to confirm your identity. This is to ensure that you’re not trying to get information on someone else’s credit report. Once you’ve confirmed everything, you will be prompted to create your password and directed to the account dashboard.

The dashboard is where you will see your credit score information. You will see a numerical score on the top of the screen, between 300 and 850. Your credit report will be broken down into your credit usage, payment history, account mix, credit age, and credit inquiries. You can click on each of these areas to check the factors that influence your rating. This can help you to check that all the details of your credit report are accurate. If an incorrect entry shows up or you see someone else’s account, you will know to contact the relevant company or credit bureau.

Credit Sesame Pros:

  • One dashboard allows you to track your finances
  • Protection against identity theft
  • Help to improve your credit score
  • Free credit score check
  • Compatible app to monitor your score on the go

Credit Sesame Cons:

  • Premium membership required for some services

Sign up for Credit Sesame here.

CreditWise Overview


CreditWise is a Capital One credit report monitoring tool. It has been around since 2014. Although many people thought it was exclusively for Capital One customers, this is not the case. In fact, you don’t need a Capital One account; you just need to be over the age of eighteen and have a social security number.

CreditWise will provide you with a copy of your credit report that you can check at your leisure. This does not include the free copies you can obtain through the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This credit report is better organized than many other versions. It will provide you with a full list of your report, but also identify new or changed items. You will also see any negative or disputed items.

If you do see an error, you will need to dispute the error directly with the credit bureau. CreditWise also has an interesting alert system. This can include appearances of your email address on the “Dark Web” or other potential breaches to your identity security.

The CreditWise score simulator helps you to see how your score could change if you took proactive measures such as paying off credit card debt, making payments on time, opening new cards, canceling older cards, transferring balances, or increasing credit limits. You can play around to see how the different factors will impact your score.

CreditWise provides a useful tool to monitor your credit. It is a no brainer if you’re already a Capital One customer, but it can also be helpful if you have no dealings with this financial institution.

Signup for CreditWise here.

Using CreditWise

To gain access to CreditWise, you just need to sign up on the site. If you already have a Capital One account, you can use your account details to register, and it will populate most of the data automatically. However, if you don’t hold an account, you will need to supply your personal information. This does not constitute an offer of credit, as it is a soft pull and won’t impact your credit score.

CreditWise has an attractive dashboard and shows you the biggest credit factors on one screen. This includes on-time payments, oldest credit line, recent inquiries, new accounts, credit used, and available credit. Each of these factors will also have ideas and recommendations to help you make improvements. For example, your oldest account may not be old enough compared to people with a similar credit profile, so you will need to continue to manage your account responsibly and keep the balance as low as possible. These insights can help you to make positive changes

CreditWise Pros

  • Attractive dashboard that is easy to use
  • Allows you to explore the factors that influence your credit rating
  • Can auto-fill your data from your Capital One account

CreditWise Cons

  • Does not provide credit reports of all bureaus

Sign up for CreditWise here.

Credit Karma Overview

Credit Karma

Credit Karma is designed to offer credit scores and tools to help you better manage your money. It is an excellent tool to better understand your credit report and score. While the service is free, you will need to be prepared for ads, which is how Credit Karma makes its money.

Credit Karma can be used to track your credit score as it updates monthly, showing the factors that help or hurt your credit score. It provides you with detailed information on your credit report in one place. The website also allows you to benefit from credit card guidance, savings account advice, and other financial resources. However, unlike other credit report sites, there are two differences with Credit Karma; there is no monthly trial membership, it is totally free, and you are given a credit report card. This report outlines your credit report categories based on Equifax and TransUnion data.

Credit Karma offers far more than just a credit score. You will see your TransUnion credit score, your Equifax credit score, credit factors, and credit reports. Credit Karma also allows you to connect your credit cards and bank accounts to track your spending and plan your budget.

Credit Karma also features a credit score simulator tool that helps you to understand how events affect your credit score. For example, you can check how applying for a new credit card will impact your score. This can be handy if you have plans to refinance or apply for another type of loan. You can also search for unclaimed money that may belong to you. You can search by state to conduct your online search.

Sign up for Credit Karma here.

Using Credit Karma

After you log into your Credit Karma account, you will be directed to the personal dashboard that shows an immediate credit summary. This does not provide you with your official FICO score, but does provide scores from Equifax and TransUnion. This will provide you with a good idea of your true FICO score. You can also see differences between the data each bureau receives.

You will also see the factors that affect your credit score, including inquiries, credit use, reported delinquencies, and collections. This will allow you to check for any discrepancies and report them.

There are additional dashboard tabs; there are sections and features with lots of information on savings, loans, credit, and other financial topics.

Credit Karma Pros:

  • Credit Karma is totally free
  • Easy to use dashboard

Credit Karma Cons

  • No FICO score
  • Uses ads

Sign up for Credit Karma here.

Which One is Best For You?

Each of these platforms has its own advantages and potential downsides. While Credit Karma is completely free to use, you will need to be prepared to put up with ads. However, it does offer a fairly comprehensive service that includes a credit score simulator that allows you to see the impact of changes on your credit score. For example, you can see if increasing your card limit affects your score. This can be very helpful if you’re planning some big financial decisions in the future, such as refinancing your home. This credit score simulator is not available on all credit monitoring services, but it is a feature on CreditWise and Credit Sesame.

CreditWise is a great tool, but if you don’t already have a Capital One account, you may be reluctant to involve another financial institution. Capital One customers will find that the CreditWise tool will use your account details to automatically prefill much of your financial information, which can save time. However, if you’re not a Capital One customer, you will still need to enter all of your information. Additionally, CreditWise only uses TransUnion credit rating data, so it may not provide a complete picture of your financial situation.

Credit Sesame does offer a more comprehensive service, but you may need to upgrade from the basic free plan to gain access to the features you need. The basic plan does provide you with decent credit monitoring for free, but the upgrades do take this to a superb level. The upgraded plans allow you to check your scores will all the credit bureaus for a more comprehensive picture of your credit. This can also help you to locate any errors to report them and have them removed from your credit report. The top tier Credit Sesame plans also provide greater support to protect against identity theft, which can be very reassuring if you’re concerned about this growing crime trend. This does make Credit Sesame a fantastic tool that will appeal to anyone looking to improve their credit profile.

All three of these tools are free to sign up and use, so you don’t need to struggle with your decision. Signing up does not impact your credit score, as they all use a soft pull to access your credit information. So, it is possible to sign up and try them all to see which one is best suited to your requirements. This can allow you to explore the features and tools to determine whether the platform can help you to make positive changes to your credit score.

READ NEXT: 7 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast

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14 Simple Ways to Get Free Walmart Gift Cards Thu, 21 Nov 2019 11:54:39 +0000 You can buy just about anything at Walmart stores or online at, so free Walmart gift cards are almost as good as cash. Fortunately, there are several ways to get a free gift card, and you might be surprised at how easy some of these methods are! With the tips in this article, you’ll […]

The post 14 Simple Ways to Get Free Walmart Gift Cards appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Free Walmart Gift Cards

You can buy just about anything at Walmart stores or online at, so free Walmart gift cards are almost as good as cash.

Fortunately, there are several ways to get a free gift card, and you might be surprised at how easy some of these methods are!

With the tips in this article, you’ll be able to start earning free gift cards right away. At the end of the article, I’ll also show you how you can get discounted Walmart gift cards any time as well.

How to Get a Free Walmart Gift Card

Let’s take a look at 13 ways you can get free Walmart gift cards.

1. Ibotta


Ibotta is an extremely popular cashback app. With Ibotta you can easily save money at Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, grocery stores and more. Ibotta has cashback offers on different products at many retailers and e-commerce websites. You can claim the offers that you want, and then either scan your receipt or link the app to your loyalty cards. Ibotta is a great way to save money and earn cashback rewards.

You can also use Pay with Ibotta, which allows you to pay at selected retailers using your smartphone and the Ibotta app. By using this feature, you can earn even more rewards and cashback.

When you are ready to cash out the money that you’ve earned from Ibotta you’ll have several different options. One option is to get your earnings as a Walmart gift card.

Not only will you be able to get your rewards in the form of Walmart gift cards, but Ibotta can also help to save a lot of money on your shopping at Walmart. There are always a lot of cashback offers for purchases at Walmart that you can claim if you are an Ibotta user.

The offers change from time-to-time, so be sure you keep checking the app to see what offers are available. This is definitely an app that you won’t want to miss!

Sign up for Ibotta here.

2. Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)


Swagbucks makes it easy to earn money for a lot of different things like taking surveys, watching videos, and downloading apps. You can also earn cashback for shopping online. When you go to cash out your balance at Swagbucks you’ll have a few options for how you want to be paid. One of the options is a Walmart gift card.

There are a few things about Swagbucks that are really nice. First, there are a lot of different ways to earn Swagbucks that can be redeemed for cash (by PayPal) or gift cards. The surveys generally don’t pay a ton of money, but you can do a few different things to earn faster. Also, you can redeem your earnings for as little as $5, so you don’t have to wait a long time and earn a ton of Swagbucks before you can do anything with it.

And when you go to redeem your Swagbucks for a Walmart gift card, you may even get a discount. For example, you might be able to get a 12% discount, which allows you to get a bigger gift card with fewer Swagbucks.

If you’re not already a Swagbucks user, you can get a $5 bonus just for creating a free Swagbucks account. One of the ways you can choose to be paid for that $5 bonus is by Walmart gift card.

Sign up for Swagbucks here and get the $5 bonus.

3. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is one of the most popular, and most trusted, survey websites. You can sign up for a free Survey Junkie account and start making money right away. Before you begin a survey, Survey Junkie will tell you how many points you’ll earn (100 points equals $1) and how much time the survey will take. This is really helpful for making sure you don’t waste time on low-paying surveys.

When you choose to cash out your earnings you have the option to be paid by PayPal or by gift card. You’ll be able to choose a gift card to popular stores like Walmart. It’s a great way to turn your spare time into a free Walmart gift card.

Sign up for Survey Junkie here.

4. Inbox Dollars ($5 signup bonus)

Inbox Dollars

Inbox Dollars is another survey site, but like Swagbucks, you can also earn money for doing other things. You can even earn money for accepting free offers (like app downloads).

From your Inbox Dollars dashboard, you’ll be able to see the latest offers and most popular offers. These offers give you a great opportunity to rack up some earnings quickly.

Right now you can get a $5 signup bonus for creating a new Inbox Dollars account.

When you go to cash out your earnings you can choose to be paid by check or opt for a gift card from popular merchants like Walmart.

Sign up for Inbox Dollars here to get the $5 bonus.

5. MyPoints ($10 signup bonus)


MyPoints is pretty similar to Swagbucks (they are owned by the same parent company). You can earn points for things like taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and downloading apps. Also, just like Swagbucks, you can earn cash back for your online purchases at thousands of retailers.

They make it easier to accumulate points with the “daily 5“. Complete 5 of the activities listed and you’ll get 5 bonus points.

Right now MyPoints is offering a $10 gift card as a bonus for new users. To qualify you will need to make a purchase of at least $20 through MyPoints within your first 30 days.

The points you earn on MyPoints can be redeemed for gift cards from a wide variety of retailers, websites, and restaurants. Walmart is one of the options that you’ll have.

Sign up for MyPoints here to get the $10 bonus.

6. TopCashback


TopCashback is very similar to the popular cashback site Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates). With TopCashback you can earn cash back from your online purchases at thousands of different websites. The amount you earn will vary depending on the website, but there are some really great offers.

When you redeem the money that you’ve earned, you can choose ACH payment, PayPal, or gift card. If you opt for a gift card, Walmart is one of the choices.

You can also earn cashback for your purchases at by going through TopCashback. As one of the highest-paying cashback websites, TopCashback is certainly worth using.

Sign up for TopCashback here.

7. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is a cashback app that focusses on helping you save on your grocery shopping.

The app is very easy to use, and that’s a big part of why it is so great. All you need to do is scan your grocery receipts using the app, regardless of where you do your grocery shopping. You’ll earn points for purchasing certain products, and you can redeem those points for your choice of rewards. One of the options you’ll have when you redeem is points is a Walmart gift card.

Since everyone needs to buy groceries and since Fetch Reward is so easy, there is no reason not to try it.

When you sign up, use the code FETCH2K to get 2,000 free points, equal to $2.

Sign up for Fetch Rewards here to get the $2 bonus.

8. PrizeRebel


PrizeRebel is another site/app that allows you to earn points by taking surveys. It’s one of the more trusted survey websites, and definitely one that you’ll want to try if you are interested in earning free gift cards.

With PrizeRebel, you’ll earn points that you can redeem for a wide variety of gift cards, including Amazon.

If you like the idea of taking surveys for rewards, you’ll probably want to use several different sites/apps in order to maximize the number of surveys that you can take and rewards that you can earn.

Sign up for PrizeRebel to start earning points from surveys.

9. Shopkick


Shopkick is a unique cashback app that allows you to earn points (they call them “kicks”) in many different ways.

Like other apps, you can earn points from the purchases that you make. But what makes it more interesting is the fact that you can earn points for simply walking in certain stores (tracked through your phone) and for scanning barcodes on certain products. Using Shopkick can be a fun way to earn some rewards.

Once you’ve earned enough kicks, you can redeem them for your choice of prizes, like a Walmart gift card.

Sign up for Shopkick here.

10. Honey


Honey is a free browser extension that helps you to save money when you’re shopping online. Honey will automatically find and apply the best coupon codes to save you money, plus it will help you to find the best price at Amazon.

You can also earn Honey Gold (rewards points) from your purchases, and you can redeem that Honey Gold for your choice of gift cards, including Walmart.

Get the Honey browser extension here.

11. Paribus


Paribus is a free app that helps you to get refunds from retailers with price match guarantees. Although that is the primary function of Paribus, that part of it will not help you with Walmart. However, Paribus also tracks your shipments from certain websites and will help you to get compensation if a shipment is late (which happens a lot).

Walmart offers guaranteed shipping on certain purchases, and Paribus will take the dates of those orders and shipments. If the shipment is late, Paribus will notify you and help you to try and get a free Walmart gift card due to the missed shipping deadline.

One of the best things about Paribus is that it takes just a minute to set up and then it will work in the background for you.

Sign up for Paribus here.

12. iRazoo


iRazoo is another survey site where you can earn points for completing surveys and sharing your opinions. You can also earn points for playing online games and watching videos. Points can be redeemed for gift cards (including Walmart) or cash.

Right now you can get 500 points as a signup bonus (you won’t see a mention of the bonus points on the signup page, but after you create your account my referral code will be shown and you’ll simply accept it to get the bonus points).

Signup for iRazoo here to get the 500 bonus points.

13. Gadget to Gift Card

Gadget to Gift Card

How many old gadgets and devices (phones, tablets, speakers, video games, game consoles, MP3 players) do you have sitting around your house? Did you know that you can trade in those unwanted devices for gift cards?

With Gadget to Gift Card, you simply enter the gadget that you want to trade-in and you’ll get an offer. If you want to accept the offer you can ship the gadget using the pre-paid shipping label that will be provided to you. Once they receive the gadget, you’ll get an electronic gift card.

→ Related reading: 20+ Realistic Ways to Get Free Amazon Gift Cards

14. Walmart Grocery

Walmart Grocery

Walmart Grocery is a great, convenient service. You’ll order your groceries online (you can save items that you buy frequently, saving you time in the future) and select a pickup time. Then you’ll go to Walmart at that time and they’ll bring the groceries to your car. It’s a great time-saver that doesn’t cost you any extra money.

If you’ve never used Walmart grocery before, you can get $10 off your first Walmart Grocery order by signing up through this link.

Signup here to get $10 off your first Walmart Grocery order.

Walmart Savings Catcher (no longer available)

If you’ve read many articles about ways to save money at Walmart, I’m sure you’ve come across recommendations for using Walmart Savings Catcher. While Savings Catcher was a great option in the past, Walmart has unfortunately discontinued it.

Savings Catcher was an app that would help you to make sure you got the best price. You would scan your Walmart receipts and it would search for a lower price. If it found a lower price at another store or if Walmart lowered the price after you made the purchase, you would be compensated with a digital Walmart gift card for the difference. Later on, Savings Catcher was rolled into the Walmart app rather than acting as a stand-alone app.

The Savings Catcher app worked really well. There were many times when I got gift cards as a result of the app, and it took almost no effort. However, Walmart discontinued the app and so it is no longer an option.

Related Reading:

Discounted Walmart Gift Cards

While free gift cards are the best, you can also get discounted gift cards and save some money. If you don’t have the time to earn a free gift card, or if you need to spend more than the value of your free gift cards, these discounted cards can be a great way to save money.

The discounts for Walmart gift cards are usually fairly small because there is plenty of demand for them. But if you’re the kind of person that likes to save even a few percent (like me), this can be a good way to save on things that you need to buy.

There are several different websites where you can buy discounted gift cards, including:

  • – great selection, one-year money-back guarantee
  • Cardpool – ok selection, one-year money-back guarantee
  • CardCash – ok selection, 45-day money-back guarantee

→ Related reading: How to Stack Rewards and Cash Back



Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is a cashback website that you should be using if you do any shopping online. With a free Rakuten account, you can earn cash back from purchases at thousands of different websites, including It’s super easy to use, takes very little effort, and will save you money on most of your online shopping.

If you want to earn cashback but you don’t have time to order online and wait for it to ship to your house, you can place an order online at and pick it up at your local store.

The cashback that you earn from Rakuten will be paid out to you in the form of a check. You won’t earn gift cards for it, but of course, you can use the cash any way you want.

If you don’t have an account yet, Rakuten will give you a $10 bonus (paid in cash) just for creating the free account. In order to get the $10 bonus you’ll need to make a purchase of at least $25 through Rakuten within 90 days of creating your account.

Signup for Rakuten here to get the $10 bonus.

When you are making purchases, regardless of whether it is through Rakuten or not, be sure that you’re using a good cashback credit card in order to maximize the rewards that you’re getting for that purchase. See our list of the best cashback credit cards here.


Now that we’ve looked at several different ways to earn free Walmart gift cards, take a few minutes and get started with some of these methods. Don’t try everything at once. Just pick a couple that look good to you and put them into practice. Before you know it, you’ll have a gift card you can use at Walmart.

If you’re not sure where to start, try one of the offers with a free signup bonus like Ibotta, Swagbucks, or InboxDollars.


READ NEXT: 50 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Get for Free

How to Get Free Walmart Gift Cards


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13 Best Ways to Get Paid to Surf the Web Mon, 18 Nov 2019 10:07:32 +0000 When comes to different ways of making money, does it get any better than getting paid to surf the web? You’re already searching and browsing anyway, so why not make some extra money while you’re at it? In this article, we’ll look at the best realistic ways to get paid for surfing the web. Now, […]

The post 13 Best Ways to Get Paid to Surf the Web appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Get Paid to Surf the Web

When comes to different ways of making money, does it get any better than getting paid to surf the web?

You’re already searching and browsing anyway, so why not make some extra money while you’re at it?

In this article, we’ll look at the best realistic ways to get paid for surfing the web.

Now, to be completely upfront, you’re not going to get rich from these methods. There are many other side hustle ideas that give you the potential to make more money, but there are a few very enticing reasons to consider the options listed on this page:

  1. Some of them will pay you for the things you’re already doing. Even if it’s not a huge amount of money, it takes no extra effort.
  2. The options that do involve a little more work are extremely flexible, and just about anyone can do them.

How to Get Paid for Surfing the Web

Now, let’s take a look at the specific ways you can make money for using the internet.

1. Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)

Swagbucks is a very popular website that allows you to make money in several different ways. Anyone can sign up for free (and there’s even a $5 bonus if you sign up through this link). Once you’re signed up and logged in, you’ll see a variety of different ways to earn points (they call them Swagbucks or SB’s).

The options include things like taking online surveys, playing games, watching videos, and shopping online. You can also earn SB for using Swagbucks as your primary search engine. You can use their browser extension to make it easy to earn points every time you search.

Another way to earn with Swagbucks is through online shopping. They have thousands of partner websites and you can earn cashback by making purchases at those stores. Install the Swagbucks button in your browser to be notified whenever you’re browsing a website that participates in the program. Simply click on the button when you’re notified, and you’ll be able to earn cashback on any purchase that you make.

The amount of money that you make from Swagbucks will depend on how active you are, and how many different ways you earn SB. Of course, you’ll make more money if you’re using several methods rather than just relying on using Swagbucks as your search engine.

Once you’ve earned some SB, you can redeem them for your choice of gift cards or cash (through PayPal).

Sign up for Swagbucks and get a $5 bonus.

BONUS OFFER: Get Paid for Playing Games on Your Phone!

Mistplay is a free Android app that allows you to earn points simply by playing games on your phone. You can then redeem your points for prizes like your choice of gift cards. All you need to do is get the app, then play some games in your spare time, and you’ll be earning rewards while having fun.

Get Mistplay here.

2. MobileXpression

MobileXpression is a research company that will pay you for access to your mobile browsing data. They won’t collect personal or sensitive data, but you will need to be ok with sharing your browsing activity.

You can install the MobileXpression app on your mobile device and earn 5 points each week that it’s active. Once you have 30 points you can redeem them for a $5 gift card, or you can wait until you get 50 points and use them for a $10 gift card (a better value). If you wait until you have 50 points, you can earn about $50 in gift cards per year, and there are several different gift cards that you can choose from.

In my opinion, MobileXpression is one of the easiest ways to earn free gift cards. You don’t need to do anything except install the app and occasionally open the app to claim your points.

Sign up for MobileXpression here.

3. InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus)

InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks in a lot of ways. After you sign up for InboxDollars there are several different things you can do to make money, including taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and trying a variety of different offers. You can also make money by using InboxDollars as a search engine. You can set it as your homepage or set it as your search engine in the Chrome browser.

The money that you earn from InboxDollars can be redeemed in the form of a check or a gift card (there is a $3 processing fee for any payout).

Like Swagbucks, the amount that you’ll make from InboxDollars depends on how active you are and how many different ways you are trying to earn money.

Sign up for InboxDollars and get a $5 bonus.

4. MyPoints ($10 signup bonus)

MyPoints is also similar to Swagbucks and InboxDollars (all three are owned by the same parent company). With a free MyPoints account, you can earn points for things like watching videos, playing games, taking surveys, printing coupons, shopping online, and more.

Once you’ve racked up some points, you can redeem them for prizes like a wide selection of gift cards.

Sign up for MyPoints and get a $10 bonus.

5. UpVoice

UpVoice will pay you (up to $70+ per year) for visiting popular websites like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and LinkedIn. You’re not going to get rich with UpVoice, but money doesn’t get much easier than this.

All you need to do is sign up with UpVoice (you’ll need a Facebook account) and then you’ll install a Google Chrome extension. The extension will track everything, so you simply visit these sites that you probably already visit, and you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards.

Sign up for UpVoice here

6. Nielsen Digital Voice

Nielsen is a research company that gathers data on internet usage (you may be familiar with the Nielsen TV ratings). They are willing to pay you to install their app on your computer or mobile device (tablet or smartphone). The app will collect your browsing data, but will not collect or store personal or sensitive data.

If you don’t mind sharing your data for research purposes, this could be a way to make some serious money. As a participant, you will be entered into their $10,000 monthly giveaway.

The best thing about Nielsen Digital Voice is that it takes no additional work after you install the app.

Sign up for Nielsen Digital Voice here.

7. Microsoft Rewards

Microsoft Rewards is a program that allows you to earn points just by using the Bing search engine. You’ll need to register for Microsoft Rewards, and then you just need to be logged in when you are searching. As long as you’re logged in, you’ll earn points for searches on Bing.

There is a maximum number of points that you can earn per day from searches, and that number increases when you reach different levels. At the start, you can earn up to 50 points per day from searching (5 points per search). At higher levels, you can earn points for up to 50 searches per day. Once you’ve reached 5,000 points you can redeem them for a $5 gift card.

Obviously, you’re not going to make a ton of money with Microsoft Rewards, but Bing is a good search engine so it’s easy to earn these points.

Sign up for Microsoft Rewards here.

8. Qmee

Qmee offers a browser extension that will show select ads when you search. You can make money by clicking on the ads. You don’t have to use a different search engine, it works on Google, Bing, Amazon, Ebay, and more. The ads will appear on the side of your browser. It’s a really easy way to make some extra money from the browsing and searching that you already do.

There are also some other ways you can make money through Qmee, like taking surveys on a mobile device.

Sign up for Qmee here.

9. Work as a Search Engine Evaluator

Did you know that you can get paid to evaluate the results of a search engine? It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not. Companies like Appen, Lionbridge, and iSoftStone hire people like you for search engine evaluator jobs.

This opportunity is a lot different from the others listed earlier where you are just getting paid or earning rewards from the searching and browsing that you’re already doing. This job involves real work, but the work includes searching and surfing the internet. Because it involves real work, it also allows you to make more money that options listed earlier, so if you’re looking for something more substantial, this can be a great choice.

More Articles on Ways to Make Money:

10. Test Websites

Another option that involves some work is to get paid to test websites. Many businesses are willing to pay people in order to get feedback about their website. The testing may take as little as a few minutes, or it could take 30 minutes or more. In many cases, you’ll need a microphone (the built-in mic on most laptops will work fine) and the testing will include recording a video of you using the website. You’ll need to do some specific things on the website and share your experience and your feedback. Overall, it’s a pretty easy way to make some extra money online.

There are several different sites where you can sign up for this work. Some of the best ones are WhatUsersDoUserfeel, and User Testing. You can earn $5 – $60 per test, which makes it a great side hustle!

11. Sell Your Junk Email

The Small Business Knowledge Center will pay you for sharing your junk mail and junk email. Apply to their program and you could start making money from the emails that flood your inbox every day.

They are interested in your mail and email from many different categories for research purposes. Participants can earn as much as $20 every 6-10 weeks. If you’re a business owner or self-employed, you could earn even faster.

12. Perform Online Tasks

One of the easiest and most flexible ways to make money online is to perform various tasks through sites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, Clickworker, and Figure Eight. There are some differences between these sites, but they offer essentially the same thing. You can sign up and work whenever you want, as much or as little as you want. There are different tasks (or micro tasks) that you can complete, and you’ll be paid a small amount for each of them.

Most of the tasks are small and quick, so if you’re an active user of these sites you’ll probably complete a lot of tasks. The types of tasks will vary, but it can include things like categorizing data, moderating content, taking short surveys, etc.

While it’s certainly not the most lucrative side hustle, tasking is very flexible and people with all different backgrounds and experience levels can do it. You can work on the tasks around your schedule, whenever it fits in.

13. Research for Wonder

Through Wonder, you can get paid to do online research. You can sign up for free and work whenever it fits into your schedule. When you are able to work, you’ll login to the dashboard and Wonder will assign you some work. You’ll do some research to find answers and sources, and then submit your findings. You’ll be paid for any completed work.

In order to be accepted and eligible for work, you’ll need to pass a simple online quiz and complete a trial assignment.

Sign up for Wonder here.


If you’re looking to make a little extra money while you’re surfing the internet, be sure to try out the suggestions listed here.

As I mentioned in the intro, you’re not going to make loads of money with any of these options, but these are flexible opportunities that anyone can use to make something extra. If you’re looking for a more significant income, please see our list of side hustle ideas or take the free side hustle quiz to find your ideal side hustle.

How to Get Paid to Surf the Web

The post 13 Best Ways to Get Paid to Surf the Web appeared first on Vital Dollar.

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15 Little Changes That Will Have a BIG Impact on Your Budget Wed, 13 Nov 2019 12:30:24 +0000 This article is sponsored by Tello. All opinions are my own. While there are plenty of ways to save money, not all of them are equal. Some money-saving methods involve many hours of work, and others may be simple, but they have minimal impact. But thankfully there are some easy ways to have a real […]

The post 15 Little Changes That Will Have a BIG Impact on Your Budget appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Little Changes That Will Have a Big Impact on Your Budget

This article is sponsored by Tello. All opinions are my own.

While there are plenty of ways to save money, not all of them are equal.

Some money-saving methods involve many hours of work, and others may be simple, but they have minimal impact.

But thankfully there are some easy ways to have a real impact on your budget without the need for a lot of time or effort to set up.

This article covers 15 things that require minimal effort but produce significant results. If you’re looking to reduce your monthly expenses or have more breathing room in your budget, be sure to try these methods.

1. Cancel Cable TV

If you’re spending money for cable or satellite TV, you could be saving a significant amount every month by making a simple change. There are many excellent cable alternatives available. You can choose one that gives you access to the shows and channels that you want, and it won’t have a major impact on your life, aside from the money that it saves.

Options like Sling allow you to watch live TV at a fraction of the price of cable, while other alternatives like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video offer a large library of TV shows and movies that you can watch at any time.

By making the switch, you can easily save hundreds of dollars per year.

2. Switch Wireless Providers


Another “easy win” is to change wireless providers for your mobile phone coverage. Leading carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Spring, and T-Mobile may serve the majority of customers, but discount providers also offer excellent coverage at a much lower price.

Tello offers wireless service with no contracts and monthly prices as low as $5. You can choose the plan that meets your needs so you get exactly what you want, and you pay for nothing more.

An unlimited talk and text plan with no data costs just $8 per month with Tello. You can get unlimited talk and text with 4 GB of data for $19 per month. They have several different plans available, or you can build your own plan to get exactly what you want.

Not only will Tello save you hundreds of dollars per year (or more), but you’ll also get great coverage. Tello wireless services are provided on the Nationwide Sprint Network®. With the combination of amazing prices and services on one of the leading networks, switching to Tello makes a lot of sense. And since they have no contracts, you’re not locked into anything.

When you make the move to Tello, you can either choose a new phone from their selection or continue to use your existing phone (if it is compatible).

Check out Tello’s plans to see how much you can save.

3. Let Professionals Negotiate Your Bills

No one likes paying monthly bills for things like cable TV, internet, phone, and other utilities. What if you could easily save money on those bills every month, and it only took a minute of your time to set up?

Both Trim and Truebill offer bill negotiation services that can help you to save money each and every month.

If you’ve ever tried negotiating bills on your own, you know that it can be a frustrating experience. But with the help of professional negotiators, you can let them do the work and be ensured that you’re getting the best rates possible. And there is no charge for the negotiating services unless they are able to save you money (they’ll charge a percentage of the amount that they save you).

→ Sign up for Trim here or Truebill here.

4. Make Your Free Time More Productive

What would an extra $300 per month mean to you? How would your budget change if you were able to make an extra $300?

While it may not seem like a huge amount of money, that extra $300 can have a huge impact in a few different ways. First, you could save more towards retirement or short-term savings goals. Second, you could use the money to pay down debt faster. Third, you could put it towards other bills and create a little more breathing room in the budget.

Fortunately, making an extra $300 per month is not that difficult. (I’ve chosen $300 because it’s a realistic number, but your results could be higher or lower.) If you simply use some of your free time in product ways, you can make that amount without too much difficulty.

Here are some of the best ways to make money in your spare time:

  • Mistplay – This free app will pay you for playing games. What better way is there to earn extra money?!
  • Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus) – Make money by taking surveys, playing games, trying apps, shopping online, and more.
  • MyPoints ($10 signup bonus) – Very similar to Swagbucks. Make money with several different easy tasks.
  • InboxDollars ($5 signup bonus) – Another option for making money with surveys, other small tasks, and special offers.
  • Survey Junkie – The best site that focuses exclusively on paid survey opportunities.

And if you’re not interested in these options, there are plenty of side hustle ideas that you could pursue if you want to monetize your spare time.

5. Take Advantage of Easy Passive Income Opportunities

While the options listed in the previous point are great ways to make some extra money with a little bit of effort, there are also a few ways that you can make some extra money with almost no effort at all.

These easy passive income opportunities aren’t going to make you rich, but since they require essentially no effort on your part, they can still present great opportunities.

  • MobileXpression – This is another research company that will pay you for access to your mobile browsing data. You can earn about $50 per year in your choice of gift cards.
  • UpVoice – This Google Chrome extension allows you to earn $75 or more in your first year, just for visiting sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon, and others.

6. Adjust Your Grocery Shopping Habits

Grocery Shopping

Food and groceries account for a significant part of the budget for most households. As one of the bigger line items in your budget, saving some money here can have a noticeable impact on your overall expenses, and money that you save on groceries can be used for other things.

While there are a lot of ways to save money on groceries, some of them require more effort (like couponing) than others. Here are two ways that you can easily cut your grocery bills with no extra effort.

Shop at Discount Grocery Stores – Where you shop will have a big impact on how much you pay. Shopping at discount stores like Aldi, WinCo, and Lidl can make a huge impact on your grocery expenses every week/month. It’s a small adjustment to your normal routine, but it can save you a lot of money.

Buy Generic Groceries – If you buy a lot of name brand groceries, you can easily cut your bill significantly by purchasing more generic items instead. Stores like Aldi and Lidl sell a lot of generic private label brands at extremely low prices. Most of us have a few products that we prefer in the name brand version, but opting for generic products whenever possible is one of the best ways to save on groceries.

7. Use Meal Plans to Dictate Your Shopping List

How do you do your grocery shopping? Do you shop off of a list, and if so, how do you create that list?

Another extremely effective way to cut your grocery expenses is to use meal planning to create your shopping list. If you plan your meals for the week, you can buy exactly what you need and nothing more. You’ll be able to eat the food that you purchase (reducing waste) and stop spending money on things you don’t need.

To learn more, please read How to Create a Weekly Meal Plan.

8. Take Advantage of Cashback Apps

Saving money on the things you need to buy is a perfect way to create a little extra room in your budget. Fortunately, there are several websites and apps that make it very easy to save on many of the purchases that you already make.

  • Rakuten – Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) makes it easy to earn cash back on purchases at thousands of partner websites, as well as some in-store purchases. With the Rakuten browser extension, you will be notified whenever you are on a site that participates in their program and all you need to do is click a button in order to earn cashback.
  • TopCashback – TopCashback is very similar to Rakuten. Although it is not as well known, TopCashback also has thousands of partners, and in some cases you’ll be able to earn more cashback than you can earn through Rakuten. You can use both programs and purchase through the one with the best offer.
  • Ibotta – Ibotta is a great cash back app that allows you to save on purchases at grocery stores, Walmart, and many other retail stores. Browse the available offers and see which ones match up with your shopping needs.
  • Drop – When you sign up for Drop, you’ll link the app to your credit cards and/or debit cards. When you make a purchase with a linked card at a participating store/restaurant, you’ll automatically earn cashback. They also have special offers that can allow you to rack up points that can be redeemed for your choice of gift cards.
  • Dosh – Dosh is similar to Drop in the way it links to your credit or debit cards and automatically pays cashback on eligible purchases. Dosh also offers cashback for purchasing hotel rooms through the app.

Using a few cashback apps can easily save you at least a few hundred dollars per year, and maybe more, depending on the purchases that you make. Of course, you don’t want to start spending extra money because of cashback offers, but using these apps for your necessary purchases is a no-brainer.

9. Shop with the Best Rewards Credit Cards

If you like cashback apps and websites, you’ll love cashback and rewards credit cards. While cashback apps allow you to save on many of your purchases, rewards and cashback credit cards allow you to save money on all of your purchases.

And best of all, you can use apps and credit cards together to stack rewards on multiple levels for the same purchases.

There are several different types of rewards credit cards, and it’s possible that you may use a few different cards in order to maximize the rewards you earn from each purchase. Some cashback cards pay a flat percentage of cashback from every purchase, while others allow you to earn more cashback from purchases in certain categories, and others have rotating categories that will earn the most cashback. And if you travel a lot, you may prefer a travel rewards credit card that allows you to save money on travel instead of redeeming the rewards as cashback.

See our lists of the best cashback credit cards and the best travel rewards credit cards to find the best cards for you.

10. Shop for Better Insurance Rates

How many different insurance policies do you have? Between homeowner’s/renter’s, auto, life, health, disability, and others, most of us have several insurance policies. When was the last time you checked to see if your premiums are competitive?

Comparison shopping for insurance policies is fairly easy. At you can easily and quickly compare quotes for many different types of insurance. With just a few minutes of your time, you can check to see if you’re able to find comparable plans with lower premiums.

With several different policies, insurance premiums can add up to a significant expense each month. Lowering those premiums can have a big impact on your overall budget, and since it only takes a few minutes to check, there’s no reason not to try it.

11. Sell Things You Don’t Need

Most of us have a lot of stuff sitting around our house that we don’t use very often. You might not think about it, but those items that are just collecting dust could have real value to someone else.

Fortunately, there are a lot of selling apps and websites that make it easy to sell your unwanted and unneeded stuff. You can make some extra money quickly and declutter your house at the same time.

Don’t think you have anything to sell? Check out my article What Can I Sell? for 30 ideas.

12. Rent Out Your Stuff

Selling things isn’t the only way to make money from your stuff. Depending on what you own, renting it out to others may be a better option.

There are plenty of opportunities for renting things like:

  • Baby gear
  • Your car
  • A spare bedroom
  • Storage space
  • An RV
  • And much more

Renting out your things can be a great way to make passive income and to turn your stuff into income-producing assets. This can be a great way to earn a little bit of extra money, or you could take it further and make it a side hustle that brings in consistent income outside of a job.

For plenty of ideas and some tips to get you started, see my article 20 Things You Can Rent Out for Extra Money.

13. Switch Utility Providers


Depending on where you live, you may be able to save money very easily by switching to a different company for your electricity or natural gas. There will be no difference in the quality or consistency of the service, but you might be able to save money each month with very little effort. helps you to find the best rates available in your area and compare offers. In some cases, you may even qualify for a signup bonus. If you live in a deregulated state, it is absolutely worth the 5 minutes it will take to check and compare rates.

14. Refinance Your Student Loans

Do you have student loan debt? If so, refinancing that debt may allow you to lower your monthly payment and free up more room in your budget for other things.

Credible is an online marketplace that allows you to check offers from multiple lenders very quickly and easily. It takes just a couple of minutes and you may be able to significantly reduce the monthly payment on your student loans.

15. Do It Yourself

Take a look at your current budget and the types of expenses that you have. Are there things that you could do yourself instead of hiring someone to do it for you?

Things like cleaning, mowing, and landscaping are perfect opportunities to save money by taking a DIY approach.

Of course, doing it yourself will take some time, but if freeing up some room in your budget is the goal, the DIY approach can be a big help. Depending on what services you are currently hiring others for, doing it yourself may save you hundreds of dollars each month.


This article has covered many different ideas and suggestions. If you’re looking to create some breathing room in your budget, pick a few of these options that seem like they could be a good fit for you.

My top recommendations would be the ones that can save a significant amount of money each month, like canceling cable, switching to Tello for your wireless services, and reducing your insurance premiums. With just a small amount of effort, you may be able to make a real impact on your budget with minimal disruption for your life.

15 Little Changes That Will Have a BIG Impact on Your Budget

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25+ Easiest Things to Flip for Profit Mon, 11 Nov 2019 10:08:19 +0000 If you’re looking for a great side hustle, flipping items for cash may be the perfect option. Just about anyone can do it, and there’s plenty of opportunities. You don’t need a lot of experience or skill, although as you go you’ll get better and more profitable by becoming familiar with the going rates for […]

The post 25+ Easiest Things to Flip for Profit appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Easiest Things to Flip for Profit

If you’re looking for a great side hustle, flipping items for cash may be the perfect option. Just about anyone can do it, and there’s plenty of opportunities. You don’t need a lot of experience or skill, although as you go you’ll get better and more profitable by becoming familiar with the going rates for different types of items.

Flipping is possible to do in your spare time, like heading to some yard sales on a Saturday. You can make it work with just about any schedule.

Also important, you can start making money fast! Many side hustles require you to put in a lot of work before seeing any results, but that’s not the case with flipping.

In this article we’ll take a look at the best types of items and products to buy and resell, as well as where to find them, where to sell them, and some tips for success. You’ll find the easiest things to flip for profit below.

Looking for Some Other Ways to Make Extra Money?

Swagbucks allows you to earn money in your spare time by doing simple things like taking online surveys, watching videos, playing games, searching the internet, and more (and get a $5 bonus just for signing up).

Survey Junkie is one of the best sites for making money with easy online surveys. Earn cash in your spare time by sharing your opinions.

Mistplay is an Android app that allows you to earn rewards just for playing games. You’ll get your choice of gift cards and you’ll have fun doing it!

Best Things to Flip to Make Money Fast

In order to have success as a flipper you need to know which items you will have a good chance of reselling for a profit. Some items are better than others, and here you’ll find a list of more than 25 items that are typically pretty good options for flipping. Of course, a lot of your success will depend on how much you pay for an item.

1. Wood Furniture

Wood furniture can be a great item to resale for a few reasons. Quality wood furniture can last for decades, so even if it needs to be re-finished there is a lot of potential for profit and a market willing to buy it. Also, it’s fairly easy to find people’s unwanted, old furniture. If you know what you’re looking for it’s not that hard to find wood furniture that you can flip for a profit.

→ Related reading: Flipping Furniture for Profit

2. Upholstered Furniture

Likewise, upholstered furniture can also be profitable to flip. The possibilities here are to clean the upholstery yourself and make it look much better, or get it reupholstered. Reupholstering can cost some money, but it may make the furniture look like new.

3. Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture can also have some value if you find something that is in pretty good condition. Many people will not place much value on their used outdoor furniture and simply get rid of it or sell it for a low price.

4. Antiques

Antiques are easily one of the most profitable things to flip. Of course, this is a broad category that can include a lot of different things. The best way to make money with antiques is to get familiar with the market and the types of items that sell. You’ll need to know the value of items that you buy and the best way to make money is to be more knowledgeable than the person selling the item.

5. Collectibles

Anything collectible is possible to flip for profit (assuming you buy it at the right price). This could include antiques, but not all collectibles are antiques. The most valuable collectibles will have fans who are very passionate about the item or brand.

6. Motorized Items

Dirt bikes, 4-wheelers (quads), ATVs, golf carts, jet skis, snowmobiles, and other motorized items are excellent possibilities for flipping. Sometimes you’ll find people who no longer use these items looking to sell them for very low prices. Maybe they are moving, replaced it with a newer model, or simply don’t use it. Regardless of the reason, you can benefit.

7. Appliances

Flipping appliances can be very profitable, although it’s not always easy. You can often get used appliances for great prices because most people simply want to get rid of them when they’re no longer being used. People usually don’t want the hassle of moving big appliances and trying to sell them. If you’re willing to deal with the hassle and you have a truck or trailer to move the appliance, there is a great opportunity for profit.

8. Records and Record Players

Although technology has moved on, there is still a demand for records and record players. You may be able to find them selling for low prices at yard sales.

9. Vintage Electronics

Some vintage electronics like Walkmans, cassette players, and VCRs can be sold for a profit. Many people assume these items have no value, so you may be able to find them for very cheap prices.

10. Photography Gear

Cameras and lenses, and even some accessories like tripods, can retain value. Lenses especially, because they can be used for many years if they’re in good condition. Vintage photography gear can definitely have value, and even non-vintage used gear can be resold for good prices. There is a strong market for used photography equipment. It can be an expensive hobby, so you’ll find many photographers are used to spending a lot of money on gear.

11. Clothes and Shoes

Clothes and shoes can be great items to flip, but it really depends on the specifics. Name brands and designer labels will bring the best prices. Although you may need to dig through a lot of clothes to find the best brands, it is possible to find them being sold for cheap prices at yard sales and thrift stores.

Also, items with the tags still on can be great finds.

12. Cufflinks

This is a great item that you can find for cheap at yard sales and easily sell for a profit.

13. Vintage Eyeglasses

You may come across vintage glasses selling for low prices because it’s easy to think that they would have no value. But there are actually a lot of people who are willing to pay for them.

14. Concert T-Shirts

Concert t-shirts can be great collectible items. Once a tour is over the shirts will no longer be made or sold, so the only way to get one is to buy it second hand. Popular bands that are no longer around can be great for making a profit.

15. Bicycles

Bikes can be great for buying and reselling. There are a lot of them available at yard sales. Name brands and vintage bikes are the best options, but it’s possible to make money with others as well. In some cases you’ll need to clean it up and maybe do some minor repair to get it to sell for top dollar.

16. Strollers

Strollers and other baby items can be great to resell. There are always parents who are looking to sell things that have been outgrown or are no longer needed. Likewise, there will always be other parents looking to save some money by buying used instead of new. Name brand strollers can be a good option, but other baby items can be good too.

17. Sporting Goods & Equipment

Sporting goods can be found for sale at many yard sales and thrift shops. Some of them have value if they are in good shape and you can get it at the right price.

18. Sports Jerseys

Sports fans love to have jerseys for their favorite teams and players. Vintage jerseys are also extremely popular.

19. Sports Memorabilia

Aside from jerseys, other sports memorabilia can also be worth flipping.

20. Vintage Sportswear

Vintage sportswear from name brands like Nike and Adidas can sell for much more than what you’ll pay at a yard sale.

21. Collectible Toys

Have you ever gone into a used or vintage toy store and been depressed by the value of all the toys you used to own? Many collectible toys are worth good money, especially if you happen to find them in the original packaging, which is rare. Even if they’re not vintage, some toys have good enough value to be flipped, like some Lego sets.

22. Vintage Board Games

If they are in decent condition, old board games can be good options for flipping. Many people have them sitting around in their basement or a closet, so it’s possible to find them at a yard sale.

23. Video Games and Consoles

You may be surprised at the market for old video games and consoles. The vintage games and systems can be collectible items and some will bring a nice price. Despite this, many people assume they have no value and practically give them away at yard sales.

24. Car Parts

If you’re knowledgeable about cars you can get cheap parts at a junkyard and resell them online.

25. Yard Equipment

You may be able to find things like lawn mowers and leaf blowers for very cheap, or even free. They may need repair, and many people would choose to buy a new one instead of fixing the one they already have. You may be able to find someone to do the repairs for cheap, or if you know what you’re doing you can do it yourself. You can also make money with things like metal rakes and other non-motorized yard tools. All of these items can be cleaned up to make them look much more presentable and to bring a higher price.

26. Power Tools

There is a great demand, and availability, for used power tools. People often sell them to declutter, when they’re moving, or when they buy a newer model. Other people look to buy used power tools when they need one for a specific job, or when they just want to save some money compared to buying new.

27. Book Sets

In general, selling used books won’t make you a ton of money. But the best possibility is to sell books in a set or series (think Harry Potter and other popular sets). If you see these books for sale individually at yard sales or thrift shops you can probably get them for very cheap. Keep them until you put together a full set, and then you can flip the set for profit.

Where to Find Things to Flip for Profit

There are a lot of great places to find stuff that you can flip, including:

  • In your house, basement, garage, or shed
  • From friends or family who are cleaning out their homes
  • Yard sales, garage sales, rummage sales, and church sales
  • Thrift stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, Value Village, Savers, ReStore, St. Vincent DePaul, and community stores)
  • Flea markets
  • Auctions
  • Estate sales
  • Junkyard
  • Stuff people are throwing away (check the sidewalks on trash day)
  • Online (Ebay, Craigslist, OfferUp, Letgo, and more)

Where to Resell the Things You Want to Flip

Fortunately, there are a number of websites and apps that make it a lot easier to sell your stuff. Of course, you can also sell locally without using the internet.

  • Facebook Marketplace – you can move a lot of items quickly thanks to great exposure
  • Local yard sale Facebook groups – many towns and cities have local groups (be sure you follow the rules of the group)
  • Craigslist – a great free option that provides good exposure
  • Ebay – can sometimes bring higher prices, but you’ll also have fees
  • Poshmark – for selling clothes
  • Yard sale – if you have a lot of things to sell, a yard sale is a good option for moving many items quickly

For a more detailed look at the options, see my article 17 Apps and Websites to Help You Sell Your Stuff.

How to Get Started

Ok, so by now you’re probably convinced that buying and reselling can be a great way to start making some extra money. But how can you get started?

Start by Selling Things from Around Your House – The risk-free way to get started is to simply sell some things that you no longer use or need. Not only will you get rid of some clutter, but you can get some experience selling without the need to risk any money.

Invest the Money that You Make – The money that you make from selling your own items can be used to buy some things to flip. Since you’re using money that you’ve already made, you’re not at risk.

Focus on Something that You Know – While this article focusses on the best things to flip, that doesn’t mean that you should try to buy and sell all of these items. Ideally, you can find a few types of items that you’re already familiar with. That way you know when you’re getting a good deal and you’ll have a better chance of early success. Alternative, if you’re not really familiar with any of the types of items on the list, pick one that interests you and start to become familiar with it. Browse the Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and eBay to get an idea of typical prices. That way when you’re out at a yard sale or flea market you will have a better idea of what you might be able to sell it for.

Start Small and Work Your Way Up – At first, your goal should be to make a profit, even if you are buying and selling inexpensive items. As you get some experience, smaller profits may not be worth your time, so you’ll want to work your way up to more expensive items, which gives you the chance to make more money.

Tips for Successful Reselling

Here are a few quick tips to help you have success as a flipper.

1. Know What It’s Worth Before Buying

Probably the biggest key to success is knowing what something is worth before you buy it. If you don’t know at least a ballpark value, you’re just guessing. You can definitely have success with some individual items this way, but not consistently.

Of course, you’ll get better at this with more experience. It can also be really helpful to always have your phone on you. If you come across something interesting at a yard sale or flea market you can look it up on a few different websites or apps to see what it’s selling for.

2. Be Willing to Walk Away

If you can’t buy it at the right price, be willing to walk away. In some cases the person selling the item will come down on their price when you’re willing to walk away. And if they don’t, you’ll avoid overpaying for an item.

3. Focus on Things You Know

When you get started with flipping you may want to focus only on a few specific types of items that you know well. This is a good way to avoid bad purchases that you can’t resell for a profit. As you get more experience you’ll also get more comfortable and familiar with other types of items, and you can expand your horizons.

4. Multiply Your Results

If you find a really great item that you know you can flip for a profit, ask the seller if they have more. It’s an easy way to increase your profit, and you might be surprised at how often it works. Likewise, when you’re selling an item for a good profit you may want to ask the buyer if they would have use for more of the same or similar items. If so, you can go out and try to find more with confidence that you have an easy sale. This is often most effective with commercial equipment or collectibles.

5. Clean Up the Items

The appearance and condition will have a big impact on the price you get for used items. Simply cleaning up the item can make a huge difference. Depending on the item and the condition, you may want to do some minor things like touch up the paint.

6. Take Good Photos

For items that you are selling online, photos are critical. You don’t have to be a professional photographer, but just making a few small changes can drastically improve the quality of your photos.

First, make sure your photos are taken in good light. Poor lighting and dark photos are a common problem. I prefer natural light, but flash or a simple home photo studio can work for small items.

Second, pay attention to the background. Keep the backgrounds simple to avoid distractions.

Third, take a lot of photographs and from all angles. Include multiple photos in your listing. Especially with used items, buyers often want to see all sides of the item to know that there are no major flaws.

7. Create a Detailed Listing

When you’re creating a listing to sell an item online, be as detailed as possible. Be honest with any damage or imperfections with the item. Most people buying used items won’t expect it to be perfect, and if you’re upfront and honest they’ll be more likely to trust your listing. Try to answer questions that you can anticipate.

8. Answer Questions

Even though you want to anticipate questions that buyers are likely to ask and address them in your listing, you’ll still get other questions. Take time to answer questions if you want people to trust you as a seller.

9. Have Shipping Supplies on Hand

If you’re selling items online and shipping them to buyers, it’s helpful if you have some common shipping supplies on hand and ready to use. Boxes of different sizes, quality shipping tape, and clear poly bags are all things that you may use a lot.

Free Workshop for Profitable Flipping
This free workshop (75 minutes) will show you how to start a profitable reselling business in as little as 14 days. Learn the insider secrets that will help you to achieve success and start making money quickly. Register for the workshop here.

READ NEXT: How to Make Money by Selling Your Stuff

The Easiest Things to Flip for Profit (Infographic)

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