How much money do you have set aside in your emergency fund for an unexpected vet bill or auto breakdown? What about holiday giving or a vacation? Not to mention medical expenses, college tuition, and retirement.
Whatever your stage of financial planning, growing (and getting) your funds can be overwhelming.
Instead of focusing on hundreds or thousands of dollars, concentrate on smaller steps. Find little ways to set aside a few dollars here and there, and the savings will really pile up.
Check out these easy, step-by-step tips to help you set aside money and build up over $5,000 in savings within one year.
And as an added bonus for InboxDollars members: sign up for select earning opportunities in this article from your InboxDollars account and earn additional cash bonuses. Earning opportunities that qualify for an InboxDollars cash bonus link directly to those offers.
Tip 1: Ditch Overdraft Fees AND Get Paid Up to 2 Days Before Payday with a Free Green Dot Bank Account
Green Dot is a new kind of bank. You can get paid up to 2 days earlier with ASAP Direct Deposit™ and earn 5% cash back on your purchases. With the Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit, you can earn up to $250 cash back annually.
Green Dot is a new kind of bank that puts you first. There are no overdraft or bounced check fees ever. With their ASAP Direct Deposit program, you can get your paycheck up to 2 days early and government benefits up to 4 days early.
Tip 2: Get Cash Back When Retailers Lower Prices!
Paribus is a fantastic tool for price tracking. It monitors when online retailers drop their prices. Prices drop on thousands of items every single day. If you make a $100 purchase at an online retailer that Paribus monitors, but then that retailer later lowers the price to $ 85, Paribus works to get you the cash difference refund. Easy peasy.
Tip 3: Get Paid for Sharing Your Opinions
Online survey companies and focus groups like LifePoints will pay you for completing surveys. They partner with brands and agencies who need access to consumers. Most surveys pay $0.50 to $5.00. Complete 2-3 surveys a day – while watching TV or waiting on friends – that’s an extra $1 a day or $ 365 by the end of the year. You can begin to make money taking surveys today!
Bonus: Sign up for via InboxDollars and earn an additional $2.00 for trying LifePoints.
Tip 4: Drive with Uber or Lyft
Driving with a rideshare service is a fun, flexible way to earn cash. To participate, you’ll need to be at least 21, have a clean driving record, and a qualifying vehicle.
With surge prices and the ability to set your own hours or schedule, you can work holidays, lucrative airport routes, the late-night bar rush, or whenever it fits into your schedule.
Work just 25 hours this year, and you could earn $375. On top of that, InboxDollars will pay you to sign up to drive with Uber and Lyft. Cash signup bonuses pay $100.
And for would-be drivers who don’t have a car (or don’t have a newer model car), you can still earn with Uber Eats. With UberEats, you deliver food when you want how you want: your car, bike, or scooter. Plus score tips on your deliveries. Sign up and make your first delivery, you’ll earn a cool $50.
Tip 5: Take Pictures of Your Receipts
There are some great apps there for saving money at supermarkets without clipping coupons. With apps like moolah and Checkout51, you earn cash back on your shopping trips.
In a given supermarket run, I can bank about $6 in cash rebates from these apps. With roughly 26 more shopping runs in a year, that adds up to an additional $156 in cash back.
Tip 6: Let Someone Borrow Your Spare Room for a Night or Two
If you’ve got an extra bedroom, transform it into extra cash by using Airbnb to rent it out. You don’t have to live in a large city to cash in. Just make sure that the extra room is available for high-demand periods like sports games, concerts, trade show, and more.
Keep in mind, a lot of travelers enjoy the personal engagement with a host they can find on Airbnb. Also, you will need to stock up on soap, towels, shampoos, and staple travel toiletries.
You’ll also need to look into the hosting laws in your state and your city.
If you rent out your place just 10x this year at $ 100 a night, you’ll bank $1,000. Plus InboxDollars will pay you $100 for signing up to be an Airbnb host.
Bonus: sign up to be an Airbnb host on InboxDollars and you’ll receive a $100 reward.
Tip 7: Cut the Cord, Ditch Cable
When curbing costs, a good place to start is the cable bill. Cutting the cord is easy – there are plenty of other options to get cable programming. Instead of paying $100/month for cable, switch to Sling TV, affordable and easy-to-use streaming services like.
Sling TV offers the same lineup of shows as dish or cable (like ESPN, HGTV, Fox News, CNN, Bravo), however, there’s no annual commitment. There’s no contract. It’s pay as you go for only $ 20 a month.
On average, users save $80/month by switching from cable or dish. That’s $960 a year.
Tip 8: Get Cash Back for Clipping Coupons
While I love saving money, I’m not a huge couponer. Getting hundreds of extra coupon inserts dropped off at my doorstep, and then endlessly clipping them out and planning elaborate store runs, has never appealed to me.
On the InboxDollars coupons page, they feature hundreds of daily grocery coupons each week from top brands. All the same coupons you’d get in the Sunday paper, but here you only have to print the ones you want to use. You redeem the in-store as usual.
Here’s the great thing: InboxDollars will pay you 10-cents for each coupon you redeem in store.
In a typical month, I’ll make three supermarket runs and redeem a few dozen coupons. With the coupons savings themselves (i.e. save $1.00 on dog food), I save an average of $26 a month. And for redeeming these coupons, I earn $ 3.50 a month or $42 a year.
Tip 9: Find Your Perfect Credit Card with YourCardSearch.com.
Sign up for YourCardSearch.com through InboxDollars and earn $0.25. Find your perfect credit card. Fast and easy card search with options for all credit types. You are bound to find one that works for you!
Tip 10: Declutter Your Home, Sell Your Stuff Online
You probably have closets, shelves (and even whole rooms) packed with stuff you never miss, use, or think about. (Heck, you probably don’t even know what’s inside most of those mystery boxes.)
There are a few great ways to declutter and make some extra dough.
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great ways to sell items to a more local market.
Virtually, anything can be sold on letgo. Snap a photo and upload your item in fewer than 30 seconds.
And finally, I’ve had good luck selling electronics on Decluttr.com. Decluttr is an online marketplace to buy or sell your used stuff. Sell CDs, DVDs, Games, Books, Cell Phones, and much more. Tell them what the item is you want to sell and then they’ll send you a shipping box. Once you ship the item they pay you money back!
Make a goal to sell 1 or 2 things a month and make an extra $10/month, that’s another $120/year saved.
Tip 11: Earn Cash Back for Shopping
When shopping online, I use the cash back rewards shopping feature on InboxDollars.
These companies partner directly with InboxDollars to get more site traffic and more sales. Brands will pay InboxDollars a small commission for sending them customers, and in turn, InboxDollars will share a portion of these earnings with you.
InboxDollars will pay you a cash back percentage of your total purchase amount from partner retailers like:
Since I’m a big fan of online shopping, I typically purchase most of my home goods, apparel, holiday and birthday presents, and travel expenses online.
In a given year, I’ll spend about $2,000 on apparel, gift giving, travel plans, contact lenses. That typically turns into $60 in cash rebates. Not a huge sum, but pretty great considering it’s free money for things I regularly purchase. If you’re a big online shopper, your cash back rebates could easily total $100 or more.
Tip 12: Babysitting
If you love hanging out with kiddos, you’re in luck: there are tons of PT babysitting gigs out there. Let your friends, family, and neighbors know that you’re available.
If you want to earn a certain rate or only want to deal with kids of a certain age group (no toddlers, please!), then turn to apps like Care.com or SitterCity. It will help you land babysitting gigs that fit your hours and skills and in your neighborhood. Some of these gigs pay close to $ 20/hour.
If you babysit for just 12 evenings this year (5 hours per evening) at $15 per hour, you’ll make $900.
Congrats! You’ve banked over $5,000 this year. But don’t stop there. Check out these other 12 Easy Ways to Earn with InboxDollars that you don’t know about (+Make an extra $60/month).