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Alright, bros, real-talk time. I can’t lie to you and say becoming financially independent is easy just for the sake of a motivational blog post. It’s really freakin’ hard, and it takes a lot of money to live comfortably nowadays. It’s left basically everyone I know feeling discouraged, frustrated…
…uninspired, if you will.
One job doesn’t cut it anymore. Not only does a millennial need a good, solid income stream obtained after years and years of grueling education, she also needs a side hustle. A good side hustle is something low-maintenance, or something you enjoy doing that also supplements your income. Take me for example: I’m a substitute teacher, which is my main source of income. BUT, that only gives me $100/day, and I’m trying to move out in the next three years. So, I have side hustles. For one thing, I tutor. And quite obviously, I blog (which made me $140 in June, I’ll pause for your applause). And finally, I utilize some seriously awesome apps.
So like, how many years away is the day when you can stop hoarding Chik-fil-A sauce packets and napkins?
Fewer than you think, friends!
The best thing about each of these apps and websites is that you can use many of them while you’re sitting on your couch watching TV. That’s pretty much what I look for in a great side hustle. Again– very low maintenance is the goal. So, without further ado, here are NINE low-maintenance ways to make money online so you can get that much closer to financial independence.
Side Hustle 1: Swagbucks
Swagbucks is an uber-millennial website, as you can tell by the name, so they totally understand the need for a side hustle. The way it works is that you earn points by doing things on their site, and your points get you free gift cards! You can shop online, answer surveys, watch videos, and browse deals around the web. You can even use their search engine feature to earn! Also– you can be notified every time they release a “swag code,” which is a quick and easy way to earn a couple more points.
One of my favorite ways to earn is by using their cashback feature. If I’m shopping online, they’ll ask me to activate cashback, and they’ll give me a percentage of my purchase back in SB! It’s a great way to make money off the things you already do.
One SB is worth about a penny. So, right now, I have 6,200 SB, which equals about $62. I can redeem that in the store for gift cards to places like:
- Dunkin Donuts
You can even redeem your SB for a Paypal, Visa, or MasterCard gift card! That’s straight up cash!
Side Hustle 2: Ibotta
Ibotta is an app you can download to your phone that gives you cashback where you wouldn’t normally get it! You unlock rebates on the app, and then shop as you normally would. When you get home, you scan your receipt, and if the items you unlocked are on the receipt, you get cash back! The great part about it is that you don’t redeem gift cards, you can send your earnings right to Paypal or Venmo! It’s eeeasy cash, and full of big name retailers, so you’ll be sure to make good use of it. You’ll find:
- ShopRite, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, Acme, Giant, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, and waaay more grocery options.
- Target, Walmart, Kmart, BJ’s, Costco, and Sam’s Club
- Wawa, Sheetz, 7-11, and QuickChek
- Gap, J Crew, Levi’s , Michael Kors, Ugg, and Urban Outfitters
- Uber, Groupon, and Amazon
Sometimes, they’ll even have very vague rebates that you can redeem at “any restaurant” or “any gas station.” Or, sometimes it’s not a brand, but you can get a rebate back on just general “apples,” or “milk.” I would call this less of a side hustle and more of a way to save, but you’re still getting money every time you shop! The best part is– you get $5 just for signing up! Seriously, they’re paying you to sign up. So click that link up at the top there and collect that cash!
Side Hustle 3: DailyBreak
DailyBreak gives you rewards for reading their news articles, or doing activities created by their sponsors. Each article or activity has a point value, and you’re trying to reach different levels of “breaks.” You start as a “coffee breaker,” then you move up to a “lunch breaker” then a “weekend breaker,” all the way up until you’re on summer break. Each level unlocks different rewards. It’s the cutest and most well-thought-out concept of all the sites I’m showing you today. And it’s a great side hustle because it’s one of those that you can do from your couch. Here’s what you can earn, though the exact rewards are to remain a surprise until you’ve unlocked them:
- Lunch Breakers are eligible for magazine subscriptions and $5 gift cards to Target or Amazon
- Weekend Breakers can get medium level gifts cards, $25, for places like Dunkin Donuts or AMC movie theaters
- Spring and Summer Breakers can get themselves some high level gift cards, though they haven’t been revealed to me yet! I will update this post when I’m a Spring Breaker and let you guys know!
DailyBreak also has sweepstakes, which I don’t highly recommend because you spend your points on them. However, if you enter one and happen to win, you can get some great stuff. $100 Amazon gift cards, electronics, kitchen appliances, etc. Click on the title “Dailybreak” to sign up and start earning those breaks!
Side Hustle 4: Shopkick
ShopKick is a cool side hustle because all you have to do is have the app open when you walk into a store. Yup, walk into Target, 35 kicks. Walk into T.J. Maxx? 50 kicks. Then, you get more kicks for scanning certain items with your phone while you’re in the store. They give you a list of all the things you can scan for kicks, and when you walk past them while you’re shopping, you just open up the Shopkick scanner and bam! You earned yourself another 25 kicks! Finally, if you buy the products on the list for that store, you can get even more.
In addition, they also have great little product recommendations every day. You can look through all the collections and save the products you like to different lists, sort of like Pinterest. And a bonus– sometimes there are hidden kicks in those collections!
So, what can you cash your kicks in for?
- Walmart, Target, Old Navy, T.J. Maxx, JCPenny, and Footlocker gift cards
- American Eagle, Aerie, Saks Off Fifth, Tori Burch, and Tiffany & Co. gift cards
- Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us, and Fandango gift cards
- Electronics like Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, A Samsung 32″ Smart TV, or iPad Air
- Kitchen gadgets like the highly coveted KitchenAid Mixer.
If you’re ready to sign up, just click on my referral link at the top of this section!
Side Hustle 5: Inbox Dollars
The fifth side hustle I’ve got for you is called Inbox Dollars, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like! They send you emails with free money inside! Of course, there’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist.
The claim to fame is that they send you promotional emails once or twice a day, and clicking “confirm” on them gives you two cents per email. Not a lot, of course, but you barely had to lift a finger for it! Takes more effort to pick two pennies up off the ground. And then, in addition to that, there are also tons of other ways to earn more. Like Swagbucks, you can also earn on Inbox Dollars by answering surveys, watching videos, and browsing the web for offers you might like. And like Ibotta, you get a no-strings-attached $5 just for signing up! You can’t beat that. Except with $6. But we’re not talking about that.
Side Hustle 6: Field Agent
Field Agent is a different kinda side hustle than the rest because it’s a mystery shop app. You earn your cash by going to a store and stealthily taking pictures and/or answering questions about what’s available.
It’s riskier business because it sometimes requires talking to employees or looking kinda funny, but the payout is good! You can get up to around $15 for jobs. Often the payout starts small and if no one takes it, they raise it until someone does. You can get $15 in like fifteen minutes! I don’t know many jobs that pay at that rate! The only downside to this app is that sometimes you can put in the work, and the job can be rejected if your photos are blurry or otherwise not to their liking. It doesn’t happen often if you’re careful, but in the interest of full disclosure, I wanted you to know! I want to build trust with you, so I’m not just here to list all the good stuff and none of the bad.
As with Inbox Dollars and Ibotta, you’re getting actual cash with Field Agent, not gift cards. Aaaand you can cash out any time- no thresholds! If you wanna transfer that two dollars over to Paypal, nobody’s gonna stop you, boo. Nobody’s even gonna give you that pity look. We get it. We’re one in the same here.
Side Hustle 7: Ebates
Ebates is probably the most famous side hustle on this list. You’ve probably seen commercials for it! All the happy women who have earned hundreds of dollars from Ebates smiling ear-to-ear in their beautiful kitchens soaked in natural light. Ebates is great, but I won’t lie, I’m nowhere near making hundreds of dollars.
It’s basically a cashback website, like Ibotta, but web-based, not app-based. When you shop online at any of their thousands of stores, a popup will appear asking you to activate Ebates for this shopping trip. Then, you just shop normally! Your cashback will be applied, and you can see your earnings on the website.
The website is also great because you can see the list of all the available stores, and the percentage of cashback they’re offering! So, if you’re shopping for a particular item, you can compare your options and choose the one that’ll give you the most back.
Side Hustle 8: Qmee
Qmee is a new side hustle that I’ve been trying out for a few months. So far, I’ve barely earned anything (there’s $1.41 in my Qmee piggy bank right now), but it’s the lowest maintenance of all the options I’m giving you. And what’s the mark of a good side hustle again? That’s right. It’s low maintenance.
So, Qmee is a plugin that you add to your browser. When you search for things on Google, sometimes Qmee will pop up with its own results. If you click on the sponsored Qmee results, you get about 7-8 cents. I’ve learned that you can go back and click a second result, getting you another 7-8 cents, but the banner will disappear after that. They’re very good at picking up when people are taking advantage. Of, y’know, the seven cents.
They have recently added a survey section, and an Invite Friends section, so it seems as though they’re branching out. The link to the site isn’t an affiliate or referral link though, because you have to be invited to be able to invite your friends, and sadly I’m not in the club yet. It must be because I speak so highly of them.
Side Hustle 9: ShopTracker
I just started using ShopTracker, but it seems like a sweet deal to me! As the name suggests, it is tracking your shopping habits. You install a program on your computer that keeps track of your Amazon shop history, and they send you gift cards for it! Yup– every month that you keep the program installed, you get a sweet little $3 Visa gift card to use whenever you’d like.
ShopTracker is a safe side hustle, because it’s run by Harris Poll Online, a really big online survey group. They keep your private information private– they just want to see what you’re ordering from Amazon, and when. And it’s great because you can install it and forget about it! At least, until you get that gift card in your inbox!