1. Earn free rewards while you shop

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Shopping for rewards.

The Fetch Rewards app lets you scan receipts to earn rewards.

Shop as you normally would, then scan your receipts. Earn points. Get rewards. It couldn’t be more simple.

When you buy popular household brands, ranging from Sun Chips to Huggies to Dove, you earn rewards points.

There are also special product offers you can purchase to earn more points. If you’re loving this new app, refer a friend or family member and you’ll both get 2,000 bonus points.

All you need to start redeeming is 3,000 points, and you can trade the points for everything from electronics to home goods to restaurants.

2. Shop around for insurance savings

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Find the best insurance for you and save money

Insurance can be one of those products you don’t necessarily want, but need. Getting the best rates can be tough, especially if you don’t know how much coverage to buy. Not to mention the pricing can be complicated.

An insurance comparison site such as EverQuote gives you a starting point to help match you with only relevant insurance options.

All you have to do is fill out an online form that takes less than two minutes, and then you’ll start receiving quotes from agents within your area.

And the best part is that these services are completely free.

It’s been estimated that EverQuote has saved consumers over $2 billion collectively over the last seven years.

3. Consolidate debt with a personal loan, even if you have bad credit

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Bad credit? A loan could still be within reach.

Taking out a loan can be a daunting task and not something you should do without thorough rate comparisons.

While doing research, you’ve probably run across article after article saying that bad credit usually means no loan approval.

That’s where OppLoans comes in. You can apply for a personal loan for up to $4,000 even if your credit score isn't great.

Bonus: Applying won’t affect your FICO® score.

4. Play games for real cash

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Have fun on your phone and earn cash

Market research company eMarketer found that the average U.S. adult will spend at least three hours on their phone per day. While that number seems fairly low, it starts to add up after a week.

If you’re already spending that much time on your phone, why not play a fun game with real people from around the world — and earn cash or prizes?

Blitz21 is an iOS app that combines Black Jack and Solitaire. It’s fast-paced, and all you have to do is combine cards to get to 21.

Bonus: Playing in mini-tournaments can win you thousands of dollars.

If you’re an Android user, there’s a chance for you to earn money too. It’s called Mistplay and you earn points while playing games.

You can discover new games in your "mixlist" and win Visa, Amazon or Starbucks gift cards and more.

5. Get gift cards for shopping your favorite brands

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Get all the gift cards you want

It doesn’t get much better than that, right?

An innovative app is called Drop allows you to start earning points immediately for every purchase you make, on all of the things you normally spend money on.

By ordering food, making travel plans or shopping at your favorite store, you earn points through Drop and redeem rewards. Rewards translate directly into gift cards.

Once you’re a member, you can link a debit or credit card, and you won’t need to scan any receipts.

6. Ditch forgotten subscriptions

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Don't let unecessary monthly payments rack up.

Chances are you or someone you know has a recurring subscription.

Whether it’s a monthly box delivered to your door or an ever-growing list of streaming services (dang it, Disney Plus), you probably have something you've forgotten to cancel and keep getting that surprise charge each month.

If you want to take control of your monthly spending habits, download Truebill.

It helps you manage your finances all in one place by giving you monthly reports, so you can cancel unwanted subscriptions and lower your bills.

Truebill says it has helped people dump subscriptions and save over $14 million.

7. Earn cash back on everyday purchases

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More free money.

While this idea might seem similar to Fetch Rewards or Drop, you don’t receive gift cards, but cash. And who doesn't love cash?

With the Ibotta app, all you have to do is look for offers, shop, upload your receipt, and you’ll receive cash within 24 hours — withdrawable via PayPal or Venmo, or taken as a gift card.

You also can save in store at popular retailers including Walmart and Target. Just find a participating retailer where you want to shop and add its offers into the app.

There are also bonuses, offering chances for you to earn extra cash. You can earn bonuses by redeeming your offers and referring friends and family.

Ibotta says its users can earn $20 to $25 per month, on average, meaning savings of between $240 and $300 a year.

8. $1 million life insurance — for as little as $3 a month

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Insurance can be affordable for everyone

Life insurance sounds like a heavy topic, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have loved ones, life insurance can protect them, financially, if something were to happen to you.

Buying insurance can be a long, taxing process, which is probably why a lot of people still don’t have the coverage.

This is where Bestow comes in. Bestow humanizes the process of getting life insurance down to a matter of minutes.

A Bestow application has four simple steps:

  1. You fill in basic information, including your name, email, address, Social Security number.
  2. You provide information about your life: citizenship, medical history, lifestyle and hobbies.
  3. You name your beneficiaries, the people who would receive the policy payouts in the event of the insured’s death.
  4. You enter policy and payment details. If approved, you choose the monthly payment and enter your credit card info.

Bestow offers short-term and long-term plans — two- , 10- and 20-year terms — for as little as $3 per month.

9. Give yourself a little credit

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Know how your credit score is doing.

It’s easy to go years without ever checking your credit score. That's not a good idea, even if checking your credit can be stressful. If you’ve ever missed payments or been late to pay bills, your credit was likely affected to some degree.

The handy app Credit Sesame can give you all the information you need about your credit score.

Credit Sesame provides personal credit management, and it’s easy to use and understand. With this app you can:

  • Easily access your credit score and credit monitoring — for free.
  • Understand your credit by discovering what affects it.
  • Leverage your credit by getting products based on your credit record.
  • Protect your credit with credit monitoring and ID protection.

It’s best to know where your credit stands so you can improve it if you have a low score, or keep doing what you’re doing if you have a high score.

10. Earn money just to keep an app running

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Earn money by just leaving your phone on.

Passive income has never been easier.

If you were thinking you’re too busy to earn some extra income, this app will be your new go-to.

It’s called Panel, and it's an app you leave running in the background on your phone.

All you have to do is install it on your mobile device and enable location services for Panel. You’ll immediately start earning points that you can exchange for rewards.

It isn’t going to make you rich, but you’ll probably earn an extra $5 to $10 a month. It brings passive to a whole new level.

11. Get up to 40% cash back while shopping

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spend money to get money

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is the massively popular cash-back portal. You can earn cash back on all sorts of things, food delivery, concert tickets, travel — and, of course, shopping.

After you’ve downloaded the app, you shop and browse offers. When you select the store where you want to shop, a list of deals, coupons and promo codes pops up, and you can see the percentage of cash back you're eligible to earn.

Rakuten has over 2,500 store partners and currently offers a $10 sign-up bonus. There are plenty of ways to earn.

And vacations? You can get cash back on airfare, car rentals, cruises and hotels, from popular sites such as Orbitz and Travelocity. Vacationing never sounded so sweet.

12. Investing in real estate — it’s cheaper than you think

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Start investing to save.

It’s no secret that investing in real estate can be costly right from the start. Not to mention, with possible renovations, upkeep and general maintenance on your property, it could be a while before you start generating some income.

Enter Fundrise, an app that lets you start investing in a portfolio of real estate properties for a minimum of $500. One of the main perks with Fundrise is that your real estate portfolio is managed on your behalf.

All it takes are five easy steps:

  1. Sign up: Open an account on the Fundrise website or mobile app.
  2. Select an account level and plan.
  3. Receive a real estate portfolio.
  4. Manage your account: Monitor and manage your information. You can view real-time returns, read in-depth project updates, set account goals, set up auto-invest and more.
  5. Profit: all your returns are deposited directly to your bank account.

So what are you waiting for? Start investing to start saving.

Currently the app is only available for iOS users

13. Ask this website to pay your credit card bill this month

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Stop wrestling with lingering debt.

You finally got paid, only to watch your paycheck get decimated by lingering credit card debt. Well, rejoice. There's a company that will pay your credit card bill this month. Yes, like, the whole bill.

A company called Fiona can help you pay off your card tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Fiona matches you with a low-interest debt consolidation loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have.

That leaves you with just one bill to pay every month, and the interest rates will be significantly lower than your credit card interest rates.

Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. You can compare loans online, and shopping for a loan won't affect your credit score. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars.

14. Instantly boost your credit score for free

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Having a higher credit score never hurts

Many Americans rarely check their credit scores, because they're probably afraid of what they'll find. But don't be depressed if you check your score and find its down in the dumps. There's a way to instantly boost your score.

It’s called Experian Boost, and it can raise your FICO® score by tracking and reporting on your regular utility and cellphone bill payments..

It’s easy to start an account. All that's required is a little information about you (name and address), and you’re ready to go.

Boosting your credit has never been easier.

15. Invest, in a way that's right for you

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Investing designed specifically for women.

A company called Ellevest is redefining the way women invest. It can be your new digital investment adviser.

The Ellevest investment algorithm uses your earnings, savings, age, education level and gender — and, by the way, both men and women are welcome to use the app — to create a personalized investing plan for your goals.

Currently, there are three service options to choose from:

  • Ellevest Digital, an online investment platform with no minimum balance and an annual advisory fee of 0.25% of your portfolio.
  • Ellevest Premium, an online investment platform with a $50,000 minimum balance and an annual advisory fee of 0.5% of your portfolio.
  • Ellevest Private Wealth Management, an investment service for clients with at least $1 million in investable assets.

While your investments aren’t free of fees and you’re charged monthly, the Ellevest financial professionals make themselves readily available to clients. Plus, the service builds an emergency fund for you free of charge.

16. Invest for as little as $1 per month

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And don’t forget your $5 bonus offer.

Investing in stocks can feel overwhelming. There are so many options and questions before you even start. If you get overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge you need to start investing, you’re not alone.

But what if you could start building your own portfolio and learn how to invest confidently?

That’s exactly what Stash has in mind.

After opening an investment account with Stash, you get a personal debit account. The service then allows you to earn Stock-Back™on Stash debit card purchases, so every purchase you make builds your portfolio.

If you’re wondering about that $1 per month, that’s how much the Stash Beginner plan costs. It’s a very easy way to learn the basics of investing, and you even get access to free financial education courses as you go.

The other two plans cost a bit more — $3 per month and $9 per month — but they include tax benefits for retirement investing, better tracking, and increased Stock-Back™.

Bonus: Fund your new Stash account with a mere $5 for signing up today.

17. Get cash for ordering an Uber or Lyft

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Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock
Spend money to travel, get money back

Ride-hailing services have become really popular over the last few years, thanks to Uber and Lyft. You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve used an Uber or Lyft to take you somewhere, not to mention the amount of money you’ve spent.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get some cash back on your rides?

An app called Freebird does just that. Freebird isn’t just for Lynrd Skynrd fans, but ride-hailing fans, too.

After downloading the app, you order your Uber or Lyft and start accumulating points to trade in for cash rewards. The more points you accumulate, the more cash you get back. A total win-win.

18. Online shoppers, rejoice

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Shopping online have never been easier

If you’re an online shopaholic, check out Affinityy.

Affinityy gives you up to 15% cash back on purchases at thousands of major brands like Macy’s, ASOS, Walmart and Walgreens.

It’s essentially free money, since you’re receiving cash back on things you were already going to buy.

Plus there are usually bonuses, like a $20 sign-up bonus, $3 for downloading the app, $10 for each friend you refer, and cash bonuses for frequent shoppers.

Once you start spending, your cash back gets sent to you in a check. You can also link a PayPal account if you have one.

19. Re-evaluate your home insurance

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Find the best deals for you

One of the more frequent mistakes when people shop for insurance? Not checking for better deals.

If your home has the same policy as when you first purchased it, you might find yourself shocked when you shop around for home insurance.

There’s a diverse range of insurers now, eager to cut in with more affordable rates. Take Hippo for example, an insurance broker for the digital age.

This company hands you a free online quote in 60 seconds, and shows you extra ways you could be cutting your home insurance bill.

When all’s said and done, Hippo can save you up to — or even over — 25% on your homeowners insurance.

About the Author

Caitlin Cochrane

Caitlin Cochrane

Staff Writer

Caitlin Cochrane is a staff writer with MoneyWise, and has an educational background in human resource management and professional writing. When she is not writing, she is at home drinking tea and playing with her bunnies.

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