Recently, I wrote about the Stash Investment app and how it makes investing easy. If you don’t have much money left over after you pay your bills, chances are you may be feeling like it’s going to take you forever to get a chunk of money in your Stash account. I’m here to share how you can tap into a few other opportunities to start generating more investment dollars.
First thing you need to do is identify your spending personality and what you can do to leverage your habits to save some moola. I’m the type of person who needs some solid limits. I’ll look at my bank balance and think I have that much to spend when I really have pending payments or bills that haven’t come to date yet. It’s not that I don’t understand how budgeting works, it’s just that I get Bill Amnesia. I have to physically see a schedule of payments to stay on track.
My need for visual clarity is why I use You Need a Budget (YNAB) to track where my money is going. YNAB is a simple application that works on your phone and computer. It monitors your banking account and lets you quickly tag and categorize bills. It breaks down all of your debits and credits into immediate obligations, debt payments, true obligations, quality of life goals, and items that are just for fun.
Once my bill spending is clearly defined, I know what’s left over. I have so many projects in my pipeline that my leftover money always has a home and that home is usually my physical home. I’m constantly paying to upgrade and maintain my house. I also have two kids to raise and they always need something. If I don’t watch myself, I end up spending money on one thing when another should have taken precedence.
Once you have a clear understanding of what extra money you have to work with and how you are budgeting your bills, you can decide what money generating techniques may work for you. Below are the specific techniques that I use to bring in additional money that I can use for investing.
I always love opportunities that allow me to make money off of what I’m already doing. Ibotta is one of them. It’s an app that allows you to earn money by buying certain groceries and personal care items. Rebates span from 25 cents (generic items) to a few dollars. You earn badges by meeting specific goals set by the app, which can amount to even greater rewards. Depending on the store, you either connect your rewards/customer card or you scan you receipt after each purchase. Each qualifying item is verified and it can take up to 48 hours to happen. Mobile purchases can take 30 days to be released, because returned items don’t qualify.
Over the course of the past 6 months alone, I’ve earned over $150 from rebates. Any money you earn can easily be transferred to your Pay Pal account and into your bank account where it can be deposited to Stash.
Another app I like to use is Ebates. It’s similar to Ibotta in that you earn money by shopping at specific stores. It has an app and website, and you can access rebates for online and in-store shopping. Each store gives a certain percentage back to you. Plus, they advertise coupons and promotions, so there are a lot of opportunities to save money.
Once you earn $5.01, you qualify to get paid. Ebates sends payments once a quarter. You have the choice to either receive a check or have it deposited into your PayPal account. Either choice allows you to get the money into your bank account where you can then transfer it to Stash.
I’ve recently started using Inbox Dollars as another way to earn some extra money. It’s both a website and app. You can earn money by completing surveys, watching videos, reading an email, downloading apps, searching the web, and partaking in certain offers. Once you reach $30, you can request a payment. Payments come as eCards, prepaid Visa Cards, or checks. The eCards and prepaid Visa won’t do you much good when it comes to Stash, unless you use them to replace bank money you would have used on a bill or purchase. However, checks can be desposited directly into your bank account.
I originally signed up for Inbox Dollars when it first launched, but it felt like it took me forever to earn anything. Since then, the site has been updated with more options. Good reviews from fellow bloggers are what led me back to try it again. No, it’s not an opportunity to make big money and it’s my least favorite option out of the three apps I present here; however, it does have a proven history and it’s easy to do while you’re waiting in line or for an appointment.
Finding Other Opportunities
These three apps are the most reliable and trustworthy that I’ve tried for earning extra money for Stash. Have you seen similar opportunities? Occasionally, I browse the app store to see if there’s something new to try and I’ll test the waters with one, but I’m often left disappointed. If you decide to try another opportunity, beware – there are some shady app developers who want to just gain access to your banking info. You never want to install an app that requests total access to your bank account. Always make sure you read the reviews. If they sound too polished, chances are the app developers paid for them and you should run the other way. Also, take into consideration the age of an app. Bad apps will fizzle out in a few months. So, the older the app, the better chance it’s legit.
Remember, even if the amounts you are earning per action feel miniscule as you’re working the apps, they all add up. 50 cents here, $1 there, 25 cents here….Once you start investing this extra money, you will start earning dividends. So, there’s even more to earn per action. Just keep at it, and before you know it, you’ll have $500 in the app.
Have you tried any of these apps? Are there any others you would suggest? Please share in the comments.