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30 Websites That Will Pay You For Things You Already Do

30 Websites That Will Pay You For Things You Already Do

You may not be interested in investing 40 hours a week into getting rich online, but you can still make money online in this digital age. You don’t have to work a full-time job online to benefit from all of the possible income sources out there. In fact, this is a list of websites that will actually pay you to do things you’re already doing, like shopping and surfing the web. If you’re already doing it, why not get paid for it?

1. Swagbucks

From watching videos to taking online surveys to playing games, Swagbucks offers many different ways to have fun and put cash in your pocket at the same time. Overall, you can regularly earn $25-$100 per month on Swagbucks just for doing the things you are already doing online. Swagbucks comes first on this list because I have personally made more money with them than the rest, and they seem to have the most options. They also offer cashback shopping in the form of SB points that you can redeem for Free gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, and Paypal.

2. BestMark

BestMark is a mystery shopping job. I’ve had much success with them, and they pay quite a bit, depending on your location. You’ll get paid to shop at different places and review the experience. A lot of it will be things like general car maintenance that you’ll already be doing. Not only will they pay you to do it, they will reimburse the cost of the service!

3. User Testing

This website is a lot of fun. After you sign up and complete the test video, you will start to receive email notifications when new website tests are available. They will give you a few tasks to accomplish on a website, while you record your screen and voice the whole time. You get paid for each website you evaluate. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes, and the pay is generally $10-$15 per website.

4. Perk

Perk is growing rapidly and constantly adding new ways to make money. You can download one of their many apps, including their popular Perk TV. Now they even have an app that actually pays you to watch TV in your home.

5. TopCashBack

This website is unique in that it gives you 100% commission when you shop through them. They don’t take a cut. They’re able to do this by allowing businesses to be featured on their homepage. In other words, they are paid by the advertisers, which works out in your favor!

6. Zoombucks

Another website that pays you to watch videos, but they also pay for contests, completing offers, playing games, and much more. Zoombucks will keep you busy earning money.

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7. FushionCash

FushionCash pays you to watch videos, among other things. They’ll even pay you to listen to the radio through a third-party service called RadioLoyalty.

8. CashCrate

Watching videos, shopping, playing games, winning contests, trying products—these are just some of the ways CashCrate pays. That would explain why they are so popular.

9. InboxDollars

Get paid to watch videos, play games, and shop, among other things. I’ve used InboxDollars for a few years now, and while it won’t make you rich, it will provide you with some extra cash.

10. MyGiftCardsPlus

This website offers competitive cashback rates for gift cards to different stores, and they are powered by Swagbucks, which means they are another way to earn SB points while getting cashback.

11. SendEarnings

SendEarnings will pay you to watch videos, play games and even shop at different stores to buy the things you’re already buying. That’s just the beginning when it comes to what they will pay you for.

12. Fat Wallet

Yet another great cashback website to use for comparison when shopping. Browse around to see who offers the most cashback for what you’re buying and earn that money.

13. MyPoints

MyPoints will pay you for watching videos and playing games, like many of the other websites here, but their main thing is cashback on popular websites like Amazon and Groupon.

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14. Memo Link

Memo Link also pays for various things, but first and foremost, they are a cashback website. You can shop at all kinds of online retailers though them.

15. Extrabux

Up to 30% cashback at over 2,000 different stores! You will definitely be able to find a retailer to shop with and get cashback through Extrabux.

16. Shop At Home

This is a cashback website that seems to focus on popular brick and mortar stores like Walmart, Target, Sears, and Macy’s. However, they do offer cashback at more stores and websites, so they’re good for comparing with other websites.

17. MainStreetSHARES

Formerly BigCrumbs, MainStreetSHARES is cashback shopping with an investing twist. You receive cashback by shopping at online stores, but you also have the ability to earn virtual shares (similar to stock shares) as part of their profit sharing program. This is truly unique.

18. Mr. Rebates

This is another great cashback website with most of the major stores to choose from. They offer up to 30% cashback on a few stores, but 5% is standard to see for many of the retailer websites they offer.

19. Second to None

This is another mystery shopper website like BestMark, but the shops are different. BestMark seems to focus more on auto-related purchases, while Second to None focuses more on smaller shops. One of their biggest assignments right now involves compliance on alcohol and tobacco products at select stores. Occasionally, there could be an important assignment (depending on your location) that could pay close to $100 for a few minutes of work.

20. BeFrugal

Most of the cashback websites offer a $3 or $5 bonus for signing up—BeFrugal offers a $10 signup bonus. They offer up to 30% cashback on select stores, and up to 10% cashback on Amazon.

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21. Ibotta

Cashback at all of the major departments stores, electronics stores, and even movie theatres. The app makes it easy to use right on your phone.

22. Coupon Cactus

Yet another great cashback website that makes it really simple for you to find your cashback coupon and go shopping. Coupon Cactus is also great for saving money in other ways. Browse around their website to figure out all of the ways you can earn and save.

23. IntelliShop

IntelliShop is a great mystery shopper website, and it’s easy to sign up and get started. They offer many different types of mystery shopping opportunities from all kinds of different businesses.

24. Sinclair Customer Metrics

This is another great mystery shopping website. They offer fun ways to shop, evaluate companies, and earn money while doing it.

25. Market Force

Market Force is a great mystery shopping company. I like that they not only have plenty of stores to mystery shop at, but you’ll also get paid to eat! Market Force seems to have more restaurants to shop at than the other mystery shopping companies.

26. InstaGC

You’ll get paid to watch videos, listen to music, shop, and do several other things. They also have a very low minimum cash out—you can get paid after earning a single dollar.

27. Analysia

This is same concept as User Testing. Each test takes about 10-15 minutes and pays $10. Analysia works the same way as User Testing—they will email you when a test becomes available.

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28. StartUpLift

Just like the two websites above, StartUpLift pays you to answer questions about different websites. The questions vary depending on what the specific client wants, but each one pays a flat $5.

29. TryMyUI

This website pays $10 for 15-20 minutes of website evaluation. You’ll visit the website, and then provide feedback on different aspects that the client is looking for.

30. Enroll

These tests fluctuate a little more than the other websites, as far as tasks to complete and pay-per-test, but Enroll is another great option to sign up for and await emails telling you when tests are available.

Additional Tips

  • Make a separate email account. You can use your personal email if you want, but it’s best to set up a new email account that is specifically dedicated to making money online. This will keep your personal inbox clear and it will make it easier to organize emails from these specific websites.
  • Don’t use these websites as a bank. As soon as you reach the minimum for withdrawal, take your money. You never know if and when the website could unexpectedly close. This way, you also won’t have to worry about any errors with funds that you store at the website.
  • Don’t forget to pay your taxes. You may be surprised to find that you can easily earn a few thousand dollars over the course of a year. The government will be interested in this new endeavor as well. Make sure to claim the money as income and report it properly on your taxes at the end of the year.

BONUS: Websites That Pay You to Write

  • FundsforWriters -The article must pertain to writing, and they pay $50 per accepted post. Must be between 500-600 words.
  • Uxbooth – Uxbooth accepts all kinds of topics and articles. They pay $100 per accepted post. Must be between 1,200-1,800 words.
  • Listverse – The article must be a list, and they pay $100 per accepted post. There is a 1,500-word minimum.
  • TopTenz – TopTenz also only accepts list posts, and they pay $50 per accepted post. There is a 1,500-word minimum.
  • A List Apart – You guessed it, it must be a list post. They pay $200 per accepted post, but they publish less often, therefore, they accept less posts. There is a 1,500-word minimum.
  • iWriter – iWriter offers many topics and accepts a lot of posts. They pay $15 per accepted post. There are no guidelines on word count.
  • Textbroker – The pay is lower, but they have many articles to write. They pay up to $.05 per word. There are no guidelines on word count.
  • Matador Network – The pay fluctuates, but they pay up to $60 per accepted post. There is a 1,500-word maximum and no minimum.

This list is a goldmine for you to take advantage of. I’ve used websites like these to make extra cash for years—I’ve even got a free laptop from these types of websites—so they are worth your time. Stay organized, keep track of your earnings, and you’ll be surprised at how much money you can make by doing the things you already do.

Featured photo credit: Man Packing His Things on Vacation/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Kalen Bruce

Military, Writer

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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