Summer jobs aren’t always the most exciting gigs. You need to make money, but sometimes business can just be super slow. And let’s be real -- if it’s dead, you’re probably scrolling through your phone.
Instead of wasting time on social media, make a little extra cash when you get bored. With these six methods, all you need is your smartphone.
1. Play a Few Games
Lucktastic is a free digital scratch-off ticket game with instant wins ranging from $1 to $10,000. Besides digital scratch-offs, you can also join contests and play games.
HQTrivia is another one that’s blown up recently. This one is actually a live game show where you can show off all your knowledge and win a grand prize!
Smartphone games can be addicting, but at least you have the chance to pocket some money with these ones.
2. Share Your Opinions
Companies want your opinions -- especially those of millennial consumers -- and they’ll pay you for them via survey sites.
Survey sites aren’t going to make you a ton of money, but they’re definitely an easy way to earn a $10 Amazon gift card here and there. (And seriously, who doesn’t love an Amazon gift card?) A few of the best survey sites:
- InboxDollars delivers new surveys right to your email, so you know when one’s available.
- Ipsos Panel might be my number one favorite survey sites from all the ones I’ve tried. It’s super simple and easy to use. Plus, it asks you fun questions between surveys like, “What percentage of women have danced the Macarena?”
- Opinion Outpost pays you to take surveys on everything from what electronics you own to what you ate for breakfast this morning.
These survey sites are the best ones you could start out with. If you like them, sign up for a few more to maximize your earnings. Either way, they’re a great way to kill time and earn cash or gift cards.
3. Surf the Web
Some sites go beyond just paying you to take surveys. Like Swagbucks, which also pays you for doing other stuff online, such as watching videos or browsing the internet.
Ditch Google and use Bing as your default search engine to earn points through Bing Rewards. It’s tied to a Microsoft account, where you’ll accumulate points that can be redeemed for games, movies, apps or gift cards.
4. Get Cash Back on Purchases
You already buy groceries and shop online anyways, so why not sign up for a few extra sites and get some cash back for it?
- Groceries: Download Ibotta and scan grocery receipts to earn cash back on items you bought.
- Online Shopping: If you do any form of online shopping, do it through the cash-back portal on Ebates. It offers up to 40% cash back from thousands of retailers, including Amazon, American Eagle, Bed Bath and Beyond, and even Walmart.
- Shopping in General: Download Drop to earn cashback by shopping at retailers you hand pick depending on your personal preferences. Options include Trader Joe’s, Aerie, H&M, Starbucks and even some local retailers.
- Price Drops: Download Paribus and connect it to your email. It scans your inbox for receipts, and if anything you purchased online drops in price you’ll get the difference.
5. Automate Your Savings
While this one won’t actively make you money, it’ll help you save money. Download a savings app, like Digit or Qapital, and let the app’s algorithm save money for you. Digit saves what you can afford based on how much money you have and what your daily spending habits are.
With Qapital, you can round up purchases or set certain savings rules, like saving X% per paycheck or stashing away $10 every time you splurge at Target. Honestly, Qapital has been the only thing that’s helped me save money for my vacation this year. Without it, there’s no way I would’ve had the $700 I needed. Bonus: I didn’t even have to think about putting the money aside!
6. Become an Investor
Yep, all you need to become an investor these days is your smartphone. (Well, you’re micro-investing, but it still counts!) Apps, such as Stash and Acorns, make your investments work for you. Plus, you only need $5 to start investing.
With Stash, you’ll get to choose which industries to invest in, whereas Acorns does all the work for you. The returns with these apps aren’t huge, but it still gives your money a chance to grow and it’s better than keeping money parked in a savings account. Plus, you can say you’re an investor! If you’re interested in micro-investment apps, read this Stash review to learn more about how it works.
These six money-making methods should keep you busy during slow shifts, or when summer just gets a little boring in general. Plus, it gives you a pretty legitimate reason for staring at your phone -- you’ve gotta keep making money!