Andy Fleming writing on financial freedom

Sometimes, all it takes to get started on the path to eliminating debt and living the life of your dreams is a little extra cash on the side. Those of us who are already putting in a full work week don’t like the thought of taking on an extra job. But there are easier ways to make more money.

In today’s world of emerging technology, all kinds of companies will pay you to review products, watch advertisements, and sample new apps. Some of these payouts might look incremental, but if you utilize all the tools at your disposal, you can earn several hundred dollars per month doing things you probably already do.

Some will pay you in actual cash, some in gift cards, and some will reduce the prices of items you already buy by a hefty percent. If you’re able to take on at least a few of these tasks, you could quickly find yourself with the extra income you need.

1. Online Shopping

Save money shopping online by using Paribus. This site scans your e-mail for receipts from online retailers like Amazon, Target, and Best Buy and automatically issues you a refund if the price drops. This means you don’t have to worry so much about waiting for the best deals to come around, and if you regularly shop online you can expect a steady stream of kickbacks. Paribus takes a 25% commission from any cash they send you, but you can reduce this to 0% by signing up friends and family.

You can also save by setting up an account with Seashells. This site functions as a “shopping portal”, meaning you simply use the site to do your regular shopping at stores like Amazon, iTunes, CVS, and Lowe’s. Seashells generates a “custom gift card” for your purchase and reimburses you a percentage of whatever you’ve spent. Deals vary, but some will save you up to 20%. Seashells works in-store too. Download the app to your smartphone and you can use it to generate a bar code, which is then scanned at the register for payment.

2. Fitness Enthusiasts

Easy income

You can earn as you exercise. Health tracking apps like Apple’s Healthkit, Fitbit, and MyFitnessPal can be paired with Achievemint to earn cash back for staying in shape. By completing tasks like logging your weight or hitting step goals, Achievemint rewards you with points. You can redeem the points in $10 increments for actual cash or for an Amazon gift card.

3. Mystery Shopping

Easy income

Being a “mystery shopper” simply means you provide feedback to companies about their stores and services. Although the companies below are legitimate, be wary of other mystery shopping sites that require you to pay to join. Mystery shopping sites are always looking for customers to employ, and the real ones never ask you to pay to see their jobs. These four sites are fairly similar, it’s just a matter of finding the jobs that are easiest for you:

You might be able to review the pizza delivery you already get on Friday night, or the restaurants you frequent. There’s a lot of selection here, depending on your location. You can even earn money while staying in resorts or gambling at casinos.

4. Sell Your Photos

Easy income

Are you the type of person that takes a lot of photos with your phone? Do you already have a huge library of images depicting sunsets and sun-dappled fields? Foap is sort of the “sharing economy” app for stock photography. All you have to do is upload your photos to the service. If someone sees one they like, they can buy the license and you’ll get a $5 kickback. If you’ve got the photos, there’s no reason you shouldn’t upload them to Foap today.

5. Fill Out Surveys

Easy income

If you’re spending time sitting around in airports, waiting rooms, or on public transport, you can turn that down time into money by filling out surveys. VIP Voice and Opinion Outpost are your best bets here as the only survey companies with A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau. You don’t earn cash with these sites, instead they reward you with points that can be traded for gift cards. However, you can always sell those cards on Raise if you don’t want to use them yourself.

Image: ©iStock.com/AndreyPopov

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