Life in New York City isn’t all that glamorous for a broke twenty-something.
With Manhattan’s notorious monthly rent and the endless (albeit necessary) takeout coffee, the soaring cost of living can take a toll on your bank account. So today, I wanted to share some easy ways to save money and make some extra change – with very little effort!
1. Be smart with your credit cards.
If you have a credit card, chances are it offers some kind of a cash back deal on your purchases. So I prefer using my credit card for everyday purchases, to the extent that I can safely pay off the bill at the end of the month. Plus, sometimes companies offer special promotions on certain purchases. For example, my Chase credit card will offer extra cash back for drugstore purchases for one quarter, and on restaurant purchases the next quarter; you can stock up on household supplies at the drugstore, or offer to pay the check at a group dinner then have your friends pay you. Other credit cards offer special deals on travel – you can redeem your cash back points for more value when you use them to book a trip. Being savvy with your purchases can earn you extra cash back.
2. Earn money from online shopping.
In this day and age, most of us do a lot of shopping online, whether it be beauty products, shoes, or household supplies. Websites like Ebates and Honey track your online shopping trips and give you cash back. Honey will also scan the web for any coupon codes when you check out to make sure that you get the benefits of any discounts that are out there (especially useful if you’re a frequent shopper on Amazon). If you use Google Chrome, you can install extensions for these websites to receive notifications when cash back opportunities are available.
3. Take surveys.
In college, the research center at my school used to offer students a chance to take a survey or complete a study in exchange for a couple bucks. You can do the same thing, except it’ll be easier because it’s online! SurveySavvy lets you take surveys for compensation that ranges anywhere from a dollar to $20. InboxDollars also offers surveys for slightly lower incentives, but there are more surveys available. InboxDollars also offers a variety of ways to make some spare change – you can watch videos, answer trivia questions, or search the web to start earning. Speaking of searching the web…
4. Get paid for searching the web.
Along with InboxDollars, Qmee also pays you for your searches. They pull up links to websites or advertisements that you could click through to make anywhere from 5 to 8 cents per click. Cashing out is super easy since you can get paid instantly through PayPal.
5. Join rewards programs.
If you have shops that you visit frequently, you might want to consider getting a membership card. Stores like Walgreens and Starbucks have rewards programs that offer discounts and free credit as you accumulate points. Downloading LevelUp apps for various restaurants around the city can save you a lot of money during lunch hour. These apps allow you to pay with your phone, and every time you spend a certain amount, you can unlock free credit! Most of them also offer free credit when you first download them. Here is a list of apps that I enjoy using around the city:
Fresh & Co ($3 credit on download)
Bluestone Lane ($5 credit on download)
Sweetgreen ($3 credit on download)
Glaze Teriyaki Grill ($5 credit on download)
By Chloe. ($3 credit on download)
CAVA ($3 credit on download)
6. Clean out your closet.
I realized during my recent move that I have a lot of clothes and accessories that I don’t wear anymore. There are many platforms online through which you can sell things that you don’t need. EBay is a common one, but if you want an easier way to access your shop, apps like Poshmark are pretty effective. For a small haircut on your sale, Poshmark guarantees payment and also covers shipping. You can interact with potential buyers, share your listings, and track your shipments all from the palm of your hand.
7. Get paid for unlocking your phone screen.
Selling old clothes isn’t the only thing you can do on your phone. S’more literally pays you to move your finger; that’s right, the app pays you to unlock the screen on your smartphone (Sorry iPhone users, this app is currently only available on Android). For each day you keep the lock screen on, the app gives you 10 points. These points can be redeemed for rewards like Google Play gift cards, Starbucks cards, and Amazon gift cards (which is basically cash). S’more also offers opportunities to take surveys or complete offers for extra points.
Hope you enjoyed this list – Happy saving! 🙂