Thrifty Travel Bug


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m always looking for random ways to make some extra money. I joke around and call it my “Side Hustle” because well, it really sort of is. I do everything from Photography to surveys online, mystery shopping, research panels and my artwork. There are so many ways to make money if you’re open to trying some new things. I’ll post a list with some links for you to get started, but I will ONLY post things in this one that I have tried personally and gotten a check or gift card from. If you have any questions about any of these, feel free to comment below or write me! I’ll keep adding to this one as I come across more. You won’t get rich off of these by any means, but hey, every penny counts right???

Side Hustle Opportunities:

  1. Swagbucks– This is a site where you get paid small amounts for various things. You can take surveys (yes it’s real.) take daily polls, watch videos on any subject that interests you, play games or purchase offers and get money back for them. You won’t make a ton of money doing this, but it adds up over time. You can get gift cards for stores, Amazon, cruises etc. I do it in my spare time while I’m watching tv. If you are familiar with ebates (more on this below)  they have a similar program that will oftentimes pay you back for purchases that you make! It is not my favorite way to make some cash because it is slow going, but they give you bonus surveys to take that can jump up your account amount.
  2. Slide Joy – This app is seriously passive income for you. You download the app to your smart phone, and an ad shows up on your lock screen. You just swipe it away to get to your phone features, and it pays you monthly. I let my dollars add up and cash it out for gift cards around holidays and birthdays. Boom! shopping done and I didn’t pay a dime for it.
  3. Receipt Hog – This app is just ok. It seems like it has taken me awhile to build up any type of cash for it, but again, it’s free money for just uploading my grocery store receipts. I think it works better if you can upload ALL of your receipts. Fast Food, Convenience Stores, Gas Stations, Grocery Etc. I’ve been lazy with this one, and have only done grocery so that may be why I haven’t earned much. If you get to a certain level you get surveys that award you more cash. As you level up you get the chance to earn free spins for more coins, but after you reach a certain point they actually pay you weekly for your receipts. I need to just keep all my receipts aside so I can really get the benefits of this one. I don’t have a direct link to this one, but you can use your smart phone to download it and get started.
  4. Ebates – I REALLY love ebates. It is one of those sites that has put some serious cash back into my pockets. If you follow the Krazy Coupon Lady she will tell you about some amazing deals that are going on at various stores, and how to stack coupons, etc. She had an article about a sale awhile back, and I used my ebates account to make my purchases, and I ended up getting half my purchase amount back!! You can use it for sites like Amazon, Groupon, Sephora, ebay etc. I even have used it to get better deals on travel and rental cars! Once you sign up, and you fall in love with it too, you can tell your friends using your link, and both of you will get $5 when they sign up and make their first qualifying purchase! All you need to do is log into your ebates account and look through the deals they are offering on the stores you love and click the direct link to that deal from their page. Once you purchase it, it goes up for their review and you get “a big fat check” when the order qualifies.
  5. Mobile Performance Meter – This one is my ALL TIME FAVE!!!! This one is truly all about passive income. You download it onto your phone and it runs in the background. You earn money daily, and they send you brief surveys to fill out sometimes. I have gotten SO many gift cards with this one, and I have only great things to say about it. You seriously set it and forget it. The only time I check it is when I’m curious about how much money I’ve made. It doesn’t use up much space or battery life either. 10 stars hands down.
  6. Mystery Shopping – Yes, mystery shopping is a real thing! Companies always need people to evaluate their business and staff to make sure things are going the way they are supposed to. My first tip is to NEVER pay a company for mystery shopping opportunities. They are not legit if they charge YOU! The companies pay them to use this service and you will either make money for performing a “shop” or get a free meal, oil change, day at an amusement park etc. There are so many perks to doing these if you can find the time to squeeze them in. I am signed up with several companies. Bestmark is one that will sometimes have you go to car lots to act as if you at purchasing a car.  TrendSource is another great company to “shop” for. You get to go to big box stores like Best Buy and act as a customer in different departments. Coyle Hospitality Group is pretty neat, you get to go to hotels, and nice places for dinner to do your shops. Ace Mystery Shops they have an odd looking website, but I promise it’s legit. I have had the best luck with them and have completed several of their shops. I have done oil change shops and restaurant shops for them mostly. They are pretty easy and you usually get reimbursed for your purchase, plus a small payment for doing the shop. They also have shops for phone companies like Verizon.  All of these companies are the ones that I have had pretty good luck with. There have been times when I was unemployed, and I’d hop on all of these sites to see what shops I could complete. I love mystery shopping.
  7. Market Research Companies – I have often times been a guinea pig for research companies testing out new products, and I’ve made some nice cash from it as well. When I was unemployed for awhile, this was another thing that I did to keep myself afloat, and I’d get lucky with some great paying gigs sometimes. I live in Ohio, so some of these companies are probably only here, but if you do a google search for market research companies in your area you should find a few! Market Inquiry Market Vision research is another one I have used but I cannot find the link to sign up. If you go to their contact page they can help you to be a participant.
  8. Qapital – This app doesn’t make you money, per say but it does help you save money. Think of it like a virtual piggy bank. You set up goals, and you can pick how much it saves for you. I used to do mine to the nearest dollar, meaning that if I spent $2.50 it would save the other .50 to my savings. I wanted to save faster so I actually did mine to the nearest $2 instead, so if I spent $2.5o it would put aside $1.50 for my savings account. It takes out so little I never even notice that it’s been taken out. If you sign up, we both make $5! Who doesn’t love free money?? Once you sign up you have to add your account for it to qualify. Transferring the money back to your account is easy and you can do it at any time. I have been using it for about a year already and several of my friends have started saving with it as well!

These are just a few of the money making side hustles that I have personally used to save money (so I can travel more!) If you’ve used any of these or have any other helpful ways to make some extra cash let me know below!!