Ways to earn extra cash

11 Ways To Earn Extra Money In Your Free Time!

Earning Extra Money in Your Free Time

Whether you’re looking to get some extra money for Christmas, a vacation, or to use as fun money, here are some ideas of how you can use your spare time to get some extra cash coming in!

These methods and ways of making extra money won’t make you rich! BUT, they are good ways to get extra cash, especially when you choose a few of them to use together!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission when you make a purchase through one of these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, check out my disclosure.

Ways to earn extra cash

Different Methods for Earning Extra Money

So there are quite a few ways to earn some extra cash, and these are some of the more popular ones:

  • Cashback, Coupons, and Rebate Apps
  • Survey Sites
  • Survey Sites that are more than just surveys
  • Side Gigs / Side Hustles

How To Earn Extra Money for Christmas

Earning extra money for Christmas is a huge priority for so many people. And that’s completely reasonable! With all the joy around Christmas and spending time with our families, there is also a lot of stress involved!

It doesn’t help our stress levels that Christmas can be quite the expense! It’s not just gifts we buy people – but there’s so much more in our Christmas budget!

Parties we are hosting, parties we are attending (do we need to bring the host a gift? Do we need a new ugly sweater or some kind of outfit for a theme party?), Secret Santa gifts for coworkers, a tree, decorations, even things like gift wrap can add up!

If you start this in November, you could probably earn a little cash back for Christmas. If you start this earlier in the year, like January or February, you will definitely be able to have a good chunk of extra cash for Christmas.

I’d like to especially highlight the rebate apps and gig work for this.

The gig work will have a bigger payout than surveys. Most gig work is dependent on your availability, the demand of customers in your area, and how many other gig workers there are (saturation).

I’m not saying this to deter you from gig work! It’s just something to think about when it comes to how much money you can make in a certain amount of time.

Obviously, the sooner you start something, the more extra cash for Christmas you’ll have built up.

Let’s have a quick chat about rebate apps for making extra money for Christmas.

Once again, the earlier in the year you start using these, the more savings you’ll have ready to go for Christmas. HOWEVER, this should not be something you give up on just because you stumbled on this article in December!

You should be using the rebate apps NOW, and for your Christmas shopping. The rebate apps will likely be able to give you cash back on the gifts you are buying.

Most rebate apps and websites work by having you first go to their app, then through that app go to another site – like Amazon or major departments stores.

After you get to the site and do your shopping, you are routed back to the app.

Personally, I think rebate apps should ALWAYS be used, every time you shop you should check to see if there is a rebate available. This is the same for any app or website where you can scan your receipts.

Okay, enough about that. The point is, the earlier you start, the more you will have by Christmas – or before your vacation, or whatever event you’re trying to save for!

Let’s move on to the different ways to save and make extra money!

how to earn extra money for Christmas

Cashback, Coupons, and Rebate Apps for Extra Money

If you’ve been around this blog before, you’ll know that I absolutely LOVE cashback and rebate apps!

Here are a few of my favorites:


Ibotta is my absolute favorite rebate app. I use it as often as possible.

Here’s my detailed review of Ibotta, as well as 9 Ibotta Tips to help you get more savings using the app!

It’s seriously so easy to use.

Like I said above in the section for earning extra money for Christmas, the earlier you start this, the more savings you’ll see. And you should absolutely use the app for as much of your Christmas and holiday shopping as possible!

Ibotta pays out when you reach a $20 threshold, and you can have it transferred to your bank account via PayPal (which I have done and can verify it works!). You can also redeem them for gift cards for places like Starbucks, Amazon, and other major retailers.


Coupons.com has one of the largest databases of printable coupons. While this isn’t necessarily going to get you cash BACK, you will save money up front with every coupon you print!

Coupons.com offers both printable and digital coupons on their website, which makes it even more convenient!

Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is similar to Ibotta, where you can scan receipts and earn points. It seems that in most cases, 1,000 points = $1.

You can redeem your points for gift cards at quite a few different places such as Visa, Fandango, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and various restaurants and retailers.

You’ll even get 2,000 points just for signing up with my referral code: 17BDY


Dosh is a little bit different from other cash back or rebate apps.

You will still get cash back when you shop at participating retailers, but there is no extra work you need to do on your end after you set it up!

Set up is easy – just download the Dosh app and link your credit card to it.

From there, any time you have a qualifying purchase through a retailer that works with Dosh, you’ll receive cash back to the Dosh app automatically.

Seriously, it couldn’t get any easier! This is great to use along with coupons and other sites where you scan receipts, whenever possible!

In all honesty, I was a little nervous about putting my credit card information in, but Dosh prides itself on their security and after reading through it on their website, I am much more comfortable with the idea.

Once you reach $25 in cash back, you can transfer the funds to your bank account, PayPal, Venmo, or donate it to charity!

Survey Sites to Earn Extra Cash

Survey sites are pretty popular. I have used a few different survey sites, and here’s what I’ve come to learn:

  • You won’t always qualify for a survey – you might spend a few minutes answering qualifying questions only to find out you didn’t qualify.
  • They can be addictive! Whether I qualify for a survey or not, I find myself saying, “just one more survey!” over and over again.

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is one of my favorite survey sites. I really like this site and app!

One aspect of Survey Junkie that I haven’t tried yet is the add on SJ Pulse. If you want to opt in to this portion of it, you will be giving permission for the app (or browser extension) to track and share your digital activity, such as what you search for, websites you go to, shopping habits, etc.

I encourage you to read the privacy policy on their website before committing to something like this, to make sure you’re comfortable with the kind of data and information being shared about you and your habits.

To join the SJ Pulse portion of it, you can add on a browser extension to your computer, or opt-in on the app. Like I said, I don’t do the SJ Pulse version, I only use it to take surveys, so I don’t have much more insight on it.

The payout can be done via PayPal and gift cards like Amazon, Visa, iTunes, and more!

Inbox Dollars

At the time I’m writing this, Inbox Dollars offers a signup bonus – make sure you confirm your email to get it!

Inbox Dollars has a little bit more going on than just surveys. In addition to the surveys there are:

  • Daily Questions – These are daily trivia questions, and by answering you could earn cash or other prizes, like Scratch & Win progress (see below)
  • Scratch & Win – Ever time you do an activity, like answer a survey, the little progress bar at the top will fill a little bit more. You can choose to do the virtual scratch off when you reach $, $$, or $$$.

    If you scratch off at the $, you can win up too $10. If you wait until $$, you can win up to $25. If you wait until $$$, you could win up to $100.

    Keep in mind, you could also just win 50 cents! But that’s okay, we know surveys aren’t going to make us rich – we’re looking for some extra cash!
  • Uploading Receipts – You can also upload receipts from specific retailers.

Overall, I like Inbox Dollars as something to do on my lunch break!


1Q isn’t your traditional survey app. It offers surveys that are usually around 25 cents each, and they do come a little more infrequently. 25 cents for a super quick survey can add up!

The thing I love most about 1Q is that they instantly send the money to your PayPal account.

I haven’t been using 1Q as long, but I have made $6.00 on it, and have seen the funds directly in my PayPal after answering the question.

You’ll receive more questions if you enable the location even when you’re not using the app.

You do have to be quick, though! Questions do expire if you don’t get to them within a certain amount of time. You’ll get a notification or a text when a new question is available for you.

Survey Sites That Are More Than Surveys, To Help You Earn Extra Money

Now that you have a few different survey sites to try out, I would say these are my top tips for taking surveys to earn extra money:

Now that you have a few different survey sites to try out, I would say these are my top tips for taking surveys to earn extra money:

  • Be honest about your answers!
    These surveys will actually help companies and brands learn about consumers and what they want and need.
  • Join a couple different survey sites

    The different survey sites will offer different surveys from various companies. The payouts could be more or less on one site than on another.

    If I have 30 minutes to dedicate to taking surveys, I like to spend 10-15 minutes on one survey site, and then 10-15 minutes on a different one. I do this to get some variety, and it helps me when I’m feeling a little defeated if I don’t qualify for any surveys on one site or app.
  • Don’t spend TOO much time

    You could seriously burn yourself out on these surveys if you let it happen! I like to try to limit myself to during lunch breaks at work, or setting a timer for 30 minutes at a time.

    Those are the types of timeframes that work for me – you’ll have to decide what works best for you!


Swagbucks has quite a lot of ways to earn side money, including:

  • Shopping online through participating retailers
  • Taking surveys
  • Watching videos
  • Redeeming offers
  • Searching online (when using their Yahoo extension)
  • Playing games

I have been using Swagbucks for YEARS. I haven’t yet cashed out anything on it, because this one earns a little slower for me since I use it less. I have had a friend cash out plenty of times on it.

I will say my least favorite is redeeming offers. I’ve tried once or twice to use this area of the site. I was trying to redeem offers of free samples for things, and there were a lot of hoops to jump through.

While the points payout was definitely higher than other tasks, to me it wasn’t worth it to go through the rest of the process. Now, that could just be me being super lazy. This is definitely something you’ll have to judge for yourself if it’s a good use of time!

You can redeem points on Swagbucks for PayPal cash, and gift cards for places such as Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, and many more.



MyPoints is similar to Swagbucks in the sense there are so many different ways to earn cash back.

Here are some of the different ways to earn side cash through MyPoints:

  • Earn points by shopping online through participating retailers
  • Surveys
  • Watching videos
  • Playing games
  • Reading promotional emails

You can redeem points for PayPal cash and gift cards through many popular retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks.

My theory with sites like this and Swagbucks is, if I’m going to play games on my phone, I might as well find games on these sites to play that could earn me points which would translate into extra cash.

The same with videos – if I’m going to scroll through Facebook and watch videos, I might as well do so through one of these sites so I can earn points that would get me cash or a gift card.

Once again, you won’t get rich doing these things, but they are worthwhile options to explore.

If you do them year round, combined with other methods of getting extra money, you should have a decent amount of extra money for Christmas (or your vacation, or for something you’re saving up for) to help ease some of the expenses!


Side Gigs to Earn Extra Money


If you have a talent for digital services you can sell, you definitely should check out Fiverr!

With Fiverr you can offer services such as:

  • Graphic Design
  • Writing (think everything from helping with resumes to proofreading)
  • Video Editing
  • Animated GIFs
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Voiceover Work

Honestly, the options are endless for the types of digital services you can offer on Fiverr!

Rover Pet Sitting

If you love playing with dogs, you can earn some extra money by being a pet sitter with Rover!

A lot of pups are so grateful for the exercise they get when someone comes by to walk them or play with them!

Head over to Rover to see what opportunities are available for pet sitting in your spare time!

Selling Your Old Stuff For Extra Cash

This is my LEAST favorite way to make some extra cash. There are plenty of sites where you can sell your old things, or have a rummage sale. But sometimes it just becomes a huge pain.

First, you have to price your own items. Figuring out how much something is actually worth, vs how much you THINK it SHOULD be worth are two very different things.

Next, you have to take pictures of everything. Then you have to find somewhere to post those pictures, and come up with some fancy or flowery wording that will entice people to inquire further about it.

Then, maybe you’ll negotiate a price and you’ll get less than you intended.

THEN you have to meet up with someone or ship it out.

For some people, this is not a huge pain. For me, it is. There are plenty of things that I do want to sell, and they tend to sit in a box somewhere in the basement until I get around to it.

However, there is an easier way to sell some things!


No, that’s not a typo. Decluttr is an app that lets you sell things like electronics, DVDs, books, and so on.

The process on Decluttr is:

  1. Find the value of your item for free. All you have to do is enter the model, make, and condition of your tech item. For DVDs and things like that, you can enter the barcodes or scan it using the app along with your phone’s camera.
  2. Grab a box, pack the item (carefully!), and drop it off to be shipped. Shipping does not cost you anything, it’s free!
  3. After Decluttr receives your item(s), you’ll get paid the next day. Payment options include PayPal, direct deposit, or donating to charity.

You can sell:

  • Phones
  • Kindles
  • Wearable tech
  • Tablets
  • Apple products
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Blu-Rays
  • Textbooks
  • Gaming consoles
  • Video games
  • Legos

At the time of writing this, Decluttr has a Trustpilot rating of 4.5, with over 15,000 reviews!

How to Earn Extra Money

Earning extra money can be difficult! You have to find the time, you have to find the right way to do it, and you have to make sure you don’t have lofty expectations.

I’m wary of any website claiming to earn $100 per week from surveys. That’s just not feasible, unless you are QUALIFYING for surveys all day every day.

So, be realistic.

Set a goal.

Map out how you want to achieve that goal, and which methods you will use to get there.

Will you set aside 10 hours per week for gig work? Will you try to do a survey or two on your lunch break? Will you make sure to upload your receipts and get rebate offers?

All of it can add up! You have to decide what works best for you, and make a plan you can stick with, and then stick with it!

Also, give yourself time. Don’t start this on December 3 and expect to have a ton of extra money for Christmas. Don’t start this two weeks before a vacation and expect to have extra vacation money!

I hope you’ve found this list helpful, and I hope you can make the extra money for whatever you need – or want – it for!

how to earn extra money for Christmas

How to earn extra cash

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