5+ Ways to Make Extra Money When You’re Strapped for Cash

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Looking for ways to make extra money when you’re strapped for cash?

The best way to make extra money is through taking surveys.

You can maximize your earnings through survey-taking is by taking surveys from multiple survey companies.

Think about it.

If you’re earning $200/month with one survey company, you could split your efforts across 3 survey companies instead and make $600/month.

This is just an example.

Consumer opinion is very valuable and companies are willing to pay people to learn about their lifestyle, wants, needs, and gain insight to what they find important and what determines their decision to purchase.

I remember going on a grocery shopping trip a few years ago and getting stopped to do a taste test for milk.

Unfortunately, although it wasn’t a terrible experience, I do regret it.

It took far longer than I thought and by the time I was done, I felt so grossed out by milk that I had to inhale the free goody bag they gave me, at the register while I was paying for my groceries.

Before getting into it, here are our quick earners we want to share real quick:

  • Cliqly: Get paid to send emails. They have a referral program too. Some Cliqly users have reported making up to $2,500 within the first 2 weeks of starting. I made nearly $600 in my first two weeks. Here’s my Cliqly review.
  • Swagbucks: Share your opinion for cash. You can also play games, watch videos, listen to music and perform other tasks for money.
  • Arrived Homes: Invest in rental properties with as little as $100. Perfect if you’ve wanted to diversify your investments without having to support an entire mortgage on a rental property. You can get into fractional shares. Read our Arrived review.

how to make extra money when strapped for cash

As I was heading toward the register with my shopping cart, I was stopped and asked if I would do the taste test.

I had noticed the sampler a few minutes prior asking people to participate and person after person declining.

So, in an extra-generous mood, I felt like being helpful and I decided to participate.

It took about 10-15 minutes of tasting milk, answering a survey about my thoughts, taste, etc. 

Then trying another brand.

Then comparing the two brands and on an on.

In all, I tried about 6-7 brands of milk.

That was my experience.

It just goes to show that it can be very difficult to get consumers to participate in surveys without some type of reward behind it.

It’s a major driving factor and companies know this so they team up with market research companies.

Here are some survey companies you might be interested in:


23 Legit Ways to Make Extra Money

Swagbucks offers many different ways to make money online that are fun and rewarding, like:

  • Playing games
  • Taking surveys
  • Online shopping
  • Watching videos
  • And, more!

You will never get bored with Swagbucks.

They work on a points-based system, where you can redeem for rewards like gift cards to major retailers like Amazon.

First, you’ll like that they offer a $10 bonus for joining!

Then, they have a great referral program where you can earn 10% of your friends’ earnings.

Each time you complete an activity you earn points.

They stack up in your account and then you can redeem for rewards.

Examples of rewards include:

  • Walmart gift cards
  • Amazon gift cards
  • Starbucks gift cards
  • And, more!

Learn more about Swagbucks.



Lifepoints is another Frugal for Less favorite survey company that offers a smartphone app to pay consumers for their opinion.

What is Lifepoints?

Lifepoints is one of the largest market research companies in the world, paying out over $20 million dollar to their members.

How it works?

It’s a simple 2-step process.

First, take surveys.

Then, get rewarded.

When you join Lifepoints, you’ll earn 10 Lifepoints just for joining!

Joining is free and once you do, you’ll be able to get started taking surveys.

Is Lifepoints panel legit?

Based on our full review and participant reviews, we have determined that Lifepoints is legit.

They are a well known market research company and many members have publicly reported that they have been paid.

How much are Lifepoints worth?

Each survey offer is different and you can earn around 35 to 350 Lifepoints per survey completed.

25 Lifepoints equals $1.

How much can you make on Lifepoints?

The amount you can earn on LIfepoints will vary based on many factors like survey availability and your time.

You will not earn a full-time income on Lifepoints, just like you won’t make a full time living taking surveys but you can earn some extra money for saving, paying off debt or to enjoy a more fruitful lifestyle.

Lifepoints Pros

  • User-friendly app
  • There are usually lots of surveys and tasks available
  • There’s potential to cash out within a few weeks of joining
  • Unique,fun and rewarding survey offers
  • Average survey time 10 minutes or less
  • The surveys take an average of 10 minutes or less.
  • Multiple ways to redeem your points
  • Unique ways to help you earn more by boosting earnings
  • If screened out, you’ll automatically entered into sweepstakes 

Lifepoints Cons

  • Being screened out of a survey can happen
  • Occasional app crashes/freezes, as reported on the app

Check out more on Lifepoints

Prize Rebel

With Prize Rebel you can join in just seconds, complete paid online surveys and redeem for cash and gift cards to places like PayPal, Amazon, and Walmart.

Quick facts about Prizel Rebel:

  • Over 10 million members
  • $20 million redeemed since 2007
  • 504 gift cards to choose from
  • $771 in paid online survey right now!

Check out some of the reviews:  

“Thank You Prize Rebel. I have been a member for a few months and this is my 5th reward I received. I love getting rewarded for taking the time to do surveys and other things. It takes time but it is worth it. I love this site. Thanks again.”

“Whoa, I was so excited when I checked my mail today! My $50 Visa gift card got here so quickly! Thanks so much, Prize Rebel! You guys made my day! :)”

“Thank you PrizeRebel for my $10 Walmart gift card,you guys are awesome. All I did was log in and answer surveys that easy,in no time I accumulated enough points to redeem this gift card. My gift card came really fast in the mail. Thank you PrizeRebel.”

Sign up to Prize Rebel here.

Survey Junkie

survey junkie

People are big fans of Survey Junkie because they are known to be one of the higher paying survey companies.

What is Survey Junkie?

This survey company pays you to take online surveys.

The survey offers you complete are anonymous and are very useful to help companies learn about consumer behavior.

Pros of Survey Junkie

  • Free to join
  • Points can be exchanged for both cash to PayPal and for gift cards
  • Your information will be used to help companies improve their products
  • Your answers are kept anonymous
  • Potential for high earnings 
  • Registration bonus for joining

Cons of Survey Junkie

  • The payout can be low, based of multiple factors
  • You are not eligible for all surveys
  • Minimum balance of $10 needed for Payout
  • Only users from the United States, Canada and Australia can participate 

How much can you make with Survey Junkie?

With Survey Junkie 100 points equals $1.

The amount you earn can be determined by many factors like your profile, location, eligibility and other factors.

We’ve found that you can earn between $5 to $12 per hour taking surveys with Survey Junkie.

You can earn close to the higher end of that range if you stick to taking the higher paying surveys only.

Click here to read more about Survey Junkie.

Vindale Research (now closed)

Vindale Research is a free survey site where you can earn money per survey completed. You get a $1 signup bonus for joining and once you create your profile, you’ll have access to a host of surveys and you can take an unlimited number of surveys daily.

Every day I login, I see up to $30 in daily offers in my dashboard. Can you imagine how much you can make from this one survey site?

$30 x 5 days/week = $150/week (or $600/month)

How It Works?

First, take paid surveys.

These surveys are going to be based on you.

Your profile that you filled out when you signed up will help match you with the right survey based on your demographics and background.

You’ll enjoy access to hundreds of surveys.

Get access to some of the highest paid surveys in the industry and get the flexibility to complete your surveys on any device.

That means you can use your computer, smartphone or tablet to take your surveys, making it super convenient for you.

Once you successfully complete your surveys, you’ll earn instantly.

The earnings are applied to your Vindale account and you can redeem via PayPal.

You’ll love that you earn real money for completing surveys.

This hassle-free way of getting paid eliminates the guesswork that can come with working with a survey company based on points.

Vindale has paid out over $7 million dollars to their members.

Surveys will be on a variety of lifestyle topics like:

  • Cars & trucks
  • Politics 
  • Health & beauty
  • Technology
  • Travel
  • Leisure
  • And, more!

Check out our full review on Vindale Research and click here to head straight to the site to get started.

Inbox Dollars

ways to make extra cash

InboxDollars is an online rewards program that allows users to earn cash for completing a variety of activities, such as taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and shopping online. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Minnesota.

To get started with InboxDollars, you need to create an account and provide some basic information about yourself, such as your age, gender, and location. You can then start earning cash by completing activities on the site or through the InboxDollars mobile app.

InboxDollars offers a variety of ways to earn cash, including:

  • Taking surveys and polls
  • Reading emails and signing up for offers
  • Watching videos and ads
  • Playing games
  • Shopping online
  • Referring friends to the site

Once you have accumulated enough cash, you can request a payout via check or gift card to popular retailers like Amazon and Walmart. The amount of cash required to request a payout varies depending on the item you choose.

InboxDollars is free to join and use, and the platform is designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. The company’s goal is to provide a simple and effective way for people to earn cash for their time and insights. However, it’s important to note that earning significant amounts of cash on InboxDollars may require a significant amount of time and effort.



MobileXpression is a market research company that provides data and insights to businesses and organizations about how people use their mobile devices. The company was founded in 2010 and is based in New York.

To participate in MobileXpression, you need to download the MobileXpression app on your mobile device and register your account. Once the app is installed and running, it will collect information about your mobile usage, such as which apps you use, how long you use them, and what websites you visit.

In exchange for sharing this information, MobileXpression rewards users with gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon and Target. The amount of rewards you can earn varies depending on how long you keep the app installed on your device.

MobileXpression is free to download and use, and the company claims that all data collected is anonymous and used only for research purposes. The app is designed to be unobtrusive and to run in the background of your device without interfering with your normal use.

However, it’s important to note that participating in MobileXpression does involve sharing some personal information and allowing the app to collect data about your mobile usage. It’s up to you to decide if the rewards are worth the potential privacy implications.

And there you go!

For more on money-making and money-saving hacks, check out these posts:

Recommended Resources to Increase Your Income and Save Money

Legendary Marketer

This online training program shows you how to start an online business. You can join free then, take their 15-day business builder challenge to learn how to start an online business. Business owner Amalie Lund made $100K in 6 months, after going through this program!


If you’re in a pickle and looking to make some extra money, look at paid online surveys. Swagbucks is one of the best survey companies to use. They offer a multifaceted site with many ways to earn:
  • Surveys
  • Watch videos
  • Listen to music
  • Online shopping
  • Discovering stuff online
It’s free to join and you can start making money sharing your opinion and through other ways as soon as you’re sign up.

Arrived Homes

If you’re looking for a way to earn passive income with no work, look at rental home investing with Arrived Homes. You’ll invest in rental properties with a little as $100 and entirely online. This is a way to make your money work for you and earn passively with rental income.

Jenn Leach, MBA

Jenn Leach is a Houston-based MBA with over a decade of experience in the banking industry. She writes at Millennial Nextdoor where she writes finance, money, business, and lifestyle content to help millennials create additional income streams online. Join her on Substack at https://jennleach.substack.com.

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