Without minimal effort, these quirky strategies can net you a little bit of money in your pocket.
Have a No-Spend Weekend. Meaning this:
A no-spend weekend is pretty much just what it sounds like — a weekend where no money leaves your wallet or bank account, no checks are written, and no spending is done on a credit card. You are allowed to use things you have already paid for, or will pay for in the future, like groceries, cable, and gas for your car. If you take public transportation and have a pre-funded fare card you can use that too.
Of course, to make such a weekend a net saver for your household, you have to follow a few guidelines, like:
Get the rest of your household to do it too: If you spend no money, but your spouse does, it kind of defeats the purpose.
Do it spontaneously: If you plan a no-spend weekend too far in advance, it is likely that you will end up spending money in advance in order to prepare for the weekend — as in “oh I can’t buy groceries next weekend, so I’ll do it this weekend. I can’t eat out, so I’ll do it Thursday.” The best thing is to decide Thursday, or even Friday — and challenge yourself to make do with the food and entertainment you already have.
Take Internet Surveys. Some are more worthy of your time (and opinion) than others, as explained by this mom, who earned about $1,000 last year from doing online surveys. She writes:
Some will give you points for each survey that you complete that may be redeemed for cash, merchandise, or entries into giveaways. Some companies will pay you directly when you have reached a pre-set amount of banked money. Still others only give you chances to enter giveaways.
Check out the reader comments too, which provide plenty of firsthand knowledge, like:
After 2 years of filling out surveys, I ditched many of them and stuck with Pinecone Research because:
a) they have no payout minimum.
b) they pay fast – next day via Paypal.
c) they actually send you product samples to test.
d) I don’t have to answer 40 questions before saying “Sorry, you don’t qualify”.
I’ve earned over $300 and I’m sticking with them only – the others just aren’t worth my time.
Only Celebrate Big Birthdays. Once you’re a grown-up, do you really need cake and all the fuss and expenses involved in a lavish party every year? Perhaps, as this Wise Bread post suggests, you should have a bash only when you turn an age than ends in a zero:
Now I’m not saying we should treat the day like any other. By all means, go have a few drinks after work or take a trip to the movies. Have a good meal. But do we really need to continue spending all of this money on each other, buying junk we don’t need for people who don’t want anything, just because we’ve reached the grand old age of 27 or 43? Many people in this world would be thankful for a healthy meal and sanitary water every day, and the money we throw at each other on gifts, cards, and endless wrapping could more than pay for that.