If You Have Less Than $5K in Savings, These 7 Steps Will Help Get You There

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Getting your savings account to where you want it (and keeping it that way) can feel like an uphill battle.

But it’s important to have something to fall back on in case of an emergency. What if your car breaks down, or you have a sudden medical bill?

If you have less than $5,000 in savings, we have seven tips to help you get the ball rolling and get your savings account growing. You’ll be able to breathe a little easier.

1. Try to Save $1,000 or More — By Leaving Your House

Look. We get it. Your home is your sanctuary. Your place to be alone. Some days, you don’t even want to have your own family over — let alone people you don’t know.

So, the idea of listing your place on Airbnb is daunting for a lot of folks.

Use Airbnb’s price calculator to see how much money you could make in your area.

Tonya Peters’ husband, Miles Rugh, was one of of those skeptics.

She wanted to list their Virginia Village basement apartment in Denver, Colorado, on Airbnb, but he wasn’t keen on welcoming strangers into their place.

Finally, though, he agreed to give it a try. Now, three years later, the couple has hosted too many guests to count. And the extra income has been a great for them. They plan to use it for some home renovations they’ve been wanting.

“He’s definitely changed his tune,” says Peters, now an Airbnb Superhost. “And he loves having the extra income.”

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

2. Get Paid up to $600/Week to Drop off Starbucks

Your city is filled with two things: Starbucks, and people who want Starbucks.

An app called Doordash will pay you to pick up and deliver an extra latte when you’re already out and getting your caffeine fix. And it’s not just coffee. You can deliver from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and hundreds of other restaurants in your area.

With Doordash, you set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make is up to you. 

You’ll earn money for each delivery, plus tips. Jose Neri, from California, reports earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners.

The best part? No passengers — that grande, no-whip macchiato will be the only thing to hear your beautiful singing voice.

If you sign up for Doordash now, it’s possible to get your first paycheck this week. 

3. This Research Company Will Pay You up to $225/Month to Watch Videos

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

What if we told you a research company would pay you to watch cooking videos on your computer?

It’s too good to be true, right? 

But we’re serious. InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. 

No, InboxDollars won’t get you rich, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone. Plus, it’s extra money you can put in your savings. Everything helps.

It’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

4. Get Free Scratch-off Tickets

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Hitting a big jackpot could really pad your savings account right about now. It’s tempting to buy those scratch-off tickets from the gas station. But that’s not the best use of your money when you’re in a bind. 

Instead, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000, in cash or gift cards to popular retailers.

The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free.

It’s not guaranteed money, but at least Lucktastic is free to play. And hey, somebody’s gotta win.

Take single dad Oneil Campbell, from Boston. He was shocked when he won a $5,000 Lucktastic prize.

“I didn’t see that one coming,” Campbell says with a laugh. “I really didn’t. This is something good that happened to me at the right time — when I can really use it.”

5. Get Paid to Fill This out

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We’ve all been there. Netflix drones in the background as you scroll Instagram. What are you even doing?

But there’s a company that will pay you for all that screen time.

Yep. Swagbucks is a reader favorite, because it pays you in free gift cards for taking surveys and other activities right on your phone. You’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 points within your first 60 days.

Online surveys won’t make you rich, but if you’re just vegging out on the couch, why not click a couple buttons and earn some cash to add to your savings account?

6. Turn Those Crumpled Receipts Into Prepaid Visa and Mastercards

A free app called Fetch Rewards will turn your receipts into gift cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share. Then you can exchange them for prepaid cards for Visa and MasterCard.

All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.

When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt — you’ll be well on your way to your first gift card.

No, you can’t put a Visa card in your savings, but, these cards can go a long way on your next grocery run and free up some cash to tuck away into your account.

7. Make up to $15/Hour to Pick up Milk for Your Neighbors

The grocery store is a surprisingly zen place. Somewhere between the soothing elevator music, the free samples and the wafting aroma of rotisserie chicken, you settle into a peaceful groove. 

None of the stress of work or home — it’s just you and the aisles.

Some people, for some reason, don’t feel the same. They’d rather avoid it altogether. And with an app called Postmates, you could get paid to pick up a few extra groceries for them. 

Even better than getting paid to grocery shop? If you need the money, like, now, you can cash out instantly after each delivery.

Holly Gaston, of San Francisco, California, has tried plenty of side gigs. With Postmates, she makes an average of $15 an hour. Plus, she says it’s been much more enjoyable than any of her previous side gigs.

Signing up shouldn’t take you more than about three minutes. The hardest part will be choosing which selfie you want to use as a profile pic.

 



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