Tired of going paycheck to paycheck wishing you were on the other side planning your next travel adventure with no holds barred? You are not alone.
Most of us have been there at some point or another.
The worst is when you start getting ahead and then all of a sudden, your car breaks down, you have a medical emergency, or maybe even lose your job.
It’s enough to throw you over the edge.
There’s no doubt that when money is tight it’s easy to get stressed and anxious over finances — with good reason.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to stay that way. I’ve done plenty of research on ways to save and earn extra cash when money is tight.
Whether it’s to make travel plans for a weekend getaway, a check off your wanderlust bucket list, help with living expenses or simply just being able to breathe without your bank account looking so grim.
After sifting and sorting through spammy nonsense, I found some non-traditional yet legit money making options to help you build up your travel fund and add some cushion to your bank account — all from the comfort of your own home.
The following options are all legit from real companies that follow through what they claim.
Some are ways to save while others will help you earn extra cash to start padding your stash right away. So, if money is tight for you right now, these are all well worth trying out.
Here are 8 resources to help you save and earn extra cash for travel and living expenses…
1. Ask for Help — Don’t have shame!
If you’re in a really tight spot, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Remember, you are not alone.
Start at 211.org. This is a confidential service offered by United Way that helps you find essential resources to help you with rent, utilities, food, employment and affordable housing. You’ll speak to someone who cares and understands your situation without judgment.
All you have to do is head over to 211.org and enter your location to get a list of services in your area with a number to call.
Asking for help doesn’t make you a bad person nor should it make you feel less than your worth. It’s not an easy thing to do but sometimes, we just have to bite the bullet and go for it. And, if you’ve never asked for help, chances are you don’t know what services are available to you.
Temporary setbacks are just that… Temporary. There is nothing wrong with seeking temporary assistance.
Another option to look into is Modest Needs Grants. An organization designed for the legitimate workers that fall just above the poverty line making them ineligible to claim assistance. This was me years ago, so I completely understand the frustration.
Know that nothing ever stays the same. Situations like this are temporary. Sometimes, you just have to prioritize survival over pride.
2. Get $225 in Cash for Free
Earn extra cash for travel, summer fun or that vacation outfit or luggage you’ve been wanting to splurge on just by taking online surveys, playing games, and even reading emails!
When I first learned about this opportunity, I was like, “Yeah, right.” Sounds too good to be true, right? Nope, it’s 100% legit.
The website is called InboxDollars. They will seriously pay you to read emails, take paid surveys or play games. How crazy does that sound?!
You can also save by getting cashback when you shop online or at the grocery store by simply scanning your receipts.
All you have to do is choose which activities you want to partake in and set aside 15-20 minutes to complete the selected offers.
Each offer varies in time so you can select a bunch of short ones or mix it up with the longer ones. You can do this every day or as often as you’d like. The more you complete, the more money you make.
Brands pay InboxDollars to get these offers in front of registered users and in return, pass on a cut of the earnings.
InboxDollars is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It’s just a great way to save and earn extra cash to help with your living expenses and add to your wallet stash making it 100% possible to earn up to $225 each month.
To put it in perspective, it has already paid out $80 million to its users since 2000.
It’s a quick sign up with a startup bonus of $5 to help get you started.
3. Get Paid Up to $80/Month to Share Your Opinion
Similar to InboxDollars, brands pay Survey Junkie to put their surveys in front of registered users. In return, Survey Junkie pays you.
Lets face it, we are not always apt to jump on completing survey requests unless there’s something in it for you. Which is why brands are willing to pay for them. Surveys are essential to companies because it helps them build better marketing campaigns.
As a result of a good campaign with intentional targeting, sales increase. So, you can see why brands need surveys.
Completing surveys may not sound like the ideal way to earn extra cash for travel but if you’re just chilling on the couch — or have some downtime you don’t know what to do with — hopping on the computer to answer a few questions could get you up to $80 per month without even trying.
It’s seriously an easy side hustle and super simple way to earn extra cash.
Out of all the paid survey sites out there I’ve found Survey Junkie to be among the best of them.
Before you start taking surveys, I suggest completing your profile so you can get relevant surveys matched to your preferences. This way you answer questions that make sense and relate to your lifestyle.
Some of the questions they’ll ask you are generally about the type of household products you use or the kind of drinks you prefer among others along that wavelength. You collect points with each survey and most end up cashing out within a day.
Survey Junkie pays out over $40,000 daily and has a Trust Pilot score of 4.4/5 stars.
Head on over to the Survey Junkie website and click the Join Now button to get started for free.
4. Earn up to $400/Month Using the Empty Space in Your Home
Ever wondered what to do with that extra storage space you have in your garage, basement or attic? Maybe even your closet, bedroom or shed?
With Neighbor Storage Solutions, you can put that unused space to good use and earn extra cash for it. That’s right. You can rent out any storage space and get paid for it — including your driveway or carport!
So, if you have the space, why let it go to waste?
You’d be surprised at how many people nearby need storage of all kinds but don’t want to have to drive across town to get it. Especially with storage prices being ridiculously high.
Plus, as a host, you get $1 million in liability protection — a bonus for the renter. This way they don’t have to hassle with getting a separate rental insurance policy like most storage facilities require making it an added savings.
As a Neighbor host you are in control of the process. All you have to do is list your space, respond and approve your renter and schedule a move-in.
It’s an easy way to earn extra cash and create a passive income stream that helps pay the bills or that weekend getaway you’ve been wanting to go on.
Start putting your unused space to use and start earning some extra cash. It’s free to list.
5. Trade-In Your Used Items and Get Paid for It
I bet if you were to search around your house right now, you would find a device or two or three stashed away somewhere.
Chances are you don’t use them anymore, they’re obsolete and you no longer want it so you’ve just stashed it away in a box that is now taking up space in your closet, attic or garage.
Guess what? With the Amazon Trade-In program, you can get paid for those devices and a number of other items you might have. Thousands of items are eligible for the program so it doesn’t have to necessarily be Amazon devices.
Amazon will pay you in the form of an Amazon gift card and give you up to 25% off a new device.
So instead of leaving money on the table for items you no longer use or want, why not trade them in for some cashola?
Cell phones and gaming items are also included. I’m sure if you start a house hunt, you’d find quite a bit of potential items you could turn into cash.
It’s a win-win.
6. Find Money that Belongs to You — Claim What is Yours!
What if you learned that you have a stash of money sitting somewhere and didn’t even know it?
You could potentially have unclaimed money from the government that you don’t know about — money you have every right to claim.
It could be unpaid wages, tax refunds, pensions, or even money owed from banks that have gone under.
Start your search on usa.gov to see what extra cash you can find.
You never know!
7. Get the Cheapest Flights — Travel Anywhere You Want
Dreaming of visiting the Amalfi Coast of Italy or beautiful Santorini, Greece? Your dreams are not as far-fetched as you think.
If you have a flexible schedule or a remote job that allows you to work from wherever you want, you can easily find cheap flights to anywhere in the world for as little as $40 one-way.
If you don’t have that kind of flexibility or time to spend searching, Scotts Cheap Flights will do the work for you.
You can save more with deals that work to your advantage as a result of airline mistakes or the perfect price drop on a specific date and time you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
Vacationing in Italy or Greece could be the next check off your wanderlust bucket list.
8. Monetize Your Skills
Something you may not ever think about when it comes to side hustles or earning extra cash is putting your skills and talents to good use.
If you’re good at graphic design, web design, photography, marketing or video editing among many others, you can use Fiverr to start freelancing and getting paid for what you already do well.
Fiverr has over 5.5 million buyers ready to pay for what you have to offer with over 50 million transactions to date.
The platform is one of my go-to’s for anything I don’t know how to do or don’t want to do myself so I can tell you first hand, entrepreneurs and small business owners need your help!
Printables on Etsy go over really well. I created my own and started making sales in just a couple of weeks. I use the paid version of Canva for all my graphic and creative projects which comes in handy for so many things.
If you take it seriously, you can totally make it a full time income. There are shop owners making 6 figures on Etsy — most of which use Fiverr for help. So it is definitely possible.
The sooner you get started, the closer you’ll be to taking that long awaited trip to Hawaii!