Ways to earn extra cash amid inflation, high gas and food prices

“As inflation continues to soar and prices on everyday essentials including gas, groceries and housing keep climbing, millions of Americans are having to reassess their monthly budget in order to stay afloat financially,” said consumer and money-saving Andrea Woroch. “Finding extra wiggle room in your budget to afford a higher cost of living may seem impossible right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to struggle.”

There are several ways you can boost your budget and maybe squirrel a little away for some summer fun. Woroch offered seven simple ways to earn some extra cash to get through this difficult economic time.

1. Get a new credit card. Is the credit card you’re using working hard for you? A study from Gigapoints found that Americans miss out on an average of $1,000 in extra cash back each year by using the wrong credit card. With prices up on everything from gas to groceries to travel, looking for a cash-back card that gives you extra rewards for these purchases can take the sting out of these rising costs.

For instance, a flat-rate cash-back card like the Bread Cashback American Express card, which offers an unlimited 2 percent back on every purchase with no spending limit so you’re always earning more regardless of what you’re buying or which type of unexpected bill pops up. Just make sure to compare cash back credit cards and look for big sign-up bonuses at sites like CardRates.com.

2. Download cash-back tools. While it’s important to compare prices and look for coupons to reduce spending, think about how you can turn purchases into extra spending cash. For instance, shop through a cash-back portal like CouponCabin.com to earn money on everything from groceries and takeout to clothing to travel bookings. You can earn $2.50 back at Uber Eats, 2 percent back at GAP and 2 percent back at Hotels.com. Don’t toss receipts as those could be turned into free gift cards by snapping a picture of them using the Fetch Rewards app. You will earn points good towards gift cards to stores like Amazon, Target or Walmart to offset future shopping needs.

Even recent shopping trips can turn into cash back in your pocket — just track price drops on new purchases with the Edison Mail’s Price Alert tool, which will alert you if you qualify for a price adjustment and help you get money back for the difference in cost .

3. Share your opinion. You can earn money these days by sharing your opinion. Sign up for virtual focus groups at 20/20 Panel from the Schlesinger Group to talk about everything from personal care to grocery shopping habits to travel where you can make up to $500 for your participation in a study. Otherwise, you can earn cash by taking online surveys through Inbox Dollars or Survey Junkie, which pay anywhere from a few bucks up to $50 depending on the length of the survey. Or, make a few bucks by leaving a review through SliceThePie.com.

4. Look for flexible side hustles. Increasing your income is the best way to deal with inflation but getting a second job can prove challenging when you have kids to care for. The good news is there are many side hustles you can do in your spare time and many you can do from home. For example, you can offer virtual tutoring on nights and weekends via Varsity Tutors where you can earn around $20 per hour or enjoy pet sitting to make up to a $1,000 a month through Rover.com. This is an especially easy gig for someone who works from home and has a yard where dogs can run around. Other ideas include dropping around town while running errands with Roadie app, tackling odd jobs for people in your community through TaskRabbit or look for online chat jobs at The Chat Shop.

5. Rent your stuff. Beyond getting a side hustle, there are other ways to create extra income streams including renting stuff around your home. For instance, old baby gear like strollers and high chairs can be rented to traveling families who don’t want to carry these bulky items via BabyQuip.com. If you have a car that sits in your driveway during the week, consider renting it by the hour by GetAround.com or rent your parking spot to tourists via SpotHero if you live near a popular attraction. Other unique rental ideas include, renting your RV through Outdoorsy, your swimming pool by the hour via Swimply.com and your home when you’re traveling through Airbnb.

6. Sell unwanted items. Go through your house to find items you no longer use or want as these items can help put more money in your pocket. For instance, you can sell unworn clothing at online consignment sites like Swap.com; old smartphones and other gadgets can be sold for instant cash payments at sites like Decluttr; post home goods and sporting goods for sale on local listing sites such as Mercari and OfferUp; and unused gift cards can be turned into cash by selling them at a site like Raise.com.

7. Move savings online. Although you may be saving less than before inflation began soaring, you can turn whatever money you already put away into extra spending cash by opening a high yield online savings account. Such online savings accounts offer higher interest rates to help you earn more back on those dollars. For instance, VIO Bank offers 1.04 percent interest on savings compared to just .001 to .003 percent among traditional brick and mortar banks. The money you make each month on interest can help offset rising grocery and gas prices.

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