There are many great ways to make extra money in today’s gig and technology-heavy world. Despite the plethora of side hustles available, many don’t have time to add another significant task to their plate.
If you’re struggling to fit more into your busy schedule but still need some extra cash, fear not because there are many legitimate ways to get free money fast. This list contains websites, apps, services, and methods for getting money fast while also capitalizing on your time and energy.
If you’ve ever said, “I need money today for free,” this article is for you.
I Need Money Today for Free: 15 Best Ways to Grab That Quick Cash
1. Unclaimed Money
There are millions of dollars in unclaimed money in cash, checks, money orders, safe deposit boxes, and security deposits. While you can search your state and other various organizations using the government’s unclaimed money site, a few great places to start are MissingMoney.com and Unclaimed.org. Both sites allow you to quickly and easily search for unclaimed money by inputting your name and letting the site do the work for you.
Not all states participate with MissingMoney, but you can make a claim on any money you find directly with the site for those who do. On the other hand, Unclaimed will direct you to the appropriate place for your state, and you can search from there. Even if you don’t think you have unclaimed money, it’s worth a few minutes of your time to see what you might uncover.
2. Government Assistance
If you’ve ever thought, “I need money today for free,” chances are you may qualify for assistance from the government. These programs help people in need get back on their feet, and you might be eligible to receive significant financial assistance.
Some possible programs to check out include:
Benefits.gov – This helps you find assistance programs you’re eligible for by offering a “Benefit Finder Questionnaire.”
Child Care Development Fund – This fund is a federal program providing money to states to assist families with childcare costs.
Student Aid – If you’re a low-income student, you may qualify for Federal Loan Aid of up to $2,000, which is not a loan and does not need to be repaid. Fill out the FAFSA to find out if you’re eligible.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program – A program that assists families with energy costs.
Federal Pell Grant for Education – This grant is awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs who have not yet earned a degree.
3. Cash Back and Coupons
Another fantastic way to get free money fast is by earning cashback and utilizing coupons. Earning cash back on purchases you’re already making allows you to earn a little bit for each purchase. You can also stack your cash back rewards and really rack up the money. Similarly, coupons save you money and can help you earn cashback.
Below are some of the best ways and apps for earning cash back and utilizing coupons.
Credit cards – Many credit cards will offer a percentage of each purchase in cashback, usually between 1% and 5% depending on the card and spending category.
Honey – Honey is a browser extension that searches for promo codes and coupons and automatically applies them to your online shopping.
Rakuten ($10 Signup Bonus) – Rakuten users can earn cash back for shopping online and in-store.
Ibotta ($5 Signup Bonuses) – Ibotta offers coupons for everyday household items or groceries. Simply browse the app, clip the coupons before shopping, and scan your receipts to earn rewards.
RebateKey – This site offers huge discounts and freebies for products sold on Amazon and a handful of other places. Merchants share their latest products and deals, and consumers get amazing discounts.
4. Save Money on Monthly Bills
Do you know what you’re spending on subscriptions and services? Do you even use all the things you have? Even cutting back on $10 or $20 a month will put significantly more money in your pocket over time. While it can feel overwhelming going through your transactions one by one, luckily, you don’t have to.
Truebill – Truebill finds and tracks your subscriptions so that you can see everything in one convenient location and cancel any unneeded subscriptions. Truebill also gives you a breakdown of your finances to see where your money is going and offers recommendations for areas you might improve.
Trim – Trim also helps you save money on your bills. Trim analyzes spending patterns to find actionable ways to save money, then negotiates your bills and cancels unused subscriptions to help you save even more.
5. Consolidate Your Debt
Do you have several debts you’re paying? Paying multiple debts every month is difficult to manage and will likely cost you more money. Especially if you have high-interest debt, you should consider debt consolidation to save money. This process is similar to refinancing a mortgage and will allow you to roll all your debts into one monthly payment, hopefully at a much lower rate overall. The lower rate will save you money, and you’ll also have more cash in your pocket by only making one payment.
Another option for debt consolidation is to take advantage of a 0% balance transfer credit card. You may be able to consolidate your other credit cards into one payment with 0% in interest for an introductory period, which will allow you to pay down your debts without paying interest.
6. Earn a Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus
Did you know that you can get free cash to open a new credit card account and spend some money? Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses for meeting a minimum spending requirement within the first several months of opening your account. These spending requirements generally range from $1000 to $5000, with the bonuses being worth between $150 and $500 in cash back or travel rewards. Some can be worth as much as $750 when redeemed for travel rewards!
Earn a sign-up bonus on a card that earns cash back, then stack your rewards by using cashback sites for even more free money! Just make sure that you pay your balances in full every month if you spend using a credit card. Otherwise, any rewards you earn are whipped out by interest payments.
7. Bank Bonuses
Like credit cards, many banks also offer bonuses for opening bank accounts and depositing a certain amount. You can also earn bonuses for setting up direct deposits. In addition, you can also sometimes earn bonuses for opening savings accounts.
You’ll likely need to leave the money or direct deposit set up for several months to earn the bonus, but it might be worth it for a free $150+. Check out this list of banks currently offering bonuses.
8. Get Free Money Playing Games
Many people play games on their phones or other smart devices in their free time, but did you know you can get free money for playing games?
Games like Lucktastic, Solitaire Cube, and Mistplay offer rewards, free gift cards (including Amazon gift cards), and even cash just for playing games in your free time. The money from these games won’t replace your day job, but it could give you a boost when you need money now.
Check out this article for a complete list of the best money-making games!
9. Refinance Student Loans or Mortgage
Like consolidating the debt discussed above, refinancing your student loans or mortgage might be another way to save money and put more in your pocket each month.
The idea is to refinance to a lower interest rate, thus lowering your monthly payment and increasing your cash flow. If you have multiple student loans, consolidating them into one monthly payment could also help you lower your overall payment. Check the current rates and see if refinancing student loans or a mortgage makes sense for you.
10. Survey Websites and Apps
One of the best ways to get free money fast is by taking online surveys. While one survey site or app likely won’t yield life-changing money, signing up for multiple sites and apps and completing surveys and other tasks in your free time can add up.
Most survey sites offer a bonus for signing up, and you can earn points for completing tasks and taking surveys that fit your profile. Then, you can redeem your points for gift cards and cashback.
Some of the top survey sites for getting free money include:
Survey Junkie – This connects consumers to surveys based on your profile. You’ll give your opinion on products and services.
Swagbucks ($5 Signup Bonus) – Swagbucks offers rewards for completing various tasks, including taking surveys and installing apps. You can earn your first $5 just for signing up!
MyPoints ($10 Signup Bonus) – MyPoints also offers different earning options for points, which can then be redeemed for gift cards and cash.
InboxDollars ($5 Signup Bonus) – Earn cash by taking surveys, watching videos, shopping online, and more.
While the apps above are some of the most popular options for taking surveys for cash, this list is by no means exhaustive. Check out this article for a more comprehensive list of survey sites where you can earn money for giving your opinion.
11. Get Free Stocks
It can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to investing, but luckily, there are now a plethora of investing apps that make it easier than ever. Plus, many of them offer free stocks just for signing up, translating to free money for you!
Some of the best apps offering free stock are:
Public.com (Up to $300 in Free Stock) – This is an investing app offering commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs. You can also purchase fractional shares. In addition, Public will now give you a free slice of stock worth up to $300 when you create an account.
Webull (Up to $2,000 in Free Stock) – You can buy or sell stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrency with Webull. You’ll also receive between $3 and $2,000 in free stock when you open a brokerage account with them.
M1 Finance ($30 Bonus) – Another popular investing platform, M1 Finance, offers commission-free trades and fractional shares. M1 offers dozens of preset portfolios to choose from, or you can create your own. In addition, you can earn a $30 welcome bonus if you refer a friend and they sign up.
Robinhood (Free Stock for Signing Up) – Robinhood is an excellent investing app for beginners. You can get a free stock worth between $3 and $225 just for downloading the app and opening a free account. You don’t even need to deposit or invest money to get the free stock!
Stash ($5 Signup Bonus) – Stash is a micro-investing platform that provides an automated investing service. You can earn $5 for signing up and depositing $5 into your account.
Acorns ($5 Signup and Referral Bonuses) – Acorns is another micro-investing app that also automatically invests your money. You link your credit or debit card, and every time you make a purchase, Acorns rounds up to the next $1 and adds that spare change to your account. Once you reach $5, Acorns invests that money. Earn $5 for signing up and an additional $5 for referring friends.
12. Other Apps with Sign Up Bonuses
Aside from surveys, cashback, and investing apps, there are a few others that offer sign-up bonuses.
Personal Capital ($20 Signup Bonus) – This is free software that helps you calculate and track your net worth, bills and spending, investments, and overall finances. Personal services are also available for a fee. When signing up, use a referral link to earn a $20 bonus for yourself and your friend.
Groundfloor ($10 Bonus) – Groundfloor is a real estate investment platform. When you sign up and invest at least $10, you’ll earn a bonus of $10.
13. Get Refunds with Capital One Shopping
Have you ever bought something and then had the price drop a week later? Capital One Shopping (formerly Paribus) can refund you the difference with no effort. This service monitors your emails from retailers and then notifies and helps you get a refund if the price drops.
14. Sell Your Stuff
Consider selling unused or unwanted items online or hosting a garage sale if you need cash now. Platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, Craigslist, and many Craigslist alternatives make it easy to sell your stuff and quickly get the money you need.
15. Rent Your Stuff
Do you have an extra room, car, or unused space? If so, you might be able to make semi-passive income renting your stuff or space. Many apps are available like Airbnb but for renting other spaces and items.
House-hack by renting a room or basement, rent your car on Turo, your RV on Outdoorsy, your backyard on Sniffspot, and your unused space on Neighbor. If you have unused space or items, try renting them out and put some extra money in your pocket for minimal effort.
I Need Money Today for Free: Final Thoughts
Are you looking for some free money today? While there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is such a thing as free cash! Mix and match these legit ways to get free money and put some extra cash in your pocket today.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Tawnya is an elementary special education teacher by day and co-blogger at Money Saved is Money Earned by night.
She holds an Honors BS in Psychology from Oregon State University and an MS in Special Education from Portland State University. She has had a pretty successful writing career, first as a writing tutor at the Oregon State University Writing Center, and in recent years, as a freelance writer.
Tawnya and co-blogger Sebastian have a wealth of knowledge and information about personal finance, retirement, student loans, credit cards, and many other financial topics. They teach people how to save money, make money, and understand money.