How to Make Free Money (Extra $500 Per Year)

how to make free money

Our experience might be useful to anyone that wants to know how to make free money.

This year alone, our family has made an extra $250 on the side in 5 months.

Based on our calculations, we’re well on our way to make $500 – $600 in free money by the end of the year.

That’s nice seeing as we love to travel.

This money is enough to cover a nice hotel stay on our next vacation :)

In this post, we’ll be spilling the beans on our favorite tools and how we use them to maximize the free money that we get every month.

Keep in mind that even though this post is about how to make free money, the money does not just magically fall into our laps (though we wish that it did).

Some of these tools are indeed quite effortless but a few require about 10 – 15 minutes per week to work.

Still not too shabby for the return on time if you ask us.

We’ve ranked these tools according to our personal favorites.

How to Make Free Money (10 Ways)

If you pick only one way to make money from this list, pick eBates. It’s easily our favorite because you get $10 immediately and it’s one of those effortless ones that don’t take any time at all.


We have a profound appreciation for apps that JUST WORK! All you need to do is sign up. You get $10 automatically for using that link. Once you are signed up, install their cash back button and let the magic happen. They have partnerships with practically everywhere you might want to buy anything online, (except amazon :( ), that give you a set % cash back. Once you go to any website, the button flashes the % you get back and prompts you to activate it, and that’s all.

In addition, while shopping, if the retailer you are shopping with has an ongoing promotion, Ebates will automatically apply any valid coupons on your purchase before you checkout helping you save even more.

If you don’t get anything else on this page, get THIS! We’ve gotten almost $60 back on things we needed to buy anyway.


Ibotta gives you cash back for grocery items. You can look through before going shopping to find items you need to buy that give you cash back. When you’re done shopping, simply scan those products, upload the receipt and get your money back. We love that cash back here actually translates to cash and not points or gift cards. We get cash back for generic items like bananas, diapers and bread. Then there are several brand specific items, but all common household items you would normally buy. You can use our referral code clnyexn when you sign up, and you’ll get $10 for your 1st rebate and we get $5 too! :) Download the app here. We’ve used this for about 5 months, and we’ve gotten about $40 back so far.

Credit cards

We have a very strict attitude about credit cards now. Mr Beta Mo was bitten by Capital One in college because he didn’t fully understand credit cards and took his card for granted. He didn’t get into debt, but he did hurt his credit by not paying attention to his credit card bill due date. Here’s our attitude: Make Your Money Work For YOU. The only credit card he uses at the moment is the Chase freedom unlimited card. He gets 1.5% cash back on EVERY single purchase he makes. So in addition to all these other apps, this gives us a guaranteed additional 1.5% cash back without any effort. We easily get over $150 a year just by using this card for regular expenses.


You can sign up for the chase freedom card here which is a similar card. With this link, you get $150 back if you spend $500 within 3 months. You get guaranteed 1% cash back on every purchase, and then 5% cash back on categories that change every quarter, but range from things like; gas, groceries, restaurants, movies etc. Mr Beta Mo had the Chase freedom card for 4 years and just recently switched to the freedom unlimited which chase introduced this year. He switched because, honestly, ain’t nobody got time to be keeping track of the changing categories that get you 5% cash back, plus, as we mentioned earlier, we want to use our cards only on things that we need to buy already, not categories that we’re being motivated to spend in. Our advice: sign up for the freedom card, get the $150, and switch to the freedom unlimited after 4 months. There is no fee, or extra credit check to make the switch, and your balance is completely transferable.

Note: Please, Please, Please, do not sign up for credit cards for the sake of it. Only get credit cards that offer you something in return for its use and ensure you only use it for things you NEED already and pay off the balance every month. If you cannot do that, stick with cash and your debit card. You are better off in the long run.


We’ve had mixed experiences with Airbnb. We’ve used it a total of 3 times between us, and never when we’ve traveled together. It’s hard to say if Airbnb will ever truly replace hotels. Hotel rooms, for the most part offer privacy, and someone who comes to clean up after you daily amongst other things. However, Airbnb is an excellent alternative to hotels, and so we check airbnb now as well when traveling. Sign up with this link. If you book a stay/trip worth at least $75, we both get $30.

Google Cross Media Panel

This program pays $3/week. $1 for each type of device (PC, smartphone & tablet) you have it installed on. That’s $12/month for a total of $144/year. All you have to do is install the apps and use those devices at least once a week. They also give you a $5 bonus on your birthday which we think is pretty cool. Your balance can then be converted to gift cards for use at major retailers like; Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Nike, Starbucks etc. However, ensure you read the privacy policy before signing up. They have access to pretty much everything you do on those devices.


For most of our flights and car rentals, we have come to trust Orbitz. We invariably get the lowest prices from them. In addition, you get orbitz money called orbucks with every purchase, and you can use this $ for $ on later purchases. We have gotten over $169 from Orbitz this way.


We are still relatively new to shrink. If you eat organic, healthy products or are looking to but scared of the relatively higher prices this is definitely for you. They have cash back for specific healthy products and brands. Also, through the end of August 2016, they have a promotion where you get rewards for any grocery receipts uploaded. If you sign up using our referral code CILAFC, we both get $1! Download here for iPhone. Download here for Android.


This is not as rewarding as Ibotta as it has a more specific list, so we don’t use it as much. Also, you can only cash out when you hit a $20 balance. We’ve used this as long as Ibotta, and currently have an $8 balance.

Receipt Hog

We are yet to get any real money from receipt hog. However, the app is a bit like a game, and it’s very easy to upload receipts so we keep using it anyway. This app gives you rewards for any receipt from anywhere, and the more receipts you feed in, the more the rewards as you level up. Download for Android here. Download for iPhone here.

Bing Rewards

Microsoft wants to reward you for using their bing search. If you google a lot like us, switching to bing every now and then takes a conscious effort, but the points you get just for searching via bing as you normally would on Google accumulate and you can use those points for rewards at places like Skype, Amazon, Hulu etc. Sign up here.

There’s a lot of options here, but if you were to choose only 2 things to do:

  1. Sign up for eBates
  2. Get cash back on Ibotta

Post last updated 08/07/2016

2 thoughts on “How to Make Free Money (Extra $500 Per Year)

  1. Love this! I have tried most of the tools listed, but I’m curious to try the Chase card. I currently use my Citi double cash card for my everyday expenses since I get 1% cash back on my purchases and 1% cash back on my payments. I don’t do much shopping but I’ve already received almost $100 back so far! It’s like I’m getting paid to buy things that I’m going to buy anyway. That $150 bonus sounds good to me! Looks like I’m taking a small hiatus from Citi lol

    1. Lol!! You’re so welcome. Sounds like you’re already way ahead of the game even! No reason not to get free money if it’s just sitting there ?

Comments are closed.