When I was younger, it was virtually impossible to save extra money.
That's what I told myself, at least.
Truth be told I had plenty of extra money to save I just chose to spend it instead. I know I'm not alone in this.
It's been reported over half of Americans don't have at least $1,000 in their savings.
When you have kids, a job, and a whirlwind of responsibilities, it's easy to believe you don’t have a lot of time for much else. But it's no excuse to be lazy and not save money.
But with a little ingenuity, hustle, and planning, you can save more than $7,000 this year – $7,712.60 to be exact! The best part is, you don’t have to get a part-time job or change your habits.
12 Months of Hustling to Save Extra Money this Year
Whether you need some extra cash for a family vacation, a newer car, or some other goal, here are 12 months of money-making and savings strategies that can add up big time:
Month 1: Open a new bank account for a $350 bonus!
Let’s start with the easiest money-making opportunity on this list. Right now, you can score a sweet $350 just for opening a checking and savings account with Chase.
Make sure you can meet deposit requirements before you dive in, then get started right away. With both bonuses, you'll have an extra $350 saved in no time.
- Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
- Access to over 16,000 Chase ATMs and 5,200 branches
- Chase QuickDeposit(SM) lets you deposit checks almost anytime, anywhere with the ease of taking a picture. Just point, snap, and deposit.
- Get a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings(SM) account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 10 business days, and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
- Access to over 16,000 Chase ATMs and 5,200 branches
- Chase QuickDeposit(TM) lets you deposit checks almost anytime, anywhere with the ease of taking a picture. Just point, snap, and deposit.
- Link this account to your Chase checking account for Overdraft Protection
Total Saved: $350
Month 2: Get into the habit of taking online surveys for another $300 this year!
Online surveys offer one of the fastest – and easiest – ways to save cash in your spare time. With a website like Global Test Market, you can earn $.50 to $1.25 just by answering a handful of questions every day.
If you meet certain qualifications, you can earn more than $5 per survey taken from the comfort of your own home.
Make sure to check out some other paid survey sites that offer cash back, gift cards, free products, and more:
Total Saved : $650
Month 3: Sign up for Inbox Dollars to rack up an easy $200.
InboxDollars offers yet another way to earn cash fast – and from your couch!
Just by signing up, you can score a quick $5 bonus. Boom!
Beyond the bonus, you can earn money by browsing the web with their search engine, watching videos, printing coupons, and more.
If you’re always on the internet and want to earn free money for doing nothing, you have nothing to lose and a few hundred bucks to gain. Talk about an super simple way to save extra money!
Total Saved: $850
Month 4: Save extra money with some part-time hours with Uber to earn $1,350 or more!
If you want to start earning some cash on the side, driving for Uber is one of the best options out there.
If you have a newer, clean, and safe automobile and a clean driving record, you can apply to drive for Uber and be on your way within a week.
Check out our post for more information on how to become an Uber driver!
The best part about driving for Uber is the fact you don’t have to commit to specific work schedule.
When you’re ready to drive, you turn your app on until you get a ride. And when you’re ready to call it a night, you turn your app off.
Working just ten hours per month at $15 per hour (after expenses) throughout the rest of the year will help you earn $1,350 in sweet side income.
Total Saved: $2,200
Month 5: Invest in Lending Club for another $200+ this year.
When you think of Lending Club, you probably envision a marketplace where people borrow money. However, it’s possible to use Lending Club for the exact opposite purpose – making money!
While it’s possible to lose money with this peer-to-peer lending platform when people default, they make it easy to reduce your risk by spreading your investment out over hundreds – or even thousands – of loans.
With a $2,500 investment, for example, you can spread your risk out over 100 loans. If you want to earn and save extra money over the long run, investing in peer-to-peer lending can be a smart move!
Total Saved: $2,400
More from GFC, Below
Month 6: Replace your pricey life insurance with a better product! Save $100+ this year.
If you’re like most people, you’re overpaying for life insurance. But with Haven Life, you can almost always qualify for a less expensive, term life insurance policy for a fraction of the price!
One lady I know shopped around for a term policy and saved more than 50 percent with this company. As a 37-year-old woman in good health, she could buy a $750,000 term policy from Allstate for around $59 per month.
But with Haven Life, she got the same $750,000, twenty-year term policy for only $27.33 per month. Make sure to check out our Haven Life review for more details.
Total Saved: $2,500
Month 7: Watch some gorgeous pets in your home for another $500!
If you love dogs and want to make money taking care of them on your own schedule, Rover.com provides an awesome opportunity.
With this website, you can create a profile online then get connected with people who need animal lovers to watch their pets overnight or during the day.
Not only can you set your own rates, but you can decide which type – and size – of animals you want to watch. Best of all, you can watch dogs only on days and weeks when you’re available.
If you earned just $100 per month watching pets for the last five months of the year, you would rack up an extra $500!
Total Saved: $3,000
Month 8: Save extra money by refinancing your debts for HUGE savings!
In March of 2016, the average indebted household carried $16,048 in credit card debt. Since the average credit card interest rate is approximately 15 percent APR, the average family making only the minimum payment is paying around $200.60 in interest every month.
By using a balance transfer card, you can whittle that amount down to 0 percent APR for up to 21 months for a total savings of $4,212.60 during that time.
Check out the best balance transfer cards to learn how to get 0% APR for 12 – 21 months, save money on interest, and potentially get out of debt faster. Or consider my favorite option – the Discover it®, which offers 0% APR and rewards.
Total Saved: $7,212.60
Month 9: Test the waters with Swagbucks for another $50.
Earning money and gift cards through SwagBucks is easy. Simply sign up for an account, then use their handy dashboard to surf the web, watch videos, take surveys, and more.
Total Saved: $7,262.60
Month 10: Get rid of a bunch of stuff! Earn $200 or more!
Most of us have way more stuff than we need. To save up some extra cash this year, try offloading some of your unwanted items for cash.
Here are a few ideas that can help you score $200 or more for junk you didn’t want anyway.
- Sell your used electronics.If you have old laptops, cell phones, iPods, or other electronics, you can make some quick money by selling them right away. If you don’t want to list them on a website like craiglist.org, you can use a website like Gazelle.com instead. With Gazelle, you can connect with buyers who are actually looking for the used electronics you have.
- Resell items on eBay.com or craigslist.org. If you’re fairly savvy on “what’s hot” and what’s not, you can earn some extra cash fairly quickly on eBay. Look around your house for valuable antiques or name brand clothing that fetches top dollar, then list on eBay for a quick return. If you think you’ll be better off selling in your local market, you can also place a free ad for your stuff on craigslist.org. Remember, anything you sell means more quick money in your bank account.
- Have a yard sale. If you need a quick infusion of cash and have “extra stuff” laying around, having a yard can help you accomplish two goals. Not only will you get rid of your clutter, but you’ll earn extra cash, too. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Total Saved: $7,462.60
Month 11: Learn a single online skill to earn another $150+!
If you have any creative skills and your own computer, it’s possible to pick up a part-time gig.
Believe it or not, plenty of bloggers and online businesses hire people to manage their social media, write content, and create graphics.
If you have any of these skills or simply want to learn, consider testing the waters with an online gig. You could easily earn an extra $150 during the last two months of the year!
- Pick up freelance writing. If you have good or great writing skills and a passion for writing essays or interesting stories, you could easily parlay those skills into a lucrative online writing career. It’s not hard to get started (especially if you have a blog), and the opportunities are limitless. If you think about it, every business has a blog these days, and even those that don’t need to hire writers to create the content for their online business pages. Want to know more? Read how one online freelancer makes more than $200,000 per year creating online content in this post.
- Market your online skills on Fiverr. If you have any web-based skills at all, you can pick up some side jobs on websites like Fiverr.com and Upwork.com. After you create an online profile, you can pick up work creating web pages, designing flyers, or creating one-of-a-kind logos for personal blogs or businesses. The sky is the limit and your income will vary depending on your level of skill.
- Become a virtual assistant. Believe it or not, nearly all online entrepreneurs hire virtual assistants to handle at least part of their tasks. While some virtual assistants work mostly on crafting and replying to emails, others design spreadsheets, create slideshows, or help their clients with various online tasks. If you have experience with WordPress or making Pinterest images, your skills could be in especially high demand. Amazingly, some virtual assistants earn as much as $25 per hour from the comfort of their own homes!
Total Saved: $7,612.60
Month 12: Resell those holiday gift cards for another easy $100!
If you have a bunch of gift cards laying around from the holidays, there are plenty of ways to offload them for a profit and save extra money. Websites like CardPool make it easy to trade gift cards for cash, and from the comfort of your own home.
While you won’t get the full value of your used gift cards, you can get pretty close. And if you weren’t going to use the gift card anyway, this money can truly come in handy.
Total Saved: $7,712.60
Think you can't save extra money? Think again. There are literally dozens of ways to earn or save a few thousand bucks if you're willing to put in the work.
Now it's your turn. What are you doing to save more or earn more money this year?