13 Ways To Make Money Without a Job

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Wondering how to make money without a job? A real job? Well, by “real” job, we mean your classic 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday desk job.

Unless you win the lottery or strike inheritance gold, you can’t really live without an income. But you might be able to replace your day-to-day with more flexible side gigs and forms of passive income.

Whether you’re unemployed, disabled, a stay-at-home parent, retired or simply want some extra income, here are ways real people have made money without a typical job.

1. Let This App Pay You up to $83 When You Win Solitaire Games

Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?

There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?

Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.

With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

2. See How Much Extra Cash This Company Can Get You

Here’s the deal: If you’re not using Aspiration’s debit card, you’re missing out on extra cash. And who doesn’t want extra cash right now?

Yep. When you sign up for a debit card called Aspiration, you could get up to 5% back when you swipe at certain stores — plus they give you up to 50 times the normal national interest rate on your savings balance.

It’s perfect for earning extra cash for things that are already on your shopping list. You were going to buy these things anyway — why not get this extra money in the process?

This card used to have a huge waiting list, but now you can sign up for free.

Just enter your email address here and link your bank account to see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

3. Invest in Multi-Family Real-Estate (Even if You’re Not Filthy Rich)

Wood house model, a stack of coins, one pair of eyeglasses, a succulent, eyeglasses, a pen, and saving account book or financial statement on office desk table.
sureeporn/Getty Images

The uber wealthy 1% have access to exclusive, lucrative real estate investments that seem totally out of reach to the rest of us.

But not anymore.  A company called CalTier lets you invest in commercial real estate — specifically, multi-family apartment complexes across the country — for as little as $500.

Traditionally, you’d need a six-figure income or a million-dollar net worth to invest like this.

Instead, CalTier lets you invest like the big wigs in the real estate world, even if you’re not rich. Investments in multi-family housing have outperformed the S&P 500 for the last 20 years* — and it’s expected to grow another 33% this year alone.

CalTier also gives you a 30 day money-back guarantee. And if you have any questions along the way, you can talk to a real human to get them answered.

Ready to join the ranks of wealthy and institutional real-estate investors? It’s easy to open a free account and get started here.

4. Killing Time on Your Phone? Play Bingo for up to $83 Per Win

Our smartphones are the world’s greatest time-killers. Browse Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or Instagram. Watch a video on YouTube. Play some Minecraft or Roblox.

Oh, and there’s bingo. We found a free iPhone app called Bingo Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?

But there really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.

The game is based on a classic Bingo format. You’ll battle it out against other players at your same skill level. Everyone gets the same board and sees the same Bingo balls. The top three players in a game can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has a 4.7-star rating (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

5. Get Paid up to $80/Month — Just for Sharing Your Opinion 

Female tourist waling on street and using smart phone. Wears casual clothes, sunglasses, bag.
Vladimir Vladimirov/Getty Images

Taking surveys might not sound like the best way to make money, but if you’re just vegging out on the couch — or pretending to be interested in your partner’s new favorite show — why not click a couple buttons? It could earn you up to $80 a month. Seriously.

There are a bunch of paid survey sites out there, but one of the best we’ve found is Survey Junkie.

They’ll ask you questions about things like, what kind of laundry detergent you use, or if you prefer Pepsi or Coke. You get points for answering, and many people accumulate enough points to request a check within a few hours.

More than 10 million people already use Survey Junkie, and it has 4.5/5 stars on TrustPilot.

Give it a try by visiting Survey Junkie and clicking the “Join Now” button. It’s free.

6. Get Paid to Skip Going to the Store

A woman leans against a red-brick wall as she looks into her phone, smiling.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Picture this: You finish paying for your groceries, only to look down at your overflowing cart, dreading having to lug all that to your car. And then into your pantry. Isn’t it so much easier to do this online?

It is easier online, and it can be rewarding too. A free website called Rakuten gives you a kickback of 3%, 5%, 15% or more when you shop online at thousands of your favorite stores.

Between your Target and Instacart orders, Disney+ subscription and Ulta splurges, that cashback really adds up. Plus, it can be directly deposited into your bank account or they’ll send you a check.

We talked to Denver, Colorado, resident Colleen Rice, who says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights. So far, she’s received checks in the mail totaling $526.44 — for doing nothing.

It takes less than 60 seconds to create a Rakuten account and start getting cashback. All you need is an email address, then you can immediately start shopping your go-to stores through the site.

Earning money for nothing? Not having to carry 80 lbs. of groceries? Sounds like a win/win.

7. Earn $300+/Month in Passive Income with Your Extra Space

A man organizes boxes in his garage.
Getty Images

If you’re like us, your garage probably isn’t doing much of anything at the moment. Maybe you have some tools in there, or maybe it’s home to your boxes of odds and ends, collecting dust.

But with a website called Neighbor, your extra space — whether it’s a spare room, an empty garage or a parking space — could be earning you an extra $300 a month in totally passive income.

Neighbor works by connecting people who need storage space with hosts who have the room to spare. The average host makes about $300 a month, but some people have earned up to $50,000 a year just by letting people park on their property.

It takes less than 10 minutes to get started. Just answer a few questions about your space, take some pictures and set your asking price. Neighbor will recommend a dollar amount based on your location and type of rental, but the final listing is up to you.

Neighbor even gives you up to $1 million in free protection as a host and offers protection plans for your renters, giving you both peace of mind.

Neighbor is an easy source of passive income, and it’s easier than most side hustles. It’s free to list your space, and you’ll only be charged a 4.9% processing fee from the profit you make each month, so there’s no risk to you.

Sign up here and see how much you could earn.

8. Earn up to $69/Hour Working From Home

We get it. There are kids to drop off at school, errands to run and dinner to cook, so the idea of getting a full-time job without any flexibility just doesn’t work for a lot of people.

Truth be told, life would be a lot easier if you could just make money without leaving the house. But that’s not something most employers offer. But have you considered bookkeeping? It’s the No. 1 most profitable business, according to an article in Inc Magazine.

And you could earn up to $69 an hour by starting your own bookkeeping business, according to Intuit, the creator of QuickBooks.

You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to be successful at bookkeeping. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeepers.com will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it even gives you the first three classes for free.

It’s helped thousands of people launch their own businesses, including Daniel Honan, a military veteran and former painter. He never considered starting his own company, but he signed up for Bookkeepers.com, and now he’s making $50,000 a year.

It only took him three months to get started, taking one class a week. Oh, and he makes his own schedule, earns up to $69 an hour and is able to spend more time with his wife than ever.

If you’re just a little curious, you just have to submit your email address here to take the first free class. If you stick with it, you could be running your own business in just a few months.

9. Add $225 to Your Wallet While Watching the News

cash back apps

It’s been a historic year in the news, and we’re all constantly refreshing for the latest updates. You probably know more than one news-junkie who fancies themselves a constitutional scholar or a foreign policy expert.

That might not be the best news for your dinner conversations — but it’s great news for your wallet. You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with InboxDollars. They’ll present you with short surveys to choose from every day, which you can fill out while you watch tonight’s broadcast.

You just have to answer honestly, and InboxDollars will continue to pay you every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid while you watch the news.

10. Get Paid to Lose Weight

A man and a woman stand side by side as they smile and hold up checks they earned from Healthy Wage.
Photo courtesy of Katelyn Pincock

Bottom line: HealthyWage will pay you to lose weight. How’s that for motivation?

Here’s how it works:

  1. Read our full HealthyWage review, and sign up.
  2. Define a goal weight and the amount of time you’ll give yourself to achieve it.
  3. Place a bet on yourself ranging from $20 to $500 a month.

Depending on how much you have to lose, how long you give yourself to do it and how much money you put on the table, you could win up to $10,000.

Success story: Katelyn Pincock and her husband, Cort, bet $75 per month for six months. She wanted to lose 40 pounds, and he wanted to lose 60. They met their goals and ended up winning almost $3,000.

11. Search for Unclaimed Money

A pair of hands hold out a dollar bill.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

State treasuries throughout the U.S. have had more than $43 billion in unclaimed funds at one time, according to The New York Times.

To see if you have any unclaimed money, check with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. (Beware: There are several look-a-like sites out there. Be sure you’re searching legitimate ones.)

Success story: Penny Hoarder reader Kelli Howell heeded our advice, performed a quick search and found unclaimed money in her husband’s name. Sure, it was only $56 in an old insurance claim, but that’s not bad for an unexpected check, right?

12. Get Paid to House Sit (and Even Travel)

Are you obsessed with HGTV and those dream homes? Well, you could get paid to hang out in one with a house-sitting gig.

Choose to housesit in your neighborhood or find gigs across the world (free travel accommodations!). Check out these five house-sitting websites to get started. A few have annual membership fees, but the experience — and income — could be well worth it.

We talked to one Canadian couple, Dalene and Peter Heck, who traveled the world via house-sitting gigs — from Honduras to Paris.

13. Sell Flea Market Gems for Profit

If you frequent flea markets or the “freebies” section of Craigslist, keep your eyes peeled for items you can resell for a higher rate.

Success story: Rob Stephenson calls himself the Flea Market Flipper and has made up to $30,000 a year finding and selling flea market gems. Once, the Orlando, Florida, man found a $30 prosthetic leg and turned around and sold it for $1,000 on eBay, his go-to selling site.


The Aspiration Spend & Save Accounts are cash management accounts offered through Aspiration Financial, LLC, a registered broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Aspiration Partners, Inc. (“Aspiration”). Aspiration is not a bank.

CalTier: An offering statement regarding this offering has been filed with the SEC. The SEC has qualified that offering statement, which only means that the company may make sales of the securities described by the offering statement. It does not mean that the SEC has approved, passed upon the merits or passed upon the accuracy or completeness of the information in the offering statement. You may obtain a copy of the offering circular that is part of that offering statement here:

You should read the offering circular before making any investment.

There is no guarantee of success, and there is a potential for loss of your investment.

*https://www.caltierrealtyfund.com/strategy

10 Ways to Make Extra Money If Your Rent Went Up This Year

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Did your rent just go up? I know mine did.

Holy cow, these rent hikes! How are we supposed to afford this?

Skyrocketing rents, combined with rising prices for basic necessities like food and gas, means tenants are being priced out of apartments and rental houses all over the country.

Rents have gone up by nearly 20% across the U.S. compared to last year, according to a number of different studies and reports. Over the summer, the average monthly rent reached $2,000 for the first time, according to a report from the real estate brokerage Redfin.

What can you do to protect your bank account if you’re feeling the squeeze? We’ve got tips for you. These are ways to make and save more money that you probably haven’t thought of before.

1. Killing Time on Your Phone? Play Bingo for up to $83 Per Win

Our smartphones are the world’s greatest time-killers. Browse Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or Instagram. Watch a video on YouTube. Play some Minecraft or Roblox.

Oh, and there’s bingo. We found a free iPhone app called Bingo Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right? But there isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure.

The game is based on a classic Bingo format. You’ll battle it out against other players at your same skill level. Everyone gets the same board and sees the same Bingo balls. The top three players in a game can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has a 4.7-star rating (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

2. Find Out If You’re Overpaying

Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an alert when you’re shopping online at Target and are about to overpay?

That’s exactly what this free service does. 

Just add it to your browser for free, and before you check out, it’ll check other websites, including Walmart, eBay and others to see if your item is available for cheaper. Plus, you can get coupon codes, set up price-drop alerts and even see the item’s price history.

Let’s say you’re shopping for a new TV, and you assume you’ve found the best price. Here’s when you’ll get a pop up letting you know if that exact TV is available elsewhere for cheaper. If there are any available coupon codes, they’ll also automatically be applied to your order.

In the last year, this has saved people $160 million.

You can get started in just a few clicks to see if you’re overpaying online.

3. Let This App Pay You up to $83 When You Win Solitaire Games

Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?

There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.

With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

4. Get Up to 40% Cash Back When You Shop Online 

Chances are you do some of your shopping online. Whether it’s pet food from Walmart, a new outfit from Macy’s or even a flight home for summer vacation, you’re probably leaving money on the table.

A free website called Rakuten has the hookup with just about every online store you shop, which means it can give you a kickback every time you buy. 

In fact, since Colleen Rice started using Rakuten, she’s earned more than $526.44. For doing nothing. Seriously. 

Rice says she uses Rakuten for things she already has to buy, like rental cars and flights. 

It takes less than 60 seconds to create a Rakuten account and start shopping. All you need is an email address, then you can immediately start earning cashback at your go-to stores through the site. 

Your cash will be deposited directly into your bank account or via a check in the mail every few months. Talk about money for nothing.

5. Get Paid Up to $140/Month Just for Sharing Your Honest Opinion

Brands want to hear your opinion to help inform their business decisions on everything from products and services to logos and ads — and they’re willing to pay you up to $140 a month for it.

A free site called Branded Surveys will pay you up to $5 per survey for sharing your thoughts with their brand partners. Taking three quick surveys a day could earn up to $140 each month.

It takes just a minute to create a free account and start getting paid to speak your mind. Most surveys take five to 15 minutes, and you can check how long they’ll take ahead of time. 

And you don’t need to build up tons of money to cash out, either — once you earn $5, you can cash out via PayPal, your bank account, a gift card or Amazon. You’ll get paid within 48 hours of your payout being processed, just for sharing your opinions.

They’ve already paid users more than $20 million since 2012, and the most active users can earn a few hundred dollars a month. Plus, they’ve got an “excellent” rating on Trustpilot.

It takes just a minute to set up your account and start getting paid to take surveys. Plus, right now, you’ll get a free 100-point welcome bonus just for becoming part of the community.

6. Spend 2 Minutes Doing This to Save up to 35% on Gas, Groceries and Going Out to Eat

Your monthly budget is already stretched to the max — but an app called GetUpside wants to help you cut your spending by giving you discounts every time you shop at partner stores. 

All you have to do is download the free app, claim an offer and upload your receipts. When you snap a pic of your receipt, you can save up to 25 cents per gallon on gas, plus cash back on your grocery haul (without having to clip coupons).  

And at some restaurants, you can get up to 35% cash back on your bill! Just check the app to see what discounts are available near you.

It takes a couple of minutes to sign up for GetUpside. You’ll earn cash, which GetUpside sends you through PayPal, e-gift cards or deposits directly into your bank account. They’ve already paid out $100 million — how much could you earn? 

7. Get Paid for Your Opinion (as Soon as Today)

Got opinions? Here’s another good online survey site.

The catch with a lot of these sites is that it takes forever before you can actually get paid. You find yourself taking tons of surveys before you ever see a single cent — if you even qualify for the survey at all.

That’s why we like a website called Survey Junkie. It rewards you no matter what — even if you don’t qualify. And it lets you cash out a lot faster than its competition — you could even get paid today.

You get points for every survey you take, and once you’ve earned 500 points, you can cash out and get your first $5. A lot of sites make you wait until you’ve earned $20 or $25 worth of points before you can claim your earnings.

Most people get their money within seven days of signing up — but the pace is entirely up to you. Plenty of folks cash out the same day. And you can choose to get paid via PayPal or with digital gift cards.

No, you won’t necessarily get rich taking surveys online, but it’s an easy way to make a little extra cash while you’re killing time. Signing up takes about one minute, and you’ll immediately  earn points just for creating your account. You’ll be that much closer to cashing out. 

8. Earn $300+/Month in Passive Income with Your Extra Space

If you’re like us, your garage probably isn’t doing much of anything at the moment. Maybe you have some tools in there, or maybe it’s home to your boxes of odds and ends, collecting dust. 

But with a website called Neighbor, your extra space — whether it’s a spare room, an empty garage or a parking space — could be earning you an extra $300 a month in totally passive income. 

Neighbor works by connecting people who need storage space with hosts who have the room to spare. The average host makes about $300 a month, but some people have earned up to $50,000 a year just by letting people park on their property. 

It takes less than 10 minutes to get started. Just answer a few questions about your space, take some pictures and set your asking price. Neighbor will recommend a dollar amount based on your location and type of rental, but the final listing is up to you. 

Neighbor even gives you up to $1 million in free protection as a host and offers protection plans for your renters, giving you both peace of mind. 

Neighbor is an easy source of passive income, and it’s easier than most side hustles. It’s free to list your space, and you’ll only be charged a 4.9% processing fee from the profit you make each month, so there’s no risk to you. 

Sign up here and see how much you could earn.

9. Add $225 to Your Wallet While Watching the News

It’s been a historic time for news, and we’re all constantly refreshing for the latest updates. You probably know more than one news-junkie who fancies themselves a constitutional scholar or a foreign policy expert.

That might not be the best news for your dinner conversations — but it’s great news for your wallet. You could add up to $225 a month to your pocket by signing up for a free account with InboxDollars. They’ll present you with short surveys to choose from every day, which you can fill out while you watch tonight’s broadcast.

You just have to answer honestly, and InboxDollars will continue to pay you every month. This might sound too good to be true, but it’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and start getting paid while you watch the news

10. Earn up to $69/Hour Working From Home

We get it. There are kids to drop off at school, errands to run and dinner to cook, so the idea of getting a full-time job without any flexibility just doesn’t work for a lot of people.

Truth be told, life would be a lot easier if you could just make money without leaving the house. But that’s not something most employers offer. But have you considered bookkeeping? It’s the No. 1 most profitable side business, according to Inc. magazine.

And you could earn up to $69 an hour by starting your own bookkeeping business, according to Intuit, the creator of QuickBooks.

You don’t have to be an accountant or good at calculus to be successful at bookkeeping. As long as you’re motivated, a company called Bookkeepers.com will teach you everything you need to know. It’s one of the leading training courses in the field, and it even gives you the first three classes for free.

It’s helped thousands of people launch their own businesses, including Daniel Honan, a military veteran and former painter. He never considered starting his own company, but he signed up for Bookkeepers.com, and now he’s making $50,000 a year.

It only took him three months to get started, taking one class a week. Oh, and he makes his own schedule, earns up to $69 an hour and is able to spend more time with his wife than ever.

If you’re just a little curious, you just have to submit your email address here to take the first free class. If you stick with it, you could be running your own business in just a few months.

So, don’t let the rising rent get you down. These are 10 things you can do to protect yourself — and you can start today.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

With This Life Insurance Company, You Can Completely Customize Your Legacy — From Just $9/Month

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

Let’s face it, life insurance is the opposite of a good time. It’s boring, it’s dreary and it’s no fun thinking about your inevitable death.

Still, you should really do something to protect your family in case something unexpected happens to you. It’s important to make sure they’ll be taken care of. What if there was a way to make life insurance less of a downer and more of a positive experience that reflects your life and your priorities?

That’s where Wyshbox comes in. This company enables you to craft a totally personalized life insurance plan in the form of customized wishes — or “wyshes” — that can take care of the things that matter most to you after you die.

You can choose fun wishes, like “Have my ashes shot into space,” or “Throw a joyful funeral for me, with a brass band and a funeral parade.” There are also  serious wishes like “Pay off our house,” “Take care of my children,” or “Send my kid to college.” 

In order to ease the burden on your family, Wyshbox will work so your survivors can get paid ASAP — in days, instead of weeks.

So ask yourself: What do you really want to happen after you die?

Here’s how to make it happen — starting at $9 per month.

Choose Your Wishes

Wyshbox is a new arrival in the life insurance business, founded by tech entrepreneurs in 2021 to digitally disrupt the musty old life insurance industry. The company is legit, though. It has a strategic partnership with Northwestern Mutual, which is 165 years old, financially sound and one of the largest life insurance companies in the world.

Wyshbox’s approach to life insurance is unique. There’s nothing else like it out there.

Instead of trying to sell you a traditional life insurance policy — the same old thing — Wyshbox asks you questions about what you really want, and it helps you figure out how much coverage you really need.

When you go to the website, you’ll be asked to choose “wyshes” in four different categories:

1. Debt

Pay off your mortgage, your credit cards, your student loans or your car payments.

2. Loved Ones

Leave money to care for your partner, your children, your aging parents — or even a pet. Or you could pay for your children’s college education. 

3. Loose Ends

Set money aside for funeral expenses, medical bills, rent payments or some custom purpose you choose.

4. Legacy

This is a way to carry out your wishes after you’re gone. You could pay for a child’s dream wedding, leave a cash gift or pay to keep a family tradition going.

Fine-Tune Your Wishes

Each time you choose a wish, you’ll be asked more specific questions:

  • Do you want to pay for a small, intimate wedding? An extravagant one? Or something in the middle?
  • How much tuition do you want to cover? A two-year in-state college, a four-year public university, or a pricier private college?

Once you add up all your “wyshes,” the site will figure out how much coverage you need, and it’ll give you a quote.

Wyshbox is unique, but its rates are competitive with other insurance companies.

You can get $50,000 to $2.5 million worth of coverage. You must be 18 to 45 years old to apply, and you can stay insured until you’re 65.

You Can Change Things Later 

Here’s another important thing to keep in mind: 

As your life and circumstances change, you can adjust your wyshes as you go. Maybe you’ll end up paying off that car or those student loans. Maybe your daughter will get married next year. You get the idea. Wyshbox lets you adjust, so you could change your wysh of a wedding fund into a retirement fund for your spouse. 

You can also raise or lower your amount of coverage as needed. Unlike most insurance companies, Wyshbox is all about flexibility.

Finally, there’s this: The last thing you want your family to deal with when you die is the headache that goes along with it.

In the event of your passing, the company’s “Wysh Granters” can work with your beneficiaries and your bank to help make your departing wishes come true. They’ll work so your family can get paid in days rather than in weeks.

Wyshbox’s signup process is streamlined and is designed to be as easy as possible. It’s all done digitally — although if you have questions, you can get them answered via chat, phone or email.

You can sign up in less than 10 minutes. You won’t need a doctor’s visit, and you might not have to wait to get approved. 

Wyshbox is operating in 33 states and D.C., and it’s expanding into more. It aims to be in all 50 states soon. There’s no other place we know of where you can get such highly personalized, customized life insurance, tailored to your wishes.

What do you want to happen after you’re gone?

Get started here to make it happen.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Albert Review: An All-in-One Account with Real Financial Experts You Can Talk to

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

Do you ever feel the whole financial system is conspiring against you?

They don’t make it easy, do they? They make managing your money feel like tiptoeing across a tightrope. Take your eye off the ball for a second and you’ll fall into a pit of endless fees — overdrafts, ATM fees, dipping below daily minimums, ugh.

What if there was a financial app that was totally on your side? That’s Albert, an all-in-one app that combines banking, savings, investing and budgeting.

What really sets Albert apart is its Genius service, which allows you to text or Zoom with real human financial experts who can give you advice on any financial topic. They’ll help you figure out what to do with your money.

This growing app has 8 million members who have collectively saved over $1 billion. Subscribers to the Genius service save an average of $400 in their first six months, Albert says. (A lot of us have pretty much nothing in savings right now.)

Also, you get a sweet $150 bonus when you sign up. Details below.1

We decided to review Albert and the various services it offers. Here’s our rundown of its five main features:

1. Albert Instant

Here’s the best thing about Albert: You can get a cash advance of up to $250 to tide you over when you need it — and you’ll pay no interest on it. Just pay it back with your next paycheck.2

Grade: 5/5 stars

2. Albert Cash

Albert Cash is a legitimate account you can use for your banking.3 Just like the brick-and-mortar bank down the street, your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. The account also has bank-level security.

Here are its other features:

  • You can get paid up to two days early.
  • You can earn up to 20% cash back on purchases.
  • There’s no minimum balance and no maintenance fees.
  • It’s easy to send or deposit checks.
  • Genius subscribers can use 55,000 fee-free AllPoint ATMs.

Grade: 4.5/5 stars

3. Automatic Savings

Having trouble saving money? Put it on autopilot and see what happens.

Albert analyzes your income, bills and spending habits, then sets aside small amounts of money to help you save toward all your goals.

Or if you want, you can take control and set up a customized recurring schedule for funneling money into savings.

Genius subscribers receive an annual savings bonus of 0.25% over the course of a year. All other Albert members receive an annual savings bonus of 0.10% of their total balance.4

Grade: 4/5 stars

4. Ask a Genius

Like we said before, this is what sets Albert apart from its competition. Everyone could use a genius on their side.

For as little as $6 a month (try the first month free), you can text Albert’s team of real live human financial experts anytime for advice on questions like how to pay down debt faster, open a college fund for your kid, set up a will or build wealth.

The Albert Genius team responds to 10,000 to 20,000 member texts per day, ranging from answering personal finance questions to providing support for Albert’s app.

You can try Genius for free for 30 days.5 If you’re not impressed, it’s easy to opt out.

Grade: 5/5 stars

5. Investing with Albert

Ultimately, investing is the best way to build wealth. You have to subscribe to Genius to start investing with Albert. But once you do that, it only takes $1 to start investing.6

You can invest in stocks or ETFs (exchange-traded funds). The only drawback is that you can’t invest in a tax-advantaged retirement plan like an IRA through Albert. You’ll have to go somewhere else for that.

You can either pick your investments on your own, or have Genius do it for you — which tends to be the best option for hands-off investors.

You can set up Albert to invest for you weekly, monthly, or twice a month.

All of the investing is commission-free.

Grade: 4/5 stars

6. Budgeting and Financial Planning

Budgeting is tough. So Albert will help you map out a budget.

It’ll send you alerts to help you avoid mistakes. For example, the app will let you know if you receive a tax refund, have a bill coming up, pay an unexpected fee — pretty much anything that happens with your money.

You can automatically track your spending and see your available funds. Genius can show you insights on your budget as well as your financial planning timeline.

Grade: 4/5 stars

Other Features

Albert has a couple of other useful offerings:

Insurance

You can get good deals on insurance through the app — all kinds of insurance. Auto, home, renters or life insurance. It’s easy to get quotes and see if you can get a better deal than what you have now.

Money News

With its feature called “The Post,” Albert breaks down the biggest daily stories in money, from investing news to government policy to topics like student loans.

How Does Albert Stack Up?

With so many useful features, Albert functions as a one-stop shop for all your financial needs. It can help you make all kinds of important decisions.

Pro: The Genius service puts real human financial experts at your fingertips, for a bargain price.

Con: Albert doesn’t have a phone number you can call for customer service, and that’s a drawback. It has customer service via text, though. And Genius subscribers can ask questions about their finances via Zoom.

Albert’s users appear to like it. The app is highly rated in Apple’s App Store, with 4.7 out of 5 stars from 119,000 users. In Android’s app store, it’s rated 4.0 out of 5 stars with 45,000 reviews.

Our overall grade for Albert: 4.5 out of 5 stars

It only takes a few minutes to sign up.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

1To be eligible for direct deposit bonus, receive a qualifying direct deposit of at least $500 within 45 days of sign up and every 30 days for 90 consecutive days. Spend at least $200 on qualifying goods and services with your Albert debit card every 30 days during the same 90-day period. Terms apply. See app for details.

2Download to see if you qualify for Albert Instant. Repay the Instant advance with your next paycheck. Fees may apply.

3Albert is not a bank. Banking services provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC.

The Albert Mastercard® debit card is issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Early access to direct deposit funds may vary depending on the payer’s deposit timing. Cash back subject to terms. ATM fees may apply. 

4Albert Savings accounts are held for your benefit at FDIC-insured banks, including Coastal Community Bank and Wells Fargo, N.A. Savings bonus may vary.

5When you join Albert, you’ll set up an Albert Cash account and a 30-day trial for Albert Genius as part of the sign-up process. If you cancel within 30 days of signing up, you will not be charged for your subscription. Your subscription will auto-renew until canceled.

6All investments involve risk. Advisory services provided by Albert Investments, LLC. Securities products and services offered to self-directed investors through Albert Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.

Inflation Is Killing Us. Here Are 8 Ways to Make Quick Money

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Talk about sticker shock. All these rising prices are absolutely demolishing our bank accounts. With inflation at a 40-year high, the cost of groceries, gas and just about everything else is going through the roof.

For years, inflation remained at or below 2%, but now prices are up a whopping 8.6% compared to the previous year — the biggest price spike since 1981.

What can you do about it? You can try to earn some extra cash, and we’ve got a list of ways you can do just that. Every little bit helps.

1. Let This App Pay You up to $83 When You Win Solitaire Games

Lots of us already play Solitaire on our phones for fun or just to pass the time. Want to see if you can win money at it?

There’s a free iPhone app called Solitaire Cash that lets you play for real money. You could get paid up to $83 per win.

You might be thinking: There’s got to be a catch. This is definitely one of those spammy apps, right?

Wrong. There really isn’t a catch. Sure, you can pay to play in some higher-stakes tournaments, but there’s no pressure. And, in fact, there aren’t even any annoying ads.

With each game, you’ll battle it out against at least five other players. Everyone gets the same deck, so winning is totally a matter of skill. The top three players who solve the deck fastest can win real money — anywhere from $1 to $83.

Over on the App Store, it has over a million downloads and more than 15,000 ratings, averaging 4.7 stars (out of 5).

To get started, just download the free app and start playing your first game immediately.

2. Get Paid for Your Opinion (as Soon as Today)

Got opinions? Get paid for them!

Sure, there are a lot of online survey sites out there. The catch is that, with a lot of them, it takes forever before you can actually get paid. You find yourself taking tons of surveys before you ever see a single cent — if you even qualify for the survey at all.

That’s why we like a website called Survey Junkie. It rewards you no matter what — even if you don’t qualify. And it lets you cash out a lot faster than its competition — you could even get paid today.

You get points for every survey you take, and once you’ve earned 500 points, you can cash out and get your first $5. A lot of sites make you wait until you’ve earned $20 or $25 worth of points before you can claim your earnings.

Most people get their money within seven days of signing up — but the pace is entirely up to you. Plenty of folks cash out the same day. And you can choose to get paid via PayPal or with digital gift cards.

No, you won’t necessarily get rich taking surveys online, but it’s an easy way to make a little extra cash while you’re killing time. Signing up takes about one minute, and you’ll immediately  earn points just for creating your account. You’ll be that much closer to cashing out. 

3. Earn 70% Higher Interest On Your Savings (One of the Highest Available)

Interest rates at most banks these days are downright pitiful. You’ll be lucky if you earn a quarter at the end of the year.

But an online bank called Vio has one of the highest earning rates you’ll see — 1.65% APY* (Annual Percentage Yield) on your money market savings. That’s 70% higher than the average high-yield savings account.

Not only does it pay well, it also costs nothing to open an account. You just need to transfer at least $100 to keep it open. 

Security is also top notch. You can depend on bank-level encryption, FDIC insurance up to $250,000, with the highest level security you can obtain.

There’s a reason why it’s been named the best high-yield savings account by websites like Fox Business, CNet and CNBC. And it has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. 

If you’re ready to save smarter and earn more, open a free Vio Cornerstone Money Market Savings Account. Get started here.

4. Get a Free Slice of a Fortune 500 Company From This App

Do you think it’s too late for us non-millionaires to get our hands on a piece of a Fortune 500 company?

Well, it’s definitely not. We found a free app called Public that lets you own slices of stocks, so you can invest in companies without having to pay for an entire share, if you don’t want to.*

They’ll even give you a slice of a popular stock for free when you download the app and sign up.

It takes just minutes to download the app, and when you finish setting up your account, Public will give you the free slice of stock when you sign up and make a deposit.

5. Get Paid up to $600/Week to Drop off Starbucks

Your city is filled with two things: Starbucks, and people who want Starbucks.

An app called Doordash will pay you to pick up and deliver an extra latte when you’re already out and getting your caffeine fix. And it’s not just coffee. You can deliver from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and hundreds of other restaurants in your area.

With Doordash, you set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make is up to you. 

You’ll earn money for each delivery, plus tips. Jose Neri, from California, reports earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners.

The best part? No passengers — that grande, no-whip macchiato will be the only thing to hear your beautiful singing voice.

If you sign up for Doordash now, it’s possible to get your first paycheck this week. 

6. Turn Your Junk Mail Into Cash

You know all those flyers and advertisements you get in the mail each day? The ones you never wanted but have no idea how to opt out of?

Well, you can turn them into cash.

The Small Business Knowledge (SBK) Center is a market research company that wants to get a peep insight your mailbox. Join its consumer panel, and start shoveling that junk mail into a postage-paid envelope and, at the end of each week, send it over to the SBK Center.

No, you won’t be rolling in extra cash, but you can earn up to $20 every six to 10 weeks.

7. Find Out If You’re Overpaying

Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an alert when you’re shopping online at Target and are about to overpay?

That’s exactly what this free service does. 

Just add it to your browser for free, and before you check out, it’ll check other websites, including Walmart, eBay and others to see if your item is available for cheaper. Plus, you can get coupon codes, set up price-drop alerts and even see the item’s price history.

Let’s say you’re shopping for a new TV, and you assume you’ve found the best price. Here’s when you’ll get a pop up letting you know if that exact TV is available elsewhere for cheaper. If there are any available coupon codes, they’ll also automatically be applied to your order.

In the last year, this has saved people $160 million.

You can get started in just a few clicks to see if you’re overpaying online.

8. Sell Someone Else’s Stuff

Selling Craigslist freebies is a great way to make a profit quickly, because you get the items for free. You could even have cash in hand today.

Go to the free section on Craigslist and look for things that are close to you and easy to sell immediately. They could be scraps from a job site or metal items you can sell, for example.

For a quick turnaround, avoid items like furniture or electronics. These can be good to sell, but they’ll take longer.

Cash in your treasures by reselling on Craigslist, including them in a rummage sale or selling to specialty buyers, like a pawn shop or a local business.

So, don’t let sticker shock get you down. And don’t let it destroy your bank account. Even though prices keep rising, earning some extra money can help you weather the storm.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

*Public: Not investment advice. This is a paid endorsement. Securities trading offered by Open to the Public Investing, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC. Cryptocurrency trading offered by Apex Crypto LLC. Mark up on crypto applies. Free stock offer for new customers only. New customers receive free stock with value $3-300; 0.3% receive the max value.Full terms and conditions atwww.public.com/disclosures. Investing involves risk.

*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the extension using the links provided.

**See viobank.com for more details

This Life Insurance Policy Can Actually Help Build Your Wealth — and Protects Against Volatile Markets

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Maybe you’ve thought about getting life insurance to protect your family in case something happens to you. But you haven’t gotten around to it because — let’s face it — figuring out what kind of policy you really need is complicated and a little intimidating.

When you shop for life insurance, you get bombarded with weird jargon like “term life,” “cash value,” “universal life,” “death benefit,” “whole life,” “annual renewable term,” and on and on and on. It’s enough to make you shake your head and walk away.

What if there was someplace that would walk you through it and make it a lot easier?

That’s the idea behind Amplify, a digital-first life insurance platform that simplifies and streamlines the entire life insurance purchasing process. Their website spells out what your options are and how much each option may cost. Then, if needed, actual licensed agents can guide you throughout the process.

For a long time, the life insurance industry has been dominated by a complicated, opaque, commission-driven system that sells you the products they want to sell you.

But in today’s world, you can shop online for all kinds of things and decide exactly what you want to buy, whether you’re looking at new shoes or a phone or a car. Why shouldn’t it be the same for life insurance?

Here’s another wrinkle: Amplify not only gives you traditional life insurance choices, but it also gives you access to indexed universal life insurance — a specific kind of policy that’s usually only easily accessible to the wealthy. The affluent and the well-heeled have been using this kind of policy to build tax-efficient wealth, while still protecting their families. 

Amplify wants to democratize insurance and show everyone how to take advantage of it. And it’s especially useful if you’re worried about volatility in the stock market.

Which Type of Insurance Is For You? 

Here are the few main kinds of life insurance you can choose from:

1. Term Life Insurance 

Term life insurance is exactly what it sounds like. You’re buying life insurance for a specific “term” or period of time — typically 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. Then the policy typically expires.

This is the simplest, cheapest and most common kind of life insurance policy. The earlier in life you get one of these policies, the lower the premiums will be.

2. Whole Life Insurance 

Whole life insurance is actually pretty intuitive. The policy lasts for your whole entire life — as long as you keep paying your insurance premiums. 

This type of policy usually costs a lot more than term life, because your policy lasts a lifetime. No matter when you pass on, your loved ones are guaranteed to get a payout, also called a “death benefit.” Basically, you’re paying extra for permanent financial protection for them.

3. Universal Life Insurance

Amplify offers this more flexible kind of permanent insurance. Like whole life insurance, it doesn’t expire, and it has a death benefit that covers your whole lifetime. It’s a life insurance policy that provides typical protection with additional tax advantages.

It has a built-in cash value that you can borrow against. As you build cash value, you can use that money to pay your premiums, diversify retirement income or fund college expenses. It’s even possible to build enough cash value to pay all the premiums, eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for life insurance coverage.

Unlike term life and whole life policies, which require you to pay your premiums every time they’re due, universal life policies give you flexible premiums, as you have sufficient cash value in your policy. Amplify offers two varieties of universal life insurance: indexed universal life insurance and variable universal life insurance: 

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Amplify gives you access to what’s called an indexed universal life insurance policy or IUL for short. Yes, that’s a mouthful.

This insurance policy may be linked to market indices like the S&P 500, Dow Jones or Nasdaq. If the market the policy is linked to performs well, the policy’s cash value increases up to a certain cap, such as 7%.

Here’s the really cool part: If the stock market falls, your returns are lower, but there’s a minimum, or floor, so you don’t lose money. So if the floor rate is 1% and the market drops 9%, you’ll still earn 1%. 

With many policies, your gains reset annually, so the increase in cash value is protected from future downturns. 

And protection from stock market downturns is a really nice feature to have in a time when lots of us are worried about the stock market’s volatility.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

The second variety of universal life insurance is known as variable universal life insurance or VUL for short. This type of policy offers even more flexibility than the IUL by giving you the opportunity to choose where your premiums go. In fact, you can place up to 90% of your premiums in investment funds such as the S&P 500, REITs, global funds, and even alternative assets. 

The best part? Growth in your cash-value can be taken out as tax-deferred gains while you’re still alive and your family will still receive a death benefit when you pass. Similar to IUL, this type of policy is something the wealthy have used as a tax avoidance strategy for their high-growth investments. The upside/downside to this policy is that the potential for growth is unlimited and tied to market conditions so there’s no ceiling, but there’s also no protection if there’s a market downturn.

So if you’re going to invest anyways, why not invest in a life insurance policy that can provide tax-efficient wealth growth and protection for your family. 

How to Protect Your Family Like Rich People Do 

Once you go to Amplify’s website, you’ll fill out some basic information and get some estimates for policies. Like all life insurance policies, the cost is affected by a number of factors, including your age and health, and whether you’re a smoker.

Once you choose an insurance product, you’ll continue the application process.* If you’re getting permanent life insurance, then at some point you’ll talk to one of Amplify’s advisors. Most of the process is digital, though.

In general, life insurance protects the financial security of a loved one when you die. If someone depends on your income and would be negatively impacted financially if you died unexpectedly, you should have some type of life insurance.

People buy universal life policies for a variety of reasons, including:

  • They want lifelong death benefit protection
  • They’re looking for tax-advantaged savings growth
  • They’re looking for protection against market volatility
  • They want more flexibility and cheaper premiums than whole life insurance

The premiums for universal life are typically higher than term life insurance policies that have a set time limit for coverage, but lower than for whole life policies with lifetime coverage. So universal life is a balanced option — a bit more expensive than term coverage, but a cost efficient way to build wealth and get permanent protection. 

It only takes a few minutes to get a quote and see what your options are.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Variable Universal Life policies are a combination of life insurance and a security that requires Securities and Exchange Commission registration.  Securities are offered through The Leaders Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC 26 W Dry Creek Circle, Suite 800, Littleton, CO 80210, 303-797-9080.  Amplify Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Leaders Group.