I know what you are thinking. “There you go, another clickbait headline about getting free money. There is no such thing as free lunch.”
This is the main reason why I decided to write this article. In reality, there are free lunches in life, but you have to look for the hidden gems. And this is not surveys or yard sales disguised as free money. We will be discussing how to get actual free dollars.
This post is from a good friend of mine who I have known for about a year now. We started our blogging hobbies at almost the same time and have been able to grow together. His name is Adebayo Fasanya (Bayo for short) and he is a pulmonologist (a lung doctor). Today he shares with us some of the best ways to get free money!
We Always Seem To Be A Dollar Short
We all have had times when we were in a bind – when any dollar amount would make a huge difference in our lives. College for sure, but some tough times occurred during my transition from fellowship training to attending status (I’m a doctor).
I had underestimated the cost of moving, getting a new place and lots of incidental spending. We were too focused on paying off our loans that we were skinny on our emergency fund.
While most of those costs were reimbursed eventually, it took some time to balance everything financially. We took out our entire emergency fund and even dipped slightly into our credit card. How else would I pay for those flights, board exams and the $10,000 to the moving company?
Well, I would have appreciated these tips at the time. Every dollar counts and I have witnessed situations when it really did.
We have talked about 101 ways to save money in the past, and you can start with that. Then it’s free money time. Here are 10 foolproof ways to get free money.
1. Find Unclaimed Money From Your State (Unlimited)
The first one I would like to talk about may not be for everyone. However, even though I am relatively new to this country, I still managed to find free money I did not know I was owed. Here is the step by step way to check if you have the free money and how to claim it.
Steps To Find Unclaimed Money In Your State
Step 1: – Go to https://www.unclaimed.org/
Ignore the menu items at this point and focus on the map of the United States and Canada.
Step 2: – Click on all the states you have ever lived
You can either click on it based on the map or you can use the drop-down function at the bottom. I looked into New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and finally hit gold in Missouri. And yes, I have lived in all those states before. That is the plight of medical training. I moved around for my clinical, then residency, then fellowship and finally moved to Arkansas now to practice as an attending.
Clicking on Missouri took me to the State of Missouri’s Treasury Department. Of course each state would be different.
Step 3: – Search your name
Booyah!! Jackpot. The treasury department owes me over $50. Exciting so far. Hopefully, you will have success as well!
Now it’s time to fill out some forms.
Step 4: – Select the one you want to file and click claim
Step 5: – Fill out the required forms (this is super easy and self-explanatory)
Step 6: – Print the document and send it in with the required documents.
Step 7: – Wait… and wait…
The 90 day processing time is typical for governments but hey, it wasn’t that difficult to claim!
There are other sites you can try your luck on like missing money . For me, it returned the same result as above.
2. Take Advantage Of Bank Sign Up Promotions ($400)
During my fellowship training in Pittsburgh, I was able to get the easiest free $400 possible. PNC Bank at the time was doing a simple promotion – open a checking account and set up direct payment to the account and get free money. I was skeptical at first, but by the second month, I received my free money in my account.
Currently, they are still doing the promotion, but now it’s only $300. You can cancel at a later time if you like. For example, when I move to Arkansas 3 years later, I had to close the account since there was no PNC bank in Arkansas.
I used PNC Bank as an example because I personally benefited from their bonus. However, I see no reason for you to limit yourself to that. Search online for your desired banks and see what promotions they have to offer!
3. Take Advantage Of Credit Card Introductory Offers (Up To $750)
If you are comfortable with credit cards, there are many of them that offer free sign up bonuses. Just make sure you keep track of them and cancel as soon as you fulfill the minimum obligations required.
Also, some of the credit cards require you to spend a certain amount of money over a period of time. If you are planning to make a purchase already, why not use it to your advantage?
A simple Google search showed some credit card offers as high as $750. You may have to let out some blood from your vein to keep it, but if you know what you are doing, go for it.
4. Get Free Money By Trying Out Cash Back Apps ($20)
There are many apps online that will pay you money to join. Few that I have personally tried include:
Ibotta – I was so personally impressed with the app that I did a detailed review of the Ibotta app. There was a promotion when I downloaded the app – A Free $20!! I actually decided to keep the app because it is actually useful to get even more free cash in the form of cashback. You get the free cash while shopping at your favorite stores and merchants. No extra work required. To get started, use my referral link here.
Webull – This is a modern investing app that makes it extremely easier for people to dabble into stock investment. And it is commission free! The other awesome thing about the app is that when you deposit your first $100, you get a free stock. My free stock was SNAP and it is worth $15. I’ll take it. As you can see in the image below, I have not even invested the $1,000 I deposited yet, and I can simply withdraw the money back to my bank account.
I did a detailed and honest review of webull app to help familiarize yourself with the app.
There are lots of apps out there to try. You have the internet at your disposal, knock yourself out.
5. Earn Free Money By Signing Up To Be A Driver For Lyft ($300)
Are you looking for a side hustle? Lyft can be an excellent one to explore if you love driving. On top of the money earned from your hustle, you can get a $300 sign-on bonus.
Of course, there is a catch to this one. You have to first meet their requirements below to become one of their drivers.
- Be at least 21 years old
- Pass their free, online DMV and background checks
- Use an iPhone or Android smartphone
- Meet your city’s vehicle age requirement
- Have at least four doors, not including jump doors
- Offer five to eight seats, including the driver
- Have a US driver’s license for at least one year
- Provide proof of insurance and (in most cities) a car inspection
- Submit a photo of yourself
The real catch is you have to complete 100 rides in your first 30 days. If you live in a busy town, this should be a piece of cake. That’s about 3.33 rides a day. If you can get it done, the $300 dollars is yours.
6. Earn Free Cash With AirBnB ($55)
If you enjoy using your car to make extra cash with Lyft, then you might also enjoy making extra cash renting out your home for a few days during the year.
Not only can you make extra cash with AirBnB, but you can also get actual free money for signing up. As I was writing this post, I signed up for the service and I already have $55 available credit.
Here is how this works.
Friends who sign up for Airbnb with your link will get $40 off their home-booking. And they get $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more. When your friend completes a first-time stay or experience, you’ll get up to $30 travel credit.
7. Make Your Internet Usage Count With Nielsen ($50)
Nielsen is a computer and mobile panel company who will pay you $50 to simply keep their app on your laptop, smartphone or tablet. The app, however, will collect statistics on how you use the internet in order to learn more about what consumers want.
This is no different than what Facebook already does with your data. Except Nielsen pays you $50 for your trouble.
The company prides themselves on making sure everything is done anonymously, so don’t panic about any data linking back to you.
Based on the reviews online, the app itself does not take much space on your electronics and it shouldn’t slow down your phone.
The catch on this one is that the app has to stay on your phone or laptop for a full year.
Get started today by looking up the Nielsen app and downloading it on your phone.
8. Get Paid In Your Sleep – Literally ($50 to $19,000)
How would you like to sleep on the job without anyone judging you? Well, today your dream has come true (pun intended).
There are companies out there who will pay you free money to sleep on a mattress for the night. Imagine making money for what you love to do.
The most important qualification skills for bed testers are the ability to sleep in new surroundings and away from home. Just think of it as a hotel.
If you want to kick it up a notch, NASA sometimes asks for people to sleep in a bed for months. For example, they recently offered $19,000 to lie in bed for 2 months. This one is not exactly free money as it gets complicated with showering and you know… the other things.
But this article would not be complete if I did not mention this opportunity. Plus it’s something interesting.
9. Get In On The Action – Class Action Lawsuits (Variable)
As much as I don’t like anything related to lawsuits, this one is an exception. Class action lawsuits are an excellent way to get your hands on free cash – if you are willing to search for them.
The downside to this one is that you won’t be able to get that free money immediately like most of the methods mentioned above. It usually takes months to process the case – sometimes longer. But you know what? It’s free money.
So how does this work…
A class-action suit is when a defendant (usually a company) does something despicable and legal action is filed against the company by a group of people.
A good example was the tobacco company settlement in 1998. RJ Reynolds, Philip Morris, and two other tobacco companies agreed to a whopping $206 billion dollar settlement!! The settlement was to cover the medical costs of smoking-related illnesses. The settlement goes on for 25 years. Still ongoing now, you can try your luck if you smoked before 1998.
You might enjoy this article of the top largest class action and lawsuit settlements.
Below are some sites to get started. Start digging for gold.
- Top Class Actions – A wealth of information on recently settled cases like the Wesson natural cooking oil class action settlement – You get 15 cents for each Wesson oil purchased up to 30 units without proof of purchase.
- ClassAction.com – You can check out open lawsuits and see which one you can file a claim for.
10. Become A Tutor And Get A Free Sign-On Bonus ($300)
This brought back memories. In 2006, I got paid 30 dollars an hour to tutor mathematics. Mostly, I tutored my classmates and some kids in the neighborhood. It felt like easy money to me.
What would have been more rewarding is if I had known about gogokids. This company will pay you $300 as a new teacher. That’s like 10 hours of work!!
The requirement is very simple – have a bachelor’s degree and an awesome internet connection.
The catch is that you would have to be on a 6-month contract. You don’t even have to tutor much if you don’t want to.
There really is free lunch in life; all you have to do is search for it. The above 10 ways to make money are legit and if you are really serious about it, you should start today. Using it to pay off debt or invest it would be my vote.
This article originally appeared on The Money Mix, and is being republished with permission.