Have a lot of debt that you don’t know how to escape from? You’re not alone. The average U.S. household with revolving credit card debt has almost $7,000 of it, per NerdWallet’s 2018 credit card debt study. Many of these situations will never improve thanks to high monthly interest rates and a lack of planning.
But that doesn’t have to be you. When you save small amounts regularly and have a long-term vision, you can make real progress on your debt.
These apps will help you get there.
Spring Clean Old Books
We all have at least one dusty box of books we vow we’ll use again. But years go by and it sits breeding mold. You can continue harvesting that authentic attic smell or use apps like Bookscouter to pick up a little cash. Scan your barcodes and compare buyback prices from over 20 companies. After filling out some simple forms, ship the books and wait for a check.
Share Your Opinion and Complete Tasks
Who doesn’t love to say what they think? Even better when a little money is involved. A ton of different apps will pay for your opinion, it just depends on with whom you want to share!
Toluna is a market research app that pays users to answer surveys or create their own based on current events. The best part is instead of having to wait for a check to arrive, you can get paid via PayPal.
If you’re less into surveys and more into user experiences, Userfeel pays $10 for 10-20 minute usability tests. After an initial that records your voice and your screen as you perform tasks, you’ll be set up to test the user-friendliness and provide feedback on all sorts of web pages. Then there are sites like Swagbucks, which offer gift cards for users to take surveys.
Declutter Your Electronics
Technology changes quickly. Over the years, we’re left with a slew of different electronics that we no longer use. Maybe you have a collection of CDs or DVDs that you don’t play anymore or an old phone that works but doesn’t have enough storage for your needs.
Apps such as Decluttr eliminate your dusty electronics similarly to Bookscouter; scan your item’s barcode, receive an offer, mail your stuff, and receive payment soon after your items are received.
Save Spare Change
Much of personal finance success comes as a product of tricking ourselves to exercise more discipline. That’s what the uber-popular savings and investment app Acorns promises to do by investing spare change and growing wealth.
The app does this by using roundups and small recurring investments to help you meet your savings goals effortlessly. Continually saving small windfalls is the same strategy that debt settlement companies recommend, as Freedom Debt Relief reviews illustrate. Acorns sweetens the deal with other features like an overdraft-protected, no-fee debit card and exclusive promotions from hundreds of top retailers.
Give People Rides on Your Time
Uber and Lyft are nothing new, but few apps can provide as much income for the time investment. Of course, you’ll make the most money driving around during busy hours, but ridesharing still pays better at its worst than most survey jobs ever can.
Or perhaps you have a vehicle you don’t use much? Fluid Market lets you rent your unused vehicle — anything from sedans and pick-up trucks to cargo vans and box trucks — by the hour, day or week.
Archive Purchases for Cash-Back
We all have to buy things, so why not save money while doing so? Take photos of your receipts and receive rebates from apps like Ibotta & Receipt Hog. You can also scan promotions before you make the purchase, which is ideal when you’re buying brand-agnostic products. Both these apps pay via gift cards not cash back, but if you use your points toward everyday-needs items you were going to buy anyway, you can allocate that extra money toward your debt.
Successfully navigating the economic sphere can be confusing but being debt-free needs to happen before anything else. Using these apps in your spare time will help you slowly build wealth and allow you to hack away at your overall balance.