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If a bill is due right now or you really, truly have to buy somepothing before the end of the day, there’s no question that it can help to find out what to do if you need money today for free

Let’s face it, most people have had money problems at some point. And when you’re in a situation where you’re afraid you won’t be able to pay your rent in a few days or don’t know if you’ll be able to afford food for the next few weeks, for example, the stress can be off the charts.

This is why it’s great that, particularly with the rise of so many apps to help you make and save money, there are now a ton of ways where you can get free money right now. 

How to get money today for free

With the dawn of the internet, there are a ton of apps that will show you how you can get free money right now. Some are easier than others, but all are definitely worth considering for someone who is in need of money. 

1. Swagbucks

For anyone looking for apps that give them money, Swagbucks is easily one of the best for this. Not only do you get a free $5 welcome bonus just for signing up, but the sheer number of ways to make money through this app make it a great choice for anyone looking for some extra cash.

This includes things like doing surveys, earning points from online shopping, playing games, watching video, searching the web and more. You can even sometimes get free things to review instead of straight up cash if you prefer.

And given that Swagbucks has paid out over $550 million to its users, you know it’s legit.

To find out more, check out our Swagbucks review.


Free sign-up bonus: $10

A great app for making extra money, including with cash back from online shopping, watching videos, playing games and more.

And given it’s paid out over $400 million through Amazon, Paypal and other gift cards, it’s 100% legit.

2. Ibotta

When it comes to apps that give you money back on your purchases, Ibotta is our pick for the best one out there.

How it works is that it gives you cashback on purchases that have been made both online and in store. For instance, if you shop at Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy or a list of about 300 other major retailers, you’ll earn money back on what you buy.

And for anyone looking for how you can get $20 right now, Ibotta is your answer. After all, just for creating a profile (and verifying your email address!), you’ll get a free $20 sign up bonus.

Click here to find out more about this app from our Ibotta review.

Ibotta app cash back example from shopping


Free sign-up bonus: $20

Ibotta is a completely free app that gives you cash back on what you’re buying already – groceries, medicine, clothes and more.

In fact, users make $150 per year on average – not including your free $20 welcome bonus – with over $682 million having been paid out, so you know Ibotta is definitely legit.

3. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is one of the highest paying survey sites out there. It’s also known for having a solid range of surveys, which is particularly notable given that many survey sites claim they pay well but then rarely ever actually have surveys available.

The surveys are very easy to take, with most of them being about some sort of product or service. This is why, when you get started, you’ll have to create a profile where you answer some questions about yourself. From there, the app will decide which surveys you’re qualified to take. 

And as an extra way to earn some serious cash, Survey Junkie also offers you the chance to join paid focus groups online. These involve you actually answering questions with a person rather than through the app but it’s completely worth it – especially considering that you can earn up to $150 for one hour of your time.

QUICK TIP: Once you’ve signed up for Survey Junkie (and verified your email address!), your first step should be to go to your settings and select the option where you can be notified of new focus group opportunities as soon as they’re available.

They often fill up fast (as plenty of other people want to earn $150 per hour from this too) so doing this will make sure you’re able to get to the front of the line each time!

4. InboxDollars

InboxDollars is another cash rewards website that makes it very simple to earn some extra cash in your spare time.

In fact, you’ll get an instant bonus of $5 just for signing up for an InboxDollars account – and with literally millions of members all over the world, it’s completely free to join!

(By the way, if you’re not in the US, it’s best to sign up to InboxPounds if you’re in the UK and Daily Rewards if you’re in Canada, both of which are InboxDollars’ partner sites in each of those countries. Don’t worry, they each have sign-up bonuses too!)

There are several ways that you can make money fast today on InboxDollars, including by taking surveys, playing games, watching videos, shopping online and even getting paid to read emails.

Its surveys and videos tend to pay the most out of all those options – and you can even combine the two by doing the higher-paying “video surveys”.

5. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is a survey site that offers you cash in exchange for your opinions. With most of the surveys involving you giving your thoughts on various services and products, companies use the information you provide influencing their marketing campaigns. 

This means it also offers you the chance to get free products to review, as many of the surveys involve you receiving free stuff in exchange for your opinions on them.

Want to get free stuff to keep instead of cash?

Daily Goodie Box is a company that sends you boxes of free things. This includes household goods, snacks, beauty products, supplements and more.

All you have to do is give a brief review of them and you get to keep everything!

You’ll get $3 for each survey that you complete, with up to around four surveys being available per person per day. This means, like with most survey sites, that you won’t make thousands of dollars from Pinecone Research. 

However, if you need money today for free, this is still a good option, even just as a way to spend a few minutes boosting your earnings alongside some of the other options on this list.

Also, keep in mind that Pinecone Research is one of the sites that let you do surveys that pay by mail in cash (via checks), if you’d prefer to be paid that way.

6. Rakuten

Rakuten is another option if you’re looking for free money right now, as it’s one of the best paying apps for getting cash back when you shop at any of its more than 2,500 partner stores. 

In fact, if you’re looking for where you can get $20 fast – if not more – Rakuten is an easy answer.

Simply by signing up for Raluten, you’ll get a free $10 welcome bonus.

And want an added bonus from Rakuten? Once you’ve created your own account, have your friends sign up through your referral link and you’ll get $25 for EACH friend!

You can even use it to get cash back on in-store purchases as well as your online shopping, like if you want to get Walmart cashback no matter where you buy your stuff. For in-store cash back, all you have to do is link the app to your bank card (don’t worry, it’s 100% secure) and then the app will automatically detect when you make a purchase from an eligible store.

For online purchases, simply find the store when logged into your Rakuten account, click “Shop Now,” and shop just as you normally would on the store website. Once you make an eligible purchase, the cash back will be automatically added to your account.

Check out the list of Rakuten’s eligible partner stores on its website.

7. MyPoints

MyPoints is a rewards program that will give you points for taking surveys, shopping, reading emails, doing searches on the web, and completing other similar activities. While it’s a great app with games that pay to your PayPal account, what it’s particularly well known for is its free cash back offers on your online shopping.

Once you accumulate enough points, you’ll be able to redeem them for gift cards. This includes having the choice of exchanging your earnings for a PayPal gift card to be added to your PayPal account, meaning you can easily use MyPoints to get money for free through that method.

As an extra bonus, the next time you plan to buy something from a certain site, go into your MyPoints account first and, if the site’s a participating retailer, click through to the site from your MyPoints account. You’ll get a free $10 Amazon gift card just for making the purchase!

8. Acorns

Acorns is basically an app that aims to help you start investing – without you even realizing it. 

How it works is through microsavings, in that it will round up your purchases to an even number and invest the difference for you. For example, if you buy a coffee for $2.25, Acorns will take the extra $0.75 and invest it for you.

This makes it so that most of the time, you won’t even notice the money that is being taken and invested! It also means that if you need money today for free because you’re looking to boost your savings and start investing, Acorns will do it all for you.

acorns example


Ideal for beginner investors

Want to start investing but always think that you don’t have enough money left over each month? Then Acorns is for you.

It automatically rounds up and invests your spare change, making it a great choice for starting to save and build wealth – without even noticing!

There is a small monthly fee, although this is arguably worth it if you’ve previously thought that you don’t have enough spare money to invest. Also, if you have a valid school email address, you can get up to four years of use of the app without fees. This makes it a great way to start building wealth for a financially secure future. 

It also has its “Found Money” option, where you can invest a percentage or amount from your purchase when you use your Acorns-linked debit or credit card at a select retailer. The exact amount or percentage will vary with the retailer, with many major retailers participating in this program, including Barnes & Noble, Airbnb, DirecTV, Macy’s and Walmart.

This means you could actually get double the benefits if, say, you linked your bank card to Acorns and one of the other cash back apps, in that you’d be getting free money back on your purchases and investing some of it, without even noticing!

9. CIT Bank

One way to get money for free is through interest on your savings and CIT Bank is a great online banking solution for this.

In particular, it’s perfect for people who are tired of paying high fees for banking services. You can easily open a fee-free account online with a low opening deposit requirement, making it very convenient, as well as having some of the highest interest rates on the market. 

And if you’re looking for a high interest savings account, you might want to look into CIT Bank’s Money Market account. As a way to earn extra cash for free on the money you’ve already saved up, it’s a really solid option.

cit logo

CIT Bank – Money Market Account

Our pick: Best high interest savings account

Why? Well, because it’s got:

  • 1.00% interest (over 11 times higher than the national average)
  • No fees and only a $100 minimum deposit
  • FDIC insured, meaning your money’s safe

10. Trim

Trim does not directly give you free money, but it does something that is just as valuable – it can save you serious money. 

It works by renegotiating any bills that you have as well as canceling any subscriptions that you might have forgotten about. 

Many people subscribe to products and services that add quite a bit of automation to their lives, but then they usually forget about them before the free trial period is over and end up paying for things that they do not need. Trim is an app that can help you quit these services and reduce your regular spending.

Not only can Trim save you money, it also saves you time by dealing with each bill provider’s customer service for you. Even though these are things that you can do on your own, Trim makes this much easier to do, ensuring that you’re able to use this extra cash for other things going forward.

Find out more about how Trim can save you money here.

11. Truebill

Truebill helps users manage different subscriptions, much like Trim. That is, you can use it to lower recurring bills like for your cell phone, cable and internet, by either having Truebill’s service cancel these for you or renegotiate them. 

Get started with saving money on your bills by downloading the free Truebill app here.

Noting it’s saved its customers over $14 million, you can definitely make money fast today through the amount that you can save. And while they handle a variety of larger companies, including Verizon, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Dish, Charter, Comcast, their system also can manage much smaller bill providers too.

You can also use Truebill to save money in other areas, like through getting refunds on any service outages or fees that have been charged. All in all, it’s a great tool for anyone who is looking for financial control.

Check out our full Truebill review to find out more.

12. Honey

If you do a lot of online shopping but still need money today for free, why not consider using the Honey app

This app is a browser extension that’s able to save you money by automatically searching for coupons on shopping websites – meaning you can save money without doing any extra work at all. It’s available for all major web browsers, and is significantly easier than manually looking for coupons online. 

screenshot of honey app

How it can really be equivalent to free money is when it saves you money on things that you were planning to buy anyway. For example, if you’re shopping on Amazon, it will let you know if a product is available for a lower price somewhere else.

Even better, it can also pull up a price history of Amazon items so that you don’t overspend on an item when you can instead get a discount at another time. 

And Honey works on not only Amazon, but also Nike, Forever 21, Bloomingdale’s, Expedia, Crate & Barrel, J.Crew, and many other retailers online.

Find out more about Honey here.

13. Drop

The Drop app is an app that tracks your credit and debit card purchases to let you earn free money from your purchases. In that sense, it’s similar to many of the other cashback apps.

How it works is that it will automatically add points to your Drop account when you spend money at participating merchants. Once you reach a certain number of points, you can redeem them for gift cards to popular retailers, including PayPal, making it exactly the same as earning cash. In fact, this makes it basically equivalent to getting free money by PayPal instantly!

Double up: You can easily get double the bonuses by installing the Drop app and another cash back app, like Ibotta.

That way, you’ll get cash back through Ibotta and you’ll earn points from Drop when it recognizes a purchase on your bank card – meaning two bonuses for the price of one!

All you need to do is download the Drop app and link your credit and debit card accounts to it. From there, simply choose merchants from their list in order to earn points on an ongoing basis. 

Keep an eye out for the special offers that are sometimes available for one time use. By activating them, you can be rewarded with bonus points – meaning even more free money!

14. Credible – for debt consolidation

If you need money today for free but you’re currently paying off debt, a great way to do this is to consider consolidating or refinancing your existing loans. As a way that you can get $100 right now, this may be your answer. 

This is because consolidating your debt can free up literally thousands of dollars of debt repayments immediately, by applying lower interest rates to your existing debts.

man who needs money today for free finding it through his laptop

For this, we always recommend Credible. It’s essentially a marketplace that offers you a range of loan options based on your personal circumstances. By seeing all of your options in one place, it makes it much easier for you to consider which one is best for you.

And that doesn’t even mention the time saved compared to if you were to shop around with individual lenders.

Click here to find out your personalized debt consolidation options from Credible in less than two minutes.

15. Credible – for a personal loan

While taking on more debt shouldn’t be your first option if you need money today, there are times when you may truly need to get money immediately, like for rent if you’re about to be evicted. 

So in those cases when you need to get money in your bank account now (for free, ideally) and if you don’t have any other way to get this, borrowing a personal loan could be worth considering.

This may also be better if you need to make a relatively large payment, like if you’re looking for $2,000 free money.

And while loans aren’t free obviously, they can be free upfront if you need some quick cash right now. Just keep in mind that interest will start to accrue that you’ll have to pay back.

With all that in mind, I’d also recommend Credible for finding the best personal loan options for you. Find out more here about which personal loan offers are available to you.

16. VIPKid

If you’re interested in making money without investing any of your own money, one great way to do so by teaching English online. 

While, sure, you do have to do some work to get this money, there are certain very legit companies that provide you with all of the teaching materials. This means that all you have to do is turn up and teach with no extra financial or time investment on your part.

woman who needs money today for free on her laptop

And VIPKid is one of the best online platforms out there to connect you with students in China who are looking to learn English. Not to mention that you can make up to $22 an hour.

There are some requirements, like that you need to legally be able to work in either the United States or Canada, you must be fluent in English with a neutral American accent, you need to have a four-year bachelor’s degree in any field, and you need to have at least one year of experience with children. You also need to meet some basic technical requirements, like having a reliable internet connection.

Find out more about VIPKid here.

17. Magic Ears

If you’re interested in getting paid to do online tutoring in English but don’t meet all of VIPKid’s requirements, a good alternative is Magic Ears.

It’s somewhat similar to VIPKid in that you can connect with students in China to teach them English. It even comes with a slightly higher average pay rate, at $26 per hour. 

This is definitely a good thing given that VIPKid has more students on its books, so you’ll be more likely to get students there compared to MagicEars. That said, this could be outweighed by the higher pay rate here.

Related: 33 Side Hustle Quotes to Get Your Motivation Flowing

18. Mint Mobile

Another thing to consider if you need money today for free is to think of other ongoing expenses where you can save money. Given these are recurring, making cuts to these can lead to you having a lot more money in the long run.

And one way where a lot of us can reduce our spending is on our cell phone costs. It’s been found that most people actually pay for cell phone plans without using most of the features, which is why it can be a good idea to reduce your plan (and its cost!) to what you actually use.

man who needs money today for free on his phone

Mint Mobile is great for this, as you can tailor your package to your actual phone usage. It offers data plans that feature 3 GB, 8 GB, and 12 GB packages of LTE data. With all of these plans, talk and text are unlimited. There’s also an unlimited data plan that is available that is slightly more expensive than the tiered options.

In addition, the company encourages subscribers to buy their phone service in bulk, rather than paying monthly rates. Basically, you pay in advance for three to 12 months of phone service. The more you sign up for at once, the lower you end up paying every month overall.

Related: Make $200 a Day Online: 17 Ways That Are Proven To Work

19. Sweatcoin

If you’re someone who exercises on a regular basis, specifically, someone who does a lot of walking, Sweatcoin may just be the app for you. 

Basically, it pays you to walk. It will not give you a ton of extra money, but you can earn small amounts of money doing something that you were going to do anyway. 

Every time you walk outside, the app will register the number of outdoor steps you take and reward you with 0.95 sweatcoins with every 1000 steps you take. 

You can also choose between monthly subscriptions, allowing you to earn a maximum of 150 to 600 sweatcoins every month. As soon as you have learned enough sweatcoins, you will be able to exchange them for one of the rewards that you see in the daily offers section.

To find out more, check out our full Sweatcoin review.

20. HealthyWage

HealthyWage is a great option for anyone who is planning to lose weight or wants to increase their exercise level – while also getting free money. In fact, you can literally earn thousands of dollars from this and it’s all free.

How it works is that you can make a personal weight loss bet where you choose an amount of time over which you plan to lose a certain amount of weight. If you lose that amount of weight by the end of that time period, you will win the amount that was specified at the beginning of the bet. 

healthywage winners
Source: HealthyWage

There are also shorter-term challenges where you need to lose a certain percentage of your starting weight in order to win. You enter these challenges with many other participants, and whoever does not do this by the end forfeits their share of the pot. The people who have met their weight loss goal get to split what is remaining. 

You can also find step challenges in HealthyWage, where you have to walk a certain number of steps within a certain time period in order to win your share of the pot. This means you could always double this up with Sweatcoin to get paid for walking.

21. $5 Meal Plan

With food costs being one of the three biggest expenses in most household budgets, finding ways to save money here can be one of the most effective ways to free up some of your money.

$5 Meal Plan is a way to save money on your food costs that is incredibly effective. It can make your meal planning very simple and save you quite a bit of time on meal planning alone. 

woman cooking

And because the meal plans are structured to be very economical, it can also save you money on your grocery shopping.

All you need to do is pay $5 a month, and they will send you a monthly meal plan where every meal is going to cost approximately $2 per person, if not less. They will save your time and energy in terms of having to plan your meals, not to mention all the money you’ll save as well.

Get a free 14-day trial of $5 Meal Plan by signing up here.

How can I get money fast without a loan?

22. Sell your things

If you’re at the point where you really need money today for free, finding literally anything you can sell for quick cash could be your answer. To get started, check out this list of the best websites to sell stuff locally online to see which site may be best for you depending on what you’re looking at selling.

How you go about doing this will also depend on how much you need, like if you’re looking for how you can get $500 for free compared to if you’re seeing if you can make $50 instantly. But if you’re leaning towards the higher end of the scale, big ticket items like your TV or computer could be an easy solution. 

(That said, if you use your computer to make money, like through one of these highest paying online jobs, try to find something else that won’t impact your ongoing ability to earn an income.)

clothes on rack

And if you need a larger chunk of cash, you may have to even consider something like selling your car. While that may not be ideal for you, it’s also true that most people have much more car than they need. 

It’s also not the end of the world if you have to get public transport or even buy a cheap second hand bike in the short-term, with the aim of buying a (used, reasonably priced) car in future when you can afford it again.

Looking to sell some clothes for cash? Take a look at:

23. Convert your gift cards into cash

If you have any unused gift cards lying around the house, did you know there are actually plenty of legit ways to convert your gift cards into cash?

While gift cards can be helpful, especially when you earn them from things like doing surveys or playing games on apps, their very nature means that their value is tied to you having to spend money at the merchant that issued them.

And that’s not so useful if you need to make money fast today for something else, like rent. This is why if you’re in the position where you need free cash right now, take a look through your drawers to see if you have a spare gift card that could be used for a better purpose.

Related: Coinstar Gift Card Exchange: A Way To Get Quick Cash?

24. Join paid focus groups

Joining paid focus groups is a great way to earn some extra money for doing almost nothing at all.

Sure, the money isn’t completely free as you will have to spend about an hour of your time answering questions. But given how much you can earn for how little work this is, it is as close to free as you can get.

woman who needs money today for free in video call

For example, while Survey Junkie is a good site for paying you to do surveys, it also often has opportunities for you to participate in focus groups. And for just an hour of answering questions, you can actually earn up to $150

All you have to do is sign up for Survey Junkie (it’s free!) to see if there are any focus groups available for you right now.

25. Do cash in hand jobs

It’s true that doing cash in hand jobs isn’t completely free money, but most of them involve no expense from you apart from your time.

There are literally hundreds of these out there, so a good place to start is by checking any Facebook groups for your local area to see what people need done. Taking a look at the various odd job apps out there can help too.

This could be as simple as picking up some groceries or documents for someone, helping someone with their house or yard work or something more seasonal like putting up Christmas lights, which can be great if you need quick cash for the holidays.

26. Deliver things

With the rise of the gig economy, basically anyone now can earn money delivering things. Whether it’s food (with companies like UberEats), people (with Uber itself) or almost anything else you can think of (which PostMates is good for), these offer you the freedom to work as much or as little as you want.

One good tip is to try to do a few hours of work per week at times when other people don’t want to, like on Friday and Saturday nights. These are also the times when there are often more customers, and this combination often means that you can earn more money per hour than you would otherwise.

Related: 66 Legit Ways for Teens to Make Money

27. Babysit

Babysitting is another one of those jobs where the only investment is your time and it can definitely be a quick way to get some cash. This is especially the case if you can do it after school hours, during the evenings or as a weekend job when parents may have other plans.

Finding jobs through word-of-mouth can often be the easiest, especially as this means that parents are more likely to trust leaving the kids with you. Otherwise, it may help to advertise your services in local Facebook groups, especially those targeted at parents.

28. Become a proofreader

Becoming a proofreader is one of those great online jobs, as you can work as much or as little as you want.

Essentially, it involves reviewing all sorts of documents for errors, so having a keen eye for detail is definitely helpful here.

woman who needs money today for free reading on her laptop

You also don’t have to work any set hours. Instead, each proofreading task will have a deadline that you have to meet, meaning you can work on this whenever you have time around your other commitments.

Take a look at SolidGigs as a way to find work in this area – or check out our SolidGigs review to find outmore about it.

29. Find data entry jobs

While data entry may not be the most exciting job around, there is no question that it’s perfect for anyone looking to earn a bit of extra cash online.

Like proofreading, you can essentially set your own hours as long as you meet your relevant deadlines. As you’ll be getting paid to type, being a fast typist can definitely help, but accuracy is also key here.

Check out sites like Fiverr and for jobs in this field.

Looking for other part time online jobs to make money from home? Why not take a look at:

30. Dog walk

Dog walking is a great option if you need money quickly. This is because there’s almost guaranteed to be a frazzled dog owner somewhere near you who needs some help with looking after their pup.

man who needs money today for free walking dog

What’s great about dog walking is that you can combine all your client sessions at once. That is, if the owners are fine with it, you could take a bunch of dog for a walk at once, which can really help to maximise your hourly earnings. Aiming to make 10 dollars an hour is a good starting point, but there’s no reason why you can’t earn more with even more clients here.

Creating a profile on Rover is a good place to start, but you could also simply do an old-fashioned letter drop. Even more efficiently, why not go to a local dog park and hand out a flyer with your details to see if there is any interest from dog owners there?

Related: 41 Legit Ways to Make Money as a 13 Year Old

31. Dogsit

Like dog walking, dog sitting is a perfect way to make money if you like animals. In fact, if you have your own dogs (and your clients’ dogs are okay with this), you could easily combine any time spent on looking after your own dogs with getting paid to look after others.

You can offer your dog sitting services just during the day while dog owners are at work or on a longer term basis, like overnights, on weekends or even when people go away for a week or more. Doing this over several days can actually be great as, obviously, you’ll earn more money than shorter stays giving you a more reliable stream of income.

Rover also allows you to create a profile for dog sitting so take a look at the site to get started.

32. Rent out your space

If you’ve got a spare room and need some money, why not rent it out on Airbnb?

What’s great about this is it means that you won’t necessarily have to have a permanent housemate. Instead, for a few days per week or per month, you can take advantage of that available space you have to make some cash from it. You could even consider doing this just until you have enough money to pay for that upcoming expense you’re trying to cover.

room with couch

This is going to be particularly effective if you live somewhere that gets a lot of travellers, like an area that’s popular for tourists or even close to the main business district in your town. 

Sign up at Airbnb to become a host and find out what else is involved to make money in this way.

33. Rent out your stuff

We mentioned before how selling stuff can be a good solution if you need money today for free, but there’s also the option to rent this out if you’d rather hold onto it in the long term.

That is, there are some very legit sites out there that allow you to rent out a whole range of things to people.

For example, does your car sit unused for a good part of the week? If so, why not make it available on Turo for other people to use?

You can also rent out items like sporting goods or other things used for hobbies, like camera equipment. Buro is good for this in particular.

In all these cases, while they do offer insurance, just make sure you’re fine with the limits available. It’s also worth double checking, in the case of your own car insurance, that it will still apply if something were to happen while rented out.

Related: 42 Best Passive Income Apps to Make Money on Your Phone

34. Take advantage of a 401(k) match

You may be in a position where you need money today for free, but not for some urgent purchase. Instead, you may have suddenly realized that you really need to start investing ASAP.

And if so: great! This is definitely something that everyone should be doing and the early you start, the better off you’ll be.

people meeting at work

But this means that one way to get free money in this context is to take advantage of any 401(k) match that your employer offers. This is literally free money so, for anyone where this is available, you really should do everything you can to reach the yearly cap. 

There are also various tax advantages, meaning there could be even more free money in it for you. If you’re not sure, just speak with your HR department or someone else in your company who may know what’s going on.

35. Get paid for what you do on your computer

While this one won’t necessarily work if you need free money today, it is worth mentioning as a good way to get free money based on what you start doing today.

That is, you may have heard of Nielsen as the company that releases all sorts of information about what people are watching on TV, as well as other consumer insights.

Well, they have to get this data from somewhere and one way they do this is by paying people to let them run their app on the computer.

All you have to do is install Nielsen’s app and keep it running in the background. From there, they’ll anonymously collect data on how you use your computer – and don’t worry, none of it can be directly traced back to you.

For this, you’ll be paid $50 per year. Not bad for doing exactly what you’d be doing anyway. 

Click here to find out more about earning money from Nielsen in this way.

36. Double check your tax return

Mistakes happen and, when it comes to your taxes, they don’t necessarily have to always be a bad thing in the end.

Instead, it can be worthwhile to double check your tax return to make sure that you’ve gotten back everything you should have. Otherwise, you could be accidentally throwing away free money.

woman working on laptop

If your situation is fairly straightforward, it’s probably going to be fine for you to have done your taxes yourself through one of the apps that are out there. But if there’s any sort of complication in your circumstances and you’re able to pay someone to take a look at your taxes for you, you’ll be amazed at what they can often find in terms of things you can claim or money you should’ve gotten back.

Related: 29 Quick Tips on How to Make $300 Fast

37. Check for unclaimed money

One super easy option if you need free money today is to check on

They report that there are literally billions of dollars in unclaimed property in the US alone held by state governments and treasuries. This means, as you can probably tell, it’s definitely worth checking for this.

It’s completely free to search for this and it’s usually quite straightforward to claim it back, so take a look to see if there’s some cash waiting for you.

38. Take advantage of referral bonuses

We mentioned earlier how some of the apps to let you make money have some pretty generous welcome bonuses that pay you just for signing up. But another way to make money from these apps is to take advantage of referral bonuses.

This is when you get paid a certain amount by the app for having your friends sign up through your personal link. All you have to do is navigate to your profile in the app and you’ll usually find your unique referral there. 

And you can easily earn some pretty good money here, just from your friends clicking a few buttons. In particular, consider taking advantage of the following to make $100 in literally a matter of minutes:

  • Swagbucks$5 welcome bonus + $3 for each referral + 10% of whatever your friend earns forever
  • InboxDollars (an app for making money by playing games, doing surveys and more)$5 welcome bonus + $1 for each referral + 30% of whatever your friend earns
  • Ibotta$20 welcome bonus + $5 for each referral
  • Rakuten (another really good app for getting cash back on your shopping)$10 welcome bonus + $25 for each referral

TOTAL: Sign up yourself + get two friends to sign up with your link = $108

39. Ask family or friends

We put this last because there’s no question that asking family or friends for money can be awkward. But if you really are in desperate need of money today, I’m sure your loved ones prefer to help you out than to leave you struggling.

The question of who can give you money right now is going to depend on your personal circumstances as well as those of the people you know. Clearly, not everyone will be able to help you out even if they want to – and others who may be able to afford it could be hesitant due to the risks of combining money with other relationships.

That’s fair enough, so don’t take it too personally if that’s the outcome. And for anyone who does agree to lend you money, make sure you’re clear with them on how and when you’ll pay it back – and then do everything you can to stick to that timeline.

Which app gives you real money?

Apps like Swagbucks and Ibotta definitely give you real money. Not only do they both have generous sign up bonuses, but you can also earn money back on your online and in-store shopping. Swagbucks also lets you earn money in other ways, such as by doing surveys and playing games. Both apps then pay you to your PayPal account.

With so many money-making apps out there, it’s fair to be a bit skeptical as to which ones are legit. But all of the apps listed above have been tested and proven to be completely legitimate in terms of the fact that you will actually get paid for using them.

Even just relying on the ones that offer welcome bonuses can be an easy way to get free money instantly. For example:

  • Swagbucks: $5 welcome bonus
  • Ibotta: $20 welcome bonus
  • Rakuten: $10 welcome bonus
  • MyPoints: Free $10 Amazon gift card if you make any online purchase in your first 30 days after signing up

How can I get money immediately?

The best way to get money immediately from an app is to take advantage of any that offer sign-on bonuses. For example, apps like Swagbucks will pay you just for signing up for them. Otherwise, consider some offline options, like selling your unwanted items. You could also, if absolutely needed, consider getting a personal loan.

It’s worth mentioning that if you really do need to get money immediately, while all of the above apps are capable of giving you money for free in some form or another, most of them will not deliver completely instant results. 

man with cash in wallet

What this means is that most of the time, you will not be able to log on to the app whenever you want and have free money instantly that you can immediately withdraw from an account minutes later.

Some of them have minimum payout amounts (although you can easily pass this in cases like Ibotta and Rakuten by combining the welcome bonuses with referral bonuses) and others, like sites that have you doing surveys to make money and be paid through PayPal, usually don’t have enough surveys available that you can be absolutely guaranteed to find one whenever you log on. 

Trim and Truebill are sites that can save you money in the long term by analyzing your relationships with other companies, and while this is very helpful, it is not going to put money into your bank account immediately. 

However, that is not at all to say that these apps and sites are not useful. In fact, they can be very helpful to people who are using them in the long term, especially when they help you to get into the habit of using these resources in order to reduce your spending and save money that you would have otherwise spent.

Final thoughts on what to do if you need money today for free

As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do if you need money today for free. Some of them may not be free when it comes to your time, but all of them are great ways to make money fast today based on very little effort on your part.

And if you really do need to get free money right now, once you’ve sorted out from where you can get money immediately, it’s worth considering how you got to this point.

If it’s a one-off, things happen and try to avoid it again. But if it’s a recurring thing, it’s important to look at your money habits and see what’s causing this. 

Things like spending beyond your means can quickly spiral out of control, especially if debt is involved. So once the immediate problem is fixed, it’s worth taking the time to sit down and work out what longer term action you can take to take control of your money going forward.

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