16 Little Ways People Got Extra Money For Not A Lot Of Effort At All

    "I’ve made $900 this year just from doing this..."

    They say there's no such thing as "free money," but it turns out many of us may be leaving money on the table in our day-to-day lives. Recently, u/redditor47522899432 wrote, "I’m aware that it is highly recommended to always contribute up to at least your employer’s match in your 401(k). Are there any lesser-known examples of actions people don't do that leave 'free' money on the table? Whether deals on items, points-related purchases — basically anything where there are financial rewards, but people, for the most part, overlook it."

    In response, people chimed in with some great ways to get more out of the money you spend, take advantage of benefits you might not have realized you had, and more. Here's what they had to say:

    1. "Look up unclaimed money through your state. I just got a check for $150."

    woman checking her mailbox

    2. "Pay attention to your local legislature for any new and/or renewing rebates or refunds for property taxes, utilities, etc. Last year, we got over $1,000 refunded in property taxes because, for one year, our state legislature voted to increase the income limits for homeowner tax refunds. It wasn't well advertised, so I'm lucky I heard about it before the deadline for applying."


    3. "Credit card cash back can add up. Use a rewards credit card for every purchase and pay it off every month. It only works if you can handle credit cards properly. I earned over $500 in credit card cash back last year."

    Person at a table with a phone and credit card, likely managing finances or shopping online

    4. "I use Rakuten to get cash back on my online purchases. For example, every two years, I order my contacts online. I wait for 1-800 Contacts to offer 20% cash back. I've gotten $850 total cash back for purchases I would make anyway."


    "On certain holidays, they have really high cash back. I moved and needed a new mattress, vacuum, and speakers. It was during Black Friday so I got 20% cash back. Ended up being about $500 deposited into my PayPal account 🤑."


    5. "Keep your money in a HYSA (High-Yield Savings Account) instead of sitting in regular savings. Most of them have no minimums, so there's really no downside, even if you have a very small balance. I started mine with like $5/month."

    6. "If you have a rewards credit card, most of them have online shopping portals that give an additional percent cash back or miles if you click through that link to shop at stores you are already shopping at. Chase (and others) have offers that rotate regularly, so make sure you are keeping an eye on all your credit card shopping offers."


    7. "The GoodRx App has saved me quite a bit of money. Check which pharmacy has the least expensive price for your medications, and then tell your doctor to send your prescription there. Once, I had a prescription that was quoted to be $125 at Walgreens. When I checked GoodRx, it was only $15 at CVS. I saved over $100 by using the app, and I do not have a membership."

    Hand holding a prescription bottle with several other bottles in background, depicting medication management

    8. "Credit card and bank account sign-up bonuses are a not insignificant source of income for me. I’ve made $900 this year just from cash back and sign-up bonuses."


    9. "Find out if the state you live in requires your employer to pay out unused PTO/vacation time when you leave. If so, don't frantically use up PTO before quitting. Or, if you think your position is in jeopardy, save your PTO for extra cash if you must leave. If you have floating holidays paid, use those first. Your employer doesn't have to pay those out when you leave."

    Person in a suit holding a box of work items, possibly after a job termination or relocation

    10. "Use Honey (now owned by PayPal). There's an app and internet browser extension that automatically searches and tries various coupon/promo codes when you're at checkout. It also now randomly throws PayPal cash back offers at you in the cart as well. Over five years, I've saved thousands of dollars on online purchases."


    11. "Many employer-sponsored health plans have a wellness program that awards points for healthy activities like steps, exercises, and routine doctor visits (including dentist, eye exam, blood work). Many people do these activities but don’t report them. The points can be converted to gift cards to Amazon or other retailers. For the past few years, it's paid for many Christmas presents."

    Person walking a happy dog on a leash

    12. "Reevaluate your insurance each year. By shopping around and changing providers, you can significantly reduce your costs or prevent annual increases."


    13. "If you're going to eat fast food, order on the app. If you order on the app, pay attention to the app and use your points; a lot of places have expiration dates on their points."

    Person holding a cheeseburger over a tray with fries and a drink in the background

    14. "If your job has a training or education benefit that doesn't have some ridiculous requirements, take advantage of it. I have seen too many people sit in the same job for decades and then be upset when laid off because they never got new training or a degree."


    15. "I love CVS Extracare Plus. I pay $48 once a year and every month, I get $10 of CVS bucks to spend there. So I paid $48, and I got $120 to spend. They only last for a month, but I always use them. I've never missed it. I put it in my calendar. I try to buy what is also on sale that month that I need or has a good coupon."

    "I pretty much need something every month at CVS, so it works really well, and that stuff is very expensive. You also get free shipping over a certain amount and 20% off on CVS brand products. I feel like I make out like a bandit with this deal. 

    I used to try couponing, but it was too much work. This is the only thing I really do coupons for, but they are all digital and really easy right on the CVS app. If I don't make it in the store, I just buy it online and make sure to get the free shipping."


    16. And finally, "Once or twice a year, see if there are any class action settlements that you qualify for."


    You can look up class action settlements on sites like Consumer Action and ClassAction.org.

    Is there something that you've done to get a little bit of "free money"? Tell us about it in the comments!