We’re addicted to our screens and nobody has enough cash in their pockets. Two seemingly unrelated facts, but when you combine them, an opportunity presents itself. Namely: you spend enough time on your phone, you might as well be making money from it.
Dozens of money-making apps have sprung up in recent years, so we’ve picked 10 of the best to help cash in on that smartphone addiction. Some are cashback opportunities, others let you creatively turn your screen time into a side hustle. Thumbs at the ready.
Best For: The Snap Happy
Using EyeEm is basically like making your own stock image library. Upload your highly ‘gramable photos, name a price, and if people or brands like your snaps, they can buy them. Apparently, animal pictures go down well, so if you fancy making some extra cash from the pics you’re already taking, it’s time to get the cat ready for its close up.
Best For: Going On A Mission
With Field Agent, you earn money by doing simple tasks that are nearby. Use the app to check the map and accept a job – such as counting items on a shop shelf (we have no idea why either) or filling in a survey – after which you’re given a set amount of time to complete it. It’s sort of like being in 24, without the imminent risk of doom, and a little pay packet at the end.
Best For: Cashback For Nada
You might not get money for nothing, but you can get money for almost nothing. With over 4,300 big brands to choose from, all you have to do is shop your regular brand favourites through cashback app TopCashback. You’ll then get a rebate, depending on the products you’ve bought, and promotions stores have, which you can then transfer directly to your bank account. It really is that simple.
Best For: Side Hustles
With Task Rabbit, you earn money by doing simple tasks IRL that are nearby. Sign up to the app, attend an onboarding session in your city, accept a job near you. It really is that simple. Tasks include furniture assembly, personal assistant tasks and acting as a social media aid (how many #photooftheday posts can you upload at a time?).
Best For: Earning On The Commute
Ipsos was the firm responsible for many of the prediction polls for the US presidential election. While it might have been a bit off the mark, it is still one of the world’s biggest research companies and has an app to get you involved. Just complete some of its surveys on your mobile and get paid either in Amazon gift cards or straight into a PayPal account. We’re with them.
Best For: Investing Like An Adult
From your morning coffee to last night’s Uber, Moneybox rounds up your everyday purchases to the nearest pound and invests the spare change. Choose from three simple starting options – cautious, balanced and adventurous – and your change will be invested across thousands of global companies such as Netflix and Disney via simple tracker funds. Will you really notice whether you spent £2.60 or £3.00 on that latte? No, but your investment account might.
Best For: Gift Cards Galore
No, not a trendy new coffee offshoot, but an app and browser plug-in that lets you participate in nine different activities to cash in on your spare time. Watching videos, surfing the web and online shopping are all rewarded with Swagbucks – an online currency that is redeemable in gift-card form. You can also take surveys, play games and watch videos. While it can take a long time build up SB (that’s Swagbucks for newbs), using the cashback opportunities is the best way to save. Retailers include John Lewis, New Look and Marks & Spencer (UK) and Macy’s or Target (US). While it’s not cold hard cash, it’s the next best thing.
Best For: Low Effort Reward
Providing your partner being your phone background isn’t a make-or-break scenario, you can turn your screen into an ad space and get a bit of cash for it. After installing Slidejoy, you’ll get an ad as your lock screen. Ignore it or engage with it, either way, you’ll make around £10-£15 a month.
Best For: Couch Potatoes
Everyone’s a tastemaker these days, but if you consider yourself a TV or music buff, then Viggle could be for you. Earn points to convert to hard cold cash for whatever you’re watching or listening to, or opt to take surveys for various companies. The downside, of course, is that it takes an awful lot of points to actually buy anything, but hey, if you’re scrolling while watching Netflix anyway, what’s the harm?
Best For: Discounts
Make the most of online shopping sprees by downloading Mr Rebates’ browser plug-in. With their Quick Cash Button, as long as you’re signed in as you shop, you will automatically get pop ups with the percentage discounts on whatever it is you’re looking to buy. AKA you literally don’t have to do anything but shop as usual and those discounts will be applied. Yas please.