You enjoy helping others because it makes you feel good, but pros point out that doing kind acts can also help you trim bills and earn cash! Here’s how.
Buy a gift that gives.
“You can earn money on a gift purchase and give to charity without spending an extra cent! How? Before shopping online, log on to GivingAssistant.org, a portal that partners with stores like Macy’s, Sam’s Club, Walmart and more to offer cash-back discounts. But instead of pocketing the cash, the site allows you to share a portion with organizations like Ronald McDonald House and American Red Cross.” -Zach Zorn, owner of MoneyNomad.com.
Bring back empty ink cartridges.
“Some stores reward you for returning empty ink cartridges so they don’t end up in landfills: Staples gives $2 in Staples Rewards per cartridge when you spend $30 in ink or toner over the previous 180 days, and Office Depot OfficeMax offers $2 in rewards per cartridge when you spend $10 on qualifying items in the same month.” -Jim Wang, founder of WalletHacks.com.
Accept deliveries for neighbors.
“If you’re home during the day, you can get paid to accept packages for neighbors who aren’t! This gives folks a close, secure location to direct deliveries so they aren’t left on their doorstep where they can get swiped. All you need to do is accept the delivery and hand it to your neighbor when they pick it up, and you’ll earn $3.50 per package. To get started, register at eNeighbr.com or download the eNeighbr app, then fill out your profile and availability. Once you’re approved, people in your area can book their deliveries right to you!” -Rebecca Edwards, safety expert at Safewise.com.
Donate used clothing.
“Have tops, jeans or dresses you no longer wear? Bring them to a retailer with a clothing recycling program, and you can receive a 10 percent to 25 percent discount toward your next purchase or a $5 to $10 store gift card. Wearable items are donated or resold, giving them a second life, but items that are stained, ripped or otherwise unwearable will also be accepted and recycled to create things like cleaning cloths or insulation.” -Jennifer Ashley, founder of PrettyLittleDetails.com.
‘See’ for the visually impaired.
“If you have a computer and a high-speed internet connection, you can help blind and visually impaired people remotely from your home-for about $15 per hour. It’s simple: As an Aira Agent (at Aira.io), you’ll be connected with folks wearing special glasses that enable you to see where they are so you can audibly describe their surroundings to them-for example, to help them grocery shop or find a treadmill at the gym. Aira services are available 24/7, so you can work as much or as little as you’d like.” -Holly Reisem Hanna, founder of TheWorkAtHomeWoman.com.
Share job openings to help others get paid.
“Helping job-seekers learn about employment openings can earn you gift cards! All it takes is keeping your eyes peeled for ‘Help Wanted’ signs when you’re out and about. When you see one, take photos of it with your smartphone and submit them through the Job Spotter app, which connects to, and shares the posting on, the job site Indeed.com. Each submission earns you between 5 and 150 points (each point is equal to a cent), which can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards.” -Jane Berry, founder of ShoestringCottage.com.
Bring in your own coffee cup.
“You can enjoy that morning jolt for less- and help the environment by reducing plastic and paper waste-when you bring your own cup into the coffee shop. Stores like Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee will each knock 10 cents off the price of your drink when you do. Also great? Many other chains and independently owned coffee shops around the country offer similar discounts. Do this once a day for one year, and you’ll save $36.50 while keeping 365 disposable cups out of landfills.” – Alex Eaves, director of the documentary film REUSE! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet (AlexEaves.com)
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.