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5 smartphone apps that can make you money

Earn extra cash? Of course there's an app for that, though in most cases you must be willing to sacrifice a little privacy. Here are 5 apps we particularly like.

By Smart Spending Editor Jul 16, 2013 11:30AM
This post is comes from Jenny Willden of partner site Living on the Cheap.

LTC logoGet-rich-quick schemes proclaiming you’ll make millions online are everywhere, but most add up to little pay and lots of work. Still, if you’re looking to make a little extra cash using the Internet, your smartphone can be the quickest ticket to making it happen.

Woman Sitting in a Cafe Texting © Stephen Morris, Vetta, Getty ImagesNavigating this vast sea of mobile-based, money-making apps can be taxing, so we tested the lot of them to find five actually worth your time. All are available for Android and iPhone users.

1. Gigwalk
The concept of this free app is simple enough. Use the map to find businesses in your area that offer paying gigs. Apply, get accepted, then visit the locations and perform simple tasks such as taking pictures of the business, checking an endcap display or filling out surveys. Submit these photos and a short questionnaire to Gigwalk and receive a payment of $5 to $15.

Experienced Gigwalkers can earn even more. The money can add up quickly for this task-oriented crowdsourcing work, especially if you live in a large city with many businesses near each other.

Once you get the hang of it, you can complete two or maybe three in an hour, netting a potential hourly rate of $30, paid via PayPal. Unfortunately Gigwalk’s largest provider of gigs, the search engine Bing. just ended their contract. So hopefully more clients step up and fill the gap to create more money-making opportunities.

2. Ibotta
If saving at the grocery store is a top priority, use this app beforehand to search for products you plan to buy. Then, answer questions or read about the products to rack up the savings. Post purchases to your Facebook page for a sweet bonus of around $1.25. So how does it work? Visit a participating retailer, take pictures of your purchases for verification, then wait for iBotta to send funds to your PayPal account.

3. Shopkick

This shopping rewards program has the serious perk for cost-conscious folks of not requiring purchases to earn points. That’s right, even if your budget only allows window shopping, you can still earn gift cards to leading retailers like Crate & Barrel, Best Buy, Old Navy, Target and gas stations.

To earn “kicks” (points) you use your phone’s GPS to track your location, netting credits for walking into various retailers. Visit a mall or large shopping center to maximize your earnings. And earn bonus kicks for scanning bar codes and making purchases, then cash out when you have enough to buy the gift card you want.
4. GymPact

Earn financial rewards while getting fit using this GPS-tracking app. Just make a weekly workout pact by pledging to sweat a certain number of times per week. Put your money where you mouth is and make a cash bet to help you stay committed. If you reach your goal, you’ll earn some dough from members who didn’t reach their goals. If you don’t, be prepared to pay up. Cash payouts vary on how high you set the stakes with your own money.

5. Receipt Hog
Frugal shoppers can earn rewards for everyday grocery shopping trips with this easy-to-use app. Just take a picture of your store receipt and get rewarded with “coins” you can trade for cash (or donate to charity). Don’t worry about privacy. Receipt Hog won’t sell or share your personal identification info.

More from Living on the Cheap:

Jan 31, 2014 7:03PM
Have you guys heard of Adfun? I saw it featured in ABC News in FL and tried it out. It's like really similar to these apps but you win prizes and not straight cash. The lady on the news story won 2 Xbox Ones so I had to download it. Searched 'adfun' and got it on google play, check it out too and be on my team plz
Aug 5, 2013 6:58PM
I've been making easy cash just from downloading apps and watching videos by using Tapporo. Theyre prizes are alright but, you can also checkout to paypal once you have 5000 points ($5). I've made 2567 when I started, its pretty simple. Use my invite code once you sign up to start with 250 points :) tapJL160036 
Sep 15, 2013 1:36AM
Cool Apps ... I getting extra cash flow . Use my invite code once you sign up to start with 250 points .
Nov 19, 2013 1:48AM
I have been using the Shopkick and Ibotta apps, they both are great! 
Shopkick you get kicks (points) just for walking into a store, scanning items, purchasing items or just look through the "books" on the app. Trade in your points for gift cards such as Target, Sephora, Toys R Us, Starbucks, JCpenny and more!! use my referral link, , to get you started with some extra kicks!!
Ibotta you earn real money, cash in for gift cards or donate to schools just for buying everyday items.. use my referral link, , to get you started with a $10 bonus!!
Nov 3, 2013 3:21PM
feature points lets you get money for downloading free apps and it's as simple as it sounds : please use the following link : or use my rep code 1ZZ5R4 when signing up for it. 
Oct 16, 2013 2:39PM
I have been earning some nice pocket change using smartphone apps.  My list can be found at
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