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13 ways to get free money instantly in 2022

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Looking to boost your income? Need a quick cash fix? Maybe you want to establish strong, financial security this year. 

Whatever your money goals, here are ways to get free money instantly in 2022:

1. Sell stuff for money

Chances are you have a lot of stuff you can sell for a lot or little money:

Sell jewelry, gold and silver for money

Thanks to Russian sanctions and a surge in new engagements, diamond prices are at a high, and the tumultuous economy means gold and silver prices are excellent.

Our No. 1 recommendation for selling an engagement diamond ring, coins, scrap gold or silver or flatware is CashforGoldUSA, a BBB A+ rated online gold buyer that our own research found to pay by-far the most of any silver buyer or gold buyer near you or online.

Detecting gold and other metals: 2022 beginners guide

Sell other stuff

Whether you have old clothes, furniture, wedding dress, household items, vehicles, sports equipment or electronics, someone likely wants to buy them for cash. Sell your stuff for cash:

How to get rid of junk: 24+ free and cheap junk removal options

33 things to sell to make money from the stuff around your house

2. Ask your boss for a pay raise

Negotiating a pay raise can be exciting and empowering — especially when you come to the table knowing exactly what you want (and deserve).

The Wall Street Journal reports that a record-breaking 4.5 million people quit their jobs in November 2021. At a time when good employees are harder to retain, you have increased power to negotiate a higher salary or hourly wage.

Tina Hawk, SVP of human resources Goodhire, an employment screening service, says asking for a raise is all about doing your research.

“You’ve got to ensure you’ve gathered relevant information regarding your own performance and productivity as well as your market research,” Hawk says. 

Use these tips to get the raise you want:

1. Be confident in your approach. This is business, not personal. A good boss will expect you to advocate for yourself. Being paid a fair wage reinforces your commitment to the company and inspires you to deliver your best work.

2. Bring data to the table. Make notes of everything you’ve recently done to benefit the company. Point out solutions you’ve offered to improve the business. Refer to awards or commendations you’ve received from colleagues or customers.

3. Research the salary range or hourly pay for your position in your area to show you’ve done your research. You can reference salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and consult sites like Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter.

4. Always express gratitude for your job and thank your boss for taking time to listen to your request. It goes a long way.

Matthew Warzel, president of MJW Careers, also recommends updating your resume before you seek a raise or promotion. 

He says you should set the tone in the top half of your resume with what you want and what you bring to the table.

“Include any key buzzwords that speak to your abilities to transition into a new role seamlessly and any transferable skills and accomplishments that directly relate to this new role,” says Warzel, who is also a certified professional resume writer with 15+ years of industry experience.

Here are a few tips from Warzel for updating your resume:

  1. Don’t focus on your task-based experience. Make your resume quantifiable and bottom-line driven. This shows your employer that you share their concerns — either making them money or saving them money.
  2. Make it logical and keep it brief. Quickly identify your value and how your accomplishments have moved the company forward.
  3. Write a solid summary. In three to five sentences, state your transferable skills and how they relate to a new position or justify a pay increase. Think of your summary as an elevator pitch — what would you say if you had 30 seconds to sell your skills for a job?

As an alternative to a resume update, you can create a one-page sheet of accomplishments to back up your raise request, says Archie Payne, president of CalTek Staffing, a premier recruiting firm focused on the IT and energy sectors.

“This tighter focus lets you include more detail and data to support your cause and explain why you deserve higher compensation for what you contribute to the company,” Payne says.

Once you have all of your data together, draft a letter or email with your pay raise request and include your resume or accomplishments overview. You can also use the written request as a follow-up to a conversation with your boss. If you need help, use this template from Robert Half.

Before you make your request, think about timing. Pay attention to how your company runs. Do raises usually happen after performance reviews? When does your company establish its budget for the year? Did your company just lay off other workers? Consider these factors to have a better chance of getting a raise.

3. Get a new job

Studies show that the big pay increases come from getting a new job, and not negotiating a raise or promotion.

Learn more about top jobs for moms, side-gigs and careers without degrees, and recession-proof businesses.

Bookkeeping, coding, home health-aide and proofreading are in-demand careers with good pay and flexibility.

4. Apply for grants to get free money for rent, bills, and more

Get free money when you apply to programs that assist with rent, utility, and other bills or that provide emergency cash for qualifying individuals. Some programs are income-based, but others just require you to disclose your need — like the $500 Monthly Kickass Single Mom Stimulus Grant from Wealthysinglemommy:

Also, check out these income-based grant opportunities and programs to help you pay your rent, mortgage, or utility bills:

Looking for grants or resources to help you buy a home? Apply for these programs:

Here are some other ways to find helpful and free resources for low-income families and individuals:

Help for single moms: 16+ resources$500 monthly single mom grant
Free laptopsScholarships for single moms
Free carFree Christmas gifts
Free smartphoneBest jobs moms can do from home
Free wifiFree and low-cost prescriptions
Free formulaFree clothes
Free toysGovernment assistance for single moms
Free gasFree daycare
Free preschoolAffordable dentures
Free prescription glasses10+ charities that help single mothers
Jobs for teensLow-income home loans

You can also search and Candid for a large list of grants that address a variety of needs, from emergency cash to money for small businesses.

5. Open a bank account or credit card to get a sign-up bonus

Many banks offer cash bonuses just for opening a savings or checking account. Some require you to set up a direct deposit, while others may request a minimum starting balance. Read the requirements carefully, and if it makes sense, open a new account to access free money. Make sure your account doesn’t have monthly fees.

And, if you want to avoid interest charges, consider applying for a balance transfer credit card with a lower interest rate to transfer a higher-interest balance or to consolidate debt. If you have good to excellent credit, you can get an annual percentage rate (APR) as low as 0% on balance transfers with no annual fee.

Streamlining your balances can put you in a position to become debt free and free up more cash — cash you won't have to spend on interest payments.

6. Download cash advance apps

Need cash fast? Download a cash advance app to get emergency cash. Just be aware of the fees and conditions to get the money. 

Here are some popular cash advance apps:

  • Albert will give you an advance of up to $250 in cash. You can pay a fee for instant access. Plus, earn cash back when you shop with an Albert debit card. 
  • Dave offers a fee-free advance of up to $250 and has a community of 10 million members. 
  • Earnin allows you access to your paycheck faster but also allows you to give and receive financial help. Eligible members can use a “Boost” feature to send $50 to another Earnin member. Check it out >>
  • MoneyLion allows you to unlock up to $1,000 in cash advances at 0% when you set up recurring direct deposits. It’s also a one-stop app for all things financial, from banking to investing. 
  • Cleo simplifies the process to build credit, save, budget, and borrow what you need. First-time cash advances range from $20 to $70 but can increase once you build a history of paying back the interest-free loans. Advances are only for paid Cleo members. 
  • As a Brigit member, you can get up to $250 in cash advances in 1-3 days. Plus, you can pay it back without fees and build your credit as you go. 
  • Get up to $50 in between paydays with FloatMe, an app that connects to your existing bank accounts. 
  • Klover offers cash advances. Amounts vary and are based on its proprietary algorithm. The app also lets you earn points to increase your cash advance allowance. You can also take part in a daily cash sweepstakes. 

7. Budget

Another way to free up more cash? Get serious about your budget. Creating a budget gives you better control over your money and empowers you to make smart financial decisions.

You Need A Budget (YNAB) is an award-winning app/software that helps you create budgets, pay off debt and reach your financial goals. YNAB claims to save users an average of $600 per month, or $6,000 per year. Get started with your free 34-day YNAB trial now >>

To create an airtight budget, use these 7 steps from Emma Johnson:

  1. Track your spending for a few months. It’s the best way to see where your money goes. Once you know, it’ll help you form a budget for upcoming months.
  2. Figure out what you bring home every month. If your income varies, come up with an average number so you’ll have something to base your budget on.
  3. What do you owe? Tally up your debts and be honest with yourself so you can set yourself on a path to becoming debt-free.
  4. Cut your spending. Eliminate unnecessary costs like dining out frequently. You can also work with a bill negotiation service like Truebill to help you lower your bills and cancel subscriptions you no longer need or want.
  5. “Tell” your money where to go each month. Have a task for each dollar and write it all down on paper so you can see it clearly. When you have it in front of you, it will make it easier to see how much you can save each month. You can save for an emergency fund, trip, or even a down payment for a new home.
  6. On paper, pay every bill and expense until your income is gone. Be flexible and realize that it will take time to get into a rhythm.
  7. Never forget to pay yourself first. You do this by prioritizing your financial well-being instead of spending money on temporary things like a fancy car or clothes. Instead, build your savings, fund your retirement, and model good financial habits in front of your children.

To get more help creating a budget, check out 7 easy steps to set up a budget (from a single mom of 2).

8. Refinance credit card debt

According to the Federal Reserve, the average annual percentage rate for credit cards was 16.45% as of November 2021. If you have a lot of credit card or other debt, you can consolidate that debt and apply for a low-interest loan to pay it down, which will free up your cash and could save you thousands in interest payments.

Home Exchange review: How does house swapping work?

9. Refinance your mortgage

You can also refinance your mortgage for the same reasons.

10. Refinance your car note

11. Cash in on home equity

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median existing-home sales price rose to $375,300 in March 2022, up 15% from one year ago.

Mortgage technology and data firm Black Knight Inc. reported that these surging home prices increased tappable equity by a record $2.6 trillion in 2021. (Tappable equity is equity homeowners can access without dipping below 20% equity in their homes.) They also reported the average homeowner had $185,000 in tappable equity.

So how do you turn this equity into money?

According to Consumer Reports, there are three main ways:

Talk to a financial adviser to figure out which option is best for your specific needs and shop around for the best rates.

12. File your taxes to get a tax refund

Are you expecting a refund this year? File your taxes to access your money faster. Some tax software programs like TurboTax speed up your refund when you e-file. 

Check to see if you qualify for tax credits like the Advance Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, or Child and Dependent Care Credit. You can get free tax prep from the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Use this form to find your closest provider.

If your return is more complex, but you meet certain income requirements, you can use a tax software provider like TaxAct or TaxSlayer via the IRS Free File program. 

Each tax offer has its own annual income thresholds:

  • Tax Act offers free filing if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $65,000 or less
  • ezTaxReturn, Free 1040 Tax Return, and 1040NOW all require an AGI of $73,000 for free filing
  • OnLine Taxes (OLT) offers free filing for taxpayers who earn between $16,000 and $73,000
  • TaxSlayer’s AGI requirement is $39,000
  • and FreeTaxUSA both require an AGI of $41,000 or less

Some tax providers do not offer free federal filing in every state. You’ll also need to check if they offer free state filing. For detailed information about each tax provider’s offer, visit IRS Free File online.

13. Read this post for more places where you can get free money instantly near you.

We put together a list of 16+ resources for free money for single moms in 2022. You’ll learn how to get free money to help you pay rent, buy a car, or get free clothing, laptops, and even scholarships. 

FAQs about ways to get free money now

What apps pay you cash instantly?

To get quick access to cash, it’s best to have a PayPal account. It’s the preferred payout method for many money-earning surveys, focus groups, and online gaming apps.

Check out these fast cash apps that offer PayPal cash:

  • Swagbucks pays you for shopping online.
  • Swagbucks LIVE is a free live trivia game show where you can win cash if you answer correctly.
  • Survey Junkie allows you to earn cash for your opinion. Take surveys and participate in focus groups.
  • Opinion Outpost rewards you with cash when you complete surveys.
  • MyPoints helps you earn cash back for shopping at 2,000 retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Home Depot.
  • InboxDollars pays you for watching videos, taking surveys, completing offers and shopping.
  • Branded Surveys helps you earn free money by participating in surveys.
  • Skillz Games has multiple games to choose from and you can earn money when you play them well.
  • PaidViewPoint allows you to earn money by sharing your opinions on short, focused surveys.
  • Mistplay rewards mobile game play with gift cards.
  • Sweatcoin pays you to walk. Your daily steps convert to cash.
  • SaverLife gives you cash incentives for saving money.

How can I get real money for free?

Start with churches, government programs, and nonprofit organizations. Historically, these entities have the most options to help you when you have an emergent need.

One of the best ways to change your financial future is to earn more money. If you have the time and bandwidth, consider adding a side hustle to supplement your regular income or ask for a raise at your current job. 

Jobs like blogging, bookkeeping, and proofreading (check out our Proofread Anywhere review) allow you to work anywhere as long as you have a laptop, internet connection, and a commitment to learn and grow in your chosen craft.

Check out our list of 30 best-paying jobs for single moms in 2022.

What apps pay you cash instantly?

To get quick access to cash, it’s best to have a PayPal account. It’s the preferred payout method for many money-earning surveys, focus groups, and online gaming apps.

How can I get real money for free?

Start with churches, government programs, and nonprofit organizations. Historically, these entities have the most options to help you when you have an emergent need.

Robyn Evans is an award-winning writer, inspirational author, and occasional songstress (especially in the shower). Born and raised in Baltimore, she focused on helping women make healthy choices for body, mind and soul. She’s a grateful bonus mom to a photographer son and activist daughter and works with young writers through a nonprofit called the Youth Writers Challenge. Robyn writes for corporate clients, is a former feature writer for The Carroll County Times, has written for The Baltimore Sun and is the author of three books.
Robyn's website | Robyn's LinkedIn profile

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