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20+ ways to get free money in 2024 to help pay bills

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Making ends meet is more difficult with the cost of inflation. And even though consumers have seen some recent relief in certain sectors, such as gas and clothing, financial experts are predicting overall costs will remain high well into next year.  

Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day, and with work and family responsibilities, trying to earn more cash by trading hours for dollars often isn’t feasible. 

If you’re financially struggling and short on time, here are 20+ ways to get free money to help pay bills:

Meanwhile, if you really want a new job or side hustle, here are some guides for you:

Same-day pay jobs

Best high-paying jobs without a degree

Quick career certificates

Free money, stuff and services

Check out these posts on free and low-cost resources for low-income individuals and families:

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 toysFree gift cards
Free gasFree daycare
Free preschoolFree prescription glasses
Free Christmas moneyTutoring and homework help
Health insuranceFree food
Low-income home loansFree or cheap dental care
Free money for billsFree hearing aids
Free ridesBuy a house as a single mom
Free bedsFree bus passes
Free bus ticketsSingle mom loans
Free roadside assistanceFree ipad
Free car seatFree car inspections
Free furnitureAffordable movers
Free help with tax preparationFree cable
Free internetFree car insurance
Free vet care

Free money from the government

These are a few of the government programs that help low-income individuals and families: 


The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program provides grant funds to states to help needy families with expenses, such as child care assistance. To apply, you have to meet the following qualifications: 

  • Resident of the state where you apply
  • Unemployed or underemployed
  • Low or very low income
  • U.S. citizen, legal alien or qualified alien
  • Have a child 18 or younger, currently pregnant, or at least 18 and the head of your household


The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps families with their utility bills. Depending on your location, you could get help with the following: 

  • Bills for electricity, natural gas, propane, wood, or fuel oil
  • Priority assistance for households in danger of losing heating or cooling
  • Heating and cooling equipment repair and replacement
  • Natural disaster assistance

To get help, call 1-866-674-6327. Representatives are available Monday-Friday from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. EST. 

Learn more ways to get help with utilities and home repair.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

If you’re struggling to pay your rent or utility bills, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides funding. Although you don’t need a signed lease to qualify for assistance, you do need to have an agreement to pay rent for your house, apartment, mobile home, or other dwelling. Other requirements include:

  1. At least one household member has:
  • qualified (or should qualify) for unemployment
  • lost income 
  • owed large expenses or had other financial hardships
  • a household income below a certain threshold (varies by location) 
  1. At least one household member is at risk of becoming homeless or would face challenges if seeking out a stable place to live

You can find rental assistance programs in your area through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We also put together resources that help with security deposits and free housing for single moms.

Free money from charities

The Salvation Army

Your local Salvation Army can help you apply for the following types of emergency assistance: 

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Electric bills
  • Gas bills
  • Water bills
  • Clothing
  • Food 
  • Medicine
  • Transportation

Catholic Charities USA

Even if you aren’t Catholic (or religious at all), one of Catholic Charities USA’s 167 local agencies may be able to help you with household expenses. Qualifications vary by location. For example, the Pittsburgh Catholic Charities branch offers rent and utilities assistance for residents living within 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 

Modest Needs

Modest Needs provides financial assistance to individuals or families who are working but struggling to make ends meet. It receives its funding from crowdsource fundraising efforts. These are the qualifications for assistance:

  • 18 years or older
  • Legal U.S. or Canadian resident
  • Application for assistance is for you or another household member 
  • Household has at least one bank account or has filed a federal tax return within the past two years
  • You have regular access to the internet to check email and the Modest Needs website each day while your application is processing
  • A signed lease agreement if you rent your home
  • Ability to pass Modest Need’s income and employment tests

Rent for Moms

Rent for Moms, founded by Black women and other marginalized genders, helps Black moms pay rent and utilities during the holiday season. The grassroots nonprofit started in December 2020 and has helped more than 70 single Black moms across the U.S.

If you are a single Black mom who needs help paying rent or utilities this holiday season, applications are open until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 25, 2023. If you are accepted, a coordinator will contact you. All payments are made directly to your landlord or utility provider.

Also, check out our post on charities that help single mothers

Free money from selling stuff

If you have things around your house you no longer need, you can make money (and increase space in your home) by selling them. Pawn shops and consignment stores — including online consigners like Poshmark and Mercari — are good places to sell.

You can also sell items for free locally on these apps: 

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace allows Facebook users to post items for sale for free, which saves you from losing profits to fees other platforms charge. Prohibited items include health care-related items and animals, including those for adoption.


Nextdoor is another free platform where you can list and sell personal items and handmade goods. Nextdoor does not allow the sale of gift cards or items that are part of an incentive program, such as Scentsy or Mary Kay. 


OfferUp, a website and app for local buyers and sellers similar to Craigslist, is also free to use. Through its app, you can take a picture of the item you want to sell and list it. Then, potential buyers can message you through the app. You’ll also be able to view each potential buyer’s profile, including their transaction history and ratings. 

Check out our post on 33 things to sell to make money from the stuff around your house and sites like Craigslist (some of which charge selling fees). We also put together a list of selling apps.

What to do with old clothes: 11 tips to recycle, repurpose, and resell

Free money for renting stuff


If you have an extra space you’re not using, such as a garage, storage shed, or extra bedroom, you could make money each month renting it through Although listings are free, you’ll pay a 4.9% + 30 cents monthly processing fee for renting out your space. 

Getaround or HyreCar

Getaround and HyreCar are two services that allow you to rent out your car when you’re not using it. These services work better for people who have spare cars they don’t often use. 

You can also try car advertising.


You can make up to $500 per month renting your bike, surfboard, paddleboard, snowboard or skis. The platform allows you to set your own rental rates, but this is the suggested rate for a bicycle: 

  • Hourly: $7
  • Daily: $20
  • Weekly: $100

Listings are free on Spinlister, but the company takes 17.5% of your listing fee every time you rent out your ride.

Make money from apps

Some apps will pay you money for taking surveys, online shopping, or even playing games:  

Survey Junkie

In your spare time, you could earn money by taking surveys. It won’t be a lot, but it could help make ends meet. For example, Survey Junkie’s website gives an earnings example of completing three surveys per day to make $40 per month. Survey Junkie members can cash out starting at $5, with the option of cash via PayPal or bank transfer or choosing from a variety of gift cards. 

Inbox Dollars

Inbox Dollars pays cash to members for tasks such as shopping, completing surveys, using apps, playing games, and exploring new products and services. Earnings will vary according to task, but to give you an idea, the Inbox Dollars website states that most surveys for money pay 50 cents to $5 and take five to 25 minutes to complete. 

Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys is another option to earn cash for sharing your opinion. Once you reach 500 points, you can have your earnings deposited directly into your PayPal account within one to three days. 

Check out more apps to make money on our post about how to get free money instantly and cash back apps to scan receipts.


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