Creative Saving

yourLDSneighborhood News for Monday, 5 December, 2011

40+ Places to Find More Money (Not Including Under Your Sofa Cushions)

by Trina Boice


It’s that time of year when our big gift-giving hearts are restrained by our small, empty wallets. No worries!  There are a ton of things you can do to bring in extra money to pay those bills and stretch your dollars.  Stay-at-home moms, especially, are often torn between wanting to stay home to care for the children and working outside the home to help out financially. Now you can do both!


Share your money tips with our readers! Leave a comment.

The fact is, nobody is going to just hand you money; you have to do something.  No, wait a minute…they just might!  You may actually have free money hiding out there that you don’t even know about!  It’s true! Every state has an “Unclaimed Property” department which you can easily use to help you find money!   Start at, the web site of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.  Every state’s procedure for claiming money is different, so be sure to check every state where you have resided and worked and follow their guidelines.  Amazingly enough, you may actually have forgotten about some pennies out there!  Hey, it’s worth a shot and will only take you a few minutes online.


I found a small paycheck my husband forgot to pick up when he did seasonal work for a company as a teenager.  (I would never forget to pick up a paycheck!)  I also found some money for my dad that was sitting in an old bank account he had closed years ago.  (Yes, I gave it to him and didn’t keep it for myself.)  You’ll need to produce certain documents to prove you are who you claim to be before the money is released.


Whether you’re looking for a full-time job or just a part-time gig to bring in some extra cash, there are many options. To help you get a better job, start by acquiring some new skills and do a quick resume brush-up.  Placing your resume online doesn’t mean a lot in a sea of faceless names available to employers.  You need to get more creative, especially if you want to work from home.  Rather than posting a resume on, which will mostly result in getting you a ton of junk mail, try connecting with people you already know on or searching for local jobs at You need to get more creative, especially if you want to work from home.   Here are some great resources:


You can also find some terrific freelance jobs online based on your expertise at sites such as:


If you’re artistic, you can get paid for your creativity and accept as many or as few jobs as you’d like at:


Sell your photography skills at:


Virtual customer service jobs allow you to assist other companies from your computer.  If you have a landline and a computer and your home is quiet, you can take incoming calls for companies or help them with data entry tasks.  See who is hiring at:


Mystery shopping is one of my all-time faves for getting paid to do something you’d already do, like get an oil change, see a movie, or shop.  Companies will pay you to pretend you’re a “normal” shopper while you’re evaluating the customer service, quality, cleanliness, and attentiveness of a selected retailer.  I’ve had boring assignments like assessing a post office and exciting assignments such as getting paid to play at a theme park with my kids!  Being certified by The Mystery Shopping Association will get you more jobs.   Some companies are definitely more reputable than others, so you want to be careful who you choose to work with.  There’s no need to pay for a list of mystery shopping companies, although you’ll find many web sites who will try to get you to do just that.  Start at


Market research is another one of my favorite ways to earn quick money for doing something fun.  Companies will pay to get your opinion both online and in person.  Do a search for “market research” next to the name of your city to find companies in your town that are looking for people to participate in focus groups at their facility.  You can also find some listings at You’ll meet a lot of interesting people and get paid to simply talk about what you like and don’t like!


You can also get paid to take surveys online.   Some survey sites are scams, so be careful.   Here are a few of the reputable ones out there:


Merchandising companies will pay you to go into stores to make sure items are displayed correctly for a particular product and company.  You might be asked to go into a Wal-Mart, for example, to make sure the signage is correct on the Maybelline products, or you could be asked to work with the store manager to bring new products from the back room onto the floor and make sure they’re displayed properly on the shelves.  One I’ve worked with for years is


My husband laughed when I told him I wanted to get paid to watch movies.  Now he goes with me on assignments for date night, and he only laughs if we’re watching a comedy.  Companies will pay you to go to a movie theater and write them a quick report about which movie trailers played before a specific feature film.  Sometimes you’ll get paid to simply write down all of the posters inside the movie theater or to record what the audience reaction was during the movie.  Two reputable companies I’ve worked with over the years are and  Register on their web sites and then let their field reps know you’re ready to start receiving assignments!  Have fun!   You’re welcome.


Another quick money idea I love is getting paid in the form of gift cards and cash to review email offers from other companies.  Check out some of my favorites and tell them I referred you!


If you’re going to do this, you might want to create a separate email account for this kind of work so that your real email doesn’t get spammed.


OK, that’ll get you started today!  See, the list is endless!  I’ll share even more fun ideas in future articles.  There are simply too many to list. Are you feeling empowered with your finances yet?  You should!  You probably already know how to do many things that companies out there are willing to pay you for!  Write a list of all your skills, talents, hobbies and interests.  You’re worth more than you know!



Trina Boice

(The FruGAL)


Trina Boice grew up in California and recently moved to Las Vegas. She is the author of nine best-selling books and has another one coming out this fall. She earned two Bachelor’s degrees from BYU where she competed on the Speech and Debate team and the Ballroom Dance Team.

Trina was given the “Points of Light” Award and Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her domestic and international community service. She currently writes for 702events, The Answer Newspaper, Homemaking Cottage, and is the Entertainment News Editor at Bella Online. She has been writing a consumer tips newsletter for over a decade to help people earn and save money at


  1. says

    Excellent info! Thanks for posting it. I’ve never had much luck with survey sites, but maybe I’ve never gone to the right ones, and so will try out some of your links, Trina.

  2. Patti Hobbs says

    Awesome info! Thank you so much. I have checked into doing surveys and a good reputable one that I use is Pinecone Research. I have been with them for aobut 3 years now and they pay $3.00 per survey. I will definitely check out these other income producing options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield for WordPress