People are always asking me how I am able to get something for a low price, or completely free. High School may not have taught me much, but it did teach basic research skills.

I can’t remember when it started or what made me search the words “how to get free money” or “how to get free gift cards.” After paying what little bills I had and getting basic everyday items, I only had about $150 left to help pay for food, transportation, and put money away for savings.

As many of the people who follow me know, I was recently living in Wayne’s Place, transitional living program for former foster youth and youth with connections to the Department of Behavioral Health. Life wasn’t just hard. At times it felt impossible. I needed more money. So, me being as curious as I am, I researched. From those simple words above I was able to get money legally using apps, surveys, and coupons.

Last year, I purchased over $700 worth of items online alone and paid only about $150 for everything. My biggest cash outs came from Bing Rewards, Google Opinion Rewards, Cross Media Panel,Panel App, Quick Thoughts, and other online surveys. Many of the ways I used to get money offered food cards to Safeway, Giant, etc. When things got really bad, I went to the food bank. No one wants to, but you have to do what you have to do.

During the winter of 2016, separate from the amounts above, I purchased about $300 worth of boots (good winter boots are expensive!) and paid about $200. That’s $100 off. I purchased an XBOX One, new condition, for $153. I remember the exact amount because even I was amazed.

I would get restaurant cards, as well as many coupons they send in emails. I made sure I was always able to go out when friends asked. I even get free movie tickets A Regal Club Card helps you build points to get free or discounted items. With movie tickets now being almost $15 (up from $7 when I was 12), who wants to pay?

I joined focus groups and research panels around the city that not only provided money, but great opportunities. I was able to speak up about issues I cared about, and I met amazing people.

Free money is everywhere. You just have to find it and be dedicated. As broke as I was before I got a job, do you really think I wanted to pay for anything? I hated asking people for money, but there were times when I had to. I even had to set up a Go Fund Me account twice!

You don’t need to have a college degree or even a high school diploma. As long as you have basic research skills (TYPE AND CLICK) and dedication, money is never far. It may not be a lot, every little thing helps.

Here’s where you can get started.

*Most of the apps can be found on both Android and IPhone

If it sounds like a scam, it probably is one. I avoid anything that ask for my password to something, Social Security number, my credit card information, or any personal information. 


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