How To Make Money With Your Smartphone

I am so excited to introduce you all to a new segment on Today’s The Best Day, that is going to give you all of the tips and tricks you need to be able to save money for you and your family! Money can be such a sensitive subject in the family unit and can cause a lot of stress – but thank you to my Money Saving Expert Cousin, you are going to be able to help your families be a little more frugal, learn special ways you can earn a little cash as a stay-at-home mom AND how to have fun with couponing without it being overwhelming!

Without further ado, here is Kimber with her first article on How To Make Money With Your Smartphone!

How To Make Money With Your Smartphone

Hi there, sweet Mommies! I am Danielle’s cousin Kimber. I am excited that Danielle has given me an opportunity to share some thoughts with you and hopefully teach you a new skill!

When my daughter was born, I was beyond thrilled to make the transition from being a teacher to staying at home full-time with my precious baby. But I found that sometimes the days could get a little long. As much as I enjoyed playing with my darling girl, I began to wish that I had a hobby or two that I could still do with baby in tow.

Then, one magical day, I discovered couponing.

Now, many people hear couponing and shudder. Is that your reaction? Does the phrase “couponing” make you think of a little old lady holding up the checkout line so she can save twenty cents on cat food? Or maybe, thanks to TLC, you picture women whose “Extreme Couponing” is basically a gateway to hoarding? Well, there’s good news – couponing doesn’t have to be “extreme”. It doesn’t have to be hard. And these days, you can even coupon from your smart phone! So I will be writing a few articles for Today’s The Best Day. I’d love to teach you to coupon for several reasons:

  1. Couponing allows you to save money!
  2. It’s a great way to get nice products for the same price as cheap products.
  3. It enables you to give more generously, even when you feel like you never have enough money.

Today, for our first lesson, I am going to introduce you to one of my favorite apps. It’s not a couponing app, but it’s a great way to see how you can actually make money with your smartphone. It’s called Shopkick, and it’s awesome. Here’s the basic rundown on Shopkick.

Stores want you to walk through their front door.

Manufacturers want you to find their items in the store.

They pay Shopkick to get you to do both of those things, and Shopkick pays you.

(Easy, huh? I like easy!)

Now, Shopkick won’t pay your mortgage. It won’t pay off your student loans. But if you’d like a little bit of fun money, if you enjoy shopping, and if you have a smartphone, you should check out Shopkick!

Once you’ve downloaded the app, the simplest way to start earning “kicks” (points) is to look at stores in your area that are participating. There are many, but a few examples from my area are Walmart, Target, JCPenney, Sports Authority, and Carter’s. The app will tell you how many kicks you will earn just for walking into the store. As you walk in through the front door, have the app open. Participating stores have a transmitter right inside the entrance. Your phone hears the magical little noise, and boom! You earn points!

The second way to earn kicks is to scan items. Did you know your smart phone camera can double as a scanner? It can, and it’s pretty cool! Once you’re inside a participating store, there will be a list of items you can scan for kicks. Just find the item, scan a picture of the barcode, and there you go! Sometimes there is an optional 3-4 question survey to take after you scan the item, but you can easily X out of it if you don’t have time. Just keep on scanning!

The list of scannable items changes very frequently, but at the time of writing, if I walked into my local Walmart, I could earn 30 kicks. If I scanned every item on my list (there are 28 right now), I’d earn 510 more. 500 kicks are enough for a $2 gift card, to put it into perspective. So again, this is not any kind of big money. But if you and your little munchkin are looking for a fun outing, it’s worth a try! Instead of spending money, you’re actually making a little! And as your kids get older, it’s easy to involve them. My kindergartener can help me find the product on the shelf. I talk about the colors and letters on the packaging with my preschooler. And if I’d discovered this app when they were younger, I would have had them tell me if the item I was scanning was hard or soft, if it was high or low on the shelf, etc.

You can also earn a few extra kicks by poking around the app. You can earn a point here and there by just opening your app (limit of once per day), and some of the “Editor’s Books” that you can look through will randomly reward you with a kick. I don’t recommend spending a lot of time on this, as a single kick is worth less than half a cent. But if you are very close to a reward and need a few extra kicks, or if you have more time than money and you think it’s fun, go for it!

When it’s time to redeem your points, you can cash them in for a gift card that will be delivered within seconds to your phone. There are many options, but a few examples are Target, American Eagle, Best Buy, and Lowe’s. The gift card will have a bar code to scan. It’s so easy – no printing anything, no ordering anything online. Just cash in your gift card, have the cashier scan it, and you’re good to go!

As a few examples of what you can do with Shopkick, I’ll share what I’ve done with my “fun money”. I’ve cashed in for Target gift cards to treat myself and my family to fun snacks. I saved up at Christmastime for a $25 American Eagle gift card for my husband’s stocking. (I went into the store, explained that I had a $25 gift card on my phone, and they scanned it and let me “buy” a $25 physical gift card to give to my husband.) And most recently, I have begun saving up Target gift cards to purchase items for blessing bags, which are small Ziplocs full of hygiene items. I keep them in my car to give out to homeless people in my city. {You can read more about blessing bags here} I love knowing that the gift cards I’ve earned are allowing me to serve and to give more generously, and I love that my kids are learning that as we take a few extra minutes to scan things in the store, we’re allowing someone we haven’t even met (yet) to have a new toothbrush.

So that’s your first frugal Mommy lesson! I’m excited to share more ideas with you in the future. And just so you know, if you use my referral link ( to sign up for Shopkick, you get 50 bonus kicks, and I get some as well. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to save up for more blessing bags. 🙂  But if you’re not comfortable with that, don’t worry – you can just look in the app store and find the Shopkick app!

Thanks, and have the BEST day today!

9 Comments on How To Make Money With Your Smartphone

  1. Diana Met Danny
    January 6, 2016 at 11:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Do you have a newsletter I could sign up for? Great post! First one I read. 🙂

  2. Taya
    August 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm (4 years ago)

    You had me at “Make Money”. These are great to try

  3. Janeane Davis
    August 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm (4 years ago)

    There are good ideas. Most people have cell phones and making money with them is a good thing to do.

  4. celeste
    August 22, 2014 at 6:24 am (4 years ago)

    I love ShopKicks. I have traded my points for Target gift cards.

  5. AdeDoyin
    August 21, 2014 at 11:33 pm (4 years ago)

    That sounds pretty cool! I’m always down to try an app once. 🙂

  6. Kara
    August 21, 2014 at 8:27 pm (4 years ago)

    Couponing can be so overwhelming. I’ll have to check out this app.

    • Kimber
      August 22, 2014 at 2:52 am (4 years ago)

      It does seem overwhelming at first, Kara, but this app is a fun way to start. I hope you enjoy it!

  7. Angie Agerter
    August 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm (4 years ago)

    What a great idea for an app. I had used a similar one before but never found much to scan. This sounds like it might be a bit more consistent on what you can scan.

    • Kimber
      August 22, 2014 at 2:57 am (4 years ago)

      I’ve tried a few other ones too, Angie, and this seems like the best. I hope you have good luck with it!


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