4 simple, legit ways to find hidden money

You don't need to work to get these payouts.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read

Everyone wants to make money with little to no effort. It may seem like a faraway dream, but there are a few ways you can make a few bucks while you're already goofing off online. Here are four legit money makers to add to your cash flow.

Ask the government

You may have some money out there just waiting for you to claim it. You can check to see if you're owed money from overpaid taxes, back wages and more by going to the Unclaimed Money from the Government site.  

This site is ran by the United States government and can be used by anyone who has lived in the states. 

The easiest way to use find money is to click the Search by State link, then search your name and any former names -- a maiden name, for example -- and any states you have ever lived in. If you're owed money, just follow the on-screen directions to receive your check. 

US nationals can also check the Foreign Claims link for money owed to them from foreign governments.  

Don't think you're owed money? My husband and I received checks for several hundred dollars that we had no idea we were owed.


You may have money owed to you that you didn't even know about.

Alina Bradford/CNET

Catch savings

If you shop at  Walmart on a regular basis, you could be earning cashback with its app. Just download the Walmart Android or iPhone app, tap the Savings Catcher icon and then scan your receipt every time you shop. The app will search for better bargains in your area and if it finds one, your account is rewarded the difference. Then the money is placed on a Walmart gift card.

Or shop other stores to make cash

Don't shop at Walmart? No problem. Download a cashback app that works with a variety of stores. Ibotta, for example, gives you cashback on purchases and pays you though PayPal , Venmo or gift cards. 

Ebates is another app that gives you cash back when you shop and pays through check or PayPal. It also offers online coupons and notifications about sales at your favorite store.

How do apps like these work? Stores pay the apps an affiliate advertising fee for linking to the stores' websites. In turn, the app pays you a portion of that fee.

Use an extension

One of my favorite ways to "find" money is to use Chrome extensions. Every time I go to make an online purchase, the extensions find me a better deal or a coupon. Check out some of the best options in the gallery below.

8 Chrome extensions that can save you hundreds of dollars

See all photos