Nicole Lapin: Find and earn money easily

There are many ways to make extra cash, but often you don't have the time, or you don't know where to start.
Financial expert Nicole Lapin is here with 5 tips to find and earn more money...and we're not talking about garage sales and eBay.

Find Unclaimed Funds From Your Paycheck

Why it's M.I.A.

The last day of your job fell between pay periods. You might have received a check for the final full week but never got what you were owed for the "hangover days" (especially if you relied on a physical check). You also might be owed for unused vacation days.

Reclaim it Contact the department in which you worked (laws dictating how long an employer is obligated to pay and penalties for not doing so vary by state). If it's been a few years or the business is gone, visit

Find Unclaimed Funds From an Income Tax Refund

Why it's M.I.A.

Maybe you moved—without a forwarding address—and never received an IRS check. Or perhaps you simply misplaced it. Or you might have earned too little that year to have to file, but the IRS still owes you money.
Reclaim It Ask the IRS to reissue your uncashed check. Also, make sure you filed a return for any years you worked, regardless of your income level, because your employer likely withheld taxes.

Find Unclaimed Funds From a Utility Deposit

Why it's M.I.A.

You parted with that cash ages ago, and it's possibly the last thing you thought about in the midst of a move.
Reclaim It Call the utility providers for your past residences to see if they have any of your funds. If they don't but you suspect you never received a deposit back, they might have turned it over to the state comptroller's office (find contacts on

Surf the Web

Believe it or not, you can actually earn money from taking Buzzfeed quizzes, Google stalking ex-boyfriends (no judgement, we all do it) and shopping online. It’s true; some search engines will actually pay you just to surf the web so they can to track your habits. If you sign up for Bing Rewards or Google Screenwise, you can make 100-200 bucks a year by literally just using the browser..

Your search habits are extremely valuable to them, and they’ll cough it up just to take a peek! Nielsen Mobile for iPhone users pays you $50/year for just installing the app; again, it’s a drop in the bucket for them to collect valuable intel while you just keep doing your thing.  

InboxDollars and YouCubez will even pay you to watch random vidoes online. Now, admittedly, they might not be the most riveting ones because they are sponsored by brands, but for every time you watch an ad you’ll get paid (from a few cents to a few dollars per ad, depending on if you leave a comment or share on social media which gets you the premium payments) just because the brands want your eyeballs.

Reviewing Stuff

Being a mystery shopper or a taste-tester, for example, is one of the coolest side gigs around. Testers can make $8-200/hour for shopping and eating in addition to a reimbursement of your purchases up to a certain amount. There are a bunch of sites for finding these gigs, just beware of scams by checking to see if they are a member of the MSPA (Yep, the Mystery Shopping Providers Association — it’s a thing!). Some legit ones are Best Mark, Experience Exchange, Intelli-shop, Market Force, and Sinclair Customer Metrics.

And since I’m sure you’re already mentally critiquing what sucks and doesn’t suck on the websites you visit every day, why not turn your opinions into money in the bank?. If you provide that feedback to the owners of those sites you can make $30/hour as a website tester. User Testing is a company that tracks your mouse movements on the site and then asks you a few questions about your experience, and Enroll and Loop 11 are also great sites for testing websites and apps

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