6 Ways to Get Rewarded for Managing Your Money Like a Grown up

Man relaxing outside
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder
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There’s stuff we have to do every day that we really don’t want to. Ugh.

Other people tell you there are benefits to doing these things, but when do you see them?

It started as a kid: Eat your vegetables, and you’ll grow up to be strong! So you choked down those sweaty little cabbages they call Brussels sprouts and waited for your biceps to pop out. Nothing.

Adulting is even harder.

Hit the gym and you’ll feel great! Well, not right away.

Wear clean underwear every day! OK. This one’s pretty legit.

But what if you could actually get something just for doing what you’re supposed to do? I’m talking about money. Real dough for doing what you needed to do anyway.

You can. Here our some of our favorite ways you can make a little extra just for adulting with your money, and you won’t have to wait years to see the benefit.

1. Get $100 When You Open a New Checking Account

How’s an extra $100 sound? For free? Seriously. We found a company that will give you $100 just for opening a new debit card. It’s called Aspiration.

Sure, a lot of debit cards offer sign-up bonuses throughout the year, but they often require you to jump through hoops with minimum requirements that feel impossible to hit.

But Aspiration makes it simple. To earn your $100, here’s all you need to do: Open your Aspiration account and deposit at least $10. Then set up and receive three direct deposits of at least $500 each from your paycheck or government benefits. That’s it! Then just wait for your check. 

Even better? Your debit card gets you up to 10% cash back on your purchases.

Enter your email address here, and link your bank account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”

2. Earn Rewards for Paying Your Bills on Time

As an adult, you don’t typically get rewards just for paying your bills… until now.

This app kind of rules them all: MoneyLion, a free all-in-one app for managing your personal finances.

MoneyLion offers rewards to help you develop healthy financial habits and will literally pay you for logging onto the app.

You can earn points in the rewards program by paying bills on time, connecting your bank account or downloading the mobile app.

You can redeem those points for gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Apple and Walmart.

3. Use Your Spare Change to Save Like a Grown-up

Various coins sitting on a table
Newell’s photography/Getty Images

If you’re like most of us and wish your money would just take care of itself, consider starting an investment account through Acorns, and get a $5 bonus for starting out.

You can start small and stack up change over time with its “round-up” feature. That means if you spend $10.23 at the grocery store, 77 cents gets dropped into your Acorns account.

Then, the app does the whole investing thing for you.

The idea is you won’t miss the digital pocket change, and the automatic savings stack up faster than you’d think. For example, we reviewed how Penny Hoarder Dana Sitar was able to save at a rate of $420 a year!

The app is $1 a month for balances under $1 million, and you’ll get a $5 bonus when you sign up.

4. Get $50 to Help Your Future and the World

Solar panels and wind turbines
shansekala/Getty Images

Investing can be a great way to grow your money, but have you carefully considered which companies you’re willing to back? Their morals and values? You probably wouldn’t want to invest in a company that’s destroying our oceans or cheating the system.

Impact investing is a simple fix. It adds a new layer of transparency to investing. Take Swell Investing, an SEC-registered investment adviser committed to supporting sustainable companies.

Its Impact 400 portfolio features companies whose products and services align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It considers everything from gender equality to ending poverty to clean energy.

You can start with just $50 and invest in this or other portfolios committed to clean water, zero waste, renewable energy or disease eradication, to name a few. Plus, you’ll get a $50 bonus with the code PENNY after making your initial investment.

Swell doesn’t have any trading fees, price tiers or expense ratios. It charges a 0.75% annual fee — that’s about the cost of one coffee ($3.75) per year if you invest $500.

Disclosure: We have a financial relationship with Swell Investing LLC and will be compensated if consumers apply for an account and/or fund an account with Swell through links in our content. However, the analysis and opinions expressed here are our own.

5. Get Paid to Save

A woman's hand in her pocket with money
Aileen Perilla/The Penny Hoarder

How’s your savings looking? You know, money you’ve stashed aside for emergencies or major life goals? No so good? No worries.

An iOS app called Varo Money combines traditional banking tools with modern technology to help its customers become financially healthy.

Here’s the best part: Pair your Bank Account with a Varo Savings Account, and you’ll earn 1.75% Annual Percentage Yield. That’s nearly 30 times — repeat, 30 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.06% average reported by CNN Money.

Additionally, you’ll pay no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, no foreign transaction fees and no cash replacement fees. You’ll just pay any fees charged by out-of-network ATMs and cash deposit fees if you deposit cash in-store through Green Dot.

6. Get $5 in Free Stocks to Start Investing

You know you need to invest, but how do you find the money to get started? Don’t worry about it. Just start small.

A cool app, Stash, is made for this. This app lets you start investing with as little as $5 and for just a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000.

Stash curates investments from professional fund managers and investors and lets you choose where to put your money.

But it leaves the complicated investment terms out of it. You just choose from a set of simple portfolios reflecting your beliefs, interests and goals.

Bonus: Right now, The Penny Hoarder is teaming up with Stash to fund your first investment — so you’ll get a $5 bonus to get started.

Keep on Adulting on

You’re ready for this. You know what you need to do to establish a respectable financial life as an adult. Now you have a few financial incentives to get that ball rolling.

Hit snooze one more time, toast a Pop-Tart (careful, it’s hot!) and start getting paid for being a grown up.


Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.