By Meredith Westrich

Juggling a job while being a full-time student can extremely stressful—there seems to never be enough time or money.  One solution is to make money on your own time schedule, without even ever having to leave your room.

One option is a marketing survey site called which allows you to earn “SwagBucks” after participating in surveys, watching promotional videos, or viewing offers. When accumulated, you can redeem for thousands of different gift cards, including Visa, Starbucks for your morning coffee, or Target, basically any of the necessary gift cards a college student could need. Swagbucks also provides cashback on websites when you download the browser extension.  The site debuted in 2008, and is free to use.

So, why are they willing to give away free money?  That’s because college students make up Generation Z, a desirable group of consumers. According to a 2018 article in Forbes, Gen Z will be the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020. This demographic group, born in the mid 1990s and early 2000s, and younger than Millennials, account for $29 billion to $143 billion in direct consumer spending.  The group is also very influential on other age groups, as 93% of parents say they turn to their General Z children for advice on what to buy.

Another app that will save you money is “Honey,” which provides thousands of discounts for anyone after just taking seconds to download. Honey, once installed, will help you find coupons at thousands of stores, and all you do is: Shop like normal! When you get to checkout Honey will generate the coupons that will provide the most savings for you. Say for instance you just got your target gift card from Swagbucks and you want to get some decor for your room delivered, so you have a nice background when you are getting this free money. Honey they will find you the best deals possible, and since you have Swagbucks, you are still earning cash back.

Downloading apps for retail deals require time, which is something most college students do not have enough of these days. You spend an hour or so filling out promotions or any extra time you have and you may have a gift card by the end. Then installing Honey all you have to do is shop like normal and Honey does the work for you.

Okay, so you are worried – are these things scams? Generation Z does a lot of research, and that’s what it takes to make sure you aren’t scammed.  The first thing I do is do an online search. If it’s generated a Wikipedia page, it’s legit.   There I learned about each of the companies and found their headquarters.  Next, you can check out any company with the Better Business Bureau. Go to and type in the name. There you’ll discover that Swagbucks has earned a grade of A-, and Honey earned an A+.  You can read more on the site.

Sure, using these apps won’t pay your tuition, but it may cut down on the calls home to your parents asking to add just a little bit more into your account because you are tired of that dining hall food and just want anything else. You will be less stressed, and your parents will definite glad they didn’t get another one of those calls, I know mine were.

Westrich is a sophomore studying journalism at the University of Missouri.