Ways that Contests & Sweepstakes Can Make You Richer

Image of a woman holding a laptop and money.
Entering sweepstakes can be a fun and easy way to make extra money. Image (c) Leo Kowal / Getty Images

Can you really make money with contests? If you have been laid off, are between jobs, or are looking to make some money in your free time without completely exhausting yourself, contests are an easy and fun way to bring in some extra cash.

Let's face it, it's depressing to have to deny yourself a night out on the town or some cute new clothes because you know your money could be put to better use. If your budget is tight, spending a little bit of time entering contests each day is a good way to be able to do all of the things you want to do, guilt-free.

Winning cash is, of course, a good way to come out ahead. However, there are also some other ways to use giveaways to free up money in your budget.  Here are some of the ways that entering contests and sweepstakes can make a tight budget easier to bear.

  1. Win Money from Cash Sweepstakes:
    The most direct way to earn money with sweepstakes is by simply winning it. There are many contests and sweepstakes giving away cash at any given time. Some give away smaller cash prizes, but those $5 and $10 prizes can add up quickly! Others are mega sweepstakes giving away $50,000 or more.

    You can find these sweepstakes easily by visiting the cash sweepstakes list, which contains only sweepstakes with pure cash prizes. If you'd like expert tips on how to enter and win these giveaways, check out how to enter online sweepstakes like a pro.
     
  2. Save Money that You'd Otherwise Spend.
    If you're looking for ways to earn money with sweepstakes, you don't have to focus only on cash sweepstakes. You can also enter to win useful items like free groceries, entertainment, books, and more.

    A smart way to save money with contests is to put the cash that you'd usually spend on the prize into your savings account. If you win a pair of movie tickets, for example, put the cost of tickets into your savings account or add that amount to your next credit card payment. You'll still have your fun and you'll lower your debt at the same time.
     
  1. Sell Unwanted Prizes.
    If you enter sweepstakes regularly, you'll most likely end up with some prizes that you don't particularly need, or that you already have like a handbag that's too fancy to use, a game that's not age-appropriate for your children, or a laptop when you already have one you love.

    Rather than let these items sit around your home gathering dust, put them up for sale on eBay, Craigslist, or a similar site. The prizes will find good homes and you'll end up with some much-needed cash. Selling unwanted prizes is a good way to earn money from contests.
     
  1. Donate Prizes for the Tax Break.
    Another way to earn money with contest prizes is to donate them to a recognized charity and then take a deduction on your taxes. Money that you don't have to pay to the government is more money in your pocket. (The Taxes Expert shares some tips on claiming charitable deductions on taxes.)

It's not a good idea to put your family's well-being on their line by relying on making money through contests. Entering contests for a living is risky, and you'll probably be better off getting a part-time job than using contests as your sole source of income.

But if you have the time, contests can be a great way to add some extra money to your life. And if you are very lucky indeed, you could win enough money to put your financial burdens behind you forever!