How To Turn Your Monthly Bills Into Additional Income Streams

Written by: Jennifer Watkins
06/01/2019

smart-spend

In today’s fast paced, digital world, there are literally thousands of ways to turn traditional monthly expenses into additional income streams. This, coupled with going green, has created a plethora of tax breaks and income opportunities that are simply too good to pass up. Most don’t realize that modern smart phones can do just about anything, including taking those monthly grocery bills and turning them into additional earning opportunities. From utilizing renewable energy sources, to receiving refunds and rebates on your favorite consumables, this article will explore exactly how easy it is to turn your traditional monthly bills into additional income streams all while helping protect the environment.

Going Green Means Making Green, A Breakdown Of Renewable Energy

Going green means making green! Taxpayers who utilize renewable energy resources may be eligible for business or non-business energy property tax credits. These credits remain in effect through 2019 and reduced each year thereafter until the end of 2021. Claiming the credits are simple, IRS form 5695 allows you to itemize your energy deductions on your taxes. A number of devices are eligible for renewable energy tax breaks, listed below are just a few.

• Solar panels
• Solar powered water heaters
• Wind turbines that generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity
• Geothermal heat pumps which meet Energy Star guidelines
• Fuel cells which rely on renewable resources like hydrogen to generate electricity

According to the US Department of Energy tax breaks for solar, wind, and geothermal generators in your principle home can grant taxpayers a credit equal to 30% of the cost, including installation. The maximum credit for any other single resident energy property besides your principle property is $300. I don’t know about you, but saving money on my yearly taxes while protecting the environment sounds like a win/win to me.

Installing Energy Efficient Appliance

Reaping the benefits of renewable energy tax credits is great, but knowing the appliances you need in order to reap those benefits is equally important. First and foremost, solar panels used to generate electricity should be for in-home use only. The same holds true for solar powered water heaters, the heater must be used for at least half the homes water heating capacity. 100 kilowatts Wind Turbines are also eligible for the residential tax credits. A wonderful website that provides information about federal income tax credits and other incentives for energy efficiency is energystar.gov.

Selling Power Back To The Grid

Besides taking advantage of lucrative tax credits, going green can also earn you extra income from selling the additional, unused energy back to the power company. Over 40 states allow for some degree of net metering. Net metering refers to a system in which renewable energy generators like solar panels or wind turbines, are connected to a public utility power grid with unused, surplus power being transferred back to the grid. This allows customers to offset the cost on their monthly utility bills. In some cases, customers can actually receive payment from their power company for surplus energy. If you’re considering doing this as a possible second income stream, I recommend checking the net metering laws in your state. States like Texas and Idaho have no statewide mandatory rules although some utility companies do allow net metering. The Solar Energy Industries Association, or, SEIA.org, has tons of information you can use to determine what net metering laws are enacted in your state, including how you can financially benefit from them. Simply put, if your home is net metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night, or during periods of minimal use. Before exploring exciting opportunity, consider conducting an energy audit on your home energy use in order to accurately measure how much electricity you would need to generate to have a surplus.

Getting Paid To Shop

There are literally tons of ways you can get paid for doing things you normally do already. Besides rent, internet, and electricity, one of our biggest expenses is food. Thanks to the modern miracle of smart phones, there are a number of different applications you can use to turn your grocery receipts into cash. Listed are a few free applications you can download on Google Play or the ITunes store and start turning your monthly grocery expenses into a secondary income stream:

• Checkout 51
• Shopkick
• Berry cart
• Paribus
• Saving star
• Ebates
• Receipt hog

Above you will find about 7 different free applications that IPhone or Android users can download directly to their phones and start making money on their grocery receipts instantly. Applications like Checkout 51 and Receipt Hog give you coins every time you scan one of your grocery receipts. Depending on your your the receipts amount, you can receive one or hundreds of tokens redeemable for cash via PayPal. Having used many of these apps personally, I recommend stacking them. Download multiple applications like Checkout 51 and Receipt Hog and use them to snap pictures of the same receipt. This allows you to maximize your income potential and get paid coins from numerous applications for the same receipt! Another benefit to using these apps is the fact that many of them offer a sign on bonus just for downloading and registering.

Going green not only helps protect our environment but opens up new opportunities for homeowners looking too both reduce their monthly electrical expenses while making some additional money on the side selling power back to their power company. Visiting SEIA.org will help you familiarize yourself with the numerous net metering laws enacted in each state. Do some research and determine exactly how much power you use based on an average from your monthly utility bills. Ensure your solar panel or wind turbine generates more kilowatts than needed. Lastly, be sure to download the cash apps mentioned previously, they will help turn your monthly grocery expenses into alternative income streams. Living sustainably not only reduces your carbon footprint, but also has the potential of turning your monthly bills into solid income streams. At the very least, you can completely eliminate some of your utility expenses all together using these tools. Good luck and happy savings!


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