CINCINNATI - If your smartphone bill is pushing $100 a month, wouldn't it be nice to have a couple of apps that could actually earn you some money?
And we're not talking about some "work from home" scams where you have to advertise or build a pyramid to have any hope of income.
USA Today has listed some smartphone apps that can bring in real money, for just a little amount of effort.
Do a task, get paid
An app called TaskRabbit links up people who need a small job done, and others who are willing to do it for a small fee.
Among the jobs available: buying groceries, putting together IKEA furniture, walking the dog, and many more. The average chore pays $45, according to the app makers.
Swap your stuff with yard sale
Have a bunch of junk in your garage, but don't want the hassle of holding a garage sale on a Saturday? Then check out the app called Yardsale.
It connects people in a community looking to sell or trade items, from baby strollers to old refrigerators. Unlike Craigslist, you won't hear from scammers in Africa.
Scan barcodes, earn money
The CheckPoints app lets you build up reward points for simply scanning the bar code on groceries. When you get enough, you redeem points for gift cards.
Target stores have just rolled out a similar program with the app ShopKick. Use the price comparison app in a Target store, and earn reward points toward a Target gift card.
Why would a store encourage price comparing? They don't mind if you find that vacuum cheaper somewhere else: you'll still buy about $25 worth of stuff on your way out the door.
Mystery shop with your phone
EasyShift pays you to check prices and take photos of store stocks, making you a smartphone mystery shoppers.
It is paid by consumer brands to check on their presence in stores, then pays you a few bucks for checking in.
Rent your driveway
If you live in an area with very few street parking places, you can list your parking space on the Parking Panda app. It is currently online in Washington, D.C, Baltimore, and some other areas, but is expanding.
Drivers who have the app will text you if they want to rent your driveway, for a few hours or a few weeks.
Kooky? Maybe. But once it comes to your area, it can make you some money.