If you’ve been reading the same news stories I have, many reports are predicting that a wave of automation is imminent.

By these accounts, unattended kiosks will replace humans everywhere from fast-food to retail stores. On top of that, robots are poised to perform many of the remaining tasks like harvesting and manufacturing.

Amidst all this advancement, one innovation we should hope for is a machine that tells us how to earn a living in this job-free future! In the meantime and in the spirit of things to come, here are some ways to make money automatically.

To emphasize the point, these savings take no (or little) effort on your part!

Nielsen Mobile Rewards (https://mobilepanel.nielsen.com/enroll/rewards.do?l=en_us&pid=1) – Earn up to $50/year in points that can be redeemed for gifts and gift cards. All you do is download the app. Nielsen monitors your activity and rewards you for it. And to think that Uncle Sam taxes us for the same privilege!

Autopay – For providers like AT&T Prepaid (https://www.att.com/prepaid/autopay.html), Sprint (https://www.sprint.com/en/support/autopay.html) and Cricket Wireless (https://www.cricketwireless.com/l/auto-pay-sms.html), autopay entitles you to a monthly discount of $5 per line.

In addition, Suddenlink offers a rate reduction of $1/month when going paperless. The rate of return for taking advantage is substantial. Even where reduced charges aren’t available, automatic payments still prevent late fees due to potential oversights.

Paribus (https://paribus.co/) – To take advantage of retailer’s low-price guarantees, Paribus scans your email inbox for order confirmations and screens internet stores like Wal-Mart and Target for a lower price. When a better price is discovered, Paribus contacts the retailer for a refund. In exchange, Paribus takes a 25 percent cut. At the same time, referring friends can get this fee waived.

Credit card rewards – Depending on the credit card, a buyer can automatically earn up to 5 percent back on purchases. Rewards are typically earned in cash back, gasoline, airline miles/hotel points or groceries.

For a start on finding one that may match your needs, go here: https://wallethub.com/credit-cards/rewards/.

With that being said, please avoid using credit cards if you hold any debt outside of a mortgage, are forgetful and/or prone to paying late, and/or find it harder to spend cash than to spend with a card. Also, stop using credit cards the minute you run a balance on any of them.

Safe 2 Save (https://safe2save.org/how-to-use/) – The Safe 2 Save app rewards you with points for refraining from texting while driving. Simply turn it on to receive points for driving safely. Accumulated points can be redeemed for free food and other rewards.

Unlocking smartphone screen – Since you have to unlock your screen each time you use your phone, why not get paid to do it? According to CNET, up to $15 every month can be earned by allowing ads on your Android device.

Typically, you’ll see a promotion when checking your phone. Most of the time, you can slide right to skip the ad. Since skipping isn’t generally penalized, this is the equivalent of getting automatically paid!

All kinds of apps for this exist. Some include Screen Stash (https://www.appsthatpay.co/screenstash.html), Slidejoy (https://www.getslidejoy.com/), and Adme (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.adme&hl=en).

Microsoft rewards (https://rewards.microsoft.com/) – As I’m not a big fan of Bing, you’d definitely have to pay me to use this search engine. It turns out this is possible! Microsoft Rewards offers points for every search you perform on Bing.

By earning 5 points for every Bing search, you can accumulate about $5 in rewards after 1,000 searches. While this may sound small, remember that you are being paid to do something you would do anyway!

Programmable thermostat – For automatic and easy savings, it’s hard to beat a programmable thermostat. It will conveniently save at least 10 percent on your energy bill and enhance your comfort level. I rate the programmable thermostat I bought 19 years ago as some of the best money I have spent. My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner.

As a programmable thermostat will last for awhile, be sure to do your homework so you get a thermostat that best matches your needs.

For more information: http://lubbockonline.com/life-savvy-shopper/2011-10-18/savvy-shopper-explains-his-love-digital-thermostat and http://lubbockonline.com/life-savvy-shopper/2011-10-25/savvy-shopper-find-out-what-features-look-thermostat

Bounts (https://www.bounts.it/) – Pair Bounts with pedometer programs like Fitbit to get rewarded. While the amounts are relatively small, it’s like being paid to walk.

With all the ways to make money automatically, it may be possible one day to give up employment altogether. One can always dream!

In the meantime, savvy shopping and a few of the above tricks will go a long way.

If you have thoughts or ideas about saving or earning automatically, please visit and "Like" our Facebook site (Click https://www.facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper or log on to Facebook and enter “Lubbock Savvy Shopper” in the search tool) or write us at SavvyShopperLubbock@gmail.com and let us know about it.

A lot of saving is going on. Don’t miss out!

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SEAN FIELDS is the A-J’s Savvy Shopper. Read his columns Sundays and Wednesdays. Email him at SavvyShopperLubbock@gmail.com, like his Facebook page at Facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper, or see previous columns and deals at lubbockonline.com/savvy-shopper.