Strategies for Making Your Money Grow!

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extra money

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student-849820_1920Being a mom is not an easy task all the time even though it is very rewarding. As a working mom, I have to balance my time properly so I can actively spend time with my son and support him all while earning an income as well.

Since school is starting up again in most areas, moms may find a little more time in their schedules. Why not earn some extra money with a home-based business?

Whether you are a work-from-home mom or work outside of the home these work-from-home business ideas will allow you to earn some extra income without even walking out the door.

1. After School Care

Child care is a booming industry if you are on the receiving end and not the parent who has to pay for care outside of school (because it can be quite expensive). If you are a stay-at-home mom or have a flexible work schedule, you could offer parents in the neighborhood a more affordable child care alternative by starting an after school care business.

Providing after school care is better than babysitting because you won’t have to do it on the weekends or late into the evening if you don’t want to. You can set your own rates and pick up other children after school to stay at your home for a a few hours until their parents get off work. You can provide a snack and services like homework assistance to add even more value.

2. Pet Sitting

Pet sitting is more laid back than watching other people’s children. If you like pets, you can offer to watch over animals in your community while their owners travel, work, etc. The easiest way to find business is to ask around and put an ad out in your local paper or community newsletter. You can also create business cards and ask local pet shops if you can leave them there.

3. Blogging

If you want to try something that is flexible and quite fun, you might want to give blogging a try. Blogging can be a great hobby, but it can also be profitable once you start treating your blog like a business.

In order to establish a blogging business, you’ll need to set up a self-hosted blog and specify your niche and the topics you’d like to cover. There are so many blogs out there these days, but the most profitable ones are the ones with excellent content that also help people solve a problem or overcome an obstacle. You don’t have to be technically skilled as it’s fairly simple to set up a blog. It’s also not that expensive – you can start a blog for as little as $3.95 per month with Bluehost and they set everything up for you.

You can monetize your blog by putting ads on your site, partnering with sponsors, selling your own products and services and affiliate marketing.

It takes a while to start earning money from blogging, but it’s worth it once the dollars start rolling in. Having a blogging business opens the door to diversify your income and even develop a source of passive income that requires you to work less hours.

4. Work-at-Home Bookkeeper

If you are good with numbers and accounting, you can try your hand at establishing your own home-based bookkeeping business. Smaller companies don’t want to go through the trouble of hiring a professional bookkeeper as a regular staff member and requiring them to come into the office each day since most of the work can be done remotely.

There are many CPAs and successful business owners who have created home-based bookkeeping businesses that you can learn from as you’ll probably need a mentor if you’re starting from scratch. The great thing about this business is that you don’t need to juggle a ton of clients to earn a decent income.

5. Social Media Manager

Are you always on your social media platforms? Learn more about social media marketing and different algorithms so you can turn your knowledge and experience into a lucrative business.

I always thought being a social media manager sounded like a blast. Once you learn about effective strategies to help grow a brand’s presence online, there are so many helpful tools, resources and software (mostly free to use) that will allow you to schedule out updates, track engagement, and promote special campaigns.

If you have been longing to work from home and earn an income with a flexible schedule so you can still have time for your kids, any of these work-from-home businesses would be great options to look into further.

Which one of these home-based businesses would you be willing to try?

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office-605503_1920There are so many ways to earn extra money these days. While some may be more complex than others, there are plenty of opportunities to go around for everyone. When it comes to social media, if you have a lot of followers and a strong influence, you can certainly try your hand at some of the options below.

Sponsored Posts

If you have a large social media following, brands may want to sponsor some of your content. This means you can get paid to tweet a message, share an Instagram update and so on. Many celebrities do this actually as it’s similar to endorsements. The first two people that come to mind when I think about sponsored social media content are Kendall and Kylie Jenner who are very influential on social media and receive around $300k+ per Instagram post.

While everyday people like you and me shouldn’t expect to earn anywhere near that amount, companies targeting smaller audiences will gladly pay you to post on social media about a product or service they offer.

Of course, you’ll have to follow certain guidelines including disclosing that what you are posting is sponsored and by whom. If you are a blogger, thought leader, or influential business owner, you can sign up with IZEA.com to apply for sponsored post opportunities on social media. This site allow you to set up a profile and bid on opportunities that are relevant to you and your audience. They submit payment via PayPal.

If you’re confident in your social following and would like to work with a specific brand, don’t hesitate reaching out to them on your own and inquire if they would like to work with you.

Monetize a YouTube Channel

There are so many unique YouTube personalities out there these days, but there is always room for more. Video content is very popular and valuable. If you have something interesting to say about a particular topic or if you’d like to show or teach someone something via video, sign up for a YouTube account and post consistent videos online.

If you grow your audience and subscribers over time, you can start to cash in the views on your videos by applying to be a YouTube partner and allowing ads to play before or in the middle of your video. These ads will generate income based on how many people see them. You may not make a killing from using YouTube Partner ads, but if you enjoy making video content and growing your platform, it can be a great way to make some extra money each month.

Sell Products on Instagram

Instagram is a fun platform to share imagery to update others about what’s going on in your life, share inspiration or even promote products. Most users who sell products on Instagram are in the fashion/beauty industry but that is slowly changing over time.

Yet and still, if you have, make, or design clothing or jewelry, sell custom t-shirts and coffee mugs or even reupholster furniture, having an Instagram profile is a must in order to show off your work and connect with potential customers.

You can connect your Instagram account to an e-commerce service called InSelly. This WikiHow article walks you through the process of launching a successful Instagram store step-by-step.

Post Affiliate Links to Social Media

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to earn money from blogging, but you can also use social media to boost your affiliate income. Affiliate marketing basically allows you to gain a commission by referring someone to use a product or service. Once you sign up for a referral or affiliate program, you’ll be given a unique link to identify which leads are sent to the company from you. If you share that link on social media in a tweet, status update, etc., and someone clicks on it and makes a purchase, you’ll earn money as a result.

If you are using a product or service that you really like, see if they have a referral or affiliate program. Odds are they do and you can earn some extra money by connecting others with a quality product or service. Some affiliate programs take a while to payout so be sure to read the details and terms thoroughly. Also, be sure to disclose to your followers that you use affiliate links as this may be required.

Summary

This list has just scratched the surface of the numerous things you can do to generate extra money from your social media profiles. While most of these opportunities will not make you rich overnight, it’s important to understand that this can be a worthy additional stream of income as long as you are willing to put the work in to build your social media following upfront.

Keep posting content consistently, engaging and connecting with others, and increasing your list of followers all the time.

Have you ever tried to earn extra money from your social media profile? Which one of these options are you most interested in?

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office-1069207_1920If you want to earn a sustainable income online, freelance writing is one of the most popular ways to do it. Writing online from the comfort of your own home is a great side hustle option and can even transform into a profitable small business over time.

Getting started with freelance writing is easier than you think if you like to write and don’t mind networking and sending pitches to get jobs. However, there are a few common misconceptions and myths about freelance writing that may deter you from getting started or give you the wrong idea in terms of how to be successful.

Here are the top five myths about freelancing along with why they are untrue.

Myth #1: It’s Impossible to Make a Steady Income from Freelance Writing

This is a common myth spread by people who don’t understand how freelancing writing can be a lucrative side hustle and even a reliable career. Yes it’s true, your income will fluctuate as a freelancer. You may have tons of work one month and then your leads dry up the following month.

However, one of the best ways to make a steady and predictable income from freelancing is to secure recurring work. Ask clients to take you on as a regular staff writer for their site so you can produce articles consistently on a monthly, weekly or bi-weekly basis depending on the client’s needs.

You can also make secure your income by signing a contract with a client that states how much work you’ll receive each month so you can have clearer expectations of what your income will be like.

Myth #2: You Need a Degree to Start Earning High Paying Gigs

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree to become a successful freelance writer and often times, a degree or resume is not even required for most jobs including higher paying gigs.

To clients, the most important thing is your experience and knowledge about particular subjects. They tend to focus on how good your writing is, if you have good grammar, and if you present yourself as a professional and adhere to deadlines.

If you have specific life or work experiences that can add to your level of expertise on a particular subject, that can also help you land a higher paying job. Some clients also like to see that you have a sizable social media following so you can promote your work, and they may even offer bonuses based on how many social shares your articles receive.

Myth #3: A Freelance Writer’s Income is Capped

Unlike working a traditional 9-5 job, your income is not limited as a freelance writer. Since you can set your own rates, you can earn as much as you wish. That doesn’t mean that everyone will accept your rates, but you can search more efficiently to find someone who will.

If your expenses increase and you want to earn more, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to secure a raise. You can start immediately by either asking your current clients for a raise, or pitching new clients and ask for a higher starting rate to increase your income.

Myth #4: Work is Hard to Find

One of the hardest parts of getting started with freelance writing is finding clients to pay you for your content. I don’t like to see it, but some people even quit freelancing early on because they can’t secure clients as easily as they thought they could.

Finding your first few clients is not extremely hard, but it’s not particularly easy either. Competition pay seem stiff but there is actually plenty of work to go around since there are millions of websites and blogs out there.

On the bright side, there are plenty of ways to secure a client shortly after you decide to start freelance writing. You can start by starting a blog to serve as your writing portfolio and comment on other blogs to establish new relationships. If you don’t want to start a blog, you can at least set up an online portfolio or a Contently page so potential clients can view samples of your work. You can start a blog for as little as $3.49 per month when you sign up through my Bluehost link and they will do all the work to get your site launched in a few simple clicks.

You can also start by guest posting on popular blogs and sharing in your bio that you are looking for freelance writing work. Put up a ‘hire me’ page on your blog so visitors can learn more about the services you offer. You can send cold pitches to bloggers who seem like they could use your help or companies that have a blog. Make sure you are emailing the right person like the actual blog owner, an editor, or a content manager and don’t forget to include writing samples in your pitch.

You can also search for work on the ProBlogger job board and join freelance writing groups or get a coach to help you learn how to land gigs. There are even courses available to help you start freelance writing. My friend Cat has a great course that helps you launch your own freelance writing business. When it comes to securing work, you can’t be afraid to network and pitch people about your services. Sometimes you’ll get rejected, but other times you’ll receive a positive response.

Myth #5: Freelance Writing is a Great Side Hustle Option for Anyone

Freelance writing is a good side hustle option but it’s not suitable for everyone. For starters, if you don’t like to write and send pitches for work, or it takes you a long time to come up topic ideas consistently, you may not enjoy freelance writing.

Along with the actual work, you have to send invoices to clients in order to receive payment and may be asked to attend regular virtual meetings which could cause you to spend quite a bit of time at your computer. There are plenty of other active side hustles you can try out if you don’t want to be stuck at the computer often throughout they week.

Does the Honest Truth About These Myths Make Freelance Writing Seem More Appealing to You?

If the pros outweigh the cons and you can earn a consistent income from freelance writing, I’d say it’s worth a try. My freelance writing income has been consistently increasing after I started over a year ago. Plus, I love the work! I was able to pay off a lot of debt this past year and build my savings all thanks to the extra income I earned from freelancing.

 

Did any of these myths surprise you? Would you ever try freelance writing?

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bride-458119_1920A wedding may be one of the happiest but most expensive days of your life. Since the average American spends anywhere from $19,883 to $33,055 on their wedding day, it’s no wonder why couples are eager to utilize any and every strategy in order to keep costs low and avoid getting into debt.

Your dream wedding shouldn’t put you in debt and ideally, you should be able to pay for the special event in cash so you don’t have to go into your marriage with new or additional debt.

Having recently gotten married myself, I can hardly explain the amazing feeling of relief that comes with being able to pay for everything in cash. Since we already have student loan debt of our own among other things, we really didn’t want to add to that by taking out loans and owing wedding vendors. If you have that same mindset, here are a few ways to help ensure you pay for your wedding in cash.

Match the Features of Your Wedding with Your Budget

First, you’ll probably want to develop a specific wedding budget and outline your ideas and preferences. Determine how much you and your partner are earning each month and what seems like a reasonable price for your wedding. If it seems logical that you can only afford a $10,000 wedding, you’ll need to adjust your wedding budget accordingly.

There are numerous ways to cut the cost of your wedding including:

  • Having a smaller wedding
  • Getting married during the off season or on an unpopular day
  • Skipping the venue option
  • Having a smaller bridal party
  • DIYing your centerpieces and flowers
  • Making a playlist for the reception to avoid hiring a DJ
  • Hiring a student photographer who can provide professional photos for a more affordable rate

The list goes on and on. To make sure that you can afford to pay for your wedding with the cash, you have to prioritize what you want and make sure you’re okay with getting rid of the things you don’t want.

Open a Designated Savings Account

You’re free to start saving for your wedding before you even get engaged. The early you start setting money aside, the better. Even if you and your fiance decide to open a savings account right after getting engaged, make sure it’s a high-yield savings account so you can earn a little money in interest simply for keeping the account funded.

Some of the best banks that offer the highest rates for savings accounts are online banks like Capital One 360, Ally and Discover Bank. At Discover Bank, for example, you can earn .95% on your cash after you open an account with at least $500. It’s not a lot, but it’s better than anything else at the moment. Invite your friends and family to contribute to the account if they can and set up automatic withdrawals so you can consistently grow your wedding savings.

Set the Date Far in the Future

Having a long engagement might help you avoid getting into debt for your wedding. If you are in no rush to get married, set your actual wedding date more than a year ahead so you can have enough time to save for everything. For example, if you and your fiance can only afford to set aside $300 per month for your wedding and get married after only having a six month engagement, you’ll only save $1,800 which may barely be enough to cover what both of you will wear.

But if you save $1,800 during the first six months, then bump your savings up to $500 per month for the next year once you get some momentum going, you’ll have saved up $7,800 over the course of 18 months.

Establish a Side Hustle for You and Your Partner

When it comes to side hustling, two is always better than one. It’s a challenge to manage one side hustle, but if you and your future spouse both start side hustling, you’ll bring in twice the extra income.

You may need to work around each other’s schedule, but your best best is to choose a side hustle that’s flexible and allows you to work from home or in your spare time. Getting a second job can be demanding, especially when planning your own wedding.

But if you decide to freelance your skills by becoming a content writer, virtual assistant or secret shopper, you can set your own schedule and work as little or as much as you want.

Put all the extra money you earn from your side hustle toward your wedding. Then, once you get married, you can either slow down or take a complete break from hustling. You can also monetize your free time by taking short surveys to earn extra cash. Some of the best survey sites like Opinion Outpost, ProOpinionHarris Poll, Reward TV, PineCone ResearchSwagbucks, Opinion Outpost Canada, Mobile Xpression, Harris Poll Canada, Pinecone Research Canada and Nielsen Homescan Canada will help you earn several hundred per month, at least, which can be put towards your wedding budget.

Sell Some of Your Belongings

If you have items around your home that could be worth a decent amount of money, try selling the things you no longer want or need for extra cash. You don’t have to get rid of everything at once, but you can start little by little each month.

You can also host a huge garage sale for a couple of weekends throughout the summer to the amount of sales you get.

Start Living on One Person’s Income

As you prepare for marriage, managing your finances should be a huge topic of discussion. It’s important to determine who will pay certain bills and be responsible for specific expenses you both have in order to keep your household running smoothly.

Among deciding who will pay for groceries and the cable bill, consider cutting your expenses as much as you can while planning your wedding. If you both have jobs, try living on one person’s income for a few months and put a majority of the second income toward wedding expenses.

Even now with saving for big goals, my husband and I have found that we can make way more financial progress by living on one person’s income instead of each saving a small portion of our own income. Sure we spend less and have less disposable cash, but this strategy will help you reach your financial goal quicker and provide you with more motivation to get there.

While loans and credit cards can be tempting, try your best to pay for your wedding in cash so you’ll have one less financial burden to deal with in the future. If you do use credit cards, use them wisely and pay off the bill in full. Remember that’s it’s possible to have the wedding of your dreams on a budget.

Did you pay for your wedding in cash or would you? Why or why not?

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lawnmower-384589_1920School is out for most students and for college students who don’t have extensive travel plans for the summer, it may be beneficial to start up a summer side business. Earning extra money this summer can help pay for books and tuition in the fall, summer outings and events with friends, and just help ends meet if hours are slow at your regular job.

Back when I was in college, I tried to pick up hours at work during the summer so I could save up for expenses that I knew would be popping up in the fall, but my employer hardly ever scheduled me for enough hours each week which was frustrating.

I wish I would have thought to start a summer side business back then, but if you find yourself in this position currently, here are a few things you can do over the next few months to earn good money quickly this season.

Start a Date Night Babysitting Service

Take a profitable twist for this common side hustle by offering to babysit in the evenings so couples can have a much needed date night. A lot of parents put their kids in summer camps during the day or daycare if they work, so they may or may not need a babysitter during this time. But for the evening, childcare options run low since everything is closed so your clients will be much more willing to seek out your services. Plus, a lot of couples would probably love to have a date night away from the kids.

If you have experience babysitting, negotiate a reasonable rate and provide the kids you watch after with a fun activity or craft to do as apart of your service, you should have no problem bringing in clients even if you have to start with your family or friends. You should eventually set up a profile on Care.com or SitterCity.com to bring in more clients so you stay busy most evenings.

With this side business, you can still enjoy summer in the daytime as you please and set your own schedule with a few off nights each week.

Yardwork and Landscaping

Get to your neighbors before those pricey landscaping companies do. You may want to purchase a few yard supplies first in order to be prepared. Then, start going door-to-door to see if anyone needs help mowing their lawn, planting or watering flowers and keeping up with their landscape this summer.

You can print business cards for cheap via VistaPrint and offer summer referral specials and discounts to bring in more clients.

Carpet Cleaning

My husband used to work for a carpet cleaning company last summer and the owners made a killing since most people want to get their carpets cleaned during this time of year. I couldn’t shake the thought of how much one person could make cleaning carpets on their own in the summer as long as they had the proper equipment.

Since some customers can’t afford services like Stanley Steemer, you can offer a discount carpet cleaning service on your own. You’ll need to rent a carpet cleaning machine at a store like Menards or Home Depot and purchase trusted stain removers, shampoo, etc.

Rug Doctor is a popular carpet cleaning machine brand to purchase or rent and they even provide their own easy-to-use cleaning products to go with the machine. It would be best to offer a basic service and stay away from powerful chemicals that professional companies use if you lack experience. You can market your service as a discount solution and set realistic expectations for any clients you serve.

Snack Shop

There will be tons of sporting events, festivals and outdoor gatherings this summer. A profitable business idea would be to see how you can sign up to be a vendor and run a snack shop to bring in money at various different events.

You will need to talk to your city officials and local groups and organizations to see what you need to be able to sell snacks at events. You may need a permit to start, but if you stick to simply reselling already prepared concessions and not cooking anything on your own, the process will probably be easier for you.

Sam’s Club and Costco sell a wide variety of snack foods that people can resell in bulk for cheap so you can make a profit. You may also want to look into investing in a snow cone or popcorn machine that you can use to enhance your menu if allowed.

Make your Business a Success

Starting a summer business can be pretty fun and memorable if you stay true to your vision and don’t over think it. Once you come up with an idea that you want to commit to and start setting everything up, start promoting yourself early.

You can post updates on social media, put up flyers in your area, attend local networking events, start building connections with potential clients, and advertise on free websites online.

Aim to keep your start-up costs low if you can and try to set up your business to earn back the initial investment you put in as soon as possible.

Also, don’t forget about sales and offers. Reward your clients and customers with discounts and freebies for spreading the word about your services and bringing in referrals. And most important, have fun with it and manage the extra money you bring in wisely.

 

Are you planning to earn any extra income this summer? If so, how?

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6355814243_315b0621ce_bWhen I created my vision board for my financial and personal goals over a year ago, one of my goals was to earn at least $100 per hour. At first, it sounded like a very far-fetched goal. I was only earning $15 per hour at my entry-level full-time job when I wrote that down, and realize that sometimes it takes people years of experience to earn $20-$30 per hour depending on the field.

However, I saw and heard of other people earning $100 per hour or more regularly by doing legitimate work. I knew it was possible, and I didn’t sabotage my own progress by casting those people as ‘out of my league’ or believing that I didn’t have skills and talents that were similar to theirs.

If you don’t have a degree or years of experience under your belt, there are still quite a few legitimate ways to earn $100 per hour.

Become a Freelance Writer

Freelance writing is one of my personal favorite ways to earn extra money. If you want to earn good money fast from writing, you will probably want to write for a blog with a client who can afford to pay higher rates for posts.

Writing marketing material, courses, books, etc. is also a great way to diversify your freelance writing tasks, but the quickest assignments in my opinion are blog posts that are 1,000 words or less. If you are a disciplined writer and choose a niche that you are very familiar with, you may be able to draft a quality blog post in an hour or less easily.

Then all you’ll need to do is find a client who can afford to pay you at least $100 per post or $150 per post to account for extra time you may need to spend proofreading and editing.

The great thing about freelance writing is that you can earn that type of money without having a special degree. All you need to do is improve your writing skills so you can meet your client’s needs and build up your experience over the course of just a few months. If you start out with a lower rate, you can always increase it over time and pitch blogs that are for medium to large-sized businesses or that seem to hire a significant amount of staff writers.

You can also take advantage of your network and see if your friends or colleagues know anyone who may be hiring quality writers for their business’ website or blog. I found my first client that paid $100 per 600-word post last year after connecting with a fellow blogger online who happened to be an editor for a large financial website. If you’re interested in becoming a freelance writer, check out Cat’s course to help get you started making money writing online.

Personal Development Coach

Personal development coaches like life coaches generally make a minimum of $100 per hour. If you are interested in serving others and helping them meet their goals, you could become a certified coach. Even if you don’t want to obtain a certification, you can try your hand at being a self-taught coach and help people overcome an obstacle you were once faced with and overcame.

There are many different kinds of coaches including business coaches, fitness coaches, communication coaches, leadership development coaches and so on. As long as you are motivating your clients, offering unprecedented value and pushing them to succeed and reach their goals, a starting rate of $100 per hour is suitable to charge and people will be willing to pay that amount of money for your services too in order to experience positive results.

Start a Blog to Earn $100 Per Hour

Starting a blog requires lots of passion and hard work upfront. You won’t be able to start monetizing your blog well to earn at least $100 per hour until you increase the amount visitors you have coming in each day. Once you have a lot of traffic, you can convert that to income by promoting helpful products and services as an affiliate to gain commissions, posting ads on your site in a non-spammy way, and partnering with other brands to market their business and message on your platform as long as you stand firmly behind it.

Earning money from blogging is not so cut and dry and the amount of work you put in may not always be reflected by what you earn.

The best way to track your blog income and determine how much you are earning per hour is track your time when completing blogging tasks each day or week, then calculate how much you earned at the end of the month.

If you spend 2 hours working on an affiliate post to promote a product or service you like and earn $350 in affiliate sales after your audience reads your post, you’ve earned about $175 in two hours.

If you earn $200 in passive income from clicks on ads you placed on your site months ago, you literally earned $200 in less than an hour and put forth very little effort to earn that money.

And if you accept a sponsored guest post written by a brand you’ve admired and partnered with for $150 and it took you only 30 minutes to proofread the post and put it up on your blog, you’ve earned more than $100 in less than an hour.

As you can see, with blogging the income you earn may vary, but once you build a strong and dedicated following and have lots of traffic coming in through your site, earning $100 per hour is just the beginning. It can be very simple to start a blog it’s the building it that takes time. If the technical aspect scares you, Bluehost offers one-click WordPress installation to get you started. If you sign up through my Bluehost link, you get hosting for $3.95 per month and a free domain name.

Scale Up and Find People who Can Afford your Services

Now that I’ve debunked the myth that earning $100 per hour is hard or impossible, it’s important to realize that once you find a way to earn this rate of pay that interests you, you’ll need to scale up and expand your work if you want to see the true benefits. For example, if you earn $100 per post freelance writing but only write five posts per month, you won’t be earning that much to cover your expenses even though you’ll be spending less time.

On the other hand, if you choose to coach others and expand your client list, charge a fixed rate of $100 per hour and work 20 hours per week with six clients, that’s $2,000 per week. Or, if you create a new resource or market your blog to attract more readers so you can charge advertisers more, you’ll earn even more from your blog than just a few hundred dollars each month.

The key is to scale up. Find people who can afford your services and see the value in it. Trust me, there are many people who pay more than $100 for products and services that are pretty silly or meaningless. You just need to find the people who need what you have to offer and have a stable income allowing them to be able to afford it.

 

What ways could you earn $100 per hour? How would you go about finding your target audience?

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iphone-410311_1280Don’t have much time to earn extra money? You can make money at home, on your lunch break at work, or on the go with your smartphone. Not everyone wants to launch a successful side business if they’re comfortable with their day job. However, given the fact that side hustles are so versatile, you can also do something quick and low-effort to earn extra money in your spare time that can cover an expense or bill each month.

If you spend lots of time on your phone using apps anyway, try some of these options out to make extra money.

Viggle

Viggle is a loyalty program that pretty much pays you to watch television at home. You can download the app on your Android or I-phone and ‘check-in’ with Viggle whenever you are watching a T.V. show. You will earn points when Viggle listens to your T.V. and recognizes the song you are listening to or the program you are watching.

Points can be redeemed for over 800 different gift card purchases, electronics and other rewards overtime. To maximize your earnings with Viggle, check out recommended shows that offer 2x or 3x bonus points. You can also answer questions and participate in trivia to earn even more points.

If you normally watch television some nights and don’t mind checking out new shows, this might be a good way to earn extra money to go towards purchases you’d make anyway. Viggle isn’t the only way to make extra money watching TV. You can also sign up for Reward TV – which does the same thing – allow you to make cash watching TV.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is one of my favorite loyalty reward programs and I try to use it every day. Swagbucks allows you to earn points for trying out different offers, shopping online, watching videos, playing games, using their search function and taking surveys.

Members receive Swagbucks after completely different tasks that can be cashed in for gift cards at major online retailers and restaurants. The minimum gift card amount is $5-10, but I recommend waiting until you have at least $2,500 Swagbucks which is enough for a $25 gift card.

To earn points quickly on Swagbucks, use it whenever you are shopping online with popular retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target etc., spend a few minutes taking surveys or watching videos each day, and install the search function as your default browser so whenever you conduct a search online, you’ll earn more Swagbucks.

You can also refer friends to join so you can share a portion of their earnings and take advantage of some of the trial offers that are advertised each day. However, if you don’t think you will use or enjoy a service or product that Swagbucks offers, don’t pay for it just to earn points and wait around for the next opportunity that appeals to you.

Ibotta

Ibotta is an app that helps you save money on items and earn extra money when you go shopping. When you go shopping, you can take photos of your receipts to verify your transactions so your account can be credited with cash back.

First you’ll need to unlock the savings/rebate. To do this, you’ll usually need to watch a quick video, fill out a three question survey, or read some brief information about the item. Then you can make you purchase and verify if with your receipt. It’s pretty easy after that.

The app is broken up into categories like: What’s Hot, Holiday, Apparel, Restaurant, Grocery etc. If you’re in the store and want to find a rebate on certain products, open the app and tap the white search bar to conduct a manual search or scan cash back offers. Most users of the app also make lists of items they need so they can have an organized shopping trip and optimize the cash back they earn.

Poshmark

Do you have extra clothes that you would like to sell? Poshmark is a great alternative to sites like Amazon and eBay because it is solely focused on clothing making it easier to reach your target customer. Poshmark is a website and app that allows people to sell gently-used women’s clothing, shoes, and handbags directly from their phone. When an item is sold you’ll be responsible for shipping it out.

I tried the app out myself a few months ago and found it very easy to use. If you want to sell something, you simply download the app and sign up, take photos of your clothing and upload a description and set a price to create your listing.

It’s advisable to post several listings and consider the fact that Poshmark will deduct a small percentage of the purchase price (since you’re using their service) when your item is sold so feel free to price things a little higher. You can connect with other buyers and sellers by following their closets and commenting or liking the items they have listed for sale. Overall, it’s a fun and interactive way to shop and earn extra money from your old clothes.

How to Use These Opportunities to your Advantage

While some of these opportunities allow you to earn cash directly, others offer rewards through gift cards and other options. Nevertheless, these are low-effort and income-boosting side hustles to consider and here are some tips to help you use these apps to your benefit to improve your finances.

  • Use Swagbucks to earn points whenever you shop online especially during the holiday season and for birthdays/anniversaries. A productive way to utilize the gift cards is to put them toward dining out expenses at your favorite restaurants so you won’t have to spend your own money.
  • Use the grocery category on Ibotta to save money on your grocery bill and earn cash back.
  • With Poshmark, you can make a steady income out of selling clothes if you are willing to invest in building your inventory and find deals on good brands at thrift store.
  • If you like to take surveys, you can make extra money through that route as well. Some of the best survey sites are: Opinion Outpost, ProOpinionHarris PollPinecone Research, Opinion Outpost CanadaMobile XpressionHarris Poll CanadaPinecone Research Canada and Nielsen Homescan Canada allow you to earn extra money in your spare time.

You won’t get rich quick with many of these options, but it is a nice little way to monetize your free time doing something you might already be doing in the first place.

 

What are some of your favorite ways to earn extra money in your spare time? Have you used any of these apps, and if so, what has been your experience?

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working-1219889_1920 How many times have you ever wondered if you could make more money? U.S. News and World Report references an Indeed.com study that indicates one in three people worked a part-time job on the side in an attempt to earn extra money to meet their living expenses according to survey results from over 3,000 participants.

Since employers have been slow to raise salaries to meet increased living expenses, about 4.9 percent of all employed Americans reported working a secondary part-time job according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As someone who worked two part-time jobs during college to meet my living expenses, I know how exhausting it can feel to work multiple low paying jobs. I used to work at a popular grocery store handing out food samples in the day-time. Then, when I’d get off from work at 4:30 pm, I’d change my clothes and drive across the street to work a closing shift at a restaurant from 5 pm – 10 pm.

This schedule only lasted about eight months because I got burnt out quickly and couldn’t even imagine working one of those jobs full-time.

Instead of getting an extra part-time job with a set pay rate and limited hours, it may be more lucrative to turn your hobby into a side hustle to earn more income.

The Benefits of Having a Side Hustle

  • You can earn extra money doing work you enjoy instead of doing work that just brings in a paycheck
  • You can set your own hours and your own rates to determine how much you earn
  • You can work on your own schedule and give yourself a break or work ahead whenever you feel like it

While the benefits of a side hustle sound great, there are a few things you need to do in order to convert your hobby into work that earns you an income.

1. Clearly Define How your Hobby can Benefit Others

First, decide what your hobby is, and how it can help others. You may have several hobbies that you need to analyze in order to determine if there are potential customers that you can serve.

Search for others who may be earning extra income or making a living by monetizing the specific hobby you have and learn about how they got started and the tools they used to establish their side hustle in the beginning stages.

Once you are positive about which hobby you want to monetize you might even want to seek out a mentor or join a support group online or in your area so you can surround yourself with positive people who are eager to succeed and help you succeed as well.

It’s easy to think of other people who have the same goals as you as competition, but when you start to view them as an inspiration and a potential partnership opportunity, you’ll set a much better foundation when it’s time to launch and grow your side business.

2. Start Generating Some Samples of your Work

Before you start marketing your side hustle and establishing paying customers or clients, you may need to do a little work for free to prove yourself first.

For example, aspiring freelance writers may guest post on popular websites and blogs for free in order to get their name out there and establish writing samples, while a new photographer may take portraits of others for free to build their portfolio and generate positive reviews.

If you’re selling a product, you may want to visit a few trade shows or events and hand out free samples or host a giveaway.

If your hobby is truly enjoyable, you might not mind doing work for free at the beginning stages and building connections because it will pay off when you land your first paying customer.

3. Pitch Potential Customers or Clients

Pitching potential clients and customers can be fun and scary at the same time. It can feel awkward to put yourself out there, but this crucial step will help you decide whether your side business will sink or float.

Depending on what your niche is, you may need to send out multiple pitches or invest in advertising and marketing for your online platform in order to gain attention.

However, if you’ve built up value in your product or service and can communicate it clearly, established a strong portfolio and witnessed others in your niche earning money from similar work, you are likely to land some business if you stay persistent.

It’s important to land at least five customers or clients to help support the idea of moving forward with your side hustle. Once you find your first batch of paying customers, you can find more.

4. Scale up and Improve your Business

After you start bringing in an income, you need to use your profits wisely and consider how you can grow your business and improve it. For example, it may be wise to build an email list so you can stay in touch with past customers by providing them with offers and attract new customers as well.

It’s also important to scale up when you think the time is right. When you have enough loyal customers or clients, consider raising your rates a bit to a fair amount that reflects the work you do.

Scaling up and earning more money is the fun part, but you have to invest in your side business and work hard to improve your skills and service before you get to that point.

 

Have you ever considered turning any of your hobbies into a side hustle? Why or why not?

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clock-650753_1920People like to side hustle for various different reasons. For some, it’s a great creative outlet or way to make extra money, while for others, it could be a foundation to a new business venture.

It’s no secret that side hustlers are busy. When you work outside of your main job, it can be stressful and draining at times. I personally work an average of 70-80 hours per month side hustling in addition to my full-time job.

I’ll admit that while the money is great, it can be tiring if you don’t plan out your time wisely. If you are interested in side hustling to earn more money to meet your financial and personal goals, I would definitely encourage it. Here are five ways to stretch your time.

Get Rid of your Distractions

Distractions can waste of a lot of your precious time if you don’t eliminate them when it’s time to work. It’s best to work on your side hustle when you are focused because once you ‘get in the zone’ you can get a lot done in less time.

Some common distractions you might try to avoid include: television, your cell phone, social media, etc. If you need to work on the computer, try to block social media sites for a few hours to help you stay focused and set your phone in another room.

Depending on what type of work you do, you also might want to work somewhere quiet so no one else can distract you by talking, listening to music and watching television.

Wake up an Hour Early or Stay up an Hour Later

Getting the proper amount of sleep is each night is necessary, but if you can spare an hour for your side hustle, this is an option worth considering. First, you’ll need to determine what time of day you are most productive. If you are a night owl, you might want to stay up later to work on your side hustle.

I’m more of a morning person, so I actually wake up at 5 a.m. each weekday morning and 7 a.m. on weekends to get some work done and out of the way. I personally love the feeling of completion and knowing that I finished all my work early and have the rest of the day to look forward to.

Finding your prime time and optimizing it will allow you to get more done without losing too much sleep.

Create a Detailed Schedule and Cut Some Activities Out

One of the best ways to make time for your side hustle is to get organized and schedule your tasks out. Pick up a planner or use a tool on your computer to organize a to-do list for each day. This way, you’ll know exactly what you need to do when you need to do it so you won’t waste time trying to get organized at the last minute.

Another thing you could do is cut a few activities out of your day to free up more time. So I don’t completely deprive myself of having fun and enjoying life, sometimes I cut out a combination of activities I like and some I don’t like so much.

For example, I may skip out of going out to dinner with friends or reschedule for another day so I can have more time to side hustle or I may ask my fiance to cook dinner on a few days out of the week so I can free up more time. I like seeing friends and do try to schedule outings outside of my work schedule, but I don’t like to cook dinner that much especially when I’m short on time.

Find one or two tasks that you can cut out of your schedule or move around to a different day so you can have more extra time to work.

Use your Lunch Break to Squeeze Some Work In

If you bring your lunch to work each day, you can eliminate the extra time it takes to run out and order food and drive back to work. Even if you pack a sandwich or another meal, you can probably eat comfortably and relax in about 10 minutes, then use the rest of your lunch break to catch up on your side hustle.

Whether you choose to check and answer emails, wrap up a project, make calls, or work on any other aspect of your side business, what you take care of during your lunch break will reduce the amount of work you have to do outside of your main job.

Once you Start to Gain Traction, Outsource

Outsourcing is a great option you should at least look into once you start to earn a steady income from your side hustle. If there are certain aspects of your side business that are time consuming or that you just don’t like doing, consider hiring a virtual assistant within your budget so you can spend more of your time focusing on building your income and doing the things you love.

Sometimes it’s hard to give up control, but when you ask for help, it can take a lot of stress and pressure off you and potentially double the amount of extra time you have.

 

How do you make more time for your side hustle? What’s one thing you’d like to hire out to free up more of your time? What’s a common distraction you struggle with when trying to work on your side hustle?

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stay activeEveryone is trying to earn extra money these days. Thus, popular side hustles like freelance writing, graphic design and virtual assistant work are all becoming more competitive. While online side hustles can be very profitable and allow you to work location independently and have flexible hours, the one thing I dislike about having an online side hustle is being tied to a computer day in and day out.

If you work a full-time job at an office, then spend most of your spare time in front of the computer at home, you will have very little time to exercise and stretch your legs throughout the day. Staying active is important and very necessary the older you become. Establishing a side hustle that allows you to stay moving and make money may be the best solution.

Here are four money-making side hustles to consider.

Work as a Part-Time Mover

A lot of people dislike moving for various different reasons. However, if you got paid to help people move, would you feel different about it? If you don’t mind helping people move their belongings for cash, you can advertise your moving services online on sites like MoversCorp

This trusted site allows you to create an account and list your services free of charge, and choose your own service area and when you work. There are opportunities available in every state and you can set your own rates.
You can also see if any popular moving companies are willing to hire a contract worker or part-time employee to help on certain days. Of course the frequency of jobs you receive will be varied, but you’ll have the opportunity to make extra money by helping others through a busy time in their live and get a good workout in.

Become a Group Fitness Instructor

If you want to exercise for free or cheap and earn money at the same time, you should consider becoming a group fitness instructor. Group fitness instructors often have to undergo training and/or become certified, but the job doesn’t require any additional education and it can be a fun way to earn some extra money especially if you teach a class like yoga or Zumba.

Check with local gyms in your area, the YMCA, or the park district to see if they are in need of fitness instructors and ask how you can get started.

Lifeguard

If you are a good swimmer, you can try lifeguarding. Lifeguards have flexible shifts, receive benefits and perks like free gym memberships – depending on who the employer is – and don’t just sit around all day. Lifeguards have to be trained and CPR certified.

Lifeguarding provides good seasonal work. While most work is available during the summer, there is also a need for indoor lifeguards year-round. If you’re interested in this type of side hustle, you should start looking now for a need in your community and securing connections before the busy summer season.

Coach or Referee

Another side hustle option that will help you stay active is doing anything involving sports. Coaching and refereeing first come to mind. Finding a coaching job may be tricky because most positions are for volunteers. Whether it’s basketball, baseball or hockey, the younger the division is, the more likely the position will be unpaid. To find paying coaching jobs, should look into higher-ed employers, traveling teams, and your local park district’s current openings.

Coaching as a side hustle can require quite a bit of time during days, evenings or weekends depending on the teams’ needs, but it’s a great option for someone who’s passionate about the particular sport and the idea of growing and improving a team.

When it comes to refereeing, it’s a bit easier to find paying positions. Referees can make anywhere from $12-18 per hour and are expected to know the rules of the game inside out and perform their job in the most ethical way. It’s an ideal option for someone who has free time during weekends which is when most games occur back to back. To find referee jobs in your area, check out sites like Indeed.com and Monster for job listings.

 

Have you had trouble staying active before as a result of work? What offline side hustles would you add to this list?