All posts by Hero

About Hero

I launched FinanceSuperhero in April 2016 to help others save money, get out of debt, earn more money, and live the best life possible. Send me an e-mail or a comment if I can help you in your journey. Thanks for reading!

How to Live on One Income and Still Live the Good Life

The dual income family is quickly becoming the norm. According to one study, even as long ago as 2002, only 7 percent of U.S. households were single income families in which only the husband worked. In 2017, the demands of debt, car payments, and other money stress have made it even harder for families to live on one income.

The dual income family is now normal. But you can live on one income without poor quality of life. In fact, you can live the good life! Read how we lived on a single income while still having fun!Dual income households have some advantages over single income households, but I firmly believe the choice largely comes down to personal preference and individual circumstances. But the choice to live on one income doesn’t have to be as restricting or depressing as it may sound. It’s very possible to live well on a single income even if it is modest.

My wife and I are proof that it is possible to thrive, have fun, travel, and live on income all at the same time. Today, we both work multiple jobs – like Dave Ramsey says, Live Like No One Else So Later You Can Live AND Give Like No One Else – but our life was radically different in 2010.

Operation: Live on One Income

My wife, Meg, and I were married in July 2010. I had completed my first year as a music teacher and she was a college senior. I was laid off by my school district because of crippling budget cuts shortly before our wedding, so when our pastor said the whole “richer or poorer” line during our vows, it took every ounce of strength I had in me not to laugh out loud.

I spent the first month of our marriage collecting unemployment and interviewing for jobs without any luck. One week before school resumed a huge weight was lifted our shoulders when I was offered a return to my old job out of the blue.

Getting my job back was a major victory, but it still gave us one income stream. Some people in our lives doubted that we could live on one income, but to be honest, we were just thrilled to have an income! Still, we knew that life wasn’t going to be perfect or easy.

How We Did It

At times, living on one income was stressful and even depressing. I wasn’t bringing in fat stacks of cash as a second year teacher, so we had to be very intentional about how we spent and saved every dollar I earned. We also decided to focus on the big things in our budget and doing everything we could to keep them in check. We didn’t overlook the little things, either, but we knew that we could find more bang for our bucks by focusing on the big things.

First, we made a unique budget every month and pledged to stick to it. I tracked every single transaction every single day using Gazelle Budget so we could always have an accurate picture of our spending for the month. When all of the budgeted money had been spent for a category, we literally didn’t spend another cent. If it was crucial, we decreased the budget for another category to add more money to categories in need.

Related:

Second, we constantly looked for ways to save as much money as possible on groceries. This category was the second largest part of our part next to our rent, and we knew that keeping food spending under control would be important. We shopped mostly at Aldi and picked up sale items at a few other local stores. Leftovers became our go to meals a few nights per week, and we never went out for lunch. On average, we spent between $350 and $400 per month on groceries. Some months we really stepped up our game and spent as little as $250.

Recommended Reading:

Third, my wife and I found a place to rent for far less than the average rental price in the area. Before we got married, I spent at least five hours per week searching listings and making phone calls about available apartments and condos. My hard work paid off when we found a nice 3 bedroom, 1.1 bathroom condo for rent for 25% less than the area average. Avoiding corporate apartments saved us thousands of dollars over the four years we rented.

What We Didn’t Do

Now that we both work and own a home, I often think back to the days when we lived on one income. We were definitely frugal in many ways, but we could have cut back even more in many areas.

First, we paid for cable TV and DVR service with Comcast. It was one of the few luxuries we allowed ourselves, to be honest, and even though our cable and internet cost us around $90 per month at the time, it served as our main entertainment. We rarely went out to the movies, checked out concerts, or even went bowling.  So even though cable was expensive, it probably helped us avoid temptation to spend more money.

Related:

Second, we still ate our at restaurants once or twice per month. Looking back, I can’t really justify this spending. It would have been cheaper to cook at home, but we honestly cherished the few nights out each month. And most of our meals out were using discounts found on Groupon or Restaurant.com, which usually helped us eat out for under $20.

Related:

Third, we still stopped for an occasional trip to Starbucks each month. It’s obvious that drinking coffee is much cheaper when you do it home, but we did a good job of keeping coffee spending in check overall. Again, we knew that focusing on the big things would have a bigger impact on our budget so we didn’t sweat the occasional $4 latte.

You Can Live Well on One Income

If you gain anything from reading this article, I hope you see that it is possible to live on one income without accepting poor quality of life. My wife and I only lived on one income for a little less than a year, but we could have done it much longer. We didn’t suffer or go without necessities. We didn’t even pursue ways to make extra money!

Related:

21 Simple Ways to Make Extra Money Even If You’re Busy

Maybe living on one income is your choice, and maybe it’s not. It’s important to remember that more money isn’t always the answer to your problems. Dual income households have problems, too. How you will live comes down to personal preference and individual circumstances whether you have one income stream or several.


Do you live on one income? What tips and tricks help you to do so?

How to Cut the Cord, Save Money, and Still Watch TV

Confession time: I really like TV! I don’t watch much TV these days, but I have a few shows that I hate to miss. We still have cable and DVR service, mostly because it is one of the few luxuries we allow ourselves to enjoy in an otherwise strict budget. One of the most asked questions I hear is “How can I cut the cord but still watch all of my favorite shows and sports?”

Cable and satellite are expensive! We'll show you how to cut the cord and save money while still watching all your TV shows, movies, and sports - legally!Today, there are more options than ever before to say goodbye to cable or satellite, save money, and still watch most or all of your favorite shows and teams. You’re probably familiar with many of the options, but when it comes to saving money, you should always gather as much information as possible, weigh the pros and cons, and go with the solutions that work best for your family.

Side Note: Word has it that there are also plenty of illegal ways to watch your favorite shows and teams online. That’s called breaking the law, and it’s not a smart move – even if it helps you save money!

Check out the following ways to cut the cord and still watch your favorite TV legally and free up some serious cash in your budget!

Common and FREE Ways to Cut the Cord

Thanks to the wonders of the internet and bandwidth growth over the past decade, you can watch many of your favorite shows and even sporting events for FREE online. Here are some of my favorites:

WatchESPN 

According to their website, live and archived content on WatchESPN is available to anyone who subscribes to a participating TV or internet provider. You can stream events using their mobile app or webpage as soon as you have authenticated an account – this process only takes a few minutes. In many cases, you can stream the event to your TV using your Apple TV, Roku Streaming StickRoku ExpressRoku UltraPlayStation®4, Google Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV.

CBSSports

Similar to WatchESPN, you can stream content through CBSSports after authenticating your participating provider. I recently watched NCAA tournament basketball games through the app with my brother-in-law and was impressed by the quality.

HD Antenna

In many areas you can access a surprising number of channels using a standard HD Antenna. The 1byone Amplified HDTV Antenna, along with other options, has a 50 mile range and excellent ratings. Most users can access most of the standard area networks in crystal clear HD – and it’s FREE.

The Next Step Up

If over-the-air network television and streaming sports networks available through your internet provider aren’t enough, subscription services are your next best bet.

Netflix

Netflix has become the leader in streaming TV content in many areas. An HD plan costs only $11.99 per month, and it allows you to stream HD and Ultra HD content on up to 4 screens, download select content to watch without an internet connection, and watch unlimited TV and movies. You can also get a FREE one month trial.

Netflix also has branched out in the last few years and has produced compelling original content (Making a Murderer, Stranger Things, Fuller House, and countless others). It is our favorite streaming service.

Hulu

Hulu is emerging as a strong competitor with other rivals. They offer two plans: the Limited Commercial Plan, which includes -shocker of shockers -limited commercial interruptions for $7.99 per month, and the No Commercials Plan for $11.99 per month. You can try both with their FREE one month trial.

If you prefer TV over movies, Hulu has a better selection than Netflix overall. They also offer quicker access to TV shows during a current season, while users have to wait a while for shows to hit Netflix.

Amazon 

Not to be outdone, Amazon also offers its own streaming service via Prime Video. Users can stream thousands of TV shows, movies, and original Amazon content for $8.99 per month.

On a related note, Amazon Prime members also receive the benefits of streaming music, FREE shipping on Amazon purchases, Kindle books, and photo storage. You can receive a FREE 30 day trial when you sign-up here.

More Advanced Options

Despite the affordability and convenience of the previously-listed services, many TV viewers still want more. This is the exact reason that many people are afraid to cut the cord!

SlingTV offers viewers access to popular cable/satellite channels without the hassle of contracts, hidden fees, and poor customer service – all without the high prices of cable or satellite.

Here’s how it works:

  • Users can stream SlingTV at home or on the go on their TV, computer, tablet, or mobile device.
  • Shows are available via live stream, and some shows are available on demand.
  • Users can customize their channel lineup to receive only the channels they want and need. The Sling Orange Plan is only $20 per month, while the Sling Blue Plan offers more channels for only $25 per month (see channel line-ups below).
  • Video replay is available
  • New customers can take advantage of current deals on devices
  • Extras and add-ons are available for premium sports networks, movie channels, and international content. Most add-on content starts at an additional $5 per month.

Cable and satellite are expensive! We'll show you how to cut the cord and save money while still watching all your TV shows, movies, and sports - legally!

Cable and satellite are expensive! We'll show you how to cut the cord and save money while still watching all your TV shows, movies, and sports - legally!

Currently, SlingTV does not offer any DVR-like functions, but there have been rumblings that a similar feature could be coming in the future. You can try SlingTV for FREE with a 7 day trial when you sign-up here.

Options for Displaced Sports Fans

When I first moved from Michigan to Chicagoland, I became an even greater die-hard fan of my Michigan teams. I used to go to great lengths to watch the Detroit Lions, Pistons, Tigers, and Red Wings, and it was expensive!

Cable and satellite are expensive! We'll show you how to cut the cord and save money while still watching all your TV shows, movies, and sports - legally!If you’re a fellow displaced fan and still want to watch your favorite team without spending hundreds of dollars on NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL packages, there is an affordable solution.

The Slingbox allows users to take their TV content in HD with them anywhere there is an internet connection. My parents live in Michigan and technically are the owners of the Slingbox that I use. I connect to the device on the Slingbox app and can stream live and recorded (via DVR) Lions, Pistons, Tigers, and Red Wings games (and anything else on TV in Michigan) directly to my TV through my Apple TV console. There is even an on-screen remote control that looks exactly like the one my parents have at their house!

The Slingbox 500, the highest-rated model, currently sells for  a retail price of $250, which means that the device pays for itself in one season when compared to the purchase of the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL packages. I have saved at least $1,000 over the past several years thanks to my Slingbox.

If you’re not a major sports fan, you can get by just fine without a Slingbox. If you are a sports nut like me, the Slingbox is HANDS DOWN the best way to watch your favorite out-of-town teams.

Useful Devices

One of the best parts about cutting the cord and still watching TV is quite literally that you don’t even need a TV to do it! You can watch content just fine on mobile devices, tablets, and computers.

If you’ve already invested in that stunning 70-inch LCD TV and don’t plan to part with it, there are plenty of affordable ways to stream content to your TV through the services mentioned above.

Here are a few of the most popular devices:

Depending on your circumstances, you could get by with just one of these devices; some users might not need one at all depending on their existing equipment.

You CAN Watch TV Without Spending a Fortune!

Cable and satellite costs have risen drastically over the years, but there are more options than ever before to cut the cord, save money, and still watch your favorite teams and shows. Free apps, streaming services like Hulu and SlingTV, and countless other devices have leveled the playing field for consumers.

If you’re looking to Take Back Control of Your Life and Money, the decision to cut the cord can help you accomplish both! Use this guide to check out and evaluate what solutions might work best for your family, take advantage of free trials, and start saving money today!


Have you cut the cord? What services and devices do you use? What other tips did we miss?

If you haven’t cut the cord yet, what is holding you back?

13 Tips to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money

Could you afford to throw away $2,000 each year? Due to food waste, that's exactly what you're doing. Follow these 13 simple tips to save $183 per month.Could you afford to literally throw away over $2,000 each year? If you’re like most families, the shocking answer is YES – because that’s exactly what you’re doing. No, you’re not tossing cash in the trash, but your food waste is costing you at least that much – if not more!

A study from the Natural Resources Defense Council revealed the unthinkable – American households throw away $165 billion in food waste every year, which equates to $2,200 per family. Yes, that’s $183 per month! And according to the report, this figure has increased by 4 times over the rates from the 1960s.

13 Ways to Cut Your Food Waste and Save Money

If these statistics make you feel sad, shocked, or even angry, then you’re ready to take back control of your food budget and stop wasting money on food each and every month. The following tips will help you control food waste and stop throwing away your hard-earned money each month.

1. Expiration dates are a guideline, not a hard-fast rule.

Thanks to well-meaning friends and fear-mongering family members, most people think expiration dates are rigid rules which were put into place to prevent food poisoning. Not so fast! The truth is that most expiration dates have little to do with food safety.

Most products today are labeled with one of two different types of dates – “best by” and “sell by.” Best by dates indicate quality, maximum freshness, and peak flavor, while sell by dates exist to help retailers ensure that they are only selling fresh stock. In any event, these dates actually tell you very little about the safety of food products, as most products should remain safe to eat for several days after these dates have passed.

The best rule of thumb is to use your best judgment when evaluating food freshness and safety. If it looks bad, smells bad, or otherwise worries you, be cautious and toss it – just don’t let dates scare you into unnecessary food waste.

2. Freeze Foods Before They Go Bad

We’ve all been there – you have a bad day at work and pick-up pizza rather than whipping up chicken alfredo, but you don’t want to waste perfectly good chicken.  Most food waste can be prevented by freezing unused foods, especially meats and vegetables, before they have gone bad.

When you freeze items, use a permanent marker to label the item with the date you froze it so you can be sure you use it within the recommended window. Also include the date by which you should use the food (see the guidelines from FoodSafety.gov).

3. Check your refrigerator temperature

Another way to reduce food waste and stop throwing away money is to prolong the usefulness of the food that you buy and use it all. The problem is that once you buy food you begin a race against the clock, and your food starts to develop bacteria.

You can keep your food fresh for longer by making sure that your refrigerator is set at no higher than 40 degrees – most refrigerator manufacturers and food scientists recommend 35-38 degrees. If you maintain the right temperatures your food will stay fresh longer.

4. Don’t Stuff Your Pantry and Refrigerator

Buying in bulk and taking advantage of sales is a great way to save money, but going overboard can lead to costly food waste.

When you overload your pantry, it is difficult to see what food you have in stock and use it before it goes bad; the same can be said for your refrigerator. And to make matters worse, refrigerated foods will not remain fresh if your refrigerator is jam-packed, as it needs adequate space to properly run cooling cycles.

5. Make a List and Stick to It!

I am constantly amazed at the number of people I see grocery shopping without a list. I love lists so much that I have had to hold myself back from making lists of lists – true story – but a shopping list is a must for all shopping trips.

When you shop without a list, you are more likely to buy extra food you don’t need, which leads directly to future food waste. Stores know this, and they prey on our tendencies to give in to impulse and buy items on end-caps and special displays. Stick to your list and you’ll avoid wasting money.

6. Use left over ingredients in future meals

Left over night was one of my biggest fears as a kid, but today it is one of my favorites. I enjoy the challenge of using whatever we have on hand to make an interesting meal.

For example, suppose you had left over cooked carrots, a can of crushed tomatoes, two grilled chicken breasts, brown rice, and green onions. You could add in Moroccan spices and make something delicious like this:

Could you afford to throw away $2,000 each year? Due to food waste, that's exactly what you're doing. Follow these 13 simple tips to save $183 per month.
Grilled chicken, rice, crushed tomatoes with a Moroccan spice blend, garnished with carrots and green onions – fresh from our kitchen

7. Make vegetable stock

If you have left over vegetables that will otherwise go to waste, you can easily reuse them to make vegetable stock. Here is a simple recipe to pin for later.

8. Plan and Serve Smaller Portions

When my wife and I first were married, I used to get in trouble for taking large servings that left us with not quite enough left overs for a second meal. She started plating my dinners for me, and I never complained because it was nice to be treated so well!

If you routinely find yourself tossing small portions at the end of a meal, dividing up portions and setting aside food is an easy way to cut food waste.

9. Take left overs for lunch

If you do find yourself with left overs that aren’t quite big enough for another dinner, use them as lunches instead. They will taste better than fast food and save you money.

10. Keep perishable foods in sight

Last month I found a wilted and mushy apple behind a bottle of olive oil on our lazy susan. It must have rolled out of the bag when I put the apples away.

One of the easiest ways to cut food waste is to keep perishables where you can see them. This will also help you to make healthier snack choices.

11. Wash fruits and vegetables right away

While it is good to have perishables conveniently in sight, this won’t help you prevent food waste unless they are prepped and ready to eat. If you wash produce soon after returning from the store, your family will have no excuses about not eating their fruits and vegetables.

12. Plan better meals

Could you afford to throw away $2,000 each year? Due to food waste, that's exactly what you're doing. Follow these 13 simple tips to save $183 per month.At the end of the day, no tips will help you eliminate food waste if you’re not planning smart meals. If you’re willing to sit down, read recipes, and form a meal plan, chances are good that you will be successful.

The truth is that not everyone is good at meal planning. Some people just don’t have time to plan well. If that is you, there’s no shame in admitting it.

I recommend $5 Meal Plan for those who struggle to make a plan and follow it. Here’s how it works:

Each Friday at 11 AM ET, you’ll receive a meal plan in your e-mail inbox. The meal plan includes a shopping list and a detailed menu complete with the following:

  • Five dinner entrees with sides – Each week they include one freezer friendly, one slow cooker, and one 20-minute meal.
  • One lunch and one breakfast, plus,
  • A random goodie each week – sometimes dessert, sometimes a beverage, and sometimes it’ll be a snack (sometimes more than one!)
  • Gluten-free options (upon request)

When you sign-up you’ll receive access to a private Facebook group to share recipes and tips with other subscribers as a FREE bonus.

If you’re skeptical, try it for FREE for 14 days and see for yourself.

13. Organize, Organize, Organize!

Could you afford to throw away $2,000 each year? Due to food waste, that's exactly what you're doing. Follow these 13 simple tips to save $183 per month.Be honest: which picture does your refrigerator look like? If you don’t take regular, consistent steps to organize your food and rotate items, you’re setting yourself up for unnecessary and costly food waste. If you make a plan to regularly clean out both your pantry and refrigerator and rotate stock based on dates, you will save yourself time and money.

Stop Wasting Food and Money Today!

You would never intentionally toss $2,200 in the trash, but that is exactly what you’re doing if you close your browser now and fail to act on what you’ve just read. The above tips are easily to implement, and they offer fail-proof solutions to help you cut food waste and save money at the same time. Pick a few and get started today!


What tips and tricks help you avoid food waste and save money?

 

Leveraging Your Skills to Make Money Online

These days more and more people have figured out how to make money online. The internet is a wide open frontier for anyone who is serious about leveraging its incredible power to earn a living. Some earn a few thousand dollars per month, while others earn over $1 million per year. It’s easy to dismiss these stories – I’ve done it, too – but you’re missing out on your piece of the pie when you assume it can’t be done.

The following stories of real people who have ditched jobs they hated thanks to online-based income show that anyone can do it – including you! These people found a way to make money online by combining their skills and the power of the web. You can learn from their examples and start down your own path to freedom today.

From YouTube to Riches

If you have younger children, you’ve probably heard of The Piano Guys. The group launched a dramatic rise to fame and found an unexpected way to make money online without even trying, as their website explains:

Want to use your time and skills to make money online? We'll show you 4 ideas that you can start TODAY to earn $24-$24,000 per month (no joke!).It all started in a piano store in a little Southern Utah town called Saint George. Paul Anderson, the store’s owner, was looking for a new, unconventional way to market pianos. The name of the piano store? The Piano Guys. Paul embarked upon a self-guided study of social marketing and started a YouTube channel and a Facebook page. He had seen videos “go viral” and was fascinated by this exponential phenomenon. He set out to engage potential customers with music videos that were entertaining and that showcased the pianos he had in his store – envisioning “viral videos” doing his marketing for him. . .

Our story is a miracle. We’re just a bunch of ordinary “guys” playing classically influenced instrumental music in videos that showcase incredible locations. And we’re doing well on YouTube?? 

“Doing well” is an understatement. In 2012, The Piano Guys signed a record deal with Sony. Today, many of their YouTube videos have over 20 million views, and even their lesser-known videos have over 750,000 views. Their channel has over 5 million subscribers.

In short – they have made a lot of money!

Five Become One

In 2011, an unexpected group won NCB’s The Sing Off. The group began performing together one day before their audition, finding the fifth member of the group, Kevin, on YouTube. The group? The Pentatonix.

Today, Pentatonix has taken YouTube by storm. Some of their videos have over 200 million views. They have since signed a record deal with Sony, won Grammy Awards, and produced multiple albums of both original songs and covers.

A Limitless Marketplace

In 1995, Pierre Omidyar had a far-fetched idea: he opened a world-wide online shopping portal as a smaller component of another website. His first sale was a broken laser pointer – Omidyar sold the item for $14.83 to a collector of broken laser pointers. This moment confirmed Omidyar’s belief that there is a buyer for just about anything.

Omidyar’s hobby website grew quickly, and his web service provider increased his hosting fees from $30 to $250 per month due to increased traffic. Reluctantly, Omidyar upgraded his account and began charging users to sell on his site. To his surprise, nobody protested and the site continued to grow.

Today, the parent company eBay holds a multi-billion dollar value and has owned or currently owns StubHub, Skype, Craigslist, PayPal, and Corrigion.

Using Your Skills to Make Money Online

The Piano Guys, Pentatonix, and eBay had unique starts, but they share one big thing in common – their founders combined their unique skills with the power of the web to gain exposure and make money. Even better, their stories prove that making money online is possible.

In 2017, you don’t have to be the best at something or even have original ideas to make money online. If you DO happen to have a new idea, that’s great, but let’s face it – with few exceptions, it’s all been done before. This will only stop you if you let it stop you!

It is a fact that people look to the internet when they need solutions to problems or want to be entertained. You don’t have all of the answers, but chances are you do have solutions, skills, and services that you can share with others.

So how can you use your skills to make money online? The following ideas will show you how to get started.

Start a Blog

One inexpensive way to make money online is to start your own blog. You won’t pay hundreds of dollars in set-up fees, and you don’t need to shell out money on marketing either. You can do all of this yourself in a matter of minutes.

To get started, take a moment to consider your skills and knowledge. What are you best at? What do other people say about you when asked about your strengths? Maybe you are an expert crafter, baker, or stay-at-home-mom extraordinaire.

Also consider how you’ve been able to help people in the past. Do others constantly ask you for parenting advice, tips on putting together the perfect outfit, or decorating your home without breaking the bank? The answers to these questions can help you find your niche.

When you’ve found your subject, you’re ready to start. Choose a catchy website name and tag line, design a simple logo using Pic Monkey or Conva, and you’re ready to go! Launching your blog with Bluehost takes less than 30 minutes even if you have zero technical skills.

For the monthly cost of a trip to Starbucks, you have nothing to lose and potentially your life and your freedom to gain. I started FinanceSuperhero as a fun hobby and was surprised to make substantial money without major effort, and now I’m seriously planning my transition to life as a full-time blogger. Give blogging a try!

Part-time Side Hustles

So maybe blogging isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re not looking to escape a job that you love but would still like to make money online in your spare time. The web can provide the exposure and opportunities you need to leverage your time and skills. With a little effort it’s possible to earn anywhere from $4 to $4,000 per month. Here are a few of my favorites:

Dog Sitting

It’s true – you can make money online just by being a dog-lover!

My friends use Rover, an online resource for dog owners to find friendly dog-boarding options, on a weekly basis – they have earned thousands of dollars in the past year alone! Signing up with Rover is easy. Simply fill in the basic information requested, upload a professional and friendly picture of you and your spouse (if you have a dog to include in the picture, that’s a HUGE bonus!), and submit the application. You’ll hear back in 5-10 days and can start marketing your services right away. Over 40,000 dog owners currently use Rover to find a reliable dog sitter, so your potential reach is huge! Click here to learn more and sign-up!

Answer Quick Surveys

Looking for a way to make money online during weekly Netflix binges? If you don’t mind clicking a few boxes while you watch, you can earn hundreds of dollars per month just by answering surveys.

I’ll be 100% transparent – you aren’t going to get rich overnight taking online surveys, but they are a legitimate way to make money online – sign-up for a few and see for yourself.

VIP Voice (You'll be entered into a $1,000 drawing when you sign-up!) Vindale Research Opinion Surveys Make Money Surveys Click4Surveys Hit Surveys Southwest Airlines

Take Surveys For Cash

Swagbucks ($5 bonus for signing-up!)

SurveyDownline Paid Surveys at Home SurveysPaid.com

Get Your Uber On!

If you’re flexible, friendly, and drive a reliable car, you’re sitting on a golden opportunity. Driving with Uber is one of the few part-time jobs available that allow you set your own hours and still make great money.

Want to use your time and skills to make money online? We'll show you 4 ideas that you can start TODAY to earn $24-$24,000 per month (no joke!).To qualify, you must have a 4-door vehicle with valid registration and no markings, and you must pass a background check and have a clean driving record. After you are accepted, you simply use your mobile app to turn on and off your availability with a single tap.

My teacher friend, Mike, earns several hundred dollars per week driving for Uber in the summertime. He works only when he feels like it, and he has earned a solid rating from his riders. These awesome ratings have led to referrals and repeat customers, which puts even more money in his wallet!

If you are polite, friendly, and go the extra mile for your riders by offering them use of a phone charger, an auxiliary audio cord, and cool bottled water, you’ll roll in excellent tips and gain repeat riders.

Want to avoid the potential awkwardness of driving strangers around as an Uber driver? UberEATS is the program for you!

Take trips for a few hours in the mornings, every night, or just on weekends – you can accept as many deliveries as you can handle. You are your own boss and you can choose when and how much you work. And unlike the standard Uber program, you don’t even need to have car – a bike or scooter work, too, though you’ll likely earn more if you have a car.

It's quick and easy to sign-up, and you can be on your way to making more money soon.

Get started TODAY!

The internet has leveled the playing field for people looking to make more money or escape the day-to-day grind. You can use the internet to reach thousands, even millions, of people to tell your story and market your abilities. If you are willing to do what it takes to leverage your skills and knowledge to help and entertain others, you can make money online and make strides toward Taking Back Control of Your Life and Money. You have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain – so get started today!

[arrow_forms id=’1792′]

The Secret to Gift Giving (And the Greatest Gift Warren Buffet Almost Never Received)

How do you buy a gift for someone who already has everything they want and need? I encounter this problem every year when shopping for my dad’s birthday gift. He is a low-maintenance, minimalist type who doesn’t need much to be happy, and if you have a similar person in your life, then you know how hard gift giving can be at times.

A few days ago I heard a podcast which entirely changed my views on gift giving. It led me consider the true purpose of gift giving and better understand how to give the right gift in any circumstance. The idea was so simple that I laughed at myself for not realizing it sooner.

Gift Giving Made Simple

In the podcast I mentioned, host Tim Ferriss interviewed Adam Robinson. Robinson is what you might call a jack of all trades: an international chess master, the founder of The Princeton Review, speaker, and adviser to managers of some of the largest hedge funds in the world. During the interview, Robinson told a story which blew me away.

Robinson was discussing his role in the investment world and was asked about his relationship with billionaire Warren Buffett. Robinson gushed about Buffett, and with good reason – he had just given away $2.8 billion in 2016 alone. Then the conversation shifted toward the time that Robinson was searching for a birthday gift for Buffett.

Gift giving feels impossible when shopping for someone who has everything. This simple idea will help you find the perfect gift for anyone every time.Robinson didn’t mention it, but gift buying has to be tough when you’re shopping for a billionaire who could buy himself anything. (Never mind the fact that Buffett is the definition of low maintenance – he still lives in the same modest home he purchased many years ago – and still uses coupons – even using a coupon for a free coffee at McDonald’s during a sit-down with Steve Jobs.) Instead, Robinson focused the search for the perfect gift on Buffett himself.

Robinson remembered that Buffett had a love for Beeman’s chewing gum as a child. He wanted to buy the gum for Buffett, but the company had been out of business for over a decade at the time. After a long search, he found an internet collector who was selling a 50-year old pack of the gum, purchased it from a warehouse in Montanna, and framed it in a custom shadow box.

Robinson, who prides himself on being the world’s greatest gift giver, was proud of his rare find, but he wasn’t quite out of the woods yet. He needed to find a way to send the gift safely from New York City to Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett lives.

An Unexpected Solution

Sending a fragile framed back of gum hundreds of miles across the country presented obvious problems. Robinson hadn’t paid it too much thought until the day he picked up the frame from the shop where it had been customized.

After inspecting the finished gift, he struck up a conversation with a woman who worked at the frame shop. Robinson explained that the gift was for a friend in Nebraska (without naming Buffett by name) and openly shared his concern about sending the gift safely. He was not prepared for what would happen next.

“I’ll deliver it for you – no charge,” the woman offered.

Robinson was dumbfounded. He had never this woman until today, and now she was offering to transport a gift hundreds of miles! For free. And it was just five days before Christmas.

“Excuse me? This is Nebraska we’re talking about,” Robinson responded.

Yes, she knew. But she didn’t care. She explained that she could feel that this gift mattered deeply to Robinson. He insisted on paying her, but she said, “No, I’ll do it for free. I can tell this is important to you.”

In that moment, the world’s greatest gift giver was one-upped.

The Magic of Focusing on Others

Adam Robinson is a self-proclaimed believer in magic. He actively looks for it in every moment, whether having lunch with friends, meeting someone for the first time, or giving gifts.

Some people may say that Robinson has a way of finding magic; I believe he has a unique way of creating magical moments.

On that December day in New York City, a 20-something woman working at a frame shop was so inspired by her interactions with Robinson that she was swept up in the magic of the moment and wanted to be a part of the gift giving experience. She was overcome by Robinson’s exuberance and selflessness.

I believe there is a lesson to be learned here.

Finding the Perfect Gift

Giving the perfect gift is not necessarily about the gift itself, as Robinson’s story shows. The best gifts are not only thoughtful, but they seek to completely delight the person receiving the gift. These gifts connect with the receiver on a deeply personal level.

Gift giving feels impossible when shopping for someone who has everything. This simple idea will help you find the perfect gift for anyone every time.How are can you learn to connect with people on a deeper level? Robinson lives his life according to what he calls The Gospel of the Other. Whether he is engaged in conversation, business meetings, an interview, or buying a gift, his focus is squarely upon delighting the other person. Even if the conservation or individual question is focused on him, he still finds a may to make everything about the other person.

“Delighting in the other,” as Robinson calls it, doesn’t have to be hard. You can apply the principle anywhere at anytime – as a server in a restaurant, while volunteering in the community, or engaging in the act of gift giving.

If you want to give better gifts than ever before, focus on these three actionable steps:

1. If you want to give the perfect gift time after time, spend more time getting to know the person you are buying for by focusing on them.
2. Find a unique gift that connects deeply with what the other person values.
3. Make gift giving all about the receiver.

Robinson didn’t tell us how Warren Buffett responded to receiving the shadow box of Beeman’s gum, but I think we know the answer. Robinson’s gift nearly became the greatest gift that Warren Buffett never received, but thanks to the magic of a single moment, Robinson successfully gave a gift that was sure to delight the receiver.

[arrow_forms id=’1792′]


What is your best advice for gift giving? How do you go about finding the perfect gift? What other stories about gift giving illustrate the power of focusing on others?

11 Fail-Proof Grocery Hacks to Save on Food

It’s a cold, hard fact: food is ridiculously expensive! The average household spends anywhere from 5-20% of its monthly budget at the grocery store. Why exactly is it so hard for most families to save on food?

Food is expensive! If poor habits have you spending too much money on food, there is hope. These 11 tips are easy and can help you cut your grocery spending and save on food each month.Like most life and money problems, poor habits are often to blame. You and I have great intentions to be the hero our spouses and kids deserve, but it can be hard to change and transform new practices into permanent habits. You may need to step back and re-evaluate your routines from time to time. Your grocery list is no exception.

The solutions to spending too much on groceries may surprise you. Extreme changes are rarely lasting – that’s why most diets fail – but smaller, manageable changes can make a huge difference. So skip fasting, fad diets, and eliminating occasional sweets from your grocery list and try the tips below instead. As you’ll see, you can save on food without suffering!

How to Save on Food – 11 Tips to Tame Your Out of Control Grocery Spending

If you’re struggling to save on food, find yourself staring at a full pantry yet have nothing to eat, and can’t figure out why there is always too much month left after your grocery money runs each out each month, read on. These 11 tips will help you save on food costs, eat better, and save time each month!

1. Create a Plan – and Stick to It!

If you’ve ever found yourself grocery shopping without a list, you have probably experienced the pains of shopping for groceries without a plan. In my experience, this leads to

-wasting money buying ingredients you already have at home
-wasting time back-tracking throughout the store
-buying expensive prepared food items on impulse

Before grocery shopping, take stock of ingredients remaining in the refrigerator and pantry. If you have items that will soon perish, plan meals which will make use of them right away. From there, continue to make a list of the items you will need to cook your remaining meals – again, be sure to buy only what you need.

2. Buy Diverse and Purposeful Ingredients

I’m sure I can’t be the only one who has opened up the pantry to door to find 8 cans of diced tomatoes, a bag of croutons, olive oil, two boxes of saltine crackers, and a can of baked beans. Staring into a full pantry yet seeing nothing to eat is an awful feeling. You can save on food every week and curb hunger by making sure you keep diverse and purposeful items in your pantry at all times.

These go-to items may be different for your family, but they are consistent in our household. At any given time, our pantry and freezer contain:

-spaghetti/other red sauce
-white and brown rice
-various frozen vegetables
-frozen chicken tenderloins
-chicken broth
-farfalle noodles (or similar noodle)

At any time we are able to prepare 5-6 unique meals from these on-hand ingredients alone. These items have a long shelf life, and they are usually purchased on sale (see number 3). A diverse stash of in-stock ingredients helps eliminate costly last-minute trips for missing ingredients.

3. Buy In Bulk During Sales

The best way to keep diverse items on hand and save on food is by buying in bulk during sales. It’s important to avoid going overboard, but savings add up quickly during sales. For example, we have taken advantage of buy-one-get-one-free sales on frozen vegetables and purchased bulk family packs of meat to save money.

4. Use Ibotta to Save

If couponing is too time consuming and boring for you, thank your smart phone. Ibotta is a free money saving app that helps you save money on food, other groceries, new clothes, or ordering food.

Saving with Ibotta is simple. First, sign-up for free using my link - you'll receive a $10 welcome bonus just for signing up. Then download the app (available for Android and iOS) – you’ll need it later to scan your receipt. Next, find your go-to stores (click here for a list of 365 participating stores) in the app, link store loyalty accounts, unlock available rebates, and go shopping. When you’re finished, scan the bar codes of items featuring a rebate, snap a picture of your receipt, and submit. You’ll receive cash back into your Ibotta account within 48 hours.

Ibotta offers rebates on a wide range of products, including $2.00-$5.00 rebates on many varieties of beer/wine, toiletries, snack foods, and over the counter medicine, among other items. Again, Ibotta is FREE to use and you'll receive a $10 BONUS if you sign-up today.

4. Shop at Aldi

If you haven’t visited Aldi recently, you might be pleasantly surprised if you give it another chance. The growing grocer has expanded its offerings, including organic options, to help shoppers save money on food and live a healthier life.

Across the country, Aldi stores are being renovated and redesigned to compete with grocery giant Whole Foods. Aldi is currently investing $1.6 billion to remodel 1,300 of its 1,600 stores by 2020. Low prices and won’t be affected by these changes, the company insists.

5. Shop Locally For Meat

Balancing the desire to support local farmers with the need to save money on food can be difficult for families on a budget. Zaycon Fresh is aiming to change that one community at a time.

Zaycon Fresh provides high-quality, farm fresh meat directly from local farmers to your table – and their prices typically beat even Aldi and Wal-Mart! When you sign-up for FREE, Zaycon will leverage the buying power of several local families on your behalf and help you save money on food by purchasing items in bulk. They send daily e-mail alerts on local sales events, and when you place your order, they take care of the rest. When your order is ready, you bring your receipt to a designated pick-up location near your home and collect your fresh, inexpensive meat without even leaving your car.

Zaycon Fresh is currently available in 1,200 communities nationwide, and you can sign-up for FREE to save money on food today.

6. Ditch Family Style and Plate Portions For Family

Have you ever prepared enough food to last for two meals only to have hungry family members take seconds or thirds, leaving you with you no meal for the next day? This was my wife’s biggest complaint about my eating habits when we were still newly-weds.

You can save money on food and ensure meals are stretched further by plating meals yourself rather than allowing family members to serve themselves family style. Controlled portions will ensure that your kids don’t waste half of their dinner, and as a bonus, everyone will avoid overeating.

7. Shop the Perimeter of the Store

Ever notice that fresh produce, meat and dairy, and seafood are located on the edges of your favorite grocery store? Marketers don’t want you to know this, but most grocery stores are designed to funnel consumers toward the middle of the store and keep you there until your cart is full. If you shop the perimeter of your grocery store, you will avoid expensive processed and prepared foods and save money on food by filling your cart with nutritionally-dense food.

Ready-to-eat foods are convenient, but the cost is steep, both financially and nutritionally. Fresh foods will make your wallet and body happy.

8. Eat Breakfast for Dinner Once Per Week

Experts claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not have it twice? Eating breakfast for dinner is an easy way to save money on food simply because many breakfast foods are inexpensive.

For a few dollars per person, you can make pancakes, American fries, and eggs into a great dinner. Steel cut oats and breakfast sausage or bacon can also satisfy even the biggest appetites at a minimal cost.

9. Cut Empty Calories

Isn’t it ironic that some of the least nutritionally-dense foods are the most expensive? Soda, candy, and ice cream are the biggest culprits, and even though they are delicious, they may be killing your grocery budget. Cut your spending in half in this area and you’ll notice a big improvement.

10. Use $5 Meal Plan

If you’ve tried all of the previous tips without success, it may be time to get more help – that’s where $5 Meal Plan comes to the rescue. If you’re skeptical, try it for FREE for 14 days and see for yourself.

The $5 Meal Plan process is simple. Each Friday at 11 AM ET, you’ll receive a meal plan in your e-mail inbox. The meal plan includes a shopping list and a detailed menu complete with the following:

  • Five dinner entrees with sides – Each week they include one freezer friendly, one slow cooker, and one 20-minute meal.
  • One lunch and one breakfast, plus,
  • A random goodie each week – sometimes dessert, sometimes a beverage, and sometimes it’ll be a snack (sometimes more than one!)
  • Gluten-free options (upon request)

When you sign-up you’ll receive access to a private Facebook group to share recipes and tips with other subscribers.

If meal planning just isn’t working out, I recommend giving $5 Meal Plan a try. Again, you have nothing to lose when you sign-up for their FREE 14-day trial.

11. Use the Cash Envelope System

I know many people who make a plan, shop with their list, and overspend their grocery budget week after week. If you find yourself here, don’t lose hope – the cash envelope system may be the solution you need to save money on food!

Food is expensive! If poor habits have you spending too much money on food, there is hope. These 11 tips are easy and can help you cut your grocery spending and save on food each month.The cash envelope system is simple. Divide your monthly grocery budget by the number of weeks in the current month (or shopping trips you plan to take that month), place that amount of cash in an envelope prior to leaving for the store, and leave your debit and credit cards at home. You may only spend the cash you have in the envelope during your trip – and not a cent more!

This system is extreme and not for the faint of heart, and it will require discipline. It may cause embarrassment when you have to take a few items off the conveyor belt in order to stay under budget. But if you follow the system it is guaranteed to help you save on food simply because you cannot buy groceries with money you don’t have.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

It can be challenging to save on food, but you can do it if you follow the tips above. Extreme changes to your grocery habits will likely be short-lived, but the above tips are easy to implement and maintain over time. Print this list, implement a few suggestions, add in a few more, and your grocery budget will be in great shape in no time!

Don’t forget – check out Ibotta, Zaycon Fresh, and $5 Meal Plan!


What are your best tips to save money on food?

[arrow_forms id=’1792′]

Budgeting Made Easy – 15 Money Saving Hacks

It’s true: Many people hate the B word. I’m talking about  BUDGETING. These days, budgeting is not in style. Most of my friends do not have a budget. Unbelievably, the state of Illinois recently went an entire fiscal year without a budget. But the unpopular truth is that budgeting is the number one way to make sure that you are on track with money.

Budgeting is the number one way to take control of your money and stop money stress. Make a budget you can stick to by following these 15 money saving tips!I like to think of my budget as a road map. It tells me where to go and how to get to my chosen destination – hopefully as efficiently as possible. But I am still the one who puts together the map and follows each step. Putting together a road map is easy, and so is making a budget – sticking to a budget can be much harder.

It has been many years since I created my first budget. In September 2009, I got my first real job and was on my own for the first time. Just before the school year started, I accepted a job teaching music, moved from Michigan to Illinois, and found a roommate.

At the time, I had no idea how to manage money. I had just read The Total Money Makeover , but I didn’t know the first thing about budgeting an “adult” paycheck. This was going to be the first time I had ever earned a paycheck which included a comma in the amount field! So I did the responsible thing – I sat down and made the budget you see below.

Budgeting is the number one way to take control of your money and stop money stress. Make a budget you can stick to by following these 15 money saving tips!
In all its glory, my very first monthly budget, from September 2009

My first attempt at a budget was OK. I overspent my budget in many categories and spent more than I earned overall. To be honest, I’m sure I would have fared far worse without a budget.

15 BUDGETING TIPS FOR EVERYONE

Looking back, I wish someone had sat down with me at age 21 and showed me how to budget. Figuring it out on my own through trial and error was tough. Today, my wife and I are on the same page with money thanks to our budget. Whether you’re looking to start your first budget or fine tune your budgeting skills, the following 21 tips will help you take back control of your life and money.

1. Make a Budget Every Month

Every new month brings new expenses and circumstances, which makes this first budgeting tip the most important: you need to create a new budget every single month. 

You can use previous monthly budgets as a template, but your budget needs to be realistic if it is going to help you. For example, your expenses in December (holiday gifts, wrapping paper, decorations, baking ingredients) look completely different than those in July (sun screen, bug spray, Popsickles). Plan ahead for variable expenses and include them in your budget.

2. Manage Housing Costs

For homeowners, housing is likely to be your biggest expense until you pay off your mortgage. If it has been a while since you have considered refinancing, now is a perfect time to consider your options and possibly save hundreds of dollars each month. I recommend you take a few minutes to check out offers with GuideToLenders and LendingTree. Both processes took me less than 3 minutes to examine refinancing rates.

If you just starting out and are renting, finding a roommate can help you hack away half (or more) of your housing costs from your budget each month. In my case, I avoided spending $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and spent $400 to rent a home in a two-bedroom condo. By sharing costs I avoided spending 40% of my net income on housing costs.

3. Include All of Your Debt Obligations

When budgeting you may feel the temptation to leave out debt payments, especially if you have student loans in deferment. But avoiding your debts will not make them go away, so gather this information, including total principal, interest rates, minimum payments, and loan terms for each debt.

If you’re not sure how much you owe and to whom, you should pull your credit reports from all three major bureaus. If you are also in the market for intelligent identify theft monitoring, MyFico can provide both. Or you can pull a free credit score report from MyFreeScoreNow.com. You can also contact the appropriate customer service departments, if you have their information, to gather loan balances. Once you have a clear picture of your debt, include the monthly minimum payments in your budget.

If you’re facing high interest  rates, you should call to negotiate better rates, especially on credit cards. Be persistent and don’t take no for an answer. You can also refinance high-interest student loans with LendEDU, a company I have found to offer the best rates to people looking to save money. Even if you think your rates are good, you could save thousands of dollars in interest in a matter of minutes.

4.  Cook at home 

Preparing your own meals at home will accomplish two goals: you will save money, and you will not gain weight eating low nutrition/high calorie fast food. If you’re willing to learn basic cooking techniques and how to use spices effectively, you can slash your food budget significantly. And if planning isn’t your strong-suit, $5 Meal Plan will do it for you and send meal plans to your inbox every Friday!

5. Live simply

If you have set a precedent of living extravagantly, you have set yourself up for failure. Do you remember college life? When I was in college, I appreciated a coffee and bagel just as much as I do a steak dinner today. If you strive to live simply and manage your expectations, budgeting will be much easier.

6. Don’t lease or carry a car payment

When it comes to cars, the key is to make sure pride doesn’t influence your decisions. If your current vehicle gets you from point A to B, it’s a keeper, especially if you own it outright.

Related: Your Car Lease Is Killing You

7. Brew Your Own Coffee (and Get a Pot With a Timer)

Budgeting is the number one way to take control of your money and stop money stress. Make a budget you can stick to by following these 15 money saving tips!In general, the small things like coffee won’t ruin your budget. So by all means, enjoy the occasional coffee without guilt. But if you’re in the habit of buying a $5 mocha every morning, it’s time to pump the brakes and make your own coffee.

I learned this the hard way when at the end of my first budgeted month I had spent $80.77 on coffee on my way to work. I had a decent Mr. Coffee Coffeemaker, but it didn’t have a timer feature. If I happened to be running late to work in the morning, I resorted to a quick Starbucks stop, which cost me significant money without contributing to my happiness or nutrition.

8. Stay in

I get it: many people, especially singles, will feel the temptation to go out night after night. This habit will kill your budget. Instead, invite friends or your significant other back to your place, where food and drinks are cheap and Netflix is nearly free.

9. Save With Groupon and Restaurant.com

I’m not even sure if Groupon and Restaurant.com existed when I made my first budget, but taking advantage of them today is a key part of our dining out experience. With either platform, you can purchase certificates for what is usually a fraction of the value, which allows you to realize significant savings and still enjoy a night out. The most common Restaurant.com offer is $10 for a $25 gift certificate.

9. Build an emergency fund as quickly as possible

A key component to your budget is your emergency fund. When your budget cannot handle unexpected expenses, your emergency fund will ensure you don’t have to swipe your credit card. Whenever possible, include contributions to your emergency fund in your budget.

Related: 5 Tips to Save $1,000 Fast

10. Give Money

I have always given 10% to charity and missions organizations, but I know this isn’t for everyone. If you’re not a natural giver, start small. Even $10 per month will benefit worthwhile organizations, and the act of giving will be freeing. You will learn to value the money you have and appreciate the little things.

11. Share Your Budget

Finding a friend to help you with budgeting can be eye-opening. He or she may find solutions or wasted money that you missed. And sharing with another person can help you stick to your budget.

12. Budget In Fun

If you only budget for required expenses, you will quickly grow to hate your budget. Plan for fun expenses when budgeting to avoid budget burnout and create a budget that you can live with each month.

13. Budget Based on Your Values

Your budget should align with what you value most. In other words, your budget should be a reflection of your priorities. Someone who barely knows you should be able to look at your budget and determine what is important to you.

Related: Building a Values-Based Budget

14. Be Open About Your Budget

It is OK to explain to people that you are on a budget. In fact, if you keep it a secret, it will be more difficult to stick to your budget. Be honest with friends about how you’re using a budget to take back control of your life and money. It will be less awkward if you explain before you are invited out for drinks and dinner every weekend. And it will make it that much easier to say no.

BUDGETING WORKS

It won’t always be simple, but budgeting will keep you on track to take back your life and your money. At first, budgeting may feel restrictive, but remember – you are in charge. Your budget is only a road map for your money, and you are the one who charts the course. Use these 15 budgeting hacks to improve your own budget today!

[arrow_forms id=’1792′]


Readers, what budgeting tips help you stay on track?

Make Extra Money – 21 Legitimate Side Jobs for Busy People

Does it seem like everyone around you is taking on side jobs to make extra money while you’re left wondering where to begin and how to make the time?  Would an extra $100 per month help you reach you pay off student loans faster? Would $300 per month allow you to sleep better at night? Could an extra $500-$1,000 per month totally change your life? Of course!

This kind of earning potential may seem impossible, but it’s not! Even if you’re busy with a full-time job or balancing the never-ending demands of life as a stay-at-home-mom or dad, it is possible to earn extra money in many ways.

21 Ways to Make Extra Money – Even When You’re Busy!

Want to make extra money? Would an extra $100-$2,000 each month change your life? These 21 side jobs are real and they work for everyone - even busy people!Plenty of bad information about money-making side jobs is out there – some ideas are beyond bogus. Sure, you can turn almost any activity into a money maker with passion and the right set of skills, but busy people like you need straight, no-frills advice on side jobs that actually work and don’t require hours and hours of start-up work. Who has time to figure all of that out?

You won’t find any junk ideas in this list. I have personally verified each of the side jobs listed below – they’re for real! I’ve worked some myself and watched close friends work the rest, and I’ve seen that even extremely busy people can make extra money if the desire is there.

Read through the list below, choose a few side jobs that fit with your schedule and interests, and start to make extra money this week.

1. Dog Sitting

If you love dogs, live in a suitable home, and can be flexible, dog sitting can be an easy way to make money fast week after week. My friends use Rover on a weekly basis – they have earned thousands of dollars in the past year alone!

Signing up with Rover is easy. Simply fill in the basic information requested, upload a professional and friendly picture of you and your spouse, and submit the application. Rover reviews all applications manually, usually in 5-10 days. Rover estimates that 40,000 dog owners currently use their system to find a reliable dog sitter, so your potential reach is huge!

2. Dog Walking

Dog walking can also be a great aide hustle. While most of my friends in college were wasting time watching Friends re-runs, I picked up a dog walking job and earned upwards of $400 per month for less than one hour per day.

Targeting high end neighborhoods with flyers, posting advertisements on coffee shop boards, and word of mouth can go a long way toward helping anyone find a dog walking job. Some people even make a full-time living as a dog walker!

3. Tutoring

You are an expert in something, especially if you have advanced education. Tutoring can be a great way to leverage your skills and knowledge to make extra money. Several of my friends make over $50 per hour tutoring.

If you are already a teacher, tutoring can be the side hustle that helps you pay off your student loans early. But even if you’re not a licensed teacher, you still have opportunities. Depending on your skill set, reaching out to local schools and universities is a smart move. You could also sign-up with

4. House Sitting

Would you like to watch over another person’s home and get paid? House sitting is growing more and more common each year as homeowners seek better ways to protect their home and cherished belongings while they are away. If you have good references and connect well with others, house sitting could be your opportunity to make extra money with little effort.

You can set-up an account at HouseCarers.com and start accepting jobs right away.

5. Drive With Uber and Deliver with UberEATS

Have a reliable car and enjoy driving? You can make extra money every day when you become a driver with Uber.

Requirements tend to vary by location, but most people qualify for Uber. Generally, you must have a 4-door vehicle with valid registration and no markings, and you must pass a background check and have a clean driving record. After you are accepted, you simply use your app to turn on and off your availability with a single tap.

My teacher friend, Mike, earns several hundred dollars per week driving for Uber in the summertime. He works only when he feels like it, and he has earned a solid rating from his riders. If you are polite, friendly, and go the extra mile for your riders by offering them use of a phone charger, an auxiliary audio cord, and cool bottled water, you’ll roll in excellent tips and gain repeat riders.

Sign-up with Uber here.

Don’t want the predictable schedule of pizza delivery or the potential awkwardness of driving strangers around as an Uber driver? UberEATS is the program for you!

Take trips for a few hours in the mornings, every night, or just on weekends – you set your own hours. You are your own boss and you can choose when and how much you work. And unlike the standard Uber program, you don’t even need to have car – a bike or scooter work, too, though you’ll likely earn more if you have a car.

It's quick and easy to sign-up with UberEATS, and you can be on your way to making more money soon. Better yet, sign-up for both programs!

6. Sell Essential Oils

In case you haven’t noticed, Essential Oils are hot right now. If you enjoy talking to others and have a knack for sales, you can make extra money consistently selling essential oils.

I was a major essential oils skeptic until I came down with a head-crushing cold this month. My usual tricks weren’t bringing much relief, so my wife prepared one of our diffusers with a mix of several oils. I actually slept well that night, and a few days later my symptoms were gone.

If you have a similar story, it can serve as a starting point in your sales pitch. Be friendly, personal, and look to show others how essential oils can make their lives better, and you can make extra money selling oils.

7. Take Online Surveys

Want to make extra money? Would an extra $100-$2,000 each month change your life? These 21 side jobs are real and they work for everyone - even busy moms!You aren’t going to get rich overnight taking online surveys, but they are a legitimate way to make extra money. The key to success with surveys is taking them while you are doing other simple, mindless activities. Have a 45 minute train ride to work? Find yourself waiting for business flights a few times per week? What about Netflix and Hulu binges? These are the perfect times to take surveys.
It isn’t uncommon to start a bit slowly with most of them, but you can earn upwards of $200 per month in a hurry – just by answering simple questions on your phone, tablet, or computer. Sign-up for a few and see for yourself! My favorite survey companies are listed below.

Quick Survey Income

 

Cash Survey Bonus

 

Swagbucks

 

SurveyDownline

 

Paid Surveys at Home

 

SurveysPaid.com

 

Opinion Surveys

 

Make Money Surveys

 

Click4Surveys

 

Hit Surveys Southwest Airlines

 

Take Surveys For Cash

8. Teach Music Lessons

It’s time for those 10 years of piano lessons and awesome guitar chops to be put to good use! More than ever, music lessons are in high demand, and if you know how to market your skills to the right crowds, it’s easy to make extra money.

When we first got married, my wife nearly paid our $900 rent bill by teaching music lessons to a few families in a nearby wealthy neighborhood. Today, she earns enough money through her music studio to pay our mortgage payment each month. Teaching is an opportunity for her to share her passion for music with kids and help them learn. Sometimes I think she would do it for free!

You can get started teaching music lessons through basic word of mouth. Flyers and business cards can be useful, too. Call around to a few local music stores and offer your services as well. Be careful to price your services competitively.

9. Mow Lawns

10. Rake Leaves

11. Clean Houses

12. Work as a Handyman

13. Paint Houses

Some people are allergic to hard work. They outsource everything from lawn care to cleaning their home. Mowing lawns, raking leaves, cleaning houses, painting, and performing handyman work aren’t just small side hustles – they are legitimate small business ideas for people with the right set of skills. You could earn $1,000+ each month just working a few hours on the weekend!

 

14. Start a Blog

When I started FinanceSuperhero, I knew I wanted to help people Take Back Control of Life and Money – but I never imagined that it would become profitable so quickly. (I don’t disclose monthly income at this time, but I have no issue whatsoever with bloggers who do!)

You can start a blog yourself for just $5.95 per month with Bluehost. Whether you plan to write about hobbies, family life, or an extension of career expertise, you can leverage the unlimited potential of the internet to make extra money with a blog. Check out a few of my favorite bloggers who earn a fantastic full-time income with their blogs:

Caroline – Cow Country Housewife – January 2017 Income – $3,181

Jeff and Ben – Breaking the One Percent – January 2017 Income – $7,158

Rosemarie Groner – The Busy Budgeter – January 2017 Income – $86,000

Convinced? Got 20 minutes? Get started with Bluehost today!

15. Become a Realtor

The housing market has unquestionably recovered from its crash a decade ago. Realtors are no longer struggling to make ends meet. Many of them are struggling to juggle the constant demand of client overload!

As a teacher and blogger, working as a realtor is the PERFECT side hustle for me. It is flexible, offers high earning potential, and has low barriers for entry. I was reluctant to get started, but two of my friends gave me the push that I needed. I’m glad they did!

16. Deliver Pizzas

Pizza delivery is not just a job for teens. If you’re willing to work 4-5 nights per week, you can clear $2,000 per month with tips included. You will sacrifice time with family and become ever busier for a short time, but the extra money could drastically speed up your escape from debt.

17. Become an Advocare Distributor

AdvoCare® has been a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance. They offer cutting-edge nutritional supplements as well as the opportunity to earn income by sharing AdvoCare products with others.

My wife and I have been distributors for nearly two years and have earned hundreds of dollars just by talking to friends and family about the healthy products we use. We both took the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and lost 18 and 12 pounds, respectively. People saw our progress and naturally wanted to know our secret.

You can enroll as an Advocare distributor by signing up with any Advisor. You probably know one already, but if not, you can visit the Advocare website or give them a call and they will set you up.

18. Deliver Food with UberEATS

Don’t want the predictable schedule of pizza delivery or the potential awkwardness of driving strangers around as an Uber driver? UberEATS is the program for you!

Take trips for a few hours in the mornings, every night, or just on weekends – you set your own hours. You are your own boss and you can choose when and how much you work. And unlike the standard Uber program, you don’t even need to have car – a bike or scooter work, too, though you’ll likely earn more if you have a car.

It's quick and easy to sign-up, and you can be on your way to making more money soon.

19. Become a Beach Body Coach

Perhaps Beach Body helped you get back in shape after your child was born. Or the program gave you the tools to take back control of your lifestyle. Maybe you still use Shakeology on a daily basis and could benefit from a discount. It’s time to become a Beach Body coach!

Several of my friends earn upwards of $500 per month working as a Beach Body coach. It’s easy to get started and can be a great way to make extra money each month doing something you love! And you’ll earn discounts on the products you already use.

20. Sell Items Online

Selling items online through E-Bay or Amazon is a great way to make extra money, but did you know you can make selling online even simpler?

My friend, Laura, created a simple Facebook album to sell unwanted clothing and household goods and has been very successful. She takes high-quality pictures of items, leaves a vivid description along with her price, and accepts bids during a set window of time. High end clothing items and unique household decor sell very well using this system, especially if they still have tags.

If you want to take your Facebook selling game to the next level, you can join local Facebook “Buy and Sell” groups to expand your marketing reach. Unloading unused stuff has never been easier!

21. Start a Photography Business

Want to make extra money? Would an extra $100-$2,000 each month change your life? These 21 side jobs are real and they work for everyone - even busy people!

That fancy camera you bought to take pictures on the family trip to Disney World just sits in its case collecting dust – you can make extra money each month by putting it to use by starting a photography business.

Professional photography is not easy. It takes tremendous technical and people skills. But many people can’t afford to pay the rising rates for a professional photographer. That’s where you come in!

You can get started with your photography side hustle by taking pictures of any and all willing models: your kids, spouse, and friends and family. You could even work for free for a few customers to build your portfolio and host it on Facebook or Bluehost. You’ll need to Learn Photoshop in Just 2 Hours or a similar program for editing, but that has never been easier. If you have an eye for detail and love capturing special moments, photography is a great way to make extra money.

Which Option Fits You?

For busy people with limited time, the 21 side jobs listed above offer many opportunities to make extra money each month. Pursue even one or two and you could quickly make a minimum of an extra $100 per month. Implement a few more suggestions and this figure could easily climb over $2,000 per month.

These side hustle examples are real, and they could change your life. Pick a few and get started today!

[arrow_forms id=’1792′]


Have you used any of the above suggestions to make extra money? What other tips do you have to share?

How to Build A Paver Patio – A Comprehensive Step By Step DIY Guide

When my wife and I bought our current home in May 2013, we were ecstatic. The house was beautiful, even if the landscaping needed some help. We lived with the sad state of the yard for one season and gradually made improvements each month. I resurrected the lawn, tamed the overgrown shrubbery, and even planted a few rose bushes. This was fun, but my mind was on one grand idea from the start: I wanted to build a paver patio. 100% DIY. With my bare hands.

I did my research and learned the project could be very budget friendly if I selected quality, affordable materials and went with a basic design. The techniques seemed simple enough as well, even for someone who isn’t very handy – like me.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Build a Paver Patio

After months of planning, scheming at Menards and Home Depot, and buying several pallets of materials, I got started on my patio project on the first day of summer vacation. If a teacher like me – with modest DIY skills – can build his own paver patio in a matter of days, you can, too. Follow my step by step guide below to build a paver patio and begin enjoying your own backyard oasis this spring.

Step 1: Purchase Tools, Calculate Materials Needed, and Apply For a Permit (if required)

Good news – you won’t need too many tools to build a paver patio. Make a list of the following tools, check out your inventory in the garage, and buy the rest.

Tools List

  1. Garden spade
  2. Garden shovel
  3. Hose
  4. Mist nozzle
  5. Wheelbarrow
  6. Landscaping gloves
  7. Hand tamper
  8. Landscaping stakes
  9. Landscaping string
  10. Tape measure
  11. Level
  12. Rake
  13. Push broom
  14. Sharpie markers
  15. Marking paint (Rustoleum Marking Spray Paint or similar)
  16. Plate compactor (optional – rent locally)
  17. Safety goggles
  18. Landscaping fabric
  19. Landscaping nails
  20. Celebratory beverages of your choice (Summer Shandy worked for me)
  21. Rubber mallett

Materials

  1. Paver stones (*Note: I chose tumbled Belgian pavers for aesthetic reasons.)
  2. 1 inch PVC pipe, cut to length of widest walkway (Quantity will vary – minimum 2 recommended)
  3. Paver base
  4. Paver leveling sand
  5. Paver locking sand
  6. Paver sealant (optional, but highly recommended to preserve your hard work)
  7. Paver edging and/or paver edging stones
  8. 2”x4” wood joist (cut to appropriate length)

Materials Calculation

Full transparency – the materials calculation can be the most difficult part of building your paver patio. I fully recommended visiting your local Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, or other home improvement store to seek out their assistance. Provide a drawing/blueprint of your intended design, and they will be able to help you calculate the number of cubic yards of paver base and leveling sand you require. Calculating the number of paver stones needed will depend heavily on your design. I recommend purchasing an additional 10% over your minimum calculated needs to protect yourself from extra trips when pavers inevitably break or have color inconsistencies.

Guidance on Permits and Dealing with HOAs

A paver patio can transform a boring backyard into an outdoor oasis. Follow this step-by-step guide to build a paver patio in your backyard on any budget.If you live in a non-HOA neighborhood and have an understanding and easy-going local government, congratulations! The rest of us officially hate you, but you’re one lucky guy/gal. Youre ready to build a paver patio, so move on to Step 2!

For the rest of you: my best advice is to be patient. Your HOA and local building department will ask you to jump through hoop after hoop after hoop before they’ll give you a permit. Contact them well in advance of the date you plan to start your project, and play nice with them at every step of the way. You will get your permit if you follow the rules.

Step 2: Choose and Prepare the Area

When I decided to build a paver patio, I had a few possibilities for its location. In the end, I decided to build it adjacent to an existing concrete patio. This choice helped me determine the dimensions of the area which I needed to prepare. With my dimensions decided, I marked the area using a tape measure, landscaping stakes, and line marking spray paint.

PRO TIP: If the area you plan to build upon is currently covered with grass, use your lawn mower to cut the area as short as possible after measuring.

You will need to remove additional grass and soil beyond the eventual boarder of your patio, so be sure to include an additional 12-16” on all sides of the dimensions as you mark them.

Step 3: Remove Grass, Sod, and Soil

A paver patio can transform a boring backyard into an outdoor oasis. Follow this step-by-step guide to build a paver patio in your backyard on any budget.
Hero removing sod and cursing Mother Nature

With your measurements complete and construction area prepped, you are ready to remove the grass and soil. Depending upon your soil type, you may be able to complete this step using hand powered landscaping tools and lots of elbow grease. Using a sharpened garden spade, I recommend removing square foot sections of sod by outlining sections and lifting them individually into your wheel barrow – in my case I also used a trustworthy Red Flyer wagon.

PRO TIP: If you have unusually dry soil or, as in my case, find yourself dealing with rocky and dry clay, run a sprinkler for 30 minutes the evening prior to excavating the grass and soil. It will make it easier to loosen the sod.

With all of the grass/sod removed, you are ready to remove an adequate amount of soil. Depending upon your local building requirements, you may have to remove up to 12” of soil to allow for adequate space for paver base in the next step. Especially if you live in a cold climate, you will want to be sure to provide a base which more than adequately supports your patio.

As your soil allows, aim to remove soil in a manner consistent with the desired grade of your planned patio. Contrary to popular belief, it is usually best to design your patio with a very slight pitch angled away from the foundation of your home to ensure that water runs away from the foundation of your home – a level patio is only desirable in rare circumstances.

Step 4: Add Paver Base

If you purchased bags of paver base, move them into the now excavated area using your wheelbarrow. Dump the base in consistent, even layers throughout the entire area and rake the base to spread it evenly. Periodically pause and use your hand tamper to ensure that the paver base is tight and compact. You will also went to lightly wet the area as you tamp it.

I saved a significant amount of money by using a hand tamper rather than renting a plate compactor, but my forearms and biceps paid dearly for this decision. If you are using a hand tamper, I recommend tamping each square foot of your base approximately 100 times to ensure that your base is firm and secure. Need I remind you about the man who built his house on shifting sands?

PRO TIP: When your base is secure, measure, cut, and place your landscaping fabric over the top of the base. Secure it using landscaping nails. This step is optional, but it will greatly cut down on weed intrusion in the future.

Step 5: Add and Level Paver Sand

Place your pre-cut 1 inch PVC pipes on top of your firmly tamped paver base. Carefully pour leveling sand in between the PVC pipes and on all sides in two to three feet increments. Then place your 2”x4” on the PVC pipes and screed, or drag, the board across the pipes gently to level the paver sand. While you can access the area, gently lift out the PVC pipes, fill and level those voids with leveling sand, and replace the pipes along the path. Continue this process until the entire patio area is covered with paver leveling sand.

Step 6: Place the Paver Stones Individually

Prior to placing your paver stones, pick a corner or side to start in and very lightly mist the paver leveling sand. Begin laying the paver stones according to pattern you designed while being careful not to drag the stones across the leveling sand. Set adjacent paver stones to be snug against neighboring stones. I recommend gently tapping them into place using a rubber mallet.

A paver patio can transform a boring backyard into an outdoor oasis. Follow this step-by-step guide to build a paver patio in your backyard on any budget.If you’re looking to build a paver patio featuring an easy design, a basket weave or herringbone pattern is classic and timeless. These designs are also time-savers, as they don’t require any cutting. I went with a modified basket weave pattern (see picture to the right) to add character. Continue following your design pattern until all stones are in place while ensuring that you lightly sections of leveling sand before continuing. It is also very helpful to have another person hand you stones of varying colors while you complete this step.

When all of your paver stones are in place, step back and be sure that you did not make any errors with your pattern. When you’re ready to move on, add edging stones or other edging materials to ensure that your paver patio retains its shape. Secure them using landscaping nails.

Step 7: Finish the Job!

A paver patio can transform a boring backyard into an outdoor oasis. Follow this step-by-step guide to build a paver patio in your backyard on any budget.When all of your paver stones are in place and edging is completed, you are ready to secure the paver stones in place. Pour a fine layer of paver locking sand on top of your patio and use a push broom to fill all of the gaps between adjacent paver stones. When all of the gaps are filled, gently sweep away excess paver locking sand. Then spray a very, very light mist of water over the patio. The water will activate the paver locking sand and help your patio retains its form.

Repeat the procedure above again when the paver locking sand joints appear to be dry. You may need to perform this step several times until all the gaps are filled. If you’ve rented a plate compactor, gently run the compactor across the patio service. Make a single pass in each direction to uniformly compact the paver stones.

It’s time to bask in glory! Grab a beverage of your choice, pull up a chair, and celebrate. You just built a paver patio!

Step 8: Seal Your Paver Patio

This step is optional but highly recommended if you’ve taken the time to build a paver patio. Using a commercially-available concrete or paver stone sealant will add many years to the life of your paver patio. All products will come with slightly different instructions, and it is best to follow them precisely. I applied my sealant using an all-purpose roller and have since re-applied once each year. Nearly four years later, my paver patio still looks new!

A paver patio can transform a boring backyard into an outdoor oasis. Follow this step-by-step guide to build a paver patio in your backyard on any budget.
The finished paver patio in the FinanceSuperhero outdoor oasis

After you have finished this step, you will want to ornament the patio with soil, small annuals, mulch, and perennials (see above). This extra touch will complete the process of transforming your drab backyard into a new outdoor oasis!

A paver patio can transform a boring backyard into an outdoor oasis. Follow this step-by-step guide to build a paver patio in your backyard on any budget.

Get Started!

Now that you know how easy it is to build a paver patio – even if you have limited DIY skills – it’s time to start planning your project. With the right amount of patience, planning, and preparation, you can transform your boring backyard into an outdoor oasis!


Could your backyard use a face lift? What’s holding you back from building your own paver patio?

How to Build an Emergency Fund – 5 Ways to Quickly Save $1,000

An emergency fund is the best way to protect yourself from financial disaster. We’ll show you how to build an emergency fund and save $1,000 quickly.

Did you know the average American is unable to pay for unexpected expenses of over $500? This statistic may be shocking, but it is a sign of the times. The average person has allowed lifestyle inflation to grow out of control since the mid 1990s, and as a result, many American families are spending more money than they earn on a monthly basis. If you find yourself in a similar situation, it is time to build an emergency fund to protect yourself from future financial disasters.

Many financial experts recommend $1,000 as the starting point for developing an emergency fund. You may feel secure with a smaller emergency fund if you earn less than $20,000 per year, or if you are a high income earner, you may wish to bump up the size of your emergency fund. The following advice will help you take several steps to build an emergency fund of $1,000 and beyond.

Why You Need an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is the best way to protect yourself from financial disaster. We’ll show you how to build an emergency fund and save $1,000 quickly.Some financial experts scoff at the concept of an emergency fund. They argue that your money is better applied when invested in your 401k, IRA, or other retirement accounts. Mathematically speaking, there is no disputing this fact; the interest earned on wise investments should always outpace interest earned on savings and money market accounts.

So what’s the catch? While interest earned on solid investments like mutual funds, index funds, or even CDs is higher than savings and money market accounts, these earnings pale in comparison to the devastating effects of high interest rates associated with credit card debt. Simply put, liquid cash in an emergency fund is the simplest way to ensure that you do not waste your hard earned money on credit card debt each time an emergency arises.  Everyone should build an emergency fund for this reason alone; peace of mind and increased confidence are icing on the cake!

Emergency Fund Basics

When looking to build an emergency fund or grow an existing fund, everyone should follow a few universal principles. First, you should keep emergency fund money separate from your primary checking account. This will ensure that a sale at Target or DSW doesn’t become an “emergency.” Second, it is best to keep your emergency fund in a high interest bearing savings or money market account. The goal is not to build wealth in your emergency fund; it exists to protect you from going into debt when true emergencies occur.

If having emergency fund money within close reach (electronically or otherwise) is tempting for you, you have options. Opening a savings account with a different bank is one option. Opening an account with It's quick and easy to sign-up with UberEATSmay also be a good move. For those who are unfamiliar with the platform, Digit is a free and secure service that helps you save money each day by transferring only what you can accord directly from your checking account to your savings account. It’s an efficient way to be sure that your emergency fund will continue to grow over time. And you can access your saved funds as soon as the next business day. Click here for more information or to sign-up for FREE.

Build An Emergency Fund – 5 Simple Ways to Save

If you are like many Americans, your current budget may already be stretched beyond comfort, leaving you feeling like it is impossible to build an emergency fund. The tips ahead will offer creative solutions to both increase your income and reduce both necessary and unnecessary expenses so you can quickly build an emergency fund.

1. Review Your Insurance Policies

I get it – reviewing your insurance policies comes in slightly behind watching paint dry in the weekend fun rankings. But it remains the simplest and easiest way to potentially save hundreds of dollars in under an hour.

If you’re like me, you setup your homeowner’s, auto, and life insurance policies long ago and thought you were set for life. The truth is that you should be reviewing your policies on an annual basis, as you could be leaving savings on the table (or worse – you could be underinsured!).

You can receive a quick online quote for auto insurance from Esurance. Most consumers are able to save significantly by updating their auto insurance to reflect their current protection needs. Check out your savings now!

An emergency fund is the best way to protect yourself from financial disaster. We’ll show you how to build an emergency fund quickly and easily.

If you currently are paying for whole life insurance, you can potentially save HUNDREDS of dollars per month by switching to term life insurance. With term life insurance in place, you’ll not only save money; you will also increase your overall death benefit if you should pass away while your policy is in effect. If you are in good or fair health, don’t smoke, and are not employed in a high-risk career, you can most likely pick up a $500,000 term life insurance policy for the monthly cost of a few deep dish pizzas. Just be sure that you do not cancel any existing policies until you have replacement policies in effect!

Related: Term Life Insurance Vs. Whole Life Insurance

POTENTIAL SAVINGS: $200-400

2. Return and Sell Unused Stuff

The other day I saw a friend advertising brand new clothes with price tags intact for sale on her Facebook page. To my amazement, mutual friends were snatching up these high end clothing items left and right. In some cases, they were paying handsomely!

If you have unused clothing or other items that you no longer use, selling them via social media can be a great way to build an emergency fund in a hurry – and with little effort! Simply lay out items in a brightly lit area of your home, use your smart phone to snap pictures of each item, and upload them in a new Facebook album. Whenever possible, take advantage of your friends’ brand recognition habits to drum up interest.

Before you sell unused items online, be sure to check store return policies first. Depending upon when and where the items were purchased, you may be able to receive a cash refund or store credit, both of which can free up money in your monthly budget. A few months ago, my wife and I were able to return a few unused items for cash even though we had purchased them several months ago; it never hurts to try!

POTENTIAL SAVINGS: $100+

3. Drive for Uber

You work hard during the week, and the last thing you probably want to do is work more on the weekends. I never said it would be easy to build an emergency fund – just simple and fast. If you crave the flexibility to work only when you want to work, Uber may be just the side hustle you need to build an emergency fund!

Most of the time, your car is not an asset – Uber has changed that forever! As long as you have a clean driving record and suitable vehicle, you can earn several hundred dollars driving for Uber. You have full flexibility to set your own hours at the push of a button. Once you get started and earn favorable reviews, you’ll be on your way toward higher earnings in a hurry. It only takes 4 minutes to sign-up and get started!

An emergency fund is the best way to protect yourself from financial disaster. We’ll show you how to build an emergency fund quickly and easily.

Don’t want the predictable schedule of pizza delivery or the potential awkwardness of driving strangers around as an Uber driver? UberEATS is the program for you!

Take trips for a few hours in the mornings, every night, or just on weekends – you set your own hours. You are your own boss and you can choose when and how much you work. And unlike the standard Uber program, you don’t even need to have car – a bike or scooter work, too, though you’ll likely earn more if you have a car.

It's quick and easy to sign-up with UberEATS, and you can be on your way to making more money soon.

POTENTIAL EARNINGS: $200+ per day

4. Negotiate Better Rates on Phone and Cable Bills

It is true that many companies have expanded training of retention specialists, making it harder than ever to negotiate better rates on phone and cable bills. But if you’re willing to be persistent and step up your game a bit, you can still pull the right strings and save money on these services. Why? It is much cheaper for companies to lower your rates in order to retain existing you as a customer than it is to invest in advertising and promotion designed to recruit new customers.

Experts like Dave Ramsey agree – you need an emergency fund! We’ll show you how to save $1,000 and build an emergency fund quickly, easily, and painlessly.Connecting with the right people is the key to negotiating savings which are significant enough to help build an emergency fund. Below you will find the best customer service phone numbers to call when negotiating your rates. Remember to be polite, emphasize your history as a loyal customer with the company, and make it clear that you have a promise of cheaper rates with their competitor. Ask them to reduce your rates to match their competitor. If you do not get what you want, politely ask to speak with the representative’s supervisor. You may have to be persistent, but it will pay off!

COMCAST: 1-800-XFINITY – When prompted, say “Discontinue service.”

VERIZON: 1-800-837-4966

SPRINT: 1-889-211-4727

AT&T Uverse: 1-800-288-2020

DIRECTV: 1-800-531-5000

POTENTIAL SAVINGS: $100+ per month

5. Pet Sitting

If you love pets and are willing to welcome four-legged visitors into your home, pet sitting and walking can be a fun way to build an emergency fund. In fact, you could earn $1,000 in under a month! A few of my friends registered with Rover.com and list their dog walking and sitting services on their website. Because they are clearly dedicated to providing safe, loving dog care in a hospitable home, they have been very successful.

To get started with Rover, visit this page and fill out the brief form. From there, you’ll be directed to create a profile, upload pictures, and complete a background check. The Rover team will manually review your application within one week, and once you are approved, you can begin accepting requests and start making money! Rover is active in over 10,000 cities nationwide, and you can easily set your own schedule and rates using their site or app. It is the easiest way for animal lovers to build an emergency fund!

POTENTIAL EARNINGS: $1,000+ per month

Next Steps

Don’t allow yourself to continue on without an adequate emergency fund. Financial emergencies are bound to happen in life, but you can protect yourself and your family when you build an emergency fund. By updating your insurance policies, automating savings each month, selling or returning unused stuff, driving for Uber, negotiating phone and cable rates, and becoming a dog sitter with Rover, you can save and earn $1,000 in a hurry. What are you waiting for?

[arrow_forms id=’1792′]


Do you have an emergency fund? How would you pay for an unexpected expense of $500 or more?