Blog Archives

SPI 257: The Incredible Story Behind Kelsey Baldwin’s Business, Paper and Oats

Sometimes, when life throws us a curveball, taking a risk on a brand new entrepreneurial journey is the last thing on our minds. That wasn’t the case for Kelsey Baldwin of Paper & Oats, who rebounded from a major setback by selling digital products and courses online.

Kelsey made the leap into entrepreneurship after learning she was going to be a single mom. It was a shocking turn of events for Kelsey, but thanks to some expert planning, drive, and skill as a graphic designer, she transitioned from her nine-to-five job at a design agency to freelancing and selling her designs online. Today, she continues to run a thriving business educating fellow designers through her online courses and selling digital products through Etsy and PaperandOats.com.

Kelsey’s resourcefulness and resilience is so inspirational to online entrepreneurs like me. Listen in to hear her advice for recovering from life’s setbacks, and how she’s built a thriving online empire one piece at a time.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Kelsey for joining me this week. Until next time!



You’ll Learn

  • How Kelsey built her successful business selling digital products and courses online.
  • How Kelsey transitioned from her full-time job into full-time entrepreneurship.
  • Project management and productivity tips for solo entrepreneurs.
  • The ins and outs of selling digital products on Etsy.
  • Why and how Kelsey transitioned from digital products to online courses.
  • What Kelsey made from the first launch of her first online course.
  • How Kelsey’s online business impacted her life as a new parent.
  • Kelsey’s advice for embracing entrepreneurship in the wake of setbacks.
  • A free resource for digital product sellers, and more!

Resources

Sponsors

  • 99Designs

    $99 Power Pack of services, free!


March 15, 2017 at 11:00AM
http://ift.tt/2msGCfj

SPI 257: The Incredible Story Behind Kelsey Baldwin’s Business, Paper and Oats

Sometimes, when life throws us a curveball, taking a risk on a brand new entrepreneurial journey is the last thing on our minds. That wasn’t the case for Kelsey Baldwin of Paper & Oats, who rebounded from a major setback by selling digital products and courses online.

Kelsey made the leap into entrepreneurship after learning she was going to be a single mom. It was a shocking turn of events for Kelsey, but thanks to some expert planning, drive, and skill as a graphic designer, she transitioned from her nine-to-five job at a design agency to freelancing and selling her designs online. Today, she continues to run a thriving business educating fellow designers through her online courses and selling digital products through Etsy and PaperandOats.com.

Kelsey’s resourcefulness and resilience is so inspirational to online entrepreneurs like me. Listen in to hear her advice for recovering from life’s setbacks, and how she’s built a thriving online empire one piece at a time.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Kelsey for joining me this week. Until next time!



You’ll Learn

  • How Kelsey built her successful business selling digital products and courses online.
  • How Kelsey transitioned from her full-time job into full-time entrepreneurship.
  • Project management and productivity tips for solo entrepreneurs.
  • The ins and outs of selling digital products on Etsy.
  • Why and how Kelsey transitioned from digital products to online courses.
  • What Kelsey made from the first launch of her first online course.
  • How Kelsey’s online business impacted her life as a new parent.
  • Kelsey’s advice for embracing entrepreneurship in the wake of setbacks.
  • A free resource for digital product sellers, and more!

Resources

Sponsors

  • 99Designs

    $99 Power Pack of services, free!


March 15, 2017 at 11:00AM
http://ift.tt/2msGCfj

Less is More: Guide To Becoming a Minimalist

Are you looking to become a minimalist and start minimal living? This blog post will help you manage a minimalist wardrobe, a minimalist house, and more!Are you interested in becoming a minimalist? Or, maybe you just want to get rid of some clutter and extra nonsense in your life?

Whatever your reason may be, cutting back on the number of things you own can help you in many ways.

Here are some interesting facts about how clutter impacts our lives:

  • The average house has 300,000 items.
  • Nearly 10% of households also rent a self-storage unit.
  • The average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find.
  • Every day the average office worker spends 1.5 hours looking for things.
  • In a recent survey, 55% of consumers stated they would save anywhere from 16 to 60 minutes a day if they were organized.
  • 23% of people pay bills late and have to pay late fees because they are unable to find their bills.
  • In the last few decades, the average home has nearly tripled in size.

If you’re looking for blog posts on how to become a minimalist, then you’ve come to the right place.

The blog posts in this guide will help you to start living a minimalist life, teach you how to declutter, have a minimalist home, maintain a minimalist wardrobe, and have minimalist finances. Enjoy!

Here is how to live a minimalist life:

 

How to start minimal living.

The average person has a lot of extra stuff in their life. Too many clothes, electronics that have been tossed to the side, useless furniture, books and papers you’re never going to read again, and more.

Why not get rid of some of this extra stuff?

Whether you’re looking to make extra cash, save more money, or if your primary objective is to declutter your home, there are many items around your house that you can probably get rid of.

Here are a few posts to get you started with your minimalist life.

 

How to have a minimalist house.

The average home size in 1950 was less than 1,000 square feet. Fast forward to 2013, the average home size has increased to nearly 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

There are many benefits to downsizing your home. You can possibly save more money, have less clutter, spend less time on maintenance, and more.

If you’re interested in downsizing your home and/or becoming a minimalist, I recommend reading the blog posts below.

 

How to have a minimalist wardrobe.

Clutter sucks, that’s for sure. Clutter can cause you to lose things, it can cost you money, and more. Plus, clutter always seems to get in the way.

A lot of the time, clutter comes from having too many clothing items. The average person has way too many clothes, and this can hold you back. You may spend too much money on clothing or maybe you just spend too much of your time thinking about clothes. Here’s something to think about, the average successful person has a minimal amount of clothing.

 

How to have minimalist finances.

Between managing retirement, paying bills, handling credit cards, saving for things in life you want, and more, managing your financial life can be difficult.

Due to this, I am often looking for ways to make managing my financial life easier, because there are times when handling everything can seem so hectic and stressful.

Making everything simpler and easier means that I can have more time to spend on other areas of my life, while worrying less about what I may be forgetting.

Related tip: I recommend that you check out Personal Capital (a free service) if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better, as it allows you to gain control of your investment and retirement accounts, whereas Mint.com does not. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation, your cash flow, detailed graphs, and more. You can also connect accounts, such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more.  Plus, it’s FREE.

 

How to be a minimalist and live in an RV or tiny home.

Have you ever thought about living in an RV? If not, you should!

I didn’t really start my minimalist lifestyle until I started traveling full-time. If you want to travel full-time, becoming a minimalist is pretty much a given!

Check out these blog posts to learn how to become an RVer and a minimalist.

Are you interested in being a minimalist and minimal living? Please share the URLs to your favorite minimalist articles in the comments below!

 

The post Less is More: Guide To Becoming a Minimalist appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.


March 15, 2017 at 04:30AM
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My February 2017 Monthly Income Report

Welcome to my second Income Report for 2017! It seems like this year is one of those years that’s going to fly by, because I felt like it was just yesterday that my January 2017 income report was published.

I’m always happy to share my progress with you. Sometimes things go well and the numbers climb higher, and other months the numbers decrease. Either way, it’s really not about the numbers at all, but about what made those numbers happen. It’s about the lessons I learned, and both the wins and failures I experience, shared to help you as you grow and scale your own online business.

February was an intense month for a number of reasons: a new course launch, some amazing speaking opportunities coming up in March, new features on the SPI blog, and more.

So, without further delay, let’s dive right in!


Income Summary

  • Last month: $157,131.95
  • This month: $148,006.60
  • Last 12 months: $1,719,193.06

Expenses Summary

  • Last month: $36,636.00
  • This month: $44,293.78
  • Last 12 months: $466,873.99

Net Profit Summary

  • Last month: $120,495.95
  • This month: $103,712.82
  • Last 12 months: $1,252,319.07

For the complete breakdown of income and expenses, visit the full report here »

Important Lesson Learned in February

During the launch, when the whole Amazon thing was going down (literally), I was a little sick to my stomach. After all of that planning, and all the time since the beta launch last year to get it right, I just couldn’t believe that it happened.

I’ve learned from the past one very important lesson, though. The things you can’t control, you shouldn’t waste time over. Yes, you’re going to get angry, and be frustrated, and get upset, and that’s totally okay. But reacting in a way that makes things even worse, that takes you away from the things you can control. That’s not good.

I decided to hang out with my family during the downtime. Nothing else makes me feel better.

I shot a few videos, which was good to pass some of the time, but I decided to just stop working and hang out with the family. Nothing else helps me remember why I do what I do more than when I’m with my kids.

They were a little surprised to see me come out of my office, actually. I had told them ahead of time that the launch period was going to definitely take up a bunch of my time. Again, another reason I love April. She understands the ebbs and flows of my work as an entrepreneur. Sometimes we’ll be on vacation and I can help take care of the kids, and other times, I’ll be in launch mode and she knows to sort of take massive charge during those times. It’s so helpful.

I also had a conversation with my right-hand man on my team, Matt, just being honest about my feelings, and he sent this back, which really made me feel a lot better:

matt

Thanks, Matt. I needed that. And it confirmed that there was nothing we could really do on some of this stuff, and the team was behind me all the way.

To know that my family was there, and my team too, it was a good reminder for me that it’s the people we surround ourselves with that matter the most. Sometimes that’s not always apparent and we may not always “need” them, but during times when things seem out of control, they are definitely there to help keep us up.

What an incredibly exhilarating month! I’m so thankful for the experiences it provided me, and with the success of the launch (especially after what happened).What an incredible way to top it off!

Cheers, and thanks again for reading these reports!


March 13, 2017 at 11:00AM
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How To Stay Focused, Get Stuff Done, And Be Successful

Learning how to stay focused can be a difficult task, especially in today’s world where there are distractions from all around us – social media, TV, work, family, relationships, and more. This is why understanding and learning how to stay focused is so important.

Learning how to stay focused and knowing the tips to stay focused can help you succeed with your goal. Here are my tips so that you can reach success! This can help you stay focused studying, in school, on homework, in life, fitness, college, at home, and more!There are many situations in which knowing how to stay focused would help you greatly:

  • When you’re trying to pay off debt.
  • When you want to save more money, such as for retirement or for a vacation.
  • If you want to start a business on the side but feel like you aren’t focused enough to do so.
  • To focus better at work.
  • When you need to balance multiple things while staying focused on all of them, such as working and managing a family.

I’ve always been a very busy person, and learning how to stay focused on my goals and life has helped me to reach my goals and be happier. By knowing how to stay focused, I was able to successfully build a business on the side of my full-time job, I was able to work full-time and go to school full-time to earn my MBA, and more.

By staying focused, I’ve been able to concentrate on the task at hand and my goals so that I can be successful.

And, this is why it is important that you know how to stay focused as well.

  • By staying focused, you may finally be able to work towards paying pay off your debt.
  • By staying focused, you may finally be able stop living paycheck to paycheck.
  • By staying focused, you may finally be able to start that business you’ve been wanting to start.

And so on, and so on.

As you can see, learning how to stay focused can help you stay motivated and succeed with your goal.

Related content that will help you learn how to stay focused:

Here are my tips on how to stay focused:

 

Realize why you want to stay focused.

Whenever you have a tough time staying focused, you should think about why you need to focus. That reason is the goal you are working towards, and you’ll most likely be able to stay better focused because of that goal.

Through creating a list of your priorities, goals, and the things in life that are important to you, you’ll be able to focus better by eliminating the extra noise that is holding you back.

This is because you’ll know and see exactly what is important to you, and you’ll be able to better differentiate between things that are important and those that are not.

So, if your goal is to start a side business that will one day become your full-time business, you should think about this whenever working on your side business feels too difficult.

Another example would be if you are trying to pay off debt and you want to better focus on your debt payoff plan. If you want to stay better focused on your goal, you should think about why you want to pay off your debt, how you will feel once you reach your goal, and so on.

By thinking about your goal and what will happen once you reach your goal, you’ll be much more motivated to stay focused, even if times become hectic or if you don’t think that you have the energy to continue on.

 

Exercise often.

Exercising is great for many reasons, and one of them is that it can help you to stay focused.

Whenever I feel like I can’t focus on something, I like to go for a hike or walk my dog in order to clear my thoughts and to think better.

According to Harvard Medical School:

Exercise helps memory and thinking through both direct and indirect means. The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells… Indirectly, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety.

To improve your focus, the recommendation is to regularly exercise, 30 minutes a session for five days a week.

 

Breaks are your friend if you want to learn how to stay focused.

Trying to focus TOO hard on a task can actually backfire.

Instead, you should take the occasional break.

Many people believe that you shouldn’t take breaks if you are trying to focus on something, but breaks are important if you are figuring out how to stay focused on a task.

A break could mean:

  • Going for a walk
  • Meditating
  • Exercising
  • Talking to someone

The key to taking a successful break is to be realistic with your time.

Obviously, taking 10 breaks in one hour may not be too helpful. Instead, you need to be realistic with your breaks because if you break focus too often from your work, then you could be hurting yourself as well.

 

Think about your goals.

A big factor in staying focused is to remember why you are wanting to reach your goal. If there is no reason, then it would be very hard to stay motivated.

You should envision what your life will be like once you reach your goal, why you are trying so hard to reach it, and so on. A little daydreaming can go a long way every now and then.

If your goal is debt payoff, then your reason is probably so that you can stop living a stressful paycheck to paycheck life. Just think what a debt free life would be like! This will help you better understand the ways to stay focused so that you can keep working hard.

 

Organize your life.

Being unorganized can waste a significant amount of your time and can lead a person to lose focus, pay late fees, stress, lose items, and more.

Whatever you are trying to focus on, organization is key.

Just think about it: If you need something but cannot find it, you will most likely lose focus on whatever it is that you were doing. This makes it more difficult to become focused or to stay concentrated on a task because your mind will be all over the place.

Being organized is a big part of knowing how to stay focused because it helps you stay on task and finish whatever it is that you were trying to do.

Here are some surprising statistics about being unorganized:

  • The average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find.
  • Every day the average office worker spends 1.5 hours looking for things.
  • In a recent survey, 55% of consumers stated they would save anywhere from 16 to 60 minutes a day if they were organized.
  • 23% of people pay bills late and have to pay late fees because they are unable to find their bills.

 

Downsize and declutter.

As you learned above, staying organized can help you keep your concentration and focus. To go along with that, you should also think about downsizing and decluttering.

Downsizing and getting rid of some of your stuff can keep you focused because you’ll have less stuff and items cluttering your mind.

By having less stuff, you won’t have to spend as much time cleaning, repairing and maintaining items, and so on. This will allow you to better focus on the things that you truly want to achieve, such as paying off your debt, starting a business, and so on.

 

Have a to-do list.

If there is something coming up that I know I will not remember, I will create a reminder and add it to my to-do list. This makes managing my life easier because I don’t have to worry about forgetting things, missing payments, etc.

This also connects to the importance of staying organized when learning how to stay focused.

I create reminders for things such as:

  • Business tasks and to-do lists.
  • Appointments.
  • When it’s time to pay estimated quarterly tax payments.
  • Renewing license plate tags for our cars.
  • Paying semiannual bills, such as car insurance.

This all makes sure I know exactly what I need to do. Nothing is ever forgotten, and I don’t even spend time wondering if I forgot something. This gives me more time to stay focused on what truly matters.

 

Outsource certain tasks.

When understanding how to stayed focused on reaching your goals, you may find that outsourcing certain tasks will give you more time and energy to reach those goals.

This may mean doing something such as hiring someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, or do car repairs. This will give you more time to start your business on the side or whatever your goal might be.

In order to outsource effectively and to make sure that it is worth it to outsource, you will want to think about a few things, such as:

  • Could you earn more in that time by outsourcing or would you be better off doing the work yourself?
  • Do you feel comfortable doing the task or would you be better off leaving it to an expert?
  • Would outsourcing the task help you to better focus on your goal?

 

Spend less time on social media.

The average person spends many, many hours on social media each week.

Between Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others it can be quite easy to waste your entire day.

If you find that you are spending too much time on social media and that it is negatively impacting you, you may want to shut down the social media accounts that you are spending too much time on. You can even create a time block so you cannot access your accounts during certain periods of the day, and so on.

By spending less time on social media, you won’t have as many time wasting distractions that make figuring out how to stay focused so difficult.

Just think about what you could do with a few extra hours a day if you stopped spending as much time on social media!

 

Watch less TV and stay concentrated.

I love a good TV show, but I can honestly say that I watch too much TV. The average person watches TV for over 35 hours a week!

Can you imagine what you could do by reclaiming just half of those hours each week?

By watching less TV, you’ll have more time to focus on your goals.

Just like social media, think about what you could do with a few extra hours a day if you stopped watching TV!

 

Have less clothing options.

The average successful person has a very limited set of clothing options, as this way they have more time to focus on things that truly matter.

By finding items that already match one another and having a smaller wardrobe, you’ll have more time to focus on other more important things.

 

Make your goal visual.

When learning how to stay focused, one of the best ways is to make your goal visual.

Having your goal displayed in front of you can make it that much more real, plus it’s nice to have a constant reminder of what you’re working towards.

Various ways to make your goal visual include:

  • Create a graphic that demonstrates your goal. An example of this would be if your goal is to pay off your house. You could have a picture of a house sectioned into 100 pieces. Then, each time you reach a small payoff goal, you can color a piece in. I did some research and found a blog post about many other creative ways to do this on A Cultivated Nest.
  • Keep a picture of your goal on hand. Whether your goal is a vacation, starting a business, an item you want, or something else, having a picture can keep you reminded of it.
  • Start a blog. Blogging greatly helped me with my goals. I could easily look back to see how I was doing. Plus, I felt like I had to keep myself accountable and keep improving due to the fact that everything was public. If interested, you can start a blog for cheap with my easy tutorial.

 

Start saying no more often.

If you say yes to everything, but you are ready to pull your hair out, then you may want to start saying no.

Limiting the things you are accountable for can teach you how to stay focused on one thing. It can also allow you to have more time to focus on what you truly want by simplifying your life.

 

Stay motivated.

Even with how much I love saving money, every now and then it becomes easy to get unmotivated and want to SPEND ALL THE MONEY!

I’m sure I’m not alone either.

While many choose to live a frugal life, it’s not always easy. Some have large amounts of debt to pay off, others find it hard to stick to a budget, and more.

Finding financial motivators will help you continue to work hard towards your goal, even when it seems impossible. Without motivation, one might give up on a financial goal quite easily. This is why it’s so important to learn how to stay motivated.

Read more at Paying Off Debt And Budgeting: Tricks For Staying Motivated.

 

Think before you multi-task.

Some people can multitask successfully, but with the large amount of time it takes to refocus on a new task, many people cannot.

So, if you are constantly switching back and forth, you will have to spend extra time refocusing each time you switch from one task to another.

Think about your strengths and weaknesses to understand whether or not multitasking actually helps you save time. For the most part, single-tasking will allow you to simplify your life and focus better.

Do you know how to stay focused? What tips do you have to share with all of us on how to stay focused?

The post How To Stay Focused, Get Stuff Done, And Be Successful appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.


March 13, 2017 at 04:25AM
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SPI 256: Productivity and Frameworks with Mike Vardy from Productivityist

Productivity Month is in full swing at Smart Passive Income, and who better to join this episode than Productivityist.com‘s Mike Vardy? Mike’s a master of productivity and frameworks for getting it all done, and he’s here with an awesome collection of tips and strategies for overhauling your efficiency.

For Mike, productivity means “marrying your intentions with the right amount of attention.” It’s an approach that allows him to make serious headway on his business goals while pursuing his own passion projects and spending quality time with his family. If that sounds like your idea of time well spent, you’ll definitely want to hear what Mike has to say!

In this episode, you’ll hear Mike’s most recommended tips for scheduling your time, organizing your commitments, boosting your output, and planning for the future. You’ll also hear his approach to dealing with inevitable distractions and curve balls, plus common efficiency pitfalls and time-wasters.

Optimizing your productivity is an ongoing process for any entrepreneur—myself included! Tune in for some seriously valuable expert advice on getting a hold of your time spent working.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Ask a question over on AskPat.com.
  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Mike for joining me this week. Until next time!



You’ll Learn

  • A day-by-day walkthrough of Mike’s productive workflow.
  • Mike’s favorite productivity tools, apps, and platforms.
  • The importance of assigning “themes” to your work days.
  • How to theme your days even if you work a nine-to-five job.
  • Tips and strategies for managing your inbox.
  • How to deal with inevitable distractions and surprise opportunities.
  • Why Mike believes the brain is a factory, not a warehouse.
  • Strategies for running more productive meetings.
  • Mike’s journey to becoming a productivity expert.
  • A free resource for getting started with Mike’s favorite productivity system, and more!

Resources

Sponsors

  • GoDaddy

    Use code SMART30 for 30% off new domains!


March 08, 2017 at 11:00AM
http://ift.tt/2n6nyUQ

SPI 256: Productivity and Frameworks with Mike Vardy from Productivityist

Productivity Month is in full swing at Smart Passive Income, and who better to join this episode than Productivityist.com‘s Mike Vardy? Mike’s a master of productivity and frameworks for getting it all done, and he’s here with an awesome collection of tips and strategies for overhauling your efficiency.

For Mike, productivity means “marrying your intentions with the right amount of attention.” It’s an approach that allows him to make serious headway on his business goals while pursuing his own passion projects and spending quality time with his family. If that sounds like your idea of time well spent, you’ll definitely want to hear what Mike has to say!

In this episode, you’ll hear Mike’s most recommended tips for scheduling your time, organizing your commitments, boosting your output, and planning for the future. You’ll also hear his approach to dealing with inevitable distractions and curve balls, plus common efficiency pitfalls and time-wasters.

Optimizing your productivity is an ongoing process for any entrepreneur—myself included! Tune in for some seriously valuable expert advice on getting a hold of your time spent working.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Ask a question over on AskPat.com.
  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Mike for joining me this week. Until next time!



You’ll Learn

  • A day-by-day walkthrough of Mike’s productive workflow.
  • Mike’s favorite productivity tools, apps, and platforms.
  • The importance of assigning “themes” to your work days.
  • How to theme your days even if you work a nine-to-five job.
  • Tips and strategies for managing your inbox.
  • How to deal with inevitable distractions and surprise opportunities.
  • Why Mike believes the brain is a factory, not a warehouse.
  • Strategies for running more productive meetings.
  • Mike’s journey to becoming a productivity expert.
  • A free resource for getting started with Mike’s favorite productivity system, and more!

Resources

Sponsors

  • GoDaddy

    Use code SMART30 for 30% off new domains!


March 08, 2017 at 11:00AM
http://ift.tt/2n6nyUQ

How I Made $160,211.27 Last Month Blogging

Welcome to February’s business income report where I show you how I made money online last month. It’s time to look at this month’s update and see how I did.

Here's how Michelle made $160,211.27 last month blogging. Yes, you can actually make money blogging! Here are her tips, exactly what she's working on, and more, so that she can earn a living from home.If you’re new to Making Sense of Cents, you may be wondering why I would want to publish my income report each month. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here.

This all started out as my extra income report because in the beginning, it was all about the money I was earning from my side jobs. In my side income reports from the beginning, I included all of the income I made except for what I made at my day job.

However, I left my day job as a financial analyst in October of 2013 and now my monthly income reports consist of the many ways I earn a living.

Many have asked why I would ever want to publicly post my income each month. Some think I’m crazy, whereas some are glad I’m open about what I’m doing. Whatever you think, I enjoy publishing my monthly online income reports and I share them publicly for three main reasons:

  1. Before I started blogging, I knew nothing about side hustling and making money online. I didn’t think side jobs were worth the effort and I thought the only way to significantly increase your income was through raises at your full-time job. If it weren’t for others publishing their monthly income reports, I don’t know if I would have ever tried side hustling. I want to help show others the positives in side hustling and how it can change a person’s life. There are many different ways to make money online, and I like to share my story each month to help motivate others to improve their financial situation by making more money.
  2. Secondly, I like to publish my income reports because it’s a way for me to look back, learn from my mistakes and actually see what areas need improvement. I use my monthly income reports as a way to track how I’ve done and I treat it sort of like a journal.
  3. Lastly, I like to show others that making side money is possible and that there are many legitimate ways to make money from your home. If you are looking for information on the many ways to make money online, I published the article Monthly Income Report Roundup that showcases many successful bloggers who are kind enough to share their income with the public each month.

I know I say this every month, but it’s the truth. Life is great now that I’m my own boss and a full-time blogger. I look forward to each and every day and it’s a wonderful feeling. I truly love waking up every single morning.

Above are just a few of the reasons for why I enjoy publishing my monthly income reports. I like to show others that you don’t have to hate your job and hate your life. You can make changes to your life and make money in a way that allows you to truly enjoy the life you are living. I’m not saying that you have to LOVE your job, I’m just saying that your job should, at least, allow you to do what you like to do outside of work (whether that be spending time with loved ones, painting, hiking, etc.).
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How was business income in February of 2017?

I earned $160,211.27 blogging and online in February, before expenses.

This makes February of 2017 my highest income month so far for my blogging business and it was a great month all around. I never thought that I would ever earn over $100,000 a month, especially through a blog, and it’s crazy to think about how I earned over $160,000 last month alone.

While my income levels now are high, I do want everyone to remember that I started at $0 a month and have grown my income to where it’s at now through a lot of hard work.

Before you think that $100 or even $1,000 is out of your league, you should remember that it is not!

I, myself, used to think that it would be great to one day earn $1,000 online and through my blog. I looked up to many bloggers who were earning over $10,000 a month, and I thought that was impossible.

Now, I’m here to show everyone that it is possible! Through hard work and dedication, you never know where life may lead you.

This great business income month was because of a few different things that happened and that I’ve been working on lately:

  • I helped promote a friend’s course launch on an affiliate income basis, and this helped me earn five figures just from the five days that the course was open for sale. I don’t usually promote products heavily through a launch because I favor a more passive income source of affiliate income, but this is a great course so I wanted to help promote it. You can sign up for the waitlist for the next time it goes on sale by clicking here.
  • I had a feature in Forbes which generated over 50,000 new visitors to Making Sense of Cents (amazing!). This feature led to many new email subscribers, many great emails from new readers, and more.
  • I’m focusing on diversifying my income. In 2016, I finally created my first for-sale product, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. This helped me to diversify my business and try a new form of income. Now, my business income primarily consists of affiliate marketing, a product, sponsorships, and advertising, which is a mix that I’m very happy with. Also, I’m making a better effort at diversifying my affiliate income as well, so that I earn a larger share of income from different companies.
  • I’m focusing on my email list. I didn’t start taking my email list seriously until around April of 2016 when I switched to Convertkit. Convertkit makes sending an effective and efficient newsletter so much easier and better. I never really understood email marketing before, but ConvertKit makes it so easy and now I feel like I’m an expert! I now have over 40,000 email subscribers. One of my biggest blogging mistakes was waiting years to start my email list. If you don’t have one yet, you should start ASAP!
  • I’m spending more time on Facebook. I started 2016 with just around 6,500 Facebook followers and ended the year with 38,000. At the end of February of 2017, I was already at 53,000. I owe a lot of that to the ebook Facebook Strategies Worth Sharing. Growing my Facebook page has allowed me to reach new readers, improve my blogging income, grow my email list, and more.

As you can see, February was another great month. It was great on all fronts – blogging, course-wise, life, and everything else.

I’m very excited for 2017. I know it will be another great year! The business is doing well and I’m very happy with it. I’ve been catching myself saying “Life is really good” a LOT. And, I truly mean it. Life is really good!

My business is growing, income is increasing, I have tons of amazing ideas for 2017, and I am very excited about everything. I really love my business and I don’t know where I would be without it.

My Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course is still doing very well and I had many new students join the course last month. I think a lot of this has to do with all of the amazing reviews that I’m hearing about my course such as:

  • One blogger went from $0 in Amazon affiliate income to over $1,500 after taking the course.
  • One blogger went from $87 a month in affiliate income before taking the course, to over $1,700 a month after!
  • One blogger received their first affiliate sale just two days after taking the course (and they were a brand new blogger too!).
  • Another blogger doubled their monthly affiliate income from $2,500 to $5,000.

Plus, I’ve heard and read many other great reviews about my course.

If you’re a blogger, I recommend checking out my blogging course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you need to check out this course.

If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $2.75 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free website domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase, at least, 12 months of blog hosting. FYI, if you are asking yourself “can you make money blogging?” – my top tip is to be self-hosted. This is essential if you want to monetize your blog as you will appear more professional and this will help you monetize your blog tremendously. My blogging income did not take off until after I switched to self-hosted WordPress.

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Here is my blogging income chart that displays my income for the past 2 years.

This chart only goes back to July of 2015. You can find all of my income reports here.

Breakout of February 2017 income – $160,211.27:

In February of 2017, I earned $160,211.27 from my blog. Below is how my income breaks apart in the different blogging income categories:

Total: $160,211.27

The income amount above is for the month of February and before any fees or expenses (some fees and expenses that lower the amount above total around $4,000 (rounded up), which include virtual assistants, Teachable course platform fee, technical assistance, newsletter expenses, PayPal fees, Stripe fees, etc., however, this does not include taxes) being taken out. I also had expenses for the affiliates promoting my course, which totaled $9,712.50. After expenses and fees, I made approximately $146,498.77.

Please keep in mind that I work for myself when you read my monthly income report. This means I have to cover taxes (which are over 30%), health insurance, and all other benefits/expenses that an employer may provide.

Check out The Ultimate Guide To Making Money Blogging for all of the different ways you can make money through a blog.

Below are some of my other monthly online income reports. I publish an online income update every month but only included some of them below as it would be a very long list. If you head on over to my income page you can find all of my monthly income reports from the past few years.

 

Comparisons and 2017 online income total:

  • Total income in February of 2017: $160,211
  • Total income in January of 2017: $139,233
  • Difference from the previous month: +20,978
  • Total in 2017: $299,444

 

Blog news 

Making Sense of Cents is doing very well and I’m happy with how everything is going.

There are three things I’m thinking about (in no particular order):

  1. I’ve been debating continuing to publish income reports. If you find them helpful, please let me know in the comments below. If there’s something you’d like me to start adding to my income reports as well, let me know that too. I really just want to make sure that my income reports are helpful. I still find reading other people’s income reports and business updates helpful, but I want to make sure that others do too.
  2. I’m thinking about lowering the number of blog posts I publish this summer. I am thinking about going down to 1-2 posts a week, instead of my current 2-3 a week. This will only be for the months of June, July, and August. The summer months are usually slower for blogs due to everyone enjoying the nicer weather and their summer vacations. By lowering the amount I am posting this may help me to have a better work-life balance during the summer so that I can enjoy the months more as well.
  3. I’m thinking about increasing the amount that I spend on advertising on Facebook and Pinterest, and overall investing in the blogging business more. As you can tell each month, my blog business expenses are quite low. I want to start investing more in the business, such as through advertising so that I can reach new readers, and improve website traffic, subscribers, and income.

My feature in Forbes from January is still bringing in some traffic and I’m still loving it. You can read my feature here – How This 27 Year Old Made Nearly $1,000,000 in 2016.

I’m starting to guest post on other websites in order to promote my blog better and reach new readers. I think I’ve only guest posted once or twice ever since I started blogging in 2011, so this is something that I’m looking to change. I am going to try to guest post on someone else’s website at least once a month for the next year and see how that works out.

Overall, traffic for the month was around 520,000 page views. Referral traffic decreased last month, but that was expected since January is usually the best month for financial websites. That being said, my goal is to reach 1,000,000 monthly page views in 2017, so I will be spending a lot of my time trying to reach new readers.

Below are several blog-related updates:

  • I released my How To Start A Blog FREE Course a few months ago. If you’ve been wanting to start a blog, then check this out. I created this email course for those who are interested in starting a blog, but haven’t done so yet. The course is free, and over 15,000 people have already signed up just in the past few months. Thank you to everyone who has sent me kind emails about how great the course is. I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner!
  • Due to how well my first free course went, in August I created the free Master Your Money email course. It’s full of great money management lessons and financial worksheets (such as a free budget template), and I’m loving the positive response from this email course as well.
  • I have plans for my third free email course and I will most likely put that together sometime this spring.
  • This month or next, I will hopefully be creating a free personal finance support group on Facebook. I’m extremely excited for this to be live! This would be a place where everyone can talk about money freely, seek support and help, and so on.

Also, I have received many questions recently about how I’m staying connected to the internet so that I can work and travel in my RV at the same time. I use a Verizon Mifi and I am able to stay connected pretty much anywhere with it. It really comes in handy because you can’t always trust free wifi. Sometimes free wifi is slow, hard to find, or not safe. I don’t know what I would do without this device! I am also currently testing out a new unlimited internet option through AT&T, which should help me save money. For right now, I have both Verizon and AT&T, but I plan on changing that in the next few months after I figure out which one is better.

Popular new posts on Making Sense of Cents last month:

 

Featured Question: What are some affiliate program ideas for different niches?

I feature one question from a reader in each monthly income report. Please leave a comment below if you have a question that you would like me to answer. 

After last month’s Featured Question (What are easy affiliate programs for new bloggers?), some of you asked me for the top affiliate programs in other niches.

I’ve heard from numerous bloggers that they cannot find affiliate programs for the specific niche that they are in.

Well, let me tell you, you’re not looking hard enough if you can’t find any affiliate programs.

Every niche has affiliate programs, and there is an affiliate program for the majority of products that are out there. Most products will have affiliate programs, so the list is endless.

To find the specific affiliate programs mentioned below, they may be linked directly, you may have to find them within an affiliate network (such as Shareasale), click on “Affiliates” or something similar within the footer, and so on. If you’re not in my affiliate marketing course, you may want to purchase it because I teach you exactly how to find affiliate programs and how to get approved to them as well.

Here are some affiliate programs that you may want to look into according to your niche:

As you can see, there are many, many affiliate programs for each and every niche to choose from. If you enjoy a product, there is probably an affiliate program for it.

If you’re interested in affiliate marketing, then I recommend taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. In this course, I list out over 80 possible affiliate programs for different niches, I teach you exactly how to apply for affiliate programs (and get approved for them!), the affiliate income strategies you need to implement so that you can earn passive income on your blog, and more.

Past featured questions:

 

My plans for my blog and my business.

Plans and goals can help you run a successful business. I believe that working towards a goal can help keep a person motivated too.

Below are some of the areas I am currently working on:

  • Earn $1,000,000 from my business in 2017. This is a new goal for 2017. Many of you have asked why I didn’t increase my goal to $2,000,000 for 2017 since I was so close to $1,000,000 in 2016 already. Well, the main reason for that is because my overall goal for the year is to have a better work-life balance, and instead earn more passive income from my blogging business.
  • Have a better work-life balance. This is my main goal for the year. While I have an okay work-life balance, I would like to be able to take a break from my blog without constantly checking my phone or laptop. I love my business, so that makes it hard for me to step away from it, even for just a few hours.
  • Get at least three months ahead on Making Sense of Cents posts. I am currently 2 months ahead in content. Before the end of the month (March 2017), I would like to be at least 3 months ahead in content. Being ahead in content makes life much more enjoyable because I can focus on other things knowing that the majority of my writing work is already done. We plan on visiting many new places this spring and summer, and we just booked a 2-week sailing trip, so I am trying to get as far ahead as I can in preparation for no internet (or really bad internet service).
  • Grow Making Sense of Cents to 1,000,000 monthly page views. I would love to help more readers, see even more engagement, have higher traffic, and so on. I love my blog and I would love to see it grow! I’m hoping to see at least 1,000,000 monthly page views by the end of 2017.
  • Start doing more live interviews, such as podcasts and webinars. I’m not as shy as I used to be, but living in an RV and not always having internet or a reliable schedule makes podcasts and webinars are a little more difficult. I hope to find a way around that (perhaps planning out a better schedule?) and dedicate more time to this area.
  • Create one more product to sell. In 2016, I created Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and that has completely changed my life and my business. I want to think about and create another product to sell in 2017 so that I can continue to diversify my income.
  • Promote the blog and business better. I am doing much better at promoting my blog and content, and I’m noticing an improvement. I started focusing more on improving my traffic from Facebook, and I’ve been very pleased with the results. I used to only see around 100 visits a day from Facebook, but for the past few months, I have been seeing around 2,000+ visits a day from Facebook.
  • Continue learning and improving. I currently have a few blog courses that I’m working through.

 

Affiliate income results.

In February of 2017, I earned $100,151.27 in affiliate income, as outlined earlier in this blog income report. This is my best month ever for affiliate income and I’m extremely happy about it.

I don’t expect it to be this high in April of 2017, as I had one main launch for an affiliate product that was only for sale for a few days between February and March as discussed above.

I’m a very big fan of affiliate income, of course. It’s something that I enjoy due to how passive it can be. It makes full-time traveling much more enjoyable when I know I can bring in an income while having fun seeing new areas.

As I always say, blogging income is not dependent on page views. Even brand new bloggers can make money through affiliate marketing. If you know the correct way to promote a product, you can succeed at affiliate marketing. This is one of the main things I teach in my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.

My affiliate marketing course went live in July of 2016. I’ve already had over 1,600 people purchase the course, and I’d love to have you as a student too!

In Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, there are 6 modules, over 30 lessons, several worksheets, bonuses, an extremely helpful and exclusive Facebook group, and more. I go through everything that you need to know about affiliate marketing, such as:

  • A quick introduction to affiliate marketing and how it works
  • The benefits of affiliate marketing
  • The exact steps I’ve taken to earn over $500,000 from a single blog post
  • How to correctly pick affiliate products to promote
  • The steps to increase your conversion rate
  • 80+ Affiliate program ideas for different niches
  • How to build trust with your readers (this is a MUST!)
  • The required disclosures you need to know about
  • The major tool you need for affiliate marketing
  • The many different strategies to promote your affiliate links

My course is anything and everything about affiliate marketing. This course is perfect for you whether you are a new blogger or if you’ve been blogging for years, no matter what topic your blog is about, what country you live in, and so on.

I wrote this course so that it would benefit everyone, and there is so much to learn from it.

How was February for you? Are you interested in earning blogging income?

The post How I Made $160,211.27 Last Month Blogging appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.


March 08, 2017 at 05:45AM
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A Post about Post-Vacation Blues: How to Quickly Get Back into Work Mode

A Post About Vacation How to Quickly Get Back into Work Mode image of palm trees and hammock

Before I get into this post, I’d like to make it clear that this is a re-published post. The first part of the post will be new content about my recent vacation in 2016, and the second part will about my post-vacation blues in 2013.

The reason I am pitting the two up against each other is this:

I want you to get a sense of the type of business owner I was then, back in 2013, and the type of business owner I am now. It’s pretty fascinating to see the change and growth I’ve made in my business and life, from my organizational skills to my personal discipline.

And, I think you can get a lot out of comparing the two experiences. A sort of what to do, and what not to do for your own post-vacation self!

In 2013, after my vacation, I experienced a bout of post-vacation blues. In 2016, after my vacation, I didn’t.

Here’s why.

My 2016 Australia Vacation

As many people know, I recently came back from an amazing family vacation in Australia. And, you know what?

I came back more fired up than ever.

When I was in Australia, it was almost the new year, and I couldn’t stop thinking about 2017 and the projects I had already started to plan, from Smart from Scratch, to my second book, and even my fitness and health goals.

Knowing those tasks and goals were already laid out on the other side of my vacation was a huge help. It inspired me to, after a day of jet lag, get right into things. I also knew what my first steps were going to be, which was really important.

The last thing you want to do is start a new block of time (i.e. after a vacation), and say to yourself, “Okay, now what do I do?”

My goal this year has been to get rid of those moments, from the big moments, like after a vacation, to the small moments, like when I go into Monday knowing it’s my writing day. On those Mondays, as an example, the Google Doc is there and open, ready for me to start writing, sometimes with information or relevant comments in there from my team to help me get started.

Beautiful day from our AirBnB in Brisbane, Australia! Happy Summer Holiday! ? #familytime?

A video posted by Pat Flynn (@patflynn) on Dec 19, 2016 at 9:36pm PST

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Our family and cousins at the Brisbane train station.

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Christmas day in our Airbnb! We brought stockings and small gifts from home to hang to make it feel more like home :)

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A cool exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art!

As you can see, we had fun in Australia! But not only was I able to have fun, I was able to feel good about taking that time off from work because I had planned ahead to make sure everything was in order when I returned.

That’s the big difference between my 2016 Australia post-vacation experience and my 2013 Disney Cruise post-vacation experience. In 2013, I wasn’t prepared for what was to come.

Here’s my post after I returned from vacation in 2013.

My 2013 Disney Cruise Vacation

I just got back from an AMAZING vacation with my family that we’ve been planning for over a year: a 7-Day Disney Cruise to the Caribbean preceded by a day exploring Universal Islands of Adventures, where the new attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter lives.

My wife and I are both Disney freaks and fans of Harry Potter, so it was definitely a vacation we could all enjoy!

Here are some pictures:

Disney Cruise 1

Disney Cruise 2

Disney Cruise 3

Disney Cruise 4

As I was planning this trip and making sure all of the details were taken care of—from passports to having the iPad charged for the long plane ride—there was one thing that was worrying me the most.

No, it wasn’t pirates taking over the ship (although Captain Hook did take over the ship for ten minutes during one of the deck shows). What worried me was wondering if the same thing would happen after this trip that happens after almost all of the vacations I’ve taken in the past: Read the rest of this entry

11 Reasons to Choose RV Life

It’s been over a year since me, my husband, and our two dogs started living the RV life full-time.

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!People keep asking us when we will stop traveling, grow up, and buy a house again.

Well, not anytime soon!

While I know that traveling full-time and RV life isn’t for everyone, I also know that I don’t want to live in a “normal” home anytime soon.

Now, don’t get me wrong, living in a house can be great. And, when I owned one, I loved it at the time. However, I just love RV life much, much more.

And, I don’t think I’m alone.

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, in 2016 RV sales reached their highest total since 1977. More than 9,000,000 households own an RV, which is also the highest level ever recorded. And, buyers between the ages of 35 and 54 are the largest segment of RV owners, so there are a lot of other young RVers who are pursuing this lifestyle as well.

Just a few years ago, I never thought I’d live in an RV. It was never a dream of mine or anything like that.

However, one step into an RV and I knew it was for me. Living in our RV full-time has been the best thing ever, and we truly love it.

Since me, my husband and our two dogs began RV life about a year and a half ago, we’ve traveled thousands of miles in our RV, with even more miles put on our Jeep (which we recently turned into an overland vehicle).

We’ve already traveled to many awesome places in our RV, such as:

  • The Pacific Northwest – Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, Hoh National Rainforest, La Push Beach, and many other beautiful places. 
  • Utah (many times) – Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, and many other places.
  • Colorado (many times) – Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument, and many other places.
  • “Home” in Missouri.
  • Mississippi.
  • Arizona – Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Sedona, and many other places.
  • California – This was a part of the Pacific Northwest trip, but we continued on and hopped along beaches all the way to Los Angeles.
  • Wyoming – Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

And much, much more.

We have many plans for this year, which include exploring the west coast some more, possibly hitting up Alaska (if we have time), making it up to Canada, and more. RV life can change quickly, so our plans may change as well. But, that’s the beauty of RV life – you are flexible with where you go!

If you’re interested in RV life, check out these other blog posts on Making Sense of Cents:

Here are 11 reasons to choose RV life:

 

Twin Lakes

You can live by the beach, mountains, desert, and anywhere else.

Living in an RV means that you can live wherever you want to live. The United States has so many beautiful places to see and live, and because it would be hard to just pick one place, RV life allows us to live in as many as we want.

And, it’s more than just going on a vacation, which is nice too, but I love being able to bring my entire home with me. This way I’m not forgetting anything, and because my home is always with me, I still get to live comfortably.

If you want to spend your summer in the mountains and your winter near the beach, you can do that. If you want to do the opposite the following year, you can do that too.

If you want to have your front window open up to a beautiful national park, you can even do that.

By living in an RV, you can choose to live wherever you want.

Trip of a Lifetime

You can spend more time outside.

One of the best things about RV life is that you can park your home wherever you want to. We love being able to do things outdoors, and we usually pick places that make that even easier. So, we like to park next to hiking trails, bike trails, rock climbing routes, and more.

This is great because we can usually just walk or ride our bikes to wherever we want to go, which allows us to spend a ton of time enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

One of my favorite spots we stayed in 2016 was at Pine Cove Campground (pictured below). This was pretty much just a parking lot, but it had great views and it was right on the water. It also provided several hiking trails, mountain biking trails, paddle boarding, and more. Plus, Breckenridge was just a bike ride away with all of it’s yummy food and delicious beers.  It’s a great all-around spot and it was just $20 a night.

 

Pine Cove Campground

It’s amazingly beautiful living in an RV.

You simply cannot beat the views we’ve seen out the window of our RV.

And, there have been many of them.

We’ve seen beautiful national parks right outside our window, amazing mountain ranges, desert landscapes, lake views, wild animals, and more.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

 

Our dogs love RV life.

Okay, so I can’t be exactly 100% sure about this since my dogs can’t talk to me, but they seem pretty happy whenever they are able to explore new places (like the picture above), sniff new things, go on long hikes, and so on.

Our dogs are much more active now than they ever were before and seem pretty happy to me.

 

You can follow the weather.

Since we can park our home wherever we want, we can follow the weather. We like to stay in temperatures that are just perfect – somewhere around 70 degrees year round.

Following the weather is something that we truly love.

After all, who wants to be too cold or too hot?

Thankfully, the RV life lets us just leave whenever the temperature is something that we don’t fully enjoy.

We really only have clothes for one season, so we avoid places that are cold. I pretty much wear dresses, sandals, shorts, and/or tank tops year round, which is really nice and comfortable.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

Downsizing is liberating.

Living in an RV means that you’ll have to downsize. While some people dread this, getting rid of nearly all of your stuff is extremely liberating.

When we sold our house and moved into an RV, we donated and got rid of a lot of our belongings. At first it was difficult to get rid of so much, but it became easier as time went on.

These days, all we have is what we have with us. We have a small amount of everything, and we like it best this way.

We are much more mindful of what we buy, we waste hardly anything, and this is allowing us to save money as well.

Plus, when you’re RVing, you no longer have a need to buy as much stuff because the outdoors take up all of your time. Before we would waste time going to the mall, Target, and other stores- but we hardly ever do that now. Instead, we spend a lot of our time exploring new places.

Read more at Downsizing Your Home? Here’s How I Went From A 2,000 Square Foot House To An RV.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

No more yard work or other house work with RV living.

One of the best things about not having a normal home is that we save a lot of time when it comes to routine things that come with a normal house.

This includes dealing with monthly bills, such as electricity, water, sewer, trash, etc. Now we just pay one fee whenever we go somewhere.

We also don’t have as much maintenance and repairs to do. While RVs aren’t perfect, there’s less that goes into an RV than a house, which means that we don’t have to do things like rake leaves, mow the grass, and so on.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

Food tastes better when living in an RV.

Me and Wes always talk about this, but it’s true – meals in an RV always taste better. I think it has to do with always having great views (as mentioned above) and just being happier with life in general.

 

RV living means you can move if you don’t like your neighbors.

I think pretty much everyone has lived next to a neighbor that they didn’t like. The great thing about RV life is that if you have a crazy neighbor or someone who you don’t get along with, then you can just move your home!

And trust me, we have done this a few times in order to get away from some not-so-friendly and/or crazy RVers.

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

You can work and travel at the same time.

Yes, you can do both.

We’ve met many amazing people while RVing. Some are retired, but others are like us and also trying different things in order to make their traveling dreams a reality. I know that thinking about making money while traveling can be a scary thing for many people, but it has really allowed us to live our dream life.

This factor is something that holds many potential full-time travelers back, but it shouldn’t! Don’t let making money on the road hold you back from living your dream, because even though it may seem big, it’s something that can usually be worked around.

Related articles on how to make money while traveling:

To be able to live in an RV full-time, I run an online business which consists mainly of this blog- Making Sense of Cents. It is a lot of fun being able to work and travel at the same time.

At first, I thought it would be difficult. I thought internet would be hard to find, that I would be too distracted, and so on.

I’ve come to find that I’m more motivated than ever when it comes to working, and having a great view out my window each day definitely helps as well.

If I want to take a break from work and go on a hike, I can do that. If I want to go on a mountain bike ride in the morning before I start answering emails, I can do that.

The list goes on and on!

Living in an RV makes traveling and working (and living) much more enjoyable because I can bring my home everywhere I go. I don’t have to worry about forgetting something, bringing a suitcase, or anything – I just have it all with me.

Also, I’ve had a lot of you ask what I’m using for internet. I am using a Verizon MiFi Jetpack. I also have AT&T for our cell phones so that we are always covered. This may sound crazy, but every RVer we’ve met has the same set up.

Note: Read more about how I earn a living on the road.

 

RV life is the best. We've had beautiful views, made great friends, and gone on great adventures. Living in an RV and RV living is something I recommend!

You’ll want to travel full-time for as long as you can.

RV life is a lot of fun, and due to that I know that I want to do this for as long as I can. Our next adventure will be to sail full-time, probably even some backpacking and long cycling trips too.

I’m so glad that I gave RV life a shot in 2015, because my life is so much better due to it.

Are you interested in RV life or traveling full-time? Why or why not?

The post 11 Reasons to Choose RV Life appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.


March 06, 2017 at 04:25AM
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How Jenn Makes Over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week

Today, I have a fun interview to share with you that will show you how to start an online store. I recently had the chance to interview Jenn Leach of E-commerce and Prosper, who explains exactly how to start an online store and make extra income.

Interested in learning how to start an online store? Here's how Jenn makes over $10,000 a month with her ecommerce business in less than 10 hours per week.Jenn is a corporate mom turned e-commerce store owner and blogger.

She started her online business a little over three years ago and since then she has developed and grown three successful online e-commerce stores earning an average of $19,000 per month.

She only dedicates around 5-10 hours per week on her e-commerce business and is super successful.

If you are looking for a new business or even just a side hustle, learning how to start an online store may be something that you want to look into.

Check out the interview below for more information on how to start an online store.

One last thing before we head to the interview on how to start an online store. Jenn Leach has a course called E-commerce and Prosper that teaches you successfully how to start an online store. She has a rinse and repeat formula that she’s revealing to students in the course. This formula earns her an average of $19,000 per month. In her course you will learn:

  • How to start an online store
  • Winning e-commerce Success Tools
  • How to turbocharge your e-commerce success
  • How to start making money in THREE days

Plus, if you use the coupon code MICHELLE, then you’ll receive $50 off her course.

Related articles on how to start an online store:

Here is how to start an online store:

 

1. Please give us a little background on yourself, how you started an ecommerce business, and how it’s going for you right now.

I’m a Texas-based entrepreneur and blogger over at Drink Coffee & Prosper. I educate readers about working from home, starting a business, blogging, side hustles, and more.  I have an MBA from Texas A&M University and a background in business and finance.  I was working in banking for 10 years before I decided enough was enough and I wanted to finally pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. 

During the final year at my employer I decided to start a business.  I tried many things: freelance writing, selling Twitter fan packages, and more.  I was very unhappy at my job and was really willing to try anything that would allow me to earn a full time income working from home and being an entrepreneur.  After many failed efforts, something finally stuck. 

I opened a women’s fashion retail store on the Storenvy platform.  I made my first sale shortly after launching and soonafter I was earning enough income to quit my day job, so I did!  One year after starting the e-commerce business I quit my day job to pursue entrepreneurship full time.

Fast forward 2.5 years later, I was the owner of 3 e-commerce businesses.  I sold my original online store, restructured the other two, and I’ve added teaching courses and blogging to my repertoire!

My remaining e-commerce business has enjoyed it’s second successful holiday season and is expected to experience some big positive changes and growth in 2017.

 

2. How much do you currently earn through this avenue? How much time do you dedicate towards it?

When all three stores were in rotation, I earned an average of $19,000/month (each store) in revenue. 

My remaining e-commerce store earns $11K-$15K/month operating part time and I dedicate about 5-10 hours/week.

 

3. What exactly is an ecommerce business? Can you explain this more for those who have no idea?

An e-commerce business is a business in which you conduct transactions over the Internet.  You are selling a product or service, making sales and collecting payment online.  So basically, any purchase made online would be an e-commerce transaction.

 

4. What do you like about learning how to start an online store?

I love so many things about this type of business.  First and foremost, the flexibility of being an e-commerce business owner is incredible. 

I’m a mom to a special needs preschooler and wife to a disabled Navy vet.  My schedule is crazy most days of the week, like I’m sure most moms experience.  It’s great to have flexibility to take my son to school in the morning, run an errand, head to a doctor’s appointment, go to a trade show, travel, and more.

I also love connecting with customers one on one.  You get to meet a lot of interesting people and make some awesome connections along the way.

The income potential for an e-commerce business is huge.  You control your destiny.  I like that the opportunity to increase your earnings is unlimited and it feels great to be my own boss and work for myself.

Networking is an opportunity to connect with like-minded peers in your field, learn from each other, make friends, and more. 

 

5. How much can a ecommerce business owner make?

The income potential for an e-commerce business owner is unlimited. 

It’s not uncommon to run into a million-dollar e-commerce owner.

 

6. What steps are needed to learn how to start an online store? 

Creating an e-commerce business is not as difficult as you may think.  Here are the steps involved:

  1. Pick a niche: Decide what you’d like to sell. Examples: apparel, home décor, kids wear, electronics, footwear, etc.
  2. Sourcing: Research where you will purchase your products from.
  3. Set up your e-commerce store: Pick a platform (ex. Shopify), buy your domain name, add products, and customize your store
  4. Promotion: Market your store to get customers and make sales

That’s it.  It’s not a difficult process but it can be time-intensive. 

Picking a niche – Picking a niche and sourcing tend to be the steps that take the most time.  Figuring out what to sell is the most important part of this process.  If you don’t pick a winning category, your store can suffer and you might not see success.  I recommend for those that are new to e-commerce to really take their time with step 1.  It’s not uncommon for it to take a few weeks or even longer to thoroughly research a niche and figure out what kind of product will see successful sales in an e-commerce setting.

Sourcing – Today, with the presence of Internet, sourcing isn’t as difficult as it has been in the past for new e-commerce entrepreneurs.  There are a variety of ways to source your product, both online and in person. 

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of MOQ (minimum order quantity): Your budget can be eaten up quickly if you don’t keep a careful eye on minimum quantities required for products. 
  • Some helpful places to find out more about sourcing: forums. Examples: Wholesale Forum and The Wholesale Forums

E-commerce Store Setup – You’ll pick a platform that you’d like to have your store on.  Some examples: Shopify, WordPress, Volusion, etc.  Set up is usually pretty easy, involving things like adding products, product photos and descriptions, adding your payment method, shipping policy, etc.

Most platforms (like Shopify) will allow you to purchase your domain name through them.  If they don’t, you can purchase domain through GoDaddy or Namecheap (examples)

Promotion – In Steps 1-3, you picked your niche, sourced your products, and completed store set up.  The last piece is marketing and promotion.  This is your effort to get customers to your store.  There are many options to promote e-commerce stores paid and unpaid.  Some examples include: social media, ads, and word of mouth advertising.

 

7. What can a person sell? Where do you find products when starting an online store?

There are several products a person can choose to sell. 

Here are some examples: apparel, footwear, home décor, kids wear, electronics, etc.  You can even sell digital products like printables, workbooks, ebooks, etc.

For physical products, you find products from wholesalers. 

How it works: You purchase a product at the wholesale price, sell it for the retail price, and keep the difference as profit.  For example, a home décor e-commerce store sells a lamp to a customer.  They source that lamp from a wholesaler for $20 and list it at a retail price of $50.  The customer purchases the lamp for $50.  The e-commerce store keeps $30 as profit ($50 retail price minus $20 wholesale price). 

 

8. How does an ecommerce business owner find customers?

There are many ways to find customers.  I’ve had the most success by finding customers through social media.  Some other ways to find customers:

  1. Paid advertising: Ads (examples: Google Adwords), Social media ads (examples: Facebook ads), sponsored posts, paid email blasts, etc.
  2. Unpaid advertising: Social media, word of mouth advertising, etc.

For hopeful ecommerce business owners, I would recommend focusing on social media.  In my first 2 years in business, I relied only on social media and no paid advertising. In fact I did no other advertising at all, just social media and I grew the store to four figures monthly in year 1 and five figures monthly in year 2.  Paid ads are also a great option if you have the budget for them. 

 

9. How much does it cost to start this type of business and how much on a monthly basis to maintain it?

Startup costs can vary depending upon the type of business but generally e-commerce businesses enjoy lower start up costs compared to brick and mortar businesses. 

STARTUP

Some expenses to plan for if you want to learn how to start an online store:

  1. Inventory
  2. Store platform fees
  3. Storage
  4. Shipping materials
  5. Supplies
  6. Equipment

For my e-commerce store, my start up costs were under $100.  This is because I focused on dropshipping in my first year.  Dropshipping means that you are the middleman between the wholesaler and the customer.  Similar to wholesale buying, with dropshipping, the wholesaler ships the product directly to your customer. 

Look at this comparison example:

Inventory held model: Described above (in sourcing), you, the retailer purchase goods from your wholesaler.  You buy a wholesale product at a wholesale price and sell at a retail price, keep the difference as profit.  When your order is received, you have the product in hand, package it, and ship to the customer.

Dropship model: You, the retailer purchase goods from your wholesaler at a wholesale price and charge a retail price, keeping the difference, your profit.  When your order is received, you place the individual order with the wholesaler and they ship the order to your customer.

With dropshipping, expenses are a lot lower because you are not doing the fulfillment, your wholesaler is.  So, there are no packing/materials costs and no storage costs.  Your labor cost is also less because you don’t have to fulfill orders yourself or pay employees to fulfill orders.

My startup costs were very minimal.  I sold in a free marketplace with no membership fees.  I dropshipped orders and did no paid advertising.  The only costs were the cost of the product (that I would only incur after a sale was made) and PayPal fees.

When I transitioned to an inventory held model, my startup costs included:

  • Inventory ($3K-$5K/month)
  • Domain/store platform fees ($80/month appx.)
  • Fulfillment warehouse ($1K-$2K/month)
  • PayPal fees (varied)

These costs might not be typical.  I was in year 2 of my business when I transitioned to an inventory held model and private domain.  The store was already established and had higher sales.  Initial startup costs for an inventory held model might be half of this (shown above) or less.

MAINTENANCE

Maintenance costs are the regular recurring monthly costs to operate the ecommerce store. This can include costs like domain, hosting, PayPal or other payment processor fees, advertising, shipping supplies, and inventory.

 

10. Are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to learn how to start an online store?

My #1 tip would be if you have an interest in this field, dive in.  It’s affordable to start.  You can definitely do a lot of testing by buying small quantities, dropshipping, doing unpaid advertising, etc.  I would have never thought I would be where I am today, earning five figures from ecommerce. 

I started my ecomm store on a whim, literally. 

I just gave it a try.

A year later, I was earning enough to quit my full time day job. Three years later, that store is sold and I have 2 more in it’s place.  I would have never gotten to this point if I didn’t dive in and try my hand at ecommerce.

Some additional tips:

  1. Ask for help before you need it – It can be easy to fall behind and if you wait until you absolutely need help, you can get delayed further by researching the type of help you need, hiring, etc.  Virtual assistants are great for handling day to day, simple tasks that can be time consuming like social media efforts, customer service, etc.  This will help you free up your time to do bigger business tasks like sourcing, ordering inventory, etc.
  2. Learn – I’ll teach you my secret strategies that landed me three successful online stores earning an average of $19,000 per month! Learn how to start an online store and start earning full time income from your online store in 3 days! Learn how to start an online store from my course that can be found at Ecommerce and Prosper.
  3. Don’t be afraid to scale up – One of the fastest ways to increase your earnings is scaling up.  For example, if you are a footwear online retailer and doing Facebook ads at $10 day selling $50/day in product, try doubling your ad budget to $20/day for potentially $100/day product sales. 
  4. Diversify your income streams – With ecommerce, there are many ways to earn money, other than through your store direct.  These additional income streams are covered in the course and are a great way to double or even triple your earnings.
  5. Network – Networking has gotten me very far. It all started on Instagram for me.  I found a friend who happened to be addicted to the platform like me. We found ourselves in the same group Direct Messages late at night browsing around and soonafter developed a close friendship.  This opened tons of doors for me, meeting more store owners, joining engagement pods, forming amazing business relationships and more.

The ecommerce industry can be very rewarding. Think about how great it would be to wake up one day and be your own boss. Today, I feel so blessed to be able to have the life that I do, with a flexible schedule and the ability to spend more time with my family, all thanks to ecommerce.

Are you interested in learning how to start an online store?

The post How Jenn Makes Over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.


March 03, 2017 at 05:45AM
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Do You Need Identity Theft Protection?

*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by TransUnion and contains affiliate links to their products. I am provided with compensation for advertisements on this blog and commissions for purchases made through links in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by TransUnion or its affiliates. My experience is my own, and your experience may differ. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

Just in the year 2014, over 17,000,000 people were victims of identity theft. That is around 7% of Americans 16 years of age and older!

That is such a high number. And, sadly, without the correct precautions, that number may not decrease anytime soon.

Identity theft is becoming such a common occurrence in recent years and it is something far too many people have personal experience with.

No one wants to deal with identity theft. Identity theft could potentially lead to headaches, a drop in your credit score, loss of money, and more. While some situations can be fixed in just a day, some identity theft situations can linger on for years and years. Plus, many times you’ll feel like your privacy is lost and you may wonder when the next identity theft will happen.

Related read: Do You Have An Emergency List For Your Family?

Here’s why you need identity theft protection:

 

Identity theft can happen in so many ways.

Sadly, there are many ways that identity theft could happen. As you can read in TrueIdentity’s article How does identity theft happen?, identity theft can happen in ways such as:

  • Personal documents being lost or stolen. Documents that contain your personal information is usually one of the biggest reasons for why someone’s identity may be stolen.
  • Unsafe online data. A lot of identity theft cases are found to be because of things that happen on the internet. You need to keep your passwords safe, watch unknown Wi-Fi connections, only click on links that you know of, and more.
  • Company data breaches. It seems like data breaches at companies happen more and more often. This is where hackers may gain access to credit card information that shoppers make, such as at stores like Target.

As you can see, in today’s digital age, more and more identity theft is starting to happen. Identity theft can happen so easily, and it may not always be due to an error on your end – it may be due to a company data breach which you have absolutely no control over!

You should always be careful with you private information, and one way is to have identity theft protection (as discussed below).

 

You can never be too careful.

Identity theft is becoming more and more sophisticated. Identity thieves are becoming smarter about how they steal identities.

There are some things that you can do in order to help lower the chances of identity theft such as:

  • Don’t give out information unless you’re sure it’s needed. There are many scammers out there just hoping to find someone who will fall for one of their tricks. You should always be sure that you’re talking to the right person before you give out any private information.
  • Always be careful with what internet connection you use. You never know who else is on the same Wi-Fi as you. For example, they may be stealing your information by logging every key that you type.
  • Keep your social security card and number safe. I know way too many people who keep their social security card in their wallet and/or purse. I’ve even seen numerous people who place their social security cards in the slot where their license goes, so it’s in view of everyone whenever they take out their wallet at a store. Instead, you should leave your social security card and number in a safe place instead of on you all the time.
  • Shred documents that contain your personal information. Before you throw out papers that contain any personal information, you should shred them. This includes credit card statements, bank statements, bills, and so on.
  • Check your credit reports. You should review your credit report at least once a year. You can receive up to three each year for free, though – one from each credit bureau. It’s free and I highly recommend doing this!
  • Get identity theft protection. This can help protect your identity even further than what you can do.

And, that leads me to the next section…

 

There is a great option to protect you from identity theft.

Identity theft protection such as through TrueIdentity Theft Protection is 100% free and has many great features such as:

  • Lock your credit. You just simply log in with your phone and lock it right then and there. You can simply unlock your credit report with another swipe.
  • Free identity theft insurance. TrueIdentity Theft Protection is free!
  • Free report alerts. With this service, you can stay updated on any changes to your credit report.
  • Free means free – pay nothing. No credit card required, no trial period

You don’t pay anything in order to use TrueIdentity Theft Protection, you don’t have to enter your credit card information, there is no trial period, or anything else. It is a completely free service that anyone can take advantage of.

Please click here to check out TrueIdentity Theft Protection further.

Do you have identity theft protection? Why or why not?

The post Do You Need Identity Theft Protection? appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.


March 02, 2017 at 12:00PM
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SPI 255: Deep Work with Cal Newport

March is Productivity Month here at Smart Passive Income, and I’m kicking it off with a very special interview with Cal Newport, author of the game-changing productivity book, Deep Work.

Cal caught on to the radical applications of “deep work” when he noticed how a particular approach to focus was transforming his productivity. Deep work, as Cal defines it, involves focusing intensely on cognitively demanding tasks. It’s transformed both his workday output and his life at home, and he’s joined me today to explain how.

In this episode, Cal explains the practice of deep work, reveals strategies for building your deep work skills, and shares more of his favorite tactics for maximizing productivity. His approach builds on the ideas explored in some of my favorite productivity manuals, like The One Thing, and opens up a fascinating new frontier of ideas on how to get the most out of our workdays.

As a parent with big dreams for both my personal life and my career, I’m passionate about optimizing my time spent working. I was blown away by Cal’s approach to staying focused, and I can’t wait for you all to hear and benefit from it, too!

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Ask a question over on AskPat.com.
  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Cal for joining me this week. Until next time!



You’ll Learn

  • The experience that inspired Cal to embrace productivity.
  • How to identify deep work.
  • Why deep work is more like a skill than a habit.
  • Activities that will train your brain to do deep work.
  • Cal’s favorite, game-changing study habit.
  • Tips for leaving work behind at the end of the workday.
  • Advice for identifying a career you can be passionate about.
  • Why Cal believes we need to change the way we use social media, and more!

Resources

Sponsors


March 01, 2017 at 11:00AM
http://ift.tt/2mFeHt4

SPI 255: Deep Work with Cal Newport

March is Productivity Month here at Smart Passive Income, and I’m kicking it off with a very special interview with Cal Newport, author of the game-changing productivity book, Deep Work.

Cal caught on to the radical applications of “deep work” when he noticed how a particular approach to focus was transforming his productivity. Deep work, as Cal defines it, involves focusing intensely on cognitively demanding tasks. It’s transformed both his workday output and his life at home, and he’s joined me today to explain how.

In this episode, Cal explains the practice of deep work, reveals strategies for building your deep work skills, and shares more of his favorite tactics for maximizing productivity. His approach builds on the ideas explored in some of my favorite productivity manuals, like The One Thing, and opens up a fascinating new frontier of ideas on how to get the most out of our workdays.

As a parent with big dreams for both my personal life and my career, I’m passionate about optimizing my time spent working. I was blown away by Cal’s approach to staying focused, and I can’t wait for you all to hear and benefit from it, too!

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a note in the comment section below.
  • Ask a question over on AskPat.com.
  • Share this show on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Cal for joining me this week. Until next time!



You’ll Learn

  • The experience that inspired Cal to embrace productivity.
  • How to identify deep work.
  • Why deep work is more like a skill than a habit.
  • Activities that will train your brain to do deep work.
  • Cal’s favorite, game-changing study habit.
  • Tips for leaving work behind at the end of the workday.
  • Advice for identifying a career you can be passionate about.
  • Why Cal believes we need to change the way we use social media, and more!

Resources

Sponsors


March 01, 2017 at 11:00AM
http://ift.tt/2mFeHt4

10 Real Ways To Make Money In A Day (or a Week!)

Sometimes unexpected expenses come up and you need to find ways to make money fast. Maybe you have an unexpected car repair, something broke in your home, you forgot about a bill, or something else.

Do you need to know about the ways to make money fast? If so, then you've come to the right place! Here, you'll learn how to make money fast in a DAY for extra cash! This can be online, for teens, easy, at home, DIY, and more!Perhaps you need extra income in the next 24 hours or by the end of the week.

No matter how small your timeframe is, there’s probably something you can do to earn at least a little bit of money quickly.

While I think that everyone should have an emergency fund, there are still times when you need to find ways to make money fast.

After all, things come up and sometimes you may not have the cash on hand that you need. Or, maybe you just don’t want to dip into your savings and would like to see what you can do to quickly make some money instead.

Whatever your reasoning is, there are plenty of ways to make money fast for when you need it.

Related blog posts on ways to make money fast:

Here are 10 real ways to make money fast:

 

Sell stuff from around your home.

Probably one of the best ways to make money fast is to find items around your home to sell.

The average person has a lot of extra stuff in their life. Too many clothes, old electronics (such as old cell phones!) that have been tossed to the side, appliances that have been replaced, books that will never be read again, useless furniture, gift cards that will never be used, and more.

If you’re looking for ways to make money fast, then there are many items around your home that you may be able to sell.

I’ve heard all the excuses for why a person doesn’t want to try selling their stuff:

  • But, no one will pay for my junk.
  • That item isn’t worth it.
  • It’s so much easier just to throw it away.
  • I would look stupid if a thrift store says no to everything I am trying to sell to them.
  • What can I sell to make money? I have nothing!

Stop with the excuses!

We all have something we can sell, and there are many places you may be able to sell your things. These include:

  • Thrift stores – Thrift stores may pay on consignment, cash on the spot, or store credit. Taking your stuff to a thrift store will probably be the fastest way to sell things as they will be able to pay you cash right away for whatever they can sell.
  • eBay – eBay can be a great way to reach a larger market.
  • Craigslist – Selling on this free site can be one of the easiest ways to make money fast, but be safe and don’t fall for any Craigslist scams.
  • Garage/yard sale – This can be an easy way to sell many things at once, plus you can do it all from your home. A downside is that the pay is usually lower.
  • Facebook – There are specific groups on Facebook dedicated to selling items to someone in the same city as you.

 

Become an Uber or Lyft driver.

Spending your spare time driving others around can be a great money maker, and it’s one of the most interesting ways to make money fast as you can meet all sorts of people as a driver. Read more about this in my post How To Become An Uber Or Lyft Driver. Click here to join Uber and start making money ASAP.

Here’s a quick snippet from an interview I did with an Uber driver:

“For those unfamiliar with rideshare, it’s basically a way to hail a ride with a smartphone app.  There are thousands of drivers out there just like me who work full time jobs, part-time jobs, etc and whenever they want to drive, they can just turn their app on and they’ll be matched with passengers in need of a ride.  The entire transaction is cashless and everything is done over your mobile app.

You can drive 80 hours a week if you’d like or you can take an entire month off from driving.

Everything is handled by the app and you are paid via direct deposit weekly.  Some customers will tip in cash but for the most part, the entire transaction is cashless.

As a driver, you have to pay for pretty much everything including gas and maintenance on your car but typically I don’t use more than a few dollars worth of gas per hour.  The big ‘hidden cost’ is probably the depreciation of your car but you do get to deduct 56.5 cents/mile on your taxes as a driver.”

 

Find random Craigslist jobs.

There are many, many random one-time jobs that you can find on your local Craigslist.

One great thing about these jobs is that you usually get paid before or right after you complete the work, which means that you can get paid the same day!

To find random gigs in your area, just go to Craigslist and find the “gigs” section.

Here are some jobs I found through a quick search:

  • Remove yard debris
  • Gem Show helper
  • Dirty house cleaner
  • Passing out flyers and brochures
  • Kitchen cleaner
  • Motorhome hauler
  • Movie extra

Here’s a screenshot of one of these easy to find Craigslist gigs:

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-12-30-27-pm

 

And here’s another job that, if you have the right equipment, would make you a nice $200, especially if you were heading that direction anyway:

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-12-32-00-pm

Related read: How I Earned $655 From Random Craigslist Jobs In One Month

 

Rent out a room in your home.

Renting out a room in your house will not make you rich, but I do know a few people renting out rooms in their home and they have been able to pay off their home completely due to this.

If you are interested in renting out a spare room on a short-term basis (such as for vacations), I highly recommend you check out Airbnb. I know people who are making thousands of dollars a month by renting out rooms on this site!

There are many places where you can advertise your rental. You can put a sign on your front lawn, advertise in a newspaper, or place an ad online on a website such as Craigslist.

Everyone and everything is online now, so posting your ad online will most likely be your best choice, and would make this one of the ways to make money fast, especially as it would get someone renting from you quickly.

Always be honest with what you list in your advertisement. You should be honest about how big the room is, what rooms come with the agreement, if there is a separate entrance, and more. Also, be sure to include pictures of what is included.

Read more at A Complete Guide To Renting A Room For Extra Money.

 

Answer surveys online.

This one won’t earn you actual cash overnight, but you may be able to make money right away and eventually receive your first check or payment within a month.

Survey companies I recommend include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, Clear Voice Surveys, VIP Voice, Product Report Card, Survey Club, ProOpinion, Pinecone Research, Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, and Harris Poll Online.

These survey companies are free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can, as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.

 

rover-web-search-results

Walk dogs and/or pet sit as one of the ways to make money fast.

If you love animals, then you may want to consider walking dogs or pet sitting if you are looking for ways to make money fast.

With this side job you may be going over to your client’s home to check in a few times a day, you may be staying at their house, or the animals may be staying with you.

For dog boarding, you may be able to make around $25 and up per day for watching someone’s dog or other pet in your home. This is a great service to offer, and if you love animals (which you should if you are going to do this) then it could be fun as well!

Rover is a great company that you can sign up with in order to become a dog walker and pet sitter.

Learn more about this at Rover – A Great Way To Make Money And Play With Animals.

 

Babysit and/or nanny for families.

Parents are almost always looking for good babysitters, and they are willing to pay well for a night out.

Websites like Care.com and SitterCity.com allow you to advertise your services while letting you see if there is anyone in your area needing your services. This means that you may be able to find a one-time job or even a permanent babysitting gig just by searching online.

When I was just 14, I was making $10 an hour babysitting for a neighbor. I babysat 40 hours a week and it was a great way to make extra money! And, I found this babysitting gig by just looking at the bulletin board in my neighborhood.

If you have any special skills or provide extra work, such as cleaning up around the house, teaching the child how to speak another language, tutoring, picking up the child from activities, and so on, you will most likely be able to charge more than $10 an hour too.

 

Help move furniture.

Moving is a task that most people dislike.

Movers can earn a broad range when it comes to hourly pay, but it’s usually somewhere around $50 an hour if you run your own business.

To find moving gigs so that you can learn how to make money fast, you may be able to simply post an advertisement on Craigslist, placing flyers around town, or telling those that you know. Many people find movers at the last moment, so you may be able to find a quick job quite easily.

By just searching Craigslist, I was able to find several people who needed help moving, as you can see in the screenshot below:

ways-to-make-money-fast-moving

 

Mystery shop.

Mystery shopping can be one of the more fun ways to make money fast while also getting paid to eat at a restaurant or to go shopping.

While you won’t make your money back right away in most cases, you can sign up for mystery shopping companies today and get your first mystery shop done fairly quickly.

Some don’t require you to spend money either, such as if you do a phone call mystery shop where you just have to call a store and pretend to be a customer with questions.

And yes, I used to mystery shop in the past, and I did it quite often!

A few years ago, I mystery shopped a lot to make extra income. I made anywhere from $150 to $200 a month mystery shopping and received free meals, makeup, and more. I only used Bestmark for mystery shopping, so I know that they are a 100% legitimate company.

There are other legitimate mystery shopping companies that exist, but you should always do your research.

 

Maintain and clean yards.

Yard maintenance is another one of the ways to make money fast. You can make money by mowing lawns, killing/removing weeds, cleaning gutters, raking leaves, and so on.

While mowing lawns will require you to have a lawn mower of some sort, you could always do something that won’t require much equipment, such as raking leaves.

No one likes to do lawn maintenance. Okay, I guess some people do. But, the majority of people would rather do other things with their time.

Due to this, there are many ways to find yard cleaning jobs. You can:

  • Post a Craigslist advertisement announcing your services.
  • Search Craigslist gigs, as discussed above, and see if there are any available in your area.
  • Post flyers on a local bulletin board.
  • Announce your services on social media, such as your personal Facebook account.
  • Go door to door and see if anyone needs any work done.

What other ways to make money fast can you think of? What have you done in the past when you needed quick cash?

The post 10 Real Ways To Make Money In A Day (or a Week!) appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.


March 01, 2017 at 04:25AM
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