12 Unique Side Hustles to Boost Your Income

unique side hustlesMost of us wouldn’t mind making a few extra bucks (or a lot more) every month. It used to be you had to work your full-time job, and that was it. But now, new types of side hustles pop up all the time! Below, you’ll fine 12 unique side hustles you may have never thought of trying!

You might discover a great new business that brings in that much-needed extra money. 

This post was written by our staff writer, Kate Underwood.

1) Become a Mobile Notary

Did you know you can earn up to $200 per appointment as a loan signing agent? Becoming a mobile notary that helps move mortgage closings forward is one of the fairly unique side hustles that’s simple to start. Not totally crazy, but interesting and a decent money maker!

A Notary’s basic job is to verify a person’s identity and serve as a witness to them signing important legal documents. Check your state’s requirements for the job to decide if it might be a good fit for you! 

You’ll need to factor in driving time and expenses like a printer and a notary stamp, but working as a mobile notary is flexible and can earn you a great side income! Learn more about the possibilities for notary work here. 

2) Narrate Audiobooks

Do you have an endearing or interesting voice, and a creative itch to express yourself through audio? Then you might be a good candidate to build a unique side hustle as an audiobook narrator. 

Audiobooks are growing in popularity—about 20% of Americans say they listen to audiobooks — and authors need great voices to provide the narration for their books. That’s where you come in. ACX can provide you more information on how to get started in audio narration. 

3) Become a Voice-over Actor

Similar to audio book narration, voice-over acting is another one of those unique side hustles that you may love. And it’s great if you’ve got a dramatic flair. You need the ability to channel different emotions into your voice to be an effective voice-over actor. 

The skills of using and changing your voice to fit different characters and plot lines are not easy to learn. You can find solid resources online, though, and if voice-over is something that interests you, why not pursue it for your side gig? 

Related: How to Start Voice Acting

4) Teach Weird Subjects on Outschool

If you’ve wanted to teach online, but aren’t interested in the more common subjects like English, you can try Outschool to teach just about any subject you like. They do have semi-normal categories like Coding and Tech, World Languages, Social Studies, and English, but also a ton of “out-there” subjects like…

Would you enjoy teaching a class about Harry Potter or Pokemon? There are classes with titles like “LEGO Jedi Masters Camp” and “Drawing Cats: From Whiskers to Mittens”. Think outside the traditional “teacher” box and brainstorm what your expertise is. Outschool teaching is a unique side hustle that’s flexible, too. 

Be sure to check out more great side hustles for teachers!

5) Sell Your Photos Online

Shutterstock and other websites provide a platform where budding photographers can sell their photos. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just like to dabble, as long as you provide unique and useful photos, you can earn a side income from these websites. 

It’s easy! Just head to the site, scroll to the top or bottom and look for, “Sell your images”. Then follow the instructions to get started!

6) Market Your Creations on Etsy

Etsy is a huge platform where creative people can earn money by selling their own creations or designs. It can be tough to make a lot of money on Etsy, but if you truly enjoy working with your hands and making something unique, it may be worth it anyway. 

To sell on Etsy, you’ll pay a small fee to list your items  as well as a percentage of the sale price as a commission. This can be a challenging side hustle to scale up if you’re truly making your products yourself. But you could also sell items like printables, which don’t require extra work on your part when you make more sales. 

7) Be A House Sitter

Instead of (or in addition to) caring for children or pets, house-sitting is yet another one of those fabulous unique side hustles. These gigs may be hard to find, but it’s not unheard of for folks to pay someone to stay in their home while they are away on vacation. 

You can provide peace of mind to people as they travel by:

  • taking in their mail,
  • maintaining the yard, and
  • simply being present in the home.

House-sitting can help deter criminals because they don’t want to mess with a house that is lived in. For people who travel extensively or long-term, this is a really valuable service to provide. 

8) Transcription

Yet another of these unique side hustles is transcription. It’s something you can do if you’re skilled at turning audio recordings into typed text. It’s also an incredibly flexible side gig, which means you can take as many jobs as you want, fitting them into your busy schedule. Learn more about transcription and other flexible side hustles here!

9) Use Patreon to Earn Money Creatively

If you’re a creator of some kind, you may be able to earn monthly income through Patreon. Whether you produce a podcast, write content, create visual art, or some other creative endeavor, you can find people who will support your art. 

Patreon is a platform that enables creatives to gather funding on a monthly basis. You would ideally already have fans or followers who would love to see additional content or receive other “bonus” material as a thank-you for signing up as patrons. Patreon just might help you build the unique side hustle you’re looking for! 

10) Be A Friend With RentaFriend

Yes, this is an actual, real thing: people pay money to “rent a friend”! It sounds crazy, right? It’s strictly a friendship website, not a dating website, so you could earn some extra side income by renting out your services as a friend. 

RentaFriend makes money through their membership fee, which people pay to access the site on a monthly basis. You can become a Friend and get paid for your time. You might meet new “friends” for a drink, accompany them to a concert, or just hang out at a local park. 

Follow smart safety precautions whenever interacting with someone you meet through RentaFriend. But you might actually enjoy getting to know someone new while earning some cash, making this one of the truly unique side hustles!

11) DJ for Special Events

For someone who has an interest in music and engaging with an audience, working as a DJ might be a lucrative and fun side hustle. Once you have your equipment and start promoting your services, you could pull in hundreds of dollars (or more) for every gig you do!

This is a unique side hustle that doesn’t require any expensive education or training. DJ work lets you enjoy putting on a show and interacting with the public. 

12) Wash and Detail Cars

If you have a penchant for making vehicles gleam and shine, you could start your own independent side gig detailing cars. Plenty of people are willing to pay good money (like, $100+)for you to do the deep cleaning and special detailing on their cars.

More Unique Side Hustles to Try

This is just a small sampling of the great side hustles available to help you earn more money. For more inspiration, check out this post. Get creative and use your talents to improve your financial situation! 

The post 12 Unique Side Hustles to Boost Your Income appeared first on Life And My Finances.

How to Flip a Website: My Recent $1,500 Sale

Ever hear of flipping houses? Or flipping cars for thousands of dollars in profits? Of course! But…..what if you’re not handy? What if you’d rather be sitting on a computer writing code and playing video games than in a house swinging a sledge-hammer? Well, you might just want to flip a website or two. There could be some serious cash involved once you get the hang of it!

The History of Websites

The very first website was launched in 1991. By 1994, there were 3,000 sites active online. And according to Statista, this number has absolutely exploded and is now at 1.7 billion. Insane right?

Infographic: How Many Websites Are There? | Statista 

Put simply, everyone is on the web. It’s how we bank, it’s how we navigate from point A to point B, and most importantly (not!), it’s how we look up the ages of our plastic-faced celebrities! 😉 Lol. FYI, Phil Mickelson is 50. I just looked that up yesterday. 

Since everyone knows about the world wide web these days, there is definitely money to be made there – ESPECIALLY if you want to flip a website.

What Does It Really Mean to Flip a Website?

If you hear someone saying they’re going to flip a website, they’re really just saying one of two things:

  1. They’re going to buy a website, improve it, and then sell it for more than they bought it for originally, or
  2. They’re going to build a website with the intention of selling it down the road (likely within a short time-frame)

Either are great options, but if you’re a newbie in the space, I’d suggest that you build a website vs. buy one (it’s cheaper that way, and far less risk!). If you’re more seasoned and you know what it takes to build up a website into something that’s sellable, then by all means, start hunting one down that’s a deal and do your magic!

flip a website - pinMy Background of Buying and Selling

I’m a businessman at heart. I just think it’s fun making money, regardless of the platform. 

  • At age 12, I bought smiley-face key chains in bulk and sold them one-by-one for double the cost
  • At age 14, I built shoe cabinets made out of free lumber that came from my Dad’s work
  • In my early 20’s, I started hunting out deals on used cars so I could drive them for a few months, and then sell them at a profit.
  • In my early 30’s, I bought and flipped my first house (for a $27,000 profit!)
  • And starting just a few years back, I built three websites that I have now sold for thousands of dollars! 

Like I said, making money is fun. And you know what? Making money by flipping websites was especially gratifying…and this last one was certainly no exception!

My Initial Website Flips

My first website is the one your reading now — the one that will likely never be sold! It’s my baby and I still enjoy writing these articles and teaching all of you new stuff about money. It helps me learn and grow too!

The second site I started was called Creating a Passive Income. It was a niche site that was intended to teach the readers all about building up and earning a passive income. 

The third site was called Online Money Bloggers. When I started making money with my first two sites, I thought it would be fun to have other bloggers talk about their earnings, and how they intended to expand their audience and grow even more profitable. 

As it turns out, not quite as many people were as eager to talk about their income statements as I was. So it never fully took off as intended. It was still successful, but not massively.

The Dollars and Cents

With three sites, a full-time job, and a spouse, things were getting a little crazy and apparently humans need sleep… 😉 …so I decided to sell sites #2 and #3.

  • If I remember right, Creating a Passive Income fetched $2,000. I sold it to a friend that I made while networking in the personal finance space.
  • And, the Online Money Bloggers site, while not growing to extent I had hoped, was still doing well and earned me another $1,200. 

I started these sites with iPage for just $24, so the profits were HUGE. All I put into it was a little time and networking. So, earning $3,200 for a few pages that I had some fun with wasn’t bad at all!

The Latest Website Flip

This last website flip was actually pretty comical. I secured the domain name in 2016, wrote 3 articles, and then pretty much forgot about it entirely until just a few weeks ago!! Lol.

The initial intent of the site was to just show people how easy it was to start a website and make it look good.

  • So, I did that in a couple of days,
  • linked to it from my main website here at Life and My Finances,
  • and then just let it sit there…for four years! 😉

It was only until just recently, when I was thinking about revamping this website, that I remembered I still had that other one!

I was obviously doing nothing with it, so I wondered, “How much is this simple website worth? What if I sold it? Would it be worth it?”

So, I listed it on Flippa.com.

The Selling Process

I didn’t really know where or how to sell a website since I sold the other two to my friends (which – as a side note – is actually one of the best ways to sell your sites by the way!). The only space I had heard of to do something like this was Flippa.com, so after checking it out and deciding it was the best medium for buying and selling sites, I listed the fourth site I ever created, a Side Hustle website.

The domain name was a good one, and I had kept the site alive for a while, but that was really all this page had going for it.

  • There was virtually no traffic,
  • the look was outdated, and
  • it would need quite a bit of work to grow it up into something big.

The Flippa Listing

I listed it on Flippa, set a reserve at $500 (you know, so I didn’t accidentally sell it for pennies), and set a “buy it now” price at $2,000. The post went live for 14 days – Let the bidding begin!!

  • My first bid…$30. Okay, not great, but at least the ball was rolling!
  • The next bid…$150. Cool, cool. Getting there.
  • With about 2 days left, the bidding went up to $400…and then halted…

The auction ended and my reserve wasn’t met, so my efforts to flip a website were officially a bust…or were they?

The After-Auction

Little did I know, Flippa had this cool thing where, even though the auction ended and the site wasn’t sold, members could still make offers for your site.

About a day after the auction closed, I got an offer for $600.

Whoa! This could be the real deal. I could sell right now…but should I?

I took my question to my personal finance blogger community – after all, they’re not only savvy with money, but with blog building as well!

The ultimate answer:

“No way dude, your site name is worth at least $1,500. Maybe even more like $2,500.”

So, I turned down the $600 offer and just waited for another day or two. And then, the true interested party was ready to take the bait.

  • This new individual offered $500 (not knowing I had turned down $600), I declined
  • He then offered $1,000. I told him it was tempting, but declined again.
  • Then he left it up to me. He expressed his interest and was wise enough to ask what I really needed for it.
  • I thought about going for $1,700, but I really wanted to sell and get it over with (sometimes you don’t know when the next buyer will come along – and besides, this is a site I had forgotten about, remember?? ;)). I asked for $1,500. He took.

Just a few days later, the site was transferred over and fully paid for. It was far less painful than I expected, thanks to Flippa’s tools and guidance!

make additional income as social media managerHow YOU Can Flip a Website

Intrigued? Thinking maybe you want to flip a website? It’s a pretty cool gig to get into, especially when you make thousands of dollars at a time.

As I mentioned in the intro, there are really two main ways to flip a website:

  1. You can either create a website from scratch, or 
  2. You can buy a website, build it up into something bigger, and then sell it for an even larger price tag.

Let’s dig a little more deeply into both. What do you need to do to be successful in each arena?

1) Build a Site From Scratch

This is what I’ve done a few times now. I knew I wanted to start a site about a passion of mine and I didn’t have a ton of cash to throw around to buy one. So, I paid my $24 and built one! (FYI – just recently I have switched my allegiance from iPage ($24 for a one year deal) to Bluehost ($106 for a 3-year deal). They’re a more well-known brand, the customer service is better, and the web speeds are faster. So if you’re serious about blogging for the long-term, go with Bluehost.)

Here are the important steps I took to build a site from nothing into something of value:

  1. Research a rock-solid domain name (use domain name generators to help!)
  2. Be sure the domain ends in ‘.com’
  3. Sign up with a reputable web host (NOT a freebie hosting service! You won’t make any money this way! Again, I recommend Bluehost.)
  4. Find a free theme through WordPress that looks decent (here’s a great list of free themes)
  5. Start creating content like crazy! Write an article a day if you can. Build up your content to at least 50 articles before you think about doing anything else.
  6. Use a plugin like Yoast SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to optimize each article
  7. Buy professional images for each post – it will make your site look SO MUCH more professional! It costs $1 (or less) per photo when you use Deposit Photos (that’s who I use for this site).
  8. Start reaching out to other websites in your space to see if they’ll let you guest post and link back to your site (link-backs are INCREDIBLY important for SEO) – plus, it will give you some decent traffic for a stretch
  9. Find a network of bloggers in your niche – this might be a Facebook group, a website, a forum, or just building up a bunch of friends on Twitter. Be a friend to them and they’ll likely be a friend to you too. Expect nothing in return, but give. Believe me, you’ll still benefit.
  10. Comment like crazy on all your friends’ posts. They’ll love the interaction, it might give you a link back to your site, and if your comments are good enough, readers might head over to your page too!

Then, just continue to put up new posts and keep your friend group alive.

What Next?

After all of the above, your goal will be to get 25,000-50,000 visitors to your site a month. Once you get there, advertising and making money is a breeze. Try to monetize before that and your site might stall (I’ve done this repeatedly…it’s not fun!).

Ignore the instant cash, build your site like you were already wealthy, and then the dollars will start flowing in. And THEN the buyers might start coming out of the woodwork to you because you’ll have something special.

Related: How to Earn an Unlimited Income With Your Blog

2) Buy a Site, Build It Up, and Sell It

I admit, I haven’t officially bought a site and built it up (I’ve always done it from scratch…which is arguably harder). But, since my current site is worth $40,000-$50,000 and I’m confident that I can ramp it up to $200,000 over the next year, I feel somewhat qualified.

Basic Things You Need to Know

If you’re already passionate about blogging and have found a niche website in your space that you’re interested in buying, here’s what you should know initially:

  • The ‘.com’ site still rules. Ideally, you’d be buying a site with a ‘.com’ domain
  • Years of life means something. Try to find a site that’s been alive for more than 2 years. Then, commit to growing it for another two.
  • A site is worth approximately 3-4 times its annual profits. In other words, if you find a site with a yearly revenue of $10,000 and it costs $3,000 a year to run, the profits are $7,000 a year. At 3-4 times profits, the site is worth somewhere around $21,000-$28,000 (FYI, buyers usually take the earnings from the past 12 months). 
    • If the site depends on sponsored posts and direct ads for income, then it’s really worth far less (since it’s not at all passive AND it could soon be penalized and worthless at any time after you purchase it).
    • On the other hand, if the site is earning all of its income through CPC (cost-per-click – think Adsense) ads and hasn’t monetized by any other means, the site could be worth far more (because it has great traffic, but has just been marketed terribly).
  • Be sure you also buy the secret sauce. If a website is very personal and the owner is heavily involved, you might want to pay a commission to keep their involvement going for a while. Or, you might just want to withhold your bid and move onto the next site. The last thing you want is to buy something that tanks because the secret sauce just runs away with your money and leaves the site (and you) in the proverbial dust.

How to Actually Flip a Site For More Than You Paid For It

If you’re going to sell something for more than you paid for it, then you’ll obviously have to improve it, right?

Like, if you buy a house, you can’t just expect to put it back on the market immediately and yield a higher price than you just paid. To earn more, you’ll need to put some sweat equity into the property… You’ll have to rip out that ugly carpet, paint some walls, and maybe even update the kitchen. Once you fix it up, more people will be interested. 

The same is true for a website.

  • Clean up the look
  • Speed it up if it’s slow
  • Make it more personal to capture more readers
  • Set up a nice offer to encourage people to sign up with their email
  • Then, market to their email address!

Everything you do should cater to the most important asset of the world wide web: TRAFFIC!

The more eyeballs you can get on your website, the more opportunity you have of earning money.

Then, once you gain the traffic, you can start monetizing the site. Which, when done right, can be a huge draw for your future buyer.

The main avenues of earning money are with:
  • CPC (cost per click) ads (once you get your traffic up to 50,000 sessions a month, I recommend getting in touch with Mediavine Advertising), and
  • Affiliate ads (where the readers are actually paying for a product that’s advertised on your site, and you get a cut of the sale)
    • These should relate closely with your niche. For instance, my top affiliate links for my personal finance site are:
      • Bluehost and iPage (to start a blog and make money)
      • Investing with Wealthsimple
      • Signing up for term life insurance with Bestow (a fantastic company with a simple digital approval process)
      • Saving money on bills with BillCutterz
    • If you truly believe in the products you’re recommending and that they’ll benefit your readers, you’ll be much more likely to earn money with them. If you’re only pushing them for the sale, then don’t bother. Your readers will sense it and not buy. And, worse yet, they’ll start leaving your site.

Between just these two methods – CPC ads and affiliate marketing – bloggers out there earn hundreds of thousands of dollars (heck some of them even earn millions, which is INSANE, but possible!!)!

Related: Michelle Made Almost $1 Million Blogging Last Year…So I Asked Her a Few Questions!

Flip a Website, Earn Thousands of Dollars

Flipping a website is tempting, especially if you already know a bit about blogging, marketing, or technology. 

  • If you’re more risk-averse, you’ll probably want to build a site on your own for $100. Either that, or buy something that’s somewhat established for $1,000 or less.
  • If you know about blogging already and have had some success there, you might want to up the stakes a bit – buy something that already has traffic and income for a 5-figure sum, and then build it up into something HUGE.

Remember the example above where the site was earning $10k a year, had $3k of expenses, and therefore earned $7k a year? The value was between $21,000 and $28,000. 

What if you could bump up the traffic from 10,000 viewers per month to 100,000 viewers per month?

Your net earnings wouldn’t be $7,000 a year. They’d be closer to $100,000 a year. Then, at 3-4 times net earnings, you’d be looking at a paycheck of $300,000-$400,000! That’s a pretty great return on a $20,000-$25,000 investment!

It’s absolutely possible. People do it every day. And you never know, the next big sale could be yours.

So what do you think? Are you ready to flip a website?

The post How to Flip a Website: My Recent $1,500 Sale appeared first on Life And My Finances.

There’s an App That Pays You to Lose Weight – Would You Do It?

app that pays you money to lose weightLet’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to lose weight. It may seem super easy to just eat healthy and workout at the gym, but everyone has a different body type, and sometimes, internal or external factors play a part as well. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done! If you lack motivation and accountability, you may just need to have an app that pays you to lose weight.

Say what?

Yes, there’s an app that pays you to lose weight! If you really need an extra push to start your health journey or lose weight, these apps can help.

There’s An App That Pays You To Lose Weight?

[As a disclaimer – no one from LifeAndMyFinances is getting paid to promote these apps – and that’s why we didn’t link to any of them. BUT, the concepts certainly ARE interesting (and related to personal finance). So check them out if you want, and maybe you’ll start looking better AND gain a bit of cash! 😉 ]

Yes! There are a few actually. And they all have science-backed reasons for paying people to lose weight. And I promise these aren’t a scam (in fact, I’ve used two of them). Let’s have a gander!

1) HealthyWage

HealthyWage is, in my personal opinion, the best app that pays you to lose weight. I’ve actually personally used them to jumpstart my weight loss after my first baby.

Here’s how it works:

First, you’ll need to set up your account, and have your first official and verified weigh-in. HealthyWage makes sure that no one cheats by asking for photo and video proof of your weigh-in. There is no possible way for people to cheat.

Once you’ve had your weigh-in, you’ll set a weight loss goal, and set a time-frame.

After that, you’ll place a bet. You do need to put in some of your own money to get this started.

It may seem odd, or even scammy, to have to spend money to make money. However, HealthyWage based their program on research and studies, many that showed when you “put some skin in the game”, you’re more likely to stick with it. In other words, you don’t want to lose your hard-earned money, so you’re going to take your weight loss and healthy living seriously.

If you lose the bet, you lose your money. But if you reach your weight loss goal and win the bet, you’re then rewarded from the “pot” that you chose, including the payments of people who didn’t meet their goals. You can also participate in pots individually, or even as a team if you have friends and family who need the accountability as well.

Want to see how much you could earn? Try their bet calculator.

2) DietBet

DietBet works similarly to HealthyWage. However, the biggest difference is that there is a specified goal already created for you. To join DietBet, you agree to lose 4% of your weight in 4 weeks.

For example, if you’re 200 pounds, you agree to lose at least 8 pounds in one month.

When you join DietBet, you can create a new “pot”, which is just a group of people who want to lose weight and win money. Or, you can join one of the existing pots. When I looked at the website, there were pots ranging from $5,000 to upwards of $40,000. And you can get started for as little as $25. But the more you put in (and if you reach your goal) the more you can earn.

Since its creation, DietBet has paid out over $62 million dollars. And you can bet each month and earn upwards of $2,000 each time.

3) Charity Miles

Technically, the Charity Miles app doesn’t pay you to lose weight. But hear me out… have you ever wanted to donate to charity, but didn’t really have the money to do it?

Well, why not make a difference while also upping your fitness game?

If you’d like to make a difference and do something good, while boosting your fitness levels and losing weight, then Charity Miles is the app for you.

With the Charity Miles app, you’ll earn money for each mile that you walk, run, or bike.

The app uses your phone’s internal pedometer and GPS systems to calculate each mile and reward you. You can also use your FitBit, Peloton, or Apple Watch to earn miles. You’ll earn 10 cents per bike mile, and 25 cents per walk or run mile.

Once you’re ready to donate your points, you can choose from a wide range of charities to donate to. A few include the Wounded Warrior Project, Habitat for Humanity, and ASPCA, although there are many more to choose from.

4) Walgreens Balance Rewards

You may or may not know that Walgreens has made big strides in helping people in their communities stay healthy. Part of that is their Healthy Choices program, which includes the Walgreens Balance Rewards app.

The app is also super simple to use, and you earn points just for tracking your health and fitness efforts, like losing weight and sleeping 8 hours a night. You can also earn points by shopping at Walgreens, completing fitness and health challenges (available in the app), and refilling prescriptions.

1,000 points is worth $1, and you can cash out as soon as you hit the $1 mark. You can redeem your cash and get deductions on purchases at Walgreens, money off of your prescriptions, and also save your points and get free vaccines. This may not mean cash in your hand, but it definitely saves you money, which means more money in your wallet.

To join, you just need to download the app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, and connect it to a fitness tracker like MyFitnessPal.

Related: How I Lost 15 Pounds in 2 Weeks!

5) StickK

Want to know the greatest thing about the StickK app?

  • It’s not just an app that pays you to lose weight.
  • You can also set goals to help you prepare for a marathon,
  • quit smoking, or even
  • just exercise regularly.

So this is a great app if you just need help sticking to health goals in general.

When you join StickK, you’ll get started by signing a Commitment Contract. If you don’t reach your goal, you agree that you will pay money. That money then goes to someone you made a bet with, or to a charity of your choice.

If you reach your goal, you don’t owe anything. You can earn money through the app by placing bets with people and holding them accountable as well. You can bet as little or as much as you’d like.

  • You can set up an ongoing commitment (like losing 2 pounds a week), or
  • a one-time commitment (like running your first marathon).

If you choose an ongoing commitment, you have to submit a report every week to update StickK and your accountability partners on your progress.

StickK is available on both Android and iOS phones.

6) Achievement

Achievement is another app that you can use to make money for losing weight. It works similarly to many survey apps, and you earn points that you can then redeem for rewards. You can earn up to 80 points per day by tracking your regular activities, like…

  • working out,
  • sleeping,
  • meditating, and
  • weighing yourself.

1,000 points is equal to $1, and you can cash out as soon as you reach 10,000 points. If you reach the max of 80 points per day, that basically means you can earn $10 every quarter.

That may not seem like much, but hey, free money is free money. You might as well get paid for something you already want to do anyway.

You can connect the Achievement app to your other fitness apps too. So if you use apps like FitBit or Apple Health, no worries. You can earn your points by tracking with these apps.

Achievement is available on iOS and Android devices. When you reach your $10 threshold, you can get the money via PayPal.

Should You Use An App That Pays You To Lose Weight?

As you can see, there are quite a few apps that will pay you (or donate on your behalf) to lose weight. So, should you use them?

I’d say if you really want to lose weight or make better health choices (like quitting smoking), these apps can help encourage and push you to succeed. And, the opportunity to win cash never hurt either!

What about you? Will you use an app that pays you to lose weight?

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I Died Yesterday… A Message to My Family

died yesterday“I died yesterday” — No, this isn’t a mysterious message from the crypt and this post won’t make it onto Ripley’s Believe It or Not. I’m still very much alive and I hopefully have 60 years of solid living ahead of me. But, this is something that I believe each and every one of us should play out in our minds. What if you died yesterday? What does today look like — for your parents, for your spouse, for your kids, for your grandkids, for your community? 

They’re all likely sad, sure. But what does their future look like? 

Will they be able to achieve what you always dreamed you’d all achieve together?

Or, are they left with tough choices like:

  • “Can we even afford these house payments? Should we sell it and downsize?”
  • “Do I need to get a second job?”
  • “Should I switch the kids into public school instead of private school?”

It’s not an easy thing to do, but picture what life will be like if you’re not around. Will everyone you love be taken care of?

I Died Yesterday… A Message to My Family

I wrote an article that was similar to this about 3 years ago. It was titled, “Dear Wife, I’m Dead. Here’s What You Need to Do?“. It was basically an instruction book for my wife to let her know what she needs to do if I ever died unexpectedly. 

You might be saying…”So Derek, you covered this already. Why write this same post again?”

Two Reasons:

  1. A lot has changed since then. She needs a new instruction manual.
  2. It’s been too long since I reminded my readers to make a plan for the future, especially if you’re not around anymore. It’s freaking important!!

To my lovely wife. You’ve got this. You’re strong. You can do it without me. And you know what? We’re financially set, so stay the course.

  • Put the kids through private school,
  • continue being a stay-at-home mom,
  • build your photography business some more, 
  • and keep taking those big yearly vacations (you’re going to need them with those two crazy kids!)

I love you. I’m sorry I had to leave. We’ll meet again soon.

The Emergency Fund

We’ve got one. It’s beefy. You could survive for a full year just on our checking account alone. No worries here.

The Kids’ Private School

We’ve been hard-charging this goal for most of 2020. We’ve got about $85k saved between the savings accounts and the investments. I figured if we got this up to $120k ($100k invested, $20k in savings), it would last us all the way through Eli’s senior graduation. We’re so close! (But don’t worry, we’ve got our life insurance and that can cover the difference).

[Don’t have life insurance? Get a quote with Bestow. You’ll be happy you did.]

The Kids’ College Fund

We’ve already got this one beefed up – ready to cover 50% of the kids’ college tuition. After the accounts grow for another 14-16 years, they should be at $100k each! Be sure the kids know it’s on them to cover the other 50% – either through scholarships or by the sweat of their brow! It’ll be good for them to have some skin in the game.

The Retirement Fund

As I write this, we’ve got about $200k in our retirement investments. Give that another 30 years, and that should grow to about $1.5 million. That’ll be a pretty good chunk of change to live on!

The Rental House

If I were you, I’d keep the rental house going. It’s really not all that complicated.

  • You advertise for renters on Facebook,
  • have them sign a contract,
  • get them in there for a year, and then
  • do it all over again.

Rents should always be about 1% of the value of the house each month. In the end, it should net you over $10k a year! 

The Website

Right now, I’m building this site to become one of the best personal finance sites out there! At the moment, it’s probably worth $40k-$50k. In the future, after I beef up the visitor numbers and start helping masses of people like I promised I would, it’ll be worth $200k or more.

[Reader: Want to start a website? I’d help you do it! Check out Bluehost to get started (my affiliate link). They’ve been great for me so far!]

I don’t expect you to run the website on your own. You should just sell it. I’ll leave you some passwords and instructions so you can do this without too much hassle.

So what should you do with the money? 

Invest it through Vanguard in a non-retirement account. You’ll probably need it somewhere between now and retirement (like for some of the kids’ private schooling if we didn’t get it fully funded before I left…).

The Insurance Policy

We’ve actually got two insurance policies – one that’s provided through work and the other that we purchased on our own. Between the two, they’re worth about $900,000.

Jackpot!! Lol.

I know it’s a lot. I just wanted to make sure the kids were taken care of (…it only cost me like $25 a month or something ridiculously cheap like that).

[Reader: If you’re looking for insurance. Check out Bestow.

They’ve got a great, experienced policy provider, North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, but they’re also new-age and don’t make you jump through a ton of hoops to get coverage. It literally takes minutes to get a quote and to get signed up with a policy, if approved.

I love them so much, I became an affiliate. I seriously recommend them to everyone I know that doesn’t already have life insurance.

Just think, if you died yesterday, would your loved ones have enough money? If not, then you should pick up some life insurance. Some policies cost only $15 a month for six-figure coverage!]

The Master Suite Addition

Alright babe. You’ve got $900k plus the amount that my website sold for. Let’s call that a million. The addition was going to cost $70k.

Do the addition. You’re going to love it.

Perhaps a Fund For Others

If, down the road, you’re earning money, you’re making it on your own, and you really don’t need a few hundred grand, consider setting up a charitable fund for others. It can be for friends, family, total strangers, I don’t care. Just pay it forward. God has blessed us so much, it’s our duty to be a blessing to others that may not be as fortunate as we were.

A Message For You, The Reader – What If You Died Yesterday?

What does your future look like? We’re a bunch of nerdy savers, so don’t feel bad if your picture isn’t as rosy as the one above. BUT, you should take the action step and apply for life insurance with Bestow. I know I’m probably getting a bit pushy here, but it’s just sooo important. If you died without life insurance, chances are that your family could be in a huge bind. You never know what’s going to happen in life. It’s worth the extra $10-$20 each month to have the peace of mind that everything will be taken care of if something happens to you.

Once you’ve got life insurance, think about how you could get ahead with everything else!

  • the emergency fund
  • retirement funds
  • kids’ schooling
  • college

Fund them as soon as you can so you can be free from thinking about them later, and so that if anything happens to you, it’s already covered! No worries!

Want to know how to start transforming your finances today? Here’s a great post to get you on track! 11 Steps to Transform Your Finances (For Good This Time!!)

What if you died yesterday? Would your loved ones be set financially? Or in a tough spot?

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How to Stop Impulse Spending: You Can Do This!!

stop impulse spendingHere’s the thing with impulse spending. It’s kind of fun, isn’t it? The thrill of walking into a store for one thing, then randomly buying something else you didn’t even realize you wanted! Better yet, browsing through Amazon and hitting that yellow buy button just because! I know I’ve certainly done it, but, is it financially smart? You and I both know it probably isn’t. Below, we’ll take a look at how to stop impulse spending.

How to Stop Impulse Spending: You Can Do This!!

This is a guest post written by Field Chari over at Digest Your Finances!

If you’ve already tried different methods of stopping your impulse spending, then you probably realize that it’s much easier said than done. Somehow, you’re still accidentally buying things here and there, and rationalizing the spending. Well, my dear reader, this article is just for you. It’s time we stop impulse spending once and for all!

Acknowledge the Problem

Stopping impulse spending is easier said than done. The first and most important thing you need to do is to acknowledge the problem.

Denying impulse spending and pretending that it’s not a problem only worsens it. The thing is, with impulse spending, it all seems like a few dollars here and there won’t going to hurt anything, right? On the contrary, they could have a devastating financial impact on your financial health and reaching financial independence.

Related: Why Slow FI is Better For Me Than FIRE

So yes, realizing that it’s a financial issue is the first and most important step.

Realize That It’s Not Going to Be Easy

Secondly, once you acknowledge the problem, it’s important not to give up when you want to stop impulse spending. Here’s the thing: Cutting up your credit cards and freezing your accounts doesn’t take the urge away.

Most “tips” out there focus on taking away the source:

  • limiting your trips to the store
  • blocking certain websites from yourself.

None of that sounds fun!

All these tactics definitely help in controlling the urges. But if you, like most, have already tried these tactics, then it’s important to kick it up a gear!

So, now that we’ve acknowledged the issue, and are willing to keep it at bay, we’re going to talk about ways of strengthening your willpower and stop impulse spending.

Related: 7 Tips for Making a Budget and Sticking to it

The “One-week” Rule

The most powerful way to stop impulse spending is by using the One Week Rule.

Basically, whenever you see something you want to buy (either in the store or online), force yourself to wait it out a week before buying it. Now, we’re not talking about buying necessities like food or utilities, but instead, we’re talking about your “wants”.

The easiest way to determine if something is a “want” is to determine if you need it for your basic survival.

Basic needs include: 

  • Food
  • utilities
  • transportation,
  • shelter

Basically, everything you want to splurge on is probably a want:

  • A new pair of sunglasses,
  • new shoes,
  • new purses, or even
  • pulling through McDonald’s..

These aren’t needs. You can live without sunglasses, you already have shoes, you already have a purse, and you have food at home (believe it or not, McDonald’s is expensive compared to buying groceries!!).

So, whenever you see something fun you want to buy, walk away and give yourself a week to think it over. If you still find it necessary to get it, then get it.

Again, it’s not easy…

Now, I’ll be honest, this is so much easier said than done! It’s so easy to justify spending $20 on a small item and not follow this rule, but the thing is, it all adds up. Everyone has their own impulse threshold though. Maybe a $5 purchase is something you don’t need to think over for a week, so make sure you set your own. But once you set that amount you need to think over, make sure you uphold the One Week Rule.

This rule forces you to stop for a little while and think it over. It forces you to make a very conscious spending decision and makes sure that it actually fits within your monthly budget.

Have a Spending Budget

This is important when you want to know how to stop impulse spending. Instead of taking away any possibility of you buying things you want, you can instead do it strategically. You don’t want to set unrealistic goals for yourself, that’s just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, set aside a dollar amount for yourself that you can spend on anything you want.

If you don’t have a monthly budget yet, or it’s been a while since you’ve worked on one, then it’s very important that you set one up. I recently wrote about How To Start Budget For Beginners over at my blog.

Remember though, it’s easy to set an unrealistic spending budget for yourself. 

So it’s going to take a little time to dial in exactly what works for you and your own financial picture. Spending money is okay, but it’s important to also spend it strategically. Be patient with yourself and the process

Related: How You Can Save Hundreds of Dollars (Free Budget Sheet Included!)

Focus On What’s Important

Lastly, it’s important for you to take a second and focus on what’s important in your life and your future. Unless you have an unlimited supply of money, impulse spending is taking away from something else. This is called Opportunity Cost.

What exactly are you taking away when you impulse spend?

Think about it for a second.

  • Are you taking away from having an emergency fund?
  • Or maybe, you’re taking away from saving for retirement?
  • Or even taking away from having decent health and life insurance from your family?

(FYI – if you’re in the market for term life insurance, check out Bestow (Derek’s affiliate link)! They’re quick, inexpensive, and established!)

I know, these are “take-away” examples all quite random, but they are also very true.

Your situation might be different, but Opportunity Cost is a real thing. You don’t want impulse spending to be the reason why you live paycheck to paycheck or have your debt spiral out of control. A sobering thought, but an important one to have nonetheless.

Make sure you set goals for your financial future so that when you want to impulse spend, you have that nagging feeling at the back of your head reminding you of your goals.

Your goals should always be more important than a new phone or a new purse. Achieving goals requires sacrifice. I know, that word does not sound fun at all, but then again if the sacrifice were easy, everyone would do it.

Final Thoughts

Like I mentioned above, if you want to stop impulse spending, budgeting is a must-have for anyone that wants to control their spending.

If you really want to stop impulse spending, it’s going to take time and effort. You’re probably going to mess up a few times, but it’s okay! Just like riding a bike, you’re not going to nail it the first time around, and chances are, you’re going to bruise a knee or two, but with focus and determination, you’re going to stop impulse spending once and for all!

Thanks for reading, and I have faith in you! Good luck!

About the Author

Hey there, Field Chari here! I’m a passionate software developer by day, real estate investor on the weekends, and avid writer at night! I author in-depth guides that teach the fundamentals of personal finance, investments, and early retirement over at my blog at DigestYourFinances.com. Thanks for reading all! And thanks to Derek for the opportunity to write the post!

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