Tag: Life Hacks

 

Summer Side Hustles to Try This Year

It’s almost summer! This means BBQs, beach days, and road trips. Yet, summer isn’t all fun and games. It’s also a great time to make more money.

Whether you decide to get a temp job or strike out on your own with a new side hustle, now is the perfect opportunity to put extra cash toward your money goals. To help get your wheels rolling, check out these eight side hustle ideas.

1. Real Estate Agent Assistant

Spring and summer are the busy seasons for real estate agents, especially if you live in a region with a hot housing market. Many agents need extra help with listings, and this includes taking photos of houses and shopping for personalized thank-you gifts for clients. At the same time, agents may not have the budget or need for a full-time employee. That’s where you come in.

Perhaps you can become a freelance personal assistant to a local real estate agent. Don’t be shy. Start pounding the pavement, meet with real estate agents, and let them know what you can bring to the table.

2. Social Media Manager

Admit it. You already spend too much time on Instagram and Snapchat. Why not get paid for your social media usage? Restaurants and stores need people with good communication skills to increase their online presence. So, create a sample account to show local businesses how you can help them gain more traction with social media.

You can charge an hourly rate or offer a flat rate package that includes a set of curated images, posting ideas and content creation. For an extra weekly charge, you can even manage the company’s social media accounts daily.

3. Manager for Airbnb Hosts

Did you know that you don’t actually have to own a rental to profit from Airbnb’s popularity? Instead, you can become a property manager for Airbnb hosts in your area.

Many Airbnb hosts rent out their home on the side but still have a busy life to maintain too. Summer months might also be the time that hosts want to do some traveling on their own, without stressing out about their own guests.

You, in turn, can be the reliable person that can fill in the gap for them. As part of the deal, you can also offer to clean the rentals between guest stays, do lawn care or welcome guests. You can even offer to improve their listings with better photos and descriptions.

4. Summer Program Instructor

Have you thought about becoming a swim instructor or teaching kids yoga classes? Perhaps you can offer children’s art or drama classes?

Summer is a great time to get your creative juices going and teach kids classes. If you haven’t taught swimming in years or you want to learn a new skill, the American RedCross offers a Water Safety Instructor’s Course in many areas. This course prepares you to teach preschoolers and children, as well as ‘Parent and Me’ aquatic classes. You can charge $25-35 for an hour of one-on-one swim lessons or charge $300 upfront for a package of 10 swim lessons.

When it comes to yoga, this may be easier than teaching swimming because you don’t need a pool and can run classes at a local park or even in a backyard. And don’t worry if you’ve never taught yoga before. You can hook up with a company like Pretzel Kids yoga, which offers an affordable online training course enabling you to start teaching children’s yoga classes immediately. Pretzel Kids teachers can earn $40 to $100 a class, depending on where you live and how many children are enrolled in your classes, says Pretzel Kids founder Robyn Parets.

“Some of our Pretzel Kids teachers also run mini-camps for a week or even three days during the summer. The best part: You can pick a summer week when you’re around and even bring along your own kids. It’s a lucrative and flexible way to earn extra cash doing something to enrich kids’ lives,” says Parets.

5. A Sitter for All Needs

Once school is out for the summer, many parents are desperate for affordable day care.

Have you considered becoming a babysitter? Even if you are only free nights and weekends, you can still pick up regular gigs when parents need a date night. If you become a child’s favorite sitter, you might even get invited on vacation.

Pet sitting and house sitting are also in-demand during the summer months. Many people prefer in-home pet sitting to boarding their animals, especially if they have more than one fur baby. For an easy way to make more money, check out Rover.com to apply for local house or pet sitting gigs.

6. Teach Kids Online

Companies like VIPKid hire online instructors to teach English to children in China. The virtual one-on-one teachings pay up to $22 an hour. To be a teacher, you need a bachelor’s degree and to pass the application process.

You can also look into other online teaching opportunities at companies like Outschool, which hires independent contractors to teach all sorts of classes for kids via video conference calls. With Outschool, you have to go through an approval process and then you can set your own hours and rates.

7. Garden and Lawn Care

We know, mowing lawns is the ultimate cliche of summer jobs, but it is for good reason. Taking care of your lawn is harder in the summer when plants and weeds grow faster.

So, try offering extra services that a regular gardener does not do, such as dog poop removal, palm tree trimming and patio power washing.

You can even skip the monthly service all together for a one-time charge. Call it the “Take a Week Off” special, offering individuals an hour of garden care for $25.

8. RV Prep and Cleaning

Hitting the open road is a summer favorite for many families. Yet, prepping the RV and cleaning it after the trip is something many wish they didn’t have to do.

You, however, can profit off of this common pain point with your own RV service business. To boot, advertising this type of business door-to-door is easy, since most of your potential customers will have their RV parked on the side of their homes.

Get Your Side Hustle On

Now that we’ve given you eight great ideas to make extra money this summer, it’s time for you to get started!

And here’s one final pro tip to level up your income: If your employer offers direct deposit, you can get paid early with Chime. Even without direct deposit, you can still manage your side hustle paychecks with Chime and automate your income. Simply transfer 10% of your paycheck into a separate account every time you get paid. This way you can reach your money goals with ease.

 

How to Turn Your Side Hustle into a Full-time Gig

Fifty percent of millennials have a side gig, according to a study by Experian.

This is often the perfect way to jumpstart your financial goals, including debt freedom, moving into your own apartment, or funding that dream vacation. A side hustle can also be a big motivator to launching a full-time business and achieving financial freedom.

To help you learn more, take a look at seven tips to turn your side hustle into a full-time gig.

1. Be Realistic

The truth is: Not every side job can be turned into a full-time hustle. For example, mowing your neighbors’ lawns every weekend probably works really well as a side gig, generating a few hundred dollars a month. But you would need to put in a lot more effort to transform this concept into a full-fledged business. For example, you’d need to consider advertising costs, the seasonality of a lawncare business, and the existing competition in the market.

Putting together a financial forecast to determine your total revenues and expenses is another important part of your research at this stage.

2. Stop Treating Your Side Business Like a Hobby

Leah Gervais, founder of Urban 20 Something, says that if you want to scale your side hustle into a full-time gig, you need to treat your side business “like your job, because it is.”

“This means scheduling out your time to work on it and making those meetings unbreakable. Be honest with yourself; this will be an intense time period with long hours and lots of sacrifices. But it’s just a chapter. The more dedicated you are, the faster you’ll be able to make your side hustle your full-time hustle,” says Gervais.

Another way to up your commitment level is to formalize your business structure. Tasha Cochran, one half of the YouTube channel One Big Happy Life, recently quit her job to pursue her blogging hustle full-time. As she noted on her website: “We became an LLC, signed a partnership agreement and started to be more strategic about what we were doing.”

3. Look for Ways to Work Smarter

A side hustle can be hard to scale but it’s not impossible. One way to grow your side hustle is to transition from a one-to-one business model to a one-to-many business model. Translation: Figure out how to earn money while you sleep!

One booming market for doing this is the e-learning industry. According to Reuters, global e-learning grew to $165.21 billion in 2015 and is expected to skyrocket to $275.10 billion by 2022.

Just be aware: In order to scale an e-learning business with a host of online courses, you do have to hustle.

For example, Robyn Parets migrated online with her branded Pretzel Kids Yoga Teacher Certification Course in 2016. Pretzel Kids still offers live trainings and kids yoga classes, but the online school allows the company to grow its reach globally. Pretzel Kids nows sells a host of courses via its online kids yoga training school, such as How to Teach Mindfulness to Kids and Yoga for Kids with Special Needs. In addition, Pretzel Kids instructors can join a membership community where they can access branded materials, download teaching resources, get booked for teaching gigs, and more, says Parets.

“The ability to offer online trainings and a membership community has been pivotal to the growth of Pretzel Kids. We also offer our trained teachers a way to immediately start their own side hustles using our curriculum,” she says.

4. Invest in Yourself

Have you ever heard the saying the best investment you can make is in yourself? This is especially applicable to scaling your side hustle because you are your biggest asset.

As a full-time entrepreneur to-be, the learning process should be a continuous one. In the early days of scaling your hustle, you might have to invest in tools and courses to beef up your skill set. For example, you may need to learn more about email marketing or social media. Yet, in the long-run, this will save you time and money.

You can also fast-track your success by finding a mentor and connecting with other like-minded people who can help your business thrive.

5. Wait Until Your Side Hustle Earnings are Consistent

Before you make the leap from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur, your side hustle earnings should either equal your current income or be sufficient enough to cover your living expenses.

Don’t forget to include a line item in your new budget for those intangible benefits that your current job provides, including health insurance, 401(k) contributions and the like. For example, if you have to say goodbye to free lunch on Fridays or free daily coffee, make sure to add these as new expenses each week.

Another tip is to wait at least a few months in order to determine whether your side business will produce consistent earnings. This is exactly what Gervais did. Once her side business started regularly bringing in more money than she made at her 9 to 5 job, she had the confidence to turn it into her full-time job. Today, her online business generates more than $10k in sales per month.

6. Boost Your Emergency Fund Before Taking the Plunge

If you have a healthy savings account, then you’ll have peace of mind to go all-in on your side business. To help you boost your emergency fund faster, you can try automating your finances.

With a Chime bank account, for example, you can save when you get paid and automatically direct 10% of every paycheck into your Chime Savings Account. This way you can put your savings on autopilot and reach full-time entrepreneur status sooner. As a bonus, if you use your Chime Visa Debit Card to make purchases, Chime will round up each purchase you make to the nearest dollar, and transfer the round up amount right into your Savings Account.

7. Schedule in Self-Care

When you’re working to scale your side hustle into a full-time business, it’s easy to put health and wellness on the back-burner. But taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is more important than ever at this stage. The good news is: Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as scheduling in a 30-minute walk each day to get some fresh air and mental clarity, reading a book or enjoying a long bath.

Ready, Set, Go!

If transitioning your side hustle into a full-time gig is something that you’ve been on the fence about, we hope these seven tips will give you the push you need to start living your dream!

 

How to Buy Groceries for One Person

Links to external websites are not managed by Chime or The Bancorp Bank.


Grocery shopping for one is a struggle.

I should know. Some weeks I’d buy too much food – only to throw away 70% of it at the end of the week. Other weeks I’d make one meal and begrudgingly eat it every single day. Not ideal. Yup, it took me years to master the art of buying food when I was a household of one.

Yet, wasting money on groceries isn’t just a problem that plagues the solo shopper. The average family of four wastes $1,600 per year on uneaten food. And, Americans waste nearly one pound of food per person, per day. That adds up to $165 billion of food that goes uneaten.

While food waste is a problem for a number of reasons, it can be a big problem for your bank account. Ever wonder how much money you could you be saving?

Luckily, we’ve got you covered with some easy ways to shop smarter and avoid food waste.

Get into the planning

You’ve heard this before, for good reason. Meal planning is the key to not buying more than you need.

But meal planning can also be more difficult when you’re planning meals for one. That’s because recipes rarely have a serving size of one. You’ll typically see recipes for family meals serving upwards of four people.

So, when you’re meal planning, opt for food items that you know will freeze well. And, if you you don’t want to be stuck eating the same thing all week, make sure it’s something that you can easily pop into the freezer and enjoy eating later. For ideas, take a look at this list of 33 meals that freeze well.

Another clever idea is to pick two or more recipes that use the same core ingredients. Brianne Bell, a registered dietician and food blogger, suggests doing this to avoid eating the same meal all week. For example, she buys a whole chicken and roasts it. For her first meal, she’ll eat roast chicken. Next, she’ll shred the remaining chicken to use in salads and sandwiches for the rest of the week. Planning meals around the main ingredient of chicken ensures nothing is wasted.

Utilize your freezer

Before you head to the fresh produce section of your grocery store, take a stroll down the frozen food aisle. The produce you’ll find there contains roughly the same level of vitamins and minerals as fresh fruits and veggies, making this a healthy and smart option for the solo shopper. Relying on frozen produce also means you’ll never have to throw away a sad carrot again.

If you do end up with fresh food that you’re not going to eat before it spoils, Bell suggests freezing it before it goes bad. And you know how frustrating it is when you just need a few basil leaves for a recipe but you have to buy a large bunch? Bell advises throwing those in the freezer as well. Just chop them up, put them into an ice cube tray, cover with oil and freeze.

While freezing is a great option for the times when you do end up with more than you need, not everything freezes well. The Kitchn breaks down the foods that don’t freeze well. So, if you’ve stocked up on cucumbers and lettuce, don’t plan on relying on your freezer to help you with the excess.

Shop differently

I used to steer clear of the salad bar in a grocery store, assuming that it’s always going to be the most expensive option. But more often than not I’d get to the end of the week and find a half-eaten bag of spinach that I needed to throw away.

Turns out, the salad bar and bulk food aisle may hold the keys to your shopping for one success, says Mary Weidner co-founder of meal planning app Strongr Fastr. Rather than picking up a bag of spinach when you only need a little, the salad bar and the bulk food aisle may be your best bet.

“Just last week, I bought some spinach, quinoa, spices, dried berries, olives, and sliced nuts- all in the exact quantities I needed for about $3.50. And had no food waste for the week,” says Weidner.

But don’t stop there. If you need some meat, food blogger and recipe writer Jim Mumford suggests that you head to the butcher counter to get the exact amount you need, rather than picking up the family-sized pre-packaged meat.

“Most pre-packaged meat is well over a pound, and not ideal for one or two meals. The butcher at the counter is willing and happy to cut something down, even a roast or a tenderloin,” says Mumford.

If you want to skip the hassle of the store altogether, Bell advises that fruit and vegetable deliveries can be a smart option. Oftentimes, you can get just get what you need delivered straight to your door.

Make it social

Need to buy something that you definitely won’t eat all on your own (like that loaf of bread)? Get a little help from a friend. Figure out the things you both need to buy and split it. As a bonus, you can use this strategy to take advantage of the buy one, get one offers you see in some grocery stores.

If you’re really feeling social — and have a friend with similar food preferences — why not split groceries and cook some main meals together? If you’re making a recipe that serves four, you won’t have to worry about whether it freezes well or whether you’ll be able to handle eating it all week. You’ll each end up with two servings and have some fun while cooking.

Are you ready to solo shop?

Shopping for one can be a little tricky. But, by following these tried-and-true tips, you’ll be on your way to saving money without wasting food. Are you ready to take a new approach to shopping for groceries?

 

How Much Money Can I Actually Save By Not Dining Out?

Between grabbing lunch on the go, dinner dates, and Sunday brunch with the crew, dining out can eat a sizable hole in your budget and make a big dent in your bank account. The typical adult eats out 2.4 times a week, spending $2,443 a year on meals away from home.

Just think: That $200 a month you spend on dining out can be used in many other ways. For example, you could stash it into a savings account to grow your emergency fund. Or, you could save for retirement or pay down your debt, both of which can help you become more financially healthy.

So, does that mean you have to go cold turkey on dining out or the occasional fast food indulgence? Not necessarily. Putting these money-saving strategies to work can help you balance your budgeting goals with your foodie cravings. Read on to learn more.

Check online for coupons and discounts

By far, this may be the easiest way to save money on dining out. Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are a simple way to browse promotions and deals at local restaurants. You can also check out your favorite restaurant’s website or social media pages for coupons and daily or weekly specials.

“Don’t be afraid to use these deals to save,” says Beverly Friedmann, content manager at MyFoodSubscriptions.

“They exist to attract your business and you can really cut down on your total bill,” she says.

Just be sure to read the fine print on a coupon or promotion so you understand how it works. For instance, you might be required to spend $75 to get $15 off your total bill. If you were only planning to spend $35 on dinner to begin with, you wouldn’t come out ahead by taking advantage of the deal.

Another way to save: watch for gift card promotions. Around major holidays, restaurants may offer a $10 gift card when you buy $50 in gift cards or a similar deal. That’s an easy way to pick up some savings.

Skip the add-ons

If you’ve never been a server in a restaurant, you may not be familiar with the concept of upselling.

This is when a server offers you something extra, like a side of shrimp to go with your steak dinner or a special dessert. But if you’re trying to dine out on a budget, think twice before upgrading your meal, says Patricia Russell, certified financial planner and founder of Finance Marvel.

Instead, “fill up on freebies or low-cost options to help stretch your meal,” says Russell.

For example, partake in complimentary bread, crackers or chips and salsa. If you do decide to add something on, stick with a low-cost option such as a side salad. And if you end up with more food than you need, make sure you take it to go to have as a second meal later.

Try mystery shopping

Mystery shopping is essentially a way to get paid to shop or dine out.

“Mystery shopping companies hire shoppers to go to a restaurant, have a meal, write a short report and get paid – plus the cost of the meal is reimbursed,” says Jennifer Hayes, a mystery shopping and money-saving expert at Smarty Pants Finance.

Hayes routinely dines out several times a month as a mystery shopper, at the cost of $0. She says there’s no better way to dine out on a budget.

If you’re looking for mystery shopping opportunities to eat for free (and get paid), check out companies like Best Mark or Market Force.

Check the restaurant’s BYOB policy

“Bring your own beverage” isn’t just for backyard barbecues.

“Most people don’t realize this but many restaurants have corkage policies that allow you to bring your own bottle of wine,” says Scott Washburn, chief growth officer at Winestyr.

But there’s a catch: You may pay a fee for that convenience.

“The fee will generally be $15 to $30 per bottle, but you’ll end up spending significantly less money than if you were to purchase a bottle of wine from the restaurant,” he says.

Washburn’s best tip for going the BYOB route? Check the restaurant’s wine list before you go.

“You’ll want to do some research ahead of time and bring a wine that isn’t on the list, as this (bringing a wine on the menu) is considered to be a bit of a faux pas,” he says.

Stick with water and appetizers in lieu of a meal

Drinking water in place of alcohol or soda is another cost-saving measure Friedmann recommends.

“Even a single soda will usually run you more than three dollars, and if you opt for wine or alcohol, prices are considerably higher than what you’d pay by drinking at home,” she says.

Friedmann says you can save even more by ordering an appetizer in place of an entree. And if you’re dining out with friends, you can each order an appetizer to share.

Just make sure you check the costs and consider portion sizes to make sure it’s enough food. If you order something else after eating the appetizer because you’re still hungry, you may not be saving yourself anything. And if you’re splitting the check with friends, pick a set dollar amount you can all agree on to spend beforehand.

Bonus tip: Plan your dinner out around your favorite restaurant’s happy hour, when you may be able to score appetizers and drinks for half price.

Have a plan for the money you’re saving on dining out

It’s great to save money on dining out every month, but you also need to know what you’re going to do with that savings. Otherwise, those extra dollars you’re saving could leak out somewhere else.

If you’re looking for ideas, some of the best ways to put your savings to work include:

  • Opening a savings account for a specific goal, like planning a summer getaway with friends
  • Starting that side hustle you’ve been thinking about as a way to boost your income
  • Bumping up your monthly student loan payments
  • Opening an individual retirement account to get your nest egg started

The secret sauce to reaching any of these financial goals is consistency. So if you’re saving money on meals out, consider linking up your checking account to your savings account and automate monthly deposits. Or, schedule automatic payments to pay off a debt and watch your balance shrink.

What’s your best tip for saving on dining out?

Hopefully, you have a few tricks up your own sleeve for how to save money on dining out. But if you don’t, these tips can help you cut down on what you spend without totally sacrificing your love of pub food or gourmet desserts. After all, keeping an eye on the bottom line is just as important as keeping an eye on your waistline when dining out.

 

What’s A Good Credit Score in Your 30s?

You likely spent your 20s growing a lot, making mistakes, and discovering yourself. Your 30s, however, are a time for refinement and fine-tuning.

While in your 20s, you were just starting your financial life. Yet, hitting the big 3-0 signaled that it was time to level up your finances. One way you can do this is by improving your credit score.

In this guide, we break down what a good credit score looks like your in 30s, and why this is important.

A good credit score in your 30s

When you’re in your 30s, you’ve had a decade to establish and build your credit. You might still have student loans, as well as several credit cards. You may even have a car loan or a mortgage.

If you played your cards right, your credit score may be in good shape. But if you spent your 20s racking up credit card bills and in denial about your student loan debt, your credit score might not be so hot. According to data from Credit Karma, the average credit score for 25-34 year olds is 628. The most popular credit scoring model, FICO, defines a “good” credit score as 670 to 739.

If you take the average credit score of 628 and add the other two data points that FICO describes as “good” – 670 and 739 – and divide by three, you get 679. And, while a credit score of 679 is a good benchmark in your 30s, having a score in the low to mid 700s is even better.

Let’s back up a bit. In your 30s, a good credit score in the 700s should be attainable. Why? Take a look at these factors to understand what contributes to your credit score and why a good score can be achievable in your 30s.

What factors make up your credit?

The length of your credit history is one of the factors that make up your credit score. By your 30s, you should have a solid credit history with years of data.

On top of that, your credit mix is another factor that contributes to your score. This refers to the different types of credit you have, like an auto loan and a credit card. By your 30s, it’s likely that your credit mix is more diverse, which can boost your score. For example, you might have an auto loan, student loans, credit cards and a mortgage. If you make your payments on time and keep your balances low, this can reflect well on your credit score.

The two main factors that contribute to your credit score are your payment history and your credit utilization. If you have years of positive repayment history and never missed a single payment, then time is on your side! This can show lenders that you’re a responsible borrower.

Additionally, keeping your balance below 30 percent of your available credit, also called your credit utilization, is important. If you have high balances, whether you pay them off in full each month or not, this can be a red flag to lenders who might think you’re a risk.

Given all of these factors, you should aim for a “good credit score” in the 700s. If you’re not quite there, don’t fret. Pay off your debt, keep your balances low, minimize the number of accounts you open, and pay your bills on time. This will help boost your credit score.

Why is having a good credit score in your 30s important?

So, why is having a good credit score in your 30s important anyway?

Your credit score can seem like just a number. But in your 30s, when you’re ready to level up your finances and life, a credit score can make or break your options.

For example, you may be ready to start a family and buy a house. Your credit score, in turn,  can influence whether you get approved for a mortgage and what interest rate you get.

Or, perhaps you want to refinance your student loans to try to save money. Good credit can help make this achievable. Plus, if you have kids and want to get a minivan, you’ll want to snag a great rate on an auto loan. And, you guessed it, a good credit score will help you get a lower interest rate.

Bottom line

Your 30s are all about coming into your own and refining everything you learned in your 20s. This is true of your credit too! This is the time to look at your mistakes, reflect and revamp. If your credit isn’t great, you still have time to improve and all is not lost.

Just think: Once you have a good credit score in your 30s, you can get the best interest rates and start reaching your life milestones without all the extra costs.

 

How Long Should You Side Hustle For?

Side hustling is a great way to make extra money. The more successful your side hustle is, the more motivated you are to continue, right? Not exactly. There are many other factors that contribute to the longevity of your side hustle.

Here’s how you can tell how long you should side hustle for.

Set a Goal If You’re Trying to Leave Your Job

If you’re side hustling in order to leave your full-time job, it’s important to set a deadline for when you’d like to leave and under which circumstances. How much do you need to earn? How many hours to do you expect to spend working?

For me, unfortunately, I had hit a breaking point with my side hustle which prompted me to leave my 9-5 and turn my side hustle into my full-time job. I was burning out from working so many hours between both jobs.

Luckily, I was earning enough money to allow myself to quit without too much worry. Still, this is something to keep in mind. If you plan on working several hours and building a business up on the side, set a goal as to when you will make the transition to full time so you know that side hustling is only temporary.

Consider What Your Short Term Goals Are

Are you side hustling just to meet a short term goal? Whether it’s to pay off debt, fund a large purchase, or to gain a new skill, get clear on why you’re side hustling so you can meet those short term goals.

Also, develop a plan for what you’ll do after you reach them.

Is Your Side Hustle Still Enjoyable?

This is a question my husband is faced with currently. He’s been side hustling with Uber for about 3 years now. He admits it’s not as enjoyable as when he first started.

In the beginning, he wanted to side hustle to help us pay for extra expenses, pay off his car loan, and save more for the downpayment on our home.

We have met all of those goals and he’s gotten to a place where he’d rather stay home at night instead of going to drive for Uber. We could still use some extra money each month, but it seems like it’s time to switch to another side hustle.

Since you’re working on the side, you’re already putting in extra hours so you might as well do something that you enjoy and are good at. If your side hustle is no longer enj0yable and doesn’t stimulate you, you’ll lose motivation and it will feel more like a chore.

Consider Working in Seasonal Spurts

If you plan to make your side hustle a long-term venture, continue working is seasonal spurts. That way, you’re expected to be “on” and working all the time. Working 7 days per week is not sustainable for anyone long-term.

Choose a side hustle that’s flexible and allows you to pick up or drop hours as you see fit. For example, you may want to work more hours during the summer when work at your main job is slow. A seasonal side business can be more sustainable because it allows you time to rest.

Summary

Side hustles are often great to have, but all good things tend to come to an end. Be intention when deciding what type of side hustle you’ll try and what your goals are. Consider doing flexible work and allowing yourself the freedom to slow down or speed up production as you see fit.

 

Side Hustles You Can Do in Your Sleep

For our parents’ generation, “moonlighting” might have meant earning extra money by flipping burgers at a fast food joint or working at a department store on the weekends.

But for us? Well, we’re the gig economy generation. Whether you deliver groceries, participate in focus groups, or get rented out to be someone’s wedding guest, you’ve likely got some sort of side hustle. According to a recent Bankrate report, nearly 40 percent of Americans have a side gig. As for millennials, half of us have one.

If you’re still searching for an easy way to rake in money, we’ve got you covered. Here are four passive income strategies that can help you earn money in your sleep. Pretty sweet.

1. Video royalties

You don’t need a gazillion views to monetize your videos.

Yes, even you can make money off your adorable furbaby videos, clips of wild weather, political protests, and unusual street performers, says Peter Koch, founder of Seller at Heart.

Koch spends a few hours a month making short videos and uploading them to video licensing platforms. He rakes in about $150 a month.

Where to start? Video licensing agencies like Newsflare, Rumble, or Jukin Media are just some of the platforms where you can sell your videos. Yet, the ways in which you can earn money vary. For instance, if you use Newsflare and a website wants to use your video for a set amount of time, you can earn a flat rate. You can also make money via ad placements. With Rumble, on the other hand, you can earn money through syndication. And with Jukin you can make money through licensing, brand partnerships, and online monetization.

2. Stack cash back and rewards apps

What about making money by spending money on things you already buy?

With popular cash back apps like Ebates, Drop and Dosh, you can earn points, which can then be redeemed for either gift cards and sometimes cash.

Similar to credit card rewards, you just link your credit card to the app, explains Andrew Herrig, a personal finance blogger at Wealthy Nickel.

“You earn points that you can trade for cash for shopping you would normally do anyway,” says Herrig.

Pro tip: If you put in a little extra effort, you can score good bonuses for some non-cash back offers, explains Herring. And, if you already put some of these purchases on a credit card, you’ll be earning reward points on your credit card, too. Just be careful of making purchases you normally wouldn’t, and carrying too high of a balance on your card.

3. Creating digital products

Online businesses and products are popular ways to earn passive income.

If you already have a platform with a strong following, or it you’ve devised a marketing strategy by way of email funnels and ads, you can potentially rake in some cash selling e-books or courses.

“Online courses make for great digital products, because people are always looking for how to do new things — whether it’s to learn about SEO, or take on another hobby or interest,” says

Mike Pearson, who created an online marketing course for bloggers who want to boost their SEO.

“The best part about selling digital products is that you only have to create the product once, and then you can sell infinite copies over and over again, truly earning money while you sleep,” says Pearson, who is the founder of Stupid Simple SEO.

Pearson makes a killing from his online course — the course costs $300 and he rakes in about $10,000 a month as a side income. As for the upfront investment, he spent 20 hours filming videos, writing text, making a sales page, and coming up with an email sequence to sell the course.

“It was a lot of upfront effort. The good thing is, the costs were minimal as I did all of the work myself,” he says.

4. Sell your stories

A few years ago Jarek G. (FYI: that’s his blogger pseudonym) wrote a dozen short stories and self-published them on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Jarek spent anywhere from six to 10 hours writing, editing, and publishing each story, and paid five dollars to get a cover made. He published each story as a stand-alone for $2.99.
At his peak, Jarek earned about $150 a month.

These days, he still makes $30 to $40 a month in passive income from these same stories.

“It was a bit of upfront work, but after that it’s relatively passive,” says Jarek, who is the founder of Time in the Market.

Understand the ROI

When earning passive income, make sure you save part of the money you earn and put it toward one of your money goals. You can even use a money-saving app to help you keep track of this extra income. (Or, you might want to auto-save a portion on the regular.)

And, to get to the sweet spot of earning money passively, you’ll need to make sure the costs and time upfront are worth it. Keep in mind that all streams of passive income require not only work, but a bit of luck and timing.

“There’s no easy path to wealth or making money,” says Jarek.

“For instance, with self-publishing, you’ll need to be active, and it requires some talent to write things people want to read.”

 

How to Break Into a New Career Field in Your 30s

Some say that 30 is the magic age when it comes to getting serious about your life and career.

This is when you start to level up your savings for retirement, think about buying a home, and climb the career ladder. In fact, turning 30 will likely get you thinking about whether you’re happy in your current career. If not, it may be time for a change.

With these 6 steps, you can overcome intimidation and start a new career as you move into your 30s. Welcome to adulting.

Step 1: Figure Out Why You Want to Switch Careers

You may know you want to switch careers, but it’s important to narrow down why you feel this way. Is the work you do no longer fulfilling? Have you changed your interests or gained a desire to advance your skillset? Do you no longer enjoy your industry for different reasons?

Figuring out why you want to change careers will help you determine what you’re looking for in your new career. Ideally, what you lack currently should be placed on the priority list when it comes to choosing a new career.

Step 2: Be Honest About What’s Holding You Back

Have you been wanting to switch careers for some time now? Sometimes, we get so comfortable in our jobs that we tend to suppress any thoughts or feelings about moving on to something different.

In other words, the idea of switching careers after you turn 30 may seem risky or like too much work. Yet, if you want to explore a new field, you need to get past this step and identify the barriers that are holding you back.

Sometimes the idea of starting over or going back to school can be the biggest barrier. It’s up to you to break down these obstacles. Instead, think about what life would be like if you were able to start an entirely new profession.

Step 3: Assess Your New Career Path

Now that you know why you want to switch careers and what’s holding you back, it’s time to decide what you want to do.

To start, determine what type of education or experience you’ll need and how much it would cost to obtain the right credentials. Also, research current and future job prospects, along with expected pay and benefits. Depending on the type of new job, you may need to make some drastic changes. For example, going from a copywriter to an article editor may not be that big of a shift. But transitioning from an accountant to a nurse would require some significant changes, including additional education and training.

Always make sure that you keep your return on investment in mind. For example, if you’re going to go back to school to get a new license or certification, develop a specific career plan that will help you earn back that investment shortly after you land a new position and start getting paid.

Step 4: Update Your Resume

One of the most intimidating things about breaking into a new career in your 30s is that you’ll need to update your resume so that it’s relevant to job prospects in your new field.

I’d advise keeping all your past job history on your resume because this may be valuable experience. However, you can also make changes that will highlight specific responsibilities you had or accomplishments you made that will be relevant to your new career.

Skills like customer service, effective communication, organization and problem-solving are all generally valuable no matter what career field you choose.

You can also start rebuilding your experience by picking up volunteer or contract positions in your new desired field.

Step 5: Lean on Your Network

All the years you spent networking will certainly pay off when it’s time to change careers. Sure, you probably built your professional network based on your current career but you never know who other people know and how these contacts can help you.

Tell friends, family, and colleagues about your career shift and ask if they have any leads or can keep an eye out for opportunities they may come across. Start attending local networking events or meetups geared toward people in your new career field. And, update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your past and present skills and education.

Step 6: Prepare for a Financial Shift

Finally, it’s crucial that you be mindful of the financial changes you may experience during this transition phase. You may have to take a pay cut when you switch careers.

If you have to go back to school, you’ll have to determine how you’ll pay for tuition and make your loan payments. In the worst case scenario, where a lay-off prompts you to switch careers, you’ll have to figure out how to make ends meet for the time being. This may entail cutting expenses or picking up a side hustle.

In addition, it’s best not to make any hasty moves when you’re switching careers. Continue to work at your current job and build up a solid savings cushion on the side. If you have to go back to school, consider taking online or night classes so you can still work during the day.

Break Into a New Career Field by Going in with a Plan

When you first pursued your current career, you likely had a plan in place. Do the same thing this time around – except with a more detailed plan.

At the end of the day, it will be worth it when you start a new and exciting career that you truly enjoy and find fulfilling.

 

4 ‘Rich Habits’ Millennials Should Start Developing Now

Want to be rich? Like really rich?

Rather than scheming about winning the lottery, or getting paid to invent the next Candy Crush, you might want to take a look at the things you do every single day. Why? Since your habits are the foundation for all your actions, changing them is usually more effective than hoping for a single lucky strike.

Tom Corley would know. He spent five years studying the habits of hundreds of Americans, whom he separated into two groups: the “rich,” who had annual gross incomes of more than $160,000 and net liquid assets of $3.2 million or more, and the “poor,” who earned less than $35,000 and had a maximum of $5,000 in liquid assets.

Based on his discoveries — and the striking differences between each group’s daily activities — Corley wrote a book called “Rich Habits.” Since it was published nearly a decade ago, I caught up with Corley to ask which habits were most important for millennials today. Here are the four he chose.

1. Create Blueprints for Your Life

The most important habit, says Corley, is to begin “dream setting.” (Think: goal setting, except that dreams come first.)

Here’s how to get started:

  • Create a script: Decide what you want your life to look like in five, 10, 20 years. Picture every detail, including your job, salary, partner, house, and lifestyle. Then write it all out — Corley recommends your script be at least 1,000 words.
  • Make a list: From that script, pull each specific dream into a bulleted list. For example, your bullets might be: Earn $100,000 per year, take an annual trip to Hawaii, live in a four-bedroom house on a corner lot. “Each dream is like a rung on the ladder,” says Corley. “When you reach the top… that is the moment you are living the life of your dreams.”
  • Set your goals: For each dream, list the goals that will get you there. If your dream is to live in a four-bedroom house, your goals might be to: 1) Pay off your credit card debt within the next six months, 2) Begin saving $300 per month for a down payment, 3) Improve your credit scores, and 4) Hire a trustworthy real estate agent. Ask yourself if you possess the skills and knowledge to accomplish each goal; if not, determine how you’ll acquire them.

“The components of your life’s blueprint are all of the things that make a perfect life,” Corley explains.

“Your goals are your construction team. You need to define all of the goals that will make all of your dreams become a reality.”

By dream setting early and often, you’ll understand which goals you should be pursuing — and which roadblocks may stand in your way.

2. Devote 30 Minutes a Day to Learning

When was the last time you read a book? Or took a course? If you’re like most millennials, you probably spend more time with your face in Facebook than real books.

Corley says this is a mistake. He told Kiplinger that 96% of self-made millionaires read 30 minutes each day for education, career, or self-improvement. He also found that, while 77% of poor people spent an hour or more watching TV each day, only 33% of rich people did.

“The successful see time as the most valuable asset they possess,” says Corley.

“They are continuously engaged in some constructive project to increase their skill sets, promote their business or careers, keep their minds sharp, or expand their knowledge…The wealthy invest their time; the poor spend it on wasteful activities.”

So, instead of scrolling through social media or bingeing on Netflix, pick up a book from your local library. Listen to an educational podcast on your way to work. Attend a workshop where you’ll learn skills relevant to your career. Be like the wealthy, and invest your time in educational activities that will pay off down the road.

3. Exercise Every Day

Though exercising might seem irrelevant to gaining wealth, Corley says it’s one of the most fundamental habits for millennials to develop.

Besides the obvious physical benefits of exercise, he cites a range of reasons it could help you get rich. Specifically, Corley says exercise can:

  • Improve mental function by flooding the bloodstream with oxygen.
  • Reduce stress, as well as combat its negative effects (like a weakened immune system).
  • Increase the volume of nerve tissue in the hippocampus, improving your ability to remember and learn.
  • Elevate your testosterone level — and therefore your confidence — prompting you to pursue new and challenging opportunities.
  • Boost willpower and self-control, enabling you to make good decisions and avoid bad habits that can wreck your finances and life.

To turn exercise into a habit, you’ll need to find a regimen that appeals to you. Instead of forcing yourself to run, give yourself the freedom to try a range of options, from yoga to Zumba to Crossfit to basketball. When you make an exercise habit fun, it becomes much easier to maintain.

“Rid yourself of your demons by exercising every day. You and everyone around you will be better off for it,” says Corley.

4. Experiment With New Activities

Corley recommends experimenting with a new activity or skill every six months.

Maybe you try coding. Maybe you volunteer as a tutor for homeless youth. Maybe you take piano lessons. Whatever it is, Corley promises that, “Through experimentation, you will stumble upon something that makes your heart sing — something you will want to devote the rest of your life.”

He believes we all have innate talents that set us apart from everyone else, but that you can only discover them by veering off the typical career paths. When you finally uncover your “main purpose,” as Corley calls it, he says it’ll be easier to excel at your work (and thereby reap the financial benefits that accompany excellence).

Three Mistakes Millennials Should Avoid

In addition to building rich habits, Corley says it’s important for millennials to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Multi-tasking: Do you check your email or phone every few minutes while you’re working? Corley views these constant distractions as detrimental to the success of many millennials. To stay focused (and crush the tasks on your plate) he recommends putting your phone in do-not-disturb mode and closing your email for a two-hour chunks during the workday.
  • Allowing lifestyle creep: When you start earning more, that doesn’t mean you need to spend more. Corley told Kiplinger one of the biggest mistakes people make is increasing their standard of living to match their income. “You don’t want to supersize your life just because you’re making more money,” he said. “Stuff doesn’t make you happy.”
  • Not saving enough: In lieu of spending more, strive to save more. In Corley’s study, 95% of the wealthy people saved at least 20% of their net income each year — a practice they started “long before they became rich.” (Chime’s automatic savings feature can help.)

If you’re feeling discouraged by all the rules and advice, don’t despair. The good news, according to Corley, is that “never in the history of civilization has there been so much opportunity to become rich and successful.”

By making intentional life choices and developing these basic habits, you’ll hopefully find a way to become rich — or, at the very least, to have more money. Because, even if you feel like you’re getting a late start, now is better than never.

As Corley says: “It’s only too late when you are six feet under.”

 

Are Alternative Education Programs Worth the Investment?

The numbers aren’t pretty. In 2017, the average college graduate had an average monthly student loan payment of $393. In 2018, outstanding student loan debt among all Americans stood at $1.44 trillion, and 12% of that debt was at least 90 days past-due.

With numbers like that, it’s no wonder you might be rethinking getting a four-year degree. After all, it’s not uncommon to hear about people taking out crippling student loans only to go right back to working at Starbucks.

Yet, there is another option — alternative education programs. These can be trickier to cobble together since you may not have access to an easy pipeline of federal student loans (for better or for worse), but it can be done. We’ll give you the scoop on some common programs, and how you can make them work for you and your bank account.

Coding Bootcamps

Have you heard of coding “bootcamps”? These programs are designed to fast-track you to an entirely new career in the tech industry in as little as three months. And, did you know that these bootcamps offer the potential of making a six-figure salary right out of the gate. (It’s true: my husband just got a high salary offer after finishing a General Assembly coding bootcamp.)

Coding bootcamps aren’t without their risks, however. They’re generally expensive. For example, Full Stack Academy costs up to $17,910 for a 13-week program, and General Assembly charges up to $13,950 for its program. These courses may offer pay-in-full discounts, scholarships, income sharing agreements, or personal loans as a way to pay the tuition bill if you can’t pony up the cash on your own.

It’s important to thoroughly vet these programs before you attend, and don’t just trust the statistics that the companies publicize. Instead, ask to speak with real graduates who’ve gotten jobs, and ask about the outcomes of their classmates as well to get a more realistic view of what you can — or cannot — expect.

Start a Business

Sure, your grandpa may have told you to start your own business like he did instead of going to college. These days, however, you don’t necessarily have to go it alone.

There are many programs out there dedicated to helping budding entrepreneurs launch startups. These outfits — including accelerators, incubators or startup accelerators – can provide the technical expertise, coaching, office space, and even funding to launch your business successfully.

Typically, you apply for these programs, and need to be accepted to get in. Some are run by universities (meaning one or more people on the team need to be an enrolled student), and others are private groups. Accelerators typically make money by taking a stake in your business (i.e., equity), so they have a vested interest in helping your company succeed.

Associate Degrees or Certificates

Who said you need a four-year degree to succeed? Maybe you only need two years of college, or less. The reality is that many professions only require a couple years or less of coursework, including:

  • Radiation therapist
  • Physical therapist assistant
  • Dental hygienist
  • Emergency medical technician (EMT)
  • HVAC technician

The advantage of these career prep programs is that they’re often in high demand, meaning your odds are good for getting a job. You can also use student loans to pay for your education, but you won’t have nearly as much debt coming out of school as you would if you graduate from a four-year-degree program.

Join the Military

It’s true — Uncle Sam wants you. Yet, careers in the military can come at a high personal cost. Depending on your MOS (Military Occupation Specialty — i.e. your job within the military), you may see active combat in war zones and be deployed away from your family for long periods of time. You may also not get to choose where you live — the military will decide for you. You could end up living in a exotic location abroad, or in a cornfield in Iowa.

The rewards, however, are equally as great. You’ll be paid for the entire duration you’re in the military, including while you’re in training (and you can even take these skills with you to new jobs if you leave the military.)

You can earn extra pay in the way of signing bonuses if you choose certain specialties that may require you to be in a combat zone, a high cost-of-living area, or outside the continental U.S. The military may also provide housing and health care for you and your family, GI Bill benefits, subsidized housing, and retirement benefits.

Trade Apprenticeships

Since so many people are being pushed to go to college these days, there’s actually a serious shortage of jobs in the trades. This includes construction workers, plumbers, electricians, pipefitters, factory workers, and other physical jobs. From 2016-2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects openings for another 180,500 construction workers.

This leaves a wide-open opportunity for you: Jobs are in high demand and salaries are equally high to match. Even better, many trade unions offer apprenticeship trainings for an affordable price or even for free. You may not be paid while you’re actually in class (which generally lasts for a short time), but you’ll be paid while you’re learning on the job.

You Don’t Necessarily Need a Four-Year Degree

Don’t let anyone push you into a four-year degree if that’s not what you want. The truth is that there are plenty of other options out there these days, and more are springing up each year.

College used to be a guaranteed way to get a leg up. But unless you have a concrete plan or know exactly what you want to do, it can also be a liability, especially if you have to balance savings with debt payments. Instead, set your sights on what matters most to you in your career — whether that includes college or not.

Banking Services provided by The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Chime and The Bancorp Bank, neither endorse nor guarantee any of the information, recommendations, optional programs, products, or services advertised, offered by, or made available through the external website ("Products and Services") and disclaim any liability for any failure of the Products and Services.

© 2013-2019 Chime. All Rights Reserved.