Written by Dr. Eric Perry “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” ~Seneca Perhaps like some of you, I have had a few sleepless nights pondering my mortality. I am in love with my life and wish to have as much of it as I possibly can. I believe […]7 Easy Tips for Living Longer — Dr. Eric Perry
If you’ve visited this blog before, you’ve heard us talk about your “hustle” or “side gig.”
There even was a series of posts about transitioning your side-gig into your main gig. It’s in style; and it makes sense—and cents? Gigs are now just a click or tap away on most of our devices, and a little extra money never hurts!
But what we haven’t done is given you specific tips on successfully starting that side-gig. We’ve talked about what you could do, but not so much about how to do whatever you decide to do. Here are a few things to consider when starting up a side hustle.
What are your side hustle goals? We typically think of a side hustle as being an easy way to score a little extra cash. But they can sometimes be gateways into bigger things. Do you have skills that you’d like to develop into a full time career? A passion that you can turn into a business? Or do you just need some serious additional income to pay down debt? These considerations can help you determine how much time and money you invest into your gig and what gigs to pursue.
What are your marketable skills? Some gigs don’t require many skills beyond a serviceable car and a driver’s license. But others can be great outlets for your hobbies and skills. Love writing? Start freelancing on your weekends. Got massive gains from hours at the gym and love the outdoors? Start doing moving jobs in your spare time. You might be surprised by the demand for your passions!
Keep it reasonable Burnout is no joke. Some people thrive on 80 hour work weeks between jobs and side hustles, but don’t feel pressured to bite off more than you can chew. Consider how much you’re willing to commit to your gigs and don’t exceed that limit.
One great thing about side hustles is their flexibility. You choose your level of commitment, you find the work, and your success can depend on how much you put in. Consider your goals and inventory your skills to get there—and start hustling!
Have you ever heard of National Dollar Day? This little known day commemorates the August 2nd in 1786 that Congress established the U.S. monetary system.
I was going to bore you with more facts about dollars and money. But instead I’ll leave that to the Federal Reserve and jump to the useful tips on how to save a buck on this National Dollar Day. Please note I am not being compensated to mention any of the companies or programs listed below; these are personal recommendations from one consumer.
Tips to save a dollar
Not talking about the old school sit and cut coupons from the Sunday paper, although those are still useful if you have the patience. Digital coupons and saving apps are the quicker and easier way to save a buck. Most grocery stores will allow you to load the coupons directly to your store card. Very often there is little wait time for the coupons to load as I’ve loaded coupons at a wholesale club while walking through the store shopping.
Saving apps and rebate websites are the next easiest way to save a dollar when shopping. My personal favorites are Ibotta, SavingStar and Checkout 51. Be careful to read the details on each offer carefully and match the product exactly. Fortunately some of the apps, like Ibotta, have a built in feature that allows you to scan a product’s bar-code while in the store to confirm it matches the deal. Even with my sporadic usage I’ve still managed to save over $120.
Unjustified brand loyalty is a waste of money when it comes to shopping for food and other household items. I came to that realization years ago when I started trying some of the store brands and generics at my local grocery stores. At times there was a clear preference for a brand name due to a difference in taste, but more often than not the two were extremely comparable in every way except for price, where the store brands consistently won.
The rare exception to this is when using saving method #1 makes a brand name less expensive than the generic. Here’s where I have to mention Ibotta again because they have these great any brand rebates that you can use on store brands to save even more bucks.
In July I encountered a Twitter-storm surrounding a foolish suggestion for the closure & replacement of libraries by a corporation. Needless to say that idea, didn’t fly with all of the savvy savers out there who know the best place to pick up a book for free still is the public library.
Besides saving when it comes to buying hard copies of books, some libraries like my local one also allow you to borrow digital copies for your e-reader, saving yet more money. It’s also a great place to get DVDs and CDs (which we all know methods of digitizing, right?), although perhaps not the newest and latest ones.
Kill the vampires
The energy vampires that is. Not everyone can afford to immediately upgrade everything in their house to a more energy efficient model. However, you can stop things like phone chargers, computers, printers, TVs, sound systems and other random appliances not used 24-7 but plugged in all the time from increasing your electricity bill.
The easiest way is to shut them off and unplug them when done using them. But realistically when it comes to our daily electronics (PCs, TVs) we’re not unplugging these, so the best bet becomes to put them on a power strip that you can flick the switch off when you’re done. Other tips to stop the energy vampires can be found at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.
This is the best tip but probably the hardest (at least for me) to execute: brin your own lunch. Here in the U.S., food establishments are practically everywhere. And if they aren’t close by yet, just give it a few months. Choosing to brown bag it over fast food or casual dining can save you hundreds each month. The trick I’ve found works best is planning ahead and duplicating my favorite meals from the closest casual dining restaurants near my work and office locations.
Growing up what came to mind when I thought of a consignment store was the cluttered stores in the back of a shopping center where it became a tedious chore to find anything of value. Thankfully most consignment stores have changed. Also in all fairness, it may not be appropriate to refer to these stores as consignment at all, since they generally buy clothes on the spot as opposed to the old school method of splitting the money once the clothing is sold.
My recent favorite is the franchise Clothes Mentor, which offers a personal shopper option. Online options like Thredup and Poshmark offer similar curation services, but to me, nothing beats being able to try something on first. Yes there are free exchanges and shipping, but who has time for that? Not me. Saving time is just as important as saving dollars.
Check out three other ways to save on my all finance blog.
What way(s) to save a dollar have you discovered? Share in the comments!
The next time you plan for a trip, be sure to take these expenses into account.
Let’s have a virtual show of hands, “Who hates their day job?”
Everyday at mine, I encourage youths to really think about what job they will have and make sure it’s something they enjoy while my distaste for my job slowly grows. Believe it or not, I actually was excited when I began about what I how it would help me reach my personal goals and enjoyed it up until bureaucratic changes sapped all the joy from it. It’s become an abusive relationship. So I think it’s time to divorce my job just like I did my cheating, abusive ex.
(Was that TMI?)
Of course you should never rush into a divorce with a spouse and the same thing goes for your job. I’ve been contemplating this change for about the past three years and researching how to do it successfully, keep my house (the job can keep the kids and the pets), and progress towards full-time self-employment. My (Blogging 201) goal is for this to be a new biweekly post series, filled with tips, research, and my own personal experiences. So on to the first tip.
Most everyone is looking for ways to supplement their income these days. I’ve been doing it myself for about 10 years now. While there have been good and not-so-good years, I’ve persisted which is a key trait when your goal is to be self-employed.
Don’t know what you might be able to do?
Well if you’re reading this you might be a blogger. Fellow blogger Charlene Oldham talks about opportunities to get paid for your writing. She also suggested the site Elance.com. This site actually suggests work based on the skills you enter when you register. Check it out for ideas or do a web search for similar sites.
Check back in two weeks for a list of side-gig suggestions.