Young Adult Money Helping Millennials Make More, Save More, and Live Better Mon, 21 Aug 2017 23:59:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 a Month Mon, 21 Aug 2017 10:00:05 +0000 How would an extra $1,000 a month improve your finances? Here are 10 side hustles that can increase your income by $1,000 a month.If you have ever been in a tight spot financially, you know how frustrating it can feel. You may feel like your money is gone as soon as you get your paycheck. It may feel like you will never escape the endless cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.

But how would an extra $100 a month improve your financial situation? What about $500? Or even $1000?

Making an extra thousand dollars a month might feel far fetched, but I assure you it is completely attainable with some focus, hard work, and a learner’s attitude.

Here are 10 ways you can make an extra $1000 a month.


1) Rent Out Living Space

Renting out living space is a great way to earn extra money each month. Whether you have a spare bedroom, a private apartment, or want to rent the house while you’re out of town, you can make substantial money by allowing others into your home. Live in a small space? You can even rent out your couch.

Whether you choose to rent out your space through AirBNB or have a long-term tenant, there is good money to be made.


2) Start a Blog

Perhaps our favorite side hustle, blogging allows for so many opportunities to make money. There are many ways you can make money through blogging, such as accepting sponsorships, allowing advertisements on your blog, and earning commission through affiliate marketing. Best of all, you can blog about whatever you would like from the comfort of your own home.

If you are interested in starting your own blog, you can read Young Adult Money’s free tutorial here.


3) Freelance Write

The demand for freelance writers is increasing every year, and freelancers are reaping the benefits. Freelance writing allows you to choose which clients and projects you want to work on. Though you have deadlines, you are able to work on your writing whenever works best for you, making it ideal for a flexible side hustle.

Many freelancers make well over $1,000 a month by offering their writing services. In fact, many individuals find that they could make more by freelance writing than they could at their full-time job.


4) Sell on Etsy

Are you creative and crafty? If you enjoy making DIY crafts, you can start your own Etsy business.

Etsy is an online marketplace where you can open your own digital store. Etsy gives you a customer base, so it’s just up to you to create marketable products. Whether you make decorations, clothing, wedding items, art, or jewelry, there are endless possibilities to make money on Etsy.


5) Become a Consultant

Are you an expert in your field? Whether you can build websites, understand marketing, technology, human resources, fashion, or other, there is a demand for your knowledge and skills.

If you are committed to becoming an expert, you can market yourself as a consultant in your field. To be a successful consultant, you not only need to possess an in-depth understanding of your field, but you also need to be able to operate a business and relate to others in order to share that knowledge with them.

Consultants can easily earn over $100 an hour for their services. Not only is consulting a profitable side hustle, but it is a way to keep your skills current and market yourself towards higher paying full-time jobs.


6) Become a Photographer

Photography can be very lucrative. Whether you want to photograph families, couples, weddings, animals, artistic shots, or stills, there is always a need for photographers.

To be a successful photographer, you need to be artistic and technically skilled. You also need to work well with others and give clear instructions. While photography is often started as a hobby, when the switch is made to think of photography as a business, it has the potential to earn substantial extra cash.


7) Work as a Virtual Assistant

The need for virtual assistants is also ever increasing. Virtual assistants are hired by companies or small-business owners to help with a variety of administrative tasks, all from your own office. Common tasks virtual assistants perform include updating social media, booking travel, data entry, and more.


8) Tutor

Tutors need to have substantial knowledge about the subject at hand and the skills to be able to teach that knowledge to others.

Tutors can charge upwards of $50 an hour for their services, and have flexibility in their schedules and what topic they choose to tutor. To earn $1,000 in extra income for one month, you only have to tutor for 5 hours a week.


9) Drive for Uber

Uber can be an easy and profitable side hustle if you don’t mind driving. To be an Uber driver, you need to live in a city where Uber is offered, a tidy car, and a clean driving record.

Uber pays you depending on how in-demand drivers are at any given time. If you are available to drive during typically busy times of the day, like after work and bar close, you are paid a higher rate. On average, Uber drivers can expect to earn around $12/hour, which means you would only have to drive 20 hours a week to make an extra $1,000 a month.


10) Flip Items from Craigslist

Craigslist flippers have the opportunity to transform junk into treasure. With a little time and a good eye, Craigslist flipping can become an extremely profitable side hustle.

To get started flipping items from Craigslist, you can purchase run-down or broken items for cheap (or find them for free), fix them up, and resell for a much higher cost. To be successful, you need to be able to find items that can be fixed fairly quickly and cheaply.

Want more ideas? Here’s 50 ways to make extra money and DC’s book on how to start a successful side hustle, Hustle Away Debt

Have you started a side hustle yet? If so, what proved most successful for you? If you haven’t started a side hustle, what’s holding you back?

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What They Don’t Tell You About Following Your Dreams Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:00:15 +0000 Are you tired of your boring, unfulfilling job? Are you ready to take the plunge and start living your dreams now? Don't until you read this.You might have outgrown your cubicle of 5 years. You might have just gotten out of college.

And you want more to life.

You want to do more with your life besides work to death for a living. You want to start your own company. Become a dancer, actor, a creator, not a consumer.

You want to finally start following your dreams.

And everyone around you is telling you to act on them—that tomorrow isn’t promised. That there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

But they leave out a few other things — like how long and how dark that tunnel will be.

Here’s what people don’t tell you about following your dreams.


You’re Going to Be Broke

If you have unconventional dreams that don’t necessarily involve going to school, most times you’re going to be broke pursuing them.

And it’s because in order to do the things you really want to do—like start an online business or work in the entertainment industry or essentially anything fun for a living—you’re going to need time to do so. You can’t have those well-paying, long-hour jobs anymore; they eat up too much time. But if you still insist on juggling your job, the work you do when you get back from your job, sleeping, and all the other necessities of life, your job might eventually pose as another obstacle.

In short, say bye to that guaranteed salary. You’re going to have to sacrifice comfy living.


You’re Going to Feel Alone

When you’re young, you’re invited to so many social events.

You’re going to need money to do all of that. And now that money is harder to come by, life’s not going to be as fun.

If you’re really tenacious about your goals, you might even feel the need to allocate all your money back into your business. Who needs a TV bill or any entertainment bill when you can invest that money into a life coach or singing lessons or another asset that’ll push you towards your goals?

Shoot, who needs Netflix and chill when you can network and hustle, right?

And it’s because of this mindset that you will at times, feel alone.


You’re Going to Feel Behind in Life

By feeling like you have to work nonstop to get closer to your dreams, once you take a quick break from it all and live in the moment (i.e go on social media to see what your friends are up to because your life isn’t interesting anymore), you’ll feel like you’re behind in life.

Your lawyer friend, Jameka, just paid off her car note in full.

Your best friend from high school, Quin, is finally getting married.

Allison’s  having her second child.

Jake just came back from Panama for the fifth time.

And what are you doing? Working. Researching. Networking. Working. With no days off.

And if you come from an overprotective, boastful family like me, you will ALWAYS, ALWAYS ALWAYS be compared to someone else’s child.

“Look at Alisha; she just bought her third house! When are you going to get married? When are you going to buy us our Ferrari like Jackie did her parents?”


You Just Might Give Up

After days, weeks, maybe even months of not getting the responses you want, the light at the end of the tunnel gets dimmer and dimmer.

You think to yourself, why am I wasting my life away working and working when everyone else is enjoying their youth?

You’ll think to yourself, is any of this worth it? I might die any minute from now, and I’m spending life behind a computer every day.

You’ll journal a lot. Learning that writing helps you relieve pent up stress, you fill those college-ruled pages with black ink and a couple tear drops. Life will get depressing.

And then, you’ll get the email you’ve been waiting for.


With technology and education being so easily accessible nowadays, you don’t have to dream your perfect life. You can live it.

However, it’s important to be realistic. What are the sacrifices you will have to make to live the life you want? Will these sacrifices be tolerable?

Not going out every night, not buying things every day, and not being able to hang out with friends regularly are all sacrifices you have to consider before you take the jump to change your life around. And if you’ve already started on having a family, your list of sacrifices quadruples for every child you have.

In essence, it doesn’t matter what profession you want to be. 

What matters is if you are willing to fall in love with the process of becoming it.

But as a friendly reminder, let me emphasize this: you don’t have to work yourself to the grave to get responses.

It’s okay to hustle and work hard to get the things you want. But tomorrow isn’t promised.

Some advocates will use that expression to persuade you to work hard and follow your dreams.

But in this instance, I’m using it to remind you to take breaks.

Go out every now and then.

Make memories.

And watch Netflix (using someone else’s account, of course).

You might have to change parts of the life you have now to get the life you want to live later…

But you don’t have to stop living.


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14 Things You Can Do to Save Money This Week Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:47 +0000 Do you find yourself wondering where your money actually goes? Money can seem so easy to spend, but with some adjustments, it can be just as easy to save. Here's how you can save money this week.Saving money seems like a hard thing to do. You might think you need to penny-pinch or practice extreme frugality to save anything more than you currently are. But that is not always the case.

To save money, you don’t have to do anything extreme.

You can make a big impact on your finances by simply becoming more mindful of what you are spending money on. Making little changes add up into the long run to become a more affordable lifestyle.

Here are 14 easy ways to save money this week.


1) Brown Bag Your Lunch

A lunch out a few times a week might seem harmless, but the cost really does add up quickly. Grabbing a $10 lunch even 3 times a week equals $120 a month in just lunch. That’s nearly $1,500 a year!

It may not be possible to avoid going to lunch all of the time, but by bringing your own lunch, you are able to save significant money. As an added advantage, you can pack healthier lunches than you can typically buy.


2) Start a Retirement Savings Account (or Up Your Contributions)

Setting aside money for retirement each month is a wise thing to do, but it can become a fairly passive act. You may have a certain amount deducted from each paycheck to be contributed to your retirement fund.

While it’s tempting to set your deductions and forget about your retirement fund, by doing so you are missing out on many advantages. You have to remember that your retirement fund isn’t a fund full of only money you have put into it. It is full of money that was earned through interest.

Every dollar extra you can put into your retirement fund has the potential to earn significant money in its lifetime. Remember that the goal of saving for retirement isn’t just saving money in itself – you want to earn money.


3) Skip the ATM

ATM fees might seem harmless, but in theory, you are paying simply to access your own money. It’s a truly unnecessary expense, and is avoidable with a little planning.

If you utilize a cash budget, you may plan a day to go to the bank every week or month to draw out the cash for that time. Having the cash already on hand (and budgeted for) prevents any unexpected trips to the ATM. Or, if you are like me and use credit cards primarily to take advantage of the points, be sure to keep a small amount of cash on hand at all time.

Undoubtedly, there are times when you will have an unexpected need for cash come up, and it may be when banks are closed. If you find yourself needing to use ATMs often, consider switching to a larger bank with more locations. Typically, your own bank will let you use their ATM for free.


4) Carpool or Bike to Work

Transportation costs are high, and unfortunately, necessary. The good news is you do have options to lower your transportation costs, whether you live in a city or the country.

Look for alternative ways to get to work, whether it is walking, biking, taking public transportation, or carpooling. Even by doing these cheaper options a few times a week, you can end up saving hundreds of dollars a year on gas on wear-and-tear on your car.


5) Quit Smoking

It’s expensive to keep up with bad habits. There is no denying that smoking can be an extremely challenging habit to break, but the efforts are well rewarded in the cost savings and health benefits.

For someone who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day, they spend around $45 a week, which then adds up to $180 a month. If this pack-a-day pattern continued throughout the entire year, the cost escalates to over $2,000.

By quitting smoking, or at least smoking less, you can save that money for things that truly matter.


6) Adjust the Thermostat

The temperature you keep your house or apartment can result in drastically different utility bills at the end of the month.

I live in the south, and air conditioning is necessary to run in the summer. But we have found that by even setting our thermostat to 75 degrees instead of 72 degrees, we save at least $100 a month on our utility bill. Though we know we will always have a high utility bill in the summer, we make up for it by barely running the heat during the winter seasons.

You can also consider purchasing a programmable thermostat, so you can automatically have the heat or air turn off when you aren’t in the house and turn on before you come home. These small changes can add up to huge savings.


7) Skip a Haircut or Salon Session

Self-care is expensive. Anything more than a basic haircut could be considered a luxury.

If you’re willing to go a few extra weeks between hair appointments, or skipping expensive coloring and treatment sessions altogether, you can save anywhere from $100-200 a month.


8) Look for Cheap or Free Entertainment

If you live in a city with hundreds of activities at your disposal, you’re likely to find that you spend quite a bit of money on entertainment.

Instead of spending money to entertain yourself, look for free or discounted events. In a large city, you’re likely to find more free events than you could have imagined. And you can always purchase a Groupon for a cheaper option, rather than paying full-price.


9) Cancel Your Gym Membership

Signing up for a gym membership usually derives from the good intention of wanting to workout more, but it isn’t the only way to get in shape.

I consider myself a pretty active person, and I love to workout in any free or cheap way possible. This includes running or walking outside, free videos available through my Amazon Prime account, free YouTube videos, and free apps like SworkIt. A gym membership truly isn’t necessary to stay or get in shape.

If you’re loyal to the machines at the gym, consider quitting your gym membership and saving up to buy some at-home workout equipment. In the long run, it is still significantly cheaper than paying for a gym membership every month.


10) Call Your Car Insurance Agency

If you’ve been with the same car insurance company for awhile, it never hurts to call to see if there are any special rates or discounts you qualify for. Though insurance rates are rising, many companies will give you a small deal if you have been a loyal customer and safe driver.

And on another note, it never hurts to shop around. Other companies may offer you better rates if you make the switch.


11) Cut Cable

Did you know the average cable bill in America is over $100 a month? That’s a heft chunk of change.

You can cut the cord and save that money instead. With so many alternative options, like Netflix and Hulu, you can easily still get your television fix at a fraction of the cost.


12) Meal Plan

Not only does meal planning save significant money, but it saves time. With meal planning, you cook, prepare, and assemble all your meals for one week in advance. Once the meals are prepared, you only have to heat them up and they are ready to serve.

Meal planning forces you to budget your meals for the week, and prevents any last-minute runs to the grocery store during the week.

If you are a meal-planning fanatic, you can search for a meal-planning group or start one of your own. Recruit a few other families, agree on some meals, and you can purchase ingredients in bulk and cook meals together. At the end of the day, everyone contributes a few dollars and helps cook a month’s worth of freezer meals.

Related: How to Save Money on Food: 10 Things You Can Do


13) Pay Yourself First

We can talk about cutting expenses as a way to save money, but if you aren’t intentionally setting that money aside, it has the potential to get lost in your budget and spent elsewhere. To prevent this, pay yourself first.

By freeing up room in your budget, you can have that amount you used to pay on something automatically put into your savings instead. This way, you are no longer tempted to spend that money on something else.


14) Sign Up for Loyalty Discount Cards

Do you frequent the same stores or restaurants? Take advantage and sign up for their loyalty program.

Loyalty discount cards are easy to sign up for and use. Some of them may give you discounted rates every time you use them, or a percentage off your final bill. Others, like fast food stores, might give you a freebie after you buy so many of their product.

More Ways to Save Money: 30 Ways to Save Each Month
7 Ways to Save Money Without Realizing It
10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Save Money

Have you done any of these tips to save money? What other ways could you save money this week?

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How to Compare and Buy Home Insurance Online Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:00:21 +0000 Are you need of home insurance or just want to make sure you are getting the best rate possible? Here's how to compare and buy home insurance online.This post is sponsored by our friends at Progressive.

A couple days ago I used a new food delivery service for the first time. It was extremely easy to do and was done entirely online.

It made me think of just how much can be done from our computer or smart phone. I’ve compared and purchased life insurance online, signed up for credit cards online, and even make most of my income from the work I do on a computer. You can do almost anything these days from the comfort of your home, and I think that’s a (really) good thing.

Today I want to talk about something that many homeowners have, but not everyone has shopped around for: home insurance. There are tools out there to compare rates on hotels and life insurance, but until recently there has been no easy way to compare and buy homeowner’s insurance online.

First let’s talk about the value of shopping for lower rates on services, and why saving money on an expense like home insurance is a great way to improve your finances.


The Value in Shopping for Lower Rates on Services

Despite all of the content I’ve published focused on making extra money and increasing income, I’m still someone who thinks tracking your finances closely and cutting unnecessary or excess expenses is extremely valuable for your personal finances. In fact, when it comes to improving finances, I usually tell people to start by reviewing their expenses and figuring out where they can cut back or save.

When I finally got rid of cable I started to save a considerable amount of money each month. And the savings happen again and again and again. On an annual basis I’m saving the equivalent of a plane ticket abroad, simply by cutting one service cost out!

You don’t have to cancel services to save money, though. If you can save even $30 a month on a recurring expense you are still saving a considerable amount of money over time.

Insurance is a necessary expense. It is also a recurring expense, whether it’s on a monthly, semi-annual, or annual basis. Saving money on recurring costs is ideal because you save money over and over again.

So how do you save money on recurring expenses, like home insurance? You need to shop around and compare rates to be sure you’re getting the best coverage and rates for your home. Many recommend performing an audit of your homeowner’s policy annually. Shopping around for home insurance can be quite a time consuming process—many websites, calling agents, visiting brick and mortar locations.

Enter Progressive Insurance’s HomeQuote Explorer. I took a look at their new quoting experience that allows you to compare and buy home insurance online, which is exactly what you want to do if you are trying to save money.


Comparing Home Insurance Online

Progressive’s new tool, HomeQuote Explorer, allows you to receive multiple homeowner’s insurance quotes online. As someone who prefers the efficiency of shopping for services online, I was intrigued at the prospect of simply plugging in some information and seeing what sort of rates I could get.

When you start the process at the HomeQuote Explorer home page you first enter your home address. The really cool thing about this quoting experience is that it will pre-populate information based on public records, much in the same way that Zillow aggregates home data for their website.

HomeQuote Explorer Enter Address

Then the tool asks you a series of questions about your home. If some of the pre-populated information is not accurate, you can edit it. After all, public records will not show what type of countertops you have (or what you changed them to), how much of the basement is finished, or any other number of specific pieces of information that are needed for an insurance quote.

Besides pre-populating as much data as possible, Progressive included a few unique aspects to the questionnaire that make it easy to fill out. For example for flooring, wall material, and other questions there are pictures that make it quick and easy to identify which options you should select.


It took me less than 10 minutes to go through the questionnaire, which was great considering the fact I’m a millennial who is short on patience ;)

Below are the categories of questions you go through to get to your quotes:

HomeQuote Explorer Questions

Here’s a view of what I saw when I got to “more quotes from our network of home insurers” (note: not based on my current address for privacy purposes):

Homeowners Insurance Quote Options

Currently Progressive is the only major insurer that lets you instantly compare home insurance rates and coverage from multiple companies side-by-side. This is a feature that I think is valuable for anyone shopping around for home insurance. The lower the rate you can get for similar coverage, the better off you will be financially.


Get a quote from HomeQuote Explorer to see how the rate you get from Progressive stacks up to your current coverage.

Have you ever shopped around for home insurance? What do you think of Progressive’s HomeQuote Explorer?

What services have you compared or shopped for online that resulted in saving money?

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3 Things Millennials Do that Make Them Broke (and What to do Instead) Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:00:50 +0000 Why do millennials get a bad rep for managing money? Because we suck at it. Are you doing these three things that are making you broke? Here's how to stop.The internet loves making millennials feel stupid — especially with managing money.

But sometimes in the land of articles written by people from older generations, there lies a bit of truth.

Collectively, millennials aren’t that great at managing our money.

We can blame anyone we want: our parents, the school system, America. Or we can take responsibility and learn from our mistakes.

Here are three things millennials do that make us broke. But unlike some other articles on the internet, I’ve also include what to do instead.


1) Go Out For Entertainment, Food, and Drinks – A Lot

When you’re a money-conscious millennial, you’ll notice compared to your friends, you don’t go out much. I notice that my friends go out a lot. Whether it’s to watch a movie, going to the amusement park, etc. And it’s like they don’t even care that they’re spending money. It’s a stereotype that younger people go out a lot—they’ve already got the car and the minimum paying job so why not?

But it’s coming to a point where if my friends wanted to hang out, it HAD to involve money. From gas money to admissions money to tip money. Why couldn’t we just have fun enjoying each other’s company?  Why couldn’t we practice our survival skills and cook something together?

Several people that haven’t settled down in a family love to go out and spend money, but that’s not a bad thing if you know how to budget. But it’s a bit hard to budget when your friends are all spending money and having fun and you don’t want to look cheap.

And then when you’re looking at an empty bank account 3 hours later, you’re gonna wish you saved.

What to do instead:

If your friends are constantly going out to party/eat/watch a movie, let them know that you’re trying to save up (for a car, for a house, for retirement, etc) and that you can’t be spending too much unnecessarily.

And if they still insist on you living their frivolous yet broke lifestyle, like a credit card that’s finally been paid off after 15 years, CUT IT.

As in, cut the relationship. If they want to keep wasting money on entertainment every week and want you to do the same, what type of friends are they?

Some friends like to share everything with you, including their financial irresponsibility.

You don’t need friends like that in your life.

And if you haven’t started budgeting because you don’t know how or are too overwhelmed, we created a free automated budget spreadsheet that you can use to get started.


2) Buy Expensive Cars

Everyone wants to flex for the ‘gram and live expensive lifestyles. It doesn’t matter how old you are—millennials love show-and-tell. Especially with cars. We’d buy fresh new cars with a few miles on it to show everyone that we made it. We got our bachelor’s/master’s and a fancy job that pays the bills, including this car note.

The thing about cars, though, is that when you buy a new car, the value of it depreciates as soon as you pull out of the dealership.

The more you drive it, the more maintenance you need to do for it. And with fancy sports cars, you’re going to pay fancy money to maintain those parts.

What to do instead:

Think for the future. A sports car might be hot right now, but will it give you the same fulfilling feeling years from now? Is the respect behind the brand name worth the cost?

For some, it might be. You could wear all the expensive name-brand clothing and buy the Tesla to get into parties where the rich and famous people are and network. Or just rent out the costly material to teach people how to make money to afford the things themselves. Everyone knows Ty Lopez.

But if you assess that it’s not worth the cost, do your research and go for a used car. Buy from someone you trust or someone that has a written record of taking care of the car.


3) Rely on One Income

From a young age, we were all told to go to school, get a well-respected degree, get a job, pay off loans, and die.

Sure, it sounds simple, and it’s a great way to live…

…if you were born in the 50s.

Several of us millennials are stuck in the past, in the traditional ways of living life. When college was affordable. When the internet wasn’t even created.

But right now, with all the information you could ever want at the press of a few buttons, you could make multiple streams of income. In fact, you can have enough side hustles to eventually quit your depressing, constrictive 9 to 5.

What to do instead:

Of course, if you love learning and the school environment, go to college. But don’t think that your degree is your only ticket to income. Stable income, maybe, but don’t wait to make money. Freelance, perfect a talent, learn to make money without time restrictions or expensive classes.

Have several sources of income. Life is too valuable and you are too talented and intelligent to live paycheck to paycheck. On this site alone we have a ton of ideas for side hustles that can supplement your full-time income.

Sure, there is lots of deprecation on the internet that ridicules us for not being as financially savvy as our older counterparts. But there is even more knowledge on the internet that can guide us in the right direction, including Young Adult Money.

What are a few things you’ve witnessed your friends do that are making them broke?

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7 Fun Things To Do While On A No-Spend Challenge Wed, 09 Aug 2017 10:00:53 +0000 No spend challenges don't have to feel boring. Click through to read about 7 fun, free things to do during a no-spend challenge.We all get off track at one point or another when it comes to managing our money.

Little by little, purchases creep up and next thing you know, your rubbing pennies together until the next payday.

No-spend challenges are a great way at uncovering your excess purchases and spending triggers.

Everyone has something positive they can gain from going on a no-spend challenge. Even the most frugal of people have guilty spending pleasures and money slip-ups.

When I first heard about no-spend challenges, I didn’t want to take part in one. They seemed like some deprivation scheme that would involve me eating ramen noodles every day and being a hermit with no social life.

My epiphany moment occurred when I started noticing how much my small mindless purchases added up to every month. For me, it was common to get a latte three times a week and waste money by having to throw away food I didn’t use.

When I committed to my first no-spend challenge, I dared myself to seek out fun free things to do. People around me said I was crazy and there was no way to have a successful no-spend week or month. In their minds, it cost a lot of money to have to have fun and live a good life.

There was the cost of going to the movies, spending money on clothes at the mall, eating out, and so forth. While those things can be expensive, they aren’t the only ways to have fun. Having fun and doing a no-spend challenge doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Here are seven fun things to do while on a no-spend challenge.


1) Learn a new language

Learning a new language opens you up to more doors of opportunity. You’ll be able to converse with more people and expand your communication.

You don’t need any expensive learning software like Rosetta Stone in order to spruce up your language learning chops. Free apps like Duolingo and Memrise make language learning accessible to almost anyone with an internet connection.

For the past several months, I’ve been using Duolingo to learn re-learn the Spanish I had long forgotten from my high school classes. While my speaking is still shaky at best, my self confidence from learning a new language has improved immensely.

With a new language in hand, your creativity and self confidence can increase. Instead of spending money on a movie or new pair of clothes, download the free Duolingo app and start learning a new language.

Related: 15 Skills That Will Help You Make More Money
5 Hobbies that Will Improve Your Mind, Body, and Skill Set – Part 1
5 Hobbies that Will Improve Your Mind, Body, and Skill Set (Part 2)


2) Clean Your House & Find Items to Sell

When was the last time you did a full rundown of all the things you own? During your no-spend challenge, go through your house or apartment and pull out all the old boxes and things you have. Take stock of what you have, assess, and decide what to get rid of.

It can be helpful to put stuff into different piles: keep, maybe, and toss. Usually there is a set amount of things people know they want to keep and things they definitely don’t mind tossing.

Anything you’re not sure you want to get rid of, put in the ‘maybe’ pile. Once the week or month of your no-spend challenge is over, go back and re-assess whether you want to keep or toss the things.

Once you have a pile of things to toss, utilize online marketplaces to make some money off of them. Sites like Craigslist, LetGo, and Wallapop are great places to make money on stuff you’re getting rid of.

Related: 15 Household Items You Could Sell Today for Extra Money


3) Free Events In Your City

Cities, both big and small, have several free events going on every month. For bigger cities, there is usually a website listing the different free events happening throughout the month.

If you live in a smaller city or town, check your local newspaper or town bulletin board. All sorts of free events happen like art exhibits, readings, movie screenings, and even concerts.


4) Visit the library

Just like the children’s TV show Arthur says, “having fun isn’t hard when you have a library card”. Take some time during your no-spend challenge to explore your local library.

Find some new books on topics you’ve been wanting to learn more about. Maybe there is a cookbook you can read to learn how to make some new recipes or a self-improvement book you can check out.

Aside from the obvious benefit of having an abundance of books, libraries can offer you a good place to unwind. The quiet atmosphere is peaceful and stimulating for productivity.


5) Volunteer

If you’re itching to give a helping hand, there is never a shortage of places looking for volunteers. Check your local animal shelter, food pantry, library, or schools to find out about any volunteer opportunities.

My brother who works as a teacher during the day, started volunteering with his local animal shelter a few months back. He helps out by picking up the dogs scheduled for adoption and delivering them to their new owners.

People who volunteer usually report feeling happier and more connected with others. The best part? It’s free to do and only requires your time!


6) Meal plan

I think we can all agree meal planning is one of those tedious things we all put off but should definitely get better at. However, meal planning can be a fun thing to during a no-spend challenge because you get to take stock of what you have and find creative ways to use what you have at the moment.

A recipe search engine like Supercook lets you input the ingredients you currently have at home and gives you back a list of recipes to try out. You’ll be able to test out new recipes while helping cut down on food waste at the same time.

Related: How to Save Money on Food: 10 Things You Can Do


7) Negotiate your bills

People usually don’t equate the word ‘fun’ when thinking of their recurring bills. However, saving money definitely sounds like fun to me. Try calling one or more of your bill providers and see if you can get a better rate than the one you’re currently paying.

Look for a lower cost cell phone plan. See if you can get a better rate on your auto insurance by switching. You can use the potential savings to help you pay down your debt or beef up your savings account.


Everyone can gain something from a no-spend challenge. They help you get clear on valuing your money and see what is most important to you. Doing one doesn’t have to mean skimping on fun things. With a little creativity and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, there are plenty of fun, free things to do during a no-spend challenge.

Have you ever done a no-spend challenge? What fun, free things did you do?

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50 Ways to Make Extra Money Mon, 07 Aug 2017 10:00:49 +0000 Could you use some extra cash? Check out these 50 legitimate ways to make money on the side.If you’re looking to start making extra money on the side, you’ve come to the right place.

Young Adult Money is all about the power of the side hustle when it comes to getting your financial life in order.

Whether you are trying to pay off debt, save for a house, or create more room in your budget to do the things you love, making more money is one of the top ways to achieve those goals.

Here are 50 ways to make extra money on the side through a side hustle.


1) Rent Out a Room

Do you have a spare room in your house or apartment? Plans to be out of town? Why not rent out your room or house on AirBNB for some extra cash?

AirBNB continues to rise in popularity among travelers, and it works well for the renter too. For a little bit of administrative work and cleaning, you can essentially have travelers contribute (or even cover) your rent or mortgage.


2) Sell Household Items

Do you have items around your house that are no longer being used or enjoyed? Then it is time to declutter and sell.

Instead of donating all of these items, try selling them first. You would be amazed at what people might buy. I’ve sold a beat-up couch, lamps, wedding decor, and even a broken chair for money. Best of all, you can minimize your household.

Related: 15 Household Items You Could Sell Today for Extra Money


3) Work Overtime

While not everyone has the opportunity to get paid for overtime work, if you are able to, try to take advantage. Ask for additional projects outside of your typical work scope, and soak up the extra pay. Of course, it’s important to get your supervisor’s approval.


4) Sell Craft Items

Are you skilled in crafting, whether it’s sewing, painting, or creating? Try selling your products on an online marketplace like Etsy. Consumers love Etsy to be able to find homemade, unique items for their home. Best of all, using Etsy gives you a platform to find customers and sell your product.


5) Start a Blog

Blogs are a great way to earn extra money while writing about what you are passionate about. Best of all, you can blog from the comfort of your own home.

With blogging, you can make money by advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and selling products. While some people start blogs just for fun, many are surprised to find how many opportunities there are to make money from blogging. Some people even earn more than a full-time income from blogging.

If you are interested in starting a blog, you can follow Young Adult Money’s guide on how to start a blog that makes money.

Related: 10 Common Mistakes New Bloggers Make and How to Avoid Them
12 Income Streams You Can Create By Starting a Blog


6) Freelance Writing

If you are passionate about writing, freelance writing could be a perfect option for you. Bloggers, companies, and charities are all frequently looking for freelance writers.

The pay for freelance writing varies, but the best part of freelance writing is you are in charge of what your rates are. I know freelance writers who make anywhere from $20 to $1,000 a post.

Related: 8 Ways to Get Hired For More Freelance Gigs
5 Tips for New and Wannabe Freelancers


7) Sell Clothing

Is it time for a closet clean out? Your clothes might be worth more than you think, especially if you are into vintage or designer clothes.

Try bringing in clothes to a consignment shop and negotiate a selling price. Or, you can sell items on ThreadUp, an online consignment store.


8) Flip Items on Craigslist

For anyone with an eye for hidden gems and skills to make the old new, you can have fun earning extra money by Craigslist or flea market flipping. With Craigslist flipping, you purchase old objects and fix and revamp them. You then relist the refinished product to sell for more money than you originally purchased it for.

Related: How to Stay Safe When Buying and Selling on Craigslist
How to get free stuff on Craigslist


9) Mystery Shop

Many companies hire mystery shoppers to go into their business and act like a customer. As a mystery shopper, employees of the company don’t know you are secretly evaluating them. After you visit the business, you report back to the company officials to let them know what you encountered.

If you are interested in starting mystery shopping, this eBook will tell you everything you need to know. The best part about mystery shopping is that you can get many freebies, including comped dinners and hotel stays.


10) Take Online Surveys

Taking online surveys is a great way to make extra money while watching television. Surveys won’t make you rich, but they allow you to earn a little money during your downtime.

There are many survey sites that will pay you for your opinion but here’s some that we recommend checking out:


11) Drive with Uber

To drive for Uber, you just need a clean record, a valid license, and a reliable, clean car. With Uber, you can sign on whenever is convenient for you. Certain times of the day, like rush hour or weekend nights, you can earn a premium since the demand is higher.


12) Start a Photography Business

Do you have an eye for photography? Whether you are an expert or a beginner, you can start charging for your services now.

Obviously, the more expertise you have, the higher rates you can charge. But don’t undercharge yourself, even if you are a beginner. You can charge a lower rate, build your portfolio and your knowledge, and then continue to raise your rates.


13) Tutor

If you have expert-level knowledge on a certain subject, tutoring can provide a substantial side income. In my area, tutors can charge $50-100 an hour. If you can tutor just 5 hours a week at that rate, you could earn anywhere from $1,000-2,000 a month.


14) Baby-Sit or Nanny

Gone are the days of making $3 an hour babysitting. Now, baby sitters or nannies can easily earn $10 an hour, and it goes upwards from there. Babysitting can be a great side gig, especially if you don’t mind giving up a few hours on Friday or Saturday nights.


15) Find Seasonal Work

Many jobs, such as retail, working as a lifeguard, and shoveling are all seasonal opportunities to make money. If you have more availability to work during seasonal times of the year, you can find easy opportunities to make money.


16) Transcribe

Transcribing requires some knowledge about medical terminology, but if you have the knowledge, it is a great job that can typically be done from home.


17) Walk Dogs

If you love animals, dog walking can be the perfect side hustle for you. With dog walking, you have the option to find one or two consistent clients, or taking on more clients to fill your schedule. At the very least, it is an easy way to keep yourself in shape and spend some time with animals.


18) House Sit

Perhaps the easiest side hustle of them all, house sitting is a way to earn a few extra dollars with minimal effort. A typical house sitter is reliable, and checks up on a house periodically while the owners are out. They may get the mail, feed the cat, or water plants.


19) Create a Course

Courses are a great way to earn extra money. You can make them self guided, if you don’t want to spend time teaching one-on-one. Courses can be about anything, and can be as simple or as detailed as you want.


20) Become an Online Bookkeeper

Many small businesses are turning to virtual bookkeepers to take care of their accounting needs. If you are interested in becoming an online bookkeeper, know that while you do need some basic accounting knowledge, you don’t have to be a certified accountant to do well.


21) Sell Stock Photos

If you enjoy taking still photography, you can sell your images for profit. You simply take the image, edit it, and upload it to a stock photo site, like Shutterstock. You then get paid every time someone downloads the photo. Best of all, once you do the initial work of taking the photo, the rest results in fairly passive income.


22) Help Plan Weddings

Do you love planning? Weddings are the biggest event of many people’s lives, and they are always looking for extra help planning. To get started wedding planning, you can either start your business right away, or you can assist your friends and family with their wedding for a low price, and leverage that experience to gain more clients.


23) Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are individuals who help other businesses with small tasks online, such as scheduling social media, booking travel, calling clients, creating content, and data entry. Virtual assistants are rising in popularity, and many people do well at it, all while working from home.

A beginner virtual assistant might expect to earn $12-18 an hour, while experienced virtual assistants can make upwards of $50 an hour.


24) Review Resumes

Everyone could benefit from a second set of eyes scanning their resume. If you have experience as a hiring manager or as an HR professional, you can easily earn money by helping others with their resume.


25) Run Errands and Do Other Odd Jobs

Taskrabbit is a website where you can earn money by finding and doing odd jobs for other people. Jobs might be picking up dry cleaning, handy work, or moving a piece of furniture.


26) Become an Expert In Your Field

It pays to know your stuff. Whatever field you work in – law, finance, HR, events, etc – strive to become an expert.

People who are regarded as experts in their respective field have a whole slew of opportunity. They can write books that will sell, get paid speaking gigs, and earn higher paying jobs.


27) Change Your Search Engine

Did you know you can earn money by simply changing your search engine? Sign up for Swagbucks and you can earn money by using their search engine, shopping, and taking surveys. You can also earn $5 just for signing up.


28) Sell Your Old Books on Amazon

If you have old books laying around, you can sell them on Amazon for cash. While used paperback books might not give you much of a return, any teacher’s edition, special edition, or textbook are likely to sell for a higher price. Keep in mind, if you are selling textbooks, it’s important to sell them quickly before they become outdated editions.


29) Coach On Social Media

Is social media your forte? You can offer coaching services to help others expand their social media outlet. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, most companies could use some help in the social media department.


30) Create an eBook

Have you ever considered writing a book? What about writing an eBook? eBooks are a great option to make money because there is very little overhead cost. You won’t have to pay for editors and publishers. You can simply create a PDF of your book and upload it to your website. Consumers can simply purchase your book and download it.

Related: How I Got a Book Deal


31) Sell Your Graphic Design Skills

Every company or organization needs some sort of graphic design help. You can start building a graphic design portfolio by making a well-designed website to showcase some of your best work.


32) Be an Event Caterer or Bartender

Catering companies hit busy seasons, and most are constantly looking for additional help. You can work as a server, caterer, or bartender on a fill-in basis for a catering company to earn extra money on your terms.


33) Join a Focus Group

Local law firms and hospitals often conduct focus groups to gain insights for their research. You can check their websites to see if they are looking for any participants for a focus group.

Law firms are usually looking for a diverse demographic and have very few qualifying factors. Hospitals might be looking for someone who is experiencing a specific symptom. Focus groups are easy work, and can pay well for an afternoon of work.


34) Donate Plasma

While you won’t get rich from donating plasma, you can earn decent money for a little bit of time each month. Donating plasma isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t mind spending the time in a medical environment, you can easily earn a bit of extra money each month.


35) Drive for PostMates or Uber Eats

While PostMates and Uber Eats aren’t in every city yet, they are expanding their market. These companies pick up food from restaurants to deliver it to individuals. For anyone who has considered driving for Uber, but was a little uneasy about allowing strangers in your car, this can be a great alternative.


36) Become a Website Consultant

So much goes into creating a website. You need to choose the theme, the layout, appealing content, colors, logos, advertisements, and code it so everything looks just how you want it to. If you have created a few quality websites and feel confident in what you are doing, you can earn money by helping others do the same.


37) Help Move Others

Have a spare weekend? Offer to help others move.

You can find moving opportunities frequently listed on Craigslist. If you don’t mind a day of heavy lifting, you can earn a few hundred dollars for one day of work.


38) Become a Calligraphist

Calligraphy is growing in popularity for use in personal wedding and event invitations. To be a calligraphist, you have to have a lot of skill and patience, but it certainly can pay off. Caligraphists typically charge around $1.50 per envelope.


39) Bake and Decorate Cakes

Birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries all call for cakes. If you enjoy baking and decorating cakes, you can earn good money by taking custom orders. Hobby stores like Michaels offer cake decorating classes so you can perfect your skills.


40) Find Paid Volunteer Opportunities

If you regularly volunteer for an organization, you could consider applying for a leadership position within it, which could be paid. While no one should necessarily volunteer in hopes of being paid, if the volunteer opportunity is something you are passionate about and have time for, it doesn’t hurt to consider.


41) Switch Banks

There are many factors to consider when looking for the best bank for you, but one thing to consider is what their fees are and what interest rates they offer. One of our favorite online banks is Discover. Since it is an online bank account, it offers a higher interest rate on a savings account than you will likely find from a physical bank.


42) Lawn Care

Lawn care is an easy way to make money if you don’t mind the work. It can be easy to find clients in the neighborhood by simply asking around. All you need is a lawnmower, some basic garden tools, and the time to do it.


43) Become a Proofreader

If you are skilled in English, grammar, and spelling, you can make extra income by becoming a proofreader. If you are interested in becoming an online proofreader, there are a number of websites you can join to find proofreading opportunities, like and


44) Pick Up a Part-Time Job

Some people prefer to work for others instead of working for themselves, and that is okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a regular part-time job.

You can find part-time jobs related to your field, or you can find an administrative or hospitality job for some extra income.


45) Ask for a Raise

While not every request for a raise is justified, it is possible to earn a raise if you can do your research and make a realistic case for yourself.

Utilize websites like,, and free salary guides from Robert Half and Randstad to find out what a competitive salary might be for someone with your expertise and education in your area. Document everything that you have accomplished at work in the past year and present it to your employer. When you are making an honest case for yourself instead of demanding a raise, your employer will at least consider your request.

Related: How to Make More Money at your 9-5


46) Teach Fitness Classes

Do you have a passion for fitness? Instead of paying for your time at the gym, let them pay you by becoming a fitness instructor.

You probably won’t earn a lot by being a fitness instructor, but if it’s something you love doing, you’ll likely enjoy getting paid to share your passion with others.


47) Sell Unused Gift Cards

We all have gift cards laying around that we haven’t used. Maybe it isn’t our favorite store or restaurant, or maybe we simply forgot.

You can sell unused gift cards on websites like to earn money. While you might not be able to earn 100% of the gift card’s original value, it’s better than simply letting the gift card expire.


48) Find a Higher Paying Job

For anyone who has capped at their current job, it could be time to look for another. If your salary is capped, it typically means that you are an expert for your current job, and the company can’t pay you anymore money for doing the same job. Take this as a sign to better utilize your skills at a more challenging, and subsequently higher paying job.


49) Get a Roommate

If you have extra space in your apartment or house, renting it out can be an excellent and easy way to consistently earn extra money every month. Depending on the space and location you have to offer, you could earn an extra few hundreds to thousands of dollars extra every month.


50) Translate

Are you fluent in another language? You can earn a good living by offering translation services. You can list your services on local sites and newspapers, or join an online translation service.

There’s obviously a ton of things you can do to make extra money. If you are interested in starting a side hustle and want a more comprehensive walk-through of what to do before starting a side hustle, how to find the right side hustle for you, and how to make the most of your side hustle, consider giving DC’s book Hustle Away Debt a read.

We’ve published a ton of posts about making extra money. Here’s some of those posts that you may want to check out:

Related: Lazy Ways to Make Extra Money
10 Websites That Can Help You Start Side Hustles
15 Ways You Can Make Money From Your Computer Right Now
7 Ways to Make Money on Your Lunch Break
How to Make Money on Social Media
5 Side Hustles that Make at Least $500 a Month
50+ Legitimate Ways to Make Extra Money At Home
How Having a Side Hustle Benefits Your Full-Time Job

Have you done any of these things to make money? Are there other ways of making money you have considered, but aren’t on this list?

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