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20 Simple And Creative Ways to Earn Money

20 Simple And Creative Ways to Earn Money

We could all use some extra cash. Whether it’s to pay off your debts faster, save up for a vacation, or buy yourself that new gadget you’ve been wanting, it’s always helpful to have that little extra in your pocket. Luckily, there are a myriad of ways to make yourself a nice little side income, and you can do these whether you have a full time job or you’re looking to work from home. Try these tips out and start earning now:

1. Sell your old clothes

You’ve probably got old clothes sitting in your closet that you’ve forgotten all about. Clear them out and sell them online on sites like eBay or ThredUP. With ThredUP, you can get paid almost instantly if you’re selling less than $60 worth of clothes. Clear out the clutter and make some money along the way. It’s a win-win.

2. Tutor children

This tip works especially well for students, as they can tutor in the subjects they’re studying themselves. Teach the subject you enjoy and set your own hours. Sign up with a website such as Tutor.com and make around $9 per hour to start with.

3. Become a mystery shopper

Love shopping? Become a mystery shopper and get paid to go shopping. Sign up with a site like Marketforce and pick out assignments to do. Go undercover in stores and restaurants. Then, fill in the form after your visit and collect your money. The profit you make isn’t large, maybe a couple of dollars on a typical job, but it’s a great way to get your meals out and other luxuries paid for.

4. Scan your receipts for cash

You have to buy your essentials regularly, so why not earn some extra money for doing so? The Ibotta app offers rebates on certain products, from milk and eggs to luxury products like Birchbox subscriptions. If you’ve purchased something included in the app, use your phone to scan your receipt and get a rebate. The rebates vary in price, from 25 cents for a can of Reddi-wip to $2 for a bottle of sunscreen, but they can quickly add up.

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5. Recycle your phone

If you’re about to upgrade your phone, don’t let the old one sit around doing nothing. Try a site like The Whiz Cells, which will find the best price and buyer for your phone. The money you make depends on the model and condition of your handset. For example, an iPhone 4S in good condition can go for around $60.

6. Drive people around

If you have your own car and want to work flexible hours, working as a driver for Lyft could be for you. Lyft is an app that lets people request drivers near them. It promises to be quicker than hailing a traditional cab. As a driver, you can make around $35 an hour with them.

7. Rent out your house

Do you have a spare room you never use, or are you often away from home? Why not rent out your space to travellers for cash? Airbnb will let you list your place for free, and you can set your own availability and pricing. What you can make varies, but this blogger made $2,276 a month renting her place out.

8. Do surveys online

Many companies are looking for people’s opinions to improve their products and advertising, and they will pay you for your feedback. Sign up with a site like Swagbucks or MySurvey and fill out surveys in exchange for points, which you can cash in for Paypal payments or coupons for your favorite stores. What you earn depends on how many surveys you complete, but the smallest payout on MySurvey is $10, which you can earn rather quickly.

9. Get paid to tweet

If you have a large Twitter following, companies may want to pay you to promote their products by Tweeting about them. Companies such as Sponsored Tweets will pay around 50 cents to $20 per Tweet, depending on your audience and the age of your account.

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10. Rent out your driveway

If you have a parking space that you aren’t using and you live in a busy area, you may be able to rent it out to others. It’s free to advertise your spot on sites like Just Park, and you can make up to $150 a month.

11. Sell your photos

Are you a keen photographer? Businesses are always looking for stock photography, so why not sell your snaps? There are plenty of sites that will sell them for you, such as Shutterstock or Getty Images. Starting out, you can make roughly $50 a month, which can go up if your photos are in demand.

12. Participate in medical studies

If you have a flexible schedule and are fairly healthy, this may be for you. Payments can vary depending on what study you take part in, but some people can make a decent living by becoming human guinea pigs. Try sites like the NIH Clinical Center to find studies you may be eligible for.

13. Search the web

Why not get paid for something you do anyway? Qmee puts an ad on onto your browser and rewards you for using your favorite search engine. When you click on a sponsored link, you’ll be rewarded. There’s no minimum payout, so you can claim your rewards quickly. One tester made $1 on their first search, which they could claim straight away.

14. Review websites and apps

Many companies are looking for people to test their websites for usability. User Testing lets you sign up to test and answer questions about these sites, earning $10-$15 for about 20 minutes of work.

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15. Start a blog

If you have a special interest and can write entertaining and interesting prose, you can be a blogger. Pick your subject, start writing, and start building an audience. Bloggers have said that they can earn between $1,000 and $10,000 a month when they become established.

16. Sell your notes

If you’re a diligent student, make some cash from those who aren’t. NoteSale lets you upload your notes and sell them to your less-dedicated classmates. You can make roughly $3 per set of notes, but you can make more if they’re typed up, rather than handwritten.

17. Do odd jobs

Lots of people have odd jobs around the house that they’d rather not do, and that’s where you come in. For traditional jobs such as lawn mowing or painting, try sites like Craigslist. If you can offer a more unusual service, such as designing a logo or even pretending to be someone’s girlfriend on Facebook, try Fiverr, which lets you sell any job for $5.

18. Be an affiliate marketer

Do you have a lot of sales know-how but no product to sell? You could do well as an affiliate marketer. Promote other people’s brands and products, and when they sell, you get a cut of the price. If you do well, you can earn around $100 a day. Try out Amazon or Clickbank to get started.

19. Try new products

Some companies will offer users money to try out new products and services. If you sign up to a site like CashCrate, you can get these products sent to you. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll be paid. Most users average between $25-50 a month.

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20. Write articles

Much like blogging, if you’re good at turning out entertaining and informative articles, you can make money from it. Try sites like Article Sale and Ghost Blogger to get started. Payment depends on length and quality of articles, but on average you can expect around $25 per article.

For most people these days, it’s getting increasingly harder to feel content working at a 9-to-5 desk job, let alone survive on a single stream of income. Dissatisfaction with jobs not only leads to burn out, high stress levels, and loss of health – it also explains why billions of dollars are wasted on loss of work productivity.

Thanks to the internet, there are hundreds of ways to offer your services and reach those willing to pay you. Make the most of your spare time and make some money on the side — whether it’s to supplement your income or put away for a rainy day.

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Anum Yoon

Writer & Journalist

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Published on January 17, 2020

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

Have you ever looked at health gurus and wondered how on earth they can afford all that health food? Or maybe you’ve tried multiple times to start eating healthy only to find the $600 monthly budget overwhelming?

If you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely understand the sinking feeling of looking back over a grocery budget and finding you went way over what you intended. And besides that, it can be hard to justify buying a tiny $5 bag of carrot chips while a $1 mound of potato chips is sitting right next door.

My husband and I recently ran into that struggle. We got married this past year and soon found ourselves trying to balance 12 hour work-days with keeping our relationship strong and trying to keep our personal businesses afloat. Granted, our budget was the one thing that took a hit! After we started tracking our spending, we were shocked to see we were spending over $1000 a month just on food! A little planning cleared that right up.

So, how to eat healthy on a budget?

Here’re the top tips I learned that helped us shave over $600 monthly off of our food budget so we could reinvest that in the areas that really mattered to us![1]

1. Meal Plan

You’ve probably heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” right? Well, this saying couldn’t be any more true than in the area of healthy budgeting! The fact is, most healthy foods don’t actually cost that much… the pre-made time saving ones do!

If you go about creating a healthy meal plan within your budget, you could easily cut costs down to around the same price you are paying for junk food.

Meal planning is as simple as working in foods you already have in your fridge/freezer, adding in several meals with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies, and breaking it down into a shopping list.

Often, finding a few meals to make in big batches will save you the most money in the long run, which leads me to my next point.

2. Cook in Bulk

Not only will cooking in bulk save you a whole lot of time, it will save you a whole lot of money too! Believe it or not, if you find meals to make with similar ingredients, you can easily save more money than when you were eating unhealthy.

Don’t believe me? Just look at a $4 frozen pasta dinner. Now, sub that with a veggie pasta dinner. 5 zuchinni ($3), Pasta sauce ($2.50), and chicken ($5) could last you a full 5 meals which adds up to a whopping total of just over $1 per meal!

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That’s not even digging in to all the money you will save from fast-food. Trust me, a little $10 spent here and there add up! You’ll be saving a whopping amount from all the meal prep you will do!

3. Cook all Your Meals in One Day

The science behind this is 2-fold.

Number one, if you have lots of meals to grab and go, you will be far less likely to binge on pricier food when you get hungry. Let’s be real, you’re not going to spend 1 hour cooking when hub-n’-grub is at your bekon-call!

Number 2, meal prepping ahead of time will help you stick to your meal plan better when you’re not in the mood. Let’s face it, we’re all going to have days when protein and veggies doesn’t exactly sound appealing. But, if you have a full meal that’s quick to grab in the fridge, it will be easier for you to fill up on the good stuff rather than spending money on what you don’t really need.

4. Cut Back on Snacks and Specialty Items

I can almost hear you from across the screen. “But, I thought snacks were good for me!” Here’s the deal: Snacks are expensive! And healthy snacks, oh my goodness, say goodbye to your paycheck!

Look, I’m definitely not saying that healthy snacks are bad. Quite frankly, I would much rather you chow down on Halo Top than a triple-butterfinger-fudge sundae. It’s just that… healthy snacks are why eating healthy gets a bad rap for being expensive.

Look at it this way: You could either buy a week’s worth of groceries full of chicken, fish, beans, veggies, and fruits for $30. Or, you can spend that $30 on six snacks that will leave you hungry for more.

What’s more, the ingredients for gluten-free baked goods, sugar free substitutes, or protein powders alone will add up to you eating a full week’s budget in one sitting. By all means, if you want to work some yummy items into your budget, do it! But don’t confuse that extra monthly $300 of delicacies as a necessity. Your body and budget will thank you!

5. Satisfy Yourself with Your Favorite Subs

We all have an emotional tie to food. Maybe pasta reminds you of home! Or maybe a fresh-baked pizza is what gives you a feeling of comfort. Whatever you favorite food, find a way to work it into your budget in the best way.

We’re only human, and depriving ourselves of what we love will never end well. More often than not actually, it ends in take-out or a pricey-premade substitute.

Instead of finding yourself in this situation, find a way to make your favorite foods fit your budget. Zuchinni noodle pasta might just give you that feeling of home without breaking the bank. Or maybe you could google a healthy pizza alternative you would like that you could make at home. Often, something similar to your craving will be enough to give you a sense of satisfaction.

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Or, just buy your cheat meal and save it for a special day. That’s okay too!

6. Stick to the Cheaper Proteins

Okay, I know we all love steak. Unfortunately, buying pre-cooked or expensive cuts of meat are one of the easiest ways to drain a budget.

Instead of purchasing those, try buying frozen chicken or eggs. A 5 lb bag of frozen chicken can be as cheap as $5, and you can buy a whole weeks worth of eggs for just over $1. You could even try going vegetarian for a few meals if you really want to cut down on costs!

7. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

I know, we all love our fresh fruits and veggies! However, sometimes frozen might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs!

Fruits and veggies are easiest to ship when frozen, making them a much cheaper option. Contrary to popular belief, scientists have actually found that frozen might be better for you too![2]

The reason is, frozen produce is picked at its prime and shipped immediately. Fresh fruit tends to be picked much earlier so it will ripen while being shipped. Not only does this make it less nutrient dense, but sometimes the fruits are actually pumped with artificial flavors to make up for the lack of real nutrients.

While I’m all for fresh fruits and veggies, don’t feel guilty if you opt for frozen foods due to a budget.

8. Bump up the Calories with Rice and Beans

The problem some people find when trying to eat healthy is that it can be hard to get the amount of calories you need without relying on expensive “specialty” items. Instead of stocking up on pricey gluten-free breads and pasta, I say stick to simple rice and beans as the bulk of your meals.

Brown Rice is very cheap and easy to use as a base for bowls and dishes. Likewise, beans can add a bit of fiber making you feel full and satisfied without having to spend a lot of money.

If you are trying to cut on body fat, use extra veggies as the bulk of your meal and add in rice and beans as a filler.

9. Try Acai Bowls

Acai Bowls can be a really cheap and satisfying meal as long as you do it right.

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You can find cheap fruits at most stores or just freeze your fresh fruits before it goes bad.

Making your own granola can save you a lot of money as well. The total cost for this delicious meal should only add up to a few dollars compared to triple that price if you were to buy one pre-made.

10. Make Your Own Meal Kits

Do you like your meals freshly cooked? Sending meal kits to your doorstep is an easy way to drain your budget. Instead, try making your meal kit at home! Not only is it fun, you will easily get a delicious taste.

Simply find a few simple meal cards or print some out and fill a ziplock with the ingredients for each specific day. Don’t know what recipe to make? Another option is to order one month of meal kits and recycle the recipe into ingredients for the upcoming months with ingredients you picked up from the store.

11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

A few dollars spent here and there can really add up! Just as with specialty items, healthy drinks can be a blackhole for you. An energy drink and kombucha and coffee each day could easily have you spending and extra $300 each month!

I you really need a special drink fix, try making your favorites at home. Bring a coffee in, make kombucha, or even try making lemonade with stevia or a healthy soda. You’ll be surprised w hat a big difference such a small change can make on your budget!

12. Buy Cheap Online

Just like anything else, it pays to be prepared. Buying foods from online retailers can be a really affordable way to save money as long as you’re prepared.

Plan ahead for those more expensive specialty items you can’t live without. It will save you tons of money compared to having to buy food from a specialty store.

13. Don’t Fret about the Clean Fifteen

One of the huge things that can mess with a person’s budget is eating organic. For the record, I am 110% all for eating organic whenever you can. However, for some people, it can be hard to make organic food fit into a budget.

Instead of scratching healthy eating for a smaller budget, try to buy meat and the dirty dozen organic, and don’t go crazy about the rest. The clean fifteen are the fifteen safest foods to buy that aren’t organic! Meanwhile, the dirty dozen is the most worthwhile avoiding. According to Produce Retailer, these are the dirty dozens:[3]

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

14. Pay Attention to Storage

Keeping the food you have is just as important as how much food is in the first place. Try to stay on top of how much produce you can actually use before it goes bad. It might not be a bad idea to pencil an extra shopping trip in the middle of the week to keep food fresh.

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Investing in good food storage containers could go a long way in saving you in the long run as well.

15. Freeze Food Before it Goes Bad

Instead of getting mad at yourself at the end of the week for all the wilted produce you need to throw out, try freezing it before you get to that point.

Most frozen veggies will taste delicious in stir fries and soups. You can freeze fruits to make sorbet or smoothies. Frozen greens can be chopped up and tossed into just about anything for a nutrient boost!

16. Consider Ditching Most Supplements and Powders

I have nothing against superfood powders and supplements. However, if your budget is tight, it can be hard to fit supplements and powders in.

Instead of adding in powders, add extra nutrients to you food. Add lots of greens and veggies to all your meals to meet your nutrient needs. If you need a specific supplement, you can find great deals online as well!

17. Use Budget App

There are so many great apps you can download for free. One of my current favorite is HoneyDue because you can track your budget easily with your spouse. There are many options available, just find the one that you’re most likely to use. The ones that download your spendings automatically are often the easiest and will give you a more accurate number.

My husband and I use the same app, but have a separate budget for each of our weekly food plan and for our additional snacks. Keeping things separate can often be helpful to know exactly where your money is going. Plus, it can help hold you accountable if you have a significant other you are sharing money with.

18. Use What you Have

Most people have unused protein powders lying around in their cabinets. Instead of letting that go to waste, work them into your meal plan. Protein powders can make amazing doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes!

19. Enjoy the Process!

Finding ways to enjoy your new lifestyle will be helpful in sticking to it long term. Find fun in seeing how much you can save each month. Make a competition with someone to see who can stick to the lowest budget and create something fun to do for the winner with some of the money saved! Blast some music in the kitchen while cooking your new recipes.

Budgeting and health doesn’t have to be a drag. Make it fun and you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle long-term!

Featured photo credit: kevin laminto via unsplash.com

Reference

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