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For us goal-driven idealists, New Year’s Resolutions are like cocaine to an addict. Although developing the discipline to succeed is a monotonous struggle, daydreaming about who you could be 12 months from now is exhilarating!
What if I was stronger, richer, more spiritual, friendlier, happier, a better musician or a more skilled juggler? Icould be… You could be… Twelve months from now we could literally be better versions of ourselves in every way.
And that’s exciting.
But there’s one problem.
Over my 30 years of life, I’ve made hundreds of resolutions – but how many have I kept? Just one.
I believe it was a decent one. I made a goal to not buy soda for a year – and I didn’t. However, my resolutions to workout three times a week, make a million bucks, write a book, or learn a new language have yet to pan out.
So my resolution success rate probably hovers around 0.5%.
This brings me to an important question:
Are New Year’s Resolutions Pointless?
There are some people (38% of Americans) who believe setting these annual goals are a waste of time, pointless, and a surefire way to guarantee failure before the year even begins.
And they’re partially right. After all, the odds are not in your favor. You will, more often than not, end up failing.
You’ll never land higher than you aim. If you shoot for the stars and “only” make it to the moon, you’re still 238,900 miles higher than you would be otherwise.
Failure itself is never a bad thing. Failure provides us with an opportunity to grow AND ensures that we are pushing ourselves to our limits – both of which allow us to maximize our full potential.
A lack of follow through is the real issue
Most of these “anti-resolutioners” are probably not saying you should avoid failure. They’re saying that no one follows through with their resolutions in the first place. And why make resolutions if you aren’t going to follow through? To try and fail is one thing, but to never really try is a whole other issue.
And this makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve tried so many different resolutions with only one lasting longer than a few months. So, in that case, is it just a waste of time? Should I avoid resolutions all together?
Why you should keep setting resolutions
First off, people who make resolutions are 10x more likely to achieve their life goals. So, regardless of what you do, keep setting those New Year’s Resolutions! Even if you only follow your plan to exercise for the first two months of the year, you’ve still exercised for two months longer than you would have otherwise.
However, that doesn’t mean you should keep setting resolutions with no plan to actually keep them. If you can set resolutions AND keep them, then you’re getting somewhere.
So how do you do that?
How do you set yourself up to achieve your annual goals?
Why January Shouldn’t Be the End All
Both researchers and bloggers state it is nearly impossible to implement more than one habit at a time. If you try to succeed in two or more areas, your odds of success drop to close to zero. Meanwhile, if you focus on one habit at a time, your odds of success can reach 50-80%.
So, if you want to make 2019 a success, you’ve got to shrink that January list of 15 goals down to just one.
But how do you choose between exercising, writing, improving your relationships, and traveling more? They are all areas you want to focus on – do you really have to achieve just one a year?
You can still achieve all of your goals – just don’t try to do them all in January.
Try to do everything at once and you’ll succeed at nothing. Hone in on one discipline and you’ll excel at anything.
The one resolution you should make this year
Of course, you can do whatever you want – but this is what I’m doing to ensure that my 2019 is my most successful year ever:
Focus on one new habit every month.
Rather than trying to write more, workout more, improve my relationships, and read more – all in January – I’m spreading these (and many other activities) out over the entire year!
During the month of January I’ve committed to launching a Side Hustle Boot Camp course by spending one hour a day building the content. I have a a ridiculous number of notes, ideas, and experiences to draw from — and I just need to commit to making it happen. At the end of January I’ll select my February focus and move on from there.
Although 30 days doesn’t actually make something a habit, it certainly can get you into a routine that makes long-term success easier. And, if I fail to maintain a habit that I believe is important, I can make it the goal for another month later on in the year.
By focusing on one habit at a time, and reevaluating every month, you will increase your ability to succeed in that arena, and you will develop monthly, rather than annual, evaluations to measure your progress.
How to succeed at the “one habit a month” resolution
If you would like to make 2019 a year of concrete successes, then I would recommend trying to split up your resolutions over a longer time-frame. If you want to travel more, make January the month you buy all of your plane tickets and schedule your time off. Then, make February the month you go to the gym every day to build that “vacation bod”. After all, you can do anything for 30 days.
To ensure that you achieve twelve 30 day habits in 2019, take the following steps:
Add an appointment for the 25th of every month to your phone calendar right now. Most New Year’s Resolutions fail because we forget about them. By adding an appointment right now to your calendar, you will be reminded on a monthly basis to evaluate your progress on that goal and plan for your next month’s goal.
Only choose habits you are passionate about. I think learning a new language would be great – but it’s not going to be a priority for the first few months of 2019. If I make it a goal for January, I’m not going to be motivated to accomplish it. However, I’ve wanted to build a course for years (and I do it for work every day) – so that’s a goal that I’m passionate about and have the skills to accomplish. Every month, choose something you will want to do.
Make the goal realistic. A goal that is too big will scare you away before you even start. Don’t try to go to the gym every day if you get tired walking up a flight of stairs. Instead, focus on going for a daily walk of at least 15 minutes. If you go longer, great, but you won’t fail before you begin due to mental exhaustion. A great book on this subject is Mini Habits by Stephen Guise.
Find accountability partners. If you can find someone to exercise with, or at least hold you accountable, you’ll be far more likely to excel. Plan a weekly conversation with this person and stick to it. How do you choose the right person? Find someone invested in your success. If you’re focusing on health or attitude, a spouse is a great choice – as they want you to be happy and healthy as much (if not more) than you do. If it’s a business or work goal, a boss, partner, or employee will eagerly hold you accountable.
Don’t give up. Just because you miss one day, one week, or even one month doesn’t mean you should give up. Look at the activity as a daily goal. Every day you achieve it, you’ve succeeded. If one month was a bit slow, reevaluate and refocus the next month and try again!
Try something new for 30 days.
If you’re looking for more inspiration for your monthly challenges, check out this great Ted Talk by a Google employee who took on the 30 day challenge and accomplished quite a bit (including a TED Talk).
Try something new for 30 days - Matt Cutts - YouTube
What will your 2019 look like?
The benefit of New Year’s Day is that it forces you to reevaluate where you are now, and where you want to be. That, not the resolutions, is what’s truly valuable. And by doing this on a monthly, rather than an annual basis, you can be more consistent about shaping yourself into the perfect “you”.
For me, 2018 has been awesome, and I’m excited to see what’s next. But the key to future success will be building on this momentum and continually improving myself — one month at a time. What about you? How will you make 2019 the best year ever?
For the comments: What are your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions – are you for or against? Do you think monthly goals are a better alternative, or just another way to falsely hype yourself up?
If one of your goals is to make extra money online in 2019, then keep an eye out for my soon-to-launch course, where I’ll help you become a side hustle Renaissance man (or woman). I’ve made over $100,000 in my free time in the last five years, and I want to help you do the same. My goal is for students to earn their first $1,000 online in under a year. Subscribe below to be the first to learn about the course launch (and receive awesome bonuses available exclusively to A Richer You subscribers).
I originally published a version of this article on Money Nomad in 2015.
I bought my first car for $500 from my friend’s brother. It shouldn’t have been a good idea. The interior panels were all hanging off, the wheels made a weird rattling sound and the engine used to whistle when you revved it too hard.
But that car kept going and going and going. It lasted five full years before I sold it on to someone for almost as much as I originally paid for it!
After paying just $500 for a car that lasted five years, there was no way I was going to lease my next car. It just didn’t make good financial sense.
Or so I thought.
As you’ll see in a little while, buying isn’t always cheaper and leasing can actually end up the better financial option.
Some quick definitions
Before we get started, let’s quickly define what counts as leasing and what counts as buying.
Buying: Exchanging something to become the legal owner of something. This includes car finance methods like personal loans and hire purchase.
Leasing: “[Using] a motor vehicle for a fixed period of time at an agreed amount of money for the lease. It is commonly offered by dealers as an alternative to vehicle purchase but is widely used by businesses as a method of acquiring (or having the use of) vehicles for business, without the usually needed cash outlay.” [Wikipedia]
Now, there’s one car finance method I want to mention specifically because it’s a sort of buying-leasing hybrid — personal contract purchase (PCP). With PCP, you essentially lease the car for a set period then have the option to purchase the car by paying a large balloon payment.
To keep things simple, I’m going to completely ignore PCP.
The real buying case
After selling my $500 workhorse, I decided to do the sensible thing and bought a three-year-old Ford Fiesta from a reputable dealer for about $9,000, which is roughly 65 percent of its list price. The price tag was maybe a bit on the high side but I wanted the reassurance that comes with dealing with a dealer rather than an individual.
And why did I buy rather than lease? Here’s Lou Carlozo’s take on pro-buying argument as explained in his article for Money Under 30:
“[W]e have to remind you that, financially, the best way to buy a car is to pay cash for something pre-owned to avoid paying both interest and off-the-lot depreciation.
“Another member of the Financial Literacy Commission, Clare Levison, notes that car payments will eventually end, whereas lease payments won’t until you turn in the car. “With buying, eventually you will have paid the car off and no longer have the expense of the monthly payment.””
I liked that idea. I paid $9,000 in cash for a three-year-old car in what seemed like great condition and that should have been the end of my outgoings.
But it wasn’t.
Almost to the day after crossing the three-month warranty mark, things started going wrong. And over the next three years, they just kept getting worse.
First the battery died without warning and then the water pump gave up. They were annoying repairs but didn’t cost a whole lot. A fault in the rear suspension was more costly as was a clutch replacement. New brake discs, spark plugs and a patched up radiator all added to the repair bill.
All in all, I spent another $6,000 on assorted repairs while I had that car and eventually sold it for just $4,250. Over the three years, it worked out to a net spend of $6,750.
Now, I’m not saying this is the typical case. In fact, it was pretty abnormal but it does illustrate that a lot of your car finances can come down to luck.
Next we’ll discuss how much I could have spent if I went with a fixed-price motoring option like leasing.
The hypothetical leasing case
As I mentioned, I had decided against leasing. I knew a lot of people who had leased their cars — some had had good experiences and others had had mixed experiences. What I didn’t like was the never-ending payment schedule and the fact you never actually owned the car.
However, while writing this article, I talked to various leasing experts who explained why they preferred leasing to buying.
Will Craig, CEO of LeaseFetcher, a car leasing comparison site, thinks that protection and peace of mind is a major reason why so many people are turning to this form of car finance.
“Buying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially if you buy a used car. You’re not covered by the manufacturer so if anything goes wrong you can end up shelling out a lot of money. Leasing, on the other hand, is much more straightforward. You know exactly how much you’ll pay in each month.”
I went back and found a similar car to the Ford Fiesta that I bought outright and did some sums in Excel.
I think it would have cost me just $6,660 to lease the same car for the three-year period, which is $100 or so less than I paid to own it!
Obviously, that’s not always going to be the case. If I got lucky and found a super reliable car, I might have gone the three years with no repairs at all, making leasing the more expensive option. But with leasing I would have known exactly how much I was due to spend over the three years and would be able to budget for it.
So which is cheaper?
Even with all my bad luck, leasing was only marginally cheaper than buying. Generally speaking, leasing will be more expensive than buying. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.
Leasing gives you access to brand new cars at a fixed price — and you can upgrade every few years. On top of that, it’s as close to fixed-price motoring as you’re likely to find. If you lease your car, you don’t have to worry about depreciation, resale value or repair bills. All of those considerations are dumped off on the leasing broker.
As you evaluate your own situation and needs, you should be able to determine which option is best for you. Alternatively, you may decide the best choice is to avoid owning a car at all, using Uber and Lyft to get around.
Tom Butcher is a freelance writer who recently escaped the world of print journalism. He covers a wide range of topics, including finance, business and motoring. You can follow his (new) Twitter feed here.
I’ve been living the digital nomad lifestyle for 4 years now and I love it. It’s given me the freedom and flexibility to live a life full of adventure. But it’s not all sitting on the beach trying not to get sand in your laptop while sipping on mojitos. Being a digital nomad can have its challenges. From finding good wifi, to earning a steady income, to all the logistics that come into living life abroad, there are considerations you should make before jumping into this lifestyle.
I wouldn’t give up my life as a digital nomad, but you’ll also meet challenges that you never would living a ‘normal’ life in your hometown. You’ll get into the nitty gritty of living life in a new place. You’ll sip on delicious cafe con leche in Spain or munch on Samosas in India and meet interesting and inspiring people along the way. You’ll also wonder why on earth you decided to do this and where the h*ll you can find good wifi in this town.
If you think this is something you know you want to do, welcome to the crew! To help make your transition to the digital nomad lifestyle a little smoother than mine was, here are 15 things to consider before starting life as a digital nomad:
1. Are you up for the digital nomad lifestyle? Some people don’t want to mix work and travel. If you’re really looking for a holiday, but kind of like the idea of making money while you go, you might want to take a deeper look into what life as a digital nomad is like. Most digital nomads don’t have a regular salary, are constantly uprooting themselves and must look for new accommodation, friends, etc. in each new city. Before selling all your belongings and moving overseas, figure out why you really want to live this lifestyle.
2. What resources can you gather before you head out? Once you land overseas you’ll likely be in a country with a foreign language, trying to find an apartment, open a bank account, figure out health insurance, etc. Anything you can get together before you leave such as clients, financial resources, information on accommodation, etc. is going to be a big help. Use sites like Money Nomad, Couchsurfing, Airbnb, Internations, or others to see what you can get settled before you go. I know, I know. You want to land in a new country and fly by the seat of your pants. But when you land in Athens with a client call in 2 hours and nowhere to stay you’ll wish you had followed my advice.
3. Who do you want to interact with? Heading to a digital nomad hotspot like Spain or Thailand means you’ll find the cream of the crop of co-working spaces, strong wifi, good coffee, and a slew of other people who understand the lifestyle you’re going for. If you choose somewhere with fewer nomads you’ll have more time to talk with locals, learn a new language, and fully immerse yourself in the culture of the other place. I’ve done both and each has its ups and downs. Decide which kind of place you’d like to start in and go from there!
4. Where do you want to go? The ultimate question for digital nomads! You’ve got freedom at your fingertips but now you have some big decisions to make. Some things to consider are cost of living, language, ability to get a visa, how long you want to stay, etc. If you’re just starting your career or just changing careers, places like South East Asia, Eastern Europe, or Central America will give you more financial flexibility.
5. What kind of work do you want to do? If you don’t already have a remote job, there a few different ways you can go to become a DN:
Become a freelancer.
Start a business
Get a job at a remote company
Do local temp jobs
FIGURE THIS OUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE. Trust me on this – from someone who wound up on a couch in London with not enough money for a bag of chips while frantically trying to find work. FIGURE THIS OUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE.
I’m now a social media manager and blogger. Ideally you want to find something that is a good mix of your skills and interests, i.e. something you are good at and that won’t make you want to smash digitayour computer while you’re on the road!
6. How will you find consistent work? Once you’ve decided what you want to do, it’s time to actually get clients and customers. Check out freelancing sites like Upwork, relevant Facebook groups, and reach out to your network of friends and family. Get creative with this one! If you can already have some basics in place (i.e. Business set up, a few clients in place,etc.) before you leave, even better. If that’s not possible, at least leave with a plan!
7. What is your financial situation? If you’re just starting a business or freelance career do you have enough saved to support yourself for a few months? It takes time to build a steady income. If you don’t have savings I’d recommend going somewhere with a low cost of living, to begin with! Hey, this can help you out with number 4! Sites like nomadlist can help you filter locations by budget.
8. What’s your travel style? Do you want to live in one country for a year? Move around every three months? Maybe you want to have a home base but travel around for a few weeks or months at a time. Or maybe you want to be fully nomadic! The best way to figure this out is to experiment! But if you have an inkling, start with your inkling and make a plan from there. This will help you figure out if you need a visa to legally work and live somewhere, or if you are just going to bounce around using Airbnb and hostels.
9. Is it important to be close- ish to home? Do you want to be able to visit home for Christmas or other important events? Keep that in mind before hopping on a one-way flight to Australia!
10. Do you want more time alone or more time socializing? Do you love big cities, or prefer to be in the country somewhere. Digital nomad life can get lonely, yet some of my best experiences have been in tiny little mountain or beach towns, taking some much needed time to myself. Know thyself. Do you like more time alone, or do you want company?
11. How will you keep in touch with friends and family back home? Friendships built on the road are great, but nothing can replace your best friends from back home. I love planning Skype & Wine sessions once a month with some of my BFFs. Keeping in touch will help you out when you’re having your (inevitable) digital nomad life crisis.
12. Visas. Do you need a visa or work permit where you’re going? This depends on where you’re from and where you want to move to. If you’re moving within your own country you won’t have a problem, and EU citizens can live and work freely in multiple countries. Any other situation you will probably need to apply for a work visa. Check out the embassy of the country you want to go to to get more information on this. I’ve heard stories of people overstaying with no visa and having no problem, and I’ve also heard of people getting 5-year bans from Europe and hefty fines. I wouldn’t mess with this one – if you plan on staying in one place for more than three months, get the proper work permit.
13. Health insurance and health care. Get health insurance before you go!! Depending on where you are going and if you are getting a visa, you may be eligible to apply for healthcare in the country you are moving to. If you can’t stay healthy on the road you won’t have much fun. This is definitely something you should research before heading out. Language is also a consideration. You may want to research where you can find an English speaking doctor before (or soon after) you arrive.
14. Keeping healthy on the road. How will you stay healthy on the road? Do you like running? Cycling? Swimming? How can you fit those into your new (and ever-changing) routine? What’s the cuisine like in the places you want to go? Do you have any dietary restrictions or allergies you need to account for? This is especially important if you’re going to a small town – you may need to hit up a grocery store in a bigger city before settling in! The Spanakopita and cheap beer will be tempting, just remember you’re not on holidays- this is your normal life now.
15. Seek adventure and make time for fun. There’s a lot to plan for when becoming a digital nomad, but really most of us choose this lifestyle because we want more adventure than we can get back home! While one of the best things for me about this lifestyle is that I’ve also been able to choose a job that I love, don’t let work completely take over your life. Remember why you chose to do this in the first place and make time to explore the place you’re in! Make time to close your laptop, disconnect, and create an adventure.
I hope this helps you wrap your head around what you need to do to start your life as a digital nomad. It can be fun and rewarding, and will be the more so if you plan ahead, and are aware of some of the challenges that might come up on the road!
Kayla is a digital nomad, yogi, and freelance social media manager. Currently bunkered up in Europe, but originally from Canada, she’s visited, lived, and worked in over 40 countries! Learn more about her and her work on her website, Twitter, and Instagram.
Have you ever wondered if you could make some extra cash for you and your family, without having to leave home? Some people start a home business to replace their full-time income that they would have got from a traditional job. Other people want to be able to access extra cash, but they don’t know how to get a standard career when they have a child to look after or other challenges to handle.
The good news is that whatever the reason you’re considering making money from home, you might find that the route to getting extra cash in your pocket is easier than you’d think. Here are some of the quickest and easiest ways to make money from home.
1. Sell Your Unwanted Items
If you want to simultaneously make some extra money from home and also cut down on the amount of clutter you have lingering throughout your house, then this is a great option for you. With resources like eBay, Facebook Groups, and Gumtree, you can sell the products that you no longer want or use online with a matter of minutes. All you need to do is snap a picture of the item you want to sell and upload it to your website of choice.
If you really want to attract as many buyers as possible, do your best to share a compelling description of the item, be honest about its quality, and share the link to the page on your social media feeds.
2. Become a Freelancer
You might have noticed terms like “freelancer” and “gig economy” being thrown around a lot more frequently these days. There’s a good reason for that. Today, many of the businesses that would otherwise have simply hired someone to do the work that they wanted in-house, now prefer to turn to freelancers and one-off contractors for help.
The good news is that this new working environment opens up plenty of new opportunities for people who want to make money from their own home. All you need to do is set up an account on a site like Elance or Upwork, and you can start looking for jobs immediately. Just make sure that you choose jobs you feel comfortable doing so you can deliver a great result every time.
3. Get Paid to Shop
Plenty of us enjoy retail therapy from time to time. In fact, our love for shopping is what gets some of us into trouble with our finances. The good news is that you could benefit from your willingness to shop in today’s digital world. While mystery shopping might not give you a regular source of income like being a freelancer, you can earn some extra cash from time to time and have a little fun too. The important thing to remember is that a sign-up for a mystery shopping website should always be free.
Remember, a lot of companies that use mystery shoppers will require plenty of professionalism from the shopper and a lot of details in their reviews. You can’t just buy something and expect to get paid. You also need to ask a lot of questions, visit specific departments in a store, and submit a detailed report about your experiences.
4. Get Paid for your Opinion
These days, most companies know that if they want to get on the good side of their customers, they need to understand those customers inside and out. That’s why plenty of businesses spend a serious amount of money on finding out what their target market wants from them. As part of a focus group, you can offer feedback on products and services, and help businesses to make the right decisions about what they put out into the marketplace.
Some focus groups will be held in person, so you may need to be willing to travel if you want to take part. However, there are online focus groups out there. One thing worth noting is that the focus groups available online aren’t always as well-paid as the ones you attend in person.
5. Get Paid to Take Surveys
Finally, another way that you can get paid to work from home, and also to offer your opinion, is to take part in surveys. There are plenty of survey sites that will give you free items, gifts, and money for doing surveys for their clients. While you might not be able to earn a huge income from surveys, it’s a fun and simple way to make some extra cash while you’re sitting on the sofa.
My ultimate dream-come-true scenario would be my husband and I quitting our jobs and being free to travel the world. In the past, a dream like this would be nearly unthinkable as it would involve having the money to pay for such an adventure up front or being able to find jobs in country while traveling.
Thanks to the internet, many jobs can be done from anywhere. Even if you don’t want to travel the world, it can still be appealing to have a high-paying job you can do from home.
Intrigued at the idea of a job you can do from anywhere in the world? Here are ten jobs that you can not only do from your couch, favorite café, or latest travel destination marked off your bucket list, but also pay well.
1. App Developer
Are you extremely tech savvy, maybe even a computer science degree holder? App development can be a great option for a job that you can do anywhere. App developers create applications for a variety of devices, as well as test and program them after creation. Your favorite smartphone or computer apps were created by an app developer.
The highest paying jobs will require experience and likely a relevant degree, but this can be a great job to do remotely if you’re qualified.
2. Web Developer
Web developers help design, code, and modify websites for clients. If you have a talent for this sort of work and an eye for what’s aesthetically pleasing (clients want websites that look as great as they are functional), consider web development as a job you can do at home, your favorite coffee shop, or while travelling the world.
3. Freelance Writer
Freelance writing can be done anywhere, and often at any time. If you want the freedom to create your own schedule and workspace, freelance writing is a great option for you. Freelance writing can take many different forms, from ghostwriting books to blogging or technical writing and everything in between.
4. Health Care Professional
Health Care professionals – you might be able to go remote with your job! Nurses, pharmacists, doctors, and radiologists, you may be able to find a virtual job that would allow you to help people online from wherever you are. Or, you can consider becoming a traveling nurse/doctor/pharmacist/etc — and enjoy a new location every 3-6 months.
5. Online Teacher
Online teaching can be a great option for people with a variety of skills and interests. You can look into post-secondary teaching for an online program at a university or community college.
Another option is to teach English online to non-native English speakers looking to improve their skills. There are various English teaching platforms that connect you to students around the world, or you could even consider traveling to another country and teaching English in person.
6. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are extremely valuable to their clients. Doing everything from social media management to making travel arrangements and scheduling appointments, every virtual assistant job will look different. Each client will have different expectations for their virtual assistant, but this can definitely be a great job to do from anywhere, especially if you’re organized and detail-oriented.
7. Project Manager
Virtual Project Management pays well and is in high demand, making it an attractive option for qualified individuals looking to be able to work anywhere. Remote Project Management is challenging, but can be very rewarding as well for those who work hard and are well organized.
Are you fluent in another language? Maybe you’re looking for a job that allows you to improve that language fluency while also immersing in that culture? Translation skills can lead to great opportunities for virtual jobs.
9. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers are in high demand, and virtual graphic design can be a great job to do from anywhere. Artists tend to have more freedom to create their own workspaces, so it’s no surprise that virtual graphic design jobs are not at all uncommon. A great place to get started is on Fiverr.
Are you an expert in a specific field with knowledge that could be useful for others? An online consulting job can be a great way to work from anywhere while making good money. Consultant responsibilities and job descriptions vary, but consultants are very valuable to businesses. Becoming a virtual consultant can be a great way to work where you want to, make decent money, and help businesses thrive.
It’s no secret college is expensive. Tuition, room and board, and textbooks alone are thousands of dollars a year. How are you supposed to afford a social life on top of all this?
It may be time to think about getting a job.
You have new friends, you might be in a completely new community, and college is about having fun, right? It can be difficult to know where to start looking for a job, especially with a busy college schedule.
Most universities offer on-campus jobs for students, which is a great place to start. Of course, retail and food service are always options (although maybe not ideal ones).
If you’d rather think outside the box a bit, or want a little more flexibility, consider one of these ways to make some extra cash:
1. Rideshare Driving
Help your classmates get home safe, and make some money doing it!
Uber and Lyft are both great options to earn a little extra money on your own schedule. You’ll start recognizing patterns of “busy times” that can help you maximize the amount earned in the least amount of time.
If the rideshare market is hopping in your area, you can make up to a few hundred dollars a weekend if you are online at the right times.
Are you a pro at calculus or German or biology? Other students might be struggling in the classes you passed with flying colors.
If you know enough about a subject you’re sure you could help someone pass a class, offer tutoring services on your campus.
3. Brand rep
Many brands that are popular with college students – soda companies, energy drink brands, and more – are looking to hire students who can promote their brand around campus.
Some days you might be giving out free samples or swag in the student union. Other days, you might just wear branded merch to class. Some positions even pay their brand reps to drive a branded car around town and park it in visible locations.
Each brand rep position looks different, but this can be a fun way to earn some extra cash on campus with an often flexible schedule.
4. Delivery Driving
If there are two things college students love, it’s food and Amazon.
There are multiple food delivery companies, and if you live in a college town there’s a good chance at least one of them is in your area. If you hate the idea of picking strangers up in your car but are interested in driving to make money, delivery driving might be for you.
Amazon also hires delivery drivers in some areas. This program, called Amazon Flex, looks for people to deliver Amazon packages to customers in your area.
5. Teach Music Lessons
Those of you who are musical can teach music lessons for either fellow students, or even children and adults in your area.
Get involved with a musicians group, post in local Facebook groups, put up flyers in your favorite coffee shop, and you just might be surprised at who is interested in learning a new instrument from you.
6. Start an Etsy Shop
If art and creativity are your thing, this could be the option you’re looking for.
Do you love cross-stitching sarcastic phrases in fancy cursive with floral prints? Is your handwriting worthy of someone else hanging in their home when used to write out their favorite song lyrics? Do you use watercolor painting as a way to de-stress?
Some states allow you to become a sub with as little as 2 years worth of college credits. If you have a class schedule that leaves you with a couple free days a week, this can be a great way for upperclassmen to earn money, especially if you’re planning to go into education.
You may have thought your babysitting days were over once you graduated high school, but watching children can be a great way to make money on a college student’s schedule.
Whether you take random babysitting jobs or look for a steady nannying job that fits with your classes, hanging out with kids can be fun and help you earn some income.
9. Sell your notes
Do you take great notes in class? Other students just might be willing to pay for them!
Sites like Course Hero are platforms where you can sell notes for courses online. If you take clear, careful notes that could help another student out, try listing them for sale to make some extra money on something you have to do anyways.
10. Life guard
Love being in, or at least near, the water?
Life guarding is a fun way to make some money, whether at the outdoor pool over summer or at an indoor pool during the school year. Some universities even have pools in their rec centers, which can be a super convenient place to start looking for a life guarding gig.
11. Social Media Assistant
It’s no secret college students are super in touch with social media trends. Businesses know this, and they want to hire you to help market themselves well!
Whether they are looking for a college student to help attract other college aged customers, or just looking for someone in touch with what’s happening on social media, businesses in your community might be looking for someone just like you.
Turn posting, tweeting, liking, and sharing into extra cash by becoming a social media assistant for a local business!
An easy way to get started is by offering your services on sites like Fiverr.
Working a night security job is an option that fits in a lot of college student’s schedules. It may be a little boring (as Andy Dwyer quickly found out when he took a security job at Pawnee City Hall in “Parks and Rec”) but trust me when I say that excitement when working a security job isn’t necessarily a good thing.
While it’s maybe not the most glamorous job, making calls in a call center can be a great option for students taking a full load of classes. Many telemarketing companies have employees work odd hours due to various time zones, making this an option for students who have no daytime availability. Some jobs might involve trying to sell something, others might have you fundraising for an organization, and some might be political.
If you have strong customer service skills, tough skin, and enjoy talking to people, telemarketing is worth looking into.
14. Take care of animals
Animal lovers: turn your love for furry friends into a side hustle!
Start a dog walking or pet sitting business. This can be a great way to get some puppy loving in if you’re missing your family dog back home while also earning some cash.
Are you an early morning person or a night owl? Baristaing or bartending can be a fun, fast paced way to make money. College students need caffeine and enjoy bars, so getting a job making drinks in whatever fashion can be a fun job to have, especially in a college town.
Who knows, you might even get an employee discount, which can come in extremely handy.
16. Freelance writing
Do you enjoy writing, but wish you could do more than just write research papers?
Freelance writing can be a creative way to earn money by writing. Websites like Upwork or Fiverr are a great place to start looking for freelance writing gigs.
17. Online English Tutoring
If you’re a native English speaker, you can get online tutoring jobs to help children and adults around the world learn English. Sites like VIPKid are looking for native English speakers to help others either learn English or improve their conversational skills — and you can earn as much as $20/hr.
One downfall to this is you’ll often be working with people in completely different time zones, but if you don’t mind staying up late or getting up early that isn’t a huge problem.
18. Coach/ref children’s sports
Do you love sports? Invest your time in that passion and coach or ref kids in your community.
Coaching youth sports can be extremely fun AND rewarding, as can reffing. This is a good way to keep active while earning extra cash for a sport you love.
19. Work part-time at your favorite local shop
Do you have a favorite downtown used bookstore you could spend hours in? Would you love an employee discount at a cute boutique? Could you spend hours flipping through prints at that art store you love?
Getting a part-time job at your favorite small business can be a fun way to earn income as a college student.
20. Personal shopping
Some people hate grocery shopping so much they are willing to pay someone else to do it. If you enjoy it, or at the very least don’t mind it, consider signing up as a shopper for a company like Instacart or Shipt. You’ll be grocery shopping for people in your community who for a variety of reasons can’t make it to the store and delivering their groceries to them.
It’s possible to find a side hustle that works with your schedule and might even be a little fun, too. For college students with a lot on your plates already, a flexible schedule is important which makes many of these side hustles appealing.
While your parents may have flipped burgers or waitressed their way through college, you have more options thanks to technology and creativity, and it’s a great idea to explore them.
Growing up, my family didn’t have much money. There were times when the light switch triggered no response because the electric bill hadn’t been paid, and we were even homeless for a time. I remember being jealous of my friends who lived in large houses and received brand new cars for their 16th birthdays and wondering how I could have that. More than anything, I wanted to be wealthy, yet when I did start making money, I spent it all.
What was I doing wrong? Why were my actions totally out of line with my financial goals? My income wasn’t to blame; neither was my education, my career choice, or my network. I could spend money changing my clothes or accumulating more stuff, but that wouldn’t fix the problem either.
The problem was my mindset. I wasn’t the lower class kid living on a friend’s couch anymore, but I still thought like her. And her way of thinking was keeping me poor. I wished to be a millionaire, but how far was that actually going to get me? My husband has a great saying, “Wish in one hand and s*** in the other, and see which one fills up faster.” It’s crude, but it’s true.
You aren’t going to become wealthy by wishing for wealth while still continuing to think like you’re poor. If you want to accumulate wealth consider adopting these mindsets of the wealthy.
Wealthy Mindset 1: The wealthy think long-term
The decision to purchase a new car or go on an expensive vacation isn’t one they make likely because they consider the long-term consequences of their purchases.
Use the Rule of 72 to put large purchases in perspective. The Rule of 72 defines the number of years it takes to double your money at a given interest rate. If you assume an interest rate of 7% per year, then it will take 72 / 7, or just over 10 years, to double your money. With this kind of thinking, a $5,000 vacation suddenly becomes a lot less appealing than a $5,000 contribution to your investment account.
Takeaway: If you tend to have buyer’s remorse after purchases or your house looks more like a storage facility than a home, adopting a long-term view of your money might help you cut back your unnecessary spending.
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Wealthy Mindset 2: The wealthy understand that learning doesn’t end in the classroom
Takeaway: Expanding your mind is intrinsically rewarding, but it can be so much more. Both of the side hustles I’ve cultivated began as a desire to learn about a new topic and turned into fun ways to make extra money.
According to Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, a growth mindset is one in which you are always looking to improve yourself. When something goes wrong in your life, you look for the lesson life is trying to teach you, and you find ways to grab life by the horns and steer it in your favor. This is the mindset that allows millionaires to keep going when their businesses are going under, when the market is tanking their investments, and when they’ve reached a slump professionally.
Takeaway: Bad things happen to everyone. The measure of your integrity is how you handle yourself during the bad times. It can feel so easy and comfortable to wallow, but it won’t change your situation. Only you have the power to improve yourself and affect change in your future.
Wealthy Mindset 4: The wealthy know that success doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s easy to look at successful millionaires and forget about the years of hard work that preceded. But that’s a huge mistake. Wealthy individuals don’t make their money in a vacuum. They go through the same professional and personal struggles we do. The only difference is that they visualized their goal and made one prudent decision after another for a really long time, never losing sight of their destination.
Takeaway: Staying the course for the long haul is hard. Be patient, and learn to see the value in the journey. If achieving wealth was simply a matter of snapping your fingers, imagine how few people would hold onto it. The road to wealth will teach you the discipline, determination, and level-headedness you need to maintain a wealthy mindset. Don’t give up.
Wealthy Mindset 5: The wealthy hustle.
Many millionaires own their own businesses, but even those who don’t usually have a side hustle that generates extra income. They understand that you receive value from adding value, whether through designing a new product or service or being so essential to your employer that you move up the corporate (and income) ladder. And when that extra income does roll in, they don’t fall victim to lifestyle inflation; instead, they invest in themselves and grow their wealth.
Takeaway: Develop super-human tenacity. Learn to stand out professionally among your peers, and I promise you’ll be rewarded.
Wealthy Mindset vs. Poor Mindset
The difference between rich and poor goes so far beyond yearly income or net worth. A minimum wage income and a wealthy mindset will take you so much further than a $100,000 yearly salary and a poor mindset. Your journey to wealth starts in your mind. If you can learn to adopt the mindset of the wealthy, to think like the individuals who have achieved what you desire, then you too can become wealthy.
Too often, people fall into the trap of assuming they have to work themselves to death in order to make a living and retire well. While hustle culture is currently dominating the wealth-creation landscape (and for good reason), what’s lost to the general public is the balance that successful entrepreneurs achieve.
In order to be consistently producing marketable skills, you have to be at the top of your game, and that just won’t happen when you work to the exclusion of taking care of yourself. Being healthy needs to be approached as a long-term investment strategy, literally. Not only are you going to feel better, but you will actually save money; Men’s Health noted that the healthiest 20 percent of people in their fifties retired with 3 times the assets of the unhealthiest individuals.
It might seem like health is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Not everyone needs organic produce and a Fitbit to be successful in improving their health. There are changes you can make to save money tomorrow. However, if saving that extra money to buy a Fitbit means you’re going to walk more while trying to break your daily steps record, there’s nothing wrong with doing what works for you. And you wouldn’t be alone — 96 percent of people who use a fitness app believe it improves their quality of life.
With that kind of positive review, and the opportunity to see your savings grow, why wouldn’t you put time into your health? Let’s look at a few of the simplest ways that being healthy can make you wealthy.
Right off the bat, a healthy lifestyle offers opportunity to save money. Making a few simple — simple, not easy — changes can yield major changes to your bank account and your well-being.
Eliminating major vices reduces spending. The average smoker spends almost two grand a year on cigarettes, and that’s assuming one pack a day. Reducing the amount you smoke (or quitting altogether) puts that money back in your pocket, along with any money you would have spent on related health complications. You can see a similar result with alcohol consumption; even if you only average one drink per day, depending on your beverage of choice, that can be up to $10 a week, or $520 a year.
Putting less time into unhealthy habits means your health is going to improve — even moderate drinking can affect your quality of sleep, and there are well-known health risks associated with smoking. When you’re not worried about getting a good night’s sleep, you’re able to concentrate on your priorities, be they family, work, or a hobby. You may even find that exercise is more enjoyable, or that you like to bike to work now that you’re not waking up feeling sluggish. Bonus points: biking to work saves money on fuel and prolongs the life of your vehicle.
Not only will you grant yourself the freedom of health, but you’re going to be spending less on your healthcare. While it’s still important to receive regular wellness checks to stay on top of your health, you won’t be making appointments every few months to deal with fatigue, aches and pains. Even with good insurance, saving a copay or two every month will add up.
Health Is an Investment
It’s all good and well to talk about saving money, but what’s more challenging is looking at your health as something worth putting money into. It may seem like throwing money away or spending frivolously at first, but it’s an important step to taking care of yourself long term as well as paying pennies to make dollars.
We could probably all stand to spend a little more time at the gym or walking around our neighborhood — it’s estimated that more than a third of American adults are obese. However, unless working out is fun, it’s going to feel like an obligation, and you’ll be less likely to stick to it. Flip that concept on it’s head and look at working out as an investment in your future self.
Spending money on a gym membership isn’t necessary to getting in better shape, but if you know you won’t stick to a schedule without classes to go to, look for a reasonably priced membership without the extra frills. If you’d rather sweat in the comfort of your own home, buy basic equipment and follow one of hundreds of free online programs. Meetup groups or local businesses may also have cycling or running groups that are free to join.
Once you get a feel for spending money to improve your health and save money down the road, it gets a little addicting. Rather than just looking for places to cut spending, you start looking for the greatest return on investment (kind of like finding the best credit card rewards).
For instance, Harvard released a meta-analysis that shows that for an extra $1.50 a day, you can eat healthier and avoid potential long-term complications of preventable medical conditions. That may seem like a lot at first, but compare $45 a month for veggies to what you might have spent on beer, and it becomes a no-brainer. Similarly, paying for lasik can seem like a massive expense up front, but compared to the long-term cost of glasses, it’s a money-saver and a convenience. These aren’t changes you make all at once, either, save up for one at a time or slowly adjust your food budget as you can.
Reaping the Rewards
The healthier you get, the better you’re going to feel, and the more money you’ll start to see staying in your pocket. Fewer sick days means fewer unpaid days and less stress from playing catch up. Eating better means more energy to work on side projects or hustle to get that promotion. Employers may even offer discounted healthcare to employees with better vital signs and indicators of long-term health. Lifestyle changes to improve your health pay in more than money, too. You’ll start to reap rewards in unexpected ways.
The discipline necessary for sticking to a regular exercise schedule will start to bleed over into other areas of your life. You’ll have to schedule time for working out and getting presentable afterwards at opportune times in your day, giving consideration to meetings, meal times, and other obligations. You may notice that your memory and productivity are heightened immediately after working out, making lunch time workouts a great break to reinvigorate your afternoon.
As you get healthier, you’ll also notice a natural gravitation towards foods that make you feel and perform better — sugary desserts might be replaced by fruit, and eating breakfast that isn’t cereal will give you more energy for the day. It’s all about optimizing your health for productivity; feeling energized will allow you to execute better and faster in all your day-to-day tasks, not just the physical ones.
As your schedule settles into a routine, having more energy means that you can start to sneak a little extra time for your side hustles and see your bank account start to grow. Running for 30 minutes? Listen to a podcast to improve industry knowledge. Make your time work for you, and capitalize on your post-workout mental gains.
If upending your lifestyle in pursuit of health just isn’t feasible at the moment, take baby steps. If you can walk or bike to work, give it a try; you’ll save money on gas and get an endorphin boost from the movement. If there just isn’t time, try cutting extra sugar or alcohol from your evenings. You might find yourself waking up with enough energy to get the laundry folded before work, leaving you with time to work on a side project in the evenings.
Radical, overnight changes won’t save you immediate money or make health a sustainable goal. However, making small investments in your health will start to save you money over time, allowing you to put more energy and effort into personal improvements.
Ebates offers cash back every time you shop at popular online stores like Walmart, Amazon, Ulta, Lowes, Groupon, and Best Buy. Earn anywhere from 1-20%+ on purchases you make every day. Brands pay Ebates to send them customers, and Ebates splits what they earn with you!
Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks to this cashback shopping platform.
Pros of Using Ebates
Ebates gives you cashback on the shopping you already do at thousands of stores.
Ebates is 100% free to use.
Ebates makes it quick and easy to earn cash back on online purchases.
Ebates offers in-store cashback for some brands.
Ebates pays you quarterly, with no minimums.
Ebates as a Chrome extension that makes it easy to receive cashback on any of your online shopping.
Cons of Using Ebates
Ebates requires you to visit each store through their website in order to make cashback, requiring additional time (unless you use the Chrome extension).
Ebates doesn’t always have the best cashback rates – sometimes other cashback portals provide better payouts.
Although there are a few drawbacks to using Ebates, provided you have the time, it’s almost always worth using.
Ebates Signup Bonus
The Ebates signup bonus offers new users $10 in cash after making a purchase of $25 or more within 90 days of signing up.
After sign up, use Ebates to visit your favorite store (including Amazon) and spend $25 or more. You will then receive $10 deposited into your Ebates account.
Ebates Referral Bonus
The Ebates refer a friend program gives you anywhere from $5-25 for every friend you refer to Ebates who creates an account an makes a purchase of at least $25 within 90 days.
In addition to receiving your referral bonus, the friend that you refer will also receive a $10 sign up bonus for joining!
Is Ebates a Scam or is Ebates Legit?
There are thousands of Ebates reviews and Ebates testimonials that confirm the legitimacy of Ebates.
Personally, I have earned over $700 from Ebates – with my biggest commissions coming from purchasing laptops from Dell when they were offering 10% cashback – earning me $100 on my $1,000 laptop.
One important item to note is that you must start your shopping trip from Ebates in order to earn cash back. If you open Ebates on your phone, but make the purchase from your computer, you won’t earn cash back.
Additionally, if you use coupon codes that aren’t available on the Ebates website, you may lose your cash back bonuses.
Use Ebates Chrome Extension for Easy Cashback
To make it easier for you to receive cash back, Ebates has built a Chrome web browser extension.
After setting up your Ebates account, install the Chrome extension and Ebates will notify you anytime you can save extra money before making a purchase. You’ll never miss out on cashback opportunities again!
Get Cash Back with Ebates In-Store Purchases
You can also earn cash back for certain in-store purchases. Visit the “in-store purchases” page on Ebates and register your credit card for specific stores. Then, when you shop at those stores in person, you’ll earn cash back!
In-Store Cash Back with Ebates - YouTube
Ebates Alternatives and Competitors
There are several alternatives to Ebates that are worth mentioning.
TopCashback: This is another leading cashback platform – and one that also offers a $10 bonus after spending your first $25.
iBotta: iBotta is an app that pays you for scanning receipts showing that you’ve purchased specific items in-store. iBotta also has a $10 sign up bonus.
Swagbucks: Swagbucks offers cashback, in addition to paid surveys and other offers. Earn points instead of dollars, and cash out the points for gift cards (including for PayPal and Amazon) at a rate of $0.01 per point. Swagbucks will give you a $5 bonus after earning 25,000 points (spending $25 days).
For a full list of other cashback shopping sites (many with sign up bonuses that give you free cash) visit our cashback shopping sites comparison page.
Having an apartment budget is a must if you’re thinking of renting. It’s all too easy to fall in love with the perfect place, and rush into signing a lease. Only to find out a couple of months down the track that you’re struggling to stay on top of rent, bills and other overlooked costs…
Here are the main expenses you’ll need to plan for in your apartment budget, before you move in and during your tenancy.
Apartment hunting expenses
Renting an apartment in any major U.S. city isn’t cheap, but if you know how to budget money you can save for the up-front costs before you move in. The following are the four main expenses that you’ll need to set aside money for.
If there is fierce competition for an apartment, being able to pay rent in advance before you move in can work in your favor. This not only lets the landlord know you can comfortably cover the rent with your savings, it can help you stand out from the competition and secure you the apartment. Aim to add the cost of the first month’s rent to your apartment budget.
A security deposit is commonly required from prospective tenants when renting an apartment. This usually equates to one or two months rent, and is held by the landlord in case funds are needed to repair damage caused to the property. If there are no issues, at the end of the tenancy you’ll get your deposit returned to you in its entirety.
Real estate broker’s fee
Looking for a cheap apartment is sometimes easier if you enlist the help of a real estate broker. But be aware that brokers don’t work for free. How much a broker will charge varies, depending on the state – usually it is one month’s rent, but can be 10% of a year’s rent. Always check a broker’s fees before you sign anything.
In the excitement of finding a great place to live, moving costs are often left out of the budget planner. But these can mount up. If you already have all the furniture you need, the cheapest option is to rent a truck and drive yourself but if you don’t feel confident about that, then hiring professional movers is your next best option. Aim to put at least $500 to $1,000 aside in your apartment budget for a local move.
If you don’t have all the furniture and appliances you need, it might be cheaper to order the basics (e.g a bed, chest of drawers, bedding and kitchen cutlery) and have these delivered on moving day. You can then furnish the rest of the apartment at your leisure over a period of months.
You’ve signed the lease and paid all the associated costs, well done! Now you need to look at creating a budget for the bills you’ll pay during your tenancy. Here are some of the costs you should add to your apartment budget.
Rent is by far the largest expense you’ll pay when renting an apartment. But the good news is, this is a fixed cost each month, and one you already know upfront. Rent should always be paid on time in case your landlord or property manager charges late fees for collection.
Some utilities may be included in your monthly rent, in which case you won’t have to worry about those. But in general, you should expect to set up your own account for power, telephone, internet and cable services. You can save money by shopping around to get quotes from different companies, and researching different ways to lower your utility bill. As a general rule of thumb, you want to be spending 4% or less of your gross income on utilities.
A worthwhile ongoing cost to add to your apartment budget is renters insurance. This usually doesn’t cost too much, approximately $15 a month, but is highly advisable to cover all your new furniture and appliances if they get stolen. It’s also peace of mind for you, especially if you’ve used most of your savings for moving in costs.
Now you’ve got a handle on the main costs, you’ll just need to take care of other weekly expenses in your apartment budget, such as food, toiletries and entertainment. It’s a good idea to start saving for an emergency fund too in case anything unexpected crops up.
As you can see, renting an apartment on a budget is entirely possible, all it takes is a little clear thinking and planning to make sure you can afford all the upfront and ongoing costs.