How To Make Money on Etsy: Follow These 5 Helpful Tips

If you’re an artist or a crafter, you might already have an Etsy store, but you might have wondered how to actually make money on Etsy.

Etsy is the go-to marketplace for arts, crafts, and vintage goods, and it’s not surprising that this has become a home for creative people who want to earn money from their creativity.

With the millions of shops already on Etsy, the fees, and the limited audience, you might be wondering if anyone selling on Etsy really is making money.

The answer is yes, you can indeed make money on Etsy, but the more important question is “how.”

Today, you’ll learn how to make money on Etsy.

Note: If you haven’t set up your Etsy store yet, read our guide to selling on Etsy first and then come right back here.

5 Ways To Actually Make Money on Etsy

1. Choose the Right Products To Sell

If you’ve ever looked for advice for what products to sell on Etsy, you’ve probably read different information.

“Sell products that you genuinely love creating (or sourcing, in the case of vintage items).”

“Sell products that are on Etsy’s bestseller lists.”

But what if the product you’re genuinely passionate about isn’t on Etsy’s bestseller lists?

Here’s the hard truth: following your passion, unfortunately, isn’t enough to build a successful business.

It’s much more practical to do product research and find out what Etsy shoppers are actually buying.

If you already have a product in mind, one way to find out if your product idea is profitable is to simply go to Etsy, use the search function to see if someone is already selling your product idea and if the seller is successfully selling the item.

Check out their profile to see the number of sales they’ve made since they opened so you can have an idea of how well they are doing.

There are countless Etsy sellers who probably aren’t that passionate about what they’re selling. But they all have goals for themselves, and they’re aware that making money on Etsy is going to help them achieve that goal.

And eventually, through several hours of researching about the products, checking out competitors, participating in forums and discussions about that product, you’ll find yourself at least interested enough to keep selling it for years.

I guess if you can take away one thing, it’s this: you don’t have to love what you sell on Etsy, but you do have to love selling.

Note: We’ve written about Etsy bestsellers a while back, and while the list and the ranking may have changed, you can at least get a starting point.

2. Price Your Etsy Products Correctly

Like in any ecommerce business, the key to success is to sell items on Etsy with enough of a profit margin. This is the difference between the selling price and the cost of the item divided by the selling price.

So if you have a product that cost $20, and you sell it for $25, your profit margin is $5/$25 or 20%.

To determine your selling price, you need to take three things in consideration: the cost of the product, your competitors’ price, and the value of the product to the customer.

The cost of your product not only includes the cost of the materials, but also the listing fee per item (currently $0.20) and transaction fee (currently 5%).

Ideally, you need to include your labor, marketing costs, and everything you spend on to create and sell the product. It sounds impossible to calculate this exactly but you can provide an estimate.

Aside from calculating cost of your product, you would need to do competitor research.

It’s no good to blindly copy the price that your competitors have set, or to compete on a lower price range automatically. You need more information.

Of the millions of sellers on Etsy, there’s a high probability that at least one of them has the same product idea as you.

Research everything about your competitors; not just how much they price the same items but also what other products they sell in their store, their locations, and how many of these competitors there are.

Once you know this information, you’ll be better equipped to know whether to price higher (if your products are unique), lower (there are too many of them and you need to lure sellers away to your shop), or the same (you have competitors but you’re the only one in your location so shipping fees are lower for shoppers in your area)

You do need to be careful if you’re pricing your products lower; your profit margin might turn out to be too low for you to continue operating.

Lastly, you have to apply value-based pricing, which implies the price at which customers think your product offers good value.

That is, how much is a customer willing to pay to get your product?

For instance, a customer paying for a Picasso knows his paintings are much more valuable than the paint, brushes, and canvas he used to paint them, and thus they’re willing to pay millions of dollars to get a Picasso.

On the other hand, a painting by an artist who is not very famous or hasn’t contributed very much to art movements is likely to be priced lower, even if the same amount of paint, brushes, and canvas was used.

You’d also need to consider your target audience and their perception of your products. If you price it too high, they might be turned off (why buy here when they can buy it elsewhere?), while if you price it too low, they’ll think it’s low-quality.

Pricing your Etsy products is a fine balance of these three factors. Don’t be afraid of having to raise or lower prices when anything changes.

3. Run a Successful Etsy Shop

The third aspect of making money on Etsy is creating and maintaining a successful Etsy shop. Here are three ways to ensure your Etsy shop flourishes.

Take clear, high-quality photographs of your items.

Product photographs are the most important aspect of any ecommerce business, but it’s especially important to make money on Etsy.

If you’re selling products that you’ve made yourself, no one else has seen it but you. And posting detailed, high-definition photographs of your products is the most important part of being able to sell your products.

The problem is we’re not all good photographers, and most of us don’t have professional equipment to set up a product photoshoot.

But you don’t need fancy equipment to get good photos. Even mid-priced smartphones nowadays are equipped with cameras that take high-definition photos. Some even have macro lens capabilities.

You can set up a makeshift backdrop with paper or fabric, whether plain or patterned. For the lighting, you can use natural light, though this might take a little scheduling on your end. To increase the amount of light, you can use an aluminum foil-covered piece of cardboard to act as a reflector.

Props to show how your product is used or to show scale are important as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought something online only to be surprised by how small or how big they are in real life.

Also, make sure all the photographs of all the products you’re offering on your Etsy shop follow a common theme, like the same backdrop or the same angles.

Write compelling product descriptions.

Thumbnails and photographs make Etsy shoppers click, but the product descriptions they read when they click on these thumbnails are what will make them buy your products.

Don’t just copy your listings from your competitors. Showcase what makes your Etsy shop unique as well as your personality through your writing style.

Make it a point to speak to your target audience and use adjectives and words that will catch their eye.

Write in short, punchy paragraphs, and use bullet points and lists if you can.

But for those who carefully read product descriptions before they actually add to cart, you’ll need to be clear and descriptive. Remember, they can’t touch or feel your products, and so you need to be able to describe your products to them in as much detail as possible.

Lastly, proofread your description before you ultimately submit it. Your product descriptions should be free of any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. You can proofread it yourself or hire freelancers to do it for you.

Create an efficient shipping system.

Once your Etsy business grows, you’ll be shipping a lot of packages. It’ll help you a lot if you have a system for packing and shipping your orders.

Set up a station especially for packing and shipping, complete with the supplies you need. It doesn’t have to be a large station; just a dedicated portion of your desk should be enough.

Here are some basic packaging and shipping supplies recommended by Etsy sellers:

  • weighing scale
  • measuring tape
  • a printer (for printing out your own packing slips and shipping labels)
  • bubble wrap
  • padded envelopes
  • packing tape
  • “Fragile” stickers

Eco-friendly substitutes to these materials are increasingly becoming popular, so look into that if they don’t cost too much.

You can also invest in branded shipping materials, such as tape, stickers, tissue paper, notecards or business cards.

If pricing your products already seems daunting, estimating shipping fees may be just as intimidating.

To know more about calculating shipping for both local and international orders, browse through Etsy’s guide to shipping.

4. Formulate an Effective Marketing Strategy

The heart of your Etsy shop is your products, but if no one buys them, your Etsy shop will die. You’ll need to come up with a strategy to place your products in front of potential buyers.

Here are the steps you can take to ensure that you have an effective marketing strategy for your Etsy shop.

Take some time to earn SEO.

You don’t have to be an SEO master who magically ranks their Etsy store to the top of Google search results.

But you should take some time learning how to use keywords. In this age of hashtags, keywords are easier to understand and implement. Etsy allows its sellers to use 13 tags—use them and use them well.

Place yourself in your target customer’s shoes and think about words or phrases they’d use in searching for your products. These words and phrases are now the tags you must use when setting up a listing.

Placing your item in the right category is also an important SEO trick. It’s so simple, yet many miss the chance of categorizing their items properly on Etsy.

Etsy search is predictive, so you can put in a word relevant to your products and it will come up with suggested key terms to use.

You should use specific key terms that are at two or more words, and have them in your title as well as using all of your tags.

Become a master of social media marketing.

Etsy has an advanced search engine within the marketplace and its own lively community.

But this shouldn’t stop you from marketing your products everywhere you can. Fortunately, social media has made marketing an inexpensive and easy thing to do.

Anyone can create a Facebook page or accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on.

To market the products you sell on Etsy, you’d have to be super creative in publishing posts.

People’s attention these days is harder to catch, so think outside of the box when sharing your Etsy listings across your social media platforms.

Take advantage of social media functions, such as polls and raffles, not only to increase your customer base but also to create buzz about your products.

As you market your products and interact with your customers directly on social media, you’re also providing excellent customer service in the process.

Start a blog.

Blogging can complement your social media marketing strategy perfectly, as your blog can establish yourself as an expert in your niche and therefore whose Etsy shop can be trusted.

Also, this can branch out into eventually building your own ecommerce website where you can sell your products without having to depend on Etsy.

If you do decide to start a blog, make sure it’s related to the products you’re selling.

For instance, if you’re selling a line of handmade skincare products, blogging about common skincare issues, ingredients to look for in skincare products, and which skincare products are right for certain skin conditions would certainly make sense.

5. Learn From Other Etsy Sellers

When you’re getting into a new venture, the ones you seem to seek out for advice are those who have already done it. Similarly, when asking how to make money on Etsy, Etsy sellers who have been through it all are the best source of advice.

Here are some tips that Etsy sellers wish someone had told them when they were starting out.

Non-DIY-ers are welcome too.

Don’t be put off by the impressive amount of talent at the marketplace.

Even if you don’t knit scarves, sew superhero capes, weave baskets, do pottery, or create other awesome handmade items, there’s a place for you at Etsy.

One type of item you can sell without having to break out the crafter’s toolbox is digital items.

Digital items require no physical craftsmanship, no packing and shipping costs, and almost no waiting time (personalized items may require some waiting time).

Here are some ideas of digital products you can make and sell on Etsy:

  • printable wall art
  • printable planner
  • monthly or weekly calendars
  • wedding planners
  • blog post planners
  • meal planners
  • budget planners
  • habit trackers
  • fitness trackers
  • cliparts
  • icons
  • sticker templates
  • digital patterns for paper
  • coloring book pages
  • resume templates
  • PowerPoint templates
  • website design templates
  • crochet patterns
  • knitting patterns
  • embroidery patterns

Look beyond Etsy.

Etsy is a great marketplace and you can sell from this platform for as long as you like, but all Etsy sellers know that you shouldn’t be relying on Etsy alone.

You should go beyond Etsy at some point in the future because:

  • Your own website continues to be the best selling platform. There are several advantages to choosing Etsy as your main platform for selling, but it is still important to have a website. This way, you can accommodate other customers not on Etsy and you are 100% in control of your marketing, product placement, SEO, and so on.
  • The 5% transaction fee for every sale you make (on top of the listing fee) can add up quite dramatically if you’re selling in the hundreds or thousands of items.
  • Your marketing efforts mostly benefit Etsy. If your products become viral and press comes your way, imagine how much attention Etsy will have (since you have to direct people to your products) instead of referring them to your own website.
  • There’s no way to build a list. Etsy doesn’t give sellers a way to communicate to its buyers after a sale, so it’s hard to up-ell or build a lasting relationship with your customers. Having your own website, on the other hand, gives you endless marketing possibilities and earning potential.

To Etsy or Not to Etsy?

If you’re looking for a sign to open your Etsy shop, consider this your sign!

It’s never too late to start your own business and make money on Etsy with virtually no capital.

Your potential customers are already there. The store is easy to set up, manage and operate. But as you just learned, Etsy stores do have their downsides too!

I recommend you start selling at the established platform first and once you make money on Etsy, slowly create your website and list your products there too.

There’s golden advice with any kind of investment: never put all your eggs in one basket so you don’t risk losing everything in one fell swoop.

Final Thoughts on Making Money on Etsy

As you surely have learned at this point, making money on Etsy is no walk in the park, but if you truly believe in your handmade product idea, it has great potential.

If you want to try selling private label items or dropshipping, or you’re interested in making money with more than just selling, you might want to explore Amazon as well.

Have you started selling on Etsy? How’s it going? Let us know in the comments!

How to Make Money on Twitter: 5 Legit Ways to Try

Any effective social media marketing strategy involves Twitter, and it makes sense that individuals and businesses want to learn how to make money on Twitter.

While its reach isn’t as widespread as Facebook, its users are made up of a specific age demographic, and that makes it attractive to brands, advertisers, and people who want to work in social media marketing.

Twitter appeals to the millennial and Gen Z audiences; more than 80% of its users is under 50 years old (Source). For brands who want to get this target audience, Twitter is the social media platform of choice.

Here are some ways you can make money from Twitter.

Set Up Your Twitter Account

Before we dive into the different ways to make money on Twitter, you need to build your Twitter profile and build a following on Twitter first.

Create A Killer Twitter Profile

Of course, before you can hope to earn money on Twitter, you’d need to have a Twitter profile.

But creating just any Twitter profile is not going to cut it. You need to set up a Twitter profile for success.

For starters, your username and your Twitter handle (that is, your @ name) should be your professional name, your company name, or at least connected to the business or products you’re promoting.

Next, you need to use a professional profile photo. It can be your headshot (something you would use in a resume or on a company website), your personal logo, or the logo of the company you’re tweeting for.

Your header photo (or your banner) needs to look sleek as well. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase the products or brands you’re promoting. A collage of product photos or a photo that tells the story of the brand you’re promoting would work here.

Never leave either your profile photo or cover photo blank. No one trusts opinions and links from a Twitter profile with a picture of an egg and a blank cover photo.

Lastly, work on your Twitter bio. You’ll need to introduce yourself, set the mood, and engage your audience, all in 160 characters or less.

Add a brief description of your products or services, or whatever you’re promoting, tell people what to expect, and include the right keywords.

Don’t forget your location and a website, which you can link to your ecommerce website or the website of your company or grand. Don’t put an affiliate link here; there’ll be plenty of opportunities to do that on your actual tweets.

Grow and keep your followers

Once you’ve created your Twitter profile, the next thing to do is build your followers based on your target audience.

Your followers are where most, if not all, of the money to be made on Twitter will come from, so this is absolutely crucial to your success.

Post, share, and retweet relevant content that aligns with your target audience’s interests and activities. If it’s useful to your target audience, they’ll like it, retweet it, and share it.

Find the optimal schedule for your tweets. The ideal number of tweets a day ranges from three to seven, spread out throughout the day. Streamline the process by using scheduling software such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or TweetDeck so you can compose all your tweets and then go about your day while they get posted on schedule.

It takes some trial and error as well as research to find out the best times to tweet; that is, when your target audience is likely to see them. It’s usually around 12 noon to 1 pm on your audience’s local time on weekdays, but this may vary.

Whatever you do, don’t buy fake Twitter followers. Fake Twitter accounts equal zero real engagement, and that’s no good. It’s never worth it.

If you’re willing to pay for followers, look into Twitter’s Followers Campaign instead. It’ll display tweets you choose on home timelines, search results, and Who to Follow based on the settings you indicate, and you pay per Twitter account that clicks or taps Follow on those displayed tweets.

The ideal number of followers is around 50 to 100 to make money on Twitter.

5 Ways to Make Money on Twitter

When you’ve optimized your Twitter profile and you reach the ideal number of followers, you can try one of the following methods to make money on Twitter.

1. Sell your own products or services.

Just to be clear, Twitter doesn’t have a marketplace where you can sell your products or services.

But this can be a tool for you to promote yourself and your business.

Provide samples of artwork if you’re an artist offering custom designs, graphics, or paintings, links to a website if you’re offering web design services, or photos of products you’re selling on Etsy or Amazon.

Don’t overdo it since like in the real world, people hate annoying salespeople.

However, like in the real world, people hate annoying salespeople who get in your face all the time. Don’t overdo the promotion. Make sure you tweet useful content as well.

2. Get paid to tweet about other brands.

If you don’t have products or services to promote, the simplest way to start making money on Twitter is to get paid to promote someone else’s products and services.

This works if you already have hundreds of followers, as this is one of the first things that brands look at when considering you.

You can also check out websites like Sponsored Tweets or #paid to sign up as a creator and get connected to brands and ad agencies looking for influencers.

Pro tip: Keep a file of all the sponsors you’ve ever done business with and don’t burn bridges. If you’ve worked successfully for a brand before, they might want to work with you again in the future.

3. Get into affiliate marketing.

Another way to get paid to tweet is through affiliate marketing.

What you need to do is join an affiliate program, check out what products you could promote that would be appropriate for your followers, share links directing them to the products, and cash in every time someone buys.

Twitter does allow you to post affiliate links, as long as you label them correctly and make it clear that you may earn commissions when they follow that link.

However, that makes it more challenging to make your followers click your affiliate links, so get creative and never lose the value of your content.

For example, you can buy the product you want to promote first, take a picture or video of the item, and showcase it in a way that would interest your followers. Make it funny, or inspirational, or shocking, as long as you’d know your followers would appreciate the work you just did.

Also, make sure the affiliate programs you’re joining allow you to sell products that your target audience will find useful to them. For instance, if your target audience is mostly teenage males, you probably won’t earn a lot from promoting period underwear.

4. Generate leads.

Twitter can help you find potential customers based on their tweets. Use the Twitter search feature with keywords specific to your business and connect with people mentioning a product you’re promoting.

You can crowdsource ideas, offer coupon codes, or just simply know of your presence by saying hello.

This is useful whether you’re selling your own product or service, promoting a company’s products or services, or offering lead generation services for third-party companies.

5. Become a social media manager.

Earning commissions is a good way to make money on Twitter, but if you want a more stable income, being a social media manager or Twitter manager can be another option.

More and more brands are using Twitter to provide quick customer service, interact with their customers, and broadcast news, updates, and promotions.

I recommend looking at FlexJobs for legitimate job openings. You can also try other job search sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter.

Tips for a Money-Making Twitter Strategy

Whatever method you choose to make money on Twitter, there are a few pointers you can apply to create an effective Twitter strategy.

Select your Pinned Tweet carefully.

A pinned tweet is a regular tweet that you can “pin” on your profile, such that when Twitter users go to your profile, this pinned tweet is the first thing they see.

Choosing the right tweet to pin may be nerve-wracking, but the rule of thumb is to pin one of your popular tweets or a tweet that talks about an ongoing promotion or an upcoming event.

Of course, if your most popular tweet is off-brand, off-color, or just off, choose another tweet that may not be as popular but fits your branding well.

Use hashtags strategically.

Create a hashtag that’s specific to your brand so you can get recognized and discovered by your audience. Similarly, your hashtag can also help you identify who’s tweeting about you and discover a new audience.

You can also use keywords related to what you’re promoting as hashtags on your tweets to get more views on your tweets.

However, don’t use more than three hashtags in a post. Overdoing it looks spammy and will turn a lot of followers off.

Post images and video.

High-quality visuals in tweets make them more memorable and encourage more people to engage with either a reply or a retweet.

Also, tweets that have photos and videos take up more space on the screen, catching their eye and making them work to scroll down.

Balance these out with text-based tweets with valuable content so your timeline is an interesting mix of different types of tweets.

Engage with your audience.

Scheduled tweets are good, but if your timeline is only made of scheduled tweets, it’s going to look like a bot Twitter account.

Let your followers know that there’s an actual human behind the Twitter account. Learn the arts of tagging or mentioning, replying, and retweeting to engage with your Twitter followers.

Interact with your followers’ tweets as well. Reply to their tweets and maybe even quote tweet a

Get into the habit of asking questions once in a while (you can even schedule this once a week) and replying to the answers and retweeting the best ones.

Twitter Polls are another great tool to engage your followers and know how they think.

Take advantage of Twitter Analytics.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

Twitter Analytics is Twitter’s in-house analytics software that allows you to see which tweets are popular and which aren’t so popular, how many profile visits you’ve had, and so on.

All this information comes in handy when you assess your own performance so you can tweak your strategies and tweets.

Start Making Money on Twitter Today!

As you should have learned at this point, making money on Twitter isn’t easy, but it certainly is possible.

However, Twitter isn’t the only social media platform where you can make money. You can also make money on Facebook and on Instagram.

Are you making money on Twitter? Tell us your stories in the comments below!

Get Paid to Rent Your Stuff: 62 Ideas to Try

You probably have plenty of things lying around that you only use once in a while. Why not put these to work and get paid to rent your stuff?

Help other people who need to use these things but plan on only using them once or simply can’t afford to buy them.

At the same time, you maximize the use of your items and make it less likely that it ends up in the landfill.

Of course, the potential for side cash is a good perk, too.

Here is a list of things you can lease to others to earn some side cash as well as some apps you can use to make the process easier.

50 Things You Can Rent Out for Extra Cash

RENT OUT YOUR REAL ESTATE

1. House

This is the most common of all rentals, and I talked quite a bit about the Airbnb era and how to rent your house out either on a short-term or long-term basis.

If your house is in a vacation hotspot, such as a lakeside cabin or a beach house, you can also register it through VRBO.

2. Extra room

Don’t waste that real estate you got lying around.

If you’re willing to rearrange your living arrangements, rent out your extra room to people who might need a place temporarily.

3. Garage

Sometimes, people need an extra garage to park their cars for less than city or condo rates.

You can also rent out your garage for those who need extra space for storing stuff.

In this case, you can list your garage on websites like STOW IT.

4. Garden, Yard, or Other Outdoor Spaces

If you’re lucky to have a massive backyard or garden, you can have it rented for events like weddings.

Those who are willing to commit more to this rental can even turn the outdoor space into “glamping” (glamorous camping).

Check out this site if you’re willing to list your land, backyard, or outdoor accommodations such as treehouses, yurts, or teepees.

5. Piano room

Professional piano retailers often have programs that allow clients to rent out the piano first, so they’d discover if the piano student can last longer than a couple of months of practicing.

If you have a grand piano or keyboard lying around, copy this genius marketing trick and offer your piano room for rent.

6. Recording studio

Follows the same concept as the piano room, except your music room is complete with more instruments and recording equipment.

If you don’t know how to price this room, check with local recording studios and price your listing cheaper than “market” prices.

7. Portable playground

Did your kids graduate from their inflatable playgrounds or giant Little Tikes toys?

If so, you can make a new generation of kids happy by renting these out to other families.

8. Parking space, empty lot, boat slip

Sometimes, people need an extra parking space or empty lot to park their cars less expensively than city or condo rates.

This also goes for boat slips (the parking counterpart for boats).

If you’re renting out your space, there’s no app/company better to mediate than CurbFlip.

9. Office Space

Do you have an office you don’t use anymore?

If you’re right smack in the middle of a major city, check out Deskpass or LiquidSpace for possibly renting out your table or room to someone who needs it temporarily.

RENT OUT YOUR VEHICLES

10. Car

If you don’t want to drive your own car and earn the Uber way, you can always do it old school by renting out your car.

The advantages of using car-sharing apps are that they usually do background and DMV checks on renters (that is, you don’t have to do it yourself) and they usually cover the insurance while someone else drives your car.

11. Seat in your car

Those who ride their cars to and from work daily can use apps like Zimride or BlaBlaCar to rent out a seat in your car (or all seats) to other people who have the same office area as you.

It is basically like carpooling, except the people riding with you are strangers.

12. Pickup truck

From hauling to delivery service, pickup trucks are versatile because of their size and ability to carry heavy-duty items.

You can also rent out your pickup truck and earn up to $600 a month.

13. Bicycles

If you have a perfectly working bike lying around and you live in a bicycle-friendly city like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, you can make extra cash by sharing your bikes with travelers, racers, and enthusiasts via Spinlister. or LfistN

14. Motorcycles

Bike lovers may have second thoughts about renting out their beloved motorcycles, but the process becomes easy with services like Riders Share – a site that vets renters of your motorcycle and provides insurance for both the renter and the owner.

15. Boat

People with boats who have little time to sail but do not want to sell either can rent out their boats, with the peace of mind of a hull and liability insurance policy all included in deals offered by Boatsetter.

Other apps to list your boat for rent include Click&Boat, RentABoat, and GetMyBoat.

16. Moving Equipment

Help people who might need to haul heavy stuff from point A to B.

Rent out your furniture, appliance, or utility dolly, if you have one lying around.

These dollies can be rented out for $5 to $20 a day.

17. Mobility Equipment

Do you have a wheelchair, mobility scooter, knee walkers, or rollators you no longer use?

Many people need these to move around temporarily (after surgery, during an injury, or to support them when they’re in pain).

Not only are you helping people when you rent these out, but you also earn cash that you wouldn’t have earned if you just left the wheelchair or scooter to get dusty in the garage.

RENT OUT YOUR STUFF

18. Furniture and appliance

Perhaps you have an extra couch, dining set, oven, freezer, and any other furniture or appliance you’re not using.

Make them work for you too!

Check out what items you have that are accepted by Loanables.com.

19. Sewing machine

Sewing machines are very popular to rent out, especially to people who need to do occasional projects such as Halloween costumes and do not find a need to buy their own machines.

When it comes to sewing machines, go to peer-to-peer renting site Zilok to rent out your equipment, so you’ll be safe with a security deposit every time it gets rented out.

20. Home Improvement tools

Like sewing machines, there’s also a demand for power tools, carpentry equipment, ladders and cutting tables, and other home improvement equipment.

Your best bet is to go to Loanables.com and list your stuff for rent.

21. Snowplow attachment

If you live in cities that suffer from snowstorms each year, share your snowplow attachment to other locals by renting it out after using it.

While this may only work every winter, it’s still good money if you fill up your calendar with rentals upfront from sites like FedeRent

22. Lawnmower

There are local companies that offer rent-to-own schemes for lawnmowers, but if you have one often left unused at the garage, you can lease it out.

List your lawnmower on Craigslist and other peer-to-peer rental sites.

SPORTING EQUIPMENT

You may have begun to be involved in sports while attending school or later in life, but now have less time to actually golf, surf, go kayaking, ski, and so on.

Here are some examples of in-demand sports gear you can rent out:

23. Golf clubs

24. Volleyball set

25. Skateboards and longboards

25. Kayak

26. Canoe

27. Camping gear

28. Hiking gear

29. Mountain climbing gear

30. Surfboard

31. Paddleboard

32. Scuba or free diving gear

33. Ski equipment

34. Snowboarding gear

35. Gym Equipment

Try to list them on Craigslist, FriendWithA, RentNotBuy.com, Spinlister, TheQuiver, and Expeerent, among others.

BABY GEAR

If you have a lot of baby gear (especially branded) in used but good condition, you can rent them out through goBaby or BabyQuip. The safety of babies and kids is at stake, so make sure what you’re renting out is clean, working, and well-maintained.

36. Crib

37. Baby to toddler stroller

38. Toys

39. Booster seats

40. Car seats and booster seats

41. High chairs and booster chairs

42. Changing tables

43. Baby bathtubs

44. Baby carriers

45. Baby monitors

46. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

This is perfect whether you’re a musician looking to earn extra bucks for instruments you no longer use, or a hobbyist who can’t let go of their piano, guitar, saxophone, DJ equipment, or any other instrument, but will happily lease it out to other people.

You can list your instruments on general peer-to-peer rental sites like Fat Llama, or a music-specific rental marketplace like Fretish.

GADGETS

If you love electronics, photography, and the newest gadgets in the market, you can rent out your stuff for a daily rate ranging from $20/day to thousands of dollars daily for professional gear.

47. Cameras

48. Projectors

49. Sound system

50. Drone

51. GoPro

52. GPS Receivers

53. Dashcam

54. Video Game Consoles

55. Video Karaoke Machine

Depending on which of the gadgets above you have, there’s plenty of peer-to-peer rental sites where you can rent your stuff out. These include: ShareGrid, LensRentals.com, KitSplit, BorrowLenses, Parachut, FatLlama, and LensProToGo, among others.

56. MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

When it comes to medical equipment, the only ones who rent out hospital beds, oxygen, and other hospital-grade medical equipment are the manufacturers.

Unfortunately, there’s no peer-to-peer rental marketplace for medical equipment just yet. However, there will always be a need wherever you are, so you can either start your own rental business or list the items on Craigslist or Zilok.

EVENT RENTALS

If you’ve collected event equipment, such as party tents, chairs, fondue maker, and catering equipment during birthday parties, reunions, weddings, baby showers, and so on, you don’t have to hide them in drawers for the next big event to happen.

You can rent your stuff out for other people to use while you don’t need them.

57. Formal Wear

Did you spend $5,000 on your wedding gown? Why not share it with other brides-to-be, make their day, and earn back some of that cash?

Preownedweddingdresses.com, Style Lend, Nearly Newlywed, BravoBride, and other sites like them let you list your pre-loved wedding dresses, party dresses, suits, and other formal wear and earn from these pieces of clothing.

58. Tents

59. Party Chairs

60. Popcorn maker

61. Fondue maker

62. Catering equipment

Websites like Tradesy are perfect for leasing any item related to events, including decor, dresses, cutlery, table centerpieces, and more.

3 Big Tips Before You Rent Your Stuff Out

Before you rent your stuff out, make sure to follow these reminders:

  1. Protect your stuff with deposit fee and insurance – This is very important, especially for high-priced items like cars, musical instruments, boats, and so on. Most peer-to-peer rental sites include the deposit fee with every listing, but insurance may vary from site to site. Double-check before listing your items for rent.
  2. Commissions – The peer-to-peer rental sites come with commission fees because (some) validate the users who will rent your stuff out, others go as far as doing background checks for you. If you’re leasing cars or homes, this commission fee is very well worth the trouble.
  3. Taxes – You won’t probably need to pay taxes for renting out stuff, unless of course, you earn several hundred dollars annually. To be sure, get legal advice.

If you have plenty of stuff you want to lease, you can open up a rental business locally.

However, before you plan to expand (buy more catering supplies, drones, etc.), make sure you do your research first.

Get Paid to Rent Your Stuff!

Renting out your stuff is a great way to earn some steady side cash out of things you already own.

Of course, if you’re ready to let go of your preloved possessions, you can try selling these items for cash and say goodbye to them permanently.

Have you ever gotten paid to rent your stuff? What apps or services did you use? Tell us if it worked for you in the comments!

24 Ways for Kids to Earn Money Online and Offline

If you’re intrigued by how other kids earn money online and in real life, and want your own kids to learn from the success (or failures) of children their own age, this post is definitely for you.

The internet has provided income opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender, beliefs, profession, and age. Young or old people can get a slice of the pie, as long as they’re willing to learn how.

Even reading stories online of 10-year-old CEOs building businesses from the ground up can burn a fire in your kids and inspire them to follow in their footsteps.

But as parents, I understand that you’d want to learn the ins and outs of such opportunities first, before showing them to your kids. And that’s totally okay.

Before I share the list, be aware that:

  • When I say “kid,” I’m talking about school-kid age to pre-teens (about 8 to 12 years old). If your child is already a teenager, maybe my post about online jobs for teens would be a more appropriate fit.
  • The following list of money-making side jobs no longer include house chores or any tasks paid by you (the parents), or any member of the family. I only included jobs for kids that they can make independently, or outside of their family.

11 Traditional Ways Kids Earn Money

I wanted to kick this list off with a mix of traditional and new-age ways kids can earn money.

1. Lemonade Stands

Lemonade stands may seem so cliché, but they still work. And your kids are old enough to do the squeezing of lemons, setting up shop, and selling the drinks.

You can always turn the classic lemonade stand into something more.

Just ask Me & the Bees Lemonade owner Mikaila, who began her bottled lemonade business at 4 years old. She won an investment on the show Shark Tank.

2. Pet sitting

Like errand jobs that require you to travel around the city, walking the dogs on their own may not be safe for young kids.

However, pet-sitting is perfect.

The owners can just drop off the pet at your house and your kid will be responsible for it throughout its stay.

Your kids can charge depending on the length of stay, how demanding the pet/s are, and the number of pet-related errands included (giving baths, giving medicine, etc.).

3. Wash cars

Bring out a sign at your garage. Send out flyers throughout your neighborhood. Then wait for customers to line up.

Washing cars is great exercise too, so if your goal is to keep your kids off gadgets during their school breaks, then this gig can be a lucrative activity.

4. Take care of the lawn

Kids will be able to build discipline and strength by cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, raking leaves, and providing a wide range of lawn care services.

Take photos of the lawn before and after working on it.

Use these photos on your website or Facebook page as proof of how well your kids can maintain a lawn.

5. Watering service

If mowing and raking leaves sounds like too much, watering plants may be a better option for your kids to earn money.

If you can find families who work long hours, are going on vacation, or disabled or elderly neighbors who need a hand with their plants.

6. Sell Candies, Cupcakes, or other Sweets

Everyone loves sweets. And if your kid does too, kids can earn money by cooking or baking sweets and selling these sweets to their classmates, family or friends, and even around your local community.

Eventually, you can ship out your sweet treats to other places in the country.

Zollipops was developed by then-7-year-old Alina Morse and her dad as sugar-free, acid-free lollipops that are teeth-friendly. Now, they have expanded to Zolli Drops that are “sugar-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, kosher, and made with natural flavors and colors in the USA.”

Look at Mr. Cory’s Cookies as well. He ships them to customers and even introduced a cookie subscription at one point, which sends cookies to customer’s doorsteps each month.

7. Become Tech Support Staff to the Elderly

Your 8-year-old kid is probably more tech-savvy than you.

They’re most likely more knowledgeable than their grandparents when it comes to using smartphones or the computer.

Their generation is hooked on technology, so why not take advantage of this?

Set-up a tech support business where kids can help seniors send emails, upload photos, check Facebook, perform tasks like data entry, teach them blogging, introduce them to games, and so on.

8. Start a Fashion Business

If you create bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and other DIY jewelry, you can start a fashion business and sell the items at your school, local markets, or online.

This also goes for kids who have an eye for fashion.

  • Moziah Bridges took the lack of bow options in the market to heart and created his own with Mo’s Bows.
  • Brandon and Sebastian Martinez developed their own line of socks called Are You Kidding.

9. Sell Your Own Brand

You can sell almost anything you want, as long as you believe in your product 100%.

Good examples of super-young entrepreneurs are:

  • Asia Newson — Known as the youngest Detroit-based entrepreneur, Asia began selling candles at age 5. She now leads her own company, Super Business Girl, and trains other youth on how to succeed in business.
  • Sisters Lily, Chloe, and Sophie Warren — Launched their beeswax-based skincare products under the brand Sweet Bee Sisters when they were 8, 6, and 4 years old.

10. Market Your Skills

Do you have a special talent you want to share with the world?

10-year-old twin sisters Amira and Kayla make up a DJ duo that caters to children’s parties for 4- to 9-year-olds.

They’re kind of a big deal, deejaying at New York Knicks Games, Kids Rock! New York Fashion Week and other events.

11. Rent Your Stuff Out

Unlike grownups who can rent their homes, extra rooms, garage, and other properties out to strangers, kids are not yet ready for such big responsibilities.

However, they can start small by arranging the garage for items to rent out or setting up a neighborhood library where they can lease books for a minimal fee.

The Reality of Becoming YouTube Stars, Influencers, and other Internet Sensations

Ask any kid who has been exposed to the internet about what they want to be when they grow up, and more than half of these kids would answer “YouTuber” without batting an eyelash.

The successes of YouTube stars are truly awe-inspiring.

Who wouldn’t want their kid to be the next Ryan’s World (formerly Ryan ToysReview) or his idol EvanTubeHD? These two boys are the stars of the most popular kid channels on YouTube and they earn millions of dollars each year. Just by unboxing toys, playing with them, and reviewing them in front of the camera.

Sounds pretty easy to replicate, right?

Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Evan and Ryan have several things in common:

  • They were the brains of their own channels (even if the parents joined in on the fun after awhile). You can see that the kids wanted it 100%
  • They are naturally gifted on camera. They are adorable and have excellent communication skills.
  • They are relatable, good-mannered kids. (If I were a parent and saw my kid watching these two, I wouldn’t have any issue with it. But if I see my kid watching YouTubers who tantrum as their skit, or embark on crazy pranks, they’re probably blocked for good).

Not everyone’s kids can be the next Evan or Ryan.

And the sooner parents like you and I understand that becoming popular on YouTube doesn’t come overnight or happen to everyone, the easier it is for us to decide if we’re going to allow our kids to star in their own channel.

This goes for influencers (kid models on Instagram becoming brand ambassadors), game-streaming stars, or other internet sensations as well.

13 Ways Kids Can Earn Money Online

Despite what I said about kids aspiring to become the next internet sensation, there are ways for kids to earn money online. Here are some of them.

  1. Take Surveys Online — There are legitimate companies around and they actually like to know what people think. Surveys are usually categorized by age group, so if there are surveys that target kids, they’ll definitely have the chance to participate and get paid. Doing this can bring in $50 to $100 a month.
  2. Sell Your Used Items Online. If your kid is an only child, you may have plenty of toys they’re not interested in or clothes they’ve outgrown. Have your child sort out which toys, clothes, books, and even small furniture they can let go of and help them set up an eBay shop to sell them.
  3. Sell a Subscription — People love subscriptions, especially if they’re receiving something from the mail. A good example of this is the Stem In A Box by TopSecretScience (owned by an 8-year-old LA-based kid named Max), which ships out science kits each month. A kit includes a chapter of a story and other science projects that kids can enjoy.
  4. Turn Your Crafting into a Business — Whether you make paper dolls, origami, wooden projects, and other crafts, Etsy can turn these items into cash. It can also help kids develop their creativity and time management skills since orders come with scheduled shipping and you should be able to ship out your products on time.
  5. Launch a Design Firm — You can start selling t-shirts, mugs, prints, and other products with print-on-demand companies. Kids see differently from adults, so let them create designs with their own ideas and insights.
  6. Build (and Sell) an App. Children as young as four are being taught how to create apps. App builders for kids like Kids App Maker and Appy Pie make it a snap. Kids can then sell them on App Store or Google Play Store.
  7. Sell Photos — If your kid is a budding photographer, they can get paid for the work by licensing photos to stock photography sites like Shutterstock or iStock. You can also check out other apps that pay for photos.
  8. Sell Slime —Samantha Zumwalt of Samantha Slime Shop makes and sells her own range of slime online.
  9. Become a Tester — Some kids earn money through jobs like product testing. Test websites, test video games, test Amazon products, and so on.
  10. Solve a Problem With a New Product — You may think that the world has run out of problems to solve, but you’d be surprised at how many inventions are still created today. For example, Lacrosse player Rachel Zietz wasn’t happy with the equipment available in the market, so she designed her own products and sold them on Gladiator Lacrosse.
  11. Become a motivational speaker — Caleb Maddix is a motivational speaker who began as early as 12 years old. Today, he owns Apex 4 Kids, the world’s first-ever relatable, entertaining, and powerful personal growth for kids.
  12. Write and Publish an eBook. Even the youngest kids do have something to say or a story to tell. Help them write an eBook and self-publish it. Get inspired by such young authors as Alec Greven and Brittany and Brianna Winner
  13. Build a Website — Juliette Brindak Blake was only 10 years old when she launched the website Miss O and Friends. Today, it’s a safe place for kid, tween, and teen girls, providing age-appropriate content with a safe messaging system.

How to Teach Children About Money

It’s not enough for kids to earn money; they should also be taught about its value, how to spend it wisely, and how to save up small amounts to make big purchases later on.

It starts by teaching them to look at price tags at the supermarket, showing them various ways to pay for purchases both in real life and in online stores, and even playing pretend “store” at home complete with play money and play credit cards.

Here are some online resources to help you teach your kids about money:

It’s not easy for kids to earn money

Some kids earn money online, while others prefer to do it old school.

However, since we’re talking about younger kids, parents like you and I still need to guide them on whatever money-making opportunity they plan on embarking.

They don’t have to be CEOs of a company or internet stars, but exposing them to jobs or businesses at an early age can be exceptional training to prepare them for the real world.

Which of these money-making opportunities will your kid be likely to be interested in? Share it with us and other fellow parents in the comments!

8 Steps to Starting a Home Staging Business

Ever watched an HGTV show, Googled how they make the houses look so good, and then wondered how to start a home staging business?

Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore!

Home-staging is the type of business that you can do if you have an aptitude for interior design but don’t have formal training or don’t want to pursue it anymore and are looking for an alternative business where your skills are still usable.

In today’s article, you’ll get to learn all about starting your own home staging business: what to expect, pros and cons, all the steps, and all your burning questions answered.

Real Estate Staging: What is a Home Stager?

As you might have guessed, a home stager is responsible for arranging furniture, decorating a house, and everything else to tweak a house’s appearance with the aim of showcasing its strengths and potential to homebuyers.

Home stagers are in demand by realtors. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that:

  • 83% of buyers’ agents they talked to said that staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future home
  • 25% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increases its dollar value by 1% to 5%
  • A total of 53% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home decreases the time a property spends on the market

A great thing about being in the home staging business is that a college degree isn’t necessarily required, though having one is an advantage as far as building trust with clients and negotiating your rates.

In fact, one of the most well-known home staging success stories out there started by accident.

Meridith Baer, a professional screenwriter of 18 years, happened to use her friend’s house that has been on the market for a year as a temporary “home” of her 250 house plants and furniture while she moved houses.

Days later, her friend ended up selling that “staged” home for $500,000 over its listing price.

Baer’s first gig was sheer luck, but it opened a new world for her as brokers began seeking her real estate staging services so much so that she quit her job and started her home-staging business Meridith Baer Home.

By 2013, Baer has landed her own HGTV show “Staged To Perfection,” and as of 2020, Meridith Baer Home is worth over $100 million.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Home Staging Business

Before you take the plunge into starting this business, consider the pros and cons first.

PROS

  • Low startup costs — You don’t have to maintain inventory (at least, when you’re starting out) and you have minimal supplies.
  • Unleash your creativity — The business lies in your vision and creativity and rarely does a business allow you to have a great deal of creative freedom.
  • No degree required — You may have to get business licenses and accreditation from organizations, but you can start a home-staging business even if you don’t have a degree.
  • Word-of-mouth marketing — Once you establish a rapport with a few real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and others in real estate, they’ll spread the word.

CONS

  • Difficulty getting first clients — Your first clients are the hardest to get and yet the most important because you’ll build your portfolio on them.
  • Demanding schedule — You have to be in and out of a house in a matter of days, and this may require you to work weekends and nights.
  • Conflicts with home sellers — Those who’re selling their homes may not like what you’re doing with their house and simply not believe that you’re making it more sellable. On the other hand, they may like your style too much that they steal or damage stuff that you brought in.
  • The temptation to undercharge — Especially when you’re starting out, it’s tempting to charge less or sometimes nothing just to get a job. DON’T. If you don’t get paid, you simply can’t grow your business.

How To Start A Home Staging Business

Staged bedroom

Once you’re 100% sure that you want to explore this line of business, follow the steps how to start a home staging business:

1. Learn everything you can about the business.

Starting any business requires research. Learn, learn, learn everything you can about home staging.

Educate yourself as well about the startup costs for your home-staging business.

It depends on what services you plan to offer and what type of marketing you want to start with.

You may want to be a home-staging consultant initially and simply give expert advice to home sellers on how to make their home attractive to buyers. It doesn’t involve too much in terms of cost.

When you move on to filling empty homes with furniture and décor, you can rent these initially and then build up your inventory of furniture, decor, and other supplies as you go.

If you want to show off your skills and find it hard to land a gig, you can stage a house for free once as a testing ground and as something to photograph and add to your portfolio. While this would mean that you’ll be shouldering money upfront, it’s only an option if you wish to jump-start your home staging business.

Consider your initial marketing as well. Are you going to use social media and advertise there, or do you want to build a website early on? Can you afford it?

2. Learn about your local market.

The target market for a home staging business includes homeowners who are trying to sell and real estate agents doing the actual selling.

It pays to know your local real estate agents and find out who’s selling their house and whether you might be a good fit with them.

However, you’re probably not the only home stager in town.

Check out your local competition. Who are the other home stagers in your area? Are they any good?

Try to find out how much they charge and visit any houses they’ve staged.

Finally, if there isn’t any demand in your city, are you willing to explore other housing markets? Which ones?

3. Determine your pricing structure.

Before starting any project, home stagers hold an initial one- to two-hour consultation, which usually costs around $150 to $600. As I’ve mentioned, you can start offering this as a standalone service to keep costs down while getting your feet wet in the home staging business.

Some home stagers offer a rearranging and decluttering service, in which they work solely with the existing furniture in the house, which is a flat fee of around $800 to $1000. But if the house is unfurnished, you’d have to rent furniture or bring in your own.

Home sellers shoulder the cost of renting this furniture from you (which in turn you can rent from a furniture rental company), which you can price at around $500 to $600 per room per month, if the house is completely bare. This is on top of your staging fees.

You can then decide whether to charge per hour, which is normally $40 to $150 per hour.

Alternatively, you can charge per project, which is on the average $400 to $700 per room per month, which comes out to an average of around $2000 per house per month.

Where your fees fall in these ranges depends largely on the condition of the property, your location, your expertise, and your experience.

Painting, lighting, refinishing cabinets and other surfaces, and professional deep cleaning aren’t really your domain, but you can do tie-ups with companies that provide these services and recommend them to home sellers for a small finders’ fee.

4. Complete legalities.

Now that you’ve explored your chances of breaking into the local housing market, weighed the pros and cons, and decided on your pricing structure, you can now fix paperwork needed in running this business.

  • Decide on a name for your business.
  • Form an LLC.
  • Register for your taxes.
  • Open a separate bank account and credit card for your business.
  • Obtain state and local business licenses.
  • Hire lawyers to write contracts.
  • Buy business and liability insurance.

Also, it’s not really required, but being a member of the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) can give you an edge.

They offer continuous training, you’ll get listed in their directory of home stagers, you get to network in their events, and you can take advantage of discounts to various furniture, service, and supplies providers.

5. Connect with local brokers and contractors.

Begin networking.

Reach out to contractors, real estate agents, homeowners selling their properties by themselves, and others involved in the local real estate market.

These people are more than happy to welcome you into the business, mainly because home stagers who are good at their job help houses sell quickly.

Maintaining these connections is critical to the long-term success of your business.

6. Compile your furniture and supplies.

Renting your furniture reduces your overhead greatly. Not only don’t you have to manage your inventory but you also don’t have to spend for transporting and storing them.

When you’re starting out, be on the hunt for furniture rental companies that has pieces that match your style.

As you expand your business, start building your inventory with pieces you find at garage sales or thrift stores that don’t cost too much and don’t take too much space.

After a while, you can think about whether you want to buy and store your own inventory or continue renting.

The main advantage of having your own inventory is that you’re not dependent on another supplier for your needs; you’re ready to work anytime on your own schedule.

The disadvantages are logistics, inflexibility, and cost. As I mentioned, you’ll be responsible for transporting the furniture and storing them, either at your garage or in a dedicated storage space (which is added overhead each month).

Also, your options will be limited as far as creativity is concerned. If you’re envisioning another look for a particular house, you need to either buy or rent other furniture.

This brings us to the cost; stocking up on your inventory will cost you upfront as well as monthly.

7. Market Your Business

Word-of-mouth marketing through your network of real estate agents and brokers is powerful, but not enough to market and promote your home staging business.

Here are some ways to market your business both online and offline.

Online Marketing

  • Define your brand and stick to it.
  • Build your own website with your portfolio and high-quality photos.
  • Optimize your website for local searches using keywords that local brokers and home sellers may use to find home stagers online.
  • Learn to use social media to spread the word about your business. Instagram (photo-heavy) and Facebook (to be visible to local users) are most useful.

Offline Marketing

  • Prepare a portfolio and always have it with you to show.
  • Prepare business cards to give out.
  • Visit open houses to meet real estate agents and home sellers.
  • Attend real estate conferences.

8. Grow your business.

After you get your first few projects, it’s tempting to bask in that glow of jobs well done.

But for you to truly be able to grow your business, you need to continue building, improving, and promoting your business.

Collect testimonials. Every time you land a home staging gig, make sure to get client feedback and testimonials, take before and after photos, and ask permission if you could post them online and include them in your portfolio.
Think about expanding. As I mentioned, deep cleaning, painting, and refinishing aren’t really your area, but if you can expand to include them, you can then offer an all-in-one service, which is convenient for everyone.
Never stop learning. Continue taking classes and being updated on the latest trends when it comes to aesthetics and design. As a home stager, you should be able to mesh classic design techniques with modern, cutting-edge designs.
Share your knowledge. One way to generate buzz for your business is to start blogging about your home staging gigs. Talk about your projects, showcase before/after pictures, and provide useful tips. Doing this makes you an authority in the field. Squeeze in some keywords into your blog posts and Google is likely to give your website a lot of love.
Get paid for your knowledge. You can eventually expand to creating courses on how to stage a home, either for homeowners or for aspiring home stagers.

Start Your Home Staging Business!

There are plenty of statistics indicating that home staging businesses have a future.

I hope this post has inspired you to start your home-staging business soon!

In between jobs, you can even put your decluttering and rearranging skills to work as a professional organizer.

Are you planning to start your home staging business? Has this post helped? What obstacles are you encountering? Sound out in the comments!

12 Best Cash Back Apps that Reward You for Shopping

Cash back apps are the digital version of rewards cards, which give you points or rebates on your purchases.

And it works as easy as 1-2-3.

1) Download an app, 2) scan a receipt, 3) get cash back.

But why would these apps essentially pay you for shopping?

In some cases, the apps are managed by marketing firms that want to know what target customers are purchasing, in what quantity, and through which retailers.

As a thank you for sharing your purchase history, companies will compensate you.

Today, you’ll learn more about how cash back apps work and know which ones are worth downloading.

How to Get Cash Back for Receipts

Finish shopping, then take out your phone and take a picture of the receipt.

It’s that easy.

This information is highly sought after by consumables manufacturers, large grocers and retailers, and other marketers.

In exchange for your shopping information, you can earn money or gift cards.

In some cases, you might also be asked to fill out an accompanying survey about your purchase; doing so will earn you additional cash. Other apps will request that you show that you purchased a given item in exchange for a small after-purchase discount on that item.

It’s up to you how much information you’re willing to share.

12 Best Cash Back for Receipts Apps to Install Today

Here are the 9 best cash back apps that you should check out.

Starting with the first, the best, and the most highly reviewed:

1. Ibotta

Special offer: Get a special $10 welcome bonus when you create your account!

This was one of the first rebate apps on the market and offers cash back on grocery, apparel, electronics, restaurant, pet, etc. purchases.

The rebate amounts are fairly high (as much as $1.50) and work across a number of stores. Many qualifying rebates are brand-independent (e.g., $0.50 off any orange juice), while others require that you purchase a given brand at a certain store.

Ibotta

Ibotta has been reviewed over a million times on the App Store and on Google Play.

On top of that, it holds an average rating of 4.6 stars. If there’s one program on this list you join, make it Ibotta.

2. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards partners with plenty of the brands you shop for when you do your grocery shopping.

Whether your receipts are on paper or eReceipts, you can earn Fetch Rewards. Keep the deadline in mind, though; you only have 14 days to submit those receipts.

With over half a million 5-star reviews, this is one cash back app you won’t regret downloading.

3. ReceiptHog

ReceiptHog

With this app, you submit receipt photos from stores that sell consumable goods like butter and toilet paper, as well as stores that sell non-consumables like clothing or tools.

With the former, you earn coin rewards that can be redeemed for money or e-gift cards. With the latter, you enter a slots game that can earn you up to 100 extra coins.

ReceiptHog holds an impressive 4.5 star average rating with nearly 200,000 reviews between iOS and Android.

Their stellar ratings make this one of the best cashback apps out there.

4. ReceiptPal

With this app, you earn points for your receipts, which can be exchanged for gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, etc.

There’s also a weekly $250 sweepstakes that you can enter.

Any receipt from any merchant can be submitted through this app.

It doesn’t have the same volume of reviews as ReceiptHog, but almost all of them are positive.

5. Shopmium

For everyone in the UK and France, there is Shopmium.

This app enables you to purchase consumables at a given price point (e.g., $1) or at a certain percentage off.

That can mean big savings for you if you purchase something that is normally $4.99, for example, and the app offers the item to you for only a dollar.

Shopmium also offers rebates on items that you might not normally see with other shopping apps, such as lip balm or cleaning products.

Perhaps best of all, you don’t need to wait to redeem your cash. Shopmium connects directly with your PayPal account, and redemptions are sent to your linked account as soon as you scan your receipt.

6. Checkout 51

Checkout 51a

This app functions much like Ibotta and offers you cash back on receipts that you take pictures of and submit.

Checkout 51 is one of the few cash back apps that offer cash back on gas, so if you drive, this may be a good option for you.

Specific rebate items vary week to week but typically consist of grocery items, which can be purchased at any store.

You need to have $20 in your account before you’re allowed to cash out.

7. Paribus

Paribus is a cash back app that takes advantage of the fact that many online stores have price adjustment policies.

First, grant access to Paribus to scan your email for online purchases.

The website monitors all the purchases you’ve had and then notifies you when there’s a price drop.

This is when it gets exciting:

When there’s a price drop, Paribus will automatically refund you the difference.

It seems a bit unsettling for an app to have access to your email address, so read up on their Privacy Statement and decide whether you’re willing to give them access to your information.

8. Coupons.com

Connect your store loyalty cards or scan a receipt on your Coupons.com smartphone app and get automatic cash back.

You can also print out coupons on their website, but they recommend using their digital coupons.

There’s no minimum balance to get your cash back on Coupons.com, the money will go straight to your PayPal.

9. GetUpside

GetUpside carries cash back offers from grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations (though there are few gas stations that partner with this app.

Similar to the other apps on this list, you download the app, select your offer, make the purchase, check in or scan the receipt for the purchase, and earn your cash back in the app.

You can cash out your earnings through PayPal, e-gift card, or mailed check.

10. CoinOut

If you’re a fan of the show Shark Tank, you probably known about this app.

Once you’re registered on the app, you can start scanning paper receipts right away. No need to check for offers.

However, to get cash back from online stores, you need to start your online purchase from the CashOut app.

They give out bonus rewards just because, and you can boost your earnings by referring other users to download this app.

Most of all, they don’t collect your financial information, so that might make you more comfortable sharing your receipts with them.

11. Shopkick

Shopkick gives you points or “kicks” when you scan in your receipt in the app. But it also rewards you for simply walking into select stores, as well as scanning barcodes of certain products, even without purchasing anything.

They also reward you for watching videos of their partner brands in the app and making online purchases from the app.

12. Makeena

If you regularly shop for eco-friendly, healthy products, Makeena will reward you for it.

Simply scan in your receipts or scan product barcodes right in the app and earn cash and rewards. You may even be sent freebies and samples just for buying healthy choices.

How to Get the Most Cashback for Your Receipts

When it comes to apps that pay you for your receipts, keep in mind that you can double-dip and upload a photo of the same receipt to several different apps.

This is especially true if you submit your receipt photo for a generic item like milk or bread.

Also, because these apps require timely receipts, you may have only one to two weeks to upload your pictures.

So don’t delay when submitting your receipts.

The Bottom Line

Getting cashback for your receipts isn’t challenging at all. Simply shop, snap, and save.

Just remember that you are giving up some personal information and giving retailers direct access to your shopping habits. If that’s not a problem, go crazy! All of the above cash back apps have stellar reviews on top of years of operation.

While you’re out and about, did you know you can get paid to become a personal grocery shopper? If you’re spending so much time at the store anyway, consider getting paid for doing and delivering an extra set of groceries.

Combined with these cash back apps, you might be able to earn some decent side cash.

Do you already use cash back apps? Which one is your favorite? Did miss any cash back apps worth mentioning? Share your knowledge with us in the comments below!

How to Make Money in Retirement: 23 Easy Ways

If you are a retiree or nearing that age, you may be wondering how to make money in retirement.

When I was younger, I thought retirement meant working on my garden, falling asleep on the couch while watching Friends reruns, and basically doing nothing.

But the reality is that not all retirees have the luxury or the mindset to do nothing.

You may be realizing that you don’t quite have enough money to live the lifestyle you want or cover the cost of vacations you want to go on or medications you need.

Or maybe you’re restless and don’t want your brain or muscles or both to waste away, just when you have all the time in the world to do whatever you want.

Whatever your reasons, you might be wondering if you can still make money even after you’re retired.

Today, I’ll list down 23 ways to make money in retirement to inspire you and help you find one that works for you!

23 Ways to Make Money in Retirement

Make Money From Your Retirement Hobbies

Making money from your hobbies is a great way to feel you’re retired but continue to generate income. Below are some hobbies that can be lucrative.

1. Gardening

If you have a green thumb, then consider gardening not just for the joy of it, but actually to make money.

Houseplants and succulents have become quite popular lately. Grow a few of them right in your house and sell them locally.

Or you can grow fruits and vegetables and sell them at your local farmers’ market. You’ll get even more sales if your produce is all-organic and all-natural.

Another way to earn from gardening is to maintain someone else’s garden. Your neighbors may go on holiday, for example, and may need someone to water and tend to their plants while they’re gone.

2. Baking or cooking

Retirement allows you time to make your favorite dishes and desserts, but you may have no one to share them with.

Instead of eating leftovers for a week, why not sell your baked goods from home or cook and deliver meals locally?

3. Crafting

If you know how to make things, there is a market for your creations.

Maybe you know how to knit, crochet, or sew. Or maybe you know how to work with leather. Or maybe woodworking is what you like doing.

Whatever it is, people will pay for handcrafted items, especially locally produced ones.

You can sell your products online through Amazon Handmade or Etsy.

You can also sell them at a local market stall or even on the street (make sure to check your local regulations on that, though).

Local fairs are also great places to showcase your creations.

4. Reading books

When you’re working full-time, how many times have you sworn to yourself that when you retire, you’ll read all the books you can read?

Who knew that you can make money in retirement by simply reading books?

You can become a book reviewer, write summaries of books, or read books aloud as a narrator.

5. Homebrewing beer

Homebrewing beer has been growing in popularity not only as a hobby but as a source of side cash.

Aside from the obvious, which is selling your homebrewed concoction, you can earn some money from teaching others how to make their own homebrew, writing about it in a blog, or consulting with bars and restaurants.

Share Your Wisdom

One of your greatest assets as a retiree is your accumulated knowledge and expertise. Here are some ways to make money in retirement by sharing your wisdom.

6. Become a consultant

What no one tells you when you start your own business is that having someone to bounce ideas off and to learn from is invaluable.

We don’t all have a father or other family member that has experience in business, so finding someone who does can make the world of difference.

This is where you come in. Even if you never owned a business, having decades of experience in a particular industry can be super helpful to other people.

Provide consultancy services to companies in your industry and get paid for your knowledge.

7. Become a teacher

Perhaps you’re a retired teacher, or you have a skill that others would love to learn. Consider then teaching other people what you know.

For example, you can teach people about accountancy, pottery, marketing, golf, fine wine, a language, piano, and so many more skills.

What you teach or tutor in is down to what you know, but you would be surprised how many people are willing to pay to learn from you.

8. Write a book

Okay, so that’s a bit vague, but you are a wealth of information, and others can benefit from that.

You could write about yourself and your own varied history and make it into a memoir or autobiography. Or if that’s too personal, fictionalize it and make it into a novel.

You could use your experience in your chosen profession and write about that.

If you have knowledge of your area’s local history, you could make money by writing a history guide and selling it online or at local tourist points.

We all have a story to tell, so why not tell yours and have the world benefit from it?

9. Become a local tour guide

On the back of local history, if you do know your stuff and your area gets tourists, why not offer your services as a local tour guide?

The startup costs are minimal, and often you don’t need any special licenses (though do check your local guidelines on this).

You could charge a fee, ask for a donation at the end of the tour, or even work with the owners of a local attraction.

Be a Part-timer or Freelancer

Just because you’re retired now doesn’t mean you have to stop working if you’re still capable and you still want to. Here are some part-time and freelance positions you can apply for so you can continue earning even while retired.

10. Work as a temp

While not the most glamorous of jobs, temp work is definitely a viable option for a retiree. The work is often in fits and starts, requiring someone with plenty of free time, which suits most retirees.

Every major city has at least one temp agency you can sign up. Many of the jobs are clerical, but you might chance upon a company looking to fill a professional or managerial role temporarily.

11. Apply to your favorite local business

Your local grocery store, bookstore, flower shop, or any other business may like having you as a customer, but maybe they’d like you as an employee just as well.

Again, they probably don’t have top-level positions, but if stocking shelves, arranging books, or taking care of flowers sound like better options than sitting around at home all day, definitely consider it.

12. Pet sit or babysit for neighbors

You may be living in an area with plenty of busy families who are money rich but time poor.

These people will need help with taking care of their kids and pets, and you with your experience can help (for a fee).

13. House sit for neighbors

Along the same vein, you may be living in an area where families go on holidays for days or even weeks at a time and will need help with house sitting when they’re gone.

The tasks vary depending on the homeowner’s needs. Generally, you’ll be asked to do some basic housekeeping and light cleaning, but you may be asked (for an additional fee, ideally) to take care of their plants and pets or forward phone messages.

House sitting jobs normally require that you stay in the house the entire time. But if you live near enough, you may be able to persuade your client to give you a few hours a day to go back to your house and do your own brief errands—water your own plants, feed your own pets, etc.—and then return to the house you’re staying in.

14. Become a grandma or grandpa “for rent”

If you’re looking for work and want someone to help you find it, then Rent a Grandma or Rent a Grandpa is a great option.

These sites simply help you connect with people who may need your services. You are vetted so potential customers know you are safe and can do what is asked of you, and you get to negotiate your pay with customers.

15. Apply for online jobs

The internet has opened up plenty of part-time and freelance jobs you can do online for a wide variety of people: students, stay-at-home parents, and even retirees.

It just depends on the type of job you’re comfortable doing, as well as your interests and how many hours a day you can spare. Here are some ideas for online jobs for retirees.

Sell Stuff

If you’ve always wanted to start a small retail business but never had the time, here’s your chance! Here are some ideas for selling stuff to get you inspired.

16. Become an entrepreneur

If working at a J.O.B. makes you feel ill, then there’s always the option of becoming your own boss. Nowadays with the rise of the internet, making money as an entrepreneur is even easier.

There are plenty of ways to learn how to make money online and you can easily create a passive income that fits in with your gardening, golfing, and social activities.

17. Sell your own stuff

After a lifetime of earning and spending, most retirees end up with a lifetime’s worth of stuff lying around.

Some of them have sentimental value, but more often than not, they’re items that don’t serve any real purpose anymore. A quick and easy way to make some more cash is to sell these off.

Go around the house one room at a time and sort out the stuff. Boxes with “Keep,” “Gift,” “Donate,” and “Sell” will help you be organized.

Here are some ideas on what stuff to sell and where to sell them.

A yard sale can work, or a local flea market. If you’re comfortable with computers then places like eBay make for an easy way to offload your stuff.

I do recommend getting some of the items for sale checked out first, especially things like old china sets, vintage furniture, paintings, old clocks, and other antiques. They may be worth much more than you think.

18. Resell

If you’ve already sold off all your old stuff that you’re willing to part with, you may want to start bargain hunting for items to sell at a profit.

Flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, and storage locker sales are your best bet for finding collectibles, designer bags and clothes, vinyl records, board games, and retro consoles and video games.

Before buying items, though, it’s wise to check the price you can sell them for against how much it would be to purchase them.

You can then offer them up on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or through selling apps.

Rent Out Stuff

If selling doesn’t sound too appealing to you, why not rent out some of your stuff and even your properties? You can earn cash for things and spaces you rarely use anyway, and you get to help others save money. Here are a few ideas.

19. Rent out your things

You may have a lawnmower, carpentry equipment, or tools that you can rent out to your neighbors. Or maybe you have golf clubs or camping gear.

If you want to go beyond your neighbors, there are a few websites and apps that specialize in product rentals. These apps allow you to list just about anything and connect you with people who are interested in renting your stuff.

Try one of the following websites:

20. Rent out your parking space

Sometimes, people need an extra garage to park their cars less expensively than city or condo rates. If you have a spare driveway or garage space, you can rent out locally or through apps like Spacer or Curbflip.

21. Rent out your storage space

You can also rent out your garage or a room in the house for storage through apps like Neighbor or StoreAtMyHouse.

22. Rent out your car

Don’t let your car rust away in your garage. If you want to get some use out of an unused car, try renting it out.

Read our guide on how to rent your car.

23. Get a roommate or a tenant

If you have a spare living space or basement, have a separate entrance, and wouldn’t mind living with someone else, try to find a roommate on Roommates.com or RoomieMatch.com.

Start Making Money In Retirement!

Just as retirement doesn’t mean your life is over, it doesn’t mean the end of money-making opportunities!

As you’ve read, there are plenty of ways to make some pocket money, and perhaps even have some fun and make new friends!

Do you have other suggestions on how to make money in retirement? Let us know in the comments below so we can add them to this list!

6 Ways to Get Paid to Be an Audience Member

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get paid to be an audience member?

We see them all on TV. The crowd seems to be genuinely happy about being there.

Have you ever wondered how audience members of talk shows and sitcoms get the gig?

Do you wish to participate in being part of the live audience while filming your favorite show?

Whether you’d like to do it once and check this experience off your bucket list, or if you want to add extra income by doing this once or twice a week, read on for all the information you’d need to explore this gig.

Can Anyone Become an Audience Member?

The answer to this question is: Yes.

Anyone can become an audience member.

However, you won’t get paid to be an audience member on popular shows.

Here’s the thing:

Popular TV shows fill up their audience seats months in advance. They also do not pay audience members (at least, not anymore), but give away freebies and prizes.

Oprah (when her show was still on) was legendary about her Favorite Things Giveaways: from diamond watches to all-expenses-paid cruises. And who can ever forget about the brand new Pontiac G6 given to ALL 276 members of her studio audience in 2004?

For these popular shows, you can line up during filming days, but there’s no guarantee you can be chosen to fill in for other chosen audience members who didn’t show up.

Shows that are not popular enough to fill in the seats allocated within their studios still rely on paying audience members to watch.

Where to Find Paid Audience Member Gigs

If your goal is to join the crowd of your favorite show, the easiest way to find paid audience member gigs is to visit the show’s website. Look for a button that says “tickets,” which usually leads to a page that most likely includes details on how to get them and other information.

If you’re here to earn some side cash, no matter which sitcom, talk show, or other live shows, check out these 5 resources:

1. TVTaping.com

The shows listed here are neatly arranged, so you can quickly see which of them are currently giving away tickets (and those on hiatus).

There’s a mix of paid and unpaid gigs. Beat Bobby Flay pays $65, while AOL Build Show pays $30 to $75 (depending on the show’s guest).

2. OnSetProductions.com

The shows are arranged by date and location, which makes it easy to filter based on your availability and which shows are near you.

Click one of the shows and you’ll see complete details, including the number of hours required to be on the show, transportation availability, and amount of cash incentives.

What I like best about this site is that they also list a month or two of a show’s schedule, so you’d be able to adjust your availability if necessary.

3. Backstage.com

This casting call site has been serving up actors and actresses with audition listings for years.

If you dig deeper, you’ll see that some casting coordinators post audience member gigs here too.

An example gig from 2019 looks like this: MTV TRL seeks paid audience member at New York Times Square Location, Thursdays in September from 3PM to 6PM. Payment is $40 after filming.

My problem with Backstage.com is that their search feature isn’t that accurate.

Finding “paid audience member” results also includes other listings, which is quite disappointing since the site does offer a comprehensive and up-to-date list of gigs in the entertainment industry.

4. StandingRoomOnly.TV

You’ll need to register to access the casting lists on SRO, but they do have a lot of paid ones.

Instead of a gig-based fee, Standing Room Only lists paid audience member gigs with an hourly fee, so you’ll see listings with $10 to $20, then details for how long each show will be.

5. 1iota.com

If you’re after the experience and don’t really care if you get paid to be an audience member of your favorite show, 1iota.com is where tickets to all other popular shows are found.

The process of reserving a seat varies by show, so better check out each one.

Some examples of popular shows include:

Sometimes, you might find a paid gig, but it’s rare since the shows listed here are in-demand throughout the year.

6. AuditionsFree

AuditionsFree works similar to Backstage.com in that you can search for “audience” and you can see casting calls for audience members.

However, not all of these are paid. The ticket will be free, though, so at least you get to watch for free.

Important things to Know to Get Paid to be an Audience Member

Before seeking out tickets to shows, you should take note of the following:

  • Age requirement: Most TV shows require adults (18 and above) for audience members, but family-oriented shows may allow kids (from 10 to 18). If you plan to go with your kid or younger family member, make sure to check a show’s age requirement before making a reservation.
  • Location: While TV shows usually have their headquarters already in place, some shows can switch locations every now and then. They may be some instances where the show would travel to another city or even another country.
  • Dress code: Most shows require their audience members to dress business casual. Some are particular with colors (no busy patterns or neon), while others just list clothes that are not allowed (shorts, tank tops, short skirts, hats, etc.). Of course, during themed shows, you might see specific requests such as ‘nightclub wardrobe,’ ‘Halloween costume,’ and so on.

Things to Expect on the Day of Filming

  • Arrive early. The show isn’t going to wait for your arrival. In most cases, you’ll be in line for a couple of hours, and shows typically recommend audience members to be in the studio or venue 30 to 45 minutes prior to the check-in time on your ticket. Plus, almost every TV show have standby tickets given to other people, which means it wouldn’t be surprising to be bumped off your slot by other audience members.
  • Bring your ID and ticket with you. Most of these tickets are non-transferable, so they’ll be checking your identity before entry.
  • Food isn’t allowed inside. Better eat a big meal before call time, unless of course food is included as an incentive. Your best bet is a water bottle, which you can keep inside your bag.
  • Actually, plenty of things aren’t allowed inside. Big bags like luggage or travel backpacks are typically not allowed, and there’s usually no baggage check to leave them. Laptops and professional cameras are usually prohibited, and smartphones and other electronic devices are typically switched off.
  • Be ready to laugh or clap your heart out. If you’re really not a fan of the show, laughing along with the show’s host, or clapping every time you’re required to can be taxing. You have to be mentally prepared to make your laughing or clapping believable since show coordinators can easily kick out audience members between takes.
  • Audience warm-up. Whether you’re watching a sitcom or a talk show, someone (a crew, comedian, singer, or other type of entertainer) will wake up the audience and give the space a happier vibe. Watch out for some last-minute reminders as well.

Generally, audience members are paid at the end of filming. No need to wait for checks, since pay is almost always in cash.

For long-standing shows, “seniors” (paid audience members who have been there several times) may be asked to return at a particular date.

This already removes the entire process of reserving your slot.

So if you’re banking on these gigs to bring you extra income, your goal is to become a senior audience member.

Alternative Gig: Be a Seat Filler

If paid gigs to be an audience member are scarce, try to find seat fillers instead.

The job of a seat filler is to occupy empty seats at award shows, plays, concerts, sporting events, and other live performances. The tickets are free and these are often paid gigs because you need to be able to follow instructions and fill seats that you’re instructed to.

Why does this exist?

Fuller audiences and venues are simply a better experience for both the performers and the other paying patrons.

And having a full house is especially important for televised events; empty seats on television simply don’t look good.

For instance, when audience members of awards shows accept their awards, seat fillers take up their seats so that when the camera pans over the audience, there aren’t empty seats.

What you need to be a seat filler

You’re most likely to get to be a seat filler if you reside in a city with plenty of live events going on, such as Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and other similar cities.

Aside from your location, the most important characteristic you need to have to be a seat filler is the ability to read and follow instructions.

Companies that hire seat fillers can be specific about what they’re looking for. When they post openings, their requirements are usually detailed: age range, gender, dress code, makeup and hairstyle, even down to your shoes.

Where to find seat filler jobs

Here are some companies where casting calls for seat fillers are periodically posted. Some of these may be unpaid gigs, though, so carefully look at the postings.

From Audience Member to Performer: Exploring the Entertainment Industry

Joining a live show and getting paid to do so is a quick gig many people would choose to do than be stuck in an office from 9 to 5.

It’s as close as you can get to getting paid to watch TV or getting paid to watch movies.

It’s a cool way to make some easy money if you’re in Los Angeles, New York, or another area where they’re hiring.

Some people even turn this into a temp job until something better arrives.

If you’re interested in other side hustle in the entertainment industry, check out this post I wrote about becoming a movie extra or this guide on how to earn big money as a voice actor.

Are you interested in this gig? Have you ever been paid to be an audience member? Tell us about it in the comments!

10 Ways to Obtain Free Government Money in 2021

Ever wondered if you can get free government money?

Well, you can’t.

The government doesn’t technically give away free money.

What it does provide are free government grants and federal benefit programs to help those citizens who need it the most.

Applying for these grants and assistance programs involves meeting certain criteria and submitting specific requirements.

Such government assistance is funded every tax season, so if you’ve been paying taxes your whole life, consider this “free government money” as the benefits of religiously doing your responsibility every tax season.

10 Kinds of Free Government Money Available

All types of free government money programs will check your credit and finances (the government serves the most in-need first).

1. Money for Childcare

Childcare is expensive, from paying for daycare so you can earn a living to buying supplies like milk and baby food, the expenses will continue until a child becomes a teen.

Fortunately, you can get government assistance for childcare typically for children 13 years old or under.

The Child Care and Development Fund, which operates under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides assistance for daycare funding, pediatrics, and nutrition.

Know that this program is income-based and will be offered by your state CCDF.

2. Free Government Money for Groceries and Free Food

If feeding your family becomes a struggle, you can check out three government assistance programs developed to help those with financial hardship well-fed (at least until they could support themselves).

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka “food stamps”) – This is income-based, so you’ll need to apply and send proof that your household cannot afford enough food for everyone. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive SNAP benefits from a monthly Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which works exactly like a debit card and used to buy groceries. You can go to your local grocery store and hunt for “SNAP eligible” tags to see which items are covered by your card.
  • WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) – As its name suggest, this free government money is exclusive to low-income women who are either pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking care of her child 5 years old or younger. It covers fund for food and health care.
  • School Lunch for Kids 18 and below – School-aged kids can get free (or discounted) lunches every school day. The National School Lunch Program (under the US Dept. of Agriculture) has fed over 4.8 billion nutritional lunches to children nationwide in 2018. To qualify, the child should be part of a household under other Federal Assistance Programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or based on their status as a homeless, migrant, runaway, or foster child.

3. Home Repair and Winterizing Assistance

If you live in an urban area and are 62 years old (or up), you could be eligible for a government grant amounting to up to $7,500 to repair your home, or remove hazards such as weak structures, mold, or lead paint.

The Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants program offers loans (20-year-terms at 1% interest) and grants (free government money you don’t need to repay) exclusively to homeowners in rural areas.

Those who are interested in winterizing their homes in hopes of reducing electricity consumption could seek government assistance through the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center (WAPTAC) program.

While this program prioritizes households with children or a family member with disability, you still have a chance since about 30 million homes are reportedly eligible for winterizing grants.

4. Utility Bills Government Grants

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has been helping people who are struggling to pay for heating and cooling costs for years.

This grant, which is under the U.S. Department of Health, is issued via states, which is why eligibility and income levels may vary between states.

5. Free Phone Service

If you need a phone plan, but your income does not let you have one, apply to the Lifeline program.

This assistance program helps qualifying, low-income individuals stay connected to family, emergency services and jobs right at the comfort of their fingertips.

You do have to meet eligibility requirements (mostly income-based).

6. Free Government Money for Housing

If you’re a low-income family and you want to buy a home in the private market, you might be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) homeownership program. To apply, you need to contact your local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), which administers this program with federal funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

On the other hand, if you are struggling with mortgage payment and at risk of foreclosure, you can seek the help of Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s HOPE program.

Call 888-995-HOPE or visit 995hope.org and you’ll be greeted by someone willing to help you not only settle your backlog, but work with you to come up with a plan to suit your current income level, or modify your mortgage for those who got victimized by a mortgage scam.

7. Free College Education

A college grant is probably one of the most significant free government money you can receive.

Some students are lucky to land a scholarship, but most people who finish university end up with a massive student loan that they’ll pay for the majority of their adult lives.

Fortunately, college grants give students a chance at paying for college without getting drowned in debt.

The federal Pell Grant, for example, can provide up to $6,000 per year per student, but the amount would depend on factors such as financial need, enrollment status, and total tuition fees.

In most cases, the student has to shoulder at least some of the fees.

8. Free Government Money for Healthcare

Everyone should have access to medical care.

If you don’t currently have health insurance, you can sign up for a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. While not exactly free money, if your income is below a certain threshold, you’re eligible for a premium tax credit, essentially making your medical insurance free.

You can also find out if you’re eligible for Medicaid. Different states have different eligibility criteria, so look up the eligibility rules carefully.

Uninsured children and pregnant women in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private coverage may be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Similar to Medicaid, the exact eligibility criteria vary per state.

The website InsureKidsNow.gov is another great resource to read up on health insurance for families and kids.

9. Government Assistance for Unemployment

If you’ve recently been laid off and are struggling to settle financial responsibilities or buy basic necessities like food, you can apply for unemployment assistance with the Department of Labor.

The help could be enough to get you through this rough patch until you find replacement employment.

Not everyone is eligible though, so make sure to check first.

10. Free Government Money for Veterans and Senior Citizens

Veterans can obtain free government money from various departments.

For example, if you’re sick and need medical assistance, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can find you a suitable grant for this particular requirement.

This is also the case for senior citizens.

In fact, the National Council on Aging has made it easier for our older citizens to find over 2,500 federal and state benefits (as well as some from private companies) with the BenefitsCheckUp tool.

With this site, senior citizens can find benefits from food to hospital stays to prescription meds, and so on.

Collecting Unclaimed Money

If you aren’t qualified to get free government money from the options above, maybe you’re forgetting some unclaimed money years or decades ago.

People or companies can owe you money from past deposits, refunds, and other similar payments that they were unable to send your way due to various reasons. Maybe you moved to another state or changed contact numbers.

The good news for you is that you can still claim these funds even years later by going to unclaimed.org.

You can also check if you have unclaimed back wages or unclaimed life insurance funds (for veterans).

Here are 5 other types of unclaimed money:

  1. Pension – If you were once employed by a company that went bankrupt, or moved to another company without claiming money from a pension plan, you’d be surprised that you can still receive this money. Go to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and search for your name if you’re included in the “Unclaimed Pensions” page.
  2. Bank or Credit Union Failures – Everyone knows that banks insure depositors for up to $250,000 per account, right? If you were a depositor of a failed bank, you can still claim your money back by visiting the FDIC website. It is the same process with failed credit unions and the money you invested at the time they were active. Visit National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for possible unclaimed deposits.
  3. Tax Return – You can receive state or federal tax refunds that you weren’t able to receive in the past. Just check with the IRS or your state revenue department to see if you have unclaimed tax refunds left to collect.
  4. United States Savings Bonds – You can recover any savings bond you have that has been damaged or stolen, as long as you still have the bond serial number. The U.S. Treasury will help you even if you don’t have the serial number anymore, but remember date of purchase.
  5. Refunds for Past FHA Mortgage – If you got FHA-insured mortgage in the past, you can check the U.S. Housing and Urban Development database to see if you are owed a refund.

These aren’t technically ways of finding “free” money, since they are actually owed to you.

However, it can help you collect on funds you didn’t even know you were missing.

A Note About Free Government Money Scams

Make a quick Google search about “free government money” and you’ll discover several grant scams luring you in.

While they’re very easy to spot, some people might still prefer to play with their luck and hand over their hard-earned money in exchange for longer, more stable government assistance.

Unfortunately, once scammers have gotten your money, they would most likely leave you hanging with about $20, $50, or $100 less from your savings.

And if the scammers don’t collect fees, it may just be that they’re trying to steal your information (which can lead to something as serious as hacking your online accounts, to worst-case-scenarios like identity theft).

So, Who Wants Free Money?

Every year, the federal government gives away millions of dollars in grants and monetary assistance.

It’s more practical to think of these grants as free government money that you need to use for the grants’ intended purposes and you never need to pay back.

Combine as many of the government grants you’re eligible for so you can relax a little if you’re struggling to make ends meet.

If it’s your birthday, make sure to check this big list of birthday freebies (or this list if you hate giving away personal info).

Got kids in your household? You can also get a ton of free baby samples, free books for kids, and other samples that you can receive by mail.

Have you ever applied for a grant or been eligible for benefits? Help other readers by telling your stories in the comments.

5 Best Places to Sell Your Hair Online

Have long, healthy hair and looking to make some pocket money? Consider selling your hair for hundreds to even thousands of dollars!

It’s not as strange as it sounds.

In fact, a lot of people prefer to use real hair in wigs and hair extensions instead of synthetic ones and will pay a pretty penny to get it.

And since hair grows back again, you can sell your hair multiple times throughout your life.

Plus, anyone who can grow hair can do it! It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, how old you are, or what your race is. As long as you have high-quality hair to grow, you have the potential to make money.

Here’s information on what hair buyers are looking for and how to go about selling your hair.

How to Start Selling Hair

Before we dive into how to sell hair, take note that we’re talking about human hair that grows from your head. Nowhere else.

1. Start growing and grooming your hair.

Before you list your hair for sale, you first have to think about what hair buyers are looking for.

First, buyers are looking for virgin hair; that is, they want untreated hair free of hair dye (not even highlights) and chemical treatments, such as relaxants or perms.

You’ll also have to have healthy habits. Evidence of cigarette smoking, drinking, and drugs show up in your hair even after it’s been washed.

You might not think it matters, but hair that is not washed daily is more sellable. Too much washing strips hair of its natural oils and makes it look dull and prone to split ends, making it undesirable.

Also, hair that is not heat-treated or sun-damaged is definitely more desirable, so stop using blowdryers, curling irons, straightening irons, or any other heating tool to style your hair. Start wearing hats when going out in the sun.

Another thing you need to do while you’re growing your hair is to trim it evenly; no layers or asymmetrical cuts.

Lastly, hair buyers want at least 10 inches to work with. Some buyers even require 16 inches.

2. Find the best online marketplace.

You wouldn’t want to be negotiating your hair sale in a dark alley.

Fortunately, you don’t have to.

Legitimate, hair-specific buy and sell marketplaces are online, which means you can make the sale at the comfort of your own home.

Just make sure you pick a site that would work best for you.

I list down the 4 best online marketplaces for selling hair below.

3. Work on your listing.

Each hair marketplace would have different forms and information that you’d have to provide, but here are general guidelines when working on your listing:

  • Measure your hair. You’ll need the length and thickness (in inches) because this is one of the biggest factors for buying hair.
  • Complete details about your hair. Is it blonde with a tinge of red? Is it thick or thin? curly or straight? Make sure you describe your hair as accurately as possible.
  • Haircare habits. This is where buyers will have an idea about the quality of your hair. Indicate if you drink, smoke, or take any kind of drugs. Open up about the shampoos, conditioners, and other treatments you use for your hair. How do you style your hair and what equipment do you regularly use?
  • Hair photos. Deep condition the day before and then ask a friend to help you take high-quality pictures of your hair. Go out in the sunlight, so you can showcase the color of your hair. Take photos of your hair spread out, in a ponytail, in a braid.
  • Price it right. Compare pricing from other sellers on the sites, so you’d be able to price your hair fairly.

4. Close the deal

Almost all the sites below allow you to communicate with potential buyers first before deciding if you want to sell or not.

Sometimes, buyers will ask for discounts.

Other times, they’ll just double-check details about your hair.

Important: Don’t cut your hair before you’ve found a buyer and received payment!

If you cut your hair and the deal falls through, the already-cut hair will lose its luster and you’ll have difficulty finding a buyer for it.

Once you’ve sold your hair, you need to go to the salon to have it professionally cut.

Your clients would specify how exactly they want hair removed from your head.

Secure the hair with bands afterward, and then pack and ship it properly. Purchase insurance or delivery confirmation for your protection.

I’ve also seen quite a few ads that offer the buyer the chance to cut the hair themselves. You may want to decide if this is something you’d be comfortable offering before you make a listing.

How much can you make selling hair?

The price of human hair varies significantly. For example, a 20-inch long, 3-inch thick lock of hair can pull in somewhere between $100 to $1000. This will depend on various factors like your location, ethnicity, color and quality of your hair, and so on.

The average length of hair being sold is around 20 inches, but hair measuring 28 inches and above can bag higher prices.

If you have long locks of hair that you’ve cut in the past and want to sell, this won’t be accepted anymore because buyers prefer hair to be freshly cut.

If a buyer decides to pay for your old hair, it’s likely to be priced lower.

Can you get paid to donate hair?

If you’ve been trying to sell your hair for months and you don’t want to pay a listing fee anymore, you can consider donating your hair to charity instead.

Unlike “donating plasma” but still receiving cash, donating hair means you’re giving it away completely without any monetary compensation.

You’d probably get teary-eyed doing it too, as most of the recipients are kids and adults who suffer from medical hair loss.

If this is something you’re interested in, check out Locks of Love, Wigs For Kids, Children With Hair Loss, and Little Princess Trust – all of which cater to patients who’ll use your hair for wigs.

5 Best Places to Sell Hair

If you’re committed to selling your hair and have taken all of the above preparations, here are the 4 best online marketplaces to get started.

Be sure to check them all out as every site can make an offer different from the next.

1. HairSellon

Most people who want to sell their hair go straight to Hair Sellon.

What I like best about this site is their hair price calculator.

Hair price calculator results

It gives you an estimate of how much your hair is worth based on the length, thickness, and color. You control the price of your hair here, and potential buyers can negotiate with you directly.

2. BuyAndSellHair

Next up is BuyAndSellHair.com which touts itself as the #1 Human Hair Marketplace.

BuyAndSellHair

I’ll be honest. Their inclusion of the word “human” in their headline does creep me out a bit.

Either way, there’s a fee to list your hair here of $14.50 per 3 months. The platform looks more modern than HairSellOn, and there’s a chance you’d get featured at the home page.

There are a number of success stories here and you can browse recently sold hair.

3. Online Hair Affair

Launched in 2008, this website lets you post hair-for-sale ads for $12 for one month, $15 for six months, or $20 for 1 year. Your ad will be active until your hair is sold or the time runs out, whichever comes first.

It isn’t as active as the first two sites, but you do have a bigger space to advertise your hair and an international audience.

There’s also a category for gray hair here, which isn’t available on other sites.

4. World of Wigs

You can sell your hair directly to wigmakers.

They price hair differently here, going by weight instead (about $3 to $5 per oz. of hair).

You’d have to send your hair to World of Wigs, and only once the company receives your hair and assessed it will you be paid.

5. Selling apps

It may seem a little creepy to sell hair locally through different selling apps, such as OfferUp or LetGo. You may even be able to list your hair on Craigslist.

But hear me out.

Wigmakers aren’t the only ones looking for human hair.

Your local hairdresser may be on the market for hair to make into hair extensions.

Or a college student studying to be a hairdresser might need some human hair.

Or a neighbor might need hair to make into high-quality hairbrushes.

If you do go the local route, take measures to avoid being scammed.

Don’t sell hair to the first buyer you get.

Take time to vet your buyer and negotiate the price.

And always choose to be paid via secure methods such as PayPal or Venmo.

Make Money Selling Your Hair!

Selling your hair may seem odd to some people, but if you’re in need of extra cash, it could definitely help out.

$500 to $1000 for 20-inch long hair isn’t small change; it could pay off a bill or take care of groceries for a week or two.

Just make sure you’re mentally and emotionally prepared for the sudden and drastic physical change that cutting off your hair involves.

Other things you can sell that your body generates for free include plasma, eggs, and breastmilk.

Have you ever tried selling your hair? Or planning to grow your hair to sell? Share your stories with us in the comments!

How to Become a Dog Walker & Get Paid

Are you looking for a side gig, career, or even a business that allows you to hang out with dogs as long as you want and as often as you want? If so, you might have wondered how to become a dog walker.

Dog walking has always been around as a side cash opportunity for students, part-timers, and anybody who loves dogs and has some free time.

With the advent of new websites and applications, more and more opportunities to walk dogs are becoming available.

Today, we’ll explore the different websites and apps you can use to find dog-walking gigs and go through the steps of setting up your own dog walking business if that’s the route you want to take.

How to Become a Dog Walker

A dog walker picks up dogs at the clients’ respective homes, leads them through pre-planned walking routes, feeds the dogs, and makes sure the dogs are healthy under their care.

You may not need traditional educational attainment like a college degree, but there are still specific requirements to become a professional dog walker:

  • High school diploma, GED, or any equivalent – Most clients don’t care about your educational attainment, but if you’re planning to work for a dog walking company, know that they prefer high school graduates. It’s a plus if you took high school courses in animal science. If you haven’t finished high school or taken a GED, you could check complete training programs for animal caretakers and become certified.
  • Driver’s license – You may need to drive the dogs to the vet during emergencies, or picking up dogs far from your home.
  • Business license – Check with local laws if you’d need to obtain permits to walk dogs as a profession. (This is a must if you’re opening up a dog walking business though).
  • Experience – Being a dog lover isn’t enough. You need to have experience and knowledge when it comes to controlling their behavior, transporting them on cages, handling restraints, giving first aid treatments, animal nutrition, and so on.
  • Physical fitness – Because the job entails literal walking, you need to be physically fit enough to walk extended periods and be ready to run when needed.
  • A phone – Most dog walking companies work much like Uber, so you’d have to log on to an app and check for active gigs near you.

What skills and characteristics do you need to have as a dog walker?

When pet owners choose dog walkers, they normally look for a few skills or attributes to assure them that their dogs are in good, capable hands.

Here are some of the skills that the best dog walkers have.

Organizational and time management skills. As a dog walker, you’ll need to have a file on each and every dog you handle and dog owner you deal with.

It should have their preferences, medical issues, special needs, and schedules. It’s also good to have contact numbers and payment records for the dog owners.

Interpersonal skills. You need to gain your clients’ trust, and that involves building a rapport with them. Aside from empathy for dogs, you need to have empathy for their owners.

Problem-solving skills. Dogs are unpredictable beings, and you’re likely to experience a few unpleasant situations when you’re with dogs. You’ll need to be able to deal with these situations calmly and with a problem-solving mindset.

Reliability and punctuality. When you confirm an appointment, dog owners need to know that you’re going to keep it. Flaky dog walkers rarely last in this business long.

Genuine love for dogs. It’s going to be a burden to take care of dogs and have their best interests at heart if you don’t love dogs in the first place. If you don’t care about dogs or animals in general, maybe you shouldn’t be a dog walker.

Do you need insurance to become a dog walker?

Professional dog walking involve structured activities, but anything can happen from picking up the dogs, to the actual walk, to dropping off the dogs to your client’s home.

Fortunately, there is insurance available customized for this specific profession to protect pet sitters and dog walkers like you from possible legal action if a dog causes damage while under your watch. A good example of a company you can talk to is Pet Sitter Insurance.

Do you need a license or permit to walk dogs?

In some states, yes. In others, not anymore.

You need to be up-to-date about licensing requirements from the city where you’re offering your services. Determine if your city has limits on the number of dogs you can walk at a time. Learn all about leash requirements and procedures for animal transportation (especially for public transportation), dog waste disposal, or reporting of lost pets.

When it comes to permits, most cities would require you to obtain one if you’re walking dogs within public parks.

Those who are certified dog walkers would have to renew their certifications every so often by taking an exam, paying a renewal fee, or completing continuing education.

Self-employed professional dog walkers may need to record dog license numbers and vaccination histories.

7 Sites to Find Dog Walking Jobs

Aside from online boards and traditional community centers, you can also check these sites/apps out:

1. Rover

Rover benefits

Rover doesn’t just offer dog walking services. It also allows experienced dog sitters to provide house-sitting, doggy daycare, and dog boarding.

Rover is available in over 50 cities, so you’ll have a better chance of becoming a dog sitter here. Plus, you can choose what kinds of services you’d like to offer, based on what you can accommodate or commit to.

To join Rover, simply create a profile, accept requests, and get paid two days after an assignment. Rover boasts that dog sitters can earn $1000/month just by playing with dogs.

Most dog walkers earn around $25/hour, but dog boarding pays the most.

2. Wag!

Benefits of working for Wag

This company only accepts experienced dog walkers who will pass two kinds of tests – one is to gauge dog knowledge, and the other is for situational assessment showcasing how well you can handle unpredictable situations.

Wagwalking is available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Dallas, Miami, and Philadelphia so far, so if you reside in these cities, this company may be a perfect fit for you.

Wag! pays its walkers around $15 to 17 an hour, but your location, competition and reputation can make your personal rates go higher or lower.

3. Barkly Pets

Barkly dog walkers

Barkly Pets is a digital marketplace app designed for independent local dog walkers across the country to customize and grow their businesses. As the only commission-free dog walking app, Barkly Dog walkers set their own rates for services and keep 100% of their earnings—ensuring the quality of service by attracting the industry’s most elite dog walkers.

When customers use Barkly to discover an independent, professional dog walker in their neighborhood, they book directly with the walker of their choice each and every time.

To become a dog walker for Barkly Pets, there’s some extensive vetting (criminal background check, etc.) involved. You’d also need to attend one of the company’s “walker onboarding,” a kind of meet-and-greet with fellow dog walkers.

All Barkly Pets walkers are bonded and insured. As a dog walker, you have to create detailed reports after every assignment.

4. PetBacker

Petbacker
PetBacker is similar to Rover in that it offers services beyond dog walking.

If you’re willing to become a dog sitter, groomer, or a temporary home, PetBacker will match you to dog owners who need your services. You can access PetBacker via its website, Android app, or iOS app.

What makes PetBacker different from the rest is that its rating and review system is more comprehensive.

Clients can chat with a potential dog walker first and get a feel of their personality before making a decision. Plus, PetBacker is available in over 50 countries.

5. Care.com

Care.com

Care is probably the oldest one on this list. The site began as a classified ads website for childcarers and senior carers. They’ve since expanded to advertising housekeeping services and pet care. It is available as an app, and via website.

If you’re an animal lover, you can begin your dog walking business here. You’ll need to fill up an extensive form, detailing your location, experience, services and rates, availability, number of employees, license, certifications and so on.

Rates range from $10 to $30 an hour, depending on your location and type of service you provide. City-based dog walkers usually price their services higher.

What’s great about Care.com is that everything is transparent – you can see address, reviews from past clients, business information, and other important details that other dog-walking apps lack.

6. PetSitter.com

PetSitter.com connects pet owners looking for pet sitters. They offer a variety of services, including pet sitting, pet boarding, pet grooming, dog training, and dog walking.

As a dog walker, you get to view all the dog owners looking for a dog walkers in a particular area and look at their requirements, your responsibilities, and even hourly rates before you even meet them.

Also, you can create your own profile in their website to have pet owners come to you instead.

7. Swifto

If you’re based in New York City or Miami, Swifto is a good option to become a dog walker as a W2 employee; that is, you’re eligible for benefits and insurance.

Most of their dog walkers do between 25 to 40 walks a week, though 15 walks a week is their minimum requirement.

You would also need to commit to them for 6 months.

Which Do You Choose?

Unfortunately, if you’re a professional dog walker choosing between these companies, your choice would probably go down to which company allows you to work near where you reside.

Rover has the most locations in the United States, but it also has the most number of negative reviews.

PetBacker is more beloved by dog owners and is available in 50+ countries, but the company’s vetting system is strict (Only 30% of applicants make the cut to be a sitter on PetBacker).

Now that Barkly has opened up nationwide and completely revamped their business model, their offerings are looking more attractive than ever.

If you’re planning to scale up your dog walking gig into a business in the future, but just want to dip your toes into the industry first, Care.com would be your best fit.

As you can see, I can’t pick for you. Try one, try them all. Just find one that feels right to you.

How Much do Dog Walkers Make?

Dog walkers who join sites like Wag and Rover can earn about $17.50 per walk for the $20 to $30 fee paid by the dog owner. Wag or Rover takes a cut from the fee.

If you build your own dog walking business and do it freelance, you can make from $20 to $40 per walk and be control discounts and other pricing details, the number of dogs you can bring per walk, and the services you wish to offer.

Dog walkers who are doing this part-time can earn legitimately for extra cash (but not as main income). If this is where your passion takes you and you want to bring it up to the next level, start your own, private dog walking business.

How to Start a Dog Walking Business

If you came from Rover or any other dog-walking company, you already know the strengths and weaknesses of each one. You can start by listing these things down and making a business plan based on what you’ve experienced.

Dog walker

However, if you’re coming into the business as a dog walker who wants to scale up his/her services, follow the guidelines below:

1. Acquire an LLC

Get a lawyer, or check out LegalZoom.com if you’re setting up an LLC for your dog walking business.

While there are other types of business structures you can choose, an LLC fits because it separates your liability with your company’s liabilities.

This will prevent clients running after you if ever something bad happens while their dogs are under your company’s supervision.

If you don’t have enough funds for an LLC, visit your city hall or state and see your options for filing a DBA, a.k.a. “Doing Business As.”

2. Build a website and online presence

Websites are so easy to create these days. You just need a domain name, a hosting provider where your domain will call home, and a pre-built theme.

Fill-up the content, add pictures, place your company’s information, and leave a form or contact details…and it’s ready!

You do have to spread the word about your website, since visitors won’t just come popping by once you build the company website.

Here’s where your online presence (Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media and Web 2.0 platforms come in.

3. Secure permits, licenses and insurance

Park permits, business license, permit to walk more than 5 dogs at a time, and other legal requirements should all be in place before you open shop.

Note that permits and license requirements vary between states.

Insurance is also a must, since it will protect you against future liabilities.

It’s wise to talk to an insurance provider, since general insurance won’t cover everything your business provides. For example, if you’re planning to add dog grooming to your services, you’d need a specific type of insurance as well.

4. Find the right software or build an app

Even if you only have a handful of clients (at the top of your head), you should think big and plan ahead by choosing a scheduling software to keep things organized.

Some freelance dog walkers only use Google Calendar and Google Sheets for this, but you can choose a provider like Time to Pet (a dog-walking scheduler that costs $35/month) if you’re planning to scale up quickly.

If you have extra funds, you can invest in your own custom software or app, where your contractor dog walkers can log in, find assignments, and check their accounts. Consider a platform with invoicing feature for your customers as well.

5. Know legalities (employment laws, regulations, etc.)

Be up-to-date with local and state laws that could affect your business.

If you’re hiring people, check out employment laws. If you plan to groom dogs on top of animal boarding, see what limitations and rules you need to follow.

Learning the legalities and following rules as they chance will prevent any future problems you may face as a business owner.

6. Be Realistic

Compare pricing across your competition in the area you plan to serve.

This is important, since rates vary between cities and states.

Crunch the numbers and determine how much your business needs to earn. While you’re at it, you can also think about prices of your services.

It’s important that you don’t go overboard.

You may get excited and include dog training with your services, but your finances cannot handle hiring a certified dog trainer.

7. Market Your Business

Promote your business everywhere. Print flyers, fill-up online ads (go for free first, then check out paid ads later).

Ask your favorite vet if you can place a poster or leave calling cards there. Stick posters at community centers, your church and other commercial areas nearby.

At the end of the day, word of mouth still is the most effective way of promoting your business, so once you get a client, provide the best service you can give.

Referrals will work to your advantage.

Is Becoming a Dog Walker For You?

Dog-walking gives you plenty of exercise, a chance to go outdoors for at least a few minutes a day, and is simply a fun activity to do!

For others, being a dog walker may even be therapeutic.

I hope this post helped you make an informed decision on whether to be a dog walker and which approach to make.

See our other posts to learn other ways to get paid to walk.

Or, if you eventually plan to open a business that lets you spend more time with dogs, see our article on how to open a doggy daycare business from home.

Does becoming a dog walker sound appealing to you? Did we miss any other dog walking apps? Sound out in the comments!

11 Ways You Can Get Paid to Do Nothing

Isn’t it the ultimate dream to get paid to do nothing?

I mean, sure, we’ve all heard that you have to work hard to earn an income and getting paid to do little more than breathe might seem like a far-fetched idea.

It certainly is if you’re hoping to make millions (unless you’re extremely lucky or some sort of investor) but there are exceptions to the rule.

I’ve scoured online sources for legitimate ways to make some quick side cash from doing things that don’t take a lot of effort.

My searches have lead me down some pretty weird paths.

But for the most part, I’ve come across amazing, if unusual, opportunities that pay enough to help someone make ends meet or buy that new thing they’ve been saving up for.

Here’s a compilation of all of the coolest jobs I’ve found that will let you make money by doing (practically) nothing. I’ve broken them down into categories, so you can quickly find something that fits your needs and lifestyle.

11 Ways to Get Paid to Do Nothing

The internet has made it possible for lots of interesting new industries to pop up.

Some still require hard work, but others are so simple that you wouldn’t believe anyone can get paid to participate.

But they can and do.

The simplicity doesn’t overshadow the brilliance of it all, however. Because there are currently close to 4.66 billion active internet users.

That’s a big pool of people who can help a company in various ways if they know how to use them. And that’s exactly what companies did.

Check out some of the ways you can make money by simply using your phone:

1. Download Apps

If there’s one thing that’s easy to do, it’s downloading apps. And making money by doing almost nothing doesn’t come easier than this.

We use our phones almost every hour of every day anyway (well I do at least), and most of the time, there’s almost no effort involved in making some extra side cash by just clicking a button.

So I set out to find some companies that will pay people to download their apps.

Sounds too easy, right?

But I always make sure to look into whether these apps are trustworthy and if they really pay.

Some of the things I found:

If you’re keen on getting paid for doing absolutely nothing, then download and install Nielsen’s app right now.

They’re a consumer research agency and they will pay you $50 per year for simply downloading the app.

That isn’t your only option, however. There are plenty of ways to make money by using your phone.

In this article, I explain the example above in more detail and list more apps that let you make money by doing nothing.

2. Send Texts

Texting has taken over the world. I mean, who makes a phone call these days, right?

If you love chatting over the phone then making money with it will almost be like second nature.

And I’ve got you covered here too.

Most people think that getting paid to text means they will have to resort to flirty texts and talking dirty to strangers. That’s definitely one way, and if you have no qualms about sending naughty texts to strangers then you can earn a decent income from it.

But as I explain in my easy ways to make money by texting article, there are other great options out there that won’t make you feel uncomfortable.

Along the same lines, sign up with these three reputable companies to start making money immediately.

They’ll notify you when new questions are available and you simply type in your answers.

You don’t even have to get off your couch.

3. Unlock your phone

Yes, even unlocking your phone can earn you some cash.

You may not notice it because you’re not counting, but the average smartphone user unlocks their phone around 150 times a day.

So it’s not surprising that brands want access to your screen and show you ads, some of which can even be linked to a website or whatever they want you to see.

Lockscreen apps know this and connect advertisers with your phone; they get paid by advertisers and give you some of the profits in return for allowing them to access your lockscreen.

It’s a few cents a day, but they quickly add up, and it’s possible to get up to $40 a year for simply unlocking your phone.

Some of the apps that have a history of paying out include S’more, Slidejoy, and ScreenLift.

4. Connect to the internet

Who knew simply connecting to the internet can earn you money?

If you have an unlimited data plan, or have plenty of data that you don’t use, Honeygain will pay you for your unused data.

The Honeygain app shares your internet securely without access to your personal data. They’re not mining cryptocurrency; they use your internet connection to run various search queries that their clients are interested in.

For instance, they run queries on Google and other search engines to help them with search engine optimization.

To start earning, simply install their app on your devices, connect your devices to the internet, and go about your life.

And when you don’t want to share your internet connection anymore, delete your account and the application from your devices.

If you have a good internet connection and you’re comfortable with letting some else use it, downloading Honeygain allows you to get paid to do virtually nothing.

We’ve all got to live somewhere, and we all have to sleep. But what if you could get paid to do exactly that?

It might seem crazy, but people are actually getting paid to simply do what they’re already doing.

Over the past year, I’ve scoured the internet and published multiple articles explaining how to make money by doing things like walking, reading, and sleeping.

Here they are, broken down for you so you can get started on making some extra cash just by living the way you do.

5. Watch People’s Houses

There’s a big market for house sitters right now, and plenty of opportunities all over the world for the right type of person.

People who own multiple properties or those who go on vacation a lot usually feel much better having someone take care of their empty house while they’re away.

Just take a look at some of the ways you can get a gig as a house sitter.

I also explain a bit about the industry and how to land your first house-sitting job.

6. Walk Around and Earn Money

Okay, this one has you actually getting up and moving, but come on, this is as easy as it gets.

Staying fit and getting paid for it?

What dream is this? Well it is real, and I’ve tested some of the best walking and fitness apps that pay, and they really do pay out in either cash or gift cards.

Here’s the whole list.

You won’t be getting rich, but it’s still an extra buck in your pocket that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.

7. Earn Cash While You Sleep

Personally, I’d love to get a little bit more sleep.

But who wouldn’t?

Well, luckily, there is a way and I tried to find out as much as I could about it.

Check out what I found if you’re really in need of more sleep and keen to find a way to get paid to do literally nothing.

But do note that it isn’t a very big field.

So getting into a paid study to test your sleeping patterns might take some time or it might not happen at all.

But one can dream, right?

8. Get Paid to Listen to Music or Watch TV

Where would the world be without entertainment?

The average person spends at least a couple of hours a day either listening to music, or watching TV, or both.

And if you’re addicted to binging television shows or can listen to songs for hours on end, then this is perfect for you.

I’ve looked into some of the best money-making opportunities out there for both music and television.

The best part of all?

You really do get paid for doing practically nothing.

9. Stand in Line

People will fall in line for something really important to them.

Think of the first showing in a local theater of a popular movie, such as one of the Star Wars movies. Or the release of a long-awaited video game, the latest iPhone, or the latest Air Jordans.

Or the main shopping event of the year: Black Friday.

But the waiting can be a hassle. It can be cold. And dark. And the pavement can be hard.

So why not pay someone else to fall in line?

Here’s where you come in.

Thanks to websites like the New York-based Same Ole Line Dudes and Los Angeles-based LineAngel, or apps like TaskRabbit and InLine4You, you can get paid to stand in line.

You can either meet the one who hired you when you’re almost at the front of the line, or you can charge them extra for the cost of the item and even delivery if you’re falling in line to buy something.

The pay rate is usually per hour, and you can charge more or less depending on how long you’re estimated to wait, time of day, weather conditions, and other relevant conditions.

Same Ole Line Dudes, for example, charges a minimum of $45 for up to two hours, after which it’s $10 per half hour. However, it’s unclear how much of this goes to the actual people who stay in line.

10. Read

I know what it’s like to just get lost in a book for days on end. Escaping reality is wonderful, but unfortunately, it’s always there, waiting for you to get back.

Well, now you can feel a little less guilty about avoiding reality by earning some money while you do it.

These tips will help you start earning money from sitting back and relaxing with a book.

11. Work Now and Keep Getting Paid for it Down the Line

All of the things above are great if you have some time here and there to make a bit of extra money. But what if you want to work today and keep earning money for it months from now? Well, I’ve got you covered in that department too.

Take a look at some of the best ways to earn a passive income. These are foolproof methods, tested by me and others.

How to Get Free Stuff

While the options below won’t really get you paid, you can get a whole lot of free stuff sent right to your doorstep, if you know where to look, at least.

I’ve tried to find as many ways to get freebies as I could, and divided them into these categories:

Getting Paid to Do Nothing Has Never Been Easier

If you want to get paid to do nothing just know that isn’t some far-fetched dream if you know how to do it. Most of the things listed above won’t pay enough for you to live off of, but they’re great as a side hustle to get some extra income.

If you’re still looking for even more ways to make extra money, then have a look at these easy ways to earn money from your phone, or this massive list of different side hustles.

Are you ready to get paid to do nothing? Which one of these hustles are you going to try first? Tell us in the comments below!