Life

Mystery Shopping As A Side Hustle

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There are many times in life when a little extra spending money is needed. Personal purchases, business expenses or just opening a savings account are many ways to use that extra cash, however, it can often be hard to find ways of making it.

One of the easiest ways to add a side hustle to your life, no matter how busy it might already be, is by becoming a mystery shopper. Yes, you are probably quite skeptical, and you should be! There are lots of scammers out there just waiting to take advantage of anyone who wants to make a few easy extra dollars.

So we’ll start by saying this: if you are ever asked to pay a membership fee, or any other type of fee for that matter, you are dealing with a scammer. No legitimate mystery shop company will ever ask you to pay anything.

Mystery shops are carried out by people just like you, who work to make sure that companies are carrying on with day-to-day business as they should be. The companies that hire you to do so are very serious about good field agents and their vetting processes are all a little different.

Some mystery shops can be done from the comfort of your own home, by submitting emails or website queries and you can even mystery shop some businesses by phone. Others require you to actually visit an establishment in person, but who doesn’t like to shop?

A lot of companies will pay you a certain amount for conducting the shop plus an extra amount, agreed upon before the shop is done, for reimbursement of products they have asked you to purchase.

If you’re wondering how much money you can make doing this, well, that’s completely up to you. The more shops you accept, of course, the more money you will make. You are completely in control of your schedule with this side hustle!

If you would like to start your search for reputable companies to work for as a mystery shopper, you can start that search here.

Good luck!

Socialize the Frugal Way to Spare Your Wallet Sorrow

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Do you have some financial goals but dread that feeling of “keeping up” with your friends as they seem to always choose the most expensive outing possible? Do you love to hang out with them but hate how your debit card balance looks after a day at an amusement park or a night out downtown at the hottest clubs? Well, dread no more! Freshen up your social life and give your wallet a break by taking an initiative to suggest one of these four frugal hangout alternatives.

1. Game Night

pexels-photo-84663.jpegNothing packs fun and saving money into one package like hosting a game night. Invite friends over after dinner so all you will need to provide are a few tasty beverages and snacks, which costs far less than a night out in the town. You can spend hours with your favorite board or card games and don’t have to worry about Ubering your way home at a certain hour.

2. Potluck Food Contest

A great way to get everyone together for a meal without breaking the bank is to take a fresh spin to the potluck. By putting a competition aspect to the event, your friends will show off their edible contributions. Everyone, in turn, spends a fun evening together by spending very little, yet everyone gets to eat like a king.

3. Happy Hour Finder

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Saving money by socializing at home is fun, but getting out once in a while is still in order. The good news is that many restaurants have happy hours during the weekdays and late at night that save you money! These deals also pertain to appetizers and meals. Handy apps like Happy Hour Finder, the very app that Cosmopolitan magazine praised, connects you with all the best food and drink deals in your area. Going out doesn’t have to break the bank when you go at the right times.

4. Look Online for Free or Cheap Events

Your community hosts very cost-effective events if you keep your eyes peeled. Just take a quick trip to your city’s website. They usually have a calendar of events that are open to the public. You will be surprised to see how many free things are out there! Also, websites like Livingsocial and Groupon offer amazing deals for tickets and services. You can save up to 70% and beyond if you buy tickets in pairs which get you in the gates of a renaissance faire or in on a paint and sip night for a fraction of the original cost.

You don’t need to always dress up and go to a fancy restaurant to have a good time with friends. By replacing one of your outings with one of these frugal options, socializing will be friendlier on your finances.

Money Saving: It’s Easier Than You Might Think


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If you try to save money, it seems like something always happens like the car breaks down, the dog has a medical emergency, you have to make home repairs. Unexpected expenses have a way of greedily eating money we manage to save. There are ways to save money that you may not have considered.

First, open a bank account and have a small portion your paycheck direct deposited into it each week. Use a bank that you do not have easy access to withdrawing the funds. Granted you will still know that money is there, but you won’t be tempted to spend it on a nonessential purchase.
Second, use a website like mypoints, memolink, or swagbucks to gain points for searches, watching videos, shopping and surveys. The key here is that when you have earned enough points to get a gift card, choose a store which sells food, or other items you need. Then take the same amount of money and put it away. Use the gift card to maintain your usual shopping habits. Keep the money you saved in a safe place or account. Over time you will have a bunch of money saved and it is money you never had to part with in the first place.

Third, look for sales and use coupons. But again, figure out how much money you actually saved, and put it with the other money gained from earning gift cards online. Do not leave loose change or money in your pockets and wallet. If it is too easy to access, you will spend it without thinking. Put it in a safe place and only take what you actually need.

You will be able to put some money aside using this advice. Once you have thousands of dollars saved, visit your local bank and find out about Certificates of Deposit (CD) and other savings options. CD’s are great because you can’t touch your savings for a certain period of time without penalty, so you will hold on to your money. Good luck.

Unexpected Rewards Programs the Reward Things You Already Buy

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When it comes to saving money, reward programs are an excellent way to do so. However, many people tend to over think what rewards programs they should choose. Instead of choosing a program for activities you do sparingly, you will get the most benefit for activities you do every week or even every day. These can often be unexpected, but there are a lot of reward programs out there.

Papa John’s

Let’s be real here, you probably order pizza more than you realize. It is fast, easy, and delicious while cooking for yourself is difficult and often less rewarding. Fortunately for you and your functioning pizza addiction, one of the best rewards programs out there is Papa John’s. Each order nets you points depending on what you order and what you spend. Those points add up surprisingly quickly towards what we all desire – free pizza.

Walgreens

With your health insurance as expensive as it probably is, medicine is one area you don’t expect to save on. However, if you frequently need to go to CVS or Walgreens to get your prescriptions filled, you can save. Walgreens actually beats out CVS in terms of rewards programs since it allows you to accrue points and then put those points toward hefty discounts on your purchases.

AMC

This rewards program probably depends how much you actually go out to the movies. For some people, they go on a date near every week while others only go out maybe once a year. However, if your city is overrun with AMC-owned theaters, as most cities are, you can actually get some great discounts with their rewards programs. From discounts on snacks to free movie tickets, you can accrue them all with the AMC Stubs programs. However, in return for the flat discount rates it also give, you have to pay a yearly fee of $12.

Side Hustles That Require Very Little Effort

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If you want to get into the side hustle game to start earning a little extra cash, you don’t want it to eat up every second of your free time. There is nothing worse than realizing that all your after work time has suddenly become even more work time. However, while a lot of side hustles can expand into some long hours, there are a few that require minimal effort on your part.

Dog Walking

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Dog walking is actually a great way to multitask if you want to hit the gym, but also want to make some money. It is a super easy business to break into, especially if you live in the bigger city where not everyone can get home to take their dogs out. Providing the dogs get along alright, you can even walk them in larger packs which can save you on time while still making you a good deal of extra cash.

Be a Notary

While it takes a small initial investment to become a certified notary, it is as easy of a side hustle as you can get. You get to charge your own fees and you can run your notary services however you’d like. You can charge more if you are the type of notary that will actually go to the person, but with cheaper prices, plenty of people will still pay to come to you.

Proofreading

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Unlike blogging or ghostwriting, your time won’t get completely sucked up with proofreading. You can easily fall down the rabbit hole with actually writing for money, but if you are an avid reader with a decent grasp on the English language, less sure writers will pay you for it. Some writers don’t even care about proper grammar, they just want you to make sure it sounds good and is easy to understand.

Flexible Side Hustle as a Transcriber

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We’ve all heard the popular saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This cliché rings true in many aspects of our lives and for some reason tends to be what we think when it comes to earning our income.

How many different ways of making money do you have? In most cases a person’s 9 to 5 is about all they can vouch for. This is why finding different niches that adhere to your skills is crucial in growing your side hustle business. One of the many jobs that freelancers have taken up from home is in the field of transcribing. This on its own can easily make you $20 – $60 a day in your spare time.

While there are several writing jobs on the internet transcribing has gained some traction over the years as a go-to option for anyone looking to make extra money on the side. There are currently several website that offer online job applications to see if you qualify on the spot. These websites give you some tests and typically send an email out within a day or two to inform you on whether or not you’ve been hired to transcribe for them.

Transcribing for beginners may or may not prove to be difficult for some. There are a number of variables that can affect how much you earn. Each job, assuming you’re getting transcribing gigs from a company, will require you to implement their practices for transcribing to their clients. Your typing speed is another big part that will depict how quickly you get jobs done. With an average typing speed of 50 wpm you should be able to complete roughly 15 minutes of clean audio within an hours time. However, once you’ve gotten the hang of it your speed will increase and you’ll be able to pull some freelancing work for more money. Some popular sites to get started with for work on transcribing are Rev.com, Scribie.com, as well as Transcribe.com just to name a few.

Once you’ve established a few independent freelancing jobs consistently, this can easily be added as an increase in your financial savings. This in no way should be seen as a get rich quick scheme, but when climbing to the top it’s good to have some skills that you potentially can develop in order to take on new lanes in your financial future.

Reward Yourself With These 3 Unique Shopping Apps!

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Did you know that you no longer have to rely just on the rewards programs linked to grocery store loyalty cards and points accrued through using a store-specific credit card? There’s a handful of ways that thrifty shoppers can save money and earn cash back just by continuing to buy the same things they do anytime they hit the store. The biggest problem with these rewards programs is that many people don’t know that they exist, and if they do, where to find them so they can benefit from using them.

Here are three great rewards programs that you can start using to save money and earn cash back today!

1. Ibotta

Ibotta (use my referral link)is a super cool app that you can download to your mobile device for cash back rewards on almost anything. Once you sign up and set your location, the app will search all the stores within a pre-determined radius for all cash back opportunities. You then search for items by keyword or store and begin unlocking your deals. When you’re done shopping, you go back to the app to verify your deals by scanning the barcodes of your purchases and uploading a photo of your receipt. The cash you receive appears in your account within 24 hours, and once you hit $20 in cash back, you can request payment via PayPal. The rewards add up quickly, especially if you’re shopping for a family.

2. Checkout 51

Checkout 51 is another awesome cash back app that you can download to your mobile device. The idea is much the same as Ibotta in that you browse the cash back offers, save the ones you plan to use, buy those products from any store, then upload a photo of your receipt to redeem the cash back. After your account reaches $20 in savings, you can request payment.

3. Shopkick

Shopkick is a little different, but just as nifty in that you earn points (they call them “kicks”) just for walking through the doors of a store. Items featured in the app can be scanned to earn even more kicks. Make purchases with a card that you link with the app to earn yet even more kicks, and see just how quickly it racks up! It’s ridiculously easy to collect kicks, and you can redeem them for gift cards for just about all your favorite stores.

One of the greatest things about these apps is that they don’t cancel each other out. You can use each one simultaneously to earn all sorts of cash back, and they can be used on top of any coupons you choose to clip, as well as in-store sales. So, why not use ’em all? Reward yourself instead of kicking yourself next time you go shopping by giving these sweet apps a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose but great savings!

How to not get a hangover and what to do if you have one

Drinking alcohol has its benefits and drawbacks. Among the drawback is getting a hangover the morning after. Hangovers are the unpleasant after-math of alcohol intoxication. They come knocking hard when alcohol might have let the body, and so are defined by various horrific symptoms such as headache, dizziness, tiredness, thirst, nausea as well as a lack of appetite. The seriousness of hangovers differs between people, but most folks concur they are not exceptionally pleasant.

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Unsurprisingly, different types of “hangover cures” exist, a few of which are proclaimed to be effective. The proofs behind them are however not sufficient, and most have not even been examined. But, there really are several strategies that have revealed some potential.

Here are 3 proof-based methods of preventing hangovers, or, at least, make them less severe.

1. Drink in Moderation, or Not at All
The seriousness of hangovers increases with respect to the quantity of booze consumed. That is why the most effective way to avoid hangovers would be to drink in moderation (or to abstain totally). The quantity of alcohol needed to cause a hangover differs between folks. Most folks only need 1 or 2 drinks, while some need considerably more. About 23% of individuals tend not to get hangover, no matter the quantity of booze they consume.

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However, moderation isn’t necessarily a viable alternative. Many folks love drinking and, therefore, are ready to consume booze despite understanding they could regret it the morning after. Bottom Line: The intensity of hangovers is associated with the quantity of booze consumed. Drinking in moderation, or not at all, is the one easiest method to prevent a hangover.

2. Prevent Drink with Congeners – Hazardous By-Products of Booze Production
Ethanol is the primary active ingredient in alcoholic drinks. When ethanol (simply known as booze in this post) is made by sugar-fermenting yeasts, by-products called congeners are formed at the same time. Congeners are hazardous substances formed in little quantities when alcohol is produced. Common congeners are isopentanol, acetone, and methanol. Alcoholic drinks with high levels of congeners seem to raise intensity as well as the frequency of hangovers, compared to drinks that have low quantity. Examples of drinks full of congeners are tequila, cognac, and whiskey.

However, colorless drinks like gin, vodka, and rum, are composed of low quantities of congeners. And virtually no congeners are contained in vodka in any way. Several types of research have compared the consequences of whiskey (high in congeners) and vodka (low in congeners). Both the intensity as well as frequency of hangovers was discovered to be greater in whiskey. Two studies have found a common congener, methanol, to be highly related to hangover symptoms.

Bottom Line: The seriousness of hangovers could be significantly reduced by drinking clear drinks (low in congeners), such as vodka, gin or rum.

3. Drink a Lot of Water

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Alcohol is a diuretic, getting you to pee more than when you drink an equivalent quantity of pure water. That is why alcohol can cause dehydration. It could lead to symptoms like fatigue, headache, thirst, and dry mouth although dehydration isn’t regarded as the main cause for hangovers. Luckily, dehydration is quite easy to prevent. Only ensure that you drink enough water. An excellent rule would be to drink a glass of water (or another non-alcoholic drink) between booze, and also to drink a minimum of one large glass of water before sleeping.

Bottom Line: Drinking a lot of water can reduce a few of the primary symptoms of hangovers, including headache and thirst.