May Debt Repayment Update

May Debt Repayment Update

May is over a third of the way done (already?) and so I may be a little late for our May Debt Repayment Update, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! We got some great amounts of debt paid off, earned a bit of extra cash, and are well on our way to knocking out the Big9! Read on to hear about it!

May Debt Repayment Update- www.diyjahn.com

For those who know our journey, feel free to skip ahead. For those who are new, here’s a little introduction.

So, here’s what’s going on. We plan to give these updates on a monthly basis (at the beginning of each month). You can see past months updates by clicking on our “Frugal Living” tab – or by clicking HERE.

I’m sure you’re wondering how we got to where we are. Well, we began our journey around the middle of September 2015 when my wife and I got married and decided to calculate our combined debt. That being said, we had been making payments for almost a year by this point, so we must have been much higher beforehand. Regardless, when we began religiously calculating our numbers in September, we came to the conclusion that we have $196,021.8 in debt: which is terrifying.

If you want to read more about how we racked up so much debt, you can read about it in our post here (click here).

TIt was time to pay it off and be debt free. Unfortunately, that sort of decision doesn’t come easy – and the results surely don’t come fast. We are working our way to debt freedom and hope to achieve our goals by January 1, 2019. Stay tuned as we update our progress, how we are getting there, and more by visiting regularly or signing up for our e-newsletter – here!



May Debt Repayment Update

Last month, during our April Debt Repayment Update, we told you how we paid off a WHOPPING $6,073.9. How? Well, you can go back and check that out if you’re interested. Now, the month of April may not have led to quite as high of a debt repayment, but it definitely got us some extra money to put toward debt.

Let’s see where we are for May!

Where are we at with our debt for April?

As you know, we are working on reaching our big, scary goal of paying off $50,000 in 2016. Well, I can honestly say that for a while, I wasn’t sure how possible it was going to be – I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself. To be honest, I’ve been pretty discouraged in general, lately.

However, as of this update we have officially reached the halfway mark for our debt repayment goal – over a month early! Can you believe it?

So, let’s look at the numbers for the May Debt Repayment Update:

  • $40 – this is a minimum payment to a smaller student debt which brought that debt down to $2,352.82.
  • $467.92 – this is a minimum payment for my wife’s federal debt which brought that debt down to 67,747.11.
  • $139.04 – this is a minimum payment for our car which brought that debt down to $4,641.33.
  • $2,910.61 – this is an extra payment we put toward our high interest loan (affectionately titled Big9). We brought Big9 down to $15,299.36!

In total, we paid off $3,557.57 in debt in April- which is pretty great considering we also took a family trip up to Minneapolis to visit my parents. We went to Ikea and the Mall of America and barely spent anything! We shared a hotel room for $100 (for the whole weekend), so our biggest expense was food. Not so bad!

What does this bring us to in total for debt repayment? We have officially paid off a total of $25,898.92 in 2016 AND $36,239.78 since October. Woohoo!

Where does your income come from?

I decided to add this segment in November after reading a few income reports from other bloggers. I don’t want this to sound like bragging, but rather to help you to see that it is possible to pay back your debt on a low income (we’re doing it). You can also see that it’s possible to make money on the side (we’re doing that, too). I hope that this helps you on your journey to debt freedom.

Here’s our income breakdown for the month of April:

  • $1,600 – roughly, this is my take home pay. My pay also includes our housing and utilities (since we don’t pay for those), but this is the actual cash-in-pocket amount after taxes. We use my income for all bills, minimum payments, and necessities (groceries, gas, etc.).
  • $1,800 – roughly, this is my wife’s take home pay after taxes and insurance costs.  We use her income as entirely supplemental – meaning that unless something happens, all of her income goes as extra payments toward debt.
  • $321.62 – This is my blogging income for the month. This isn’t too bad for it being so close to summer! Though, I do expect that this will dramatically decrease as the summer gets closer and as we get busier, but I hope to boost it back up in late August / early September!

Total Income for March: $3,721.62

What is in our accounts?

 

Remember in the past how we were talking about our “New Family Fund” and how we wanted to make sure we had money to start a family when we were ready? Well, that was all well and good, but we recently discovered that our flex-spending account can help us with a lot of the needs in this area and while we know that having a family is expensive, we also realize that compound interest is expensive….

On that note, we have decided to drain our “New Family Fund” for the time being and put all of our money toward paying down debt first and foremost. It’s been a hard decision because we want to start a family while we are younger, but our debt is a mess that we simply won’t be getting out of any time soon and we certainly can’t bring a baby into that…

While we don’t like the decision, it’s necessary as we work to pay off some of these higher interest debts. Perhaps we’ll go back to paying into that when our Big9 and car loan are both paid off, but for now, we are going to keep our emergency fund at $1,000 and stick with that.

Anyway, here are what the accounts look like for our May Debt Repayment Update:

  • $1,000 – Emergency fund. Our goal is to keep this right where it’s at. This is split up into two accounts. One is easy to access through our bank and has about $300 in it, the other is through CapitalOne360. They gave us a free bonus for starting and the interest rate is higher than any others around us! Plus, no fees. Why not get free money? If you use this link, we both get a little bonus for opening an account: https://r.capitalone360.com/yd7NFLaMQu How great is that?

Total Assets for our May Debt Repayment Update: $1,000

May Debt Repayment Update

Looking Ahead

Where do we hope to be, looking forward, after the May Debt Repayment Update?

Well, at this point I simply hope to make it through the summer. Our summer is crazy with me working as a Program Director at a summer camp and my wife helping with catering when she can. I work 14-18 hour days and struggle to find time to sleep, so hopefully it won’t be too insane.

On the plus side, at least we won’t have to spend much money on food as we’ll be eating here at camp most times! That should mean a little extra cash can head right into our debt repayment. We also don’t have any time to travel, so gas money should go down too. Yay for extra funds!

Goal Update

As you all know, we set a huge, big, scary goal of paying off $50,000 in debt in 2016. YIKES! I know it sounds crazy, but we think we can do it. So, we’ll be updating you on that goal each month during our debt repayment updates so that you can watch the progress.

Click HERE to read more about the goal: Financial Goals for 2016

GOAL: $50,000

Total Paid off in 2016: $25,898.92

Left to reach Goal: $24,101.08

We are over halfway there and it’s only been four full months! It’s crazy how well this challenge has been going and I can’t WAIT to see how close we get to reaching our goal. It’s going to be hard, but I know that we can do it! We will need to side hustle like crazy, sell stuff, and work our butts off to make this happen… but at the end of 2016, I know that it will all be worth it. We’ll be $50,000 less in debt and well on our way to debt freedom. Here goes nothing!

Thanks for reading our May Debt Repayment Update!

If you have any comments, let us know! We love to hear.

Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through Fronto, Ibotta, and other companies, and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

Earn Big Bucks by Searching w/ Swagbucks – MMO Series

Earn Big Bucks by Searching w/ Swagbucks

I like big bucks and I cannot lie, you other brotha… Okay, okay, I’ll stop. Anyway, I found us yet another resource to earn some quick money online. Isn’t that what we are all looking for? This site is called Swagbucks. Now, before you write it off thinking “I’ve heard you can’t make anything with that,” hear me out. It’s worthwhile, I promise.

 

Here’s today’s post for our Make Money Online Series.

Swagbucks - Make Money Online Series - www.diyjahn.com

If this is your first time viewing our Make Money Online Series, please read this section.
-if not, feel free to skip ahead!-

The Make Money Online Series is a compilation of blog posts and guest posts discussing how it is possible to make extra cash online. When I first started my journey to pay off my debt fast and become debt free, I searched every possible nook and cranny to find options to earn extra money – in fact, I’m still looking! I scavenged the internet searching for options and signing up for everything that I possibly could.

Of course, this led to a bunch of spam and horrible programs that lie and do not actually help to make money online at all. SO, I’ve developed this series to help debunk those programs so that those of you who are in need of some extra cash, whether it’s because you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck, want to pay off your debt fast, or want to find a way to support your family as a stay at home mom, won’t struggle to find tried and true methods to earn money online.

We’ll cover topics ranging from freelancing to blogging to direct sales to micro jobs, etc. and posts will be made every other day – so keep checking back for more or sign up for our weekly newsletter! For a compilation of all topics that have already been posted, click here (HERE).

If you have a topic that you would like us to cover, or a topic you would like to guest post on, let us know in the comments below! Thank you!

Earn Big Bucks by Searching w/ Swagbucks

Swagbucks initially caught my eye a few months ago when I was searching for some legitimate side hustles to earn some extra cash. Of course, around that time, I was signing up for every big “get rich quick” scheme in the books and was filling my emails full of spam quicker than I could put a lid on it.

When I signed up for Swagbucks, I got their email along with ten or twenty other spam companies. I pressed the “check all” box and did a bulk delete.

Done.

Email Cleared.

A couple of weeks ago I came across it again on one of my favorite bloggers sites and thought “maybe this is worth a shot.”

So, here’s where we have come since then.

how to save money on groceries

How to Earn Big Swagbucks

The first question I always hear about Swagbucks is “why does it have to take so long to earn money?” Followed by a groan of “it’s not worth the time…” And while I agree on some level, I also realize that free money is free money and I’m more than willing to snatch that up – even if other people aren’t.

Now, if you think about Swagbucks as a survey company where you can go and take a bunch of surveys and get paid, it’s not worth your time. Let me reiterate that: taking surveys on Swagbucks is a humongous waste of time.

Thankfully, though, that’s not the only way you can get a few bucks here and there.

The other thing to remember is that Swagbucks is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes patience. They’re paying you so that they can survey you for market research. They aren’t paying you to get you out of debt (though that’s probably why you’re doing it). They could care less about your hourly wage because they know you’ll do it anyway.

That’s why you need to be prepared to be patient in your earnings with Swagbucks. If you do it right, it can be worth all the time in the world.

1.) Sign Up for an Account:

Use this link to sign up and join my team! If for some reason that doesn’t work as a clickable link, use the following and paste it into your browser: http://www.swagbucks.com/p/register?rb=17826248

Now, this is an affiliate link which means that I get a little bit of a bonus when you sign up. This doesn’t change anything on your end, but it helps me to reach my debt free goals and to pay for this blog which you are reading. You also should get a bonus for signing up, so that’s a plus!

2.) Take the Welcome Survey and Set Up Your Profile

Spend a few minutes setting up your profile, going through the tutorial, and taking the Welcome Survey. This should get you a few points right off the bat and help you to get closer to a cash out!

3.) Download the Browser Extension and App

I use Google Chrome, so I won’t speak for other browsers, but as for the Chrome version, the browser extension is an awesome addition. I also set Swagbucks as my primary search engine which means that I get points when I search for stuff that I normally would have searched Google for. Can we say win-win?

Now, there’s also an App you can download and that can help if you use your phone for a lot of your internet usage or searching. The more points, the more money!

4.) Make Some Big Bucks!

Finally, it’s time to make some BIG BUCKS and it’s definitely possible, though be sure you’re patient. I know a friend who makes $50 a day on Swagbucks with some of these simple tips, but make sure you set your goals lower to start and work up to that.

Remember, surveys aren’t worth your time. But what is? Well, first of all, make sure that you’re using Swagbucks for all of your searches. You’ll rack up a decent amount from simple searches in your every day life that don’t add any time to your day (that you wouldn’t normally spend).

My favorite tip, though, is to have videos playing in the background of your working environment or on your phone. You see, with Swagbucks, you can get paid to watch videos. Though, they are kind of boring… Anyway, you don’t actually have to pay attention to get paid (how brilliant is that?)

So, turn them on and then go about your day – checking every once in a while to ensure they’re still playing. You’ll rack up a ton of points and soon be cashing out with some big bucks!

Thank you for sticking around for our Make Money Online Series post.

If you have topics you would like to contribute or would like us to cover on how making extra cash is possible during our Make Money Online Series, please let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through companies and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

Start a Side Hustle TODAY to be Debt Free Later

Start a Side Hustle TODAY to be Debt Free Later

“Are you feeling stuck under the weight of mountains of debt? So was I.” Until I made the decision to start a side hustle. Believe me, this choice changed my life, and it can change yours, too. My blogging career has only begun, but it has already helped me exponentially on my journey to become debt free. Blogging isn’t the only side hustle you can get though – I have a ton of ideas that will help you use skills you already have to make some extra money.

Start a Side Hustle - www.diyjahn.com

 

I’m going to share with you all about how you can start a side hustle and begin earning some extra cash to get you out of debt – or to simply save some money. Before we start, though, I want to tell you about someone I met. I had the opportunity to get in touch with an incredible blogger named Tessa, who writes over at Bella Creative.

Tessa asked if I wanted to share my message about the decision to start a side hustle with a larger audience and as we know, I’m all about helping others to get out of debt. I jumped on the idea and was able to get a blog post ready to be posted to her site. The blog post is (SURPRISE) called: Start a Side Hustle Today to be Debt Free Later

But I couldn’t very well leave you all out of the loop. So, today I’m sharing my guest post with you so that you can have the opportunity to learn from it as well! I hope that it benefits you in your journey and I would love, love, LOVE it if you would be willing to visit Bella Creative and share the love by commenting.

You can find the post by clicking HERE or by using this link: http://www.bellacreative.co/blog/start-a-side-hustle-to-be-debt-free

Don’t forget! If you want to learn some awesome new ways that YOU can make money online, visit our Make Money Online series by clicking HERE. Side hustles don’t have to be impossible to find, I’ve centralized them to make your life easier! I’ve also checked to make sure they’re all legitimate so that YOU don’t have to.

Thanks for reading, guys!!

Saving Money on Groceries – How We Only Spent $200

Saving Money on Groceries

No matter how you slice it, in order to save money, you have to cut expenses. It’s the unfortunate truth of the world we live in. So many people have come to me exclaiming: “But there’s only so many things we can cut!” And for the most part, they have cut a lot from their expenses. They’re learning to live without shampoo, without cable, without the “luxuries” we normally allow ourselves. However, the area in which people struggle the most to save is when it comes to food. Saving money on groceries is HARD.

Why?

That’s pretty simple: food is an essential item. We need food to survive. We cannot simply cut food from our spending because it would be detrimental to our health.

It’s true. There isn’t a ton we can do to get rid of the expense. However, saving money on groceries is entirely possible and I’m about to tell you how my wife and I spend less than $200 per month for food. Here goes!

Saving Money on Groceries - www.diyjahn.com

Saving Money on Groceries

 There are many strategies to help with saving money on groceries, but I promise this won’t be a list of places to go cut coupons. Okay, I know that coupons could probably save me a ton of money. And I also understand that if you use them right, you can legitimately get free groceries.

The amount of time it takes to get the coupons, learn how to use them, and then drive around to multiple different stores is a turn-off for me though. I can’t help it. I’m sure that I will get to that point someday, where I’m not working a full-time (plus some) job and running my blog while still trying to work some side hustles to pay off debt. I’m sure I’ll get to the point where coupon cutting is worth the time for me.

That time simply isn’t now.

So, I’m here to say, for all you other busy, go-getters, for all you SAHMs / SAHDs, for all you entrepreneurs, for all you college kids, and for all you anybodies out there who simply don’t have the time to devote to coupon-cutting, there’s another way.

Last month, my wife and I spent less than $200 for groceries. This month? It should be the same – if not lower. How are we doing this? How do we feed ourselves, our dog, and buy housing supplies / cleaning supplies / hygiene products all for under $200?

It’s not that hard. Let’s break it down into three steps:

Saving Money on Groceries means Learning to Make it Yourself

One of the biggest things I notice when I am talking to people about budgets is that they complain that everything is simply too expensive. While I agree that inflation has sky-rocketed the prices of everything we purchase (it’s really hard to say no to that one, right?), I also think that people are paying for convenience more than they like to admit.

A friend of mine came to me and asked how I spent so little on food for the month. I responded with by explaining the three steps in this blog – I live without, I plan ahead, and I learn to make things myself. That’s when I was met with the response that makes me chuckle every time:

“Well, you still buy the basic essentials right? Bread, pasta, veggies, meat, milk…”

The list goes on, but you get the point. Without fail the items “bread,” “pasta,” and “milk” are always on this list. Why? Because our culture has become overwhelmed with convenience. We have been led to believe that convenience is a staple.

I do buy the “staples” but these are very different on my end than on yours. My staples include yeast and flour for bread and pasta, a box of dry milk which is priced astronomically cheaper than the refrigerated milk, and baking soda and vinegar to cover all of my cleaning supplies and hygiene products (for the most part). Basically, I’ve learned to make it myself and it has made all the difference.

Still not sure? Check out these posts for cost analysis and how-to:

Making Homemade Bread can Save You TONS $$

Homemade Pasta can Help You to Save $100 at the Store

Homemade Cleaning Products for a Cleaner Home (& Essential Oil Usage)

Why We Took the No Poo Challenge (& Homemade Shampoo / Conditioner)

Saving Money on Groceries means Living Without

The next thing people say when they ask about saving money on groceries is: “What about treating yourself?” Then they’ll go on to tell me about how they work such-and-such long, hard hours a week for their money and they deserve to eat this expensive food.

Which brings me to one of the most complicated points I strive to make: It is difficult for us, as humans living within this day and age, to live within our means. 

Why? Well, I could talk about that for another whole blog post, but I won’t. If you want to hear some of my why, I talk about it in another blog post HERE about How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt for GOOD.

So, whether you deserve to eat fancy, expensive food all the time isn’t really the question anymore. Now it’s about whether you should treat yourself once in a while. Well, here’s my thoughts on this: I want steak. I love steak. Steak is on my top one lists of favorite foods that I can’t live without. In fact, meat in general is just one of my favorite things ever. Yet it’s expensive and I am in debt. So, what does this mean?

Simple: If we want to spend less on groceries and pay back our debt quicker, we have to give up some of our wants – even if that means having more meatless meals and eating steak less often.

Now, I want you to know that it’s okay to treat yourself once in a great while, but don’t go overboard and use your “fun” money to pay for it. Remember: if it’s not in your budget, it’s not worth it.

If you’re interested in more on this topic, visit this post on Huffington Post:

Should You Live in the Moment or Pay Back Debt?

Saving Money on Groceries means Learning to Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is the most essential way that I can tell you to start saving money on groceries. Keep track of the food you have in your home. Experiment with the food you already have at home and create meals you never imagined. When you run out, plan ahead before you buy more groceries.

Creating a meal plan means that you are more likely to stick to your budget for many reasons. First of all, you are less likely to eat out if you have a meal planned and ready to be made at home. Why? Because it’s easy. One of the top reasons that we grab fast food on the way home from work is convenience, right? We all know it doesn’t taste quite as good as home cooking, so that’s the main reason. So, if you have the food ready in a convenient way, you’re less likely to spend the money on fast food – even if that means doing some meal prepping over the weekend.

Second of all, if you plan your meals ahead and shop for those meals, you’re less likely to make grocery store trips. My wife and I go shopping once every two weeks and pick up the groceries we need for two weeks worth of menu planning and it works for us. The thing is: when you don’t shop for specific meals, it’s easy to say you’ll just run out and grab something to finish the meal which leads to more spending.

Both of these reasons prove the importance of planning ahead, but if you don’t believe me, check out this example:

Let’s say you decide make breakfast for dinner one night on a whim. You get off work and head toward home, but you realize that you don’t have all of the ingredients. You have three choices at this point:

  1. Go home and try to find something else for dinner (GOOD choice, but unlikely because we are conned into believing that convenience is necessity)
  2. Go to the store, head to the back to pick up your ingredients, see a bunch of other things you “need,” spend $30 by the time you leave the store.
  3. Head to the nearest fast food place and buy food for your family for $30.

It’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Planning ahead can make all the difference.

Plus, I’ve got this great post on how to make a really cute menu board to plan your meals, check it out HERE: Stylish DIY Menu Board

Saving Money on Groceries - www.diyjahn.com (1)

Saving Money on Groceries

Overall, remember that it’s important to work on saving money on groceries, but it probably won’t happen all at once and that’s okay. Start with learning how to make something from scratch, then try something new, and work your way up from there. Above all, remember that you can do this. Mindset is everything.

Saving money on groceries isn’t that hard when you implement these steps. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Learning to make things from scratch – like shampoo, bread, pasta, and more!
  • Learning to live without – you may want to treat yourself once and a while and that’s okay, but don’t go overboard.
  • Learning to plan ahead – make a menu for your meals and stick to it!

Follow the Frugal Friday Linkup HERE!

Would it be helpful if we shared our meal plans at some point?

Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through Fronto, Ibotta, and other companies, and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

Cheap Cell Phone Plan to Save You $3,000

Cheap Cell Phone Plan to Save You Big Bucks

You may remember a few weeks ago a post I did about lowering your cell phone bill. The blog post had great advice on how to confront your company and lower your monthly payment. It also suggested changing your provider to someone with a cheap cell phone plan, but I didn’t go into a ton of detail. Today, I wanted to share a little with you about the plan that let’s you get service for only $5 / month.

That’s right, $5 per month and that’s for a smartphone! How? Well, let me tell you!

Cheap Cell Phone Plan - www.diyjahn.com

Cheap Cell Phone Plan to Save You TONS

I’m the type of person that likes name-brand things. When I go to the grocery store and see the different prices, I face a conundrum. Part of me, a big part, knows that I should by the Hy-Vee brand butter because it’s $2 cheaper and it probably tastes the same.

But then there’s the other part of me that thinks “I work hard for this money. I worked hard to get where I am. I deserve this.” Okay, so maybe I don’t think that so much with butter, but there are many places that I do feel that way. Like when I’m buying ice cream, shampoo, or soda. I recently noted that I only like Campbell’s when it comes to cream of mushroom soup.

Basically, what I’m saying is, I’m kind of snobby when it comes to certain items. I really like to buy name-brand. Whether it’s the worry that people will judge me, the feeling that I am not working hard enough for what I earn, or just the fact that sometimes name-brand is simply “better” I’m not sure, but I definitely prefer it in many cases.

So, when it came to my cell phone, I was very hesitant to switch from the big name brands to a smaller, lesser-known brand like Republic Wireless. Even with their cheap cell phone plan and added value stated as: No contract Moto X from Republic Wireless. Plans starting as low as $5/month*

I use Sprint and I have ever since I was 15 years old and my brother paid for my cell phone plan. Then again, it’s hard to dispute the realities of both accounts. Sprint has served me well, I’ll admit it, but it’s expensive as all get out. Each month we pay between $215-230 for our two phones.

What would we pay for these on Republic Wireless? Well, with plans starting at $5 you can imagine how cheap it would be.

Sometimes name-brand items aren’t quite as good as they may seem.

Cheap Cell Phone Plan Coverage

When you’re going with a cheaper plan, one of the biggest things to think about is whether the coverage will be good in your area. The nice thing about Republic Wireless is that they utilize WiFi whenever possible (which saves you big bucks) and they offer coverage based on well-known networks (such as the Sprint network).

If you’re concerned though, a great place to start is to check out their coverage map which you can find at their website: Check your cell coverage, for when you don’t have WiFi.*

Cheap Cell Phone Plan Contracts & Cost Analysis

Another great aspect of Republic Wireless is the fact that you don’t have to sign a contract – which means that if you’re unhappy with your plan, unhappy with your coverage, or simply want a change, you can finagle these at any time.

With the bigger carriers, signing a contract means two years of coverage or a huge fee for backing out early which begs the question: if you are already utilizing a name-brand cell phone company, is it worth the fee to switch to this cheap cell phone plan?

Well, let’s look at it this way. With a big name-brand company, paying $230 per month for two phones you end up paying $5,520 over the course of a two-year contract.

Let’s say that you decide to switch the Republic Wireless at 6 months into that contract and stick with them for the next 18 months. You choose a plan that costs $30 per month for two phones (because you want some extra data).

Over the course of two years split between the two providers, your total cost comes to $1,920 (6×230=1,380 & 18×30=540).

Ultimately, this switch saves you $3,600. Even if your contract causes you to pay a fee of five or six hundred dollars, you will still be better off saving over $3,000. How crazy is that?

Let’s say you’re at 18 months into your name-brand contract and you aren’t sure if it’s worth switching this late or if you should wait. Again, the whole contract costs $5,520 for the name brand, but for the switch the total cost comes to $4,320 (18×230=$4,140 & 6×30=180) which means your savings comes to $1200.

Once again, even if you wait to switch until 6 months before your contract ends you will save over a THOUSAND DOLLARS. If your contract fee is around five or six hundred dollars, you will still save six or seven hundred dollars over the course of 6 months.

Isn’t that INSANE?

Cheap Cell Phone Plan Data Buybacks

Okay, so maybe they aren’t name-brand, but they’re starting to sound pretty great right? Do you want to know something even greater?

If you don’t use all of your data, Republic Wireless will buy it all back. That’s right, they’ll PAY you for the data that you don’t use. Have you ever heard of any company doing that? Ever?

So, let’s say you’re with a big name-brand company and you pay $30 for 2 GB of data and you only use one. What happens? Nothing. You pay again the next month.

Now, let’s say you’re with Republic Wireless and you pay $30 for 2 GB of data and you only use one. What happens? You get $15 back. Why? Because you didn’t use that service or, as they say, credit given where credit is due. Why should you pay for a service you don’t use?

Cheap Cell Phone Plan Community

Finally, I think it’s important to note the community aspect of Republic Wireless. Instead of outsourcing their contact phones to giant call centers, when you need help, you can utilize their community board where other users are there to help you. If you can’t find your answers there, you can send an email which will be responded to as quickly as possible.

It’s pretty hard to say no, with all the value added that R.W. provides, isn’t it?

Cheap Cell Phone Plan- www.diyjahn.com

Cheap Cell Phone Plan to Save You $3,000

So, let’s take a little overview of this post because it’s quite long, I’ll admit.

  • Name-brand stuff is super expensive, but not always better.
  • Republic Wireless offers plans starting at just $5 / month.
  • Great coverage is important, and included.
  • Our cost analysis shows that you could save over $3,000 by switching today.
  • Republic Wireless will buy back any unused data.
  • Community features means your questions get answered by people who care.

Why wouldn’t you switch and start saving today? That’s the real question.

How much do you currently pay for your cell phone?

Leave your responses in the comments below!


*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that when you click on these links, I earn a small commission for your purchase. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and all of my opinions are still (and always will be) 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

Side Hustle Ideas You Haven’t Thought of Yet – NSC Series

Side Hustle Ideas You Haven’t Thought of Yet

Everyone knows that in order to pay down debt, you need to use the simple system: spend less than you make. However, at what point is that not enough? If you cut your spending as far as it will go, it’s time to branch out and find ways to make some extra cash. Need some side hustle ideas to spring you along? You’ve come to the right place!

Side Hustle Ideas - www.diyjahn.com

If you are new to our NSC Series, start here!
-If not, you can skip this section-

As some of you may know, we are in the midst of our first ever No Spend Challenge (NSC) which started January 1.

The short story is that my wife and I racked up a ton of debt (read how HERE) and want to pay it off as quickly as possible so that we can live our dream lives (read about our goals HERE). This challenge will help us learn about living frugal, saving money, and paying off our debt faster.

Visit our post, Frugal Living at its Finest: the No Spend Challenge, to view why we are doing the challenge, what the challenge entails, and the rules.

The hardest thing about budgeting and frugal living is doing it alone and that’s why we want to invite you all to join us on our NSC. Sign up below to opt-in to our email community, filled with exclusive tips and tricks for saving money to survive living frugal during your NSC month.

Follow our rules or make your own! Join for one week or the entire month! We know that not everyone is in the same situation we are in. Stick with the No Spend Challenge for as much or as little as you are able in your situation and don’t be afraid to hop on after the starting date (it’s never too late to join in on the fun!).

We’ll be taking the challenge right alongside you – with daily blog posts, encouragements, and exclusive email information and communication: this will be the single, greatest choice you make to jump start the New Year.


Side Hustle Ideas You Haven’t Thought of Yet

As my wife and I are working to pay down our debt, we’re realizing just how many ideas we have to make some extra funds. Today, we’re sharing our side hustle ideas with you in hopes that it will help you reach the ultimate goal: debt freedom. Enjoy!

Look Around Your Town!

The best place to start when it comes to side hustle ideas is to look in your own backyard. There are always people in need of some extra help and willing to pay. Here are some of our favorite ideas, but remember there are a ton more in your area. Check the local newspapers, classified websites, craigslist, and even your town’s Facebook group.

Helping a Local Caterer

My wife and I help a local caterer for bigger events. Since she is self-run, she can’t afford to hire a full-time staff. When she needs a few extra hands for serving, cooking, preparing, etc. she calls us up! Usually this is a 5-7 hour job and pays $100 per event (for each of us, so $200 for our family). We live in a smaller area so we only get called about once per month for events, but in bigger cities there is probably a higher need!

Applying for a Part-Time Job

There are plenty of businesses in need of an extra hand here and there. Small town businesses may need someone to shovel the snow or open the shop once per week, but don’t discount franchises. Working 10 hours per week at McDonald’s or Subway may seem like the worst thing that could happen, but when you get an extra couple hundred bucks at the end of the month and get to taste the sweet taste of debt freedom sooner, you’ll be glad you did it! Remember, you aren’t “too good” for anything. Just because you have a fancy degree or have been in the workforce for 20-30 years does not mean you can’t lower yourself to work a minimum wage job. If you have debt, you need the money. And if you need the money, you’ll need to do the work.

Smaller Tasks

Many people are looking for help with one day tasks such as moving, mowing the lawn, fixing a radio, a ride to work, etc. Watch for these side hustle ideas to be posted on local webpages and pick them up. It’s a great way to get a few extra bucks here and there to throw at your debt!

“.-.sitting”

Baby sitting, house sitting, pet sitting: they all have an important thing in common – they’re a great way to make some extra cash! Love kids? Play with them for a few hours a week! Love pets and nature? Take pets on walks, feed them, and get some good cuddle time in!

Make Money Online

We created an entire section of our blog for this exact purpose: making money online. Whether you need it to pay down debt, start up your savings, or for that vacation you are looking to take, here are a ton of side hustle ideas to get you started!

Buying Things Online

Yes, you read that right. One of our side hustle ideas is buying things online. By using programs such as Ebates and Ibotta, you can get cash back on any purchases. Plus, you make money when you refer people to use the site – it’s a win-win!

Playing With Your Phone

Okay, now we’re just getting crazy, right? No, really! YOU can earn money easily by playing with your phone. Swipe it on and earn points. Check out Fronto! It’s not a super fast way to make money, but I earned over $10 in one money – and it didn’t take any extra time at all. It’s like FREE money!

Selling Your Skills

Do you have any skills you can market? Perhaps you’re great at drawing caricatures, designing logos, or being a voice-over. Maybe you’re an amazing knitter, can take photos like a pro, or even write stories. In any case, you should check out Fiverr – a great place to sell your skills to the world!

If you don’t know about that, perhaps you prefer writing or administrative duties. Are you an awesome writer? Freelance Writing may be the perfect job for you! Prefer the administrative job? How about becoming a Virtual Assistant? These are awesome side hustle ideas that can earn a significant extra income!

Become a Direct Sales Rep

Before you get all high-and-mighty, remember that people DO actually earn extra money by becoming direct sales representatives and YOU CAN, TOO! Try starting out with awesome places such as: Advocare, Beachbody, It Works, and Younique.

Start a Blog

My absolute favorite of the side hustle ideas is to start a blog. Why? Because it’s something I’m passionate about. If you’re interested in starting a blog (about anything), check out our super easy-to-follow tutorial to setting up a blog and beginning to monetize it. You can make money blogging, if you put in the time and commit to doing it right.

Here’s the tutorial: CLICK HERE

Here’s how to monetize: CLICK HERE

Side Hustle Ideas- www.diyjahn.com

Side Hustle Ideas

Here’s a quick little overview of the side hustle ideas we talked about in this post. For more ideas, visit our Make Money Online page today – click HERE!

  • Make money in your local area by finding a part-time job, pet/house/baby sitting, helping with simple tasks, or finding a local business-owner in need of assistance
  • Make money online through direct sales, buying items online, playing with your phone, and more!
  • Start a blog and replace your full-time job with your passion!

We only have a few days left of our No Spend Challenge, so here goes our quote for Day 29 by Nelson Mandela.

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”

What is your biggest accomplishment for the month of January?

Leave your response in the comments below!


Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. Also, please not that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here

It Works to Make Money Online – MMO Series

It Works to Make Money Online

Good morning, my lovely readers! Today we have a guest poster for our Make Money Online series by the name of Jacelyn Scott. She is going to teach us all about how she makes money online – it works! Enjoy reading and don’t forget to support her in the comments.


Hi!  My name is Jacelyn.  I am a 32 year old mother of the sweetest and most beautiful little girl, a professional makeup artist and an avid crafter.  I absolutely love being outdoors and enjoying all that nature has to offer.  I feel like that is where I feel the most comfortable.  I love to go biking, hiking, canoeing, snowboarding and camping.

I want to share a story of a low point in my life.  I had recently returned to work as my maternity leave had ended.  I decided to go back only part-time in order to still be able to spend most of the week with my daughter. Less than two months later I had started developing daily headaches.  I tried to brush them off as my eyes just trying to get used to being in front of a computer screen all day long again, but they progressively got worse.  Three eye doctor appointments later I was diagnosed with a detached retina and had to go immediately for emergency surgery.  A week later and another emergency surgery.  I was recovering, unable to work at my desk job, and uncertain of what my recovery would look like. 

Would I regain sight back in my eye?

Would I still be able to do the things I love?

While waiting for my third surgery I was laid off due to a shortage of work.

How was I going to help my husband provide for our daughter?
Our bills?
Mortgage?

We were stressed!  My friend suggested that I join her team.  I had heard of it, but wasn’t very familiar with it.  She explained that it was a way for me to earn some money at home while I wait and recover from my upcoming surgery.  I was intrigued.  She told me about this ‘crazy wrap thing’, and showed me pictures of her own and other peoples’ results.  I was amazed!   I had been working and active in the skincare and beauty industry for the past 10 years and had never seen anything like it before!  I joined instantly.

Here’s today’s post for our Make Money Online Series.

It Works - Make Money Online Series

If this is your first time viewing our Make Money Online Series, please read this section.
-if not, feel free to skip ahead!-

The Make Money Online Series is a compilation of blog posts and guest posts discussing how it is possible to make extra cash online. When I first started my journey to pay off my debt fast and become debt free, I searched every possible nook and cranny to find options to earn extra money – in fact, I’m still looking! I scavenged the internet searching for options and signing up for everything that I possibly could.

Of course, this led to a bunch of spam and horrible programs that lie and do not actually help to make money online at all. SO, I’ve developed this series to help debunk those programs so that those of you who are in need of some extra cash, whether it’s because you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck, want to pay off your debt fast, or want to find a way to support your family as a stay at home mom, won’t struggle to find tried and true methods to earn money online.

We’ll cover topics ranging from freelancing to blogging to direct sales to micro jobs, etc. and posts will be made every other day – so keep checking back for more or sign up for our weekly newsletter! For a compilation of all topics that have already been posted, click here (HERE).

If you have a topic that you would like us to cover, or a topic you would like to guest post on, let us know in the comments below! Thank you!


 

It Works to Make Money Online

So, what team did I join that helped me so much? What team was I invited to and joined instantly? It’s a company called It Works.

What really attracted me to join It Works, other than the amazing products, was that it gave me the opportunity to work on-line from home and earn some money at my own pace, while being able to still be at home with my daughter.  As my recovery progressed, I gained some vision back and was able to get back to my normal lifestyle.  I am now able to work, and be available to my clients and teammates from virtually anywhere at any time.  I can work from my computer, or my phone.  I can be grocery shopping and be able to answer a potential clients questions.  I can be at the park with my daughter and still be able to put an order in.  The convenience factor is through the roof!

I get to decide when I work.  I don`t have to drag my butt out of bed early in the morning to go to a boring job that I can`t stand, just to be stuck there all day, come home, make dinner, spend 30 minutes of quality time with my daughter, go to bed, and start all over again the next day.  I get to meet new people on-line, wherever I am, build lasting friendships while helping people, and be available to my daughter all day long.

I essentially get paid to use awesome products while sharing my own and other peoples’ amazing results on Facebook and Instagram.  I get to be me, not who someone else tells me I have to be.  I can now help my husband with paying for our bills, mortgage, groceries, have savings, and providing for our daughter.

Another great thing about It Works is that the products actually work!  We have over 30 wellness and body contouring products.  Everything from facial cleansers, masks and creams, to body contouring wraps, stretch mark cream, and defining gels, to fat fighters, vitamins, essential oils, energy drinks, weight management, meal replacements and more.  The results are so amazing that the products practically sell themselves!

It Works is a great company for anyone who is looking to earn some extra money on-line, and from the convenience of their own home.  You can work as much or as little as you want.  You can use this as your main source of income, or for some extra savings like vacations, to help pay off your house faster, afford birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, anything you want!

You definitely get out of this what you put into it: It Works

If you are interested in joining, I would be thrilled to help you get started. Get in touch with me on Facebook, Instagram, or Email here:

Facebook: Wrap It Up with Jacelyn
Instagram: wrap_with_jacelyn
Email: happy_jay@hotmail.com

It Works - makemoneyonline

Set up is easy: you can begin running your own business from home in as little as 2 weeks.  There is an investment cost for your business builder kit which will include everything you need to get going, along with some product that you can sell instantly which will cover your starting costs. Are you worth an investment? I think you are.

You’ll also receive one month free access to your website, which gives you access to ItWorks! Training Academy, allows you to place your orders, and track your team’s growth, as well as tools to help you develop your business.  The moment that you are signed up you are part of a team where you can get support, all questions answered, get together for monthly or quarterly meetings in your area, join conference calls to share ideas and  get motivated,  and do online training at any time.

How many other on-line companies can offer you that?


Thank you for sticking around for our Make Money Online Series and thank you again to Jacelyn for writing this fabulous post! A new post will be coming out soon – don’t forget to check back in!

If you have topics you would like to contribute or would like us to cover on how making extra cash is possible during our Make Money Online Series, please let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading!


Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

How to Monetize Your Blog and Quit Your Day Job

How to Monetize Your Blog and Quit Your Day Job

 I’m going to let you all in on a secret: I can tell you exactly how to monetize your blog so that you can earn a full-time income. That’s a pretty audacious claim, right? Well, I’ll admit that’s it’s not as easy as it may sound and it definitely won’t happen all at once. However, if you work hard it is certainly possible and I’ll give you proof, too!

how to monetize your blog 1

Now, let’s be realistic for a moment. I want you to have the right expectations for your blogging before you start, but don’t let this discourage you. I’m going to tell you how to monetize your blog for real.

Have I quit my day job? No. Why? Well, first of all, I have almost $200,000 in debt that my wife and I are working to pay off as soon as we can. Second, I love my day job and it gives me a chance to make a difference in the lives of kids, teens, and young adults – which is important to me. Finally, I’m still on my way to making a full-time income from blogging (remember how I said it’s not going to happen all at once?).

Let’s think about this – I’m telling you that I can teach you how to monetize your blog and earn enough income that you can quit your day job. Yet I haven’t done this myself. Seems odd, right? But the thing is: my goal is not to make a full time income at the moment. My goal is to help you, my dear readers, earn money, save money, pay off your debt, reach your goals, and live your lives to the fullest.

If that’s my goal – why would I lie to you about how to monetize your blog? I would never do that! Instead, I will work my tail off to ensure that you can get everything you hope for out of your life.

So, I said that I could offer you proof that it is possible to earn enough income blogging that you could quit your day job, right? You’re probably wondering what this proof could possibly be – I’m telling you how to monetize your blog and most of these strategies I am just learning myself!

Well, here’s the thing: I’ve been learning from the masters. I’ve been reading, researching, and spending countless hours working to build my knowledge of blogging to share with you. My goal is to save you time so that you can begin working on your blog now and leave the research to me.

The thing with blogging is that time is key. You can spend three weeks researching how to monetize your blog or you can spend ten minutes reading this post and the rest of the three weeks implementing your monetization strategies. Which one do you think will help you to earn the most income?


 

Awesome People Who Earn Six-Figure Salaries Blogging

Let’s look at some examples of bloggers who have accomplished a full-time, six-figure income just by implementing these strategies for monetizing their blog. I’ll add their links so you can check them out, but don’t forget to come back to learn what these strategies are. 


Sarah Titus

My favorite blogger of all time, Sarah Titus, is one of these awesome people and the first that I want to share with you. Sarah made a commitment that she would earn money online within one year of her divorce. She followed through and ended the year making over $10,000 a MONTH.


Just a Girl and Her Blog

Another phenomenal example of a blogger earning a significant amount of income monthly with her blog. Last month (November, 2015) she earned a net profit of over $21,000!


Moms Make Money

This blog shows the ultimate transformation of blogger income. She records each month her earnings and how it has evolved over the years. When she started out, her income was $45.11 a month and has now grown to over $18,000 a month.

These are just three of my favorite bloggers and their monthly incomes, but they are just a small selection of the MANY bloggers who have earned a full-time income from blogging.


You may be wondering why I chose female bloggers for this list – and to that I want to share with you a little about target markets. You see, there are plenty of male bloggers who also earn a significant income blogging. In fact, many earn more than female bloggers. However, because my target audience is focused on females, I chose to showcase female bloggers.

That’s not to say that men don’t read my blog (and I certainly hope they do!), but the majority of my audience just happens to be women.

Target audiences are definitely something to keep in mind when blogging – an important piece of any business really. They consist of the people you hope will pay you, their influencers, and your own personal supporters. Now, I won’t go into detail on this today, but watch my upcoming blogs for a detailed post on how to determine your target market, build your brand, and create the ultimate-blog (I’ll be doing a How to Blog Right Series in February, for all you awesome followers, it’ll follow the No Spend Challenge).

how to monetize your blog 3

How to Monetize Your Blog & Quit Your Day Job

 Now here’s the information you have all been waiting for: I will show you how to monetize your blog. There are many different ways to do this, but I’m going to share only the best of the best with you. Remember how I told you that I would do all the research so that you could learn from me? I hope that this information helps you to build a blog to be proud of; a blog that can earn you a full-time income so that you can quit your day job and live your life to the fullest.

No matter what, I promise to be transparent with you as we delve into this journey together. Each month, I post debt repayment updates to my blog and in them are income reports for DIY Jahn. If you ever want to know how much I am earning from these sources, visit those updates!

However, keep in mind that my income is low at the moment because I am only two months in – and it will take your income a little bit to grow too. As long as you keep working hard, utilizing the tips I share with you below, and writing passionately – you have the opportunity to earn a full-time income and quit your day job. It’s up to you to make it happen.

See, it’s like this. Let’s say that you are in need of a house. I can spend hours researching the best ways to build houses, write them all down for you, hand you all the pieces you need, and give you the tools. And that’s what I’m doing for you right now. But unless you take the time to read the instructions and use the tools and materials to build the house, you will still be homeless.

The same goes for blogging. I have spent hours researching these tips for you, writing out a guide, handing you all the materials and tools, but unless you sit down and begin your journey – working hard toward your goal – you will never get there. Again, I’ll tell you, it’s up to you to make it happen, but I’ll give you everything you need to get there.

I will teach you an overview of how to monetize your blog here, by giving an overview of each of these five areas. Now, during my How to Blog Right Series (starting in February), I’ll give you an in-depth tutorial on how to complete each and every step for the greatest success – so stay tuned!

Here they are, what you’ve all been waiting for, here are the top five ways to monetize your blog:

  • Build a Money-Making Blog from the Start

One of the first things you must do before you begin blogging or learning how to monetize your blog is to build a blog that can be monetized from the start. I have a detailed tutorial that you can view here (HERE) about how to complete this process.

A high quality blog, built to earn a full-time income, is always a self-hosted blog and I recommend using Bluehost for any of your self-hosting needs (I’ve heard some horror stories about other domain hosting networks, but I’ll go into more detail on this later).


I can tell you more about what all that means for you and your blog on my post: How to Make Money Blogging (read it here).

  • Affiliate Marketing Programs

As for my blog (and many of the blogs that I have researched) affiliate marketing is the number one source of revenue in the blogging industry. In fact, many bloggers earn thousands monthly simply by creating affiliate and referral sales.

What does affiliate marketing mean? Well, it basically means that you are leading potential buyers to a direct sales website. For example, I utilize Amazon Affiliate Partnership (you can join too, click here) and that means that I advertise some Amazon products on my blog. Sometimes I write reviews or tutorials on these products, sometimes I just include a link to my favorite products or books, and sometimes I include a search advertisement for Amazon itself. These look like this:

When somebody clicks on those links and makes a purchase from Amazon, I earn a small income as a reward for leading customers to their site. Now, these links do not make the products cost any more than normal – so don’t worry there. You aren’t raising prices for your audience, simply leading them to products that you already love.

The key here is that you always keep them in mind and only lead them to products that you truly believe are worth the cost.

  • Creating Products

Have you ever dreamt of writing a book and being published by a world-famous author? What about writing an in-depth how-to guide on a topic you’re passionate about? Or a course to teach others about this topic? Or perhaps you really love sewing and are passionate about quilts?

If you said yes to any of the questions above (or you simply have a passion you are willing to work with) then creating a product can be a great avenue for monetizing your blog. You probably believe that you aren’t capable of creating anything worth selling, but I’m here to tell you that with hard work and a proper commitment: anyone can create a worthy product.

What types of products do bloggers create and sell? Well, anything really! The most common product for bloggers to sell are e-books, which are easily created online. These books can range from short tutorials, to in-depth how-to guides, to long fiction novels.

Second, bloggers create courses for other people to take. These can also be about anything, but need to be something that you are passionate and knowledgeable (or can become knowledgeable) about. Online courses are done within a combination of videos, audio, chat, emails, and assignments.

While these are the two main areas of products that bloggers create, there are many more to be found. Some bloggers create physical products – such as crafts that they have created (like the quilting question above, homemade jewelry, or pieces of artwork), planners and physical books, and more!

A more in-depth coverage of this topic is coming in February, but to start you thinking about product development consider this: what are you most passionate about? Now, how can you use that passion to develop a product that helps others?

  • Advertising

If advertising were a high school student, they would probably be voted “least likely to succeed” because so many people look down on it. However, it should not be taken off the table. I have read about hundreds of bloggers who have used advertising to build their business, begin earning thousands every month, and create a blog that people know and love.

So, why do people look down on advertising so often? The answer is pretty simple. Many bloggers don’t do their research and simply begin placing advertisements everywhere in their site. They sign up for every advertisement company in the books, place them all of their web pages, and wait for the revenue to start pouring in, but that’s not how it works.

When I write my How to Blog Right Series in February, I’ll go into detail about how to keep your audience happy while utilizing advertisements for income. Until then, though, keep these pointers in mind.

First: make sure that your blog does not run slower due to an overload over advertisements. Studies show that people will spend less than three seconds looking at your page before clicking away. If it doesn’t load during that time, you’ll likely never see those readers again.

Second: avoid pop-up advertisements at all costs. There is not one thing readers hate more than having to click away a thousand pop-up ads in order to read the article they were hoping to read.

Third: never forget who your target audience is. If you are looking, like me, to advertise to people who are hoping to save money, earn money, and live life to the fullest: you wouldn’t advertise for an expensive loan company. Choose your advertisements wisely so as to maintain the trust of your readers (like I do for you)!

There’s a lot more to be said about advertising, so stay tuned for our How to Blog Right Series.

  • Sponsored Posts

 Finally, we have sponsored posts to cover. What are sponsored posts, you ask? Well, a sponsored post is when a company hires you to write a review or post about their product or service. Many times you will be offered products or cash as payment for these writings.

When a company is looking for a sponsored post, they will email you regarding the situation if they think you are a good fit. Now, don’t let this scare you away – if you haven’t heard from any companies, you can also email them. I’ll tell you how during our How to Blog Right Series in February. I’ll even give you sample emails that I have sent!

Now, once the email is receive and the request is made, you tell them your price. You can choose whether you charge an amount or simply a product. When you are first starting out, writing sponsored posts in exchange for products is the way to go, but as your blog grows, you can begin charging more per post.

Much like advertising, sponsored posts require careful selection. Choose products that you believe fit with the niche of your blog and that your target market will appreciate.

For example, as a lifestyle blog focused on saving money, earning money, and living life to the fullest, I wouldn’t complete a sponsored post for an expensive fashion magazine. I would, however, do a sponsored post on an affordable kitchen appliance that would help my readers save money in the long term.

When writing these posts, you need to be 100% honest. If I accepted the sponsored post for the affordable kitchen appliance, received the product, and hated it – I wouldn’t write that I thought it was amazing just to receive the payment for the post. I would tell my audience exactly what I thought.

Why? Because you guys are more important to me than any money in the world. I want you to know that you can trust me and that I will always be transparent with you. And the same should be true for your blogs – your target audience should always be in your mind.


You will notice that I didn’t include freelancing in this list. While I do believe that there is great income to be made freelancing, and that it can certainly help to add this to your blogging business, I think that this is a different area of blogging. When learning how to monetize your blog, start with the steps listed above and move to freelancing or becoming a virtual assistant if you feel called to do so later.

HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR BLOG 2

On that really long novel-of-a-post, I will leave you with one final thought. You have learned a lot about how to monetize your blog during this post. You’ll learn even more when we begin our How to Blog Right Series in February. Until then, keep this in mind:

No matter how you choose to monetize your blog, always remember to write passionately, speak honestly, and live life fully. The rest will fall into place.

Thank you, as always, for reading! I hope you enjoyed the post for the day. Now, I have a question for you all – please leave responses in the comments below!

What questions do you have about blogging that we can address in our How to Blog Right Series this February?

Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through Fronto, Ibotta, and other companies, and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

How to Save Money On Groceries – MMO Series

How to Save Money on Groceries with One Simple Trick 

I haven’t met a single person, in my entire life, who did not want to learn how to save money on groceries. Why? Because food is so expensive and yet an essential aspect of our lives. We cannot simply stop eating to save money (or lose weight, unfortunately), but there is a great site I can show you to help you save money this year.

Last week, my wife and I decided to do our regular shopping. We have a pretty strict budget – for those of you who don’t know, we are working to aggressively pay off our debts – we are even going to participate in a No Spend Challenge soon. So, we took our money to the grocery store to see what we could buy with our two week allowance of $200.

Now, $200 is a decent chunk of money. Especially when you consider the fact that we are only feeding my wife, myself, and our dog. However, this $200 is not only for groceries. This also includes dog food, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, gas for our car, and fun money for gifts, fast food, clothes, books, or anything else we may want / need. So, we get this $200 every two weeks and we need to make it last because it’s not very much.

 

However, I’m not sure if you have noticed, but prices at the grocery store have risen astronomically. We did our best to stock up for the coming two weeks (and the month ahead of us for the No Spend Challenge), but we had to be cautious not to spend all of our money in one place as we still need gas to get to work and food for our puppy.

That’s when we found this great site that offers cash back on most of our grocery purchases!

Here’s today’s post for our Make Money Online Series.

how to save money on groceries - Ibotta

If this is your first time viewing our Make Money Online Series, please read this section.
-if not, feel free to skip ahead!-

The Make Money Online Series is a compilation of blog posts and guest posts discussing how it is possible to make extra cash online. When I first started my journey to pay off my debt fast and become debt free, I searched every possible nook and cranny to find options to earn extra money – in fact, I’m still looking! I scavenged the internet searching for options and signing up for everything that I possibly could.

Of course, this led to a bunch of spam and horrible programs that lie and do not actually help to make money online at all. SO, I’ve developed this series to help debunk those programs so that those of you who are in need of some extra cash, whether it’s because you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck, want to pay off your debt fast, or want to find a way to support your family as a stay at home mom, won’t struggle to find tried and true methods to earn money online.

We’ll cover topics ranging from freelancing to blogging to direct sales to micro jobs, etc. and posts will be made every other day – so keep checking back for more or sign up for our weekly newsletter! For a compilation of all topics that have already been posted, click here (HERE).

If you have a topic that you would like us to cover, or a topic you would like to guest post on, let us know in the comments below! Thank you!


 

How to Save Money on Groceries

We told you all about how you can save money on cleaning supplies and hygiene products by using ePantry, but today we are going to tell you about how you can get cash back on your groceries by using this one simple trick. And actually, you don’t even need a computer for this one – all you need is a smart phone and you’re in business.

So, what is this magical app that gives you free money for shopping? It’s called Ibotta and it’s really a very simple concept. What happens is the app pays you for purchasing items by giving you a rebate on those items.

The app is linked with over 150 stores (most of the popular ones are on there, like Walmart, Hyvee, etc.). When you’re ready to go shopping, you unlock items you’ll be purchasing, scan your receipt when you’re done, and Ibotta pays you cold, hard cash. Simple.

You can even link your loyalty cards to your Ibotta account for even more savings – or use Ibotta to shop online!

So, you’ve figured out how to save money on groceries, but that’s not the only way to earn money with Ibotta. You can also earn by building your team – meaning you earn money when you friends go shopping too. How great is that?

Now, if you think it’s all just a scam, check out the numbers. So far, Ibotta users have earned over $46,777,000 and it continues to rise! Their slogan is: “real people earning real cash.”

 

how to save money on groceries

How to save money on groceries

It’s pretty hard to turn down a company that has paid people millions of dollars to do their regular shopping, isn’t it? Not to mention that turning them down means turning down free money, which is not something I’m able to do, that’s for sure.

So, here’s how you can get started using Ibotta and earn extra money for grocery shopping today!

  1. Sign Up for an Account:
    Use this link to sign up and join my team! You can do this right on your computer or from your smartphone.Remember, if you use my referral link you’ll be put on my team which means extra earnings for you (and me). In fact, if you sign up using my link, you’ll get a FREE $5 credited to your account – just for signing up!

    Link: https://ibotta.com/r/hneegcu
    If you cannot find my link, use this referral code to join my team: HNEEGCU

  1. Download the App:
    You’ll want to download the app after you sign up. Don’t worry – it’s available for both iOS and Android. While you can manage your account via your computer, the only way to submit receipts is via the app.
  1. Unlock Rebates:
    Before you go shopping, don’t forget to unlock your rebates. To do this, you complete a simple task (never takes more than a second or two) and then your rebate will be waiting.
  1. Go Shopping:
    Remember that to use the rebates, you need to purchase the items that you selected at qualifying stores. Don’t worry, this information is easy to find on the app. – Simply select the store you are going for and unlock the products you plan to buy. Then shop away – that’s how to save money on groceries EASY!
  1. Scan Your Receipt:
    Once you’re done shopping, make sure you get a copy of your receipt – don’t let the cashier throw it away. Scan it with your phone into the app. It’s as easy as that.
  1. Get Paid:
    Once your receipt is scanned, you will be paid within 24-48 of receiving it. Don’t be fooled – you are paid cash, not in store credits. You can be paid through Paypal or Venmo – or you can use the cash to purchase gift cards to places such as iTunes, Starbucks, and more!

That’s it. That’s all there is. I would have to say that Ibotta is one of the simplest ways to earn money that I have come across yet (and as you know, I have been looking into a lot of new ways). If you are looking at how to save money on groceries, Ibotta is certainly the place for you. If you are looking for how to earn a small side income, Ibotta is still for you.


 

 

Thank you for sticking around for our Make Money Online Series. A new post will be coming out soon – don’t forget to check back in!

If you have topics you would like to contribute or would like us to cover on how making extra cash is possible during our Make Money Online Series, please let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading!


Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through Fronto, Ibotta, and other companies, and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

Earn Extra Money From Home – MMO Series

Earn Extra Money From Home

Today we have a guest poster for our Make Money Online Series. Woohoo! Her name is Amanda Northern and she presents herself as an online entrepreneur. I’ll tell you all a little more about her after she tells us how to earn extra money from home!


Three years ago I was a broke college student working two jobs, seven days per week and only to bring home a little more than $14,000 per year. Here in Atlanta, Georgia that was barely enough to survive. Desperate to make more money without having to get a third job, I ventured online to try and earn extra money from home. I was immediately caught up in internet scams, review sites that left viruses on my computer, and false leads.

One day I stumbled on a blog reviewing this site called, Hire My Mom. It was a job board that was geared towards stay-at-home moms who had professional experience and wanted to help internet entrepreneurs manage their businesses.  I applied right away. After 3 weeks of applying to a couple of jobs, I landed my very first paying virtual assistance gig.

I haven’t looked back since.

Here’s today’s post for our Make Money Online Series.

earn extra money from home

If this is your first time viewing our Make Money Online Series, please read this section.
-if not, feel free to skip ahead!-

The Make Money Online Series is a compilation of blog posts and guest posts discussing how it is possible to make extra cash online. When I first started my journey to pay off my debt fast and become debt free, I searched every possible nook and cranny to find options to earn extra money – in fact, I’m still looking! I scavenged the internet searching for options and signing up for everything that I possibly could.

Of course, this led to a bunch of spam and horrible programs that lie and do not actually help to make money online at all. SO, I’ve developed this series to help debunk those programs so that those of you who are in need of some extra cash, whether it’s because you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck, want to pay off your debt fast, or want to find a way to support your family as a stay at home mom, won’t struggle to find tried and true methods to earn money online.

We’ll cover topics ranging from freelancing to blogging to direct sales to micro jobs, etc. and posts will be made every other day – so keep checking back for more or sign up for our weekly newsletter! For a compilation of all topics that have already been posted, click here (HERE).

If you have a topic that you would like us to cover, or a topic you would like to guest post on, let us know in the comments below! Thank you!


Earn Extra Money From Home

Why Being a Virtual Assistant Is
the Perfect Side Hustle

If you’re wondering what a virtual assistant is, it’s basically a personal/administrative assistant that does all of their work online. That’s really the only difference! Online entrepreneurs have a different set of needs than a business owner with a physical store-front. For example, a virtual business owner needs the following tasks completed:

  • Internet research.
  • Social media management.
  • Blogging or copywriting.
  • Management of other virtual team members.
  • Bookkeeping.
  • Someone to manage their virtual events (telesummits, webinars).
  • Customer service.
  • Lead generation (cold emailing prospects).
  • Email management.
  • Technical/Website services.
  • SEO optimization.

Basically anything related to running an online business is what will be required of you as a virtual assistant. If you have any amount of professional experience in an office setting, being a virtual assistant may be the right side hustle for you. Many people can become intimidated with working with someone virtually instead of face-to-face. However the same skill set is needed to work virtually as to work in person.

When working with a virtual boss, you have to communicate, communicate, and communicate some more! Always specify exactly what your client needs, and have regular meetings via Skype, email, text, or by phone to ensure you complete a job well.

The best part about being a virtual assistant is that you can literally work anywhere that has an internet connection, there’s no micromanagement (business owners are way too busy for that!), and you get paid a lot more per hour. Basically, it’s the perfect way to earn extra money from home!

Mind that you do have to pay your own taxes since you’re an independent contractor when you’re a virtual assistant. As a person who has extensive administrative assistant experience, it’s a lot more than what you get working for a regular 9-5 gig!


Just How Much Can I Make Being A Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant’s wage can vary greatly from $5 per hour all the way to $50 per hour or more. As you can imagine, the higher the wage, the more specialized the knowledge. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to a virtual assistant’s pay schedule.

It’s a quick way to earn extra money online, but it all depends on your skill set, what you think your time is worth, and what the client is willing to pay. Being in the virtual assistant game for a few years, here’s what I see other type of virtual assistants charge.

  • General Virtual Assistant – This type of assistant does basic administrative tasks that anyone can pick up and are one of the easiest virtual assistant jobs to start off with. Tasks include data entry, email management, internet research, and managing a calendar. Pay: $10-$15 per hour.
  • Technical Virtual Assistant – A technical virtual assistant is knowledgeable with the tools that most internet entrepreneurs need and use. Tools include WordPress (very in-demand skill), email auto-responders, graphic design tools, and others. Pay: $50 – $75 per hour.
  • Virtual Event Assistant – A virtual event assistant is one that specializes in organizing and running telesummits, webinars, and any other live virtual training. A telesummits is a live event where multiple experts speak on the web to an audience of listeners. This is a very specialized type of assistant and usually requires training. Pay: $50 per hour.
  • Social media assistant – A social media assistant is one that manages a client’s social media sites. This can include creating posts and scheduling posts using social media management websites, running promotional challenges for your client, engaging people on social media sites, and coming up with strategies on how to grow engagement on your client’s social media sites. Pay: $20-$35 per hour.

As you can see, there are so many types of virtual assistants that it can be hard to come up with a single price to charge. How much you’re paid depends on how in-demand your skillset is, much like the regular job market.

Another alternative to charging per hour is charging per month or per project. I like to charge in this format because I suck at keeping track of hours and I’m really good at underestimating the time it takes me to do pretty much anything. And the last thing I want to do is to have to go back and ask a client to pay more than I originally told them it would cost. Plus getting paid per month or per project makes my income much more predictable.

earn extra money from home

So, Where Can I Find Clients As A Virtual Assistant?

You can find virtual assistant gigs to help you earn extra money from home just about anywhere you can find regular administrative jobs.

That being said, here are a few of my favorite places to look for virtual assistant openings:

  • Indeed
  • Flexjobs
  • Fiverr
  • Craigslist

And I saved the best one for last…Hire My Mom! As you recall, my very first virtual assistant client was found on Hire My Mom. It is the only job board where I’ve consistently found virtual assistant jobs from people who weren’t looking to pay people $5-$10 per hour!

These leads are legitimate, and the competition for the jobs is not high leading to a higher chance that you’ll get a job. It is a paid job board (just $10 per month), but I’ve literally made thousands of dollars just from this site and 99% of all my virtual assistant jobs come just from Hire My Mom. I earn extra money from home each month with this awesome website.

If you want to get started as a virtual assistant right away and possibly make money this month, sign up for Hire My Mom and apply for every job you feel remotely qualified for. I promise you if you take my advice, you’ll be interviewing for positions within weeks!

If you want to learn more about how to create a viable business that makes you money in as little as a week, check out my free ebook!


Thank you for sharing this super informative post on how to earn extra money from home with us, Amanda! I’m so glad we could partner in this way.

For readers who want more information about Amanda, here’s a blurb about her:

Amanda Northern is the creator of The Proassists, a VA firm that specializes in website design, copywriting, and administrative duties. She’s also the creator of bloggingfreedom.org, a freelance blog and consultancy dedicated to teaching everyday people how to build their own awesome internet business.

Reach out to her on Twitter @bloggingfreedom.

Thank you all for reading! I truly hope that you enjoyed our guest posters article today and will share your joy (and support our friend, Amanda), by leaving some love in the comments! Remember, I personally reply to every comment I receive.