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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Do It, Do It

So this is Part 2 of the Side Hustle round up. For this part, the focus will be on hybrid jobs- those that you can get online but that require real world effort. This will include jobs allocated by apps- such as Lyft- and more artistic venues- like Etsy.

App jobs are the big boom here lately. The first major two being Uber and Lyft which allow you to whistle up a random stranger and get in their car.

YOU could be that stranger! From my understanding, Lyft seems to be the preferred company to work for as far as worker satisfaction goes. Due to number of users however, Uber drivers tend to make more money. The popular way to use these apps is to drive for both services so that you are able to pick the better paying trip nearest you. Forbes has a pretty good article discussing the pros and cons of both companies.
For these jobs you will need:

A) a car (duh) that is clean and has enough space for passengers- the type of fares you get will be determined by the car you have
B) a driver's licence
C) car insurance
D) to pass a background check
E) Android or IOS phone
F) 21-23 year of age (depending on state)

A somewhat newer app job on the scene is Shipt, which is a way for customers to order groceries and have them delivered to their home in no less than an hour. As a shopper, you will go to the customer's store of choice and grab all their goodies, making substitutions for items not in stock, and texting them questions as needed. You are paid per trip as well as tips for a job well done. I myself am in the process of getting hired and have completed the online interview. So far the company seems friendly and fun to work for. There is an emphasis on delivery with a smile and excelling in customer service along with critical thinking when it comes to making decisions on the groceries. (such as "The customer has requested 1 pound of brand X free-range ground turkey meat, there are two packages of brand X remaining, one for 0.92 pounds or another for 1.03 pounds- which do you buy?"). I will post more about working for the company if I am hired.

This job is appealing if you want the flexibility of an app job but not the hassle of transporting several people (likely drunk) all over town. And as an extra bonus, all Shipt workers get a free membership to get their own groceries delivered. They do require proof of insurance and a virtual job interview, if you pass the initial qualifications- they will email you requesting additional information for the background check. If you live in the Mobile, AL area, they are currently taking applications for when they go live in the there.
Shipt requires:

A) a car 15 years old or newer
B) a driver's licence
C) car insurance
D) to pass a background check
E) insulated grocery bag or cooler
F) that you wear a Shipt t-shirt while working (will be provided when hired)
G) that you are able to lift 25 pounds
F) IOS 8 or Android 4.4.2 minimum phone
G) 18 years of age

Another type of hybrid job is order based. Websites like Esty allow you to post your crafts and sell them all over the world! Most post a hodge-podge of things they've bought and things they create but if you are crafty, you can make moolah. I can't really post any stats on this as prices for items are self-determined but I will say to post a few things to sniff out demand as you could have a hot-seller or a dud.
Etsy requires:

A) stuff to sell
B) internet access
C) ability to mail said stuff intact

Lastly, if you are so lucky as to have access to a 3D printer, you can post your machine on 3D Hubs and those who have items to print can pay you to print and ship them. Again, stats are difficult to give as price can vary person to person and by distance and material but most orders range in the 2-3 digits.
3D Hub Requires:

A) 3D printer of a reasonable quality (If you built it yourself, you must provide a micron quality)
B) a computer
C) 3D modeling software
D) 3D slicing software
E) ability to mail printed objects intact

Questions? Comments? Anything I missed? Say so below!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Do The Hustle

I've spoken before on the ability to make a bit of spare change in your spare time by doing little jobs here and there online. Since then, a new term and quite a few more opportunities have sprung up to make a some cash (legally). That term is now- the "Side Hustle".

This post is going to focus on digital-only jobs, for jobs that force you out of your comfy computer cave- see my upcoming post "Do It! Do It!"(Yes that title is dumb, yes that is the only other lyric in that song, and yes, I obsess about sticking with a theme)

Now the jobs I spoke of before were of the chump change variety. ChaCha paid ~$0.02/question depending on your role. Notice my use of the past tense there. The CEO has rather recently run off to Hawaii leaving the few remaining Expediters high and dry (and the last of their earnings unpaid). I myself was lucky enough to have given up on working with them before the end. While I made a decent amount of money at first, the number of questions coming in gradually started to taper off. Only to be expected with the rise of the smartphone.

Amazon Mechanical Turk is still going strong. Recently, many of the jobs are coming from rewards apps farming out the many many photos of receipts submitted to prove that an incentive item was purchased. Those jobs have been paying from $0.05- $0.15 per hit with bonuses for extra long receipts. Pinterest has been using AMT as well, listing jobs that are about checking that groups of pins are related, or for what category a pin falls under. Those are paying about $0.20-$0.40 per hit. The highest paying per hit (that are legit) tend to be the psychology surveys by various universities. They can pay $1-$2 per hit! But the better your qualifications, the better jobs there are available to you. So if you get better qualifications than myself, your experience could be different. While I doubt anyone could make a living off Turking, I still think it's a handy way to make a little cash in your spare time, between classes, in waiting rooms, or while vegging on your computer.

Audio transcribing is also a good way to make a buck. If your skills include listening and typing- give it a go! You need to have a good grasp of the language in which you are transcribing- able to read and write on at least a high school level. The more extensive your vocabulary the better. Most websites will require you to take a basic grammar test before letting to take a crack at the audio. I also recommend having a reasonable quality headset for listening. Built in computer speakers really are not adequate in my experience. Sound-isolating headphones are best. Obviously don't run out and drop a $100 bill on a pair of headphones if you don't already have a pair but if you can snag a a pair for about $20 and are going to transcribe a couple times a week, they would make for a good investment.

Wanna transcribe? Try it HERE

On the prospect of writing, there's innumerable opportunities to write online. You could do like me and write a blog. (I returned from my long hiatus to find that I had accumulated almost $30 in ad revenue, not bad considering my low traffic). Blogger has been an excellent platform to work with but there's plenty of other sites to use. You can also freelance articles for established websites like Cracked which is always looking for new funny people to generate laughter and likes for them.

If you have a good grasp of the rules of language but aren't really the creative type, perhaps proofreading is for you. If you're a student, you understand how valuable a second set of eyes can be. (And if you read the comments section of any website, you know that proof reading is sorely needed!) A website that comes highly recommended (though I've not used it myself) is Fiverr.

And if you are the creative type and you aren't shy with a camera, YouTube might be for you. Like Blogger, you can monetize your videos with ads. So long as your video gets plenty of views- you can get paid. Now, bear in mind that it takes a LOT of views to make a decent chunk of change. Pro Tubers invest a lot of time, energy, and capital into their videos. The polished look of the videos uploaded by the likes of Hillywood, Cute Polish, and CinemaSins does not happen in one take or without skill. That isn't to say your videography on stinky cheeses cultured from human bacteria won't get watched, just that you shouldn't expect to become a millionaire from something that looks like found footage. Except for ya know when that happens with horror movies.

Welp, this post grows long and my eyelids grow weary (please forgive any late night typos!). Part 2 should be ready for public consumption later this week. Farewell, my savvy savers!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

So, It's Been Awhile...

Wow, to be honest I somewhat forgot about this blog. I had been planning to revamp it a while back ("Guess Who's Back" post) and then life happened- as it does.

Quite a lot has occurred in my life in the interim. I'm not currently enrolled, although I have yet to graduate. Heath and financial issues are mostly to blame- along with a bad case of inertia on my part. I had a hard time justifying tuition when I still am not certain what I want to pursue as a career.

I am hoping to return to school soon, (partially why I remembered "hey, don't I have a blog?") though I haven't decided if I will continue my former major or not. But I have become employed at a software company full time (as opposed to my retail job of the past 6 years) that offers tuition reimbursement offering me a compelling reason to return. There's still the issue of fitting my classes around work, but at least there's set hours that I will be working as opposed to working any time of day for any number of hours, potentially at the drop of a hat. Plus I have Paid Time Off now! Still wrapping my head around the concept of not going to work and still getting paid.

I am also in the process of buying a house. OMG it is stressful and annoying! It would probably be a lot easier if I wasn't buying it by myself. The financial world is hella against the single ladies. Last couple of years I have been living with my sister and her bf and paying him rent money, so I haven't had to deal with bills in a while. That combo'd with my recent uptick in income meant that I haven't been couponing as hard as I used to.

The Stingy Student is going to reassert herself quite soon. In a way, she has already, I'm saving up for my down payment right now and every time I think of spending a dime she smacks my hand. Helpful, but a smidge annoying.

So, if I have any readers left at this point, hey- it's nice to see ya. I'm going to be posting new and awesome ways to handle your fledgling finances. Very likely, a bunch of stuff about my house buying experience as well. So TTFN, see ya again soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Earning Tip no.1

This one isn't so much about couponing as it is about getting money. It can be difficult to earn a living while taking classes, especially if you are taking classes full time. So to pay the bills you have a part-time job that fits into your school schedule. You get descent hours, 20-30 a week- more if you're lucky and someone calls in sick- depending on the season. But as much as you stretch your cash with coupons you could probably use some more income that doesn't require loans, illegal activities, or selling your soul / major body parts. You think a second job is out of the question because of school right? Not necessarily, you can earn cash in many ways to supplement your primary income that do not require any of the aforementioned atrocities.

Online jobs:

It used to be that in order to work online you had to have mad skills with a computer. While that does help, there a jobs now where the average user can earn a little extra income. I will list a few I have experience with.

-Amazon Mechanical Turk (skill level: 3/5)

Amazon's "Artificial Artificial Intelligence", In this job you are matched with tasks to perform based on your level of expertise. The longer you work for them the more they allow you to do. The tasks are menial jobs that are too easy for the company to be bothered with but require human intelligence and thus cannot be shucked off to a CPU. The harder the job, the better it pays. Sounds pretty boring but some of the tasks are entertaining and best of all you can PICK the ones that interest you and ignore the others. Also many companies will reward good work with a bonus payment. I once received such a payment because the reviewer thought that my answer to a question was funny! There are universities that post their psychological studies for Turks to complete for their research that tend to pay well as well as websites that post topics to write articles for. You can request payment from Amazon at any time so long as you have earned more than $5.00 and have it deposited into any checking account you have on file. Or if you don't have a account to send it to you can use the balance to shop on Amazon's site. For books, of course.

-ChaCha (Skill Level 1/5-3/5)

If you've ever wanted to ask a stranger "Should I wear a blue shirt or a red shirt today?" You've probably used ChaCha (and were probably told to wear the red unless you work for a guy named Jean Luc Picard). ChaCha is a text-based service that sends answers from real live people to you. In order to get so many real people, ChaCha is willing to outsource a little. You can work for ChaCha as a Guide as freelance work. (i.e. you work for them but you aren't an employee, you're not responsible to them nor they to you). There are different jobs to choose from:


Vetters are an integral part of the world’s most unique Rapid Response information squad, spinning out answers in real-time to millions of people on the go!
The action is always fast and exciting for Vetters, whose main task is to match incoming questions with the best available answers. Tap into menus of facts, jokes, news, trivia and more as you keep ChaCha users across the country plugged into the information they need. Whether you’re an early bird, mid-day worker or night owl, there’s never a dull moment!

Expeditor (me)

As part of the world’s most unique Rapid Response team, Expeditors answer questions, real-time, for people on the go. With over 1 million questions coming in each day, you cover a lot of territory … and get to connect with people all across the U.S., sending answers directly to their mobile phones!
Be ready to dish out advice on love & relationships, or tips on which movies to see. Whether ChaCha customers need a phone number they left back at the house, a fact to settle a bet, or a quick joke to lighten their day, you've got menus of great stuff to choose from. The pace is quick and the questions are always lively!


Generalists are the ChaCha version of the know-it-all, the renaissance man/woman, or the resourceful friend everyone calls. You are able to comprehend, research, and answer any question thrown at you, regardless of subject matter.
Though you possess many of the same attributes as a Specialist, you enjoy the thrill of the unexpected, and possess the Internet search skills to make you seem like an expert even when you’re not. You are resourceful with a capital “R” and enjoy helping customers while continually learning new things.


Transcribers are the Guides who make ChaCha’s voice answer service the absolute smartest one anywhere. As a Transcriber, you listen to the voice questions that customers call into 1-800-2ChaCha and convert them to text questions.
You’re knowledgeable about people, places and things, and have sharp ears to interpret even muffled questions (possibly from a crowded subway or noisy restaurant). In other words, you’re far better than any computer at deducing what our customers are asking, and correctly interpreting nuances and names. (Note: This is not like being a telephone operator — you hear only recorded audio.)
Each job has a different difficulty level and pay. The harder it is, the more you make per question. There are also competitions and bonuses. It is a great job for students as you can log in from any computer (with Modzilla Firefox) whenever you want for as long as you want. It's great for killing time between classes. 
It's a little like playing timed trivia to me, only you get real money. You won't break the bank with this job, my pay is $.02/question so I generally make about $20 a week which is enough to pay for a night out at least. Not bad for money made in my spare time. I usually run ChaCha in the backgound on my computer while I do other things. It alerts you with the sound of a doorbell when you have a Q.
The method of payment is better now than when I started. Before, if you wanted instant payment, you had to get a bank account with the First Internet Bank of Indiana, get a ChaCha debit card, and make transfers to that account. The bank also charged a fee per transfer. The other option was to transfer to any other bank account with no fee but you could only transfer if you had $150+ in earnings. Now you can do an instant transfer through PayPal for $1, which is much much easier. 
Here's the application link:
If you want, use my email when it asks who referred you and you will be added to my team.

I have more options that I want to list, but it is late (no longer Wednesday sorry) and I have homework due in the morning so stay tuned for Earning Tip no.2!