It covers everything from making quick side income to creating a long-term side hustle that could become your full-time job.
Making extra side income could change your life. I’ve explored dozens of ways to earn a second income on top of my day job, and it’s opened up so many doors. As a financial coach, I get the question all the time, “how can I make extra side income?“
I don’t promote anything I haven’t tried. Many of the side income 2020 sources below are affiliate links that help support my business, but I’m sharing these ideas because I want to help you in times where you want to make money, not because it’s the highest payout for me.
I suggest bookmarking this page and coming back. Everything is free to join.
If you have a friend or family member who would like to learn how to make side income, please share it with them!
Become an expert in one particular field and build up your career. If you’re struggling to make a second income, you don’t have a money problem; you have a skill problem.
You may feel like many of these ideas are a waste of time. But experiment and move on to another idea.
Especially in 2020 with the number of people who have lost their jobs and filed for unemployment, it’s more important now more than ever to focus on increasing your skills. A report put together by DollarSprout found that 1 in 4 side hustlers need extra money to make ends meet.
Table of Contents
Use Your Phone to Make Side Income
Use Your Car to Make Side Income
Work From Home
Ways to Make Extra Income at Your Current Job
Many of these quick side income 2020 ideas have worked great for me, which you can complete from your phone. There’s more to learn and more earning potential with your phone, especially as smartphones get smarter.
I share with you how much I’ve made on many of these not to brag but to show you it’s possible to make money.
A Note About Privacy
Keep in mind what you‘re giving up when you sign up to get paid to do stuff online. Often if an app is free, it means you’re the product. I’m not ignorant of the fact that I’ve given up personal information to make side income online. Many people aren’t comfortable doing that.
The way I look at it is when it becomes a problem and starts impacting my personal and private life; then I will take action. I want to take advantage of the opportunities out there. Plus, Google and Facebook already know more about you than you know about yourself.
1. HOW TO EARN SIDE INCOME ONLINE WITH ONLINE SURVEYS
Many companies are willing to pay you to answer questions for them. Surveys aren’t going to produce any significant amount of money, but it’s quick and easy.
Survey Junkie – Earn points by completing surveys, which pay anywhere from $2 to $75 per completed survey. The longer the survey, the higher the pay. Even if you don’t qualify for a study, you’ll still get rewarded for trying.
InboxDollars – Inbox dollars is a website/app you can join to earn extra money (although the money is more like pennies) because it takes forever to build up enough money to make a withdrawal. You can also get rewarded for watching videos online. You need a minimum of $30 to withdraw funds.
Persky – Perksy is a new mobile app launched in 2018 aimed toward millennials. It’s super easy to complete “stacks” for points, and they do a great job with the UI. At the time of this writing, it’s only available on iOS. Take advantage of the Perksy stack codes available right now!
Shopkick – If you aren’t using Shopkick, you should be! Shopkick allows you to earn points for various activities you turn into gift cards or cash. There are four main ways to earn points: walking into the store, scanning items, purchasing items, and uploading your receipt and a shopping portal.
Whenever we go to Walmart, for example, I might earn ten kicks for walking in. Then I earn hundreds of kicks scanning items we’re already walking past.
You don’t even need to go into the store, driving by slow will give you kicks!
Zap Surveys – Get rewarded for entering stores like CVS and Walmart. These rewards are available at most major retailers.
When a partner retailer or restaurant is running a promotion, and you’re nearby, Zap Surveys will send you a notification. If you open the app, you’ll get rewarded with up to $0.25. You can also earn money from surveys and checking in daily.
Checkpoints – This is similar to Zap Surveys. When you arrive at a store, it will send you a push notification, and is all you have to do is open it up, and it will reward you. You could be miles away from a store, and it will still give you 20 points. Cash-out via gift card.
Monkey Rewards – Similar to other paid survey apps that allow you to make money for taking surveys but with a twist, SurveyMonkey Rewards users earn credits that can be redeemed for either Amazon Gift Cards or donated to a charity – and they match donations!
Surveys On The Go – This is one of the easiest ways to earn quick money. Each day, I’ll have the opportunity to participate in surveys and most of the time I don’t qualify for them or they will take too long. But even if you don’t qualify they still give you $0.10 which is pretty good.
Receipt Pal – Similar to Receipt Hod, take a picture of your receipts and get rewarded. You can cash out with gift cards or through a Visa gift card. The first time I redeemed $25, it was a gift card to Restaurants.com. I’m $5.00 away from cashing out with another $25 Visa prepaid card.
Checkout 51 – Start earning cash while you grocery shop. Browse the list of grocery items posted and select which items you’re interested in buying. The list updates Thursday at midnight, and the grocery items on the list qualify for cashback until the following Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
It’s harder to earn cashback than Ibotta but worth a shot.
Trunow – A money-saving app that not only finds you the lowest per-gallon gas prices near you, but it also gives you cashback on your gas purchases from partnered gas stations. Is all you have to do is upload a picture of your receipt after purchasing gas, and that’s it!
Coupons.com – Get printable coupons, link loyalty cards, and earn cashback on everyday purchases.
This one can be difficult to earn cashback because the amount of offers is limited. They may have deals where they give away free food, and they’ll reimburse the cost of the purchase. Last month, we got free eggs!
Rakuten – This is my favorite cashback app (previously known as Ebates). It has gained popularity over the past few years. There are two ways I earn cashback:
Enabling the Google Chrome extension, and each time I go to check out on any partner’s website, it asks if I’d like to activate cashback. Then I don’t have to remember to go to the website; it’s always there.
The second way is using the Ebates app. Open the app and click through to your favorite stores, and when you purchase an item, cashback is added automatically.
Pei – Automatic cashback in Bitcoin or cash. This app is similar to others where you connect your debit/credit cards. When you purchase items at popular places like McDonald’s, CVS, Taco Bell, Walgreens, and Chick-Fil-A, you get automatically rewarded. This one is becoming my favorite to have on my phone.
Out of all the other apps, this one is probably the easiest because of the popular merchants they work with.
Drop – An intuitive and easy-to-use app that lets you earn gift cards for the money you’re already spending. Link up a card, and you’ll automatically get cashback when you spend money at certain brands such as Walmart, McDonald’s, etc.
The best part – when you spend money five times at a retail partner, you get the chance to play Snake for additional supercharge bonus points!
Dosh – A smartphone app that gives you cash back every time you make a purchase at participating outlets using your credit card.
If you link your credit card with the Dosh App for the first time, they’ll instantly add $5 cash to your Dosh Wallet. There’s no “unlocking” this bonus; you get it as soon as you link your card. And you can add additional cards for more cash.
RetailMeNot – Coupons, promo codes, gift cards, and a whole bunch of other incentives. Last year, they released the ability to link cashback offers. And I don’t spend much money, but so far I’ve earned cash back from a purchase I made at CVS.
Paribus – An easy way to put money back in your pocket. It’s an online service that tracks your online purchases for lower prices and requests a refund if it finds a lower price.
The more you buy stuff online, the more you’ll get back. Paribus even tracks orders from Amazon to see if they were delivered late. If it was, then you’re entitled to compensation from Amazon. Here’s the script they give you:
“Hello, me order #112-5044649-6629004 arrived later than promised. Could you please fix the issue through your shipping promise? Thank you very much.”
I tried it once and the next day Amazon had issued me a $5 gift card.
Earny – This is similar to Paribus; you’re giving Earny permission to track your purchases. You’ll get double the refund back if both apps pick up a purchase of a product that has dropped in price. Maybe you’ll be the lucky one! Get started connecting your credit card!
I hardly spend online which is probably the reason I haven’t earned cash back.
Honey– A Google Chrome Extension that will flash anytime you’re about to check out on most websites, and it will automatically find the best coupons and promo codes for your purchase with a single click. It gets added to your Honey account, and you can cash out when you reach $10.
Up to this point, each app I’ve listed by itself might be a waste of time. But, when you stack one on top of another, it starts to become more worth it. Making $5 on one app is nothing to be too excited about, but I’ve earned over $1,000 from the apps listed above.
Most of these apps have been introduced in the past couple of years. I believe we’re still early in making money from our smartphones and we’ll continue to see more and more opportunities as phones get smarter.
5. INVEST YOUR SPARE CHANGE
Acorns – This is a smartphone app that “rounds up” your spending to the nearest dollar and invests it. For example, buy a drink for $3.50, and $0.50 is added to your investment account.
You link a credit card and checking account, and Acorns does the rest. It makes investing painless because you’re spending only pennies at a time. You can also invest any amount of money you choose to monthly or at one time in low-cost Vanguard index funds.
Trim – Saving money on your bills will free up cash. “Trim isn’t an app, but rather an AI assistant that analyzes your financial transactions and finds ways to save you money. When Trim started in 2015, its core capability was finding and canceling unwanted subscriptions, and this is still what it’s best at.” – PC World
Varo – A new online bank I discovered because of its high-yield savings account. We’re earning 1.80% interest on our savings—100x higher APY than other banks.
They operate only through an app and are changing how we do mobile banking. They’re the first mobile-only bank to apply for a national bank charter and be approved. Take advantage of the Varo $75 referral bonus!
Raise – The best way to get rid of your unwanted gift cards and make extra money, with little effort. Raise is an online marketplace where you can sell your unwanted gift cards for cash at whatever price you choose and buy discounted gift cards to the places where you shop.
Achievement – This app connects to more than 20 other health and fitness apps (Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Samsung Health, or Apple’s Health app). It tracks your healthy activities, including sleep, step, and nutrition data, and it rewards you with points.
Field Agent – Once you download the app, you can set it to check for jobs in your local area. These jobs vary, but for the most part, they involve doing inside the store activities. For example, I was at Walgreens, and I took three pictures of beverages, answered a couple of questions, and made $3.
When I’m at Costco shopping with my wife, I’ll wander off by myself and complete a job or two. They may ask you to buy items and they’ll reimburse you 100% of the cost. What’s better than free food?
Mobee – Pays you to complete missions near you. These missions consist of going to local stores and answering questions about the store. Every time you complete a task, you earn points that can be exchanged for gift cards.
Easy Shift – The Easy Shift App pays you for completing small, simple tasks. It gives you shifts you must complete within a specific time limit. The duties include going to local stores and taking pictures of whatever product requested.
These tasks are longer and more difficult than Field Agent and Mobee.
Gigwalk – If you sign up to be a Gigwalker and download the free app, you’ll get the opportunity to do little odd jobs, or “gigs.” These jobs might consist of taking pictures of different businesses, downloading and trying out different apps, and answering consumer research questions.
Robinhood – A free-investing app ideal for investors who want to trade stocks, options, exchange-traded funds, and cryptocurrency without paying commissions or fees. I signed up for Robinhood in 2016 and have been using it ever since.
Warning: it can be addicting! I try not to check it as much as I used to!
Vanguard – When it comes to investing for retirement with accounts such as a Roth IRA or a 401k, I recommend Vanguard because of their excellent customer service and low fees.
Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, changed investing for the average investor by creating the index fund. They don’t have the most user-friendly online interface, but it’s ok because you only need to set your money and forget it.
Stockpile – Stockpile is an app that offers gift cards which can be used for the purchase of both stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The gift cards can be purchased and redeemed on the Stockpile platform. It avoids the hassle of having to purchase a single stock.
Instead of giving gifts to my little sisters, the past couple of years I’ve given them fractional shares of Lululemon and Disney.
Wrapify – I haven’t done this, but I’ve heard of people making anywhere from $200 – $400 a month to wrap their entire car with advertisements. The more you drive, the more earning potential you have. So if you’re a rideshare driver, you could make additional side money with this. Another car advertisement company is ReferralCar. They’ll pay you to put an advertisement on your back window.
Uber – I’m sure you’ve heard of Uber before, and I don’t need to go into detail on what it is. Ridesharing has been the most popular side hustle over the past few years.
I haven’t driven for Uber and Lyft because the town I’m in is a college town and there are more drivers than people needing a ride and I’ve never felt like I’ve had time to do it. However, there are many people making a decent second income.
Lyft – Lyft is another great way to make extra money by using your car. New drivers who sign up with Lyft earn a $75 bonus after their first 50 rides. If you have weekend and evening availability, you could reach the bonus in a few short weeks. Sign up with Lyft to claim your $75 bonus!
GasBuddy – Enter to win cash when you report gas prices with GasBuddy. You can also use it to find the cheapest gas prices in town. When you pull up to a gas station to fill up or even when you’re driving past a gas station, report the gas prices and you can enter to win $100 of free gas.
I’ve never won the gift card but I also don’t spend much time reporting gas prices.
Rover – If you’ve considered becoming a dog sitter, you may have wondered where to find a steady supply of dog-sitting jobs. Maybe you’ve even thought of starting your own dog-sitting business – putting up flyers, or posting ads on Craigslist or your neighborhood bulletin. Each of those is good ways to get started, but this is another option for anyone considering a part-time or full-time job pet sitting.
If you want a way to make a quick $500 this weekend, consider going through all over your unwanted stuff and having a garage sale. My wife and I made $600 before we moved to Texas.
You can also sell your unwanted stuff on places like LetGo and Decluttr.
23. FLIP STUFF ON FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
Suppose I had to start over from scratch and had nothing to my name: no income, no furniture, nothing. The first place I’d look would be Facebook Marketplace. I’d go to the free section and turn around and sell the same item. I’d keep doing this until I’ve made enough money to move on to the next side hustle.
Is all you have to do is find free stuff, fix it, and sell it.
24. RENT OUT YOUR SPARE BEDROOM
Airbnb – Airbnb is an online community marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodations. Why not list your extra bedroom and start making passive side income?
Instacart – Shoppers make money by shopping for groceries at local stores the company is partnered with and delivering those items to customer’s homes. The hours are flexible, and the orders come through Instacart’s shopper app. I delivered groceries a few times and made anywhere from $25 – $20 an hour.
You could also save time going to the grocery store and have groceries delivered to you while you work on another side gig at home.
Shipt – Shipt is a grocery delivery service. Target acquired it in 2017 for $550 Billion. If you’re interested in earning extra money in the sharing economy, Shipt could be an excellent way for you to make good money (about $25 per hour) on your schedule. I also delivered for Shipt a few times.
Care.com – Care.com is a one-stop site to find caregiving services for your family and home. You could walk dogs every day, be a housekeeper to tidy up homes once a week or watch kids regularly — all in one place.
Market Force – Marketforce is a mystery shopping company that most users are satisfied with.
Not a great way to make side income but you can be reimbursed for your meals.
The amount varies depending on what you’re doing. In most cases, you’ll visit a place of business and purchase food costing at least a certain amount of money as well as fill out a survey on how clean the restaurant was, how helpful the workers were, etc.
You’ll be reimbursed for what you bought and paid extra for taking the time to do the mystery shop. It’s not going to amount to a fortune and won’t cover all your bills, but it could be a source of extra money for you.
I’ve completed a few mystery shops at Five Guys. I was paid $6.00 and reimbursed for $12.75.
Etsy – Etsy is an excellent tool for marketing and selling your creative works. My wife has always been the creative type. When she was in high school, she started selling handmade earrings and bags on Etsy.
A few years ago, she decided to start her online e-commerce business Cozy Cottontail and sell only on Etsy. She made over 500 sales in the first six months and then decided to create her online store with Shopify. So she sells on both!
Shopify – Shopify makes it easy for people who know nothing about programming, coding, and web development to startup and run their online store. They do this so entrepreneurs can focus on building the aspects of their business they excel at without having to worry too much about the technical stuff.
Running a business with Shopify has made everything so much easier. It can be expensive and hard to get your business off the ground, but I recommend it if you want to sell stuff online.
I’m a “Loan Signing Agent.” No, not a real estate agent, and I don’t give out bank loans. What I do is assist borrowers in filling out and signing their documents for loan officers. I then sign and notarize. The course is called the “Loan Signing System” by Mark Wills. Mark is an excellent teacher, and my upfront cost was $350, which I made back in the first month. I’ve learned a ton about the real estate industry, and I could see myself doing this for many years!
TaskRabbit – The site works as a middleman to let clients post the work they need help with that requires a handyman, cleaner, mover, etc. As a “Tasker,” you can use the site to find jobs, contact potential clients, and collect payment for your work (minus a 20% service fee).
Using the site, as opposed to working through an avenue like Craigslist, helps make sure you get paid for your work and reassures clients you are who you say you are and don’t have a criminal record.
Upwork – Upwork is an international freelance marketplace where independent business people hire and meet with freelancers for various web-based tasks.
You can work at Upwork if you possess the skills the website requires and can perform the service on your computer remotely. All you have to do is create an account, specify what service you provide, start looking for jobs, get hired, and get paid.
Individuals and businesses are willing to spend a few hundred dollars a year to have their taxes prepared. There are resources out there to learn tax preparation and all its complexities.
I became a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistant) a few years ago and have helped many people prepare and submit their taxes to the IRS. It was part of my job, so I never charged my clients, but I could see myself offering this as a service.
My favorite activity to do is find used old furniture for free and turn around and flip it. There aren’t many places where you can find a free product and turn around and sell it for a significant profit!
Woodworking is a great skill to have. The better you are, the more you can get paid. I’ve been doing wood projects since high school, and to me, it’s therapeutic.
When I become financially independent, I can see myself spending a considerable amount of time on wood projects. There’s nothing quite like putting the final touches on furniture you built and putting it inside your home. And if I made money doing it, I wouldn’t complain.
Car detailing was my number one side hustle for years. I started detailing cars in high school while working at a car wash. I started my auto detailing business in 2014, which I ran for four years, all through college. It provided a high second income and the ability to set my schedule and rates.
It’s not the fanciest work, but believe me, so many people are willing to pay for a good car detail every year. You need a few thousand dollars to get all of the right equipment to have a successful business up and running in a short amount of time. I’d recommend anyone do this.
MAKE SIDE INCOME ONLINE
40. START A BLOG
Bluehost – This can be a pure side hustle, or it can turn big – it’s up to you. I’m a huge fan of blogging because I love writing and connecting with people. Everyone has a passion and a story to tell. Give blogging a try, and you never know what it could become.
Anchor – What if your writing isn’t all that great, but you’re a great conversationalist? If you have a topic you’re passionate about, why not start a podcast? As your audience grows, you can land sweet sponsorship deals.
Content is what drives web traffic. Websites are always pumping out fresh, new content for their readers, and they’re always looking for writers! If you aren’t quite ready to launch your blog yet, this might be an excellent option to see if writing is for you.
I started freelancing a few years ago, and it can be a great side income source, and the flexibility to work from wherever makes it all worth it.
44. MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA
If you enjoy learning about social media and want to take your passion a step further and make an extra side income, social media management is a great option. If you’re good at it, it can open up doors for you down the road.
Every business nowadays needs social media manager.
45. BECOME A FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER
Facebook ads are invaluable to both online and brick and mortar business owners these days. You can bring in $1,000 or more of side income per month with a handful of Facebook ad clients.
If you’d like to take a course and learn the ins and outs of managing Facebook ads for businesses, you should check out the Facebook Side Hustle course that my friend Bobby has put together.
It requires upfront work, but once it’s written you can say you’ve written a book and after that, it’s passive side income.
47. CREATE A COURSE
If you’ve got expertise in a particular area, package up your knowledge into an online course and sell it. This has become a popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years. The two big websites to sell online courses are Udemy and Teachable.
48. START A YARD MAINTENANCE BUSINESS
Depending on where you live, there can be a pretty strong demand for this type of service. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, this is a great idea!
49. START A WINDOW CLEANING BUSINESS
It’s not glamorous work, but pretty much all brick and mortar businesses need it. Why couldn’t you do it?
50. DESIGN WEBSITES
Every business needs a website, and many are willing to pay a pretty penny to get it done right. I’ve designed multiple websites. I’m in no way an expert, but you could make a high side income specializing in website design.
51. BECOME A PERSONAL TRAINER
If you have specialized skills in any sport, there are opportunities out there for teaching others the fundamentals (and getting paid).
Who doesn’t want to be fitter and healthier? Becoming a personal trainer might bring in a high side income as you help people reach their goals.
52. BECOME A FINANCIAL COACH
AFCPE – I wanted to become a financial coach many years ago. So I took and passed the Accredited Financial Counselor exam. You don’t have to do this to coach people. It’s about connecting and building relationships with people. But for me, it lends credibility and shows people I’ve taken my profession seriously.
GigSalad – GigSalad is the largest and most diverse marketplace for booking bands, performers, speakers, and services for events, parties, and productions of all types and sizes. A great way to make side income if you want to be a performer.
Steady – Steady is here to help you look after your financial health. From matching you with job opportunities to make extra money. From providing you a side income tracker to monitoring your earnings, ensuring you have the benefits you need while you work.
I’ve been a long time user of the Achievement app since 2016. Every few months, I transfer $10 to my PayPal account for having the app downloaded and tracking my steps.
The Achievement app rewards you for healthy activities like steps, tracking your health, and completing health related surveys. It has over 15,000 reviews on the app store and over 3 million members getting paid for health actions.
Here’s what they have to say on their website:
“Backed by some of the top investors in Silicon Valley and driven by a social mission to help drive scientific research forward and make America healthier, we literally pay you cash (via direct deposit or PayPal) to do healthy things like walking, eating well, and even sleeping! We also provide any consumer with the opportunity to contribute to cutting edge health research.“
And here’s what one user had to say:
“My sister told me about it, and it seemed too good to be true at first. But when she said that she had already received $20, I signed up. It was so easy and a monetary motivation really encouraged me to get up and get moving.”- Estella
Why Should You Sign Up?
Here are 5 reasons you should sign up for the Achievement App today:
Get paid for healthy actions. I already mentioned this, and it should be the primary reason you sign up. Getting rewarded for making healthy decisions makes sense.
Connect other apps like Twitter and MyFitnessPal to earn more points. When you connect 1 of over 20 apps, you’ll earn points faster.
Redeem your points for cash or give to your favorite charities. You can receive cash, or if you want to make a more significant impact on the world, you can donate your points to a charity. Making healthy choices to help charities sounds like the right thing to do.
It’s one of the top health apps in the app store. Everyone’s doing it, and if you’re not using the app, you’re missing out.
Participate in research. You also have the opportunity to contribute to health research. I answer quick surveys about the coronavirus all the time. I also completed an in-depth study of my allergies and earned $50.
They will ask you for basic information to get started like your height, weight, phone number, email, birthday, and address. I believe you don’t have to give all of your information if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ve created an account and connected it to Apple Health or Fitbit, the only thing you have to do is leave it on your phone running in the background.
Depending on how many steps per day you take, the faster you’ll be able to cash out. Literally that’s all there is to it.
I want to help you earn extra income in as many ways as possible. Signing up for the Achievement app is a straightforward life hack that can help you get ahead. Getting paid to make healthy choices makes sense, so why wouldn’t you sign up?
Did you know you could get paid to take notes in your class?
Study Soup has made it possible for college students to take notes for their classes and turn around and make some extra money with those same notes.
You’re already taking notes for your class. Why not get paid for it?
This is what one college student had to say, “Taking notes really helped with my own grades, sharing them to earn money was a no brainer.”
2. Find a part-time job on campus that gives you time to study
Many jobs on campus or even off-campus may allow you time to work on your homework. For example, if you’re in charge of managing the front desk and answering phones for an office, you may find yourself with some downtime to either mindlessly waste time on social media or tackle your homework.
As long as your boss is ok with it, you might as well use that free time you have to work on your classes. I saw plenty of jobs like this when I was working in higher education.
When I was in college, I never worried about the cost of textbooks.
While a lot of my classmates were renting books because it was “cheaper” or paying full price for brand new books, I created an Amazon seller account and I would buy used books for the semester and then once the semester was over I would turn around and sell the used book. Sometimes for a profit.
Out of about 30 textbooks, there was only one that I couldn’t sell. This is more of a way to save money but it puts cash back into your pocket. It definitely beats renting books@!
4. Become a tutor
The best way to learn is to teach others.
Sometimes we think tutors know everything because they always seem to know a lot about the subject. The reality is they’re just one step ahead of you and they’re still learning new things themselves.
So if you really want to learn a subject, become a tutor and get paid to teach other students the material.
You could even claim expert status on a few subjects.
5. Fellowships and Grants
Fellowships and Grants are perhaps the best way to get paid to study. You put in a little bit of work upfront that could potentially have a high return.
Once you receive a fellowship or a grant, they could cover the cost of a lot of things while you are in college. And you don’t even have to do too much, except for maybe a few requirements.
Read: How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay. This book earned me over $10,000 in scholarships. Because once I learned what I was doing was wrong, I started receiving scholarships thanks to this book!
Get started applying for grants at your college and ask your academic counselor what opportunities are available.
Pocket Points is an app that you can download that will give you rewards for not using your phone while you are in class. It tracks your location so it will know if you are on a college campus.
Then, when you are sitting in class, open up the Pocket Points app, lock your phone and it will track the amount of time your phone is locked. The longer you don’t use your phone the more points you will get. You can use your points for things like free food and discounts at local places and online.
Many classes, especially nowadays will allow you to have a computer in class with you. The nice thing about having a computer with you while you’re in class is you can actually open up a new tab, login to Inbox Dollars, and get paid to watch TV.
But you don’t have to have the tab open to earn money. It could be a closed tab with the volume off while your sitting in class. You can check in on it every once and a while to make sure you’re still getting rewarded for “watching” tv.
By the end of class, I would have earned a little bit of money. Nothing crazy, but at least I didn’t have to do a thing for it.
Click the link above to get started with a $5 bonus.
There you have it! There are 8 ways you can make some extra income while you study and spend time in college. To learn more ways to make some income on the side:
It’s a love-hate relationship for me. Some months I’m on social media a lot and others I can go weeks without opening the app.
Nothing is worse than mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed only to realize after an hour the only things you saw were pictures of other people’s lives and businesses trying to sell you stuff.
I love connecting with people and Facebook can be an incredible tool to grow a business, but it’s the biggest productivity/time waster if you don’t use it right.
Using social media productively
Here’s one of my favorite quotes about social media:
“Use social media, but don’t let social media be used on you.”
Use social media as a tool to help you reach your goals. The fact that we can be a part of a Facebook Group that is filled with like-minded people from all over the world is incredible!
No one has to ever feel left out. There is a group for literally everything.
You can use it to promote a product or business, connect with old friends and acquaintances and even buy/sell stuff.
On the flip side, don’t let social media be used on you by spending hours a day consuming pointless crap. You know that feeling. It takes you away from your responsibilities, distracts you, and can even damage relationships.
You have to remember that Facebook is set up for you to spend more time on their platform. It’s how they make money.
How Facebook Makes Money
Facebook only makes money if businesses are willing to pay for ads that show up in your news feed. And they will only advertise if you’re willing to pull out your credit card. Or pay with your new Libra dollars.
As long as you are aware of this you can use social media for good instead of social media being used on you.
What if there was a way to make consistent money every month on Facebook to help you with your financial goals? Then maybe you won’t feel so bad about spending time on Facebook.
Turns out there is.
I’ve been making a consistent $300 a month for the past year.
If any of you read my post at the beginning of the year: The Ultimate Guide to Making Side Income, I briefly mentioned how I do it. So, today I’m going to break down in more detail exactly what I do on Facebook because it’s by far my favorite side hustle of the year.
Most ideas on that post were typical answers anyone could give. But I came across one idea about becoming an Ad Rater. I thought, “what the heck is an ad rater?”
So I did a little digging, answered a few questions, and took a few tests. It took some time to become familiar. At first, I didn’t think it was legit but within a few days, I was becoming a “professional ad rater”.
I didn’t think it was possible to make money on Facebook but it has since made me a consistent $300 per month. The great thing is I can do it from anywhere on my phone and it’s something anyone can do.
You don’t need a business and you don’t have to go to work on the weekends.
You just need a Facebook account. Which I’m pretty sure you do and you’re probably already wasting time on it so why not start making some money with it?
I spend a few minutes a day on Facebook rating ads and at the end of the month, $300 goes straight to my PayPal account.
What is an Ad Rater?
Big and small companies spend millions and millions of dollars on advertising.
More of their advertising dollars have been shifting towards digital platforms because TV ads, print, and billboard ads have become so expensive. And there really is no way to measure the results of those ad campaigns.
But with digital marketing, companies can reach more people and see exactly how those ads are performing on a daily basis.
One way for companies to know how their ads are performing is by paying ad raters. That’s right, someone looks at the ad, analyzes it, gives some thoughts, and gets paid.
What do I actually do?
I rate ads that pop up in my news feed. Which hardly anyone looks at anyway.
Not only has this become my favorite side hustle, but I’ve learned two other things:
Facebook ads become ultra-targeted to things that I’m interested in. Since I’m interested in business and finance, I get to see a lot of relevant and useful information specific to me (which is exactly what Facebook wants)
I get to see what other companies are doing to make their Facebook ads successful and I can replicate what they’re doing in my businesses. It’s a win-win!
Here’s a quick run-through of what I do on a daily basis. An ad like this pops up on Facebook:
This is a simple ad from American Express about a credit card you’ve probably seen before but haven’t paid much attention to.
You can see at the bottom it says:
1. “How much do you feel that this ad is relevant to you?”
It’s question 1 of 7 and it takes me about 30 seconds to complete one ad.
The other questions are:
“How much do you feel this ad is useful?”
And “how much do you want to see this ad in your news feed?”
It will then ask you to explain in a few sentences “why do you feel this way about this ad?”
I would say something like this:
It’s that simple. When you’re all done with 30 ads you’ll see something like this pop up:
And that’s it! That’s how I consistently make $300 per month on Facebook.
It takes me about 15 minutes a day and I make $0.33 cents per ad. This adds up to $10 a day and I do it nearly every day. I like to think that I’m making $40 an hour on my phone. Which is totally worth it.
How You Can Make Money on Facebook
You can get started by learning more about what an ad rater is and what they do. If you decide it’s something you want to try you can sign up with my personal referral link:
I’ve wanted to share this post about blockchain and cryptocurrency for some time.
I know, you may be thinking, “why is he talking about blockchain and cryptocurrency?”
To be honest, I’m a practical believer in the technology, but not a speculator.
I started this post in February of 2018 but have been hesitant to share it because of how volatile the world of cryptocurrency has been.
I want to share with you my experience with blockchain and cryptocurrency and give you a guide on what each is and how it works.
This is related to personal finance in so many ways because it’s already shaping the way we buy things and manage our finances online.
I get asked about this stuff all the time and think it only makes sense to share my viewpoint.
How I Got Started With Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
My first encounter was in 2016. I logged on to my bank at USAA and they had a banner asking if I would like to connect my Coinbase account. I thought, “what is Coinbase?” It sounded interesting, so I created a Coinbase account and connected it to my bank.
But I never actually purchased any cryptocurrency. I had no idea what I was doing. A year later, in the summer of 2017, we hired an intern at my work. He told me he was super into crypto and I thought he was crazy.
I really had no interest in purchasing cryptocurrency because they just didn’t make sense to me.
But finally, in August 2017, my friend convinced me to purchase some. It’s been a rollercoaster ride since then but I have never overextended myself and put my finances in jeopardy. I believe in the practical utility long term and I’m not just trying to “get rich quick.”
I want to make this clear. I’m not recommending anyone buy cryptocurrency. It’s the wild wild west and very unstable and no one knows what’s going to happen.
My purpose in writing this is to highlight the benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrency and explain why I think it’s not going away. Whether you’re into it or not, there’s a change taking place with the internet that could be more powerful than the internet itself.
It will become an integral part of how we transact in the near future.
I don’t like to think too far into the future. But the fact is things are changing so fast that it isn’t something far away anymore. I think it is going to change more than we realize.
Not many people like to talk about this because it’s hard to wrap your head around it. All they hear is how risky cryptocurrency and bitcoin are and aren’t even sure how it works. My goal is to help simplify what this new technology is.
I guess you could say I’m making my stance.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is simply an online accounting ledger. Simply put, it’s a way to track things online easier and more efficiently.
Blockchain is the foundation on which all cryptocurrencies are built. You can have Blockchain without Cryptocurrency but you cannot have Cryptocurrency without Blockchain.
Cryptocurrencies aren’t the only thing that will benefit from this new technology. Because of a new network or Web 3.0 as some are calling it, the end consumer will also benefit immensely.
One of my new favorite resources for learning about Blockchain is a website called Blockgeeks.com. They produce great content and I’m going to use the information they’ve put together for educational purposes.
Think of blockchain as a way for all devices to access a decentralized public accounting system that’s built on a new network and cannot be changed.
The New Network
Having a decentralized network cuts out the middleman on a lot of transactions saving consumers time and money.
Have you ever needed to have something notarized by a notary public? Why is that?
A notary’s job is to verify the identity of the person signing a legal document.
I became a Notary Public last year and occasionally I will notarize documents for people in my city. The origins of Notaries can be traced to ancient Egypt — a time when making records official transactions became important to humanity and dating back to 2750-2250 B.C. They are supposed to help oversee the official transaction by checking the ID of a signer and making sure the person is who they say they are.
Blockchain technology would get rid of the need for a notary because of smart contracts. What is a smart contract?
With smart contracts, you basically cut out the job of a notary because the blockchain will be able to verify who a person is with cryptography and execute a contract.
Blockchain is a wisdom of the crowd technology. We will be able to do so more online with a higher level of security. Here are 17 examples of what development of blockchain will bring.
1. Peer-to-Peer Transactions
Blockchain would enable business applications to arise making it easier for individuals to transact.
For example, as the sharing economy has grown over the past few years you still need a third party such as Airbnb or Venmo to be an intermediary.
The blockchain would enable peer-to-peer payments and make it possible to directly transact without a third party.
Blockchain would enable more crowdfunding opportunities. Kickstarter has grown in popularity as the platform to get funding to launch a business.
With Blockchain, you can create crowdsourced venture capital funds. So if you have an idea, instead of going to individual investors for start-up capital, you could easily get funding from a group of people.
One of the biggest benefits of blockchain that most people don’t think about is how it will change governance.
Throughout history, there’s never been a way to know with certainty that your vote has been cast. When you vote in an election, you’re trusting that your vote gets counted.
With blockchain, your privacy is protected, and you could vote online without physically sending a ballet that gets counted by humans. The blockchain can guarantee that your vote counted. No more miscounting votes.
4. Managing Inventory
For all the business owners out there that manage a business’s inventory, blockchain would provide an easy and accurate way to track it.
It could timestamp dates and locations that correspond with product numbers that cannot be changed. No more inventory audits every year because you know what you have in inventory is what you have.
5. File Storage
A huge benefit of the blockchain is safely storing documents. When you decentralize the file storage on the internet, the distributed data prevents hacked and lost files.
Internet security is a huge issue for individuals and businesses. Blockchain takes security to a new level. Because of Symmetric-Key Cryptography, you can send files securely without being hacked
6. Intellectual Property
The blockchain can protect intellectual property. A lot of money is spent trying to protect intellectual property. There’s an entire industry built on trying to protect property that gets distributed on the internet.
Smart contracts can protect copyright and automate the sale of creative work online. This eliminates the risk of copying and redistribution.
For example, one big problem is photographers who own the right to a picture online and it gets copied and redistributed.
Do you remember the camera company Kodak? They’re still around and they’ve shifted their focus to protecting photographs online by getting them on the blockchain.
“Wenn Digital has developed an image protection, monetization, and distribution platform secured via blockchain called KODAKOne, which is designed to protect the copyright of images or photographs registered on the platform.
7. The Internet of Things
Blockchain would enable the internet of things. People have been talking about the internet of things for years.
“The Internet of things is the extension of Internet connectivity into physical devices and everyday objects. Embedded with electronics, Internet connectivity, and other forms of hardware, these devices can communicate and interact with others over the Internet, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled.”
Smart contracts can automate remote systems through a combination of software, sensors, and network facilities. To learn more about the internet of things, watch this.
Blockchains can allow renewable energy within specific local areas like neighborhoods.
“A microgrid is a localized group of electricity sources and loads that normally operates connected to and synchronous with the traditional wide area synchronous grid, but can also disconnect to “island mode” — and function autonomously as physical or economic conditions dictate.”
9. Identity Management
The blockchain will offer enhanced methods to prove who you are.
It will allow you to have your own secure, advanced and digitized identity which will become more and more important as online services evolve.
Just like no one on earth has your exact same signature or thumbprint, you would have your own digital signature that would enable you to securely sign online.
10. Anti-money Laundering and Know Your Customer laws
The blockchain will improve anti-money laundering. “Anti-money laundering refers to a set of laws, regulations, and procedures intended to prevent criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income.”
Also, in the financial services industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires financial companies to “Know Your Customer.” Cross-institutional client verification and stronger analysis is possible with blockchain.
It can be a major pain completing a KYC every 36 months and this would eliminate the need to do so.
11. Private Data Management
Users will be able to control their private data and know exactly where and how it is used.
There have been talks about individual users being able to sell their own information and profit from it instead of the big companies if that’s what they decide to do.
Selling online user information is a multi-billion dollar industry and you should have control over how it gets used.
12. Land Title Registry
This will become one of the biggest added benefits of the blockchain. Publically accessible ledgers can make record keeping for land and property more efficient.
In America, there are constant disputes about property ownership. Once the information is added to the blockchain, it’s recorded and can’t be misinterpreted.
In less developed countries, they have no official record keeping system for property ownership. For example, one of the major conflicts and reasons for war in Africa is over who owns title to land.
When buying and selling stocks you have to have an intermediary or custodian execute the transaction.
When peer-to-peer trade confirmations become instant, auditors and custodians get removed from the process. This will save investors money when purchasing stocks and will execute immediately.
16. Banking the Unbanked
In the U.S. and throughout the world, customers do not qualify for a bank account because they do not meet certain criteria with the bank.
These people are not able to complete transactions so many of us take for granted. Having a new and updated monetary system would allow people to have a bank and transact in ways they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.
17. Alleviating World Poverty
From leveraging property rights, having access to a bank account, and cutting out middlemen, people in hard economic situations will be able to do more.
This has already been tested in multiple countries where the citizens who already have smartphones download an app and are able to use electronic payments.
The system is built on trust just like the dollar is, but as it gains mass adoption, it really does have the ability to alleviate poverty in countries by getting people to spend money.
So far we’ve talked about the benefits of the blockchain.
The benefits of Blockchain are something that isn’t discussed enough. People hear Bitcoin and they think, “oh, that’s not for me. That’s too risky.”
But it’s so much more than just a risky asset. This technology has the potential to change the way the world transacts online and how we use financial services.
But now I want to discuss some of the benefits of cryptocurrency and what it is.
What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is “a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.”
Cryptocurrencies make it easier to conduct any transactions, for transfers are simplified through the use of public and private keys for security and privacy purposes. These transfers can be done with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by traditional financial institutions.
Most people view cryptocurrency only as speculation and omit the utility of it.
I don’t want to discuss the price of bitcoin and tell you whether or not it’s a good time to buy or if you should consider purchasing cryptocurrency. I’m only discussing the utility of cryptocurrency and what it can do.
Many online companies have begun accepting cryptocurrency as an alternative form of payment.
You can own a digital wallet with real digital money. I know the picture of this post is a little misleading but cryptocurrencies are not actually physical coins.
It’s a combination of complex code that makes up one coin. And because it’s recorded on the blockchain it can’t be changed.
When you transact online such as buying a product or sending money to a friend, it’s irreversible. Once the transaction has taken place it will be on the public ledger forever and cannot be changed.
Once the money is sent, it’s sent. Of course, your friend could send money back or the company can refund you but if you were to send money to a scammer on accident, there’s no way to recover it.
This is also what makes crypto so secure. No centralized organization or government can decide what you can’t spend money on.
Honestly, one of the reasons cryptocurrency was created was to transact in the black market of selling drugs. In the early days, people could buy and sell drugs online with no way for it to be traced.
When you transact online there is no way for anyone to track your real-world identity with online activities. In that way, it’s completely private.
What is Bitcoin?
For example, Bitcoin is sent to 30-character addresses that consist of various addresses and numbers making it very difficult to connect your Bitcoin address to your real-world identity.
When I was in high school, I would buy clothing from China, and sell it. This honestly wasn’t that long ago.
Before I could have the products shipped to me, the company in China would need to receive the physical cash from a money order. I would go into Home Depot, locate the Western Union table, put my cash in an envelope, pay high fees, and hope that it made it there safely.
It’s so common for people to send money to and from another country but the value of what you send could so easily get eaten up because of high fees, the risk of it being stolen, and the time it takes for it to arrive.
Having a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin would allow you to purchase goods from any country. Bitcoin is the currency that gets the most attention because it’s the most well known. But in fact, there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies. Some of the other most popular ones are Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.
Each has its own function and utility.
One of the biggest benefits of cryptocurrency is the transaction time.
Transactions are executed instantly.
It doesn’t matter if you’re sending Bitcoin next door or across the world, the transaction time is the same.
Cryptocurrency has already changed that and will continue to do so by bringing the transaction time way down.
Online security has become incredibly important because so much of what we do now is online. It’s been too easy in the past for hackers to do whatever they want.
Using a digital wallet to pay for things will make it that much easier to spend money.
One of the things that worry me is how abstract the idea of money will become. When money because some weird made up magic that exists somewhere on the internet, it will make it hard to be disciplined with your money.
It’s not like spending cash where you physically give something up.
How can you ride the wave?
People ask me about cryptocurrency a lot. If you believe in the technology but you don’t want to expose yourself to too much risk, how can you ride the wave?
You’ve heard of people making millions of dollars with Bitcoin and bought a Ferrari. Many people want to grab a piece of the growth. These stories are super rare and you will never hear about the majority of people who lost A LOT of money.
I’m not going to tell you that you should or shouldn’t purchase cryptocurrency. I want to be transparent and say that I own a small percentage of my portfolio in crypto. I’m not trying to time the market by buying and selling. I view it as a long-term strategy and I’m diversified across many currencies.
One way to ride the wave aside from buying cryptocurrency is to support the companies that are investing millions in research and development in the blockchain.
While living in Salt Lake City, I use to commute home from the University of Utah using the train system. It took about an hour to get home and every day I watched them build this circle building in the middle of the valley.
It was a strangely shaped building and I didn’t know what it was for. When the building was nearly complete, I looked it up and realized it would become the new headquarters of a company I was somewhat familiar with called Overstock.
At the time I was into buying individual stocks and decided to buy 10 shares of Overstock at $16.00 a share. The only reason I purchased shares was that I commuted past the building every day.
I had no idea what the next year would bring for the company. It turns out the company was investing heavily in blockchain and cryptocurrency and was working starting a digital currency exchange called tZero. I watched the price of the stock go up with bitcoin to nearly $90 a share.
Even though the price increased dramatically, it dropped to under $10 in 2019.
Companies Supporting Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
The reason I brought this story up is that you can participate in the growth of new technology without jeopardizing your money with cryptocurrency by supporting the companies investing in it.
To name a few companies that are investing in new technology are Overstock, Facebook, IBM, American Express, Alphabet, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Square and Visa to name a few.
Most of these companies are large-cap companies that make up a big percentage of the stock market.
IF new technology is developed, the market will do better. But some people want to invest in an index fund of global equities focusing on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.
I don’t want to mention the specific ticker symbols for fear it will be taken as investment advice. But they do exist and provide a great alternative if you don’t want to purchase cryptocurrency.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency aren’t going away. I’ve given you multiple reasons why practically speaking it makes sense to have them.
Sadly, too many people speculate and follow the herd mentality making it hard to trust the technology.
I haven’t recommended you do anything, my purpose has been to point out the pros of the technology. There are obviously many cons to investing your money into this stuff.
So be careful.
Don’t do anything that could jeopardize your financial future.
Until cryptocurrency becomes more stable, I don’t think we will see major adoption. Facebook is actually spending millions of dollars developing their own cryptocurrency that’s pegged to the dollar.
It’s called Stablecoin and it’s supposed to allow people to spend crypto that fluctuates as much as the US dollar, making more stable.
Will Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Technology change the financial services industry?
I believe that blockchain and cryptocurrency technology will disrupt the financial services industry.
We’re still very early and will continue to see major developments and adoptions.
Just like the internet was in the 1990’s we’re seeing a lot of Fintech companies developing technologies built on the blockchain.
The companies that survive after the market takes a downturn are those that will have the biggest opportunities.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this practical guide on blockchain and cryptocurrency.
I’m pulling the curtain back a little and writing about the backstory of my wife’s business.
A few years ago, my wife Kenzie thoroughly disliked returning to a cubical day in and day out to go to work as an office manager.
She eventually quit that job and didn’t want to go back to another one she hated but wanted to find a way to be her own boss. We wanted to eventually have kids and she told me how much she would love to be able to work from home.
There’s an artsy, creative side to Kenzie. She has gone from one project to the next her entire life and some of them actually got finished.
This week, I’m writing about how she started a successful business working from home because she is making me do it.
My wife didn’t make me. I don’t even think she knows I’m writing this right now.
I think she forgot that I even have a blog and actually have an audience who reads my stuff.
But she did start a successful at home business and I wanted to share the story that she is too shy to share.
Ever since she started the business and has grown it into what it is today I constantly get questions about how she’s been able to work from home and balance taking care of our son.
And the reality is I have no idea how she’s been able to do it. She’s basically a world-class mompreneur and I just pretend that I played some role in making it happen.
And if you’re like me and don’t care much about sewing or baby stuff, but you have a spouse that does… share the website with them. But, be careful not to let your wife run wild with the credit card because you might end up with a few packages on your doorstep. This is a personal finance blog about teaching you ways to save money. So beware, my wife makes good stuff.
But speaking of saving money, my wife is actually launching a bow subscription this week that’s quite affordable. You can join the waiting list here and see that the tagline is even “the bow subscription that will make your husband happy too.”
Anyway, back to the reason why I wanted to write this post today.
Getting the business to where it is today hasn’t come without a great deal of struggle.
In the beginning, she had no idea what she would even call the business. I told her it doesn’t matter. I said, pick a name that you’re 80% happy with.
The name of her first business was All Things Unnecessary. For her first idea, she wanted to make iron board covers to cover up the ugly pattern nearly ever ironing board has. It was nice, but it was unnecessary.
The biggest thing was she got started. So much has changed from the beginning but she never let the fear of failure stop her from trying something new.
It honestly took about a year before she saw any traction and somewhat consistent sales. I could count at least 5 or 6 times that we had a serious conversation about whether or not she could just quit and go find a full-time job.
There have been so many nights that she stayed up working late to complete orders and work on the business. As hard as it has been, it’s been terribly fun to see how much success she’s had.
I continued to work full-time while in school and she worked from home to grow her business. She went all in creating blankets, bows, bibs, embroidery, and so much more.
She started out selling on Etsy and had a lot of success there. She then set up her own shop using Shopify to sell her products.
Just as things started to get busy we found out that she was pregnant. We were terrified. We had also talked about moving to Texas to pursue a master’s degree. Which is what we did, hence the reason why we live in Lubbock, Texas.
Which I’m sure you hadn’t heard of this place until the NCAA March Madness tournament. That’s right. Texas Tech is playing in the championship game tonight against Virginia. It’s one of the biggest things to ever happen to this city. The last team from Texas to make it to the final four was in 2000. The last team from Texas to win the entire thing was I believe back in 1968. So this is kind of a big deal.
I’m sorry, I got off topic again. But I really hope Texas Tech wins tonight! That alone would make moving here worth it. Forget about school.
As my wife’s business was growing, everything got put on hold when our son was born. Then six months later we packed up the moving truck and moved to Texas. She wasn’t able to fully set up shop again until August of 2018.
Because she took a break for a few months and had a lot of time to think about what she wanted to do when she started it up again there was an entirely different focus and determination.
Every month has been better than the next, increasing revenue and profit. March 2019 was the best month that her business has ever had.
This year she introduced two new products to the lineup. Cozy the Cottontail (the signature bunny) and a bow subscription that launches this week.
One other thing has been in the works for a few months and who knows when it will be released but when it does it will be big and could completely change the game.
Do it for me. Help me look like a good and helpful husband. Cozy Cottontail is how I will reach FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early). All of the schooling I’ve put myself through will become irrelevant because I will have to start working for my wife’s business. This is my master plan.
Hi, I’m Scott. Welcome to my website! I’m an Accredited Financial Counselor, husband, and father. I love writing and learning about personal finance, fintech, simple living, and sharing my personal story. I hope you’ll join me on our journey to financial independence!