Experiments in Financial Independence with Instacart

Experiments in Financial Independence with Instacart

As a financial coach, I get the question all of the time, “how can I make a little extra money in order to cover my bills?” 

One of my hobbies is side hustling and I wanted to experiment with something new and show you that it’s possible to make some extra money on the side. This is something you can do too!

The day after we got home from the hospital when our son was born, it was a cold day in February in the Rocky Mountains. We didn’t want to leave to buy groceries but we needed food. We heard that Costco had announced that it was offering grocery delivery in less than one hour. 

So we said what the heck. Why not give it a try? So we ordered some cereal, bread and other necessities like Boom Chicka Pop. Within 45 minutes someone was dropping our groceries off at our door. My wife and I looked at each other when he knocked like, woah! We left him a tip and that experience always stuck with me. 

Related: The Complete Guide to Reaching Financial Independence Through Simplifying

I wondered if that was a good side gig. I did some research and realized it’s possible to make somewhat decent income on the side. I tucked that idea away for a little bit and it wasn’t until recently that I thought I would try it out.

I signed up for Instacart through the Steady app which is an app that is a central location for all sorts of different side hustles. Signing up was simple and within a few days I had a debit card and a lanyard sent to me. 

I activated the debit card and was able to pick a 5-hour window to work during the upcoming week. 

Before I started the shift I was nervous. I didn’t know if I would get work right away or if I would just sit there the entire time because no one buys groceries online to be delivered to their door. 

I live really close to Costco so I just waited at my house until an order popped up. After about 30 minutes of waiting for a notification, it happened. I jumped in my car and headed to the store. 

My first order was from a man named Randy and he bought 6 items from Costco.

As I got to the store and started shopping, my inside Costco location skills were tested and I definitely didn’t get all of the groceries in a quick and orderly fashion. I was all over the place!

As I was shopping for the items I had about 45 minutes to get the groceries to the customer’s house. So I had a little bit of time to squeeze in for a Field Agent job as well. What that is, is occasionally you can get paid to take pictures of things inside of a store. I was paid $4.00 to take a few pictures of the toy section at Costco. 

When it came time to check out I stumbled a little bit. I swiped the card and it asked for a pin. I didn’t know the pin and so I panicked. Turns out I had to check the app to find the debit card pin before I checked it out. But I was eventually able to get the groceries paid for. 

Now it was off to the races. I had a few minutes to deliver the groceries to Randy. He lived in an apartment complex but luckily I was able to quickly find his. I showed up on time with the groceries in hand and my lanyard around my neck. 

I walked up to the door and no one answered. But I could hear someone inside. So I waited and waited. After a minuted or two of waiting a man came to the door with no legs. And he couldn’t really talk. But he pointed to the kitchen and I walked in and left the groceries for him. He was a very friendly guy but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. 

As soon as I left his house it hit me. This is pretty cool. I get to help people make their lives easier and simpler. He probably couldn’t have made it to the store on his own and he probably didn’t have anyone that could do shopping for him. I felt like a good citizen doing a good deed for another person. 

We all need to eat and going grocery shopping can be a real hassle for a lot of people. 

After I finished up that order I went back to Costco and waited a few minutes. Nothing was coming through so I decided to take my chances and go and workout at my gym across the street. I was able to nearly complete an entire workout when I got a notification for another order. 

I hoped in my car, crossed the street and did my second order. Except this order was different. As I was walking into Costco, I realized that this order had a ton of items. I didn’t know how I was going to fit it all in my car let alone one cart. It took me a while to gather all of the items and I had to use two carts but I was able to get everything in my car and then it was off to the races. 

When I got to my delivery destination I noticed it was at a church. I thought that’s a smart church! They’re trying to save time. I asked them what it was all for and they said it was for their members for church tomorrow. Keep in mind this was on a Thursday. I didn’t know people went to church early on a Friday morning. 

I had people help me bring in all the groceries and they left me with a $15 tip which I thought was very thoughtful.

Long story short. The amount of time that I was actually shopping and driving around was 1 hour and 26 minutes. I made $38.30 in that amount of time with a $15 cash tip which came out to $53.30 for an hour and a half worth of work. That works out to be $37.20 per hour! Not too bad for a side gig. 

So if you want to get started here’s how:

Download the Instacart Shoppers App and it’ll walk you through the steps to sign up. It’s really simple and I was approved within a couple of days and the Instacart debit card and lanyard showed up at my door. 

Once you’re approved and you have your stuff you will need to set your hours. I live in a college town and so I think there are a lot of other students in town that are shoppers and so the hours were limited. But I was able to schedule a shift for the following week. 

Once you start your shift you just wait for the notifications to start coming in and get to work! This is just one more way to help you on your path to financial independence.

Happy side hustling!

Top 3 Personal Finance Apps To Download In 2020

Top 3 Personal Finance Apps To Download In 2020

One for tracking, one for investing, and one for saving money.

After publishing, “79 Apps That Will Make You Better With Money (Some Will Even Pay You),” I received a lot of good feedback! A reader reached out to me and asked what my top 3 personal cash management software from the long list where ( I get that it can be a little overwhelming). So today, I’m going to share with you my favorite apps that I think you need to have on your smartphone in 2020. 

Personal Capital

When I first learned about Personal Capital I was like, “ehhhh, I’m not sure if I like it. I think I’ll stick with Mint.” It seemed a little complicated at first and I didn’t want to take the time to familiarize myself with the platform.

But, I decided that I would just connect my accounts. What I really liked was how simple the graphs were for me to see my net worth. Later. I discovered how to know if my investments were doing good. Before I had no idea if my investments were doing good compared to the market. Afterward, I was able to see that I was outperforming the S&P 500, foreign markets and the bond markets. When I would hear the radio host talk about the markets for the day, it started to make sense to me. I’m way more clear on a daily basis how my investments are doing and how that is impacting my overall financial future. 

The second thing that really benefited me was the fee analyzer. When I first started investing in a Roth IRA a few years back, I just signed up for whatever my bank recommended. After looking at how much I was paying in fees through Personal Capital (something my bank didn’t want me to know). I decided that paying 1.5% in fees was WAY too much for me (I didn’t even have a financial advisor to work with). I was able to switch my investment into a Vanguard fund where the fees are essentially zero. This will have a HUGE impact on my financial future.

This is an example of what their dashboard looks like. If it looks a little intimidating at first, that’s ok! Give it a try and as you become more familiar, you’re going to love it. Did I mention it’s completely free?

Robinhood

When I was in college, a good friend of mine suggested I check out this new investing platform called Robinhood. The name didn’t make sense at first but after learning about the company it totally makes sense.

Their mission is to democratize investing.

You no longer need a lot of money to get started investing. One of the features I really liked from the beginning was how simple it was to use. Some of the other platforms I had used in the past made things difficult. 

After you’re approved, simply connect your bank account and start investing in companies that you love or purchase index funds! There is no cost or heavy commissions to get started. It’s one of the easiest ways to get started investing that I know of. It can be super fun as well! 

As mentioned in my earlier articles, only get started investing if you’ve created a budget, paid off high-interest debt, and you have some emergency savings.  

Ibotta 

An app you use at the grocery store to get cashback on things that you are already buying. We all spend a good amount of money at the grocery store on basic necessities such as milk, eggs and other products. Think if you could go back say, 10 years and get $0.25 for every gallon of milk you had ever bought, that’s $130 just in milk.

This one took me a week or two to learn how it was done. But once I got the hang of it it was so easy to use. I’ve never left a grocery store with at least making $0.25. Sometimes a lot more! You simply click the + button to redeem an item, scan the receipt after you buy it, and cash will be deposited into your account within minutes.

You must meet a minimum of $10 in order to cash out and get paid through either Venmo or PayPal.

Get started with $5.00 when you use my link!

That’s it for my three favorite apps for 2020! Let me know what you think! For more ideas on ways to save money and earn extra money, click here.

79 Apps That Will Make You Better With Money (Some Will Even Pay You)

79 Apps That Will Make You Better With Money (Some Will Even Pay You)

Alright guys, I’m super excited for today’s post!

This has been years in the making! There are so many ways out there in 2018 to make money and if you start using just a few of these today, it’s going to dramatically shape your finances and set you on the path to financial independence.

Let be honest, none of these are going to make you rich quick but none of these existed 10 years ago. 

I put together a list of 79 apps that I use personally that have either made me better with money and/or made me money

Over the years, as I’ve learned about side hustles, I’ve come across a lot of ways to make and save money. Some have made a small amount of money and some have fallen flat. I’ve tested hundreds and I want to deliver to you a list of apps that I think will work for you. People think I’m crazy when I tell them all the ways I use my phone to master my personal finances.

So, if you’re someone that likes this kind of stuff and you have more to share please comment on this post or reach out to me at scott@simplifinances.com. Please feel free to share this with friends and family.

I love using technology that will simplify my life and help me master my finances. This post is in no way meant to confuse you or overwhelm you nor to be exhaustive. I don’t suggest you sign up for all of these at one time but that you pick a few that relate to you in your life and then gradually build upon it. It’s taken me years to get to this point and I’m constantly experimenting with new things. 

Making or saving money with any of these requires one serious first step. You need to try it yourself. Why? Honestly, you will not know what you’re missing out on if you do not actually try it out. I’m a big believer in standing behind the products you are marketing. There certainly have been times in which I have started using a product, recommended it, and stopped recommending it. This happens.

Here’s the thing. There is nothing on this list that I have not tried personally. I want to bring as much value to you as possible while being 100% honest and upfront. So, I’m going to be upfront with you, some of these are affiliate links. If you sign up through my link, it’s no cost to you but we both benefit from it. It’s a win-win! With that being said, most of the links don’t have an affiliate program. It’s simply something worth sharing that I have become a fan of.

Last year, this list would have probably been “89 apps that will make you better with money.” But each of these apps is legit businesses and some of them have gone under in the past year. But those ten have probably been replaced with twelves others. For example, my favorite app last year, GymPact, was paying me $0.50 each time I went to the gym for at least 30 min each day. As you could probably guess this was not a sustainable business. This will continue to happen and I will do my best to stay at the front of the game on this and let you know what changes. 

Keep in mind, if it’s free, you are the product. Understand you’re giving up a little bit of your privacy to use these. If that kind of stuff worries you, don’t use these. But I believe we live in an age where most people are willing to give up privacy for speed and convenience.

Now on to the good stuff. I’m going to let you know what I have loved, things I wish were better and which ones I have actually made money on. So let’s dig in. 

Be sure to read our disclosure.

Money Tracking

1. Mint – Manage your money and track your credit score with Mint. This is my number one recommendation. If you have not created a Mint account yet, what are you waiting for? You can read a review of Mint that I created a couple of months ago.

Read: Personal Finance Software that will Simplify your Money

This was one of the first apps I came across four years ago. It set a foundation for my financial future. I used it religiously at the beginning and now I have a very accurate idea of what my annual and monthly spending is, my net worth, and all of my financial accounts are in one place. 

2. Personal Capital – Take control of your money now with Personal Capital. Manage your assets and investments. I wanted to better understand my investment portfolio so I started using this. Personal Capital has many features similar to Mint but the investing section is so robust it’s insane! It helped me understand more about my investment portfolio, diversification, and performance than anything else. I can’t help but check it every day when the market closes and see how I did compared to the market as a whole. I can see how my net worth changes on a daily basis! Sign up using my link. 

3. Clarity Money – See your financial picture, cancel unwanted subscriptions, and see insights — all in one place that’s 100% free to use. Clarity money was actually recommended to me by a coworker. I love the simplicity and features! If you have a monthly recurring bill that you don’t want to pay any more, cancel the subscription within the app and they will cancel it for you. I had a Wall Street Journal Subscription of $4.00 a month during college. I called to cancel it and one of their agents did everything they could to get me to keep it (which I did). Months later, I asked Clarity Money to cancel it and the next day it was gone. No talking to people. No negotiations. Gone. 

4. Every Dollar – The budget app that helps you create a monthly budget, track spending, save money and get out of debt fast. Budgeting just got easy. If you’re familiar with Dave Ramsey this is his companies app he created to help people set up a simple budget. It’s free for the basic budget but if you want to aggregate all of your accounts you have to pay a fee. Something you can get for free with all three above apps. But for everyone that loves old Dave, this should be your go-to app. 

5. Albert – Your financial genius. We find savings you’re missing, bills you’re overpaying, help you pay down debt faster, save automatically for you, and much more. Albert is free to use and will be your little finance assistant if you let him.

6. Honey Due – The simplest way for couples to manage money, together. I haven’t used all of the features because my wife and I have our own way of tracking our finances. But for a couple that is just starting out, I can see how powerful this can be to help you get on the same page financially. And of course, if you don’t want your significant other to see where you spend money, don’t use this!

7. FileThis –  Gather finance documents in one place, faster and easier than ever before. I like using FileThis because it imports all of my bank, investment, and insurance statements into my Google Drive and stores them all in one place for easy access. 

8. Trim – Trim automates your financial life. I’ll get text messages from trim keeping me updated on financial activity. I’m a fan of what the company is doing so I copied and pasted their company overview because it’s so powerful. “We’re building the future of personal finance: a fast-learning, AI-powered assistant that takes care of your money so you don’t have to. In 10 years, we hope to look back and wonder: How did anyone pay monthly for an Experian credit report they had forgotten about? How could banks make $30 billion per year in overdraft fees? How is it possible that Americans paid $13 billion annually in credit card late fees? We estimate that if all Americans had a personal financial assistant, they could save more than $100 billion per year.”

Speaking of banks. 

Online Banks

9. USAA – This is the bank that I use personally and I don’t believe there is a better bank out there that delivers on customer service as well as staying on the cutting edge of technology. I switched to USAA when I got married because my father-in-law was in the military and we use them for everything. I like to think of them as my virtual credit union.

10. Wells Fargo – Although they have seen a ton of criticism over the past year and a half I’ve stuck with Wells Fargo for my businesses. I’ve never had any issues with them and I believe they have what it takes to turn things around and continue to be a great bank.

11. Chase – Chase was my first bank and I’ve recently started using them again. I’ve started getting into travel rewards this year and have been actively working towards my bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card!

12. Simple – It’s the whole idea of banking, remade with lovely design, equally lovely tools to help you save (right inside your account), and genuine human goodness. It’s a free, all-digital checking account designed to be used mostly on your smartphone. It comes with a Visa debit card and a handful of first-rate mobile banking tools. I recently visited the Simple headquarters in Portland, Oregon and they have some amazing things going on. I could see myself switching over to them completely in the near future. 

13. Chime – Banking that helps you get ahead. Say goodbye to ridiculous bank fees. Save money automatically. Manage your money from anywhere. A simple and easy to use online bank. I got my Chime debit card in the mail recently and it looks sweet! Go check out Chime!

14. Venmo – If you haven’t been using Venmo, where have you been? Venmo is a free digital wallet that lets you make and share payments with friends. You can easily split the bill, cab fare, or much more. In case you didn’t know, PayPal actually owns Venmo. I recently heard on a podcast the story of how Venmo was started and how it almost shut it’s doors down after a few years. 

15. Citibank – One of my favorite credit cards has been the Citi Bank Costco card. It’s a pretty hard one to beat as far as cashback. 

Investing

16. Robinhood – Invest in stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptos, all commission-free. $0 minimum deposit. Secure platform trusted by millions. If I had to get rid of every single personal finance app on my phone and just use one it would be this one. Robinhood has become my favorite app because their mission is to democratize investing, making it affordable and simple and that’s exactly what it has done for me.

The money I make from apps, birthday’s, Christmas, loose change and selling things, it all gets dumped into Robinhood. The money is building up and growing even more because it’s invested. It’s amazing what putting little amounts of money together will do in a few short years! I’m not scared to lose this money so I can be risky with it. When you factor in fee-free compounding interest this will have a significant impact on my financial future. Talk about a money hack!

17. Acorns – It’s simple and secure to invest in your future, automatically. More than 2 million people are doing it! It only takes a few minutes to get started. Acorns is my favorite platform to recommend to people that want to get started with investing. I’ve had so much good feedback from friends and family that say they love the round-up feature that pulls money from their checking account and puts it into their investment automatically when they make a purchase. Your purchase is rounded to the nearest whole dollar and the difference is put to work for you. All of their funds are invested in index funds through a very reputable company, Vanguard. Their expense ratio is 0.25% but it’s free if you are a college student.

18. Stockpile – The biggest advantage of Stockpile is buying fractional shares of a company’s stock. Because Amazon costs $1,800 you may not be able to buy a single share. With Stockpile you could buy $20 worth and become an owner of the company. They charge $0.99 for each trade. Use this to get your kids or little siblings excited about investing in their favorite companies like Disney or Hershey’s.

19. Vanguard – Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment companies, with more than $3 trillion in global assets. When it comes to investing for my retirement there is no better company that I would recommend to you than Vanguard. Founded by Jack Bogle the company first introduced the idea of index funds and has since exploded in popularity. Their mission has always been to lower the cost of investing and have always been a leading pioneer. I use Vanguard for my Roth IRA which I always max out each year. The limit as of 2018 is $5,500 per person per year. With Vanguard you can find expense ratios as low as 0.04%.

20. Wealth Simple – An online investment management service focused on making “investing easier for millennials.” The firm was founded in September 2014. Wealth Simple is similar to Acorns in that your funds are invested with Vanguard and you can set up automatic deposits. They have a very clean, simple and easy to use interface. I have a brokerage account set up with them for my son’s investments. He’s only 5 months old but it’s never too early, right?

21. Coinbase – Coinbase is a secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing digital currency. It has exploded as the go-to app for investing in cryptocurrencies. I first began using it in the summer of 2017. Coinbase charges a fee when you buy and sell which can add up quickly. One reason I love Coinbase is being able to connect a debit card to my account. The first thing bought with digital money was a Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddle from McDonald’s. I use Apple Pay at the self-checkout kiosk. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. Think about that. I bought food with digital money, from a phone connected to my debit card, without talking to a human. The world is changing my friends.

22. Future Advisor – Investing in your future does not have to be difficult or expensive. I like to use Future Advisor for tracking my investments and watching them grow over time. 

23. Betterment – The smart, modern way to invest. Betterment is easily becoming one of the top Robo-advisors in the market. I think it’s pretty clear that Robo-advisors are the future of investing and Betterment is leading the way in technology.

24. Wisbanyan – One of the truly free ways to invest in index funds. Wisebanyan has made it simple to get started investing and has removed the cost completely.

25. Stash – Meet the startup helping broke millennials save their couch pennies. Stash simplifies investing and has great educational resources on investing to help you get the basics down. 

26. Openfolio – The easy way to stay on top of your investments. Openfolio will compare how your investments do with people your age, the top 25% of investors, the market as a whole and a few others. If you really want to know if your investments are doing well check out Openfolio. 

27. Wealthfront – Sophisticated financial advice without the hassle or high fees. I recently finished the book, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” written by Burton Malkiel. I was surprised to find out that Wealthfront is his company. I’ve been using it for a few years and it was great to make that connection because it’s an amazing book on investing if you have not read it.

28. Sigfig – Another Robo-Advisor that is picking up speed quickly. They have a feature where you can aggregate all of your investments into Sigfig and get an overall picture and analysis on your investments.

Credit

29. Credit Karma – This is one of my favorite apps to track my credit. My favorite part is when it alerts me any time my credit is pulled. It gives me peace of mind knowing if my information was stolen I would be notified. I also like how it updates on a weekly basis and gives you the most accurate and up to date credit score. Because it is a free product your score could be lower or higher than what it displays. 

30. Wallaby – The best way to keep track of all your credit cards. If you have more than one credit card and you’re not sure which card to use at the store, on gas, or online and you want to get the maximum award. Wallaby will tell you what card is best to use where and show you where you missed out. A new feature that I discovered is tracking sign up bonuses. If you’re working on completing a sign-up bonus from your credit card it will tell you when you need to meet the spending requirements and how much more you have to go. 

31. Credit Sesame – Similar to Credit Karma this app will allow you to monitor your credit score for free without pulling your credit. Your score updates once a week and it helps me stay on top of my credit.

32. Chase Sapphire Preferred – I mention this credit card because it has the best sign-up bonus to be able to acquire points for travel. You can get 50,000 points if you spend a total of $4,000 in the first 3 months. That’s between $625 and $1,000 in travel dollars. I’m not against credit cards and think if they’re used responsibly they have huge benefits.

33. Annual Credit Report – By law, you are allowed to check your credit report once a year from each of the three credit bureaus. This is the best and safest way to do it for free. I spread out each report every 4 months and analyze my credit report for errors. 

Savings

34. Ebates – The free cashback shopping assistant. Any time I buy something online I check to make sure I can get cashback with Ebates. I have the Chrome extension enabled on my browser so any time I go to check out it will flash and tell me to activate cashback. I don’t shop a lot but I’ve made $126.08 in the past year booking hotels and buying items online. You definitely need to download this one if you haven’t yet!

35. Ibotta – Helping everyday consumers save time and money. Did you know you could be missing out on hundreds of dollars shopping at the grocery store? Ibotta has a huge list of items at the store offering anywhere from $0.25 – $5.00 in cashback per item. I’ve made $92.61 in over a year scanning my receipt after I go grocery shopping and matching items. You can also book travel through the app and get cashback. The money gets sent to you via PayPal or Venmo as soon as you reach $20. Download it!

36. Checkout 51 – Save money on the brands you love. Simply buy products from the list of items and upload your receipt and you’ll get cashback. It’s similar to Ibotta but sometimes you can double dip. One product may be on both and you could get double the cashback. 

37. Dosh – Get cashback for things that you’re already buying. I’m $0.71 away from cashing out my first $25. But downloading the Dosh app and connecting your debit or credit cards when you spend money at select partners like Exxon or Payless shoes they automatically give you cashback. You literally don’t have to do a thing and it shows up within seconds of you purchasing. 

38. Qapital – Banking designed with your goals in mind. With Qapital you can set a goal to go on a vacation or pay for a sporting event and money will be transferred to your Qapital account randomly, on a consistent basis, or however, you would like. I discovered you can do some amazing things with it. For example, I set up a rule that said every time my favorite sports team won a game I wanted to save $10. When my team lost I wouldn’t save any money. Qapital sends me a notification each time a game starts and then tells me who won and whether or not I am going to be saving money that day. There is so much more you can do with it! 

39. Digit – Save money and pay off debt, all without thinking about it. Digit has become a consumer favorite because it makes saving money so dang easy! It has an algorithm based on your spending and then analyzes how much it thinks you should be saving and then transfers it into your Digit savings account. 

40. Receipt Hog – Receipts to cash. Do you say no each time you’re asked if you would like your receipt? You may want to start saying yes. Each time you scan a receipt you get coins that you can later convert to cash. I scan all of my receipts now and then throw them away. 

41. Receiptpal – Receipts to gift cards. Similar to Receipt Hog but instead of cash you can choose gifts cards after you scan a certain amount of receipts. I recently completed a $25 restaurants.com gift card. 

42. Shopkick – Earn gift cards for walking into stores. I was shocked when I found out how easy and fun Shopkick can be. When you walk into a store like Walmart or BestBuy simply open up the app and you will get “kicks,” scan barcodes and you will get more “kicks,” buy items and scan receipts and you will get even more “kicks.” All kicks can be redeemed for gift cards. I’ve made about $10 just walking into stores in less than a year that I have used for an Amazon gift card. 

43. Drop – Earn rewards for everyday spending and supercharge your credit and debit cards. When you connect your cards to Drop and spend money anywhere points will be added to your Drop account and you can redeem them for gift cards to your favorite places. For example, if you shop at Sam’s Club and spend $100 today, they’re offering 5% cashback which is $5.00 simply for connecting your card. 

44. Inbox Dollars – Get paid for online surveys. If you’d like to get paid in your spare time filling out surveys and getting paid to watch TV then download Inbox Dollars and start making some money on the side. I’ve made $13.33 with just a little bit of work. As soon as you hit $30 you can cash out. 

45. Make Money –  Enter code: V6E5S2 – Surveys and such. Open the app, check-in and get rewarded for surveys, signups and watching videos. 

46. RetailMeNot – Coupons, cashback deals, discount gift cards and more. If you shop a lot you really need to be using this app. You’ll find local and nation limited time offers and deals, the best coupons for eating out and shopping, and discounted gift cards in-store and online. 

47. Krazy Coupon Lady – Couponing and online deals. Good extreme couponing deals are harder to find. But they are out there! With this app, you can see what other people are doing at different stores to get stuff for free and save a ton of money shopping. 

48. Flipp – Weekly store ads all in one place. If you don’t like getting all the weekly ads in the mail but don’t want to miss out on all of the good deals going on at the store. Flipp keeps an updated list of all of your favorites stores’ weekly ads.

49. Valpak – Open the neighborhood. Local deals, coupons, and promo codes. If you’d like to learn about what’s happening around your area and save money with coupons and other savings, Valpak will help you!

50. Mr. Rebates – Cashback shopping at thousands of stores. Simply shop through there portal and get cashback when you make a purchase.

51. Befrugal – Cashback shopping. Simply shop through there portal and get cashback when you make a purchase.

52. TopCashback – Cashback and coupon site. Simply shop through there portal and get cashback when you make a purchase. You’ll notice that there are four cashback sites listed in this section. Keep in mind that if you use a bunch of different cashback sites you’ll never meet your minimum amount to cash out. So I recommend you pick one (whether it’s Ebates, Mr. Rebates, Befrugal, or Topcashback) and stick with it. 

53. Groupon – Get deals and coupons for restaurants, fitness, travel and a lot more! Groupon is one of the more popular places to get good deals. The good deals are harder to come across but they do exist! Sometimes you can find random good deals. The last thing I purchased from Groupon was 50% the Spartan Race. It saved me $60!

54. Restaurants.com – Get gift cards for restaurants. You could save a boatload on eating out if you bought gift cards through restaurants.com and then used them when you eat out. They’re usually discounted 10% – 50%.

55. Earny – Get cash back on purchases automatically. Earny tracks your online purchases and claims the difference for you if the price of an item drops and refunds you the difference. 

56. Paribus – Find out if stores owe you a refund. Each time a store drops the price of an item you could walk into the store and request a refund of the price difference if you have purchased it within a certain amount of days. But who has time for that? Paribus will track all of your orders and get you a refund if prices of items drop after you purchase them. 

57. Coupons.com – All of the top coupons in one place. What more can I say? 

58. Honey – A chrome extension that will apply promo codes automatically when you go to check out. I love Honey! Instead of missing out on promo codes or trying to scan the web for codes, Honey takes care of all of it in seconds and will apply the best promo codes for you automatically.

59. Wikibuy – Get promo codes and offers from other sellers to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Do you ever wonder if you’re really getting the best deal on Amazon? When you go to check out, Wikibuy will tell you what other places are selling that item for cheaper. I’ve been able to get the same item way cheaper by not buying it off Amazon. I know, strange! 

60. Camelcamelcamel – Amazon price tracker. Get an email when an item you track drops in price. I use this for books and other items on Amazon that I want to buy and I’ve been able to save a lot of money buying things at the right time. You can see a year over year charted price change so you can predict when the right time to buy is going to be. 

61. Pocketpoints –  Use code CbfEA when you sign up. Get rewarded for staying off your phone in class. Then use your rewards at local stores and restaurants to get free stuff and good deals online and in-store. 

Rewards

62. Swagbucks – Free gift cards for paid surveys and more. Instead of using Google as your main search engine, use Swagbucks and you’ll start accumulating points that add up to cash and gift cards just for searching like you would in Google. 

63. Panel App – A legit way to get paid by doing nothing. All you have to do is enable your location and let it run in the background and you’ll accumulate points. I just cashed out $25 worth of Amazon gift cards. 

64. Google Rewards – It pays to share your opinion. When Google has a short survey to send out you’ll be notified. It’s usually two or three questions that pay you $0.10 to $0.15 per survey and you can cash out in $2 increments. 

65. Gas Buddy – Find cheap gas. If you’re wondering where the best gas prices in town are simply open the app and it will tell you. You can also report gas prices and be entered to win $100 in free gas. The more you report the higher your chance of winning. I haven’t won yet but I’m determined.

66. Award Wallet – Stay on top of all your rewards. If you’ve struggled to keep track of your airline or hotel points and when they expire, Award Wallet is the best way to keep all of that stuff in one place. If you don’t have a way to keep track of all of your award points this has to be something you bookmark because it will make your life so easy as you manage your points. 

67. Achievement – Cash for doing healthy activities. Connect to your Apple Health or other health devices and get paid for being healthy. I’ve made $20 over the past two years for simply walking. 

68. Sweatcoin –  Get paid in digital currency for working out. Enable it to track your steps and you’re on your way to saving money when you shop. I shop way less than I walk so my digital currency is just building up!

69. Points.com – Helps you do more with all of your loyalty points and miles. 

Productivity (Bonus)

70. Coachme – A free and simple habit tracking app. This is the one app that has helped me to consistently floss my teeth! Each morning I go through my checklist of things that I need to do and it helps me be super productive. If you’d like more help with something such as quitting a habit or writing a book you can actually hire a coach to help you stay accountable. 

71. My Fitness Pal – Free calorie counter, diet and exercise journal. This has been my go-to health app. I keep track of all of my calories and weight on a daily basis which allows me to reach my goals easier. I don’t obsess when it comes to counting calories but this helps me get a rough estimate of where I am. You can also connect with your friends and help them along on their health journey!

72. Life Cycle – Track your time and life automatically. Have you ever wondered how much time you spend commuting in your car in one month? How about per year? How much time do you spend at the gym vs sleeping? I was blown away when I was able to see exactly how much time I spend aggregated throughout an entire year. To give you an example, in 2017 I spent 2048 hours sleeping (which wasn’t enough). I spent 79 hours walking, 29 hours flying, I spent the same amount of time at the gym as I did at church at 195 hours each. Lastly, I spent 525 hours driving. I don’t know how accurate this is but I was blown away!

73. Moment – Screen time tracker. If you pick up your phone a lot and feel like you spend too much time on it. Get an accurate idea of how much screen time you spend. I spend about 1H 58M per day on my phone and pick it up on average 41 times. I’ve been able to decrease my time on my phone because I’m aware of how much I use it. 

74. Todoist – To do list for managing tasks and errands. This is a great way to put everything you have to do in a given month or year in one place and get reminders before you need to complete them. 

75. Stickk – Pays you cash to help you meet your goals. But, it will also charge you if you don’t reach your goals so you better be committed. With Stickk you actually create a legal and binding contract with yourself, stating that you will reach a goal by a specific date and if you don’t you may choose to have the money you put up go towards your least favorite organization. For example, let’s say you want to write a book by January and put $100 on the line. If you don’t complete the book by January, that $100 will go to the BYU football team (my least favorite team). Talk about motivation! If you really want to reach a goal Stickk will make it happen for you. 

76. Freedom – Block websites, apps, and the internet. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, etc. This app will block them for you after you have spent a certain amount of time on them in one day. 

77. Sortly – Easy inventory system for your home and business. If you’re trying to become a minimalist and want to know exactly how much stuff you have, with Sortly you can take an inventory of all your items. Including taking pictures, item value and quantity. It’s been super helpful for me! When I found out I had over 100 shirts I decided I needed to get rid of some. 

78. Decluttr – Get rid of your unwanted stuff and make money. Once you take inventory of your stuff you may want to give some away or maybe you want to make some money from your unwanted stuff. Most people are sitting on piles and piles of cash of unwanted things. Make $500 bucks this weekend and sell your stuff. 

79. Unrollme – The email unsubscription service. This app may go down as my all-time productivity app. If you have a cluttered email inbox and would like to unsubscribe from all of your unwanted emails, Unrollme allows you to pull up a list of all your subscriptions and one-click unsubscribe. 

If you got value from this list please share it with your friends and family. Who doesn’t want to be better with money and make some dough in the meantime?

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6 Things I’ve Learned After 6 Months of Blogging

6 Things I’ve Learned After 6 Months of Blogging

Why I started blogging

In May of last year, on my way home from work I was sitting on the train. I thought about starting a business in something I was passionate about. I felt I needed to start a financial education and coaching business. 

After learning as many ins and outs of starting an online business, I realized that blogging was going to be a big part of my plan. My goal for 2018 was to write one blog post a month because it wasn’t going to be my main focus. I realized after writing that was too easy and decided I could accomplish way more if I wrote once a week.

Blogging is interesting. It’s only been around for a little more than a decade. But the amount of good it has done for people is crazy! The internet has exposed all the information. You can find answers to all of your questions. We’re blessed to have all the information at our fingertips. I’ve learned so much from Google and its added a lot of value to my life.

What I’ve learned in the past 6 months:

  1. The process is the result – You don’t get to a point where you feel like you’ve made it. It will always be an ongoing process of producing content and that is the result for me. 
  2. It’s about genuine human connection – It’s been a great way for me to connect with other people to talk about things I’m passionate about.
  3. Success does not happen overnight – This is the case with any business but especially for blogging. 
  4. Nothing comes to you, you got to go get it – At first, I thought if I build it they will come. Now I really understand it’s about putting yourself out there and getting noticed.
  5. It’s possible to make money – Making money has never been my primary motive. I’m going to be 100% honest. I’ve made $5 from my blog from someone using a link to sign up for something and it was my second blog post. But I see the real potential and know if I continue to produce good content and build trust with my readers the blog will make money.
  6. How to type faster without looking down – I’ve always been somewhat of a slow typer and I’ve learned to type so much faster, it’s awesome!

The biggest thing for me was connecting with other people and having a way to help them. Many people start a blog simply because they heard how much money can be made from it. They go for two or three months and don’t see any progress and so they quit. My focus has been to give my best content away for free in order to build trust with my readers.

Six months is a long time. But, its flown by. 

Many people would have given up by now. I’m still warming up!

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