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make money from home with Amazon…

make money from home with Amazon Source by alainaforbes VideoWhizz Elite-edition A Revolutionary Video Personalization, Customization, Notification, and Monetization Technology that Drives Maximum Engagement, Conversions, Opt-Ins, and Sales.[OTO] PLR Lisence …

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7 Green Cities That Help Our Environment (And Our Pockets)

The post 7 Green Cities That Help Our Environment (And Our Pockets) appeared first on Money Under 30.

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An Introduction to Persuasive Advertising vs. Informative Advertising

Out of all the entertaining ads that represented during Super Bowl 53, there’s exclusively one commercial that I woke up thinking about the next morning: Pepsi’s “More Than OK”.

“More Than OK” poked fun at how Pepsi typically takes a back seat to Coke, especially at restaurants. And by featuring a star-studded cast that included Steve Carell, Lil Jon, and Cardi-B( who hilariously and fervently backed up Pepsi’s OKness) their boldness to call parties out for undermining Pepsi’s quality got a lot of roars and persuasion a massive gathering to reconsider their own perception of the soft drink.

As purveyors, we know that if we want to persuade an public, we need to evoke an feelings response from them. But how do you actually do that? Below, we’ll examine six compelling advertise procedures you can use in your advertisings, five instances you can reference if you ever need some brainchild, and three informative advertising lessons that are astonishingly just as compelling as the credible publicize examples.

Persuasive Techniques in Advertising

The Carrot and The Stick

The Scarcity Principle

One Message Per Advertisement

Write In the Second Person

Give Your Audience a Sense of Control

Use a Call-to-Value Instead of a Call-to-Action

1. The Carrot and The Stick

Humans are hardwired to move towards pleasure, like a horse towards a carrot, and away from pain, like a donkey avoids a stay. When parties predict or watch your ads, “carrots”, or predicts of addition, can crowd your potentials with hope and impel them to pursue that potential feeling of gratification. “Sticks”, possibilities of loss, provoke horror in your prospects, which will impel them to flee from that potential feeling of pain.

Both tactics can pull your promises into a narrative and conjure sentiments that spur your desired action. Carrots, like a product’s benefit, pull people to take a desired action. Persists, on the other hand, like anti-smoking expeditions, conjure fear in beings to stop doing a certain action and start doing the alternative. To better understand how to craft circulars that piece a carrot or remain, check out these insurance copywriting specimen below.

Carrot: “1 5 minutes trying to save you 15% on auto insurance.” — Geico

Stick: “Get All-State. You can save money and be better protected from Mayhem like me. ” — All-State

As you can see, Geico’s ad utilizes a small time investment that could potentially produce big incomes as a entice to get you to buy their product. Conversely, All-State’s ad uses the character “Mayhem” to stimulate panic into beings to stop using their “inferior” insurance and start using All-State’s.

2. The Scarcity Principle

People value objects and experiences that are rare — having something that most people want, but can’t have, improves our feel of self-worth and supremacy. If you use words and mottoes that imply scarcity and conjure a sense of importance, like “Exclusive offer” or “Limited availability”, you can skyrocket your product’s perceived dearth and consumer demand.

3. One Message Per Advertisement

To immediately fastened beings and persuade them to read or watch the rest of your advertising, try lodging to only one word. Spotlighting your concoction or offer’s main benefit or aspect will make it easy for your customers to understand its value and increase the probability of their conversion because you’re simply communicating one letter to your public: your product’s main feature will benefit your customer’s life somehow, someway.

4. Write in the Second Person

Since your promises mainly are worried about how you can help them, and pronouns like “you” and “your” can engage them on a personal level and help them insert themselves in the narrative you’re creating, writing advertisements in the second person can instantly grip their attending and help them imagine a future with your product or service improve their lives.

5. Give Your Audience a Sense of Control

According to a research study conducted by three psychology professors at Rutgers University, the need for control is a biological and mental essential. People have to feel like they have control over their lives.

If you want to give your audience a sense of self-control, you need to give them the ability to choose. In other words, after reading or watching your advertisement, they must feel like they can choose between the option you show or another path. If they feel like you’re trying to force them to buy your concoction, they’ll get annoyed and detach from your message.

To give your audience the ability to choose, and in turn, a sense of insure, use terms like “Feel free” or “No pressure” in your ads, like this example from Hotwire.com below.

6. Use a Call-to-Value Instead of a Call-to-Action

Call-to-actions are crucial for getting potentials to make the next step, but a “Download Now” or “Call Now” CTA isn’t always going to convince the more skeptical prospects to make your desired action. You need to make sure your ad’s last pipeline of simulate or epigram is the best of them all.

So instead of writing an uninspiring, final text of follow like “Download Now”, write one that clearly communicates your offer’s value and grants a peek into your prospects’ potential life if they make your desired action, like this call-to-value prompting books to download a blogging eBook: “Click today and has become a blogger tomorrow.”

Forceful Advertising Examples 1. Nikol Persuasive Advertising - Nikol Paper Towls

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

Showing — not telling — your gathering about your product’s benefits is one of the best ways to capture attention and get an psychological response. Plainly, Nikol’s paper towels can’t actually turn grapes into raisins, but this ad highlightings the product’s absorbent powers in a such a clear and clever way, they didn’t need write a single thread of copy.

2. Heinz Persuasive Advertising - Heinz

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

In relation to food, the word “hot” has numerous proposes: having a high temperature and being spicy. Heinz brilliantly exerted the undertone of high temperature to highlight the spiciness of their ketchup, and their innovative approach of communicating the value of their product helped them instantly attract people’s attention.

3. Mondo Pasta Persuasive Advertising - Mondo Pasta

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

With this canny operation of guerrilla marketing, Mondo Pasta perfectly aligns their emulate with their inventive — the chap slurping the pate literally “can’t let go” because its a lasso bind to a wharf. By designing such a visual, unexpected, and literal ad with a apparently one-dimensional prop, people’s eyes can’t let go of this ad either.

4. Bic Persuasive Advertising - Bic

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

Another example of guerrilla marketing, Bic takes advantage of an unkept study to highlight the capability of their razors. By merely mowing a small strip of grass on a field, this ad is an offbeat, simple, and terribly creative course to catch people’s attention and spotlight a razor’s shaving capabilities.

5. Siemens Persuasive Advertising - Siemens

Image Credit: Brilliant Ads

Siemens’ skilled ad shows the benefits of their make by unusually residence their washers and dryers in a library to show you that they’re so quiet, even a librarian wouldn’t need to shush them.

Informative Advertising

Compared to persuasive publicizing, informative publicizing focuses more on the facts of the case, and less on ardours. It foreground how your product’s features and benefits solve your customers’ problems and can even compare your commodity to your competitors’ product. Although this type of advertising relies on knowledge and people to prompt a desired war, the ad’s message is usually enclose in a fascinating way.

Informative Advertising Examples

Drink Responsibly

Miller Lite

Siskiyou Eye Center

1. Drink Responsibly Informative Advertising - Drink Responsibly

Image Credit: Bloggs7 4

Even though this ad might seem like it’s merely aiming to evoke fear in its target audience, it actually leans on the facts of the case to get their message across. If you imbibe and drive, your risk of gate-crashing soars 11 bend. And by focusing on this alarming reality, this ad can influence beings to get an Uber or Lyft home after a light out instead of getting behind the wheel.

2. Miller Lite Persuasive Advertising - Miller Lite

Image Credit:

Miller Lite

After Bud Light made some pokings at Miller Lite for using corn syrup in their beer during the course of its Super Bowl 53 ads, Miller Lite decided to throw a few perforates back. A date later on Twitter, they revealed that their beer actually has less calories and carbs than Bud Light, which helped them persuade parties that boozing Bud Light and Miller Lite actually have same health benefits.

3. Siskiyou Eye Center Informative Advertising - Siskiyou Eye Center

Image Credit:

Entractech

There’s an old folk tale that carrots can improve your eyesight, but science has actually debunked this myth. That’s why this Siskiyou Eye Center ad is such a creative instructive circular. While it pokes fun at this common fable, it’s still relying on the facts of carrots not being able to improve your vision and the Eye Center’s ability to provide quality treatment for your eyes to persuade parties to do business with them.

Persuasive advertise vs. informative advertise: which one is better?

Persuasive advertising and instructive publicize clearly focus on different aspects of persuasion, but they still aim to achieve the same goal: persuasion your audience to take a desired act. So whether you seek one advertise strategy or the other, remember that if you can trigger an feeling response, regardless of the stimuli, your ad will be a success.

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Read more: blog.hubspot.com

Is Placing Ads on Your Car a Real Way to Make Money? Here’s When It’s Legit

Have you ever received an email offering to pay you big money to put ads on your car? Sounds great, right?

Of course, these are almost always scams. And I like to mess with scammers, so I responded to one of these emails. 

In its reply, the company explained I would be sent a cashier’s check to cover my first month’s payment and the cost of applying the “wrap.” I was to deposit the check, keep $300 for my fee for the first week and use the rest to pay the guy who wrapped my car.

I wrote back telling them I was excited to get started, but it seemed simpler for them to just pay me and then pay the ad installer directly. I would even take $200 per week instead of $300. I never heard from them again.

This is a typical cashier’s check scam. The check bounces, which you discover only after you wire your own money to the ad installer or pay him in cash.

These scams are extremely common. But you may be wondering, aren’t there legitimate companies that pay you to put advertising on your car? Let’s take a closer look.

How Not to Sell Ads on Your Car

Much of the information online about companies that pay you for car ads is worthless. Some of the companies these sites link to charge businesses to wrap their vehicles in advertising but make no mention of paying you for wrapping your car with ads. 

Others have no contact information online, which is never a good sign. Some don’t even ask you about your car and/or driving habits. Do you really think businesses are willing to pay for an ad on your car if they know nothing about whether it will ever leave your garage? Not likely.

In general, you should not pay anything upfront, and stay away from companies without contact information on their websites.

How to Find Legitimate Car-Wrap Advertising Opportunities

Fortunately, there are a few legitimate companies that pay you to put advertising on your car. 

For example, consider Carvertise. Its website says drivers earn $100 per month. Carvertise also makes it clear that it will “never ask for money” and “will never ask you to write a check to anyone.” That should be the case with just about any legitimate company. 

Pay Me for Driving is another company that will not ask you for money and also asks you about your car and driving habits. It requires you to have car insurance and has contact information (not just a form) on its website. 

Wrapify is another popular site, but it differs from the other companies in that it only has a contact form on its site, not a listed email or phone number. 

I should mention I’ve applied several times on different websites and have never been contacted. 

Of course, I don’t live in a large city where the real opportunities are more likely to exist. I also may not drive enough miles for advertisers to be interested. And there are probably more applicants than needed.

The bottom line: Getting paid to put ads on your car can be a great gig if you get it, but don’t hold your breath. You may not qualify or be selected anytime soon.

You may have a better chance to get paid for ads on your car if you drive for a ride-hailing service company like Uber or Lyft.  That way, you’ll be likely to put many miles on your vehicle in busy areas — something advertisers want to see.  

Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Inside the Private Pain Plaguing K-Pop

SulliNothing cheers you up, lifts you up, brings you life quite like pop music. Even when it’s Harry Styles or Adele or Sam Smith or BTS achingly belting their despair into that cold, lonely…

The Mate 30 Pro hands-on: A great phone, with one giant compromise

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The Mate 30 Pro could be the year’s best Android phone, but Huawei’s role as a casualty of the U.S.-China trade war mean its mis one big-hearted feature.

It’s not common to go into a brand-new telephone opening with one of the major talking targets being geopolitical plot. Yet that’s where we are with the freshly-minted Huawei Mate 30 series, launched at an happening in Munich, Germany. As excellent as these phones appear to be, they’re overshadowed by current pressures between the U.S. and China which, to cut a very long story short, means they have no Google apps or services preloaded.

Huawei fans, and those interested in switching to the Mate 30 from other labels, will have to resort to their own workarounds in order to have access to Google works on their devices. Clearly, that’s a suboptimal place for Huawei, its partners, or anyone who knows any interest in picking up one of these phones.

best

The future for Huawei looks bleak, but let’s ignore the Google issue — at least for a moment — and examine the Mate 30 streaks as we would any smartphone. The headline machine is the Mate 30 Pro which supersedes last year’s Mate 20 Pro and exists alongside the P3 0 Pro as the flagships of Huawei’s smartphone portfolio.

Depending on your perspective, the first thing you’ll notice about the Mate 30 Pro will be either its monstrously immense backside camera module or its offbeat screen shape. The onetime pictures Huawei adopt the camera as a key element of its design language, with a large circular lens surrounded by a textured circular chassis, which is reminiscent of old camera-centric smartphones such as the Nokia Lumia 1020.

camera

The latter discloses a significant style improvement for Huawei, as the Mate 30 Pro athletics Huawei’s first “waterfall” display. It’s so listed as the expose bows 88 deg at the edges of the phone and tips at roughly the midway phase of the outer frame. The layout is impressive; however, it comes at a cost, with Huawei reverting to its previous strategy of Full HD+ displays over higher-resolution Quad HD+ committees. The screen is just made by either Samsung Display or BOE Technology, the latter having recently been tipped to be China’s answer to Samsung during heightening craft wars.

Huawei Mate 30/ Mate 30 Pro Specs

With almost half of the 8.8 mm thickness dedicated to the display, there’s not a good deal of seat for essentials like the capability and magnitude buttons. The former is located on the right and is located below the screen on the two sides- it’s a little cramped compared to other manoeuvres but is a required trade-off for this design. “There arent” physical magnitude keys; instead, you use gesticulates- doubled tap on either advantage of the screen and drag.

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And yes, it shapes the brand-new Pro feel more than a tad slick in the paw, but it does have one benefit, precisely that it now slogs evenly for everyone. If you’re a left-handed user exploiting telephone calls with the buttons on the right, you know how frustrating it is in daily use. Similarly, for right-handed consumers with the prime buttons on the left, like myself with the Galaxy Note 10. If you’ve had this problem before, the Mate 30 Pro volunteers a solution although we’ll hold judgement until the review.

Up at the top of that waterfall presentation is a somewhat wide notch to accommodate the Mate’s 3D face unlock system as well as the selfie camera. It’s smaller than the Mate 30 Pro’s, but some will undoubtedly see it as an eyesore next to the many Android phones with smaller notches. That said, the Face Unlock on the Mate 20 Pro was very best facial approval authentication on any Android phone, and the only one that equaled- and in some cases was faster than- Apple’s Face ID. New to the Mate 30 Pro are the 3D Depth camera and Gesture sensor, with the latter used to enable the brand-new gesticulates interactions with various parts of the phone.

Huawei’s Face Unlock is the best competition that Android can offer to Apple’s Face ID

Like the P30 Pro, the Mate likewise employs Huawei’s in-display speaker system, which uses the vibration of the panel for call audio. The in-display speaker on the P30 Pro labours pretty well, and we’d expect the Mate 30 Pro to deliver same makes. The in-display fingerprint on the Mate 20 Pro was lightning fast and the Mate 30 Pro should deliver equally good, if not better, performance.

The Mate text has always been about showcasing new technology from Huawei, and as such it’s the first to come powered by the Kirin 990 chipset, boasting better capability economy, ramped up CPU, AI and graphical abilities, and in some patterns even onboard 5G. A couple of the foreground features of the Mate 30 Pro’s performance package include the world’s first 16 -core Mali GPU and marked improvements to photo and video noise reduction, which offices hand-in-hand with the brand-new quad-rear camera system.

Google

This is where you’ll find the biggest difference between the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro. The onetime aspects a quad-camera setup that’s virtually identical to the P30 Pro, which boastings one of the best camera packets on a phone this year. The Pro model elevates this in several ways, beginning with the dual 40 MP sensors.

The main sensor is present on both Mate 30 inventions and is the 40 MP RYYB sensor found in the P30 Pro. The substitution from RGB on most telephones to RYYB- where the green pixels are replaced by yellow ones — tells in~ 40% more glowing and is one of the same reasons the P30 Pro is great in low-pitched flare. The Mate 30 Pro supersedes the 16 MP ultra-wide of the Mate 30/ P30 Pro with a 40 MP Ultra-wide cine sensor that delivers a great deal of brand-new features to the Mate 30 Pro.

The biggest betterment is in the video recording. Video has been one of Huawei’s flaws to date, but the 40 MP ultra-wide Cine camera allows the Mate 30 Pro to captivate 4k HDR+ video at 60 fps with real-time bokeh and dual OIS+ AIS for stable register. The craziest part of the brand-new Cine camera is the 7680 fps ultra-slow-motion recording. Let that sink in for a moment: 7680 frames / second is miles ahead of the previous best of 960 fps. Huawei likewise claims this makes you captivate the members of the movement of a Hummingbird, that are generally flickers its offstages 80 goes per second and can’t be captivated on most phones 😛 TAGEND

I was just about to say no one needs 7680 fps video. But then Huawei pictured this pic.twitter.com/ ezTr5Wbxnz

— Nirave Ni La Fu (@ nirave) September 19, 2019

It’s not just about megapixels nonetheless, as the sensor immensity makes a large difference as well. Most smartphones peculiarity sensors of the 1/2.55 -inch type, but the Mate 30 Pro boasts two 1/1.7 -inch type sensors. The prime sensor squanders 4:3 perspective fraction, while the Cine sensors endorse 3:2 facet rate. The bigger sensors convey more light, as well as more detail, and is the closest we’ve come to DSLR-size camera sensors since the 1-inch sensor on the Panasonic CM1. As far as equipment exits, the Mate 30 Pro camera remains chief and shoulders above the competition.

The third camera is an 8-megapixel f/ 2.4 telephoto camera which supports OIS. This enables both Mate 30 designs to capture 3x visual zoom, which isn’t on the level of the 5x visual zoom are available in the P30 Pro, but is still better than the 2x telephoto zoom are available in the iPhone 11 Pro and the Galaxy Note 10+. It also supports up to 30 x digital zoom which again, wans in comparison to the 50 x zoom are available in the P30 Pro but remains more than acceptable. The fourth camera is a 3D penetration camera which is used for bokeh and other boasts, such as the excellent wide-aperture camera mode.

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One of the areas that Huawei has always outdid in is battery faculty, longevity and blaming. The Mate 30 Pro pieces a 4,500 mAh cell capacity, while the Mate 30 is slightly smaller at 4,300 mAh. In both cases, that’s not much of an modernize on the 4,200 mAh found in the P30 Pro, but should continue that phone’s reign of furnish the best battery life of any major flagship device.

To charge it up, there’s the 40 W Huawei SuperCharge technology which is among the fastest on any telephone when comparing the capacity and the time required to charge to full. New to the Mate 30 sequences is 27W fast wireless supercharging, which comes just as Samsung unveiled 15 W fast wireless blame in the Galaxy Note 10. Also vastly improved is the wireless reverse charge, which now allows you to charge other designs and supplements at three times the hurry offered by the Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro.

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As in previous years, a new Mate also wants a brand-new addition to the “luxury” Porsche Design range and there are also 5G versions of both the Mate 30 and the Mate 30 Pro. Much like the Mate 20 RS last year, the Porsche Design Mate 30 RS( try mean to tell me that five times in a row !) was announced alongside a lot of commerce gobbledygook that essentially symbolized a new decorate undertaking and a few custom themes designed to make it feel like a more expensive item. It peculiarity the same scooting stripe which has become an iconic typify of Porsche Design and is available in the same two hues of last year- black and red. There is a brand-new bag that acts like a phone holder, can be used as a kickstand and emphatically gapes a Porsche Design item.

The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro come in two different finishes. There’s the regular collect which is available in four complexions- Black, Space Silver, Emerald Green and Cosmic Purple- and aspects a matte finish transitioning into a gloss finish which presumably becomes it much less fingerprint-prone. There’s too new Vegan Leather Orange and Forest Green finishes, who the hell is exquisite. It’s nice to see corporations bring leather back, especially as it’s more sturdy than a glass finish. Having recently violated my phone, got anything to start inventions a bit more sturdy is certainly welcome.

Huawei

The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro are launching in select countries in October and will be available in global markets from that phase. Huawei is being intentionally flirtatious about specific marketplaces for reasonableness we’ll get into below, but did reveal pricing.

The Mate 30 successions will start EUR7 99, which comes with 8GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. The Mate 30 Pro starts at EUR1, 099 which is equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Mate 30 Pro 5G offers the same ROM/ RAM config as the non-5G version and will cost EUR1 199. If you really want 12 GB of RAM, you’ll need to stump up a whopping EUR2, 095 for the Porsche Design Mate 30 RS which likewise comes with 512 GB of storage.

The elephant in the chamber: Google services

Looking at the Mate 30 sequences as simply a smartphone means you’ll probably think it’s the phone to buy, and you probably wouldn’t be wrong. However, before you rush out to drop your fund on it, it’s worth considering the big-hearted elephant in the area. As Richard Yu applied it to us in an interrogation, Huawei is the pawn in a trade-war game of chess between the U.S. and China. As a answer, it might look like every other Huawei phone, but it needs one key component: Google GMS Core.

There are too many immense Android phones to recommend buying a Mate 30 Pro without Google apps .

This is the key functionality that shapes “Android” valuable in a contemporary world, enabling be made available to things like Google’s apps, Google Play Services, and the all-important Play Store. The latter is lacking on the Mate 30 sequences, and while there’s still to be expected that the U.S. and China will resolve their trade war and allow Huawei to work with Google in the near future, the harrowing information is that you can’t download apps from the Play Store right now. Well , not officially that is.

The Mate 30 Pro hardware offers everything, and more than any other smartphone.

Officially, the phone does not support any Google assistances, but unofficially there’s a few different things that may more happen. If Huawei does open the bootloader as Richard Yu intimated they may do so, then it’ll be relatively straight forward for developer communities to enable Play Store support through third-party ROMs. Similarly, there may be directions already present on the telephone that simplify how easy it is to add Google business. Located on antagonist Chinese devices- such as Xiaomi and others- it shouldn’t be too difficult to add Google services.

Huawei says it’s actively incentivizing makes to build apps and distribute them in the App Gallery through a new$ 1 billion motivations money, and higher receipt share. Apple and Google take an industry-standard 30% of all events, but Huawei is willing to drop its share to 15% so developers take home a bigger cut. It remains to be seen whether this will be enough, but we’ll obstruct you affixed over the coming months as this history plays out further.

Overall, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro is one of the best phones you’ll find this year, in spite of its issues reinforcing Google business. We’re not sure how the apps side of things will pan out, but from a hardware attitude, this telephone seems to have everything. In the camera department especially, it offers more than any other smartphone, while the rest of the hardware package is one of the best you can buy right now. Of route, we’ll reserve our judgement for the full review, but it’s definitely a phone to watch in the coming months.

Read more: androidcentral.com

Average Home Insurance Costs

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Whether you’re a longtime homeowner, or are shopping for your very first home, selecting home insurance is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. For many people, their home is their most valuable investment, and it needs to be protected from damage, theft and other threats to yourself and your family.

When it comes to homeowners insurance cost, there are several factors that determine how much you’ll pay. Some of these conditions include:

  • The state you live in
  • The age of your home
  • The value of the land
  • And your credit score

  • However, there are ways that homeowners can save money on their insurance costs. Let’s look at the different types of home insurance options available and discuss how homeowners can calculate their estimated insurance cost.

    Avergae home insurance premiums in each state

    The current average cost of home insurance in the United States is $1,192, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commisioners (NAIC). But the cost of home insurance varies greatly by state, due to regional weather risks, like hurricanes and fires. Here’s a look at home insurance premiums in every state, based on data from NAIC’s 2016 Homeowners Insurance Report

      Rank
      
      State
      
    Average Premium   Rank
      
      State
      
      Average Premium
      
      1
      
      Louisiana
      
      $1,967
      
      27
      
      Kentucky
      
      $1,085
      
      2
      
      Texas
      
      1,937
      
      28
      
      Illinois
      
      1,042
      
      3
      
      Florida
      
      1,918
      
      29
      
      Hawaii
      
      1,026
      
      4
      
      Oklahoma
      
      1,875
      
      30
      
      Maryland
      
      1,022
      
      5
      
      Kansas
      
      1,548
      
      31
      
      Indiana
      
      1,003
      
      6
      
      Mississippi
      
      1,525
      
      32
      
      California
      
      1,000
      
      7
      
      Rhode Island
      
      1,496
      
      32
      
      New Mexico
      
      996
      
      8
      
      Connecticut
      
      1,455
      
      32
      
      Alaska
      
      974
      
      9
      
      Massachusetts
      
      1,451
      
      35
      
      Virginia
      
      966
      
      10
      
      Colorado
      
      1,446
      
      36
      
      New Hampshire
      
      965
      
      11
      
      Nebraska
      
      1,402
      
      37
      
      Michigan
      
      952
      
      12
      
      Alabama
      
      1,386
      
      38
      
      Iowa
      
      945
      
      13
      
      Arkansas
      
      1,348
      
      39
      
      Pennsylvania
      
      927
      
      14
      
      Minnesota
      
      1,340
      
      40
      
      West Virginia
      
      917
      
      15
      
      New York
      
      1,309
      
      41
      
      Vermont
      
      898
      
      16
      
      South Carolina
      
      1,285
      
      42
      
      Maine
      
      866
      
      17
      
      Missouri
      
      1,280
      
      43
      
      Ohio
      
      850
      
      18
      
      North Dakota
      
      1,239
      
      44
      
      Washington
      
      822
      
      19
      
      D.C.
      
      1,225
      
      45
      
      Delaware
      
      816
      
      20
      
      Georgia
      
      1,200
      
      46
      
      Arizona
      
      803
      
      21
      
      Tennessee
      
      1,185
      
      47
      
      Wisconsin
      
      762
      
      21
      
      New Jersey
      
      1,174
      
      48
      
      Nevada
      
      742
      
      23
      
      Montana
      
      1,130
      
      49
      
      Idaho
      
      703
      
      24
      
      South Dakota
      
      1,125
      
      50
      
      Utah
      
      664
      
      25
      
      Wyoming
      
      1,120
      
      51
      
      Oregon
      
      659
      
      26
      
      North Carolina
      
      1,098
      
      U.S. average
      
      $1,192
      

    The different types of home insurance policies

    Homeowners insurance is broken down into three main categories. Most standard insurance policies include coverage in all three categories, but homeowners ultimately determine how much coverage they want in each area.

    1. Dwelling: Dwelling coverage is insurance that covers any damages to the home itself. This type of insurance covers the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home if damage occurs from certain qualifying events, such as a fire or severe wind.
    2. Personal propertyPersonal property coverage pertains to the cost of replacing possessions in your home, such as jewelry and furniture, should they get damaged or destroyed by a qualifying event.
    3. Personal liabilityPersonal liability coverage protects against lawsuits for property damage or injury. An example would be if a delivery man slipped on your front stairs, or if a tree in your backyard fell on a neighbor’s home and injured someone.

    Find the Best Home Insurance

    Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

    Understanding replacement cost options

    There are three coverage options that home insurance companies provide. Each option affects your premium differently, so it’s important to understand each one and determine which option is appropriate for you.

    • Actual cash value ACV:The ACV of your home is based on the current market value, or how much your home and personal property is worth, with depreciation factored in. This type of coverage is the most popular and the least expensive, because depreciation is considered and claim payments are usually lower.
    • Replacement cost value RCV: Should your home get damaged or destroyed, the RCV is the amount of money needed to repair or replace the home comparable to similar homes on the market. This type of coverage is often recommended by insurance providers, because homeowners can essentially rebuild their homes as it was before
    • Guaranteed replacement cost (GRC):Also referred to as extended replacement cost (ERC), this type of coverage offers the most protection out of the three options. However, it’s also the most expensive. GRC/ERC pays to rebuild your home exactly as it was before the damage occurred.

    Before selcting a policy conduct a home inventory to determine how much your personal possessions are worth, should your home get damaged or destroyed.

    Discounts and ways to save on home insurance

    Homeowners insurance can be costly, so before selecting a plan, shop around to find the best deal based on your needs. It can be helpful to consult an insurance agent, read consumer reviews and check online insurance quotes to find companies with the lowest rates. Here are some other ways to save money on home insurance:

    1. Ask about available discounts: Some companies offer discounted policy rates if you’re over a certain age, if your home is in a gated community, if you bundle with your car insurance or if you’re part of a homeowner’s association.
    2. Bundle your insurance policies: Often times, companies that sell home, auto and life coverage will deduct up to 15% off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them.
    3. Make your home safer: Some providers offer a discount if you install fixtures that make your home safer, such as smoke alarms or a security system, that reduce the likelihood that damage or theft will occur in the first place.

    Frequently asked questions

    Is home insurance required by law?

    No, states do not require homeowners to get insurance when they purchase a home. However, if you choose to get a mortgage loan, most lenders will require you to have some insurance.

    How can I estimate my home insurance cost?

    Start by finding the value of your home, keeping in mind that the amount will be lower than the price you purchased the home for. Consult with a realtor, building contractor or appraisal consultant to get an accurate estimate. Next, conduct a home inventory to determine the worth of your personal possessions. Before choosing a policy, decide if you want to insure your home and possessions for replacement value (which doesn’t consider depreciation) or cash value (which considers depreciation).

    How much coverage do I need?

    To determine how much coverage you should purchase, refer back to your home inventory. Based on the estimated value of the possessions inside your home, you can determine how much coverage you need. Also factor in the location of your home, and evaluate risks based on weather, fires and other events that could potentially damage or destroy your home. You can always choose to increase your coverage after purchasing a plan.

    Find the Best Home Insurance

    Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

    The post Average Home Insurance Costs appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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Teresa Giudice's Family Looking Forward to Visiting Joe Giudice in Italy

Gia Giudice, Joe GiudiceIt’s the family trip that can’t come soon enough!
Just a few short days after Joe Giudice was released from U.S. ICE custody, plans appear to be underway for a family…

Nikki Bella Says She Can Be Her "Raw Self" Around Boyfriend Artem Chigvintsev

Nikki Bella, Artem ChigvintsevNikki Bella couldn’t be happier about life with Artem Chigvintsev.
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7 Ways to Use Alexa Ranking to Grow Your Business Today

The Definitive Guide to Alexa Traffic Rankings

Alexa ranking is an often misunderstood, but incredibly useful tool.

Whether you’re starting a blog or looking for affiliate marketing opportunities, Alexa rank provides essential data — if you know how to use it.

Owned by Amazon, Alexa.com (not to be confused with the Alexa device) was the first free traffic rank service. In 2019 it’s still a relevant and valuable tool that delivers a variety of web analytics.

In this article, you’ll learn seven important ways to use its most important metric, traffic rankings. And why the conclusions from these daily-use strategies are not only safe to act upon, they’re valuable and will help you grow your online business.

A mountain of misinformation exists about Alexa. Why? Partly because it’s the oldest (1996) and the most widely used tool of its kind. Early reviewers correctly mentioned problems but missed the fact that those problems did not invalidate Alexa’s usefulness.

Subsequent reviews spread the misinformation. The result? Alexa is the most widely misunderstood tool on the Web. Using it properly gives you an edge over your competition — a key success factor in business.

This comprehensive review helps set the Alexa record straight. It covers Alexa from the ground up, and includes coverage of the best two complementary tools, SimilarWeb and SEMrush. It’s based on comparing the Alexa traffic rank with actual site traffic stats for thousands of sites over 15+ years.

You’ll learn how to use it, when to combine Alexa scores with results from SimilarWeb and SEMrush — and when not to use it at all.

What Is Alexa Ranking?

sitesell alexa rankAlexa site ranking results are derived from a sampling of tens of millions of Internet users. Every sampling method has its strengths and weaknesses. The biggest example of that:

TV networks spend billions of advertising dollars based upon reports from the Nielsen survey of TV habits of a mere 40,000 households. They do so despite the fact that the survey is riddled with flaws, not least of which is its small sample size. They understand the issues and can still extract a great deal of valuable information.

Serious TV executives recognize the flaws and understand which data becomes invaluable, actionable information. So it is with Alexa.

Complaints that “Alexa is useless” or “too inaccurate to be useful” start with how Alexa first worked. Its data came from tracking users who implemented its browser toolbar. This limitation led to biased results in niches where webmasters were more likely to install the toolbar (e.g., tech-savvy users, Internet marketers, etc.).

The complaints were not fake reviews, but they are no longer accurate. Alexa has corrected that bias. Today, its methodology reflects a wide, representative sampling of online traffic.

To use Alexa, click here and in the box at the top of the page enter any domain name. Click “Run Analysis.”

Alexa returns where that domain name ranks out of the ~20,000,000 sites that it tracks.

For example, as of the date of this article (September 2019), SiteSell.com is the 23,992nd most visited site in the world (and 11,868th in the U.S.).

sitesell traffic rank in USA

Google’s rank is 1 — the most visited site. 20,000,000 is the worst numeric score possible.

Beyond that, you’ll get a “not enough traffic data” message, which means that Alexa has no record of traffic to that site.

Important: Alexa delivers a site’s position relative to other sites. It does not deliver a visitor count. And that’s fine — relative ranking is all that you really need for the common purposes (covered below) that deliver most of its value.

While Alexa is useful on its own, you’ll have a more reliable fix on a site’s popularity when you combine it with other tools.

Where Do SimilarWeb and SEMrush Get Their Data?
SEMrush data is based on the first 100 Google search results found for each keyword in its database. It delivers a good idea of a site’s traffic from searches.

SimilarWeb gathers data from its crawl of the Internet, Internet service providers (ISPs), and click-stream data of tens of millions of users who have installed SimilarWeb’s apps. The ISP data adds diversification, further reducing the risk of bias.

There are no reported issues of significant data bias in these tools.

Because all three tools get their data from different sources (although some overlap between Alexa and SimilarWeb is likely), using them together provides a more accurate result.

The Alexa Overhaul

In 2008, Amazon overhauled Alexa. They began pulling in more data from a wider and diversified base of users — 25,000 different browser extensions, browser toolbars and plugins. These changes corrected much of the earlier bias, as evidenced by immediate changes in the ranking of many sites.

Alexa now “sources data from a large number of third-party providers, representing a significant sample of the Internet browsing population.” It compares the data from a variety of sources to detect, normalize, and correct for bias that exists in any individual source.

Site engagement is now also a contributing factor to ranking.

Is Alexa Ranking Accurate?

Most recent reviews of Alexa quote no hard, original research. Most aggregate information from earlier reviews (which were based on even earlier ones 😃). Naturally, they come to the same conclusions.

Alexa has had a hard time shaking the 1990s and 2000s, despite the fact that the original issues were corrected in 2008. Most reviews don’t mention the diversification of data sources or the use of site engagement.

Why do we keep finding inaccurate reviews?
Google ranks “authoritative” articles highly. It depends on visitor-generated signals to determine “authority” (e.g., inbound links and hundreds of other off-page/off-site signals). But that only works until humans fail to recognize that a report is wrong or out-of-date. So the older, cited articles continue to rank well, together with some well-received new ones.

Anecdote vs. Data

We’ve studied more “actual site traffic vs. Alexa traffic rank” than any company (except for Alexa itself). This article is a result. Our studies show, among other things, that:

there’s a definite correlation of traffic with Alexa score
the higher the traffic, the more reliable is the ranking
there’s increasing “scatter” (unreliability) as traffic decreases

Scatter tightens as Alexa traffic rankings improve from 2,000,000 to 1,000,000 to 500,000 and so forth. Your site could jump from 10,000,000 to 5,000,000 just by adding a few visits per day. But your site would need to increase by tens of thousands of visitors per day to rise from 100,000 to 50,000.

So what can you learn from Alexa traffic rankings, that will help you promote your website?

Think “ballpark.” Anyone who understands Alexa will not say “Wow” about a site with an Alexa ranking of either 5 million or 10 million. In terms of how much traffic they get, both are in the “Poor” ballpark. We’ll cover the six ballparks below.

Indirect methods use a large sampling of Internet users. This is the only way to get reasonable traffic estimates of sites that you do not control.

Alexa, SimilarWeb, and SEMrush are valuable tools that provide “good enough” traffic estimates for any site.

You can’t use Google Analytics to get data about other sites. There are paid tools that provide better data, but they cost more than solopreneurs can afford. And they wouldn’t need those tools at all if they knew how to use Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush.

Remember, these three are all indirect, so are suitable for ballpark estimates when comparing within a niche. And use Google Analytics to get this data for your own site.

7 Ways to Use Alexa Rankings to Grow Your Business

Alexa has always been a simple and valid way to measure the popularity of a site. Here are seven ways you can use it for your online business:

1. Comparing Alexa ranking of sites in the same niche

Alexa’s most useful function is to compare your website with another one in your niche — or to get a fix on where you stand within the market.

Comparing the competition not only gives you ideas on what’s working in your niche but gives you a goal to work towards.

2. Checking to see if a site’s traffic is rising or falling (and how that compares to your site)

When your site is losing traffic, the first reaction is usually panic. After that, you start looking at why. It’s useful to look at the performance of other websites in your market.

If they’re also losing rankings, that’s a clue that something bigger is affecting your niche. It could be a Google algorithm update, a seasonal change in demand, or changing trends.

If you’re losing rank and your competitors are gaining, what are they doing differently?

3. Getting a “quick fix” estimate on any site

There are all kinds of reasons you might want a quick estimate of how well a website is performing. It could be to assess the traffic potential of a new online business idea or simple curiosity.

4. Evaluating a site’s commercial potential

Growing your online business means you will start to receive a lot of requests from potential collaborators. For example, blogs asking you to guest-post, sponsorship requests, or joint ventures in promoting a product.

Alexa ranking gives you a “big picture” test of reasonableness for a single site. A marketer with something to sell (e.g., ad space on his site) might claim that he gets 10,000 visitors per day.

When you find a ranking of 5,000,000 at Alexa for that site, you can be 99.9% sure he’s lying. With a single, free check, Alexa has saved you time, money and the usual ugly ending when dealing with a liar!

5. Seeking potential influencers to build relationships

When you’re looking for other businesses that can help yours, Alexa ranking helps you evaluate which ones have potential.

You’re seeking high-traffic sites, meaning the Alexa ranking is more reliable. As you use Alexa more and more, you’ll develop a strong frame of reference for what’s outstanding traffic in your niche vs. “not worth pursuing.”

6. Finding potential super-affiliates

If you have an affiliate marketing program, finding those high-volume marketers can give your sales a huge boost. But you have to make sure they can deliver before you offer preferential commissions or other perks.

Use Alexa, SimilarWeb, and SEMrush to maximize reliability and to determine how much traffic is organic search (which is generally higher quality).

Once there’s a deal to be made, you’ll want to take considerably more time to insist on seeing Google Analytics proof. But no doubt about it, Alexa definitely has its place in your toolbox when screening sites for potential opportunities.

7. Verifying claims of success

No matter what niche you’re in, Alexa is invaluable when you’re trying to figure out who’s delivering the goods.

For example:

Go to Wix.com and review their success stories. The first two we checked had Alexa rankings of 8,000,000 and 13,000,000. That’s “success”?

Compare those to the 500 SBI! businesses in the Top 1,000,000 at Alexa.

The definition of success should not be “putting up a stunning website,” with the implication that business success follows automatically. It’s about building income and equity.

Since most individual website owners don’t make their income public, the best evidence of success for the majority of online businesses is traffic.

You can’t earn if you don’t have visitors.

The 6 Ballparks — How Best to Use Alexa

traffic ranking ballparksI use Alexa’s tool many times each day, as a first-pass check to see how popular sites are doing (ballpark!) and whether they’re growing or contracting.

I also use it to check claims, assess potential influencers, or satisfy my curiosity. It provides “good enough” ballpark estimates.

Most of the time, all I want to know is which of 6 ballparks a site’s traffic falls into:

Outstanding (100,000 or less)
Excellent (100,001 – 1,000,000)
Pretty good (1,000,001 to 2,500,000)
Medium (2,500,001 to 5,000,000)
Poor (5,000,001 to 20,000,000)
Invisible (“Not enough traffic data”)

Note 1: Few solopreneurs make it into the top ballpark (1-100,000). Almost all “Outstanding” Alexa rankings come from mid-sized to large businesses. At the other end of the spectrum, almost 100% of the “Invisible” ballpark is solopreneurs.

Note 2: “Not enough traffic data” means that Alexa’s massive panel of toolbars, extensions, pixel installs and third-party sources has 0 data points for a site. Basically, it’s “Invisible.”

Note 3: The ballparks are snapshots, not judgments. Consider these ranges in light of your circumstances and especially in light of your site’s actual traffic. For example:

If you just finished writing the home page of a brand new site, “Invisible” is normal.
If your site is young and growing, an Alexa rank of 10,000,000 may be excellent for you.
If you have a mature site with 30 pages and a rank of 5,000,000, that can be excellent if you have a high-dollar monetization model (e.g., selling Hollywood homes).

When you need granularity (including traffic stated in terms of the number of visitors) or certainty (e.g., when it’s especially important or when the Alexa score seems off), consult SEMrush and SimilarWeb.

Alexa Ranking Is Great for Influencer Marketing

It’s easy to check engagement numbers to determine the social power of potential influencers. Even more than social media success, site traffic is an important consideration in assessing both influencers and super-affiliates.

Suppose you have an online business based on mathematics.

And let’s say that you have identified math-only-math.com (an actual SBI! business) as a candidate for a potential joint venture to sell your math courses.

Note that despite having an older design that hasn’t been updated over the years, and other imperfections, this site demonstrates that great content can attract impressive levels of search traffic to power real revenue options. You’ll see why in a moment.

Start at Alexa, where you find a traffic ranking of 30,465 (and 4,379 in India!). That’s Outstanding (the highest of our six ballparks). Few solopreneurs reach that level. You can be confident that it’s a high-traffic site.

Alexa score for Math-Only-Math.com

However, you’ll be investing some time to develop a relationship, so you want to be sure of your numbers. The following two extra measurements will nail down a good estimate of site traffic:

SEMrush reveals both paid and organic (free search) traffic.

For example, SEMrush reveals the traffic of math-only-math.com at 200,000, huge for a solopreneur. It’s high for a mid-sized company! (Note also that the owner does not pay for any traffic.)

Website traffic from SEMrush for Math-Only-Math.com

A high organic count corroborates the Alexa finding — it was not a fluke. If you had found a high Alexa count but a low SEMrush outcome, you would definitely proceed to the final test…

SimilarWeb confirms Alexa’s high traffic estimate (ranking of 52,505, with 1M visitors per month). We don’t really care if it’s 30K or 53K — both are Outstanding (well within 100,000).

Rank checker SimilarWeb result for Math-Only-Math.com

His SimilarWeb ranking for India confirms the Alexa score. So his site is a top site in India.

Checking social media? Even though the Facebook presence is weak (@mathonlymath) and Twitter is private (@ghosh0), this is a solopreneur you would want on your side.

From here, you would reach out and discuss ways to create a mutually beneficial partnership. For example:

Advertising on his website.
Creating an affiliate relationship.
Guest posting on his blog.

Bottom line:

Alexa traffic rankings help you find potential partners to help grow your business — and determine whether an opportunity is worth your time, effort, and money.

When Not to Use Alexa Ranking

There’s really only one time not to use Alexa. That’s for your own site. Here’s why…

when not to use alexaDirect measures such as Google Analytics are exact.

So, do not use Alexa to measure your own traffic.

We have seen countless posts in various online marketing forums worrying about a low (or deteriorating) Alexa score, or rejoicing over an improvement. Why do folks worry about Alexa as it relates to their own sites? Some reasons:

They fail to understand the concept.
They understand the concept, but are embarrassed by the public availability of the Alexa ranking (especially if it falsely shows a result that’s worse than reality).
They use the Alexa ranking to show off how much traffic their site has — rankings can be an ego boost.
They used a falsely high Alexa score to fool someone into buying ad space on the site or buying a product.

The Bottom Line on Using Alexa Ranking

It’s simple, and short:

Alexa is a good way to assess traffic of the sites of others…

Not yours!

Speaking of traffic — don’t forget to download our checklist with the 23 best tactics to grow your website traffic for free.

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Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker only $9.97!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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Climate confessions: Elizabeth Warren will fly you out just to have a beer with her

It was only yesterday when NBC News slapped up a website where viewers could anonymously leave their “climate confessions” — transgressions against the environment in the categories of plastics, paper, food waste, energy, meat, and transportation. “I sleep with the air conditioner on year-round and justify it to myself by recycling,” writes one sinner.

But back in July, Elizabeth Warren wanted to have a beer with you and a friend — if she could ever find a break from all those selfies — and she even offered to pay for your airfare to catch that beer. That doesn’t seem very responsible use of air travel.

Every so often while I’m traveling around the country, I’ll have someone come up to me and say, “I’d love to grab a beer with you.” Well, here’s your chance. Chip in now to be automatically entered and, if you win, we’ll fly you and a friend out to grab a drink with me.

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 28, 2019

Flying people out just to have a beer is pretty damn irresponsible, don't you think? https://t.co/fFq4MyZm8D

— BT (@back_ttys) September 19, 2019

Well, it is, but people are just coming up to her all the time and saying they’d love to have a beer with her.

Nobody ever said that

— Heliophobe (@Heliophobe30) September 14, 2019

Nobody says that.

— Anthony Bialy (@AnthonyBialy) September 19, 2019

Alex, I’ll take “Things that never happened” for $2000.

— FREE STUFF 2020… (@Next__Pope) September 11, 2019

Define every so often…….NEVER?

— Rich Bertino (@RichBertino) September 19, 2019

Do you really think they wanted to PAY to have a beer with you? Sheeesh

— Independent Woman (@hoopsmom) September 15, 2019

The pandering has become vomit inducing.

— Mean-Deplorable Jay 🇺🇲 (@jay6018) September 12, 2019

Second place is you have to have two beers with her.

— #That’sTrue (@PaulWDrake) September 11, 2019

No thanks, I think Im Having a root canal that day.

— Lynda Bell (@mlb343) September 18, 2019

Not even if Jesus was pouring

— Will BearanyBurdenPayanyPrice (@IndyLiberty) September 11, 2019

pic.twitter.com/dlxvPZtavt

— Joe Messer (@Joe_Messer) September 17, 2019

Or some psychotic medications…. or whatever

— Curious Jorge (@Forsolace) September 18, 2019

Rather than have a beer with you it's time to just #WalkAway.

— Walter Martos (@walterm3607) September 18, 2019

I think I'm gonna get me a beer? Such a pandering fake.

— Eileen Dowie (@DowieEileen) September 19, 2019

pic.twitter.com/HpmlORPZ6Z

— Sean Robbins (@SeanRob76716182) September 19, 2019

I clicked this only to cost you money 👊

— Alan Parham (@ParhamAlan) September 19, 2019

I'm gonna pass on the beer, but I know you feel strongly about making sure asylum seekers receive benefits, so you can just leave me the keys to your house while you're campaigning and I'll make myself at home. I need asylum, in your house.

— Every Doggo Knows (@EveryDoggoKnows) September 17, 2019

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

— Jesus Is Lord (@rj69269) September 18, 2019

Every so often while your traveling do you ever have somebody come up to you and say, I'd love to go buffalo hunting with you and share the fresh tongue of a young bull calf?

— Turns Out I Was Right About Everything (@TenxbetterAdams) September 19, 2019

Just repay the grants you got for faking heritage.

— Joe_Jones (@JoeJone25167034) September 18, 2019

Keep in mind, this is Elizabeth Warren before she’s had a couple of beers:

Your Next President! Elizabeth Warren!

Nope, not seeing it. pic.twitter.com/pLyu9ueipy

— Daxton Brown (@daxtonbrown) September 19, 2019

The post Climate confessions: Elizabeth Warren will fly you out just to have a beer with her appeared first on twitchy.com.

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If You Have Less Than $5K in Savings, These 7 Steps Will Help Get You There

Getting your savings account to where you want it (and keeping it that way) can feel like an uphill battle.

But it’s important to have something to fall back on in case of an emergency. What if your car breaks down, or you have a sudden medical bill?

If you have less than $5,000 in savings, we have seven tips to help you get the ball rolling and get your savings account growing. You’ll be able to breathe a little easier.

1. Try to Save $1,000 or More — By Leaving Your House

Look. We get it. Your home is your sanctuary. Your place to be alone. Some days, you don’t even want to have your own family over — let alone people you don’t know.

So, the idea of listing your place on Airbnb is daunting for a lot of folks.

Use Airbnb’s price calculator to see how much money you could make in your area.

Tonya Peters’ husband, Miles Rugh, was one of of those skeptics.

She wanted to list their Virginia Village basement apartment in Denver, Colorado, on Airbnb, but he wasn’t keen on welcoming strangers into their place.

Finally, though, he agreed to give it a try. Now, three years later, the couple has hosted too many guests to count. And the extra income has been a great for them. They plan to use it for some home renovations they’ve been wanting.

“He’s definitely changed his tune,” says Peters, now an Airbnb Superhost. “And he loves having the extra income.”

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

2. Get Paid up to $600/Week to Drop off Starbucks

Your city is filled with two things: Starbucks, and people who want Starbucks.

An app called Doordash will pay you to pick up and deliver an extra latte when you’re already out and getting your caffeine fix. And it’s not just coffee. You can deliver from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and hundreds of other restaurants in your area.

With Doordash, you set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make is up to you. 

You’ll earn money for each delivery, plus tips. Jose Neri, from California, reports earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners.

The best part? No passengers — that grande, no-whip macchiato will be the only thing to hear your beautiful singing voice.

If you sign up for Doordash now, it’s possible to get your first paycheck this week. 

3. This Research Company Will Pay You up to $225/Month to Watch Videos

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What if we told you a research company would pay you to watch cooking videos on your computer?

It’s too good to be true, right? 

But we’re serious. InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.

All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward. 

No, InboxDollars won’t get you rich, but it’s something easy you can do while you’re already on the couch tonight wasting time on your phone. Plus, it’s extra money you can put in your savings. Everything helps.

It’s possible to earn up to $225 per month watching these videos.

It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.

It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.

4. Get Free Scratch-off Tickets

A young couple buying lottery tickets at a kiosk.

Hitting a big jackpot could really pad your savings account right about now. It’s tempting to buy those scratch-off tickets from the gas station. But that’s not the best use of your money when you’re in a bind. 

Instead, try scratching for free using an app called Lucktastic. Each day, it releases a new assortment of digital scratch-off tickets. Lucktastic says instant wins range from $1 to $10,000, in cash or gift cards to popular retailers.

The app is supported by advertising, which allows it to keep the payouts high and the games free.

It’s not guaranteed money, but at least Lucktastic is free to play. And hey, somebody’s gotta win.

Take single dad Oneil Campbell, from Boston. He was shocked when he won a $5,000 Lucktastic prize.

“I didn’t see that one coming,” Campbell says with a laugh. “I really didn’t. This is something good that happened to me at the right time — when I can really use it.”

5. Get Paid to Fill This out

Scared young women hiding in a blanket while watching scary movies at night.

We’ve all been there. Netflix drones in the background as you scroll Instagram. What are you even doing?

But there’s a company that will pay you for all that screen time.

Yep. Swagbucks is a reader favorite, because it pays you in free gift cards for taking surveys and other activities right on your phone. You’ll even earn a $5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 points within your first 60 days.

Online surveys won’t make you rich, but if you’re just vegging out on the couch, why not click a couple buttons and earn some cash to add to your savings account?

6. Turn Those Crumpled Receipts Into Prepaid Visa and Mastercards

A free app called Fetch Rewards will turn your receipts into gift cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share. Then you can exchange them for prepaid cards for Visa and MasterCard.

All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.

When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt — you’ll be well on your way to your first gift card.

No, you can’t put a Visa card in your savings, but, these cards can go a long way on your next grocery run and free up some cash to tuck away into your account.

7. Make up to $15/Hour to Pick up Milk for Your Neighbors

The grocery store is a surprisingly zen place. Somewhere between the soothing elevator music, the free samples and the wafting aroma of rotisserie chicken, you settle into a peaceful groove. 

None of the stress of work or home — it’s just you and the aisles.

Some people, for some reason, don’t feel the same. They’d rather avoid it altogether. And with an app called Postmates, you could get paid to pick up a few extra groceries for them. 

Even better than getting paid to grocery shop? If you need the money, like, now, you can cash out instantly after each delivery.

Holly Gaston, of San Francisco, California, has tried plenty of side gigs. With Postmates, she makes an average of $15 an hour. Plus, she says it’s been much more enjoyable than any of her previous side gigs.

Signing up shouldn’t take you more than about three minutes. The hardest part will be choosing which selfie you want to use as a profile pic.

 

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Mouse has me feeling defeated. Please help!

Hey all,

I have a mouse in my home. I’ll be honest, I’m a originate men as well as I can’t cure but be afraid and offset uncomfortable by it. It’s not rational and I know but I can’t seem to change it.

Last week I noticed mouse flattens under my settle. I called an exterminator and they came and lay copper mesh into places where the mouse might be moving through. They too laid snarl traps.

After a night of no success, I moved the mouse traps out from for the purposes of the sink because it didn’t make sense to me that they be there since the copper mesh was supposed to block the mouses access to the cabinet. Too, I had appreciated droppings near my oven.

To my rapture, I discovered a mouse dead in one of the catches the following morning, so I scooped the remains into a trash bag, hated of the crate, and cleansed the area.

The next day( as with previous periods) I determined flecks of the copper mesh strewn about the floor. The mouse had been chewing through the stuff and leaving around. I had vacuum-clean the kitchen so this definitely demonstrated there was ANOTHER mouse.

Here’s my difficulty. It’s been periods. My house is starting to smell. I’ve place attentions on this little bastard but never get it. It appears to pick food right out of the move catches, walkings across the glue traps with impunity, and doesn’t appear to go anywhere near the lethal traps.

I’m at my wit’s end with this mouse! Any professional admonition would be super welcome.

Other flecks of note, I bought a scope camera that works with my smart-alecky telephone off of Amazon for like $40. I’ve been feeding into my ceiling and under furniture and gadgets looking for a nest and I can’t find anything!

I’m just soooooo worried this thing is going to have newborns and then instead of one mouse I can’t kill, I’ll have 15 -2 0.

Also, the exterminator is useless. Biggest waste of coin. I wouldn’t have caught the first one if I hadn’t moved the catches they set.

Lastly, I was hanging on to sanity when I thought it was only downstairs but I’ve found evidence that it’s gained access to my bedroom!

Please help!

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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 11) & a trip to South Africa & Herndon, VA

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

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In case you missed last week’s update, check it out here.

11 weeks! I’m so excited to be getting close to the 2nd trimester!

This week was a week full of ups and downs. I had some really bad days and two surprisingly decent days where I actually had a few short windows where I didn’t feel nauseous. It was the most incredible feeling and, even though it was short-lived, it was just the encouragement I needed after having a really rough and discouraging week last week nausea-wise.

(By the way, it seems that most people have told me that their nausea is always worst in the mornings. For some reason, mine gets progressively worse as the day goes on. By bedtime, it’s at the severe level and often keeps me up for a few hours. I don’t have any explanation for this but it’s how it’s been in all my pregnancies so I guess it just is what it is!)

HIGHLIGHTS:

I had another doctor’s appointment this week and another ultrasound. Since Jesse and Kathrynne are in South Africa, I took Silas and Kaitlynn with me to the appointment. It was exciting for them to get to see our baby on the screen! Also, my doctor says the baby has grown quite a bit & everything is looking so healthy.

NOTABLE:

We had the NIPT test done this week. We opted to do it for a variety of reasons, even though it’s not 100% accurate. One exciting side benefit: we should be finding out what we’re having in the next two weeks!

We haven’t decided whether we’ll be telling people or not. We didn’t find out with either of the girls but chose to find out with Silas and decided that we preferred finding out to being surprised. However, with Silas, we decided to keep it a secret from everyone, including our extended family. We may or may not do that again.

WEIGHT GAIN:

A total of 4 pounds so far… which means that I have officially outgrown a lot of my clothes. I ordered a few new tunic tops from Amazon and a few new pairs of leggings. I also went through my closet and pared it down to the looser-fitting tops/bottoms I already own that I can still into comfortably.

I’m guessing I’ll be transitioning to maternity clothes sometime in the next 4-6 weeks. (If I remember right, I usually start wearing them around 17-20 week but I feel like my belly has popped faster this pregnancy!)

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A Peek Into Our Week

A number of you have asked for me to post a picture of Quill (our pet hedgehog). He’s doing so well and has grown so big.

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A Trip to South Africa

Jesse and Kathrynne flew to South Africa on Wednesday to visit our friends there and see how things were going with the ministry we support there.

(We usually go every year and it’s one of my favorite places ever, but for some reason, I didn’t feel a peace about going this year. It didn’t make any sense at all, but I just felt strongly that I wasn’t supposed to go… little did I know that it was going to be because I was pregnant!)

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They’ve been sending me pictures of their time there and I am just so happy for them.

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Jesse said that Kathrynne is having the best time and it warms my mama heart so much to see my girl halfway around the world loving on these kids and teens.

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While they’ve been gone, we stayed busy back here. I got to interview Aundi Kolber for next week’s podcast episode. I can’t wait for you to listen to this episode; it is fantastic!

(Also, we looked like we were dressed for a gender reveal party or something! I didn’t even realize it until I looked at the picture we took together after she left!)

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I also was so excited one morning to feel well enough to go to Kroger quickly and pick up their Friday-Saturday deals!

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A Trip to Herdon, VA

And then Kaitlynn and Silas flew with me to Herdon, VA for me to speak at the 2:1 conference. (I usually only bring one child with me on speaking engagements, but since they were both on fall break and Jesse and Kathrynne were gone, they both got to come with me!)

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One of the highlights of the conference was getting to meet Janet Benge, who has co-authored so many of the Christian Heroes Then and Now books. I had to get a picture for my mom.

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I loved getting to do a breakout workshop about exploding your engagement on Instagram! The attendees were the best and I could have stayed for another hour or two and answered all the questions I didn’t get to answer during the session and at the end!

One of my favorite things is getting to help others also fall in love with the power of Instagram. Speaking of which, are you following me on Instagram? If not, you’re missing out as I share lots of behind-the-scenes, money-saving deals, and real-time updates there… many that I never get space to share here on the blog!

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I also gave the morning keynote sharing how my parents impacted my life and the power of legacy.

What I’m…

Reading right now: The Only Plane in the Sky (Note: This has a little bit of language in it, but it is a very worthwhile read and I would highly recommend it.)

Watching right now: Have you seen the Enneagram Rhapsody? Multiple sent it to me this week and I had to laugh because there was so much truth in it. If you are an Enneagram fan, you’ll probably love it, if you haven’t seen it yet. 🙂

Listening to right now: This week, I’ve been listening to the Serene and Pearl UnShow at night when I have trouble sleeping because of nausea. I love the Trim Healthy Mama podcast and their quirky sense of humor and the way they disagree with one another and tease one another. (A lot of people are annoyed with how they talk over each other on their podcast. I happen to love it — probably because I grew up in a large family and we are always talking over each other and teasing one another mercilessly!)

Loving right now: This kimono (I have it on in the photo at the top of this post. It’s perfect to dress up an outfit, so comfortable, and is something I’ve worn multiple times in the last month!)

What are YOU reading, watching, listening to, and loving right now? I’d love to hear!

In Case You Missed It:

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Detail-Oriented? Highly Organized? These 11 Jobs are Perfect for You

My to-do list is color-coded. Blue, for example, indicates a pending draft. There are boxes for check marks, perfect for when a task is completed.

OK, so I have some Type A personality in me, but I’m proud of it. I like plans, checklists and being organized. I hate waiting in lines, wasting time and sloppy work. I bite my nails and overthink.

If that were a dating profile, I’d scare every man away. But truthfully, this Type A-ness inside me pushes me to get stuff done — like this post. (You’re welcome.)

So in the spirit of Type A personalities, I compiled a list of jobs for those of us — or those of us you know — who just want things to be perfect.

11 Jobs Perfect for People with Type A Personalities

These Type A job ideas (alphabetized, in list format) vary by type. Some offer full-time opportunities, while others allow for part-time work and flexible schedules. Some require you to look into jobs in your city and others — a lot, actually — let you work from home.

So get out your pen and pad, and start your research now.

1. Captioner/Transcriptionist

A woman transcribes documents on her laptop.

From experience, I can say this is a Type A job all the way.

Captioners and transcriptionists require a knack for accuracy. There’s no half-hearting these tasks. Companies and people rely on your quick fingers and sharp listening skills.

Usually you are paid per audio hour, but that’s not equivalent to a real hour, as you’ll probably find yourself pausing and rewinding. Transcriptionist Lisa Mills says one audio hour might take two to five hours to transcribe. She makes about $25 per hour.

Video captioning is similar — except you’ll watch and listen. For example, Rev.com pays $1 per video minute.

You can find work on other sites, too. Consider TranscribeMe, Tigerfish, Quicktate and CrowdSurf

2. Data Entry Clerk

Think: typist.

Some of these job descriptions include key, Type A-satisfying phrases such as “ensures consistency and accuracy,” “compiles and sorts information” and “must be self-motivated, organized and detail-oriented.”

Feeling qualified? You probably are. Pay ranges on a per-hour or per-project basis.

You can find office jobs as data entry clerks, but there are a number of specialized sites advertising work-from-home projects. These sites include Clickworker.com, DionDataSolutions.com and TheSmartCrowd.com.

3. Event Planner

Two women who were just married to each other walk in a field for their wedding portraits.

Picture this: It’s your wedding day, you’re slightly panicked and you want everything to be perfect

Cue the Type A planner. (That’s you.)

Event/wedding/meeting planning requires extremely organized individuals who know their way around a checklist or two. They have to coordinate and hire others to successfully execute an event or get-together.

You’ll likely need a degree and/or some experience, but you can always start under a “junior” status or assistant. (Read how this woman got started as a wedding planner with no prior experience.) 

Find a number of event planner jobs on classic job search sites such as Indeed, CareerBuilder and SimplyHired

4. Grocery Store Bagger

I’ve never bagged groceries (except my own… for fun), and I’m sure those of you who have are rolling your eyes right now, but I’ll never forget one bagger who called the experience “therapeutic.”

You’re filling bags by weight and food type. Preferably the frozen items are in one bag, right? The produce goes in another. The heavy objects are at the bottom whereas the bread goes neatly on top.

In my opinion, it’s a lost art.

Check out (get it?) Snagajob.com, a site that aggregates jobs hourly. You can also do a simple Indeed search or ask the manager at your favorite grocery store in town.

5. Housekeeper

A woman cleans a hotel room.

A Penny Hoarder writer mentioned her stint as a hotel housekeeper.

“My manager got mad because there was fuzz on the toilet,” she said. Fuzz? “Like lint. From a towel.”

Definitely Type A material. If you can make a perfect bed with crisp edges and know how to handle a vacuum, this could be a way for you to bag some extra money.

But there are also more exotic options. Consider becoming a housekeeper at a resort, ranch, vacation rental or even a cruise ship. 

And if your significant other is on the same Type-A level as you, tag-team it. Some places look for couples to maintain the grounds.

For jobs like that, visit Cool Works. For more “normal” gigs, search Indeed, Monster or  SimplyHired. Care.com also has personal ads calling for housekeepers. Also consider Task Rabbit.

6. Inventory Specialist

What’s your favorite retailer. The Container Store? Bed Bath & Beyond? Paper Source?

You could snag a job as an inventory specialist — also known as a stock associate or inventory aide. You’ll be able to flex your organizing and assorting skills by handling the store’s products.

To find a job, visit your favorite store’s career web page where you’ll likely be able to search by state. Or you can go to any job search site and search by retailer or location.

7. Library Specialist/Technician

A librarian searches for a book.

Also consider: library associate, assistant, circulation attendant, clerk…

These jobs vary widely — part time and full time, hourly and salaried. Some require high school degrees, others require a master’s. Either way, these jobs offer substantial pay.

Start your job search at governmentjobs.com. You can search by title (see above) and your city.

8. Professional Organizer/Clutter Consultant

We’ve written about Tova Weinstock, a professional organizer and cleaner who makes $150 an hour — $55,000 to $65,000 a year.

She’s a freelance organizer of sorts, who sets her own hours and works with clients to clean New York City apartments. Projects might last one afternoon or continue for four days at a time. Her clients fondly call her “Tidy Tova.” (I think I could be Clutter-Free Carson.)

If you’re interested in becoming the next Tidy Tova, the Profitable Organizer has some reading material for your perusing. Living Peace also offers resources.

9. Proofreader

A person proof reads a documents.

I was a teaching assistant in graduate school and graded students’ proofreading and copyediting worksheets. The delight I got from editing students’ edits was insurmountable.

If you get the same joy out of words and punctuation as I do, consider becoming a work-at-home proofreader. It offers flexible scheduling and pays per page.

Freelance proofreader Caitlin Pyle offers this advice to those forging into the word business: “It’s important to remember you are paid per page! So if you get distracted or procrastinate and drag out those 50 pages over several hours, it may seem like you’re not making any money.”

That’s a great Type-A tip: Plan and execute, plan and execute.

Pyle runs ProofreadAnywhere.com where you can take a free introductory workshop. You can find gigs on freelance sites such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com.

10. Travel Consultant

Along the same line of work as event planning, travel consultants need to be able to stay organized while handling a number of tasks — hunting down the best deals, creating itineraries and establishing relationships.

You should probably enjoy your own vacations, too. So ask the hiring company about paid vacation, right?

Again, you can find these types of jobs on your classic job search sites.

11. Virtual Assistant

A woman works on her laptop from home.

Sure, you could sit behind an old, cluttered desk and file paperwork and punch keys on the typewriter. (OK, so maybe that was the ‘80s.) But nowadays, many busy professionals want a virtual assistant, which means you’ll work from home.

Tasks and skills vary: customer service, data entry, research, social media management and website maintenance. Heck, you might even be able to get your hands on some file organizing. Either way, you’ll want to break out your trusty to-do list.

Look into VANetworking.com and Zirtual for specific virtual assistant sites. Also, read our article about virtual assistants for more information and resources.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff  writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

5 Shrewd Secrets from Women Who’ve Fixed Credit, Paid Debt and Made Fortunes

Looking for some advice when it comes to managing your money?

We have stories from a former Merrill Lynch executive, a mom of nine who overcame a job layoff and a college grad who was able to pay off $100,000 worth of debt — then start her own business.

They share their tips and secrets for financial success. You can even start using some of their strategies right now.

Secret No. 1: Women Should Invest Differently Than Men

Traditional investing companies have never really considered the fact that women statistically get paid less, yet live longer.

That’s why Sallie Krawcheck, the former head of Merrill Lynch designed an investing company for women called Ellevest.

With Ellevest, you can start investing with as little as $1. Plus, when you sign up through The Penny Hoarder, you’ll get a $25 bonus in your Ellevest account.*

When you sign up, Ellevest will build an investing plan just for you and your financial goals. It considers gender pay differences, any potential career breaks and overall lifespan. Even better? It invests your money in women-owned businesses.

Thanks to Krawcheck, we can invest exactly for our needs and feel more confident in our financial future.

Secret No. 2: Be an Advocate For Yourself (and Your Credit Score)

It’s easy to pass your credit score off as some silly three-digit number — that’s what most of us did throughout our early twenties anyways. But what happens when you want to buy a car? Or a house? That seemingly arbitrary number starts to play a huge role in your life.

And here’s the unfortunate fact: You can do everything right, but if your credit report has an error (one in five reports do), it could be holding you back — for no good reason. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on things.

Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will give you your credit score for free and help you detect any errors on your report. If you find any, it will even help you dispute them.

Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana, found a major error on her report — a supposed unpaid medical bill that had definitely been covered by Medicaid. Using Credit Sesame, Buitureria fixed the mistake and took additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.** 

Now? She’s focused on buying a home.

It only takes about 90 seconds to sign up with Credit Sesame.

Secret No. 3: You’re Not Stuck With Your Credit Card Debt

Wanna know something? Even if you have loads of credit card debt right now, that doesn’t mean you’ll have it forever. Heck, that doesn’t even mean you’ll have it tomorrow.

What? We’re serious. One of our favorite first steps in escaping credit card debt is to refinance it with a personal loan.

It might sound counterintuitive — like you’re just moving your debt from your credit cards to a loan — but the truth is, this could lower your monthly payment, save you tons of money in interest over time, and allow you to pay off your debt faster..

If you’re not sure where to start looking, use a website called Fiona. It’ll match you with a low-interest loan (rates start at 3.84%). You can then use that loan to wipe out your credit card debt. Then you’re left with just one bill to pay every month.

Pro Tip

When shopping personal loans, look for interest rates lower than your credit cards’ and manageable monthly payments. Oh, and don’t take out more than need to pay off your credit cards.

Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars.

We chatted with one San Francisco resident who struggled to keep up with her credit card debt. She faced a minimum monthly payment of $274 plus $154 in monthly interest plus a $99 annual credit card fee. She said it felt like she was on a treadmill.

She decided to refinance with a personal loan, which spared her from what would’ve been $14,000 in interest over time.

Secret No. 4: You Can Leave Your Kids $1 Million for $5/Month

If you have kids, you’ve probably worried about what’ll happen to them if something were to happen to you…

For single mom Rebekah Pearsall, this was difficult to consider. “Since my son doesn’t have a biological father in his life, I wanted to make sure he was secure if something were to ever happen to me,” she said.

That’s when she started looking into life insurance.

Before you start thinking you don’t have the time or money for that, look into policies through a company called Bestow. It offers $1 million policies starting at only $5 a month. Your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes.

You can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the security of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.

Pearsall had seen firsthand the benefits of life insurance; her childhood friend lost his dad and life insurance helped his family make it through that time financially.

It takes only a few minutes to get a free quote.

Secret No. 5: You Don’t Have to Have an MBA to Start a Business

If you dream of starting a business, don’t let the fact that you don’t have a business degree from an Ivy League school hold you back. (Yeah, imposter syndrome is the worst.) We’ve talked to plenty of women who’ve successfully started businesses on their own.

Here’s a story that really resonates with our frugal hearts: The Budget Mom.

After graduating college, Kumiko Love had $100,000 worth of debt — student loans, credit cards and medical bills. All that good stuff. Still, she had trouble sticking to a budget. So she gave up.

Then she started studying the psychology behind money and that gave her a renewed hope: She started viewing her situation through a positive lens. She combined several budgeting tactics and started logging her process through her blog, The Budget Mom.

And guess what? Love is now debt free and she recently quit her full-time job to focus on her seven-figure business, The Budget Mom.

*The Ellevest The Penny Hoarder promotional offer is valid for the first 1,000 new clients of Ellevest who enter through this designated landing page. Clients who enroll and fund their non-retirement account will receive $25 added to their highest priority goal in their Ellevest account. Clients who enroll and fund their retirement account will receive a $25 Amazon gift card which can be redeemed by visiting www.amazon.com. Please review Amazon.com Gift Card Terms and Conditions prior to redemption. Ellevest is not responsible for lost Amazon Gift Cards. Ellevest’s processing time for depositing $25 into a client’s Ellevest account or delivery of a $25 Amazon gift card may be up to 60 days.

**Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Stuck in an Upside Down Car Loan? How to Get Your Finances Rolling Again

When you walked into the dealership, you fell in love with your current car. It was so shiny and new. 

Five years later, you’ve fallen out of love with your gas-guzzler with the thread-bare tires and are wondering if you could just trade it in for the next beauty.

Then you remember you still owe on your current hunk of junk. And that to get monthly payments low enough for you to afford that car, you jumped at the six-year (or seven-year… or eight-year) term the dealer offered.

You’re not the first person to fall for a set of wheels that’s beyond reach, especially as car loans have continued to climb. The average loan amount for a passenger vehicle set a new record high in the first quarter of 2019 at $32,187, with average monthly payments ballooning to $554, according to Experian.

To offset these costs, more people are lengthening their loan terms to lower their monthly payments. New car loan terms between 85 and 96 months (that’s seven- to eight-year car loans) increased 38% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 2018. 

Then consider that new cars lose 20% of the value the moment you drive them off the lot and depreciation accounts for more than a third of the average annual cost to own a car, according to AAA.

All of those factors combine to create the scenario where you owe more than your car is worth, which means you have negative equity in your loan — aka, your car loan is upside down or underwater. 

Unfortunately, there’s not much use staring in the rearview mirror at this point about what you should have done with your old car’s loan, but you still have options to recover — it’s just a matter of making smart financial decisions.

What to Do If You Have an Upside Down Car Loan

Before we get ahead of ourselves, are you sure your vehicle is worth less than what you owe? Let’s run the numbers.

How to Calculate Your Car’s Equity

Here’s how to calculate the equity in your vehicle:

Value of your vehicle – loan payoff amount = equity

You can find out how much your vehicle is worth by checking National Automobile Dealers Association’s Guide, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book

Pro Tip

Each of the price guide websites may vary in the estimate for your car’s value, so check with all three and then use the average number for the value of your vehicle.

When figuring out how much you owe on the loan, use the loan payoff amount and not the principal, as the payoff amount may include things like fees and taxes you still owe on. 

So if your car’s value was $18,000 and your loan payoff was $15,000, you’d have $3,000 in positive equity. Yay! If you want to trade in your car for a newer one, the dealer should apply that $3,000 toward your down payment, thus reducing the overall amount you pay for your next car. Congrats!

However, if your car’s value was $18,000 and your loan payoff amount was $20,000, you’d have $2,000 in negative equity — you owe more on your car than it’s worth. Sorry. 

But that’s why we’re here, so let’s look at your options and get you on the fast track to financial freedom.

How to Trade in a Car With Negative Equity

Stuck with an underwater car loan on a vehicle that you need to unload? Then let’s start with the worst idea and work our way up. 

1. Roll Over the Amount You Owe Into a New Auto Loan

If you’ve heard or seen any dealership ads that promise to pay off your loan and put you into a new car, you may be thinking what a great idea it is. Well…

“This is a terrible idea, but it’s an option, and a lot of people take it because it seems easy, but it makes things worse,” said Todd Christensen, AFC and Education Manager at moneyfit.org. “It makes it even harder to get out of debt.”

Pro Tip

If you get in an accident and the car is totaled, the insurance company will pay for the value of the car, not how much you owe on it. Consider buying gap insurance to cover the difference.

That whole promise to pay off your loan isn’t exactly accurate, according to the FTC — the dealership will pay the bank to satisfy what you owe, but they’ll add that amount to your next loan or subtract it from your down payment. 

And maybe they’ll tack on a fee, just for good measure. 

And because the dealer had to finance the remainder of your old loan plus the new one because you couldn’t pay off the first — thus making the new loan riskier — you can also expect to pay a higher interest rate.

And adding your negative equity to your new loan amount probably puts you underwater on the next car loan as soon as you sign the papers. So the vicious cycle continues.

It all adds up to a bad idea.

But if this is your only option, Chistensen did suggest ways you could minimize your next loan:

  1. Downsize to a cheaper car. If you’re currently paying for a half-ton pickup and can rollover your loan into a midsize sedan, you could be looking at a smaller payment even after adding the underwater debt amount into the new loan. Also, skip the premium package.
  2. Apply for a shorter loan term. You’ll pay more per month, but if you agree to a five-year loan instead of taking the seven-year term, you’ll pay less in interest in the long run and it helps reduce the chances you’ll end up with another underwater loan.
  3. Look for cash-back offers on the next car. If the rebate is large enough, you might be able to use it to pay off the negative equity on your old loan.
  4. Get a loan preapproval. Shopping around for a preapproved auto loan for your new loan potentially helps you snag a lower interest rate than the one a dealership would offer.

None of these options will absolutely prevent you from starting out underwater on your next car loan, but they can help reduce the time you’ll spend climbing out of the hole.

2. Roll Over Your Loan Into a Lease

Although leasing a car means you won’t own the vehicle, you can benefit from the fact that you don’t have to keep paying down negative equity when you reach the end of the lease term.

“I rarely recommend leasing a vehicle, but this would often be a better idea than rolling over your negative equity into your next car loan,” Christensen said. “It makes their lease payments larger — that’s obviously a negative — but on the positive side, they don’t have to worry about being underwater with a lease.”

3. Pay Down the Negative Equity

Paying down the negative equity on the car as quickly as you can is better than the first two options because you’re actually helping yourself get out of debt financially instead of just passing it through to your next payment. 

If you have the cash to pay off the negative equity, that’s an obvious choice, but you can also consider picking up a side job or temporarily cutting personal expenses — you could even get paid to drive your car and let the old hunk of junk earn its keep. 

Use every extra dollar you make to pay down the debt and get your car loan back above water before you trade it in for the next vehicle.

FROM THE DEBT FORUM

4. Sell the Car Yourself

You know how #1 on our list was the easiest (and least financially savvy) option? Here’s the hardest way to get yourself out of your underwater car loan, but it could also be among the most lucrative: Sell the car yourself.

The payoff for the extra effort could be worth your time as opposed to trading it in at the dealership. Christensen noted that the difference between selling on your own instead of settling for the trade-in offer could be the difference of a couple thousand dollars, depending on the car.

If you know someone in your network of family, friends and coworkers who’d like to buy the car, it makes the process of selling a little easier. Otherwise, you’ll need to advertise the car and sort through prospective buyers who’ll probably want to schedule a test drive. And you might need to head to the bank to transfer the title since you still owe on the car.

5. Hang Onto Your Car

This, in the end, is the best option, financially speaking. If you can hold onto your car not only until you get out of water, but for years after you have the loan paid off, you can put your former car payments into a separate account and build up a downpayment — or maybe the whole payment — for your next car.

Yes, it isn’t always an option — especially if your current car needs pricy repairs — but you should at least weigh the cost of repairs vs. the long-term financial benefits of holding onto your old wheels. 

It might not be the new wheels you’ve been dreaming of, but it does put you in the driver’s seat for your financial future.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.