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The FIRE Movement – How To Retire Early

The FI/RE movement is all about making your money work for you and either becoming financial independent or retiring early or both.The FI/RE movement is all about making your money work for you and either becoming financial independent or retiring early or both.

The post The FIRE Movement – How To Retire Early appeared first on Money Under 30.

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Digital Cash. The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency

Digital Cash. The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency, by Finn Brunton, assistant professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. He is also the co-author of another book i reviewed, Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest.

assistant professorPublisher Princeton University Press writes: Bitcoin may appear to be a revolutionary form of digital cash without precedent or prehistory. In fact, it is only the best-known recent experiment in a long line of similar efforts going back to the 1970s. But the story behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and its blockchain technology has largely been untold—until now. In Digital Cash, Finn Brunton reveals how technological utopians and political radicals created experimental money to bring about their visions of the future: protecting privacy or bringing down governments, preparing for apocalypse or launching a civilization of innovation and abundance that would make its creators immortal.

The incredible story of the pioneers of cryptocurrency takes us from autonomous zones on the high seas to the world’s most valuable dump, from bank runs to idea coupons, from time travelers in a San Francisco bar to the pattern securing every twenty-dollar bill, and from marketplaces for dangerous secrets to a tank of frozen heads awaiting revival in the far future. Along the way, Digital Cash explores the hard questions and challenges that these innovators faced: How do we learn to trust and use different kinds of money? What makes digital objects valuable? How does currency prove itself as real to us? What would it take to make a digital equivalent to cash, something that could be created but not forged, exchanged but not copied, and which reveals nothing about its users?

Joey Colombo, from the series This is your God

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Joey Colombo, from the series This is your God

The presentation of the book promises a lot: futures, adventures, subcultures, technology and thrill. And it does deliver.

Finn Brunton traces with brio what he calls the prehistory of Bitcoin. From Friedrich von Hayek, who in his 1976 book Denationalisation of Money: The Argument Refined argued that the right of issuing currency should shift from central banks to a decentralized mechanism, up to subcultures whose name i had never heard before: the Cypherpunks and the Extropians. The latter yearn for a posthuman future where they’ll be enjoying super intelligence and super longevity thanks to technology. Some of them even hope to become immortal. Which means playing a long term game that requires cryonics, experimental pharmacology but also financial structures and payment systems that would enable them to store money and recover it whenever they are brought back to life in a future society that is likely to be very different from the one they had left. Such monetary independence needs to be accompanied by specific insurance schemes and an anonymous reputational system that would enable them to exchange forbidden scientific studies, tools for rating secret clinics, marketplaces for unauthorized pills and covert support communities for illegal practices.

As the book demonstrates, the development of digital cash was not driven by technology only but by social beliefs, by a desire for greater privacy, for new forms of liberty, for personal post-humanity and other wider agendas.

Along the way, the author explains (in easy to digest terms) how cryptocurrencies and blockchain work, how they are able to change societies and how developers of computational currencies have attempted to solve problems like spam, fraud and forged digital cash. Which still leaves him space for baffling stories such as the one of the rabbit (almost) frozen and brought back to life and the t-shirt legally classified as munitions in the USA.

Department of Media, Culture, and Communication
Joey Colombo, from the series This is your God

Since i’m not no authority in digital cash, i’d recommend you also have a look at the review of the same book by expert in digital economy Rachel O’Dwyer. Or spend some time listening to this interview with Finn Brunton.

I have to confess that i found the cover of the book as irresistible as its description. The artwork on the dustjacket was created by Joey Colombo.

On amazon UK and USA.

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Kohl’s: Up to 60% off Converse Shoes for the Whole Family

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

Love Converse? You can get up to 60% off Converse shoes for the whole family at Kohl’s right now!

Up to 60% Off Converse for the Whole Family

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The Frugal Snowball

One of my favorite articles from the early days of The Simple Dollar was The Snowball Effect. In it, I took up a little nugget of an idea that I read in a back issue of the old “Tightwad Gazette” newsletter and expanded it outwards, showing how a small series of moves can transform a very small amount of money into surprisingly large financial change.

While the idea was nice, the article mostly just centered around an example that might not be all that applicable to everyone’s life, so I wanted to step back from that example and look at the idea of a frugal snowball in a more general sense, with a few examples to show how it could work in a variety of situations.

So… What’s a Frugal Snowball?

A “frugal snowball” refers to the idea that you can take the savings from a very small frugal change and apply it to a slightly bigger frugal change, then take those collective proceeds and apply it to something bigger, and keep chaining these together until you’ve drastically reduced a lot of the ongoing expenses in your life. It really illustrates the fact that small frugal steps done in a very sustainable way over time transform into something much more valuable.

Let me give you a really simple example.

Let’s say you’re currently only able to retain $10 a week after all of your expenses are covered. $10 a week is simply all you can come up with.

Rather than just directly saving that $10, you buy something you use every day in a bulk purchase, saving, say, $0.05 per use. Over the course of a week, you’re able to spend $0.35 less than before. This is because you’re now able to afford buying the bulk item every two months rather than the regular item every two weeks. Visualize, say, a box of trash bags, where you’re now buying the bulk box instead of the regular sized one, so the bags are each cheaper than before and you don’t have to buy it as often.

Now you have $10.35 each week. You look around for another item you can move to buying in bulk, and there are a lot of options. Each one might start saving you a quarter a week or fifty cents a week, but if you’re using that extra $10 (plus the savings from your previous changes) to buy more and more and more things in bulk, you’re eventually looking at $25 or $30 or $40 a week.

With that money, perhaps you can afford things like a longer term bus pass, one that pays for your rides for a month rather than a week but effectively saves you about 25% on your bus fares per week overall. That might save you $2 per week.

It builds and builds and builds like this. Perhaps you can buy an internet router after saving for a few weeks and can tell your internet provider to take back their router and trim $10 off of your monthly bill. Perhaps you’ll be able to afford to switch to making an annual payment for your homeowners insurance instead of monthly payments because of this extra money accumulated from frugality, saving you $5 a week for the next year.

Eventually, you’re looking at $100 or $200 or more per week without changing your lifestyle in any way, and it’s all because of accumulated frugality, using the savings from little moves to make slightly bigger cost-saving changes, then slightly bigger ones, and bigger ones, just like a snowball rolling down the mountain accumulating more and more snow and growing bigger and bigger.

As you can see, a frugal snowball is really simple to execute. It basically just requires the ability to identify a way to save money in your life – preferably one that doesn’t have a real negative impact in terms of time or enjoyment – and following through, then applying the proceeds to another tactic. It’s easy and almost anyone can find room for these kinds of moves in their life.

Sounds Great! What Are the Drawbacks?

While building a “frugal snowball” is a really powerful idea, it’s not a perfect financial solution for everyone.

First of all, it assumes that there are plenty of unrealized options for frugality in a person’s life. A person that already pushes their frugal choices might not have many more options to make further cuts. A “frugal snowball” works best for someone who is currently living paycheck to paycheck and has only tried frugal things in the past in a fairly inconsistent way.

Second, it also assume you have – or can get – a strong grip on your spending. Without a strong grip on your spending, the benefits of a frugal snowball, especially early on, just becomes absorbed by incidental spending. If you’re spending a dollar less a week but then decide, on the spur of the moment, to buy a candy bar or a soda each week, then you’re right back where you started. You’re not gaining ground.

Finally, it doesn’t produce dramatic change overnight. It takes a while for the impact of this to appear in your life. As opposed to, say, selling off everything in your closet, which will generate a bunch of funds right away, this is a strategy that won’t really see dividends for a while.

A Concrete Example of Nine Months

To really spell out how this works, I’m going to use a concrete example using exact dollars and cents that I find online. I’m going to stick with prices from major retailers like Target, Amazon, and Walmart.

Let’s assume, at the start, that you have exactly $10 in surplus per month to spend to get this snowball rolling.

Month 1 You normally buy a 50 count box of Glad trash bags for $11.99. You decide instead to buy a 120 count box of store brand trash bags for $15.99. That eats up $4 of your savings in order to bump yourself up to consistently buying the bulk store brand bags, but the store brand bags now are only costing you $0.13 a pop compared to the $0.24 a pop from the smaller name brand box, saving you $0.11 per trash bag use. If you use a new trash bag every other day, then this is now saving you $1.65 per month going forward.

You have $6 left, so you also move up from buying the 64 load bottle of Tide for $11.99 to the 96 load bottle of store brand laundry detergent for $12.99, costing $1 more. That’s a move from $0.19 to $0.14 per load. Assuming you do two loads of laundry per week, that adds up to $0.45 per month going forward.

You now have $5 left, so you buy a two pack of body wash for $5.99 instead of your normal single $3.49 bottle, costing you $2.50 but, because you go through about a bottle a month, saving you $0.51 a month going forward.

You decide to carry forward that extra $2.50 to next month.

Month 2: You save $10 again this month for your snowball, but you’re now spending $2.61 less a month, so you actually have $12.61. You have an extra $2.50 from last month, too, so you have $15.11 to contribute to your growing snowball.

This month, you keep your focus on moving to bulk buying household products, starting with switching from an 1800 sheet package of toilet paper for $7.39 to an 8712 sheet package of toilet paper for $12.99, with the switch costing you $5.60 of your monthly frugal snowball. You use 20 sheets per day on average, so you’re moving from a daily cost of $0.08 to a daily cost of $0.03 for toilet paper, saving you $1.50 a month going forward

You have $9.51 left, so you switch from a single 3.5 ounce package of your toothpaste for $2.99 to a three pack of 4.8 ounce tubes of the same toothpaste for $9.99. Your old tubes lasted for six weeks, so the new tubes last for a little over eight, meaning the full pack lasts for 25 weeks. In terms of dollars and cents, this saves you about $0.43 per month going forward.

You carry the remaining $2.51 forward to next month.

Month 3: You’re still putting $10 into the snowball, but last month you started saving $2.61 less a month, and this month you’re spending $1.93 less a month, so your total new money to work with is $14.54. Add in the $2.51 left over from last month, and you have $17.05 to work with.

You use AA batteries occasionally, so you buy a battery recharger and 4 AA rechargeable batteries for $16.99, eating up all but $0.06 of your money (we’ll assume you dropped this in the Salvation Army kettle and not worry about it). The energy use for this is negligible, but you typically needed about 2 AAs a month and this drops that down to about 1 AA a month. You normally buy a 4 pack of batteries for $7.99 when you need one every other month, but now that’s every four months. You’re saving $2 a month going forward.

Month 4: You’re now saving $16.54 a month, which is the $14.54 from last month plus the $2 in additional savings.

You buy another four pack of those batteries for $11.54, saving you another $2 a month going forward.

You have $5 left. It’s summer now. Most summers, you go through two of the small bottles of sunscreen at $8.99 apiece, but now you can buy a three pack for $13.99. Since a single bottle lasts you about six months, buying these jumbo packs saves you $0.72 a month going forward.

Month 5: You’re now saving $19.26 a month, which is the $16.54 from last month plus the $2.72 in additional savings. You decide to wait a month here and make a big purchase next month.

Month 6: You’re now saving $19.26 a month, and you spent none of it last month, so now you have $38.52.

You take the subway to work every day and it costs $2.75 each way, adding up to $5.50 a day, or $27.50 for a work week. You usually ride it twice round trip on the weekend, too, so you spend $38.50 a week on the subway. Instead of paying your $2.75 that morning for a single ride, you add $30.75 to it and buy a 7 day unlimited pass for $33. You can now keep your normal subway money and buy 7 day passes going forward, which will save you $23.89 a month going forward.

You hold onto the extra $7.77.

Month 7: You’re now saving $43.15 a month, which is the $19.26 from last month plus your additional $23.89 a month in savings. You also have an extra $7.77, giving you a total of $50.92 this month.

You take your lunch to work in your backpack each day, so you decide to ditch the Ziploc baggies you used to use and buy a set of five meal storage containers for $27.49 to take your meals in. You usually take a sandwich or soup or pasta or a salad, so this works perfectly. You used to buy two month’s worth of meal bags for $5.29, but now you never need them again, so you’re saving $2.64 a month going forward.

You have $23.43 left over for next month.

Month 8: You’re now saving $45.79 a month, which is the $43.15 from last month plus your additional $2.64 in savings. You also have $23.43 left over, so you have a total of $69.22 for this month.

You eat at home most of the time and take food with you whenever you leave, but probably three times a week you’re running late and get tempted into eating something at a restaurant on your walk home from the subway, spending an average of $10 but with leftovers for lunch the next day. If you had a meal waiting for you at home, you’d skip it, but you don’t like frozen meals very much and you don’t have much freezer space.

Your solution? You buy a Crock Pot for $49.99. You can make a big meal in a crock pot that will cover four meals for $10, saving you $2.50 per meal, and if you do that twice a week, that’s $20 per week saved in food costs. All you do different is throw some stuff in the crock pot on Mondays and Wednesdays before work (you still eat out on Fridays) and you save $86.67 a month going forward. The only real habit you’ve changed is dumping some food in the slow cooker and turning it on twice a week.

You have $19.23 left over for next month.

Month 9: You’re now saving $132.46 a month, which is the $45.79 from last month plus your additional $86.62 in savings. You also have $19.23 left over, so you have a total of $151.69 for this month.

Instead of buying a subway 7 day unlimited pass for $33, you can now afford a 30 day unlimited pass for $127. This saves you $14.43 per month going forward.

You use almost the entire remaining money to buy a Costco annual membership for $60. This doesn’t directly save money, but it allows you to start buying bulk household supplies at an even lower price and save on a lot of food items.

The future? You’re now saving just shy of $150 a month because of your frugal snowball and you have a Costco membership for the next year which is going to reduce some of your ordinary spending even more.

What can you do with that? You can start making a $150 a month extra student loan payment. You can start contributing to the 401(k) at work as long as the take-home pay reduction is less than $150 a month. You can save for pretty much any goal you can imagine. The possibilities are endless.

Growing Your Frugal Snowball

A frugal snowball works pretty simply. You start off with a tiny amount you’re able to save each month – $10 or $20. You look to invest that money in something that will reduce your spending going forward, and then you take that reduced spending and add it to the amount you can save each month.

There are many, many ways to go about this. The exact money saving techniques depend on your specific situation. Here are some techniques that work as you grow your snowball, however.

Tiny snowball (less than $20 cost): Switch to a bulk container of a nonperishable item, switch to a store brand version of an item, cheap reusable meal containers, rechargeable batteries, LED light bulbs

Little snowball ($20-$50 cost): Sturdy reusable meal containers, a small slow cooker, a weekly metro card, a programmable thermostat, an over-the-air antenna (leading to ditching cable)

Big snowball ($50-$100 cost): warehouse club annual membership, monthly metro card in some cities, a large slow cooker

Giant snowball ($100 and above cost): monthly metro card in some cities, annual insurance payments, annual property tax payments (if there’s a discount)

Final Thoughts

The beauty of the frugal snowball is that it can start with just a tiny bit of money – $10 a month that you’re willing to invest in frugality – and quickly grow from there as each thing you use that frugal snowball for generates more savings. Eventually, the savings grow into the hundreds of dollars per month, as you saw in the example above, and you can then take that monthly money and apply it to life-changing things like rapidly paying down your student loan debt, saving for a down payment, or paying off credit cards.

Most of these changes are things that make no difference in terms of your quality of life or perhaps even bolster it slightly. You want to aim for things that are largely invisible, like simple life substitutions that don’t really disrupt your habits.

The key is to be careful with your money and not let any savings from frugality turn into incidental spending. It’s really easy to see an extra $3 a month that you’re seeing in the first few weeks or months of this just get absorbed into an extra restaurant meal or a snack or something else completely forgettable. The key is to build into bigger and bigger up front investments in the ordinary routines of your life so that your expenses start to shrink and you can do something powerful with that money.

The rest of the story is up to you.

Good luck!

The post The Frugal Snowball appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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These 4 Couples Got Married for a Fraction of the Average Wedding Cost

If you’re planning a wedding, you’ve probably heard the alarming statistic that the average couple spends close to $34,000 for their big day. It’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel and elope.

But with a little creative thinking, some smart shopping, a dash of DIY magic and the help of family and friends, you can drastically reduce expenses and still have the wedding of your dreams. You can even do it without chopping the guest list or sacrificing the booze.

Take notes from these four couples who got married without spending over $10,000.

A Rustic Wedding for 130 Guests on a $7K Budget

When Sarah and Andrew Roehm got married in January 2017, they kept their budget low by sticking to a theme, embracing DIY and thinking outside the box.

Selecting a rustic, woodland theme up front made it easy to say no to any purchase that didn’t vibe with the vision. A roulette table the groom suggested could have been fun, but it wasn’t on theme and didn’t make the cut.

The couple made their own playlists and recruited a friend to play iPhone DJ. Sarah’s friends arranged the flowers (which were purchased wholesale) and the decor (bought at thrift stores). One of the groomsmen built the archway they got married under. A few other friends played live music during the ceremony.

The Roehms went the nontraditional route when it came to the venue and food. They got married at a country-style ranch costing a tenth of what some other venues were charging, and a food truck served burgers for $15 per person.

Because they saved money elsewhere, the bride was able to purchase the $1,100 wedding dress and jacket she fell in love with during an impromptu dress browsing trip.

Here’s a rundown of some of the Roehms’ wedding costs:

  • Venue: $2,400
  • Flowers: $350
  • Food: around $2,000
  • Alcohol: $500
  • Photography: $1,400
  • Bride’s attire: $1,100
  • Groom’s attire: $135

Check out more of this couple’s wedding story here.

A 190-Guest Wedding on an $8K Budget

A couple kiss at their sunflower-themed outdoor wedding.

Laura Grace Tarpley and her husband, Daniel Jones, managed to keep their budget under $10K despite having a whopping 190 guests at their October 2016 wedding.

The bride and groom skipped over the traditional wedding retailers to save big. They bought their flowers at Costco, various decor from Goodwill, boxed wine from Walmart and the arch they married under at a yard sale. The groom put his blacksmith skills to use to make their wedding bands with $10 worth of material from The Home Depot.

Tarpley and Jones also relied on the talents of loved ones. A graphic designer bridesmaid made their invitations and wedding programs for free. A family friend volunteered to serve as wedding coordinator. Another friend baked a three-tier cake, charging less than half the price they would have gotten elsewhere.

Here are some of the couple’s wedding expenses:

  • Flowers: $315
  • Decor: $120
  • Wedding arch: $45 (but resold it after the wedding to break even!)
  • Materials for custom made wedding bands: $10
  • Wedding cake: $200

Read more on this couple’s budget wedding here.

A $7K (Tech-Powered) Backyard Wedding in San Fran

When Marian Schembari wed her husband, Elliot Speed, in October 2014, the couple embraced technology and used multiple websites and apps to execute their low-cost wedding in pricy San Francisco.

Instead of booking an expensive venue, they made Airbnb reservations at a home with a backyard big enough to host their outdoor wedding for 40 people. The property manager let the couple set up a few days early and allowed them to landscape to create a more picturesque setting.

The bride got a used dress from the wedding website OnceWed and bought inexpensive decor from Amazon. The couple ordered take-out from a restaurant in town for under $500 and used TaskRabbit to hire someone to deliver it to the rental home. For music, Schembari and Speed just took advantage of their monthly Spotify subscription.

Because the bride and groom cut costs on many other aspects of their big day, they were able to splurge on photography, paying $4,400 for their dream photographer whom they had to book a year in advance.

Here’s some of what the couple spent their money on:

  • Venue: $1,250
  • Music: $10
  • Invitations: $100
  • Wedding dress and alterations: $800
  • Food: $530
  • Flowers and decor: $140
  • Photography: $4,400

Read here for more on how this couple pulled off their budget wedding.


A Delayed Reception Costing Less Than $5K

When Kerry and Jim Stapley wed in March 2015, they implemented some creative scheduling.

While many couples host their reception right after the ceremony, the Stapleys decided to schedule their celebration with family and friends months after their weekday courthouse wedding.

The cost-conscious bride did some sleuthing in advance, calling venues for quotes on wedding packages and then calling days later to get the price for private parties. She discovered the costs were thousands of dollars cheaper if the event wasn’t promoted as a wedding.

The venue they selected would have charged about $16,000 for a wedding for their 100 guests. Instead, the couple spent less than $5,000 total.

By holding their wedding reception months after marrying, the Stapleys also had more time to save up for expenses.

Here’s a glimpse of the couple’s wedding expenses:

  • Courthouse wedding ceremony: $72
  • Reception venue: $3,000
  • Decor: $150
  • Food: $400
  • Alcohol: $800

See here for more details on this couple’s wedding story.

Nicole Dow is a senior 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.

Best MP3 Player 2019: TechRadar’s guide to the best portable music players

MP3 musicians might not be as popular as they were a decade ago, but that doesn& apos; t mean they& apos; re outdated engineering. In fact, modern MP3 players do a significantly better job at accumulating your part music library at a higher bitrate than your 2009 iPod Shuffle ever could.

To that objective, if you& apos; re on the look-out for the best MP3 participate that money can buy in 2019, you& apos; ve come to the perfect place: Here we& apos; ll run down all the top alternatives, and tell you everything you need to know to make a sensible buying decision.

While most tribes are more than happy to use their phones as portable music musicians, you& apos; re now because you& apos; re looking for a separate music player- one that not only accumulates your music, but builds it sound its best.

The best MP3 players, due to their sound fidelity and stability, are the ultimate machines if you enjoy listening to music- and new innovations in phone are making them even better with each overtaking year.

That said, be said that the machine( in such cases an MP3 player) is only one link in a long audio chain. You’ll also need to think about what audio codec your library is in, and you will obviously also need an immense duet of headphones,( high-fidelity DACs are insignificant if you’re using a inexpensive duet of earbuds ).

If you need a little help, check out the best headphones for 2019.

Apple iPod Touch Portable Audio Device

Best MP3 actor: Onkyo DP-X1A

Onkyo has been a well-known and reverenced word in audio for years, and for good reason. The Onkyo DP-X1A may not be the most compact player on this list, but it is the best all-around, render massive customizability, an intuitive boundary, and marvelous reverberate quality.

Let’s start with the design, which is pretty nice. In general, the DP-X1A appears a little like a phone, but much thicker, and is completely optimized for audio utilization. How so? Well, for starters, it has two audio ports- one headphone jack and one balanced production for those interested in a cleaner and overall better quality sound. Additionally, the machine has an easy-to-use volume wheel, as well as physical playback buttons and two microSD card slots for those with a sizable collect of music.

The player is built with a full copy of Android 5.1, ended with facets like Wi-Fi connectivity and the Google Play Store. Which outcomes in an MP3 Player that is to Android what the iPod Touch is to iOS. Unlike the iPod, nonetheless, the Onkyo DP-X1A is built for super-high-quality audio.

Speaking of the music aspect, it& apos; s an ultimate illusion. It patronizes a range of music formats, including FLAC, OGG, WAV, MP3, ALAC, and more. In periods of equipment, the maneuver has two chipsets, one to ability the overall invention, and one to handle the DAC and amplifier- resulting in a noise-free experience.

We tested the musician with numerou duets of headphones across variou toll ranges, and were dazed with the clarity and remarkable quality of the audio. There’s a rationalization the Onkyo DP-X1A sits atop this list – it’s a ogre in the portable audio life.

Read our full refresh: Onkyo DP-X1A Digital Audio Player


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Best MP3 musician: iPod Touch( 7th Generation)

Apple took us all by surprise when it announced the iPod touch 7, the first upgrade to its portable music and video actor since 2015.

With” enhancements to strength, ability, and communication”, the updated iPod touch is fully geared to gaming, with the release coming precisely in time for the launch of Apple& apos; s brand-new gaming assistance, Apple Arcade.

The bigger upgrade, at least for audio admirers, is the support for the Hi-Res Audio codec FLAC, as well as Apple Lossless, giving you more options than ever when it comes to accessing audiophile-quality music.

Using a Hi-Res Audio playback app for iOS announced Vox, we listened to Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor. The strings had a warm and natural character, while soprano vocal duets rose sweetly above the mix without ever sounding cruel.

In our review we too researched out the inbuilt speaker at the bottom of the iPod touch, and it carries quite a punch despite its width. It won’t do for just listened to your Hi-Res music, but if really demand a little background music for your gaming seminars and can’t be riled to delve your headphones out, it directs just fine.

If you need a new MP3 player, and you don& apos; t thought working iTunes, the iPod Touch will do just fine.

Read the full review: iPod Touch( 7th Generation )


compact player

Best MP3 participate: HiFiMan SuperMini

HiFiMan is perhaps best known for its headphones, but it prepares some pretty great MP3 players, too. For an example, search no farther than the SuperMini.

The SuperMini, as the reputation proposes, is a little smaller than most of the other musicians on such lists, but that doesn’t seem to come at a huge cost- it’ll still deliver excellent audio quality and it’s pretty easy to use, too.

The device, which has a price tag of $399( PS400, AU $399 ), doesn’t have any onboard storage – you’ll have to buy a microSD card separately. It does, however, endorsement a pretty gigantic reach of audio formats, including FLAC, DSD, WAV, MP3, and AIFF, and audio with a test pace of up to 192 kHz.

The user interface may not be as flashy as some others on such lists, but it’s still pretty easy to use. It’s a monochrome expose, and is controlled via three buttons located under the screen. The tradeoff to using a monochrome flaunt, however, is that the battery life is decent, sitting in at a hefty 22 hours.

In terms of tone, the high-end on this actor is nice and crisp, without being too aggressive by any means. On surpass of that, “theres a lot” of mids to go around, without the participate at all straying into inaccurate subject. We were a little skeptical of the idea of a musician from a company that presents participates well into the multi-thousands of dollars straddle, but the SuperMini holds its own, and at a decent price.

Read the full discus: HiFiMan SuperMini

This make is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a penalty alternative in the Onkyo DP-X1A


Best MP3 player: Astell & Kern AK Jr

Best MP3 musician: Astell& Kern AK Jr

Astell& Kern is known for building top-notch audio maneuvers at acceptable prices, and for the above reasons we reflect the Astell& Kern AK Jr is the best mid-range MP3 player out of the ones we& apos; ve experienced( and listen ). In fact, after spending some time applying it, we would argue that it’s a pretty serious contender against even much more expensive players.

Before diving into the player’s abilities, you’ll notice how well-designed it is. The shiny, metal looking is very classy, and using it gives you a same” status epitomize” feel as you’ll get with the iPhone.

The AK Jr comes in at $259( PS250, AU $399 ), which is a very reasonable price for a maneuver of this calibre. For that rate, you’ll get 64 GB of onboard storage, though there is a microSD card slot in case you want to expand upon that storage. On exceed of that, it substantiates all major audio formats, including FLAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, AIFF, and more- and it’s able to play at sample frequencies of up to 192 kHz.

The interface of the device is relatively easy to control, very. The home screen simply gives you options for songs, albums, artists, and so on.

Tap through use the touchscreen, and you’ll be able to select the music you want to listen to. It “d be nice if” that touchscreen was a little more responsive, but you get used to it. Battery life sits in at around nine hours, which isn& apos; t amazing, but not horrible either.

So how does it sound? In one word: beautiful.

Music is dynamic and crisp, with a delightful and powerful announce in all other aspects. The soundstage on these, when paired with a great pair of headphones, is huge- that’s to say the left and right are clearly defined, while gauges placed at the center of a mix are given plenty of room to breathe. We particularly experienced the guitar solo on AC/ DC’s Back in Black, while Eminem’s rap on Lose Yourself trimmed straight through the mixture- precisely the road it was supposed to.


Best MP3 player: SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

Best MP3 musician: SanDisk Clip Sport Plus

Looking for an MP3 musician to make spill with you? If so, you probably want something small and light- it probably doesn’t need to hold day’s worth of music, and it probably doesn’t need to offer the highest audio quality out there. Most of all, you probably don’t want to fork out a ton of cash for it.

If that’s you, in our view, the SanDisk Clip Sport Plus is the best option.

For starters, the maneuver offers 16 GB of storage, and while that may not be much for your telephone, 16 GB can hold a ton of chants. On top of that, despite being built for sport, it actually reinforces a fairly wide range of audio formats- including MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, and WMA.

Perhaps most important for a invention like this is the battery life, and it’ll last you a good 20 hours. You’ll even get Bluetooth, which is a huge deal for many who will be using this while extending or playing other activities and don’t want cables to get in the way.

The interface is relatively easy to use too. Sure, it’s a little dated, and isn’t as potent as what you’ll hear on your smartphone, but it’s still capable as a music musician. It’s not touch-sensitive, though: instead, you navigate through hardware buttons that too serve as playback powers when music is playing, but we didn’t have any issues.

As for the music, as long as you don’t imagine full audiophile-level quality here( you won’t get it ), we believed to be& apos; ll find the reverberate unusually competent. Overall it& apos; s somewhat muddied with a small dip in lucidity, but for most that won’t matter- especially when you& apos; re out on a range or stumbling the values at the gym.


Best MP3 player: Sony NW-A45 Walkman

Best MP3 player: Sony NW-A4 5 Walkman

If the idea of using iTunes monstrosities you out and expend more than $ 200 on an MP3 player just isn& apos; t probable, then your best MP3 player is probably the Sony NW-A4 5 Walkman.

Packed with 16 GB of built-in storage and a slick touchscreen UI, the NW-A4 5 beginning at around $149 and comes in multiple hues that will suit any smack. For audiophiles, the NW-A4 5 helps Hi-Res playback, plus DSEE H are helpful in rehabilitate lossy registers back to a near lossless regime. Unlike your phone, Sony& apos; s Walkman comes with an S-Master HX digital amp that& apos; s powerful sufficient to drive some relatively high-impedance headphones while continuing to altering low-impedance cans, too.

Versatile and easy to use, the Sony NW-A4 5 gets the nod as our MP3 player pick for the first-time buyer.

What MP3 players does TechRadar recommend?

So, what do you need to look for in an MP3 player? Well, the most important thing you need to think about is the audio codec your music library is in.

Anyone who utilizes iTunes will probably have a music library fully filled with Apple’s proprietary AAC codec, and luckily most MP3 players are in favour of that codec. Nonetheless, if you consider yourself an audiophile, you’ll need support for lossless codecs like FLAC, WAV and ALAC, as these codecs don’t use the compression methods used on lossy codecs like AAC or MP3. However, they will take up more space.

You’ll also need to consider how much music is in your, well, music collecting and then how much storage you’ll need. This is especially the case when you’re using codecs like FLAC, which simply down opening. Often MP3 players too has only one included microSD card slot, which allows you to expand upon the included storage as your library expands- but usually merely up to a certain size , naturally around 512 GB.

Here& apos; s the best part though: unlike smartphones, MP3 players are built to last-place, so there’s no need to go on an endless two-year upgrade-cycle like you might with a smartphone. This wants it’s probably in your best interests to make some time and find the one that’s right for you, as you will probably be using it for a few years to come.

Search for a something to listen to on your new MP3 player? Check out our register of the best podcasts around.

Read more:

99 Side Hustle Business Ideas You Can Start Today

AirbnbOne of the most common questions I listen is how to start a feature bustle when you don’t have any good projects. This is a little list of place hubbub business ideas to get your innovative liquors flowing.

It’s by no means an careful directory, and I foster you to add your own idea to the bottom if it’s not on here.

The beauty of these place hustle ideas is that countless don’t require a huge initial asset or even necessarily a highly specialized skill-set. And certainly , not all prepare as” business suggestions ,” but each has the potential to earn you money in your spare time.

But first, your Free Download 😛 TAGEND

Warning: This post is a beast! If you prefer to download a PDF version of this affix to read later, sound the button below 😛 TAGEND

Click now to download a free PDF version of this upright

1. Driving. If you’re free mornings, darkness, or weekends, you can earn extra cash driving your fellow citizens around.

Sign up with Lyft( currently offering a $1000 first-month guarantee) or Uber to get started.

One cool “hack”: Both business render “Destination Mode”, which mostly allows you to earn money on your regular morning and evening travel by telling the app which guidance you’re headed and merely countenancing riders along your route.

2. Food Delivery Service. With services like UberEATS and Door Dash you are able to earn money on your own planned delivering take-out tells in your town … and you don’t have to worry about saving your gondola super clean for passengers.

3. Notary Public Service. Notary certification is granted by the state and the cost is generally less than $100.

Once you’re certified, you can charge your own fee to notarize reports, or become a loan contract worker like Brian did and manufacture $1500 -2 000 a month overseeing mortgage signals in your spare time.


4. Customer Interviews. Many fellowships use customer interviews to get feedback on brand-new commodities. Respondent is a cool services which are promotes those interviews that take place both in-person and online.( You can totally do this from home; exactly look for the ones that say ” remote “.)

The best part? The average compensation is $140 an hour!

5. Affiliate Marketing. Refer website visitors to buy concoctions online and give a small commission on each sale. This is actually how I’ve constitute the bulk of my living over the past 10 times, so it certainly wreaks!

Note: Please do me a indulgence and don’t buy into anyone’s sleazy affiliate sell “program” or “system.” The following is unfortunately a lot of slimy salespeople out there making their living taking advantage of newbies.

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, check out my chat with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who consistently gives over $50 k a month as an affiliate — all while traveling full-time.

Related: Here’s a step-by-step guide to building your first affiliate website.

6. Earning Money with Credit Card Rewards

Take advantage of the various sign-up bonuses and cash back offers doled out by banks. You’ve got to promise to do this responsibly, but it’s actually earned my spouse and I thousands of dollars in free fund and hasten over the last few years.

auto credit v1

What’s the easiest channel to get started? Try a brand-new currency back placard on for size.

For instance, the Chase Freedom card offers up to 30% money back — $150 after you spend $500 — with no annual fee.

Compare this poster to other cash back cards here.

If you know you’re gonna spend $500 in the next 3 months, that’s # freemoney.

( If you’re worried about your recognition orchestrate, don’t be. I’ve opened probably a dozen debit card chronicles in the last few years and still have a 750+ approval score .)

The Next Step: Check out my free course, Credit Card Rewards 101: How to Earn Free Cash and Travel by Spending Smarter

7. Online Surveys. These won’t impel you rich, but can be an easy way to supplement your income and you can do them in your downtime( waiting in line, watching TV, etc .).

If you affection this stuff, check out 😛 TAGEND

Springboard America– Higher payouts than many other survey locates, but requires a $ 50 minimum to cash out. Survey Junkie– Favourite online survey site with more than 3 million members. Swagbucks( free$ 5 bonus; pay up to $ 35 a questionnaire) Prize Rebel– Earn $10 -1 2 an hour doing sketches or ending other tasks. Just avoid the low-paying ones. InboxDollars( free$ 5 bonus) Opinion Outpost– Cash out at just$ 5 via PayPal or Amazon gift posters. Each examination participates you into a $10,000 quarterly select. CashCrate– Get a $ 1 bonus just for signing up!

8. Virtual Assistant Service. Virtual helpers add administrative support to clients from their main office. If that sounds like a entertaining slope gyp you can set up shop on your own or jump on board with an established VA company like BELAY or Fancy Hands.

To learn more about go your own virtual auxiliary companionship, check out the free video training from my friend Abbey Ashley, who began her VA business on the side and shares 😛 TAGEND

Where to find thousands of potential purchasers. How to make a full-time living working from dwelling. What patrons are certainly looking for in a VA.( inkling: it’s not prior VA experience)

Click now to learn more about becoming a virtual auxiliary.

9. Renting Out Your Car. In select business, you can rent out your gondola on a daily or hourly basis to earn extra cash through business like Turo and Getaround.

According to Turo, the average car sits idle 22 hours a day, so their service is a unique opportunity to capitalize on those idle hours. The firms direct all the insurance.

A couple acquaintances used the Turo platform to virtually get a free Tesla!

10. Blogging. Blogging is difficult to monetize but can be a fun outlet to practice your pen or build an audience around a particular idea.

Brock McGoff turned his side project men’s fashion blog into a 6-figure online business, and my friend Jodi deserves $ 5k+ per month from her part-time blog for daughter scout troop governors.

Want to start a blog of your own? Check out my free 6-part video trend on how to start your own site.

11. Teaching English Online. Earn up to $ 20 per hour learn English to young students in China via video chat with VIPKid. If you’re eligible to work in the US or Canada, a bachelor’s degree and a year of educational experience are the only prerequisites.

Note: Because of the time zones, this is probably better the closer to the East seashore you are.

Remember to immediately schedule your video interrogation after the completion of your work. This is the single most important component of the application process. You will be asked to confirm a day for a live video interview with a VIPKID teaching team member. Live interviews must be scheduled and normally will happen within a pair dates( sometimes up to a week) from the time a candidate applied.

12. Airbnb. If you have extra room in your live, you can earn money renting it out to visitors on It’s a pretty cool way to make money and fill interesting people from around the world at the same time.

With a little bit of friction, you were able to even cover your entire rent or mortgage by hosting guests on Airbnb. Have you tried it?

My friend Jasper cross the world while renting out his Amsterdam apartment.

The next step: In addition to a small portfolio of her own short-term rental belongings, Zeona McIntyre has built a place business in “co-hosting” other Airbnbs. She virtually acts as the belonging administrator, coordinating client check-ins, upkeep, and cleansing, in exchange for 20% of the hire — with none of the risk.

13. Selling on eBay. eBay can be a tough, low-margin, competitive environment, but that’s not to say there aren’t any opportunities left to earn extra cash on the world’s largest marketplace.

I met one side hustle ebay vendor who sold $ 100,000 usefulnes of stuff( mainly exploited electronics) on ebay in one year, and another who improved a 6-figure business as the” Flea Market Flipper .”

14. Selling on Amazon. One of the most popular side hustles lately has been Amazon’s FBA program, in which you find buy considers locally, and ship them off to sell on Amazon.

I recently sat down with a$ 1 million marketer to learn how she sources fruitful reselling stock-take from neighbourhood places.

I even made a bit of coin when I tried it myself.

15. Private Labeling. In this slope gyp, you distinguish hot-selling products and bring your own to busines to compete with them. There’s an art and science to this, including negotiating with suppliers( often overseas ), but in this episode of The Side Hustle Show, 7-figure Amazon seller Greg Mercer shared his top 3 Amazon FBA product sourcing guiding principles and tips.

16. Teaching Online. Udemy is an affecting online education pulpit where students can connect with professors from from all over the world in any theme. You can create your own course around a topic you’re key experts in and set your own tuition rate.

I did this several years ago and have earned over $ 20,000 in( mainly) passive income from it!

Related: The 134 Best Udemy Courses for Financiers, Freelancers, and Side Hustlers

If you have an existing subscriber base to sell to, you might be able to sell the course directly and not have to worry about losing margin to Udemy. One resource with some great information on creating your own online course for “passive” income is my podcast with Ankur Nagpal, the founder of Teachable.

17. Baking. Do beings love your desserts? Maybe you could provide patty, cookies, or cupcakes to some corporate episode in town.


18. “Alternative” Financings. For me, alternative financings are vehicles like peer-to-peer lending, real estate crowdfunding, business giving, and even cryptocurrency.

This is one of my favorite back hubbubs because it’s automated and passive. Check out alternatives like Fundrise, which allows you to invest in revenue-generating commercial owneds for as little as $500.

Related: 79 Alternative Investment Platforms to Earn Stronger Returns, Build Cash Flow, and Diversify Your Portfolio

19. Lose Weight. Yes, with places like HealthyWage you can actually been paid ($ 500 or more !) to lose weight. It wields like a bet, whatever it is you articulated the money upfront and get paid out your trophy when your punch your goal. Check out their calculator to see how much your medal is likely to be. Here’s more on how HealthyWage it wields.

20. Becoming an Adjunct Professor. You may need a graduate degree for this one, but it can be a fun way to share your knowledge with the next generation of students and earn some good money on the two sides — peculiarly if you can learn online or with pre-recorded lectures.

21. Being a TaskRabbit. Task Rabbit is an on-demand errand-running services which are volunteers regular beings to help out. You can earn money in your spare time completing real-world projects on their distinct platform.

One customer in Atlanta realizes a full-time living assemble IKEA furniture!

The platform too allowed to be virtual wield like online research and other tasks that can be done remotely.

22. Proofreading. Do you like to read? If you have an eye for item you can set up shop on Upwork as a proofreader and attempt on occupations large and small. I actually offered this busines on Fiverr for a while and made some decent money.

23. E-commerce. Sell concoctions online through your own store or through Amazon or eBay. In this occurrence, Will Mitchell walked me through how to find a profitable import product.

Next Step: Set up your shop with a 14-day free trouble of Shopify, the leading patronize go-cart provider.

24. Raw Land Flipping. This sounds a little crazy, but my client Mark calls his raw land investing business very good passive income sit because he doesn’t must be addressed” question holders, rodents, or restores .”

Free Traffic Generator

25. Tutoring. Put that education to use by helping students learn in a cozy one-on-one naming. WyzAnt is one of the largest operators in the online tutoring world.

In this affix, Matt Fuentes shares how he built his tutoring business up to $1000 a week.

If you already have knowledge learning or tutoring, you might consider VIPKid, where you can teach English online to students in China.

26. Picking up Trash. Brian Winch has been doing this over 30 times and announcements it” America’s simplest business .” He says you can earn $50,000 – $100,000 a year for basically ambling local parking lot and cleaning up the garbage.

Check out the interview I did with Brian to learn more.

27. Focus-Grouping. I represented $100 an hour at an in-person focus group. Here are some companies that promote them near you and online.

28. Kindle Publishing. Selling ebooks on Amazon is one of the income streams I’m preparing. I adoration the idea of having my work for sale on the world’s largest supermarket!

From my very first author royalty check in 2012, I retain learning more about self-publishing and am hopefully to do better each time I put pen to paper … or thumbs to keyboard.

I generated 20, 000 downloads with my first “serious” diary propel in 2014, and another title earned nearly $18,000 in its first year.

29. Sperm Donor. I wouldn’t definitely call it a business, but it sure chimes more enjoyable than donating blood.

30. Postmates Delivery. Ride, drive, or stroll to originate regional deliveries in your city with the Postmates app and earn up $25 an hour doing so.

31. Selling on Etsy. Etsy is the world’s largest mart for distinct hand-crafted goods. What are you able become?

My love Kara started exchanging wine-themed marriage decoration on Etsy as a feature bustle and since turned it into a full-time business.


32. Selling on Fiverr. Fiverr is one of the greatest sites in the nations of the world. The basic premise is” what would you do for$ 5 ?” You’ll discover everything from hilariously mysterious and useless gags to legitimate and genuinely supportive micro-business tasks.

Check out these fine Side Hustle Nation posts for more on how to oblige Fiverr work for you both as a purchaser and a seller 😛 TAGEND

How to Build a 6-Figure Side Hustle on Fiverr How I Earned $7490 in My First 14 Months on Fiverr $10 from a Single Sale … on Fiverr[ Podcast ]

I’ve used Fiverr for graphic scheme, diary covers, website optimization, section creating, and even the intro voiceover for The Side Hustle Show. I’ve experimented as a dealer on Fiverr, starting with selling non-fiction ebooks.

Getting a little more adventurous with my gigs, I went peculiarity on the homepage and was flooded with lineups, eventually earning $920 in 10 days.

33. Selling on Teespring. Teespring is a print-on-demand t-shirt scaffold, where you can custom-design your own shirts and sell them through the site.

I originated an” Every Day I’m Hustling” shirt and sold enough for the campaign to ship, but didn’t earn much on the venture because of some not-very-effective Facebook advertising. Still, some opportunity now and a sidekick of mine is doing REALLY well with this. If you can create awesome schemes and contact the right people with good Facebook targeting, Teespring can be very profitable.

On the podcast, my friend Benny shared how he constructed a 6-figure business on Teespring in under a year — even after a reasonably preventing start!

34. T-Shirt Printing Service. Create silk-screened t-shirts for incidents and organizations. Bonus targets for the purpose of establishing the specific characteristics yourself.

My wife and I have gotten into this ourselves lately, but we’ve been countenance Amazon do the printing through their Merch by Amazon program. It’s awesome!

35. Ghostwriting. With millions of websites all competing for tending, making is a service that’s constantly in demand. Someone’s got to create all that content, right?

You can start out on your own, or find gigs through the favourite aggregating busines Contena.( Use coupon code Sidehustle1 5 for 15% off any membership !)

Gabe Arnold even turned his ghostwriting side hustle into a full-blown agency!

36. Boasts Instructing. School crews are sometimes in need of coaching help and this can be a fun and active slope hustle.

How To Make Money Online Daily

37. Podcasting. With a distinct direction to your podcast, you can attract a large resulting, which can translate into serious sponsorship dollars. It expenditure less than you think to start and has candidly been a life-changing project for me.

But you don’t have to go my word for it. My friend Steve Young turned his part-time podcast into a full-time business with variou rivers of income.

38. Rental Belongings. Real estate investing is one of the oldest and most popular side bustles in the books. New platforms like Roofstock make it easy to shop for and buy income-generating belongings with holders and property control already in place.

I liked Austin Miller’s artistic approaching to building his rental portfolio, which was up to 17 belongings worth $1.2 million when we spoke. The kicker? They is well acquired “free” -without any of his own coin.

39. Pool Cleaning Service. If you live in a warm climate with a lot of kitties, this could be a fun and interesting feature gyp to enjoy the summer outdoors.

40. Knife Sharpening. Every house in the country is a potential repeat customer. In this post and podcast episode, Matt Rowell shares how he got started and now earns $30 -6 0 an hour sharping pierces.

41. Swagbucks/ InboxDollars. Too not really a business, but you can earn gift placards, money, and other payoffs by rebutting surveys, watching videos, playing games, and browsing online with both Swagbucks and InboxDollars.

( While uncommon, you can occasionally pay up to $ 35 a examine .)

At press time, both companies are offering a $ 5 bonus just for signing up!

42. Adaptations. Handy with a hem machine? I conclude the market for clothing alteration is ripe for disruption because of a lack of transparency in pricing. I’ve had some suits modified from a duet different places with dramatically different rates.

Free marketing tip: Post flyers at the gym or other places where people may have lost a lot of heavines and need their clothes altered.

43. Book Flipping. Use the free Bookscouter app to examine barcodes and watch what old journals are worth. You can do this both for the ones accumulating dust on your shelf and for the ones at yard sale or the library notebook store.

44. Child care. Is it really me, or does “babysitting” hubbub amateur compared to ” child care “? Register on places like SitterCity to begin structure a buyer base.

45. Caregiving. This business continues to grow as the population senilities, and popular places like can help pair you with customers.

46. Bookkeeping/ Accounting/ Tax Preparation Service. Help other business with their statement and finances. This can be a great option for beings with an accounting background from clas or from their day job.

47. Brand Ambassadorship. Big labels are always looking for assistance with their on-the-ground marketing efforts, and compensate pretty well for the help.

Kenny Azama showed it’s a relatively easy( and fun) lane to earn $1000 a month part-time, and could even been transformed into a full-time gig. When we spoke, he was earning$ 2k a few weeks on a cross-country RV road-trip as a symbol ambassador!

48. Building an Authority Website. While niche locates( provided below) get a lot of attention, an approval website has a better possibility of tolerating the changes in Google’s algorithm and be transformed into a long-term asset.

You may not even need to be an authority when starting out. My friend Perrin got a new puppy and was disappointed with the information he found online, so he got to work and 20 months later was valued at $200,000.

49. Building Niche Websites. Building niche places is a popular side hustle because after some initial research and time investment they can be a relatively hands-off income source. These types of locates generally cover a very specific topic and earn money through marketing, affiliate relationships, or digital products.

This tutorial lays out the process step-by-step for creating a simple niche affiliate site.

Want more? Here’s a step-by-step guide on the fastest cheapest nature to build a website.

50. Car Flipping. If you’re a savvy intermediary and know your way around gondolas, you can buy low-spirited and exchange high-pitched and turn a profit quickly with this place hustle.

51. Car Wash and Detailing. A portable detailing assistance would be a super-low cost startup and you could get purchasers in bunches at department ballparks, shopping center, schools, sporting events, and other places where automobiles like to gather.

How To Make Money Online Fast And Free

52. Carpet Cleaning. Carpet cleaning would be a relatively simple and low cost business to start. You could get consumers on an annual or semi-annual recurring schedule like the dentist.

53. Catering. If you have a passion for cooking, a catering business has a lower railing to entry and time commitment than say, opening a restaurant.

54. Residential or Commercial Cleaning Service. It may not be glamorous, but it’s something nearly every business expends coin on and usually comes be done in order to the after-work hours.

Cassandre Poblah actually earned $1000 a month doing this part term, and Chris Schwab’s cleaning business does $60 k a month — without him ever filching mop.

55. Computer Repair Service. There are more computers in its own country( including tablets and smartphones) than the following is parties. The amend grocery is very fragmented which signifies here i am opportunity for solo-operators to break in.

computer repair

( image source)

John Rouda gives monthly IT subscribe and maintenance contracts for local business, calling it one of his” for-profit diversions .”

56. Computer Tutoring. Some of the computer skills we take for granted are still lacking for portions of the population. If you can find them and sell them on the requisite of technical skills for their occupations, there might be a business possibility here.

57. Consulting/ Coaching. Consulting is an ambiguously expansive orbit, but there are consultants for almost every country of knowledge. What are you a related professional in that others might pay for your opinion?

With platforms like, you can get started very rapidly and make $60/ hour and up.

In this chapter, my friend Kai Davis breaks down his step-by-step methods of building a consulting business in 20 -hours. Last-minute, Jonathan Stark shared his framework for going a brand-new consulting business from zero to$ 5k a few months.

58. Cover Letter and Resume Service. Especially if you have experience in HR, there is a big opportunity to help job seekers with their resumes and cover words. Since the payoff of platform a responsibility is so high, it can be worthwhile for applicants to seek some professional assistance on their documents.

It would be interesting to see this sold on a pay-for-performance model, where you simply get paid where claimants gets the interview.

59. Craigslist Arbitrage. Craigslist and other markets are still filled with inefficiencies that a taught gaze can employ for profit. There are some great fibs of regular beings doing just this.

For instance, Ryan Finlay of, makes a full-time living buying and selling on Craigslist and stopped by the podcast to tell me about it.

60. Craigslist Gigs. There’s a little-known segment in the bottom right corner of Craigslist( at the least at press meter) specifically for slope hustlers. Check it out and encounter what kind of gigs you might be able to find nearby or online.

internet marketing

61. Small Business Marketing Service. Many small companies don’t have the staff or know-how to do all their marketing themselves, peculiarly when it comes to putting their best foot forwards online and on social media. You can help them with that, much like Sean does in his business.

62. Customer Service. Some firms are now employing part-time customer service representatives to work from dwelling and manage incoming phone or live chitchat service requests.

63. Dating. The dating site actually tells suitors compensate females to go on times with them.

64. Dividend Investing. This has been one of my favorite ways of” buying cash flow” lately, and is a simple way to get paid over and over again from work you do formerly.

65. Dog Walking. Yes, some people are too busy to walk their own puppies. Post flyers in your vicinity or set up a profile on

66. Doula Service. Doulas can deserve $500 – $1000 per birth, if you’re into that sort of thing.

67. Dropshipping. Dropshippers set up their own storefront and process sales, but never touch the actual product. Instead, the items are sent instantly to the customer from vehicle manufacturers or wholesaler.

Next Step: I had the chance to sit down with Rene Delgado to learn how he sold $300,000 worth of move homes in his first year in business.

68. Estate Sale Service. Estate marketings are often managed by a third-party company, who takes a percentage of the advances in exchange for handling the event. To learn more about this side hustle check out Robert Farrington’s post on Budgets are Sexy.

69. Event DJ-ing. I feel like DJ-ing is something of a lost art in the era of pre-made iTunes playlists, but there are still plenty of episodes that have a live DJ.

70. Freelancing. There are millions of people supplementing their income by freelancing in their spare time. You’ll pinpoint them on sites like FreeeUp or Fiverr.

On The Side Hustle Show, I certainly enjoyed hearing how both Gabe and Gina prepared their freelancing businesses up for repeat revenue.

71. Furniture Making. If you’re skilled in carpentry, perhaps parties would like to buy your hand-crafted furniture. OK, this one reminds me of Ron Swanson.

ron swanson woodworking

( image source)

72. Gigwalking. Gigwalk is a free smartphone app that compensates you to complete small-scale chores in your place, like photographing the inside of a store.

You might also check out the similar EasyShift app.

73. Graphic Design Service. Quality graphic blueprint is always in-demand, and ever been have there been so many channels on which to sell your knowledge. The most popular design-focused site is 99designs, but you are able to check out Crowdspring, DesignCrowd, or any of the freelance marketplaces as well.

One recreation example of a side hustle graphic designing business repair world-wide is Design Pickle, where the founder told me,” I sucked at designing .” So instead “its become” his place to accord patrons with contractors, and less than 3 years later, the little side project was doing $400 k a few months in revenue!

74. Handyman Service. This is certainly not a great option for my less-than-handy self, but I’m positive someone else with the right skills can make it drive. You might try setting up a chart on TaskRabbit( where I may be associated with an on-demand handyman) or Thumbtack.

75. Home Inspection Service. Certification is required, but this is a viable side hustle because the inspections can be scheduled at your convenience and merely take a few hours.

76. House Sitting. I’m more plotted in mansion sitting as a space to get free accommodations while traveling, but I guess it can be a way to supplement your income at home as well.

77. Human Billboard. If you’re not afraid of embarrassing yourself on a street corner, there are always enterprises looking to hire sign-spinners or beings in garb to attract attention.

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78. Hyper-Local Newspaper. Could you start a small newspaper for your vicinity? Could you exchange advertisements?

Kai Davis and I discuss this idea( amongst other) in Episode 4 of The Side Hustle Show.

79. Interior Decorating. With an seeing for design, interior decorating could be a fun part-time business.

80. Investing in Websites. If “youve had” some idle money and want to set it to work, buying a pre-existing cash flow may be the fastest path to surface hustle income. Stacy Caprio bought a small portfolio of places that-after a duo early mis-steps-was profitable enough to leave her job.

81. Ironing/ Mobile Laundry Service. Holy crap do I hate ironing! I’m certain a decent dollop among populations is with me on this one and would be willing to pay to move that question go away.

82. Junk Hauling Service. This is an especially feasible back bustle business if you already have access to a large truck or van. Bonus qualities if you can re-sell some of the rubbish! I had the chance to sit down with Brian Scudamore, the founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, to learn how he took the business from a summertime gig to doing around$ 1 million a daytime in receipt.

83. Medical Transcription Service. Medical transcription, which involves typing out physicians’ recorded expres indicates, is often a part-time work-from-home position.

84. Flyer Distribution Service. One listener wanted to find a way to get more FitBit steps-and get paid for it. So he approached a regional business and offered to distribute flyers door-to-door. Then he realise it wouldn’t really be any more work to drop off 3 or 4 flyers at each room, effectively earning $75 -1 00 an hour for taking a walk!

85. MLM Sales. MLM( multi-level market) programs are frequently mocked as pyramid programmes — and many of them are! — but some people manage to do quite well with them, often starting out part-time. Amway is probably the most well-known.

My friend Kellie is suppressing it as a Beachbody coach, and shares some of her best network marketing tips-off here.

86. Mobile Oil Change Service. Save people age by bringing the patronize and supplies to them. If you’re pleasant fixture vehicles, you are able to actually check out, which cures coincide you with patrons in need of auto repairs.

87. Modeling. Stock photographers are sometimes in need of subjects for their work. Strike a constitute!

88. Movie/ TV Extra. Your curious are better if you’re in LA or New York, but there can always be” on site” shoots nearby. Check out Central Casting or Auditions Free to see if there are any gigs near you. Bonus places if you can get your Screen Actors Guild credentials!

89. Moving Service. Moving is never fun, but can be a good way to earn some additional cash on the weekend if you’re strong and don’t mind behave other people’s stuff.

90. Mystery Shopping. Fellowship will pay you to verify their in-store or on-the-phone experience, or to spy on their competition. It’s possible to make over $10,000 a year being a riddle shopper.

We live near a lieu announced the National Food Lab and sometimes get called in for taste tests. They pay cash and it’s really easy; simply answer a few questions and you’re on your way.

91. Organize a Bundle Sale. An online bundle sale brings together a cluster of digital produces for a time limit. Each backer earns a cut on every bale they sell and you take a percentage as the organizer.

92. Host Trivia Nights. Forbids and restaurants are always looking forward to imaginative ways to get purchasers in the door, especially mid-week. One obliging alternative is an entertaining trivia game, that you can get paid to host.

93. Party Planning/ Wedding Coordinator Service. Put your organization talents to good use.

94. Rent Out Used Baby Gear. represents a compelling alternative to getting rid of babe material as soon as you’re done with it — which has been our programme so far!

The platform connects parents with traveling categories or grandparents who live in town and need a bed and a stroller for a few days.

The average BabyQuip Quality Provider constructs $650 a month part-time.

95. Personal Chef Service. Could you illustrate yourself reaching meals in someone else’s kitchen? This could be a good way to break into the food services industry without the time commitment and overhead of starting your own restaurant. Some the group of friends of ours compensate $180 -2 00 a week for snacks delivered to their house.

96. Personal Training. People are always looking to get in shape and if you have a passion for fitness, perhaps that is the excellent slope hustle.

97. Pet Grooming. Just like their owners, babies involve haircuts very. A portable baby grooming busines can be a low-cost part-time business.

98. Pet Sitting. When homeowners hurtle, it opens up an opportunity for pet sitting services to come by and take care of their animals.

pet sitting

To set up shop, try These three beings are all think over $1000 a few months watching other people’s pets!

99. Photography Service. This is my wife’s favorite line-up hubbub. Turn your photog hobby into an income flow.

Side Hustle Show guest Vincent Pugliese shared how” freelanced his behavior to freedom” and disappeared from earning $30 k a year to $30 k in a period.

100. Product Licensing. Who says suggestions are worthless? With product licensing you can sell the rights to your notion to sizable firms, who will pay you royalties for every sale they spawn from that idea.

I had the chance to sit down with Nate Dallas, who earned $300,000 from Mattel in this way, after licensing new ideas to them for a Pictionary spin-off.

Later, Stephen Key stopped by to lower his wisdom on concoction licensing and why there’s never been a better or easier time to get started.

101. App Development. The mobile app sell is hot, but one developer likened it to the gold rush — where people who drew the most money were the ones selling the gear and the ladles. Similarly, a freelance app developer goes paid whether the government has the app goes on to become a hit.

To learn more about app blooming and some helpful tips-off and programmes, check out my podcast interview with Benny Hsu, where he shares how he made $30,000 in 30 periods on the app collect, with no program experience!

And more recently, uber successful app-preneur Carter Thomas broke down what he’d do if he had to start over.

102. Real Estate Wholesaling. In this place hustle, your job is to connect motivated vendors with real estate investors. You give the difference between your mediated sicken cost and the eventual sales price.

The best part? It doesn’t put your cash or recognition at risk. On the podcast, J. Massey shared some more tips-off on how to find distressed owneds.

103. Rec Sports Officiating. Recreational plays leagues are often in need of umpires and adjudicators, and this can be a fun way to invest your nights and deserve a bit added cash.

104. RentaFriend. facilitates( exclusively idealistic) paid friendship. Love report paying $20 -5 0 an hour to hang out with strangers. Yeah, this sounds a little creepy and mysterious but I suspect if you’re lonely and have got the money…

105. Snuggling. Sam Varnerin of Boston, huddling has turned into a serious business. She told Student Loan Hero, “I work around 18 hours per week, billing between $80 and $100 an hour, and manufacture between$ 3-4k a month.” Sam started part-time through the busines, which allowed her to earn $ 40 an hour on her own schedule, before stunning out on her own.

106. Software Mogul. Software is one of those” perfectly scalable” business simulates, in that you can theoretically cause something once and sell it over and over again.

The cool thing is, you don’t even know how to write code. Christopher Gimmer improved his SaaS business by coming outside help on the technical side.

107. Teaching Music. With a cherish for music, teach, and working with babies, you could start a part-time music learn business.

108. Music Licensing. Singer-songwriter Cathy Heller noted a unique direction to “reverse-engineer” her nightmare occupation by licensing her catchy pitches to big firebrands and TV testifies. Instead, licensing stock music is a bit of a numbers game, but can be a cool way to earn passive income from your art.

109. Teaching Yoga. A specific degree of expertise and certification may be required, but becoming a yoga teach could be a amusing and healthy part-time business.

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110. Tour Guide Service. Do you want to show off your municipal to visitors? You can create your own unique tour experience with the help of websites like,, and

For example, Alex Kenin guides urban hikers through the hills of San Francisco at $50 a pop.

111. Translation/ Interpretation Service. A rendition work could be an excellent way to put your bilingual knowledge to good use. There are always rendition activities on Upwork, as a neighbourhood to start.

112. Travel Agent Service. Are you a seasoned traveler? Do you always know where to get the best spates and very good knowledge? It are likely to be stunning that despite widespread access to travel information there is still a health require both for insider travel insight and the hands-off experience of giving an expert direct the booking.

Plus, you can put your travel-hacking knowledge to the test and earn money at the same time with services like FlightFox.

113. Vehicle Advertising. According to Wrapify, you can earn up to $ 500 a few months by putting an advertising ” fold” on your car.

Has anyone tried this yet? Let me know!

car wrap

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114. Vending Machines. Matt Miller’s passive income vending machine empire started with just $36 and a suitcase of gumballs. He’d been flipping exploited works, but attained it took too much time. Looking for something a little more automated, he settled on bulk vending.

115. Voiceover Acting. Company are always on the look for professional voiceover geniu. Once you start listening for it, you’ll examine voiceover act everywhere.

One Side Hustle Show client reported turning her voiceover side hustle into a full-time gig in simply four months, making up to $ 3000 an hour in the process.

116. Web Design Service. There’s no scarcity of crappy gazing websites out there. Pitch the benefits of good layout and help them out.

Even though I’m not super-technical, I was able to build out a pretty nice appearing site in a few hours employing this rapid-launch method.

117. Window Cleaning Service. Window cleaning can be a nice scarcely weekend area hustle, and asks minimal startup asset; you may once have a ladder, a container, and a squeegee.

118. Working on Mechanical Turk. Mechanical Turk is a service provided by Amazon to help companies ended micro-jobs that sometimes merely pay pennies for each one.

The good report is they are relatively simple and fast to finish so you may be able to earn a meagre place hustle income in your free time from dwelling. One reader reported earning $ 21,000 in his spare time over the last couple years.

I’m not sure the hourly wage will be anything amazing now but I wanted to include it as policy options in case you wanted to check it out.

119. Yard Work Service. Much like the cleaning service above, it’s not the most glamorous feature hustle in the nations of the world but the fact is nearly every yard in “the two countries ” asks some sort of maintenance. That represents there’s a big business opportunity.

120. YouTube Channel Host. Google( which owns YouTube) compensates channel-owners to host their ads on their videos, implying if you generate a lot of YouTube attitudes, you can earn a lot of money with their receipt sharing program.

Several YouTube useds report earning more than $ 100,000 a year, and I recently sat down with Gabby Wallace, who turned her YouTube English teaching channel into a full-time business.

121. Storage Unit Auctions. Popularized by TV indicates like Storage Wars, bidding on abandoned storage lockers can be a viable side hustle — and a little of a treasure hunt.

122. Local Rental Business. Corey Jeffreys wanted to get into rental real estate, but shortage fund, bought a ricochet house and began renting that out instead. In his first year, he turned that $800 investment into $ 3,000 and has gone on to build the business into a 5-figure back hustle.

123. Reader’s Choice! Help me out by adding your part-time business idea in the comments below!

And yes, I know the list has grown beyond the promised 99 projects 🙂

What’s Next?

Fill out the model below to join Side Hustle Nation free of charge and I’ll send you my report: The 5 Fastest Ways to Make More Money. Subscribe to The Side Hustle Show( Apple Podcasts connection, but available everywhere ). Pin it for later:

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********* Note: Comments are not added or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Mentions has not been able to been reviewed, sanctioned or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all positions and/ or questions are answered.

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Aldi, Sprouts, Big Lots, and Kroger Shopping Trips + Our Weekly Menu Plan

Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

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I finally made it to Sprouts on a Wednesday!! If you’re unfamiliar with Sprouts’ sales cycles, they have overlapping sales on Wednesdays — which means you can get the sales from the last week + the sales from the coming week on Wednesdays!

They had some great produce deals that I stocked up on:

Sprouts Shopping Trip

  • 6 packages of strawberries — $1.25 each
  • 3 Cantaloupe — $0.99 each
  • 2 Pineapple — $0.98 each
  • Sprouts Chocolate Chip cookies — used free coupon
  • Total with tax: $13.24

Did you get your freebies from Sprouts? If not, be sure to sign up for them here.


I was SO excited to find so many good clearance deals at BigLots when I went on Wednesday!!

My biggest score? Boxes of Kodiak Cakes for $0.75 each!!! Jesse loves these and he was super thrilled at this score!



Big Lots Shopping Trip

  • 4 boxes of Kodiak Cakes — marked down to $0.75 each
  • 5 packages of bread, bagels, & English Muffins — $1.40 each (I stuck these in the freezer.)
  • 1 can of Split Pea Soup — marked down to $0.25
  • 3 cans of corn — $0.25
  • Total with tax: $11.74


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Aldi Shopping Trip:

  • Honey Crunch Oats — $1.59
  • All Purpose Flour — $1.89
  • 2 packages of hot dog buns — $0.85 each
  • Milk — $2.49
  • Cream Cheese — $1.29
  • Cheddar Cheese — $1.99
  • Eggs — $0.73
  • 10 lb potatoes — $3.49
  • Watermelon — $2.99
  • Total with tax: $19.39

Have you read my post on my 25 Favorite Things to Purchase From Aldi. And 5 Things You Should Not Buy at Aldi.

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Kroger Shopping Trip #1

  • Eggs — marked down to $1.39
  • All Egg Whites — $4.99
  • 2 loaves of bread — marked down to $0.89 and $0.99
  • 1 bag of apples — $0.99
  • 1 bag of grapefruit — $0.99
  • Total with tax: $11.36

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Kroger Shopping Trip #2

Bush’s Baked Beans — $0.99 each with the Weekend Only deals

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This past week, we got to host three college girls from Pine Cove all week long who were here leading a Camp in the City for local kids.

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We provided breakfast every morning for them. Then, we got to have dinner with them on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (they had dinners elsewhere the other nights).

Just for fun, we invited extra friends over on Wednesday and Friday night. I was excited that we were able to do all of the entertaining and still stick with our $70 grocery budget!

Oh and we ate a lot of leftovers this past week because we had a lot of extra food. 🙂 (I always want to make sure there is a enough food when we have guests, so that means I tend to plan a lot more food than we actually need! But hey, it means dinner is taken care of the next night!)

What We Ate On Our $70 Grocery Budget This Past Week

Note: When you see the meals below, please remember this: I buy ahead often. Which means that when I find a great deal on something I know we’ll use, I buy as much as I can afford in our budget to have on hand.

This means that you aren’t going to see all of the groceries my shopping trip that I used to make all of the meals we ate.

Please also remember that I’m putting this out there and it’s not a perfectly balanced menu. This is just really what we ate — and I hope that it encourages you to see the real-ness and lack of perfection here.

Our Menu Plan


  • Cereal, Pancakes, Bagels, Toast, Waffles, Fruit, Yogurt, Bacon, Sausage, Banana Bread, Apple Muffins


  •  Leftovers, Salad, Mac & Cheese, Turkey, Fruit


  • Fruit, Popcorn, Cookies, Banana Bread


  • Sunday — Fend for yourself
  • Monday — Dinner with our guests: Spaghetti with Meatballs, Green Beans, Fruit, Salad, French Bread
  • Tuesday — Leftovers
  • Wednesday — Dinner with our guests and some other friends: Barbecued Meatballs, Twice Baked Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Brussels, Fruit Salad, French Bread
  • Thursday — Leftovers
  • Friday — Dinner with our guests and some other friends: Brats/Hot Dogs, Squash Casserole, Salad, Fruit Salad, Homemade Mac & Cheese.
  • Saturday — Leftovers

$70 Grocery Budget Totals

Total spent on groceries: $61.23

Cashback earned this week: 625 points for submitting my receipts to Fetch rewards + $0.10 for submitting my receipt to iBotta rewards.

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Financial Freedom Update (Q2) – June 2019 ($50,660 in Dividend Income)!

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Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey June 2019 (Q2) Financial Freedom Update – the second update of 2019!  If you would like to follow my latest financial journey, you can get my updates sent directly to your email, via Twitter or Facebook, and/or you can sign up for the monthly Million Dollar Journey Newsletter.

For those of you new here, since achieving $1M in net worth in June 2014 (age 35), I have shifted my focus to achieving financial independence.  How?  I plan on building my passive income sources to the point where they are enough to cover our family expenses. That is, our goal is to reach $60,000 in passive income by the end of 2020 (getting close now!).

Here is a little more detail on how we came about the $60k per year in passive income:

Financial Goals

Our current annual recurring expenses are in the $52-$54k range, but that’s without vacation costs.  However, while travel is important to us, it is something that we consider discretionary (and frankly, a luxury). If money ever becomes tight, we could cut vacation for the year. In light of this, our ultimate goal for passive income to be have enough to cover recurring expenses, and for business (or other active) income to cover luxuries such as travel, savings for a new/used car, and simply extra cash flow.

Major Financial Goal:  To generate $60,000/year in passive income by end of year 2020 (age 41).

Reaching this goal would mean that my family (2 adults and 2 children) could live comfortably without relying on full time salaries (we are currently an one income family).   At that point,  I would have the choice to leave full time work and allow me to focus my efforts on other interests, hobbies, and entrepeneurial pursuits.

Previous Update

In the Q1 2019 update, we made some solid progress surpassing $48k in dividend income.   I talked a little about the “cross-over point” which is the point at which your passive income grows enough to meet (or just about exceed) your recurring monthly/annual expenses.  In essence, it’s the point where you reach financial independence or FIRE (financial independence/retire early).  

It’s been quite the journey, but with annual expenses in the $52 to $54k range,  we are getting very close to our cross-over point. While I don’t plan on retiring quite this early, it’s a reassuring financial backup plan if something were to happen that impacted our main income stream (ie. losing my job, poor health etc).  It’s like being self-insured against financial risk.

Here is a summary of the last update:

March(Q1) 2019 Dividend Income Update

 Account Dividends/year Yield
SM Portfolio $7,500 3.96%
 TFSA 1 $3,500 4.54%
 TFSA 2 $3,600 5.03%
 Non-Registered $3,300 4.42%
 Corporate Portfolio $20,600 3.73%
 RRSP 1 $7,000 2.75%
 RRSP 2 $2,700 2.37%
  • Total Invested: $1,332,522
  • Total Yield: 3.62%
  • Total Dividends: $48,200/year (+4.56%)

Current Update

Following the volatility in 2018, this year has been on a bull run thus far.  While a bull market is great for net worth numbers, it also means it’s more expensive to buy quality dividend stocks.

Personally, I like to buy quality dividend companies when their valuations are attractive.  In other words, when they are being sold off (ie. dip).  In this quarter, I deployed capital into some of the following positions:

  • iShares MSCI All Country World ex-Canada (XAW) 
  • Finning International Inc. (FTT) 
  • Suncor (SU)
  • Scotia Bank (BNS)
  • TD Bank (TD)

As dividends are the main focus of my passive income pursuit, there is a large dependence on the market. While there are merits to this investment strategy, there are also substantial risks – particularly dividend cuts.  

In 2019 thus far, there have been significant cuts in two of my positions, SNC Lavalin (SNC) and Dorel Industries (DII.B). Fortunately, these were smaller positions within my overall portfolio.

The goal of the dividend growth strategy is to pick strong companies with a long track record of dividend increases.  In terms of dividend increases, this year has proven to be lucrative for dividend growth investors.

So far in 2019, the Canadian portion of my portfolio has received raises from:

  • CU.TO (7.5% increase)
  • RCI.B (4% increase)
  • MRU.TO (11% increase)
  • CNR.TO (18% increase)
  • XTC.TO (6% increase)
  • BIP.UN (7% increase)
  • BCE.TO (5% increase)
  • SU.TO (17% increase)
  • GWO.TO (6% increase)
  • TRP.TO (8.7% increase)
  • RY.TO (4.1% increase)
  • MG (11% increase)
  • BNS.TO (2.4% increase)
  • CAR.UN (3.8% increase)
  • TD.TO (10% increase)
  • CM.TO (2.9% increase)
  • ATD.B (25% increase)
  • PWF.TO (5% increase)
  • L.TO (6.8% increase)
  • CP.TO (27.5% increase)
  • WN.TO (1.9% increase)
  • T.TO (3.2% increase)
  • H.TO (5.0% increase) 
  • SLF.TO (5% increase)
  • NTR.TO (3.7% increase)
  • BMO.TO (3% increase)

While growth in dividends from buying has been ongoing this year, dividend raises have really made the difference resulting in over $1,100 in additional dividend income.  The best part is getting these raises without having to do anything!  To put this in context, an extra $1k in dividend income is like buying $25k worth of dividend stocks that pay a 4% dividend.

I must admit that there is great comfort in seeing dividends coming in on a consistent basis and even more gratifying in seeing a company raise their dividends.

Most of the new purchases were made in my corporate account which generates the bulk of the dividend income.  For those looking for an update on my wife’s dividend account (represented as the non-registered portfolio in the table) which follows the Dogs of the TSX strategy, there has been very little change but you can see a full 2019 update here.

With this strategy, you typically buy the highest yielding blue chip stocks on the TSX (removing old income trusts) and ride it out for the year.  The portfolio (another account with Questrade), generates a consistent dividend and is currently producing $3,360/year.

In our overall portfolio, here are the current top 10 largest holdings (besides cash):

  1. Emera (EMA);
  2. TransCanada Corp (TRP);
  3. Fortis (FTS);
  4. Bell Canada (BCE);
  5. Canadian Utilities (CU);
  6. Enbridge (ENB);
  7. iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada Index ETF (XAW);
  8. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS);
  9. Royal Bank (RY); and,
  10. Telus (T).

As you can see in detail below, over the last quarter we have increased our dividend income from $48.2k to $50.6k which represents a 5.10% increase quarter over quarter and within 84% of my goal ($60k) and 1.5 years to go.  Here are the details.

June (Q2) 2019 Dividend Income Update

 Account Dividends/year Yield
SM Portfolio $7,650 4.00%
 TFSA 1 $3,650 4.65%
 TFSA 2 $3,850 5.09%
 Non-Registered $3,360 4.42%
 Corporate Portfolio $22,300 3.78%
 RRSP 1 $7,100 2.71%
 RRSP 2 $2,750 2.35%
  • Total Invested: $1,390,022
  • Total Yield: 3.64%
  • Total Dividends: $50,660/year (+5.10%)

Through a combination of deploying cash and collecting those juicy dividend increases, this quarter has been fairly productive with a 5.10% bump in dividend income.  

Not only do I enjoy watching the dividends flow into the account, I’m also a big believer in compounding returns (see how compounding can make you rich).  In other words, the dividend cash is deployed into more income-producing stocks which then further increases the income of the portfolio, which is then used to buy even more stock.  See how compounding works?  It’s only a matter of time before the snowball gains momentum and develops a mind of its own.

I welcome corrections/volatility as it gives investors in the accumulation phase a chance to buy quality companies (or index ETFs) at better prices, potentially increasing long-term returns.  

If you are also interested in the dividend growth strategy, here is a post on how to build a dividend portfolio.  With this list, you’ll get a general idea of the names that I’ve been adding to my portfolios.  

If you want a simpler investing strategy that outperforms most mutual funds out there, check out my top ways to index a portfolio.

There you have it, halfway through 2019, and on track to hitting our cross-over point before the end of the year.  I’m reading lots of opinions on a market correction (even a recession!?) in the next couple of years, and all I can say it bring it on!  Pre-retirement investors should welcome corrections as an opportunity to build that long-term portfolio at lower prices and higher dividends.


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5 Steps to Building Credit and Staying Out of Debt With Your Credit Card

Your first credit card just arrived in the mail.

Congratulations! Or my condolences. It all depends on what you do next.

Credit cards can get a bad rep — and deservedly so if you consider that by the end of 2018, Americans had $870 billion in credit card debt, according to the Federal Reserve — but there are also positive aspects of credit cards, including building your credit history — which can help raise your credit score — and earning rewards.

But now that the plastic is yours, how can you avoid the pitfalls of credit cards and enjoy the benefits? You’ve probably already heard about paying your card on time and paying the full balance, but we have a beginner’s guide to using a credit card to build your credit without spiraling into debt.

Oh, and if you’re looking for the basics about what exactly to do with a card — like how to make a purchase in a store or online — we can help with that, too.

Open that envelope and let’s get started.

How to Use a Credit Card

Don’t let your newbie status lead you to believe that everyone else must understand how credit cards work.

“There are myths out there that you have to carry a balance, that you have to make major purchases — absolutely not,” said Todd Christensen, an Accredited Financial Counselor and education manager with “People who suggest that are doing a disservice to the majority of card holders.”

If you’re not sure how credit cards work, you can learn the fundamentals at The Penny Hoarder Academy’s Credit Cards 101.

Once you have the basics, here are five tips for using your credit card responsibly so you don’t get into debt but do build a credit history.

1. Put One Purchase on Your Card Each Month

A server takes a credit card from a customer.

Rather than rushing to the store or trying out the latest restaurant, pretend you don’t have the card — at least for the first few months (or until you trust yourself). But leaving your card to gather dust in a desk drawer doesn’t help build your credit history.

As an alternative, set up your card for paying a bill.

“Put one purchase on it a month that is going to be the same amount every month and not large — like a Netflix, a cell phone bill, maybe a utility bill that’s on level pay,” Christensen said. “Pay it off every month — you only need one purchase a month and you’re building credit.”

Pro Tip

Credit history accounts for 15% of your credit score, so using a credit card responsibly for years can give your number a boost.

Don’t want to commit to a subscription? Think even smaller.

“You can buy a pack of gum, pay it off, and that’s all the activity you have on your card,” Christensen said. “You’re still building your credit.”

2. Don’t Carry Your Credit Card With You

The power of plastic can lull you into believing you can afford something you can’t. After all, if there’s space on the card, that means you can afford it, right?

But unless you know exactly how you can cover the expense with cash, the credit card bill can creep up before you know it. Credit card creep is particularly dangerous when you’re out with friends or family and thinking more about what a good time you’re having — or how appetizing that pricy entree sounds — rather than where you stand financially.

“It’s really easy to pull out a credit card when you’re out for lunch and you say, ‘Oh, I’ll grab it,’ and then you start overspending,” Christensen said. “Don’t carry it with you into any kind of consumer situation — no store, no restaurants.”

3. Don’t Add Your Credit Card Number to Online Accounts

Having a credit card allows you the freedom to make online purchases. And although shopping in your pajamas may be appealing, Christensen advised that you not store your credit card information on internet shopping sites or apps.

Pro Tip

Try this trick to avoid overspending on impulse buys: Leave an item in your online shopping cart for 24 hours. If you still want it the next day, you’re less likely to regret the purchase.

Yes, it is convenient not having to figure out where you left your purse or wallet every time you want to make a purchase on Amazon. But that lack of convenience can also protect you from making an unfortunate impulse purchase in the middle of the night.

4. Pay as You Go

If you went with a store credit card for your first foray into plastic, you probably did it to enjoy some discounts at your favorite store, right?

But store cards typically come with a lower credit limit, and using too much of it — even if you aren’t maxing it out and paying off the balance at the end of the month — can harm your credit score because you’re using a greater percentage of your credit.

Pro Tip

Credit utilization accounts for 30% of your credit score, which can take a hit if you use more than 30% of your card’s limit. Many experts recommend you keep it under 10% to build your score.

Rather than waiting until the bill arrives to pay the balance, Christensen suggested you bring your debit card, checkbook or cash along to the store and pay off what you charge immediately.

“Before you leave the store, go to the customer service desk and pay it off every time,” he said.

You can follow a similar plan if you have a bank-issued card by going online to pay off each purchase as you make it, then treating it as you would a debit purchase. That way, you’ll always know where you stand with your card and your bank balance.

5. Pay Off Your Credit Card Each Month

A person with credit cards uses a calculator.

Wait a second, you say, we covered this one in the intro.

Sorry, but this one really can’t be emphasized enough.

There is no justification for — and no benefit to — carrying a balance, according to Christensen. People sometimes hear advice about other types of debt — like mortgages, for instance — and misunderstand financial advisers who suggest they should invest the money rather than paying off a debt.

But mortgage interest rates are just below 4%, while credit cards have an average APR of 16.91%, according to the latest Federal Reserve Consumer Credit Report.

You’re better off paying your balance each month and building a solid credit history.

How to Use a Credit Card to Make a Purchase

Now that you know how to use a credit card responsibly, you may be thinking, “Great, but how do I actually use the card in a store or online?”

First, sign your card as soon as you receive it. It’s mostly a technicality, but many major issuers still make you sign the card on the back as an added measure of security. You will also need to contact the issuer to activate the card; typically, there’s a sticker on the card with a phone number or website to direct you.

When you’re ready to buy at most stores, you’ll insert your card into the electronic credit card reader at the checkout. If you have a chip card (identifiable by a metallic square chip about the size of a pencil eraser), you’ll “dip” it — or slide it into the terminal slot. If you have non-chip card, you’ll swipe it through a slot along the side of the machine.

A chip card is like any other credit card except that it has a microchip embedded in it. The microchip encrypts your data, making it harder for thieves to steal your info or create a counterfeit card.

Some retailers now offer tap card readers for “contactless” payments — the checkout clerk should be able to tell you how to make your payment if you have questions at the register.

However the store captures your information, you’ll need to sign either a paper or electronic receipt to complete your purchase.

Buying online requires you to enter your credit card number, card expiration date and security code at the point of checkout. Here’s how to identify each:

  1. Credit card number: The 16- to 19-digit number on the front of your card.
  2. Expiration date: Typically listed on the front of your card in month/year format.
  3. Security code: Usually a three-digit number on the back of your card, to the right of the signature strip.

You’ll also need to add the address of your credit card mailing address to complete the purchase.

Using a credit card can make life more convenient and help to prove your credit worthiness for bigger purchases like a car or home. So long as you do it responsibly, you deserve a lot of credit for taking this next step in your financial journey (pun totally intended).

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Data Journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this article.

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.

Dear Penny: I Have $84K in Student Loans. Can I Retire Next Year?

Dear L.,

I doubt it will bring you any comfort to know how many of your peers are facing the same struggle. But indulge me while I share just one scary stat.

The number of people age 60 and up with student loan debt quadrupled between 2005 and 2015, according to Federal Reserve Bank of New York data. Included in their ranks are people who went into debt to further their education and those who took out or co-signed a loan for a child or grandchild — or a combination in many cases.

You asked about how to “tackle” your $84,000 balance, and unfortunately there are no easy answers. Student loans are rarely dischargeable even in bankruptcy, as I’m sure you’re painfully aware.

Since you’re already struggling with payments while you’re still earning a paycheck, I’m concerned about your risk of defaulting, which could result in part of your Social Security checks being garnished if you have federal loans. Or that you’ll have to put your basic expenses on a high-interest credit card to stay current on your loans.

If you’re determined to retire next year — and we’ll get to your timeline in a minute — the goal of wiping out $84,000 in debt isn’t realistic. A better question is: How can I mitigate the pain of retiring with student loan debt? That’s where you do have options.

First, make it a priority to get your monthly payments as low as possible.

The best way to do this if you have federal student loans is to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan.

These plans cap your monthly payments at 10% to 20% of your discretionary income, and your remaining balance is forgiven after 20 or 25 years.

If your income is below 150% of the federal poverty level, you might not have to make any payments to stay current.

You can apply at the U.S. Department of Education’s website,, or by a form you can get through your loan servicer.

Just know that you’ll often pay more interest in the long term because you’re extending the payback period, and you’ll owe taxes on the amount forgiven.

Contact your lender for specific options if you’re struggling to make payments on a private loan. A private lender won’t be as flexible as Uncle Sam, but the good news is that private lenders can’t garnish Social Security and other government benefits if you default.

But ultimately, my question for you is this: Can you afford to retire in a year? If you have health challenges, caregiving obligations or mandatory retirement, that date is probably out of your control.

If you have wiggle room in your time frame and a plan to survive on half your income — for example, if one year from now, you’ll have paid off your mortgage and car loan — working for a couple more years while living like you’re retired will pay off immensely.

Your No. 1 priority is a happy and healthy retirement. Even with student loan debt, there is a way to get there.

Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder and the voice behind Dear Penny. Send your questions about student loans to

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 Best Fashion Boxes for the Perfect Yet Effortless Wardrobe

Ecomm: Fashion Subscription Boxes, Stitch FixWe love these products, and we hope you do too. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!.

Brigette’s $82 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan



1 gallon Whole Milk – $1.59

1 Gallon 1% Milk – $1.59

1 64-oz carton Unsweetened Almond Milk – $1.65

1 24-oz carton Cottage Cheese – $1.59

2 jars Pasta Sauce – $1.70

1 pkg String Cheese – $1.65

2 12-oz bags Shredded Cheddar Cheese – $3.50

1 2-lb pkg 85/15 Lean Ground Turkey – $3.98

1 2-lb pkg 80% Ground Beef – $3.76

1 16-oz pkg Deli Turkey Meat – $2.85

1 canister Quick Oats – $2.29

2 boxes Honey Nut Oats – $2.30

1 38-oz jar Ketchup – $0.95

1 loaf Sandwich Bread – $0.59

1 Seedless Watermelon – $2.89

1 large carton Organic Spring Mix – $3.49

1 3-lb bag Gala Apples – $2.99

1 pkg Baby Bella Mushrooms – $0.89

1 6-ct pkg Applesauce Cups – $0.99

1 bag Mini Sweet Peppers – $2.89

2 pkgs Zucchini (3.45lbs @ $0.79/lb) – $1.72

2 pkgs frozen Broccoli Florets – $1.90

2 pkgs Riced Cauliflower – $3.78

2 4-ct pkgs Corn on the Cob – $3.38

1 pkg Romaine Hearts – $1.89

1 bag Mini Cucumbers – $2.29

1 Cauliflower – $2.29

1 Broccoli – $1.29

1 bunch Bananas $0.79

3 cartons Blackberries – $2.67

1 pkg Raspberries – $1.19

1 10-lb bag Russet Potatoes – $3.49

1 pkg Grape Tomates – $0.99

2 dozen Eggs – $1.56

1 16-oz carton Egg Whites – $1.69

1 pkg Rice Cakes  – $1.45

Total: $76.50

auto credit v1

Harris Teeter

1 pkg Eckrich Sausage – $2.50, used $0.75/1 printable (doubled) – $1.00 after coupon

2 Larabars – $2.00 – used $0.50/2 printable (doubled) – $1.00/2 after coupon

5 Chobani Yogurts (one got eaten on the way home :)) – $5.00, used $1/5 Chobani Single-Serve Yogurt and Non-Dairy Products, exp. 6/22/19 (SS 05/19/19), plus receive $1.00/4 rebate from  Ibotta – $3.00/5 after Coupon and Rebate

1 pkg Sargento Mozzarella Cheese – $1.89, used $0.60/1 Sargento Reserve Series Shredded Natural Cheese, exp. 7/29/19 (SS 06/02/19) (doubled) – $0.69 after coupon

Total: $5.69

Grocery Total for the Week: $82.19

Weekly Menu Plan


Everyone is responsible for making/cleaning up their own breakfasts. Choices include:

Cereal, Oatmeal, Fruit, Scrambled/Fried/Boiled Eggs, Veggie Omelets, Smoothies, Yogurt, Toast


Deli Meat Sandwiches, Blackberries, Cucumbers x 2

Peanut Butter on Rice Cakes, Cheese Sticks, Apples/Applesauce, Mini Peppers x 2

Leftovers x 3


Barbequed Meatballs, Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes, Make-Ahead Butterhorns, Broccoli

Grilled Hobo Packets, Watermelon, Tossed Salad

Out to Dinner (Overnight Trip to the Beach)

Cheese/Veggie Pizza, Easy Italian Breadsticks, Tossed Salad

Taco Cheese Baked Potatoes, Tossed Salad, Peaches

Venison Burgers on Homemade Buns, Corn on the Cob, Mashed Cauliflower, Peaches


Bella Mushrooms

Planning Your Wedding? Here Are 4 Ways to Cut Costs Without Compromising

Getting engaged is amazing, but the thrill of the engagement can last just a few hours before conversations turn toward the next step: wedding planning.

You might be overjoyed while still feeling a rising gnawing in your stomach. You’re going to plan a wedding, and weddings are expensive: In 2018, the average wedding cost more than $33,900.

I can think of a handful of other worthy investments for such an amount. A down payment on a house. A brand-new car. A hearty portion of a college degree (or student loan). All of those options seem more worthy of this kind of cash than a one-day celebration.

After celebrating the nuptials of many friends and family members, I know there is no “perfect” wedding, and the celebration can be enjoyed on any budget. But managing your wedding budget can be stressful. Do-it-yourself projects offer savings, but require time, some level of skill and patience.

But there are ways to lighten your financial load without having to exert a huge effort on the Pinterest front. You want your wedding celebration to be simple and fun — not complicated and stressful. So here are my tips for cutting wedding costs without compromising.

How to Save Money on a Wedding With 4 Simple Tricks

1. Seek Alternative Venues

When it comes to setting a date and picking a place, some tips are well-known: Some months are priced at a premium; Saturday weddings are usually the most expensive; dinner will cost more than brunch or lunch. One easy tip: Think outside the hotel ballroom.

Consider art galleries, performance spaces, church halls and grounds, parks and other “nontraditional” venues for your ceremony and reception. Locations that don’t host weddings around the clock are likely to have more amenable price tags.

But many of the beautiful venues you’ll see online are merely shells when you write the deposit check. It takes decorations, a caterer, linens, china and sometimes even table and chair rental to turn a beautiful spot into a reception site. Those costs add up.  

So consider a venue that already has what you need for your big day: a restaurant. It may seem prohibitive to rent out an entire eatery, but check out spaces that have separate sections for private or semi-private events. Rental fees for these areas (before food, drinks, fees and gratuity) is often the same as you would pay to host a bridal or baby shower luncheon.

And restaurants usually come with place settings, tablecloths and other items you’ll need. If you’re happy with the restaurant’s decor, your job is so much easier.

2. Arrange Your Own Flowers

Speaking of decor, let’s discuss floral arrangements. The average cost of wedding flowers in 2017 was nearly $2,400, according to a study by The Knot.

Only a few lucky couples will have a neighbor with beautiful flower gardens who offers to contribute bouquets. Instead, turn to a more practical option: a flower wholesaler. Simply search “flower wholesale + [your city or region]” to find one in your area.

Pro Tip

If you’re not set on having identical centerpieces, search for vases at your local thrift store. You’ll pay a lot less for vases you’ll likely only use once, and the variety may be satisfying.

Wholesale warehouses are often open to the public, and staff can advise you on what’s in season or what you could mix and match. By doing a bit of arranging yourself (or with help from friends and family), you can have beautiful bouquets for a fraction of the price.   

3. Cut the Cake

If you enjoy baking reality shows as much as I do, you know that wedding cakes can be extremely expensive. But when’s the last time you thought about a cake you ate at a wedding?

Consider skipping a tiered cake with globs of icing in favor of treats like cookies, doughnuts or maybe even pie. Think about your favorite dessert options, and decide what’s most meaningful for you.

Pro Tip

Crafty types who aren’t afraid to DIY can skip a custom cake altogether and doctor up a grocery store cake. A Practical Wedding shared a few tasty-looking tutorials.

If you’re set on having a cake but want to stick to a reasonable budget, Bridal Guide curated a dessert directory with tricks and tips from professional bakers. Some of my favorite ways to cut costs before you cut the cake: Choose buttercream frosting over fondant; display a small cake while offering unstacked slices from the same recipe to your guests; and choose in-season fruits for garnishes or fillings.

4. Say Yes to a Different Dress

I know, brides, I know — your dress is a big deal. It’s hard to compromise on this item. But wedding gowns can run the price gamut, and if you fall in love with a dress with an unexpectedly high price tag, it could singlehandedly wreck your budget.


Instead, consider doing a bit of research and embracing the idea of wearing “something old.” Beyond eBay, sites like Once Wed, Tradesy, Nearly Newlywed, Wore it Once and Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses have page after page filled with beautiful dresses that have typically already been cleaned after their first big day. If you have a favorite designer in mind, spending a bit of time searching these sites can help you get a great deal. Just remember to also research tailors near you who can make any alterations you may need.

Willing to wear something even older? Many vintage shops sell wedding dresses from yesteryear that could use a little bit of love — a bit of stain removal or seam repair — for as low as $100. If you love the thrill of the hunt, you may find the dress of your dreams.

Pro Tip

Don’t forget to check the formalwear racks as well. Just because a dress wasn’t designed for a wedding doesn’t mean it can’t make you shine on your big day.

But consider that you can skip buying a dress altogether. In that case, try renting your wedding dress instead. If you can’t find a local shop in your area, check out Rent the Runway, an online platform that caters to brides across the country. Other platforms, like Happily Ever Borrowed and Adorn have you covered when it comes to accessories.

Want more tips on saving on your big day? Check out this list of 90 (yes 90!) ways to do just that.

Lisa Rowan is a former senior 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.

Things You Should Know Before Renting A Car & Driving In Morocco

Renting A Car In MoroccoTips For Renting A Car In Morocco Morocco Driving Guide

Renting a auto in Morocco and driving yourself is a great way to experience this beautiful country. But there are a few circumstances you should know before you embark on a road trip.

When Anna and I were planning our first trip-up to Morocco together, we were initially hesitant about leasing a gondola to explore the country by ourselves.

Morocco has a bit of a stature for crazy driving( and moves !).

But the more we experimented, the more we recognized hiring a car in Morocco wouldn’t be as difficult as we supposed, plus it would save us a lot of money.

We love the freedom of road journeys and scheduling our own excursion schedules. Morocco is such a diverse country that it became impression to tariff a vehicle so we could stop anywhere exploring regional villages, mountains, and deserts at our own pace.

Here are some important tips-off we learned from our experience renting a vehicle in Morocco, to help you save money and bide safe while driving all over the country!

What To Know Before Renting A Car In Morocco Matt & Anna in MoroccoDriving in Morocco was Awesome! Should You Rent A Car In Morocco?

Hey, if you’re a fan of bus tours, by all means, become book one. It’s a respectable course to see Morocco if you don’t have a lot of time.

No planning , no driving, merely sit back and make someone else do all the work!

But if you’re like me, you prefer the challenges facing independent travel.

True adventure, with no prepare planned or timetable. Driving around Morocco with the freedom to stop anywhere fun you happen to find along the way.

If that’s the kind of traveler you are, leasing a gondola in Morocco is the way to go!

Just keep in mind that driving times in Morocco can be longer then Google tells you. It helps if you have someone else to split the driving with.

Another nice thing about having a car was the ability to store events in the stalk, so you can explore metropolitans with small daypacks rather than lugging around a beings backpack or suitcase.

How to Rent A Car in MoroccoStarting our Road Trip in Marrakesh Where To Rent Your Car In Morocco

The best place to book your gondola is Discover Car Hire. They probe both local and international gondola rental companies to help you find the best possible price. This is the easiest way to hire a gondola in Morocco.

We leased our automobile from the popular metropoli of Marrakech, taking a Southern road trip route towards Ouarzazate before pate on to Merzouga and the Sahara desert.

From the desert we drove North to the blue city of Chefchaouen for a few epoches, ultimately ending in Fez where we drooped off the car and flew out of the country. However there are many different types of routes you can take.

Camel Crossing Sign in MoroccoWhy Did the Camel Cross the Road? Car Rental Insurance In Morocco

Some of the rumors about driving in Morocco are true, and people can drive crazy now. That’s why I most recommend getting full insurance coverage.

Typically, rental autoes in Morocco come with a basic Conflict Damage Waiver( CDW ), but this isn’t exactly policy, and merely extends the car for up to 10,000 dirhams ($ 1000 USD) value of damage.

While you can often save money if you book your automobile with a credit card that includes car rental insurance, you Really need to read the fine print, because countless parties mistakenly assume their card extends them in Morocco.

If you get in a wreck driving in Morocco, rejected full coverage, and you suddenly learn your credit card doesn’t actually cover the damage — you’re shafted. I can’t tell you how many travel horror stories I’ve heard like this…

It’s why I frequently pre-book full coverage online for about$ 9 a period. It’s cheaper than at the counter — and then you won’t have to worry about coincidences at all!

Moroccan Road Trip in a Rental CarDriving through the Moroccan Desert How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Car In Morocco?

Renting a gondola in Morocco is going to cost you around $25 – $40 USD a date, depending on the type of car you get. Our 4 doorway sedan was about $30 per day.

I recommend lease a auto with an actual trunk( no hatchbacks) to hide your luggage from prying noses. It helps foreclose break-ins if thieves can’t see your stuff.

Gas( petrol) premiums in Morocco might seem inexpensive to Americans, but remember that the rest of the world paraphrases gas in Liters , not Gallons( 1 Gallon= 3.78 Liters ).

Currently, gas expenditures about$ 4 per gallon in Morocco. Remember that diesel vehicles are often cheaper in gas intake than regular gasoline too.

Age Requirements For Renting A Car

The minimum senility for driving in Morocco is 18 years old, however most car rental companies enforce their own age limit of 21 year olds to hire a car.

Cliff Overlook on Morocco Road TripStopping Anywhere is One of the Perks of Renting a Car Moroccan Driving Laws Tourists Should Know

The speed limits in Morocco are generally 60 kph in urban areas and 120 kph on highways. Police raced baits are very common, so pay attention to your speed.

I was actually gathered over for rush during our artery trip outside Ouarzazate, but they let me go after paying a small “fine”( bribe ?) of 150 dirhams( about $15 USD ).

You might also encounter the occasional police roadblock, but often they are only gesticulate sightseers through. Or they’ll simply ask you where you’re headed.

Moroccans drive on the right side of the road, just like in the United States. So you shouldn’t have any issues there( unless you’re British !).

International Driver’s License

No, you do not need an international driver’s license to drive in Morocco or payment a vehicle there. Just bring your passport, debit card, and your driver’s license from your home country.

Winding Roads in MoroccoSwitchbacks in the Atlas Mountains Tips For Driving In Morocco

Learn how to navigate the roundabout! Morocco is full of circuitous rather than stoplights, and if you’re brand-new to them, you might piss off the locals or come in a fender-bender.

Road traffic in Morocco comes in all types, sizes, and categories! Be prepared to dodge scooters, over-filled trucks, bus, bicycles, mules, sheep, camels, pedestrians, and more. It can be mayhem at times, especially in the cities.

Honking your horn in Morocco is a form of daily communication. It implies all sorts of things , not only” get out of my nature !” Honk to thank beings for letting you delivers, or to encourage camels to cross the road. Don’t be afraid of your tusk!

Avoid driving your rental car at night in Morocco. Street lighting is minimal, and artery brands can be too. Not to mention beings or animals abruptly appearing in the middle of the road.

Many Moroccans will use their turn signals to let you know when it’s safe to pass them. For instance, a big slow moving truck going uphill. They’ll affect their blinkers when the road is clear onward, so you don’t have to guess.

Car Rentals in MoroccoDriving in Morocco can be Hectic! Advice For Renting A Car In Morocco

Don’t diary a automobile without read the company recollects. You’ll meet spate of bad recollects for every company( parties love to complain online ), but try to pick one with the LEAST bad recollects. You may not always get the attain/ modeling/ type of car you booked. If they give you a smaller car, or a manual when you asked for an automated, be assertive and ask for an upgrade. Beware of inexplicable” cleaning fee” hidden fees. If it’s not in your contract, you don’t have to pay it. English is not spoken widely. You’ll have an easier time if “youre talking about” some French or Arabic. Communication isn’t inconceivable, but be patient. Inspect your vehicle completely and record video on your smartphone pointing out damage before “youre moving”. This is a backup if they try to charge you for impairment that was already there. Fee special attention to the interior extremely. A common rental car swindle is getting billed for” cigarette burns” on the seats — that they conveniently “forget” to distinguish on the original shattering assemble. Start sure your tank is full before you leave. Some car rental companionships in Morocco will start you with an empty-bellied gas container, forcing you to fill up immediately. Expend Google Maps on your smartphone for guidances. Bring your own hands-free adapter and buy an Moroccan SIM card at the airport.

Enjoy Your Moroccan Road Trip!

Exploring the small villages, concealed valleys, colorful mountains, and vast deserts of Morocco in a rental automobile was certainly the right choice for us.

Self-drive road jaunts get off the beaten track to see thoughts most people miss!

Check Car Rental Prices& Availability In Morocco Travel Planning Resources For Morocco Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip. Pick up a travel backpack, camera paraphernalium, and other handy movement accessories.

Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights on Skyscanner. This is my favorite search engine to find considers on airlines. Also make sure to read how I find the cheapest flights.

Payment A Car

Discover Car Hire is a great site for comparing gondola premiums to find the best deal. They scour both local& international rental companies.

Work Accommodation is my favorite inn search engine. Or fee suites from locals on Airbnb. Read more about how I notebook inexpensive inns online.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term excursions. Protect yourself from possible gash& fraud abroad. Read more about why you should always carry advance guarantee.

Recommended Guidebook: Lonely Planet Morocco Suggested Reading: In Arabian Nights

Enjoy This Post? Pin It!

Renting a car in Morocco isn't as scary as it sounds if you follow my tips for a successful road trip.

Renting a car in Morocco isn't as scary as it sounds if you follow my tips for a successful road trip.


Tips For Visiting Chefchaouen In Morocco My Favorite Travel Quotes Of All Time Travel Jobs That Let You Work Abroad How To Pick A Great Travel Backpack

Any questions about driving or hiring a car in Morocco? Are you planning a street expedition there? Drop me a letter in specific comments below!

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond escapade blog.

Read more:

Teach a Craft Or Run Errands — Plus 6 Other Gigs Perfect for Seniors

Older workers are re-entering or staying in the workforce in the highest numbers in decades. And many of them are giving the gig economy a shot.

According to the latest workforce projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the participation rate for seniors age 65 and up has increased nearly 20 percentage points since 1996.

Flexible work arrangements through side-gig apps and work-from-home jobs are making the transition easier. The customer-service and retail industries are also tapping into this burgeoning population of workers with targeted recruiting through AARP and churches.

All this amounts to a lot of competition among employers — and ripe job opportunities for retirees.

8 Jobs For Retirees

From errands to English-teaching or from ride-sharing to renting, these part-time jobs for seniors are tailor-fit for any older worker who wants to make a little extra money.

1. Become an Airbnb Host

Got a spare room, apartment, house ― even a tent in a serene backyard? You can rent it out for extra cash on Airbnb.

Airbnb is an online marketplace that allows folks to list their space for short-term rentals. Airbnb, after all, is short for Air Bed and Breakfast, which refers to the co-founders’ initial idea of charging guests to stay on air mattresses to help pay their San Francisco rent.

In our guide to becoming an Airbnb host, staff writer Carson Kohler outlines all the do’s and don’ts of hosting on Airbnb. The five big tenets to qualify are:

  1. You must be able to provide the essentials, including toilet paper, soap, linens, and at least one towel and pillow per guest.
  2. You must be responsive to your potential guests, answering requests and inquiries within 24 hours.
  3. You should accept reservation requests when you’re available.
  4. You should avoid cancellations. In fact, the Airbnb cancellation policy is pretty strict — you’ll find it outlined in our guide above.
  5. You should be able to keep a high overall rating from guests.

Before listing your home or apartment online, be sure to check with your local government, which may regulate or outright ban short-term rentals.

While there is no cost to register your rental, some things to consider are fees Airbnb charges every time someone books your space, in addition to municipal short-term rental taxes. Depending on your area, taxes and fees could reach as high as 21% of your listing price.

2. Chauffeur With Uber or Lyft

An smiling older woman drives a car.

By now, you probably know the gist of driving with ride-sharing services: You use an app to connect with people who need rides. You drive them somewhere in your own car, and they pay automatically through the app.

The two biggest players in the space — Uber and Lyft — have an intense rivalry, but both apps are fair options if you’re just starting out.

Each app is fundamentally the same for drivers: You log in when you want to work, wait for a notification that means someone’s hailed a ride, then pick them up and drop them off at their destination. You earn money based on how many rides you take, and you automatically get paid each week (or more often, if you choose) through direct deposit.

To become a driver, applicants need:

  • To be at least 21 years old.
  • A four-door automobile, 2002 or newer.
  • A valid U.S. driver’s license.
  • At least a year of driving experience.

Beyond that, senior editor Dana Sitar breaks down the nuances in our Lyft vs Uber guide.


3. Rent out Your Car

If you don’t feel like chaufferring others around — or driving at all, for that matter — you can rent out your unused car.

If you try to do that on your own, you’ll probably invalidate your insurance. And you have to find customers.

But companies like GetAround and Turo will find the customers for you and provide the insurance. Even General Motors launched a car-sharing service called Maven for owners of a GM vehicle (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet or GMC) that’s a 2015 model or newer.

Creating an account with all three companies is free.

Listing your car on GetAround costs $20 a month, plus a one-time $99 installation fee for a remote receiver to unlock your car for customers. Maven and Turo don’t charge monthly fees but take a percentage of earnings from your listing.

According to Maven estimates, renting out your car for a day could earn you between $80 and $225 depending on the model.

Payout is in as little as five days (for Turo) or as much as a month (for Maven).

4. Run Errands for Others

Through side-gig apps like TaskRabbit and Postmates, getting paid to run errands is as easy as it’s ever been. With both apps, users can browse through a list of tasks that locals need help with. Grocery runs, picking up a package from the UPS store, taking someone’s animal to obedience training — all fair game.

Postmates is focused on delivery-related tasks. You can deliver via car, bicycle or foot. Just create a free account, then you’ll receive a welcome kit in the mail within a week (a free delivery bag and a prepaid card to make your purchases). Link the card to the Postmates Fleet app, and you’re off to earning extra money.

TaskRabbit works a little differently. The services are much broader, including home improvement, maintenance, administrative, cleaning, event planning and — of course — delivery and other errand-related tasks. Creating an account is also free.

Income from both apps varies on a task-by-task basis. There aren’t any minimums in the amount of tasks you’re required to complete, either. You’ll be able to see the rates and choose to accept them before embarking on the errand.

While not average earnings, some high-performing users make more than $2,000 a month. See how these Taskers made thousands using TaskRabbit.

5. Teach Your Craft at Michael’s

A ship in a bottle rests on the sand at a beach.

Can you knit? Do needlepoint? Build a ship in a bottle? These crafts, once thought of a throw-backs, are back in a big way.

The arts-and-crafts retailer Michael’s unveiled its Community Classroom in late 2018. The program offers a way to connect local “Makers,” aka people skilled in hands-on crafts, to teach at the nearest Michael’s. It’s up to the teachers, however, to recruit students for their classes. Michaels splits the profits from student registration, with Michael’s keeping 30% of the course price, and the teachers pocketing 70%.

The program is still in beta as it expands to all U.S. Michael’s locations, but most Michael’s stores currently offer it. No previous teaching experience is required and the program is open to everyone — not just Michael’s employees.

To become a Community Classroom instructor, submit a proposal that includes:

  • A detailed description of what you plan to teach.
  • A personal bio that explains your expertise, including a photo of yourself.
  • Logistics, such as the location, required materials for the lesson, date and time.

Accepted instructors receive Community Classroom ID and a 15% in-store discount.

6. Tutor English Online

English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teachers are in high demand. To keep up, many international education companies hire virtual teachers and offer bonuses if they refer other teachers to their platform. Overall, requirements to become an ESL teacher are pretty low.

In most cases, teaching English online requires a bachelor’s degree (in any field) but not always. Several companies hire ESL teachers with associate’s degrees, or no degree at all.

To qualify, ESL teachers must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Be fluent in English, usually with citizenship from a native-English-speaking country.
  • Have a smartphone, computer or tablet with high-speed internet access.
  • A high-school diploma.

Teachers who meet the minimum requirements can expect hourly rates between $10 and $16. Top-performing or well-credentialed candidates frequently make more than $25 an hour.

Prefered candidates have a bachelor’s degree, early-morning or late-evening availability, previous teaching or tutoring experience and a certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

In our guide to teaching English online, we dive deeper into the job requirements plus offer specifics on seven of the top ESL companies.

7. Work at Your Favorite Store

As the labor market remains tight, companies that would normally fill customer service positions with teenagers have flipped the script, instead opting for seniors who have decades of soft skills well-suited for the roles.

In-demand industries include fast-food restaurants, retail stores and call centers. Companies with frequent national hiring events (typically near the holiday season at the end of each year) include Aldi, Amazon, Gap, Inc., Sitel, Target, Taco Bell and UPS.

Pro Tip

Job-hunting trends are always in flux. Don’t know where to start? AARP has loads of resources, including the Back to Work program for people re-entering the workforce after 50.

Never attended a big hiring event? We covered all you need to know to land a job at an in-store hiring event near you. Big things to remember: do your research before the event, come with some questions and dress to impress. A copy of your resume won’t hurt, either.

8. Work From Home

Rather not work in a store? Snag a work-from-home job. Several of the companies mentioned above hire remotely, and overall the remote workforce is booming.

The most popular remote jobs are in customer service. In these gigs, workers typically respond to customers over the phone, via email or through instant messages. Tracking trends in customer complaints and questions are a large part of these roles as well.

Pro Tip

The Penny Hoarder’s Work-From-Home Jobs Portal makes the remote-job hunt easy. Our journalists scour the web for the best gigs, vet the companies and aggregate the latest listings in one place.

Companies that frequently hire remote customer-service jobs include AAA, American Express and Apple — as well as several others that don’t start with the letter A.

There are many other remote job opportunities out there besides customer service, too. Other popular fields include IT, media and marketing.

Basic computing skills are needed for all remote jobs, and your home office could need a little updating to land certain gigs. Before you apply to your online dream job, review what home-office essentials are commonly required by remote employers.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

Staff Writer Carson Kohler contributed to this article.

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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A Peek Into May at Our House

Every month in 2019, I’ll be sharing a photographic peek into the previous month. I thought this would be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our month and recap some of the highs and lows and special memories of the month.

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It was Spirit Week at Kaitlynn and Silas’ school and they had so much fun planning their outfits. This was crazy sock day and Silas wore peanut butter and jelly socks while Kaitlynn wore movie popcorn and Sprite socks.

You can see some pictures and a video of their Prehistoric costumes here.

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Silas made a tornado simulator (just like Kathrynne’s) for his Science Fair project. He worked so hard on it and did the lion’s share of the work himself.

He just needed our help with putting the simulator together and doing some of the research for his report and board (since he’d never done a school project quite at this level before).

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Kathrynne and I flew to Utah for me to speak at the Everything Food conference. I love it when it works out for me to take one of my kids with me!

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I loved getting to speak on one of my very favorite topics — increasing your engagement with Instagram. After taking almost two years off from doing any conference speaking, I said yes to some opportunities again this year to see how it would feel to be back on the road.

We created some very clear boundaries of what I would say yes to in order that I wouldn’t completely exhaust myself (like I did unintentionally back when I was traveling and speaking a lot more!) and y’all, I just LOVED being back on the road getting to speak again. And I came home fired up and excited for the next speaking event — yay!

I’m excited and hopeful that I’ll continue to find it life-giving because I so love getting to meet you all in person. It’s one of my very favorite things! (Psst! If you’ve asked me to speak at your event in the past few years and I’ve said no, go ahead and ask again because I just might say yes now that I’m in a better place with more capacity and better personal boundaries!)

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She’s 14 and she loves hanging out with me.

I don’t say this to gloat, because just between you and me, I’ve made a ridiculous amount of mistakes as a mom.

I say this to push against the commonly touted belief that the teenage years are awful and hard and miserable. That you just grimace and hold on and try to make it through.

Honestly, yes, there are challenges. Yes, it’s like learning a completely new dance…

It’s letting go and seeing your child no longer need you like they once did.

It’s giving your teen space to learn and process and make mistakes.

It’s listening a lot more and instructing a lot less.

It’s realizing she is growing wings and, much as I want to, clipping her wings to selfishly keep her close to me will only hurt us both in the long run.

It’s a new dance and some days I misstep. But I’m loving it and so grateful for these beautiful years.

Mamas of littles, don’t dread the teen years. I’m here to tell you that, so far, they’ve been pretty amazing!

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After we got back home from Utah (which was absolutely breath-taking, by the way!), I took Kathrynne and a group of her friends to see the new Avengers movie.


We went to TopGolf for Silas’ birthday.

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10 years ago, I gave birth to this high energy, insanely extroverted BOY!

He brings so much life to our home and he is friends with pretty much everyone he meets. (Oftentimes, we’re out somewhere and he’ll holler out to someone he sees that he kind of knows from somewhere. I’ll be all, “Who is that?” And he’ll respond with something like, “Oh, I met him once at the park two years ago.”)

But despite his incredibly outgoing personality, I love that he is still very much a Mama’s boy.

In fact, one Sunday recently, he was telling me about how one of the men on stage has grown kids in multiple countries (he had read his bio in the church program.) I said, “Maybe that will be you all someday.” He gave me a shocked look and was like, “Never, Mom! I have to live close to you!”

He has decided he and his wife will live on our street so he can come spend time with me every day.

I love this boy so much! Being his mom has been one of the greatest privileges of my life.

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TopGolf rolled out the red carpet for his birthday — including banners, a birthday card, a shark dressed up, and free Injectable Donut Holes.

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One of the highlights of May was getting to interview our pastor on the podcast. Have you listened to his episode yet? It was one of the highest-downloaded episodes yet.

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Kathrynne had her 8th grade banquet at school in May. It was such a special time of the teachers speaking words of blessing over each of the students and commissioning them as they move up to high school.

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I posted this on Instagram:

She doesn’t like me to talk about her or share her pictures much online. And I 100% respect that.

But y’all, I wish you could meet this girl. (Warning: Sappy proud mom post forthcoming…)

She’s wise beyond her years. She has the most caring heart for others. And I so often look at her and think, “How did I get to be your mom?”

I have watched her step outside her comfort zone and step out in bravery in big ways this year. I’ve seen her wrestle with her faith and wrestle through difficult relationships.

She’s made mistakes and she’s owned them and asked forgiveness. She’s come alongside kids that are being made fun of and stood up for them. She’s befriended those who are struggling. And she’s worked really hard in school, too.

I know that people say it makes them sad to see their kids growing up. On the one hand, yes, I’m sad knowing that she’s going to be in HIGH SCHOOL in the fall (how did that happen??). On the other hand, I just love stepping back watching her grow up and grow into all that God has called her to be.


We love you, Kathrynne, and we’re so proud of you and grateful to be your parents. ❤️

P.S. I took this picture at her 8th grade banquet. When I looked at it afterwards on my phone, it literally took my breath away! I know she’s growing up, but I sometimes don’t realize just how quickly she is until I see a picture like this!

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And the same day, Kaitlynn had her 7th grade formal. I loved getting to do her hair for it.

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She’d been planning for months what she was going to wear and how she was going to fix her hair. I just love how much she loves beauty.

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Her favorite part of her outfit was her shoes. She ordered multiple different pairs from Amazon to try out (with free returns!) before she landed on these. She’s so different than me in so many ways (hello, I’m all about comfortable shoes!), but I love the life and creativity she brings into our home.

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I loved getting to have one of my childhood friends and her family come over for dinner on their roadtrip in Tennessee.

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Kathrynne won a special math award for her class at the end of year awards ceremony.


We kicked off our #100DaysofSummerFun challenge! Want to join us? Here are the details:

As our kids get older, we cherish our time together all together as a family more and more. With this in mind, our family committed to be intentional to do something fun all together as a family every day for the next 100 days.

I’ll be documenting it here on Instagram stories as a way to stay accountable — and maybe to inspire your family to prioritize family fun, too.

It doesn’t have to be something expensive or complicated. You know I’m all about keeping it simple! For instance, it could be something like taking a family walk or having a family basketball game.

Want to join us? Here’s to a fun summer filled with memories!

Minnehaha Falls

“What is the most important thing to remember?” I asked him on the drive to his last playoff flag football game.

“No matter what happens. No matter if the other team creams you. No matter if they have amazing plays & they block & intercept everything you throw. No matter if you miss every rushing opportunity. No matter if everyone is frustrated with you. No matter what, you get to choose how you respond.”

We talked about how to respond with graciousness in the face of defeat. We talked about how the most important thing was to represent Jesus in everything you do.

Then we prayed together & my little quarterback & rusher went out to lead his team in the biggest game of his life so far.

They were playing against the undefeated team. This team was good, really good. I knew that the game would likely be brutal.

But Silas went out and led his team with a quiet confidence and grace — and they WON!!! Then they went on to win the championship game, too!!!

Here’s the thing: Sure I was the insanely proud mama hollering & yelling for my boy on the sidelines. But this wasn’t about the scoreboard so much as it was about the character that my boy displayed.

For an entire year, my prayer for him has been that he would have a gracious, humble spirit. That he would learn to submit to leadership. That he would use his incredibly strong personality for good. That he would rather be kind than right.

He’s struggled a lot with this. There have been a lot of conversations, prayers, & lost privileges.

But the past few months, I have seen so many answers to those prayers on the football field…when a call has been made that he didn’t agree with, when his coaches asked him to do things he didn’t want to do, & when his team lost.

He’s had opportunity after opportunity to be kind rather than right, to be gracious even when he wanted to be angry.

It might have just seemed like two Flag Football games on Tuesday night with 9 & 10 years olds. And yet, for me, it was about so much more than that.

Mamas, keep praying for your strong kids. Keep having the hard conversations. Speak life. Believe that God can use their strength and stubbornness for good. Don’t give up!

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Some days, parenting is amazing. Other days, it’s just plain hard.

One night in May, I had come up with the idea for us to take a picnic dinner to Fort Negley for our #100daysofsummerfun activity for the day.

Instead of excitement over my idea, the response was more like if I had announced that we were going to go spend 3 hours cleaning toilets.

There were bad attitudes and rolled eyes and whining and fighting all the way there. When we got there, there was more complaining, “This looks so boring!” “Why are we doing this?”

Then, as soon as we started down the trail, two children had a big fight and we had to separate them for 30 minutes so they could cool down.

Inside, I was irritated and thinking, “Why are we even bothering to try to do fun stuff together?? Let’s just go home!”

But then I heard that phrase that has become my mantra for parenting, “Lean in and love.”

I walked with one child and said to them, “I know you’re really upset. I’m sorry.”

This opened the door for them to share their heart with me. Frustrations they were feeling over their sibling. Frustrations they were feeling over situations in life. And I just listened.

When they were finished, I said: “You know, I’ve felt like that a lot, too.”

This child looked at me with surprise: “You have?? You don’t ever seem like you are frustrated like this.”

We ended up having a really beautiful heart-to-heart talk together on the trail where I shared some similar feelings I’ve felt recently and I was able to not give answers or solutions, but to just show empathy — which was what they needed.

By the time we headed for the car, everyone was laughing and joking and in much better spirits.

It wasn’t the family evening I envisioned and I don’t think the kids will be begging to go back any time soon! 😉 But I’m so glad we didn’t turn around and leave when we got there (like I seriously considered doing!)

Maybe today you’ll find yourself in a similar situation — whether it’s deal with defiant toddlers, difficult teens, frustrating co-workers, or just dealing with someone with a bad attitude. Choose to press in, press through, and lean in and love. ❤️


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Silas and Kaitlynn both made the honor roll! They’ve worked really, really hard for this and we were super proud of them!

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We loved getting to have a big group of friends over on Memorial Day weekend for a cookout!

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I just loving opening our home (or our backyard, as was the case this time!) to friends — new and old!


We took a fairly impromptu road trip at the end of May to hit three states we hadn’t all visited yet: Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.

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A little family football game at a rest stop!

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We went to IKEA for the first time ever… and I’m sorry to say that I was underwhelmed.


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Minnehaha Falls was incredible!

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We had such a great time on our trip and I have so much more I want to share about it that I plan to do individual posts on the things we did in Madison, WI and Minneapolis, MN. (Sadly, it was raining the entire time we were in Iowa so we didn’t get to do much while we were there.)

Look for those posts coming soon — hopefully next week!

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An Appreciation of My Father

I’m pretty sure that my father will read this sometime today or tomorrow, or else my mother will read it aloud to him. In either case, I’ll start off with the most important thing: thank you, dad, for everything I’ve written about below and so much more.

My father is in his mid seventies now, and simply typing that is almost unbelievable to me. I have a lifetime of memories and experiences and lessons from him, but an awful lot of them come from my memories of him when he was approximately the same age I am now, so I guess that realizing this lately – that my earlier memories of him are from when he was roughly the same age that I am now – has caused me to think a lot about him, the kind of person he’s been, the life he’s led, and the lessons that I’ve learned from him.

My most vibrant memories of him from when I was young was that he was pretty much constantly busy with something. He had a factory job where he seemed to be constantly switching shifts and alternating between working overtime and having periods where he was laid off. Almost every moment when he was at home and not sleeping, he was doing something. He was a part-time commercial fisherman. He had multiple very large gardens, some summers having four or more that were several hundred square feet each. At various times in my childhood, we had a goat, several pigs, a chicken pen and shed full of hens and a rooster, and a bunch of rabbits, all raised for our own food, and he was largely responsible (outside of specific chores he handed down to myself and my brothers) for keeping those systems going. He knew how to handle a lot of different repairs on older cars and would often handle those repairs in our driveway or our garage. He was a pretty good welder. He was really good at foraging for berries and mushrooms in the woods. That’s just a partial list of the things he had going and could do.

Part of the reason he was able to pull all of this off is that he typically worked an evening shift at his factory job, which he did most of the time when I was growing up. This meant that he would go to work each day around 2 in the afternoon, work a roughly 3 PM to 11:30 PM shift, and get home slightly after midnight each night. He’d collapse in bed and then wake up around 7 or 8, spending the morning tackling a seemingly endless list of chores from all of those side gigs, eat lunch, take a brief nap, and then head to work again.

What did I learn from all of that? Work ethic. He kept busy until he was genuinely tired, and then he would rest at the end of the day for a while. There was never much downtime with him; he was constantly doing something, whether it was going to work or working on some project.

Of course, this meant that during the school year, I’d usually only see my father for perhaps a brief moment in the morning each day if he happened to wake up before the bus got there, but usually I wouldn’t see him from Sunday evening until Saturday morning when he was working a full week. My mother was often the only parent around during the week when I was in school through all of elementary school and well into high school when he had enough seniority to consistently get on the day shift.

I knew that he was always working hard for us in an incredibly reliable way. He’d get up, go into work, never be late, and do his job well. He always had plenty of overtime opportunities, too. He never missed work unless he seemed to be on death’s door due to illness. He taught me, through his actions, that a big part of success was showing up reliably and doing what you’re supposed to reliably. When I look at life through that lens, it’s pretty apparent that simply showing up and being reliable in terms of what you say you’ll do is an enormous part of being valued and trusted by others.

When I was younger, I understood why my father wasn’t always there, but I didn’t like it. Whenever I had some sort of event after school or something like that, he was almost always working; the person in the crowd was always my mother and sometimes my maternal grandmother. I recognize now that this experience was part of my motivation to find a flexible career path.

This does not mean my father was absent, oh no. What it meant was that weekends and summers tended to be a giant blur of activity. My childhood involved a lot of mushroom hunting, a lot of fishing, a lot of gardening, and all kinds of things of that nature. On the weekends, I would often tag along with him on whatever he might be doing that day, and I saw the number of things he always had going on.

What really stuck with me about all of this was that my father was really just balancing a number of streams of income for our family all the time. He made a blue collar income from the factory, but when things were good (particularly in the summer), that was supplemented by his fishing income, by having a ton of fresh produce for “free” from the garden (and some of the excess would be sold), and by a few dollars here and a few dollars there from all kinds of things, from collecting aluminum cans to doing a bit of spot welding.

This really inspired me to have a lot of side gigs of my own for just that purpose – to diversify my own income to provide further stability for me and for my family, regardless of what may come. The Simple Dollar started as a side gig. I had (and still occasionally have) a side gig of repairing computers for people in my community. I’ve written books and freelance articles as a side gig. My wife and I have a decent vegetable garden that keeps our food costs low in the middle to late summer. I’ve dabbled in many other side gigs over the years as well, with varying degrees of success. If I suddenly were out of work, my family would not have to suffer without an income for very long, as there are lots of ways I can immediately amp up a different income stream.

At the same time, having a lot of side gigs means developing a lot of useful skills. You have to develop some time management skills. You have to develop some personal interaction skills. You have to develop technical skills for whatever your specific side gig happens to entail. I watched these skills at work all the time as I watched my father growing up, and I’d like to think that, at my best moments, I possess a lot of these skills, too. I can design a website. I can catch a fish. I can grow pretty much anything from seed. I can write a treatise. I can write complex computer code. I can fix a ton of different devices. I can converse with all kinds of people and get along with them. I’m good at managing my time. I’m good at solving the problems life has put before me. I’m good at learning things quickly. Much of that is due to side gigs, and the inspiration for all of that is my father.

My father was very careful with his money in many ways. He was a bit of a collector of random items that he found for free, and he could find uses for all kinds of stuff. He never liked to throw anything away and sometimes that meant an overly cluttered garage and shed, but when something needed doing or fixing, he usually had a tool or an item that would fit the bill. We always used stuff until it broke, and even when it broke, we’d often fix it up and keep on going with it.

I particularly remember my old Nintendo Game Boy, which was a faithful companion of mine on road trips. I used and abused that thing and, over the years, it broke in several different ways. Many families wold have just tossed it out after the first breakage, but not us. My old man would go out in the garage, find some super glue, and get the thing back in working order, or he’d mess around in the battery compartment until the batteries would again stay in place and deliver a charge. It wasn’t junk until it broke and he couldn’t fix it, and even then, we might hold onto the item for spare parts.

Another thing that my father did that didn’t really click with me until I was older was that he boxed out time for genuine leisure. He didn’t like to just sit around doing nothing, but he made sure there was time for doing things that he genuinely enjoyed doing. He would go squirrel hunting. He would go fishing (for fun with a pole, not commercially). He absolutely loved puzzles, both then and now; jigsaw puzzles and logic puzzles like sudoku are his wheelhouse (I actually think this scratches a mental itch for him similar to how strategic board games scratch an itch for me). Camping was a consistent part of growing up; most summers involved at least one camping trip of some length at least until I approached high school age. The important thing to note is that he really blocked off time for these things. There might be things left undone, but if he was planning to spend a few hours fishing one day, that time was sacrosanct and we went fishing.

Perhaps more than anything, though, his love for reading and learning new things has rubbed off on me. He’d read the newspaper virtually every morning, and still does. He’d dive into articles and editorials on things he knew little about just to learn what they were about. Most evenings, when he was physically tired but his mind wasn’t ready for bed yet, he’d kick back with a book of some kind for half an hour or so – often it was a western, but it could be some nonfiction book about gardening or, sometimes, a magazine on any sort of topic.

What do I do when I get up each morning? I usually read for a while, usually for the purpose of learning something, to get my mind going. What do I do before I go to bed basically every night? I read for a while, usually a novel of some kind. Those kinds of patterns rub off, and it’s why I make it a point to read where my kids can see me reading. Now, all three of my kids often read in the last half an hour or so before they go to sleep – usually a novel of some kind.

There’s no denying that we didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, but my parents always made sure that there was enough to go around for the things we needed. There were always nutritious meals on the table and clothes on our backs. We didn’t travel much; most of our summer “vacations” were camping trips not too terribly far from home. I only remember two real “vacations” in my childhood, and they were both just two or three day affairs. When I was young, my mother was a stay-at-home mom that made the most out of the money that my father earned, meaning that together they found ways to transform even the leanest money moments into meals and clothing and security and togetherness, the things I most needed as a child.

That doesn’t mean I went without things that I wanted. They made absolutely sure that I always had books to read and things to occupy my mind, as I was an endlessly curious kid.

I also remember a few moments of unexpected splurges and surprises, but it was the rarity and surprise of those moments that really make them stand out. I remember that when I was very young, around six or seven years old, I was very into Masters of the Universe action figures. A local five-and-dime store was going out of business and my father and I went to see what was on sale there. They had a bin that had a whole bunch of Masters of the Universe figures in it and a sign that said $1 each. I didn’t even ask for any – I was just looking through them a bit while my father looked at some other items, but when he came back, he just stood there for a minute, probably figuring out what he could afford in his head, and said, “Get five of ’em.” You never saw a happier seven year old toting around bags with his new action figures in them.

I remember vividly one winter when my father’s factory almost went out of business and they had to lay off almost everyone for several months. Wintertime was really hard on my father’s side gigs, too, so there wasn’t much money to go around. Christmas was really lean that year, without many presents, and I remember sensing that my parents were really worried. I know my father was doing everything he could to bring in money, including doing some rather dangerous ice fishing where he would cut large holes in the ice and dredge for fish. He was using virtually every trick he could think of to keep enough money coming in so that there was food on the table and the mortgage got paid.

When the factory finally started up again, I actually didn’t know about it at first because my father started working a really unusual overnight shift; he would actually leave for work after I went to bed and get home just after I went to school and sleep during the day, getting up about the time I got home from school. From my perspective, things hadn’t really changed at all.

What I do remember is that after about two weeks of this, my father came home from being out and about on some errand and he came into the room with a huge grin on his face and pulled out from under his coat a video game that I had wanted for several months and had hoped to get for Christmas but didn’t.

When I was younger, I just remember the utter surprise of the gift and how excited I was. Now that I’m older, I see how much care went into it. My parents obviously knew what I wanted for Christmas and they couldn’t afford it, but they didn’t forget. They just made Christmas perfectly wonderful anyway, even though they had little money and couldn’t afford the video game I wanted, and then when they could afford it, they remembered and surprised me with it. It wasn’t the video game that mattered, it was the care and thought and love behind it. They loved me deeply, wanted me to be happy, thought about me, and made tough choices in the background so I wouldn’t have to think about them at all. I was loved and cared for even when we didn’t have much, and that’s really what the memory of that video game was all about.

My dad is older now; as I mentioned earlier, he’s in his mid seventies and, like everyone, he doesn’t get around with the speed and vigor that he’s used to. He’s still there for me, though, offering little bits of advice to me here and there and being a wonderful grandpa to my kids. I love watching him sort through coins with my oldest son (the child I have who has an interest in coin collecting), marveling at the growing artistic skill of my daughter (who I firmly believe has the potential to be a professional fantasy artist), having surprisingly deep conversations with my youngest son, and laughing at all of their shenanigans. He won’t always be here, and the thought of my life without him around is just a little sadder, but I know from my own life routines that there will still be a lot of him in the world when he’s not here any more.

There are so many threads from all of these stories that tie directly into the life that I’m leading right now. There are so many great examples and lessons that he gave me that I put to use literally every single day in my life, from how to be a good father to how to keep our spending low, from keeping up a lot of side gigs and projects and hobbies to using stuff until it wears out, from never getting tired of reading and learning new things to being a good husband, much of what I am today comes from him, to knowing how to love and care for your children and your wife without much money by putting care and thought first, and many of the lessons and ideas I’ve shared on The Simple Dollar comes from a awkward little kid with glasses making muddy trenches in the garden with his father or riding alongside him in a pickup truck.

Thanks, Dad, for everything.

The post An Appreciation of My Father appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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My Podcast Production Process, Start to Finish

In this post, I’ll walk through my terminated podcast make process for The Side Hustle Show.

If you’re not familiar with the picture, it’s a top-rated and gifted triumphing business podcast with more than 8 million life-time downloads.

I’ve been develop the podcast weekly since 2013, and though I know this process will continue to evolve, here’s what it looks like today.

podcast production process step by step

The Hook

Every episode starts with what I announce” the rob .” That is, what’s the tilt or fib we’re trying to tell?

Why is it interesting or compelling?

Since podcast growth mostly happens via word of mouth, the hook is critical. Why should someone invest their time in this, and once they do, is it good enough they can’t help but tell their friends about it?

For me, the best-performing episodes are side gyps or marketing tricks who the hell is 😛 TAGEND

Relatable Repeatable Don’t require a huge upfront investment

What are some examples of ” robs” that have doing well?

Financial Independence Fast-Track: How to Replace Your Salary by Buying Mini Businesses 10 Creative Side Hustles that Make Real Money How to Start a Business You Care About — With No Business Ideas and No Money

These episodes have all out-performed their peers( escapades released around the same time ). I accept one reason why is I got the rob right. The material was relevant to the audience and the deed was pressuring enough to download.

The hook is step one. Then I go out and is an attempt to perceive the best person to tell that story.

Guest Selection

The Side Hustle Show is primarily interview-based. That takes a lot of the pressure off me to monologue for half an hour, and instead lets me showcase other qualified and insightful entrepreneurs.

I source patrons in several different ways.

Personal Network

When I firstly started the reveal, naturally my first guests came from my own-small, at that time-personal network. I spidered out from there by asking,” who else do you think would be a good fit ?”

Interesting parties tend to know other interesting parties. Let them fill your guest pipeline.

Even years into doing the demonstrate, this still works. For example, Jacques Hopkins targeted me to the stunning success floor of Nate Dodson, who’s selling $40 k+ per month of an online trend on growing and exchanging microgreens.

Society/ Referrals

Today, many of my best guests come from inside The Side Hustle Nation community. These are parties responding to my emails, attending meetups, or affixing in the Facebook group.

For example, I detected Jodi Carlson, creator of a $ 5k a month part-time girl scout blog, when she are responding to one of my newsletters. I filled Nikko Mendoza, developer of 3D-printed clothing armor at a Side Hustle Nation meetup.

Inbound Slopes

The final source of guests-and perhaps least reliable-is inbound tars. At this phase, I receive various tars a week from people who want to be on the show.

Some of those are great, like Austin Miller’s empire of free homes. But most are pretty lame. They come from PR companies or podcast booking agencies and don’t fully understand the nature of the show.

I set up a standard” pitch form” to pour these through, which has helped.

If you’re struggling to find quality guests, you might check out a free asset like

Vetting Guests

These daytimes, I rarely go into an interview completely cold. In most cases, I’ll do a pre-interview call.

Those 15 -3 0 instant announces aid me estimates 😛 TAGEND

Does this person speak clearly Are they energized about specific topics A general, subjective feel if they’re right for the appearance and public

These pre-interview calls also help me interpret my preserve process and objectives for the show.

If for whatever reason we don’t do a pre-interview call, I generally just listened to one or two interrogations the guest has done on other shows.

Creating an Outline

After the pre-interview, I’ll create an outline based on our conversation and the person’s expertise.

This is more for the sake of my own party, but I’ve found it helps structure the bouts in a way that helps deliver the promised hook.

For example, many Side Hustle Show episode outlines follow this basic structure 😛 TAGEND

Where’d you come up with that theme?( Creation) How’d you get your firstly clients/ patrons/ traffic?( Traction) What happened next?( Swelling) How does the business make money?( Monetization) What’s working today in terms of marketing?( Marketing) What’s next for you/ what are you working on now?( Future) #1 gratuity for Side Hustle Nation.

During the recording, of course we make the conversation flow, but this general summarize improves me steer the bout where I want it to go.


I normally schedule sound recordings while on the pre-interview calls. Otherwise, I use the calendar booking tool ScheduleOnce.

I try to batch all my assembles and recordings on Tuesdays, because that free-spokens up the rest of the week for other projects.

We block off an hour to record, but don’t commonly use the full time.

Established Beliefs and Getting Good Audio

In the docket invite, I send the guests the proposed outline for the episode, along with some greenbacks on what makes a great Side Hustle Show episode.

Among those are the two large-hearted the specific objectives of the present 😛 TAGEND

Put the public first. Help listeners learn about a new business or marketing strategy. This is the ONLY reason they tune in. Showcase your distinct expertise and make you definitely sounds like a genius.

( I created a TextExpander snippet to quickly sort these specifications .)

Lately, I’ve been offering to send clients my favorite fund external mic. This removes the din character variable from the equation so I know they’ll chime great.

Since it’s a podcast-audio is all we’ve got-it’s got to reverberate good. The mic is actually on credit, and I just ask the guest to hang onto it until I have the next client lined up, at which point they drop it in the mail and pass it along.

Day of Recording

When recording day is here, I fire up Zencastr and get to work. Zencastr is a freemium browser-based register implement, that gets better audio than Zoom and theoretically escapes VOIP slows you sometimes get on Skype.

The downside is it’s not perfect; it can still be glitchy, announces can put, and tapes might not finalize.( In such cases, there’s a way for the participants to recover a backup of their audio-thankfully it’s only happened formerly for me so far !)

Local Backup

In addition to having Zencastr movement, I take a neighbourhood backup of my audio line directly into Audacity. I’ll give my writer the choice of tracks to use.


Before we start recording, I expend a few minutes chatting with the guest. The theory here is to make sure we have a strong connection, that they reverberate OK, and to double-check any specific websites or URLs they have to plug, together with how to declare their name.


After the recording, a duet circumstances happen right away.

First, I try and fill in any observes I was taking during the call, and come up with 2-3 large-scale takeaways from the conversation. This helps me in order to establish the intro/ outro later.

The second event is to generate a rough transcription of the interrogation. I use an AI transcription service announced Sonix to get this done.

( Actually I upload the registers to a specific folder in Dropbox, which triggers an email to my VA via IFTTT, who organizes a stereo move from the registers and uploads it to Sonix .)

Sonix isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. For me, it’s basically an instrument to spawn revising the establish easier. I use it to 😛 TAGEND

figure out where to start the interview highlight parts of the conversation to trim

I then legislates the transcription file along to my editor, with my records and highlights.

You can get 100 minutes of audio rewritten free when join through my referral link.

Intro/ Outro/ Ad Scripting and Recording

My next time in the podcast production process is to write the intro, outro, and ad scripts for the register. This can be a little time-consuming, but I believe it’s important.

In the intro to my demoes, I want to accomplish a few cases circumstances 😛 TAGEND

Explain what’s in it for the listener to stick around, and why the person presenting is qualified to teach that. Tell where they can find the substantiate greenbacks or produce magnet for the episode Push my pre-roll sponsors

I try and get this done in the first 2-3 minutes.

After the interview, I 😛 TAGEND

Do another ad blot Present my exceed takeaways from the appearance Offering a call to action for the indicate documents or precede magnet again Thank you for listening, and taunt the next chapter( if I know what’s going to be)

There’s a certain consistency to these elements, that I’ve takens clues from traditional radio on. It lets regular listeners know what to expect when you obstruct a same design and language.

After this is written out, I record my intro and outro in a single track.

I create a show structure outline to let the journalist know which constituents should go where.

Editing the Episode

The next stair is to edit the raw audio and bit all the components of the display together.

For help with that, I use a service announced Podcast Fast Track.( After years of doing it all myself !)

How this works in practice is I upload all the audio registers to Dropbox, along with the Sonix transcription and my establish organize records. Then I just let my editor know the episode is ready for him to work his magic.

After the Edits

Once the writer is done, he uploads the accomplished bout back into a separate Dropbox folder. This triggers an email( IFTTT ftw !) to my columnist, so he can download the audio and drawing the summary and depict indicates for the episode.

Final Listen

I listen to the whole episode start to finish for caliber check. I don’t frequently have much to change in this final check, but will occasionally decorate added slice of audio I don’t think are necessary.

I’ve considered ceasing this step, but every marry weeks I catch something and I’m glad I listened.( I discover material on other shows too, that readily would have been caught if the legion or someone else on the team had given a final listen .)

I likewise check the show memoes and summary to make sure they’re ready to publish.

Upload to Libsyn and Schedule for Release

Once I’m happy with the final audio, I’ll upload it to my media host, Libsyn, and schedule it for release.

That likewise necessitates adding the Smart Podcast Player shortcode to the present records page for the episode.

For episodes that have a specific lead magnet, I overstep that file along to my virtual helper, which is able to then install it via LeadPages to the site.

Release Day

Every Thursday is podcast era! It’s the most exciting day of the week because I know all this work is about to pay off and thousands of people are going to hear the most recent developments episode.

I don’t request or await my client to share their interview, but I do cause them know their episode is live and thank them for joining me.

And most Thursdays, I’ll send a broadcast newsletter email to my register to promote the latest episode and any blog content for that week.

I do this because I’ve seen it work on me; there are a handful of podcasts I just listened to but am not subscribed to. If I get an email from the host exchanging me on their latest occurrence, I’m far more likely to download it and listen, becoming a bigger fan of theirs in the process.

Your Turn

What do “youre thinking about” this podcast creation process? Anything you’d conversion or do differently?

What have you discovered most effective in streamlining the production of your own show?

Pin it for later 😛 TAGEND

podcast production process

********* Stock photo By Branislav Nenin via Shutterstock

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