Extra Money in Your Pocket
By: Financial Hotline
Issue: Spring 2018 (Vol. 36, No. 1)
Here are a few quick ways to add more money in 2018:
- Stream. We used to get by with just three TV channels and it was free. Today, cable bills average $103 per month. However, a typical streaming package includes HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, and CBS All Access for around $37 a month. A savings of almost $800 a year.
- Shop cell phone plans. The average family of four’s cell phone bill adds up to about $2,880 a year. But Sprint’s prepaid Family Plan— is only $1,260. Just tell them you want to keep your same phone number and you won’t have to change. Savings: $1620
- A typical family pays $1,292 in credit card interest a year. Switch to a 0% balance transfer card and use that $1290 to pay down the debt. Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers 0% on transfer for up to 21 months. Citi Simplicity offers 18 months interest free and is the only card with no annual fee, and no late fees or penalties. Wells Fargo Platinum Visa® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited offer 16 months 0%.
- Take in a boarder. According to the U.S. Census, 14.9 million Americans live with a roommate. It may take a little work to find the perfect match but can save you from $4000 to $12,000 in living expense. If you don’t want to commit fulltime, try renting a room short term through sites like AirBnB. A Daytona Beach local rents two rooms every year for the big race and pockets an extra $2000 for just one week.
- Work part-time. Delivery services such as Instacart.com and Postmates.com allow workers to walk, bike, or drive to deliver goods and food in major cities across the U.S. Just sign up then log on whenever you need to earn some extra cash. Income averages up to $25 an hour plus tips. Uber drivers make an average of $15.68 an hour and Lyft drivers $17.50. You have to budget for gas and wear and tear on your vehicle but you could still earn an extra $100 or so a week for just a few hours work. If you have a truck and are handy installing shelves or moving furniture you can earn an average $35 an hour at sites such as TaskRabbit (itsmycareer.com) SnagAJob.com is a great site for those looking for extra hours ranging from customer service to healthcare.
- Work from home. You can earn $10 to $15 an hour filling out online surveys at sites such as SuveyJunkie.com and Swagbucks.com Check out more site lists at FrugalForLess.com. Earn $10 per test session by providing feedback on new websites at sites like UserTesting.com, TryMyUI.com, and Userlytics.com. SideIncomeJobs.com is another option that has a user fee but guarantees you’ll make $100 in your first 30 days. Can you set up websites, write content or create logos? Sell your skills at sites like Upwork.com and Fiverr.com. Sites like Ipsos Panel and PointClub give you cash just for completing surveys. Most surveys pay a buck or two and only take 10 to 15 minutes. PointClub gives points for every single survey you take — plus, the company gives you $5 just for signing up! You can redeem those points for gift cards to a ton of useful vendors like Walmart, Amazon and PayPal.
- Quit smoking. If you smoke a half a pack a day, you can save over $1000 a year by breaking the habit. The benefits to your health and the health of those affected by your second-hand smoke are priceless.
- Don’t delay. Generally, if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B by age 65¼, your monthly premium increases by 10% for every 12-month period that you’re late. This penalty lasts as long as you have Part B.
- Drink at home. You don’t have to skip eating out just opt for water and have your beer and wine at home. The average menu price for a soft drink is $2. An imported beer is $5 and wine is $8. A family of four giving up specialty drinks just once a week can easily save over a $1000 in a year. Plus, your waistline reaps the benefits as well.
- Use sites like RetailMeNot.com, Ebates.com, FatWallet.com and TopCashback.com for discounts and rebates. Those nickels will add up to dollars by years end.
- Sell your crafts on Ebay or Etsy. The keys to making money on your handiwork is posting photos that show off your work, giving detailed descriptions and responding promptly to customers.
- Become a referee. High school sports officials can earn between $50 and $70, while college game pay starts at over $100. Join your local officials’ association to get started. They will provide training, and begin scheduling games.
- Sing for your supper. Earnings vary from $25 to $200 per practice and performance. Search online ads at sites like choralnet.org for gigs.
- Got a vehicle you don’t use much? Rent it out. Sites like Getaround.com and Turo.com provide marketplaces where individuals can rent out their vehicles. Rent out your boat at GetMyBoat.com Average earning after expenses for cars is over $400 per month but boats can fetch thousands.
- More rental sites include ShareGrid.com which lets you rent out things like professional photography equipment and CurbFLip.com or JustPark.com for parking space rentals.
- Ibotta is an easy-to-use cash-back app that’s partnered with more than 50 retailers, just about anywhere you’d do any kind of shopping. Before you buy, just compare the items on your shopping list with items listed on the app. After you purchase, just snap a photo of your recent and scan the item’s barcode to activate your cash back reward.
- Paribus is a tool that gets you money back for your online purchases. You can sign up for free and Paribus will scan your email archives for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from one of its monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund anytime there’s a price drop. If you are an Amazon shopper, check out ShopTracker.com. Connect your Amazon account and receive a free Visa e-gift card code for $3 via email within 48 hours — and another $3 every month you continue to share your purchase history.
- Fill out a FAFSA. Every college-bound senior should be filling out the form. You won’t know what you qualify for unless you try. Don’t forget local scholarships. Being chosen gives that added confidence boost and those $100 and $500 checks add up. Check out nearby Rotary clubs, veteran’s groups, American Association of University Women chapters, Elks clubs, and church groups. Your school’s guidance counselor may have more ideas.
- Restructure student loans. If your payment is eating up a good chunk of your income you may qualify for an income-driven repayment plan that sets your monthly payment at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size. You can fill out an application at StudentLoans.gov. Don’t pay for help with your federal student loans when your loan servicer will help you for FREE. Contact your servicer to apply for income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness, and more.
- Don’t pay for debt and credit counseling. Contact the Financial Hotline for do it yourself tips on how to take control of your finances.
- Take advantage of valuable IAS Member Services such as the Two-Year Tax Review and the Portfolio Review to maximize tax savings and investment performance.