Vital Dollar Personal Finance Blog Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:10:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dollar 32 32 Selling on Poshmark vs. eBay vs. Mercari: Which is Best for Sellers? Wed, 16 Oct 2019 11:10:25 +0000 Whether you are looking for a side gig or want to develop your own business, you’ll need a marketplace for your goods and services. Three of the most popular venues for sellers are Poshmark, eBay, and Mercari, so how do they stack up against each other and which one is best for your needs? Here […]

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Poshmark vs. eBay vs. Mercari

Whether you are looking for a side gig or want to develop your own business, you’ll need a marketplace for your goods and services.

Three of the most popular venues for sellers are Poshmark, eBay, and Mercari, so how do they stack up against each other and which one is best for your needs?

Here we’ll compare these three selling platforms so that you can make an informed choice for your new income stream.

→ Related reading: 25+ of the Easiest Things to Flip for Profit

The Poshmark Basics


Poshmark was the first of its kind app that started in 2011 in California. It began as a place to buy and sell high-end fashion items and quickly became the place for brand name shoes and designer clothes.

Unlike many clunky websites, Poshmark allows people to list their items for sale directly from their phone. This encouraged thousands of people to log into the app and sell clothing for cash.

This responsiveness and innovation lead to Poshmark gaining industry attention almost from its immediate launch.

Poshmark is a little like Material World, but rather than selling clothing to a company; you will be in complete control of your listings. Even used designer clothing commands a substantial price, but Poshmark allows you to keep up with styles, allowing you to buy and sell slightly used items that are still in great condition for reasonable prices.

It is important to recognize that the Poshmark app is designed to help women enjoy fashion. Style is a greater priority than cost, so used or second-hand clothing must be in good condition.

Now, you can buy and sell new clothing in the “Boutique” category, but it tends to be wholesale or overstock items that maintain the lower price profile compared to what you would see in stores.

Poshmark is a draw for specific customers, including fashion-minded, budget-conscious women, people who own designer brands, and clothing enthusiasts. This makes it a great option to make extra money from your closet, but it has limited scope for those wanting to set up a full-time business or a consisent side gig.

→ Related reading: 17 Selling Apps to Help You Sell Your Stuff

Poshmark Pros:

  • A Social Network: Poshmark has been designed to be a social marketplace; you can comment, share, host virtual parties, and even welcome new Poshers. There are even real-life Poshmark events and parties in different cities.
  • Easy Listing: You can list as many items as you need, and the process is remarkably easy. You simply need to snap some pictures on your phone, speak or type a description and click a few buttons. This means that it only takes a minute or two for each listing without needing to log onto your computer.
  • Lots of Selling Features: You can offer private discounts, offer discounts for multiple purchases, and directly share your items. Poshmark also offers free authentication for luxury items over $500 to provide buyers with more confidence on bigger purchases.
  • No Returns: Once your buyer has received and accepted your item, the payment is yours. There is no need to worry about keeping the funds to one side in case of returns. The exception to this is if a dispute case is opened against you, but generally, no refunds or returns are accepted.
  • Only Good Feedback is Shown: Love notes or good feedback is the only thing displayed, with negative comments or ratings not available for public viewing.
    Fast Payouts: Payments are processed immediately when an item is purchased. When a buyer receives an item, they have three days to accept the item before it is automatically accepted.

Poshmark Cons:

  • High Commission Rates: There is a flat commission rate of $2.95 for items under $15, but for sales over this amount, the commission rate is 20%. While this isn’t the highest commission for resale sites, it will cut into your profits. If you sell an item for $7, despite the buyer paying $13.79 including shipping, you’ll only receive $4.05.
  • Offputting Shipping Costs: For anything under 5 pounds, the shipping is $6.79. While this is a great for a pair of boots or other heavier item, this is far too much for a bracelet or pair of earrings.
  • Time-Consuming Sales Process: If you want to develop a serious side gig, you need to be aware that Poshmark can be quite time consuming. While the listing only takes a couple of minutes, you need to dedicate time to publicizing your items. This means that you need to spend a significant amount of time on the app, which breaks down into very little per hour if you analyze your profits.
  • Lack of Immediate Customer Service: Poshmark customer service is limited to email, and it can often take 2 business days for a reply. These replies are often generic that may not address your question directly.
  • Lots of Wholesale Items: Since the Boutique segment opened on Poshmark, the wholesale portal has become filled with sellers. This means steep competition that makes it harder to make a profit.

The Mercari Basics


Mercari began operating in Japan back in 2013. While Poshmark was well established at this point, there was no place in Japan for people to easily sell their used items online.

Mercari launched with the tag of being a “flea market app” and aimed to allow users to sell whatever items they wanted. Just like Poshmark, Mercari allows buying and selling directly from a phone, making it very convenient for users.

Since Mercari was quickly very popular in Japan, it soon became available in other locations, primarily the United States and the United Kingdom. Today, ten billion items are sold every month on Mercari. This impressive figure is largely due to the thriving Japanese marketplace, but sellers from around the world have recognized the potential of this platform.

There is some overlap with Poshmark users, but Mercari is aimed at people looking for a great deal, collectors, and people who enjoy shopping and like to get rid of their extra items.

Generally, Mercari is not the market for designer clothing. Although you can sell clothing on Mercari, they tend to have a broader appeal compared to Poshmark.

Mercari lives up to its “online flea market” tag, and you can find almost everything on sale from sports apparel to baby clothing. There are some exceptions to this, but the list is short. Items that are not allowed to buy or list are counterfeit goods and weapons.

Unlike Poshmark, which requires items to be in almost new condition, Mercari allows less than mint items to be bought and sold. So, you can sell a genuine Persian rug or an iPhone with a cracked screen. However, you need to be honest about the condition of the items you’re selling.

→ Related Reading: What Can I Sell? 30 Options When You Need Money

Mercari Pros:

  • Low Commission: At only 10%, Mercari has one of the lowest commissions around.
  • Easy to List: Mercari has made some great improvements, and upgrades include allowing up to 12 pictures. You can list using your phone, or a computer and Mercari continues to make it easier and faster to list items.
  • Promos: Mercari also offers some great promotions for listing items. This can include discounts on commission for certain categories on certain days.
  • Private Chat Facility: You can directly message sellers to ask questions or privately negotiate the price.

Mercari Cons:

  • Lack of Refinement: Mercari does have a feeling that it lacks refinement. For example, when you search for items, it shows available and sold items by default. This means that you need to search through far more items. Additionally, you need to scroll through all of your listings, so if you need to track a specific item, it can be problematic.
  • Increased Shipping Costs: Mercari has raised its shipping prices recently. While it is cheaper than regular USPS shipping rates, it makes items over 1 pound more expensive than Poshmark. This means that you will need to either convince your buyer to pay more or swallow the higher costs.
  • Slow Payments: Until you and your buyer rate each other, your funds are held. This is recommended within 48 hours of delivery, but if your buyer fails to rate you promptly, you may need to wait several days for automatic fund release. Additionally, free payment transfers can take up to 5 business days or pay $2 for transfers up to $500 each month within minutes.
  • Scammers: While any buying and selling platform is vulnerable to scammers, there have been a number of stories that relate to Mercari. However, Mercari continues to improve policing and procedures to minimize this.

The eBay Basics


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of decades, you’re likely to be familiar with eBay. This online platform has been around since 1995, and from the very beginning, it was designed to be a marketplace to buy and sell goods and services.

As the site took off, the founders brought on an experienced management team who shed the image of only auctioning collectible items to move towards different upscale markets. This allowed eBay to develop a structure for transaction fees that reflected the average sale price along with other factors.

eBay has established a person-to-person online trading community, where buyers and sellers are brought together. You can sell practically anything on eBay and items are arranged into categories or topics, with a category for each type of auction.

eBay globalized and streamlined the traditional person-to-person trading that had previously been limited to flea markets, garage sales and newspaper listings.

You need to go through the registration process, but you can immediately list items within minutes.

Today, there are 250 million classified users on eBay, with 25 million sellers and 12 billion listings. This adds up to a gross merchandise volume of almost $100 billion each year.

→ Related reading: How to Sell on eBay for Beginners

eBay Pros:

  • International Potential: Unlike Mercari and Poshmark, eBay allows you to sell worldwide. This creates more potential for even more sales, and you can sell practically anything.
    Phone Customer Service: If you have an urgent problem, you can get immediate answers with eBay phone customer service. It is available between 5 am and 10 pm every day.
  • Minimal Time Commitment: While you need to log onto your computer, eBay requires minimal time commitment. You can list your items in minutes, and you don’t need to spend time sharing and promoting.
  • Optional Extras: Returns are optional on eBay, and if you use PayPal for shipping, you can gain access to commercial shipping rates. This can not only save you a couple of dollars but make it more economical to offer free shipping and attract more customers.

eBay Cons:

  • Slower Payments: Buying an item or winning an auction doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically receive a payment. You need to wait for the buyer to pay you, which can take days. If your buyer fails to pay, you’ll need to chase them via email or invoice. You can open a case against a non-paying buyer, but you will need to let the item sit there until it is resolved.
  • Up to 180 Day Returns: If buyers use PayPal, they have 180 days to file for a return. This means that even if you stated that you don’t accept returns on your eBay listing, the buyer could dispute their payment. This means that months after you’ve spent your cash, you could get a notice that your buyer wants to return the item.
  • Slower Listing: Compared to other platforms, eBay listing can be a little time-consuming. There are several screens to go through for each item. However, you can copy listings if you’re selling multiples or alter the listing for slightly different items.

Want to Learn More About Other Ways to Make Extra Money?

Which is Best?

Each of these platforms has distinct pros and cons, so it can be challenging to choose the right one for you. Fortunately, each platform draws different sellers that we’ll explore here to help you find which one is best for you.

Poshmark is aimed more at people who want to make money out of their closet. If you have a few designer items that you want to sell to finance your next purchase, then Poshmark could be what you’re looking for.

Although there is a boutique section, it tends to be packed with wholesale items, making it a highly competitive market. You will need to check that your items are in great condition and have the designer credentials to sell on Poshmark.

You may also find that your profits are cut, as you browse through the items for sale and find some bargains you want to buy for yourself.

Mercari does offer greater flexibility. Your items don’t need to be limited to designer clothing that is in great condition. You can sell practically anything, but you are limited to U.S buyers, and you will need to be honest about the item’s condition.

The commission rate is reasonable, and items are easy to list. However, some of the shipping rates can seem costly, particularly if you want to offer free shipping and need to swallow the expense.

You will also need to be prepared to wait for your funds to arrive. You not only need to wait for the buyer to pay, but also wait 5 business days for your funds transfer, unless you want to pay an additional fee.

eBay is a long standing online marketplace that offers the potential to sell practically anything. There is a tiered fee structure that can take a little getting used to, as you will need to factor these charges into your selling costs and you will need to weigh everything to calculate your shipping charges.

Although the listing process is a little clunkier than the other two options, it does allow for selling large volumes of items without needing to promote your items.

While like Mercari, you’ll need to wait for your buyer to pay, if you use PayPal, the funds will be available in your account for other purchases or transferring into your bank account.

Cross Listing

If none of the platforms are screaming that they are the right one for you, then you may wish to consider cross listing. With free listings and other promotions, it may be beneficial to list your items on multiple platforms to gain access to a wider audience pool.

You will need to be on the ball, if you have limited numbers of items, as you will need to pull it from one platform if it sells on the other. However, if you’re organized and can keep track of your listings, it could be very beneficial to cross list.

Whether you want to sell a few items to clear out your closet or develop a side gig to supplement your income, there are some great buying and selling platforms available.

Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay all offer some great benefits to suit your specific requirements. Just be sure to explore the full terms and conditions to ensure that you make the most of these platforms and keep your potential buyers happy.

READ NEXT: How to Make Money Online Without Paying Anything

Poshmark vs. eBay vs. Mercari: Which is Best for Sellers?

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11 Low-Maintenance Businesses for Extra Income on a Busy Schedule Mon, 14 Oct 2019 11:41:12 +0000 One of the most popular topics in the world of personal finance is passive income. It’s not hard to figure out that most people would love to make money with minimal effort, but finding practical and realistic ways to do it can be more challenging. Starting or buying a low-maintenance business is one option for […]

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Low Maintenance Businesses

One of the most popular topics in the world of personal finance is passive income. It’s not hard to figure out that most people would love to make money with minimal effort, but finding practical and realistic ways to do it can be more challenging.

Starting or buying a low-maintenance business is one option for generating passive income. These businesses are usually side hustles that generate extra money as opposed to being a primary source of income, but there are possibilities for scaling up.

While these businesses are often considered to be sources of passive income, they are not 100% passive. As the business owner, you’ll need to be involved to some degree. Most of these businesses are able to run with minimal involvement from the owner, but you’ll still need to oversee the business and put in some time and effort, even if it’s not constant effort like some other business models. 

If you’re looking for ideas for a low-maintenance business of your own, hopefully the options covered here will give you some possibilities.

1. Laundromat

When it comes to low-maintenance business ideas, running a laundromat is often one of the first types of businesses that is mentioned. It can be a great option because many laundromats operate with very little involvement from the owner, and often the business will operate with no employees present.

Customers are able to come use the washers and dryers on their own with no need for staff to be present, although some owners choose to have an employee present for safety reasons and to help protect the equipment.

In order to run a laundromat, you’ll need to rent the space (usually in retail strip malls), get commercial washers and dryers, and have a functioning change machine.

2. Car Wash

A car wash business is similar to a laundromat in some ways. The business can function on its own with very little involvement from the owner or employees.

There are basically two different types of car washes. The first would be a self-serve manual car wash where customers would pull in, pay, and then use the provided equipment, water, and soap to wash their own car. The second type would be an automated car wash where the customer would pay and then drive through the car wash. Both types are possibilities if you’re looking for a low-maintenance business idea.

To have your own car wash, you’ll need land (rented or owned), as well as the equipment. You may choose to have a worker present, but many car washes function without any employees on-site at most times.

3. Vending Machines

I’m listing this as “vending machines”, but aside from vending machines, it could also include similar things like crane/claw games and small gumball machines. In each case, you would own the machine, find high-traffic locations to rent, and keep the machine stocked.

You might be able to get your machines in restaurants, retail stores, hotels, office breakrooms, and other places that have a lot of foot traffic. In some cases, you would need to pay to rent the space, or you may be able to come up with another agreement with the host/owner of the property.

These businesses are low-maintenance because they can generate income around the clock without the need for any personal involvement. You just need to make sure they stay stocked and deal with any maintenance issues as they arise.

To get started you’ll need some machines, which can be purchased new or used. You can reach out to local businesses, offices, schools and universities, or any other place that has a lot of visibility. Once you get your machine in place, you’ll need to stock it yourself or hire someone to stock it for you. You can scale up and grow your business with more machines and more locations.

Compared to some of the other options on this list, this one comes with low startup costs.

→ Related reading: 17 Income-Producing Assets to Grow Your Wealth

4. Self Storage

Almost every town has at least one self-storage business where people can rent storage units. There is a high demand for storage units in a lot of places, and that creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs like yourself to start a low-maintenance business.

Smaller self-storage businesses often operate without an employee on-site at all times. Others opt to have the owner or manager living on-site for safety reasons, but that’s not always the case.

One of the nice details about this business model is that it generates recurring income. Your customers will be paying monthly rental fees, so it’s great for building a profitable business.

To get started, you’ll need some land (rented or owned) as well as the storage units.

5. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model that does not require you to purchase or handle inventory. When a customer places an order through your website, the order will be shipped from a warehouse straight to the customer. You’ll earn a certain amount for each sale, but without the hassle and risk of buying inventory.

From the buyer’s perspective, the process is exactly the same as buying from a retailer. In fact, the customer probably has no idea that they are buying from a dropshipper. The product arrives to them and looks like it has been sent by you.

One of the major challenges of running an ecommerce business revolves around inventory. Buying inventory requires a lot of capital and cashflow is a constant challenge for growing ecommerce businesses. Holding inventory also means financial risk, since you will be on the hook if the inventory doesn’t sell.

But with dropshipping, you can avoid that risk and the challenges related to cashflow. The downside is, your profit margins will be smaller with dropshipping.

If you’re interested in learning more, please read How to Start a Dropshipping Business in 48 Hours.

6. Private Label Ecommerce

A private label brand does not manufacture its own products. Instead, they hire a manufacturer to create the product and put their branding/logo on the product.

Private labeling is a very popular business model for Amazon sellers. My wife and I ran a private label business selling on Amazon for about two years and did pretty well by running the business as a side hustle. We found a manufacturer in China (using Alibaba) to create our products and then we sold them on Amazon. By selling private label products through Amazon FBA you are essentially outsourcing the manufacturing process, as well as everything related to order fulfillment and customer service. And Amazon provides a massive platform and plenty of potential exposure.

A private label business can be relatively passive, depending on how you have it set up. Ideally, you’ll hire a company to inspect the products in China before they are shipped (assuming your products will be manufactured in China), and then shipments will be sent directly to Amazon’s warehouses or to a third-party that will store the inventory for you until it need to be sent in to Amazon. With this approach, the majority of the work will be off your hands.

A private label business gives you the potential to earn higher profit margins as compared to a dropshipping business, but it also requires more capital for inventory. Your startup costs will be higher, and as your sales increase and you expand to add more products, your inventory costs will also rise.

If you’re interested in this business model, please read my guide to selling private label products with Amazon FBA.

7. Rentals

While there are a lot of things that you can rent out (see my article 20 Things You Can Rent Out for Extra Money), some will give you higher income potential than others.

One of my favorite opportunities right now is to rent out your car through Turo or Getaround. A few weeks ago I published an interview with Justin, who recently started a car sharing business and is already making more than $2,000 in profit per month with just a small investment of his time.

Another opportunity is to rent out an RV, if you own one. Most people who own RVs only use them a small percentage of the time, and they sit unused the rest of the time. RVs have a lot of rental value, and by simply renting out your RV ocassionally you can make a nice side income. Websites like RVshare and Outdoorsy allow you to list your RV so potential renters can find it.

8. Cell Phone Towers

If you have land, you may be able to make a significant amount of money by leasing it out for a cell phone tower. According to Vertical Consultants, the average cell phone tower lease generates $45,000 per year.

In order for this to be an option for you, you’ll need to have the land available and be in a location where cell phone towers are needed. With the rapid expansion and improvement of wireless networks, carriers are constantly analyzing new locations to place their towers. A lot of it will be outside of your control and you may have to wait a while until your location is of interest to the carriers, but if your location is chosen, it could be a nice payday.

If you’re interested in this possibility, please read 7 Steps to Get a Cell Tower on Your Property.

9. Trash Pickup

Brian Winch has been earning six figures for more than 30 years with his trach cleanup business. At first, Brian did all of the work himself (while he quickly replaced the income from his full-time job), but later on he moved to hiring others to do the majority of the work. Brian is the author of Cleanlots, a book that shows others how to run what he calls “America’s simplest business.”

Brian’s process involves finding businesses that need simple trash cleanup services for their parking lots. Basically, every retail store, strip mall, and office building is in need of trash pickup, and they’re willing to pay someone to handle it for them.

Because the work is very simple, it’s perfect for outsourcing to other people. As the business owner, you could find a few clients, outsource the work, and make money with a business that does not require a lot of your time.

This is a very interesting business model that is potentially very lucrative, as Brian’s experience validates.

You can read more details in my interview with Brian, or check out Cleanlots here.

10. Billboards

If you own land in the right location (near a major road or highway), you may be able to construct a billboard and rent space to advertisers. While this can be a great way to make money in the right situation, there are all kinds of obstacles that you’ll face with building a new billboard on your property. In most cases, you’ll find that it is not possible due to restrictions and regulations.

With that in mind, your best option for getting into the billboard action may be to purchase an existing billboard or land that already contains a billboard. This will require a larger investment than building a billboard on your own land, but it’s a more realistic option.

A billboard in the right location can bring in a nice amount of money each month. Of course, the income potential varies based on several factors, most importantly the location.

11. ATMs

The concept of an ATM business is fairly similar to a vending machine business. Instead of placing vending machines in high-traffic locations, you could place an ATM.

ATM owners can make money of surcharges and fees when people use the ATM. Some ATM owners are also making money from advertisings that are shown on the ATM.

Getting started with this business can be a little more costly than some of the other options covered in this article. A single machine will run from $2,000 – $10,000, depending on whether you buy new or used. That’s for a single machine. Of course, in order to scale the business, you’ll probably want to own multiple machines eventually.

For more information, see this article on How to Operate ATMs for Profit.

Buying a Low Maintenance Business

Although starting your own business is always an option, many people choose to purchase an existing business that is already running and bringing in money each month. If you’re looking for a business to buy, there are a number of websites that you may find to be helpful, including BizBuySell, BizQuest,, and

READ NEXT: Living Off Dividends: How to Use Passive Income to Cover Your Living Expenses

11 Low-Maintenance Business Ideas

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30+ Websites to Write and Get Paid Instantly Thu, 10 Oct 2019 11:48:35 +0000 If you have a flair for writing, why not turn this into an income stream? Whether you want a side gig or are looking to replace your full-time income, there are some great opportunities to get paid instantly for writing content. Freelance writing allows you to do something you enjoy with the flexibility to work […]

The post 30+ Websites to Write and Get Paid Instantly appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Write and Get Paid Instantly

If you have a flair for writing, why not turn this into an income stream?

Whether you want a side gig or are looking to replace your full-time income, there are some great opportunities to get paid instantly for writing content.

Freelance writing allows you to do something you enjoy with the flexibility to work around your current schedule. However, it can be a challenge to find places that will pay you to write. Although there are many content mills around, they tend to be very low paying. Because writing is hard work, it can become demotivating if you struggle to earn fair compensation for your time.

The websites listed here may not offer the highest-paying writing opportunities (although some are very good), but if you’re struggling to find writing clients, these opportunities could serve as a way to gain more experience while still making money. Higher-paying writing assignments could come with time.

→ Related reading: How to Write, Publish, and Sell an Ebook

Opportunities to Write and Get Paid Instantly

1. Listverse

Listverse is considered the original Top 10 website, which not only makes for an interesting read, but also a potential source of income. Listverse will pay $100 for your list. You will need to compile an interesting and unique list and send it in. If Listverse approves it, you will receive a reply confirming it will be published and $100 into your PayPal account. You will need a list with at least a paragraph or two per item, so get creative. The worst-case scenario is that your list will be rejected and you will be encouraged to try again.

Learn more here:

2. Wonderslist

Another list site that pays for submissions is Wonderslist. If you have a unique, different idea, then turn it into a list. Your list needs to be 10 things with a word count of more than 1500 words. The content needs to be interesting and not have been previously published. You will not only get paid, but also get an author credit on the post, which can be a great line on your freelance writing resume. You will need to get your article approved by the Wonderslist editorial team, and there are some topics that are not permitted, such as gambling, adult content, drugs, or violent content.

Learn more here:

3. Cracked

Cracked is a popular comedy site with content that is seen by lots of people. While the site is picky about what they will publish, there are no credentials for writers. This means that if you have a good idea, you can get paid. Cracked is famous for list style features, so if you have lots of ideas, it is worth trying to get published. All you need to do is sign up for the Cracked writers’ forum and follow the submission guidelines.

Learn more here:

4. Tuts+

Tutsplus helps students to learn technical and creative skills through courses and tutorials. So, if you have specialist knowledge or skills, you can get paid to share your experience and ideas. You will need to create a tutorial that can inspire people to learn a new skill. You will need to submit a request and follow the submission guidelines.

Learn more here:

5. SitePoint

Sitepoint produces information hubs with a focus on creating content for a linear path for skills, such as web performance and React. The content is determined in advance and assigned to authors, but ideas are welcome. The site has an embedded form to apply, and if you’re approved, you will be added to the contributor pool and contacted when the editors are planning new hubs. You will need to be prepared to meet specific guidelines and produce engaging, high-quality content.

Learn more here:

6. Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine is a publication for web developers and web designers, so if you have an interest or experience in this niche, you could earn extra cash as a contributor. Smashing Magazine publishes tutorials, opinion pieces, case studies, and longer guides. The editors prefer to see initial outlines before you submit a completed article, so the content can be refined to something acceptable. You will not only be paid for your content but receive a byline, which boosts your freelance writing profile. Read through the writing process guide and use the contact form to submit your ideas.

Learn more here:

7. Photoshop Tutorials allows you to share a tutorial with thousands of site visitors each day. You can earn anywhere from $50 to $300 for quick tips through to full tutorials. You don’t need to have a tutorial ready before submitting the form, so you can check if it qualifies for publication.

Learn more here:

Want to Learn About More Ways to Make Money?

8. InstantShift

InstantShift requires articles on design-related topics, and they pay based on the quality and volume of the content. You don’t need specific experience or requirements, but you need to produce fresh, creative content that is well researched. You will need to provide some information to identify you as the writer of the post and use the website form for submissions.

Learn more here:

9. DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean supports tech-focused charities and non-profits, and the Write for Donations program supports creating content for the site’s public knowledge base. You can earn $300 for a typical tutorial, and the site matches every payout with a charitable donation.

Learn more here:

10. Make A Living Writing

Make A Living Writing pays for guest posts about the business of freelance writing for $75 to $150 per post. This includes posts about blogging, copywriting, ghostwriting, work-life balance, marketing, moving up to earn more, productivity, self-publishing, and writing craft. You will need to pitch your ideas and follow the Facebook page for notifications of when the pitch programs open.

Learn more here:

11. Writers Weekly

Writers Weekly focuses on articles about making money writing and pays $60 for 600-word articles. You will need to think about whether the article will help the reader to make money from writing and avoid generic topics. You will need to submit a query letter and will usually receive a reply within a week.

Learn more here:

12. Funds for Writers

Funds for Writers require articles about earning a living writing. The articles need to be 500 to 600 words with a payment of $50 for original articles, but avoid rambling, as the editors want concise content that gets to the point. Your article must be themed around earning your living as a writer, so avoid generic subjects and think about unique tips and ideas, unusual income streams, success stories, and pointers for winning contests.

Learn more here:

13. The Barefoot Writer

Barefoot Writer is a popular subscription magazine helping people to make money from home as a freelance writer. You can get $100 to $300 for a published article, but you will need to follow the submission guidelines carefully. You should also be aware that The Barefoot Writer does receive lots of pitches each week, so it is not possible to respond to every one. Generally, if you’ve not heard back within two weeks of submitting your pitch, consider it rejected and try to think of another idea to submit.

Learn more here:

14. FreelanceMom

The FreelanceMom community supports freelance or solopreneur moms. They enjoy content that offers actionable, practical advice, tips, or case studies between 900 and 1500 words. It is a good idea to use your personal experience, so this is more suited to writers who are parents. The content must be original, and you will receive $75 to $100 via PayPal.

Learn more here:

15. IncomeDiary

If you’re a professional writer, you can get paid to share your expertise. Articles need to be of the highest standard, but you can receive up to $200. You can use the online form to submit your post idea, and you will receive writing instructions.

Learn more here:

16. The Penny Hoarder

The Penny Hoarder wants original articles on a variety of topics from cricket farming to couponing. The posts need to be practical and fun, particularly if they are based on personal experience between 700 and 900 words.

Learn more here:

17. Money Pantry

Money Pantry looks for posts of 700 words or more written in a friendly “blog” style that help the reader. You can add a short bio to promote your writing, and you’ll be paid $30 to $150 per post depending on the quality and usefulness of the content.

Learn more here:

18. The Dollar Stretcher

Dollar Stretcher is a collective of publications promoting “living better for less,” providing readers with ways to save money and time. You need to query your post idea before submission, and it should be up to 800 words. There are hundreds of articles already on the blog, so pitching an idea is crucial before you start to draft your post. Dollar Stretcher will not accept articles that repeat already published content, so wait until your pitch is checked. If the concept is approved, you’ll receive $0.10 per word, so that is $100 for a 1000 word article.

Learn more here:

19. International Living Magazine

The International Living magazine is aimed at living, retiring, real estate, and travel around the world. This is not a travel magazine, so tips, tricks, and insider insight articles work best. Approved articles can command a rate of $225 for a 900-word piece, and if your photographs are used, you will receive an additional $50 for one-time use.

Learn more here:

20. International Living’s Daily Postcards

Another area where you can make money with International Living is with the Daily Postcards section. If you are a U.S or Canadian citizen overseas, you can tell your story. Generally, postcards are at least 600 words and published postcards are paid at a rate of $100. It is worth signing up to the Daily Postcards archive to familiarize yourself with the style before you submit your ideas.

Learn more here:

21. Fund Your Life Daily and The Savvy Retiree

The third area where you can make money with International Living is the Fund Your Life Daily e-letter. Stories range from 500 to 700 words and are paid at a rate of $100.

Learn more here:

22. The Travel Writer’s Life

The Travel Writer’s Life publishes articles on getting paid to travel. So, if you have enjoyed success in travel writing or photography, you can share your insider tips. Submissions should be up to 600 words, and you can receive $50 to $200 depending on the type of content.

Learn more here:

23. Matador Network

The Matador Creator community is a collective of writers, photographers, filmmakers, and editors. There is a board of the latest opportunities, so you may find a project that is perfect for your location, interest, and skillset. Remuneration depends on the specific project, but you can expect great rates.

Learn more here:

24. Great Escape Publishing

Great Escape Publishing looks for articles on getting paid to travel. The pay is $150 for personal stories, articles, and interviews. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the publication to meet the subscription guidelines.

Learn more here:

25. Clubhouse Magazine

The Clubhouse Magazine inspires and teaches Christian values to children aged 8 to 12. The team looks for contemporary stories, historical fiction, choose your adventure, and non-fiction. Generally, the pay is 15 to 25 cents a word, depending on editing requirements.

Learn more here:

26. Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family look for practical, hands-on parenting content of up to 300 words. This includes tips and tricks that you were surprised worked, guidance to help children become motivated or calm their emotions. The pay is $50 on acceptance.

Learn more here:

27. Dame

Dame looks for features covering reproductive rights, civil rights, politics, race, gender, disability, cultural trends, and LGBTQ with competitive rates depending on the type of feature. You need to promote a strong viewpoint with an original voice, but the reported pay is $200 per post.

Learn more here:

28. Her View from Home

Her View from Home covers categories including parenting, family, relationships, and faith. You can submit original and previously published pieces 600 to 800 words. The pay is related to the number of views, but it can be up to $100.

Learn more here:

29. JustParents

Just Parents publish information for primarily first time parents and pregnant couples. Articles are typically informational pieces or lighthearted opinion articles between 700 and 1500 words. Just Parents provides a style guide to help you to familiarize yourself with suitable content. You will need to submit a pitch and get approval before you start writing, but payment is via PayPal with a day of the article approval.

Learn more here:

30. This Old House

If you’ve renovated your home and completed most of the work yourself, you can share your experience and earn $250. You will need to send copies of a floor plan, a description of the work and before and after pictures. You’ll receive a payment if your project is featured.

Learn more here:

31. EatingWell

EatingWell is a food magazine focused on eating healthily, looking for ideas for articles that fit into a specific department. This includes food stories, good health, travel, trends, and good life. On approval, there is a lead time of up to 6 months and a pay rate of $1 per word.

Learn more here:

32. The Change Agent

The Change Agent is focused on adult learners. Submissions must meet the publication deadline and be up to 1000 words. Publishing calls are published twice each year, typically August and February for submission November and May respectively. Submissions are reviewed, and approved articles are paid at $50.

Learn more here:

32. Dropzone

Dropzone provides factual, quality content in different styles from general articles to reviews and press releases. There are word counts for specific categories and different rates. You will need to contact Dropzone for further details and compensation.

Learn more here:

33. Eureka Street

Eureka Street accepts submissions up to 800 words, but you need to adhere to the writer guidelines. The articles need to provide commentary or ethical analysis of religion, politics, current events, and popular culture around the world. Approved articles are paid at $200 for up to 1000 words. Before submission, you need to familiarize yourself with the Eureka Street style to increase the chances of your article being published.

Learn more here:

Starting a new career is not easy and kickstarting your writing career is no exception. Although it is possible to grind out a part-time income writing for content mills, if you want to earn a serious wage, you need to look around for sites that will pay for your efforts. It can be overwhelming to think about where to start, but these 30 plus sites that pay you instantly for your writing should be a great stepping stone to a fantastic new career. Even as a newbie with no writing experience, you can still get paid good rates for your original and interesting writing ideas. Hopefully, this list has shown a direction of where you can start, but it is just the tip of the iceberg, with hundreds of sites that pay for contributing writer content.

READ NEXT: How to Make Money Online Without Paying Anything

Write and Get Paid Instantly with These 30 Websites and Blogs

The post 30+ Websites to Write and Get Paid Instantly appeared first on Vital Dollar.

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Merch by Amazon Review: Make Money by Selling T-Shirts and Apparel Wed, 09 Oct 2019 11:59:11 +0000 Merch by Amazon is a print-on-demand division for apparel. You can sell your designs with no upfront costs or investments on the world’s largest marketplace. This includes t-shirts, tank tops, long sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, pop sockets, and crewneck sweatshirts. With the exception of the hoodies, all the clothing can be printed front and back. So, […]

The post Merch by Amazon Review: Make Money by Selling T-Shirts and Apparel appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Merch by Amazon Review

Merch by Amazon is a print-on-demand division for apparel. You can sell your designs with no upfront costs or investments on the world’s largest marketplace. This includes t-shirts, tank tops, long sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, pop sockets, and crewneck sweatshirts. With the exception of the hoodies, all the clothing can be printed front and back.

So, here we’ll explore this platform in a little more detail to help you determine if it is the side gig you’ve been looking for.

→ Related reading: 150+ Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money in Your Spare Time

How it Works

The Merch by Amazon system is actually quite simple. You upload the artwork, choose color and product types, and set your price. You’ll need to create a product description, but Amazon will generate a product page.

When a customer purchases your product, Amazon handles production, shipping, and any customer service issues with no cost to you.

Merch by Amazon is available to U.S, German, and U.K markets, but there is a possibility that it may extend to other regions in the years to come. You will need to abide by the Amazon content policies to ensure that your products are not rejected.

Joining Merch by Amazon

Amazon receives thousands of requests to join the Merch by Amazon program. In order to deal with this influx of requests, an invitation-only system has been put into place.

Currently, there are no announced plans to remove this invite system, but applicants are notified when space becomes available.

Unfortunately, there appear to be no solid rules for Amazon making an applicant decision. Some people wait for prolonged periods for an invite or have their application declined for no specified reason. Some users speculate that a history of selling books on Amazon may help gain approval, but this has not been confirmed by Amazon.

How Much Money Can I Make with Merch by Amazon

The cost structure of Merch by Amazon frequently changes, making it difficult to estimate the potential royalties months in advance. Typically, you may gain royalties of between 10 and 20 percent of each sale depending on the list price.

If you use Amazon Associates (Amazon’s affiliate program) to promote your products, you may earn as much as 10 percent more with the affiliate commissions. Additionally, you need to consider that due to rising costs for processing returns, MBA deducts royalties for any returned items.

The Pros

While there are other print-on-demand marketplaces and tools, there are a number of advantages of using Merch by Amazon. These include:

  • No Distribution Stress: Whether you’re a seller or designer, Amazon handling every aspect of the transaction can be a massive boon. From production to manufacturing and logistics through to customer service means that you don’t need to stay on top of the details. You won’t need to pick, pack, and ship your items or even purchase stock and store it. Your primary role will be creating great designs and trying to stand out from the crowd. While you may need help with keyword research and optimizing your listings, you can focus on being a designer.
  • Amazon Takes Royalties from Sales: This means that you won’t have to pay upfront costs to start your merch business. Amazon only charges fees when you sell an item, paying you the balance after costs and fees have been deducted. This is a fair tradeoff, as Amazon handles distribution and customer service so you can enjoy a relatively predictable profit margin. You can focus on the nuances of your operation, such as design and business development. Since you have a rough idea of your profit margins in advance, you can figure out the numbers for outsourcing and marketing.
  • Easy Maintenance: Once you have a team in place to assist with SEO and keyword research (if you don’t want to handle it yourself), Merch by Amazon is very easy maintenance. In fact, if you currently sell merchandise with a proven sales track record, you may even want to raise funding to get a team assembled to scale your designs. Finding a skilled design team isn’t easy, but once you have established a strong relationship with a designer, you can quickly scale your designs.

The possibility for passive income is why Merch by Amazon appeals to so many people.

The Cons

As with any enterprise or platform, there are some potential downsides that you will need to consider. These include:

  • Heavy Competition: In many niches, there is heavy competition, which means that you may struggle to stand apart from the crowd. You will also need to think about negotiating copyright laws and avoiding copycats. When you put a design together, you need to make sure that it does not infringe on any existing trademarks. Treatment for knock off designs or copycats is harsh, and if Amazon has an issue with your design on more than one occasion, you may be banned by the Merch by Amazon program.
  • You Need SEO Expertise: As we touched on above, the key to success is to optimize your listings, and this can be a challenge. Not properly harnessing SEO principles could sabotage your chances of developing a serious income. Fortunately, there are lots of keyword tools to help you perform competitive analysis. It takes time to find low competition, high volume keywords, but it will allow you to make a good go at this opportunity.
  • Research Intensive: Merch by Amazon should also be considered a research intensive enterprise. In addition to keyword research, you will also need to analyze the Best Seller’s Rank of products to check how items are doing in the overall marketplace. If you want to generate greater revenue streams, you will need to do some serious research. However, if you put the time and effort in, it will pay off in the longer term and could lead to an income stream that adds up to thousands of dollars.
  • Copycats: While Amazon has strict policies and does a decent job of protecting designs, there are still many copycats flourishing on the Merch by Amazon platform. The system is designed to protect against one-for-one replicas, so if a word or color is changed, it can appear right next to your listings. Copy catting is unavoidable and rampant on the platform, so you will need to be prepared for this. You have no control over your competition and have no way to gain traction by getting better reviews. Unlike Amazon FBA, you can’t follow up with your customers and gain reviews. Both you and your competition are sourcing your apparel from Amazon, so you can quickly be bumped down the search results by a good copy cat.

How to Sign Up for Merch by Amazon

To sign up for Merch by Amazon or MBA, you will need to visit the MBA landing page and click the “Request Invitation” button. Don’t be put off by this invitation, as it means that Amazon has not opened the floodgates for the platform 100 percent. There is a waiting period before approval, but this can scare off the lightweights and those who are not completely serious about setting up a business or side gig.

Merch by Amazon

During sign up, you will need to answer some questions and be sure to be honest. You will be asked whether or not your brand is already existing and the type of business you run. Even if you don’t already have a business or brand, you can still get approved.

In the past, there has been a waiting list of 6 months or more, but in recent months this has dramatically reduced. Some MBA users have reported approval in less than a week, so don’t be put off or delay putting in your application.

During the signup, it is a good idea to use an email address different from your Amazon FBA or email addresses, where possible. This is not mandatory, but it can get confusing if you use the same address as your shopping account. Amazon will link all the accounts under that email address together, so it could make it easier for competitors to trace your identity and business. So, it is better to err on the side of caution and keep everything separate.

The Tiers

After your account is approved, you will gain access to a dashboard to manage your account. The dashboard is very minimal with few options, which are basically, submit a new design, edit an existing design, and view your sales. However, one important thing to note is that MBA has a tiered system that can restrict the number of new designs that are live at any time, and the number of new submissions you can create daily.

This system is designed to stop unscrupulous scammers from setting up a new account and uploading a thousand designs immediately. The tiers for how many designs you can have uploaded at any time are as follows:

  • Tier 1- 10 designs
  • Tier 2- 25 designs
  • Tier 3- 100 designs
  • Tier 4- 500 designs
  • Tier 5- 1000 designs
  • Tier 6- 2000 designs
  • Tier 7 – Over 2000 designs

New accounts are automatically placed in tier one, so you’re limited to 10 designs live at any time. You will also be restricted to submitting one design per day. To progress beyond this tier, you will need to sell 10 items, which will bump you up to tier 2, which will also allow you to submit 2 designs per day. After 25 sales, you will move up to tier 3 and be allowed to submit 10 designs each day.

Every time you progress to a new tier, the sales from your old tier will still count towards your progression total. However, as you begin your MBA career, you will need to treat your design slots as premium real estate. If you have 10 bad designs, you will struggle to get the sales to move up to tier 2. So it is crucial to have high-quality designs at the right price point to progress through the tiers.

The real money on MBA comes from having lots of designs available for potential customers. Most merch sellers only have a couple of sales each week, so having more of your items in the Amazon search results will increase the odds of getting more sales. This means that established MBA sellers have a leg up as they could have thousands of live designs. So, you’ll need to work hard to ensure that your 10 designs show up in the search results.

Want to Learn About More Ways to Make Money?

Finding Designs to Sell

Once you have your account created, you will need to create designs and list them. Creatives are likely to already have lots of ideas, so if this is you, you can see how they do. However, many sellers will need to rely on competitor research. Fortunately, there are some great software tools to help you.

One of the most popular and useful tools is Merch Informer. When you sign up for this tool, you will be presented with some great tutorial videos that can teach you about keyword research, listing optimization, and competitor analysis. These are all crucial concepts to help your designs rank well on MBA. This tool has different pricing tears with the basic option starting at only $10 a month. This option will still provide you with all you need to get started as you can access the data to find good keywords. With higher tiers, you can unlock other features, such as tracking historical data such as trademarks, products, and keywords.

Merch Informer provides a keyword research tool, so you can browse the designs by how many sales they get per month. You shouldn’t really target the top sellers, as this will be too highly competitive a segment. If a seller has a best seller rank of 100,000, it is likely that they are selling a few items a week. This is a good starting point, as a new account, you will be doing well to sell a couple of items each week, and you will be able to quickly progress through the tiers.

If you don’t want to use this type of tool to do your research, you can search for keywords and find best seller ranks on the listings. Go to and search for your keyword and halfway down the page, you will see the best sellers rank info. You will need to pay attention only to the ranks in the top level clothing categories.

You can also find design ideas on Google or even Etsy by searching for combinations of t-shirts such as “funny t-shirts.” This can provide a good starting place for idea inspiration, but of course, be sure to not copy other people’s ideas.

The Commission Structure

The fees charged by Amazon depend on whether you’re printing front and back or front only and the style of the item. Most t-shirts only have a design on the front, which maximizes your potential profit.

When you get started, your primary goal is to move through the tiers and get more live designs. To achieve this, you should aim for a lower price point. If you stick to front only printed garments, you can drop your price to lower than most other sellers. You can always increase your price a little as you start making sales.

It is possible to test different sales prices to see how they affect sales numbers. Typically, if the keyword you’re targeting is more competitive, it is better to set a lower price, while unique designs can command a higher sales price.

The Earnings Potential

There is no hard and fast answer to how much you can earn with MBA. If you only have 10 moderately selling designs, you’re likely to earn $25 to $50 a month. However, if you have 2,000 live designs and can get some items in the top 10,000 best seller rating, you may see your income increasing up to $10k per month.

It can be a challenge to maintain this level of revenue. Once your items start selling very well, copy cats may launch products to eat into your sales. You will need to launch more designs to compete on volume.

Due to the competitive nature of this platform and the lack of reviews, there is an earnings cap. It is possible for dedicated sellers to enjoy an income stream of $5,000 per month, but the competition is likely to make it difficult to consistently earn above this amount.

For most people, Merch by Amazon can be a great side hustle that brings in a few hundred dollars per month, or possibly a few thousand.


If you want a side hustle that doesn’t require a hefty initial outlay and you have lots of design ideas, Merch by Amazon is well worth considering. Although there are some drawbacks such as the platform competitiveness and the struggle to prevent slipping to the bottom of the search results, it is possible for average users to gain an income stream of $500 a month after only a few months.

One of the most attractive features of MBA is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time once your designs are listed and selling. This means that MBA is a genuine passive income stream that continues to provide an income stream even if you are not working on it. Like any passive income, there is a significant amount of upfront time to create your designs and list your items.

Additionally, if you do take your hand off the throttle completely, you will see your sales steadily drop and eventually dwindle to nothing. However, compared to many of the popular side hustles, Merch by Amazon is far easier to scale, and you can even sell your enterprise later if you so desire.

To get started, please apply to Merch by Amazon.

READ NEXT: 21 Entry-Level Work from Home Jobs

Merch by Amazon Review: Make Money by Selling T-Shirts and Apparel

The post Merch by Amazon Review: Make Money by Selling T-Shirts and Apparel appeared first on Vital Dollar.

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8 of the Best Online Tutoring Jobs to Earn Up to $50+ Per Hour Mon, 07 Oct 2019 12:40:52 +0000 Thanks to the internet and modern technology, making extra money from home remotely for other companies has become a growing norm. Online tutoring jobs are one of those growing trends that have made it easy for people to make extra money in a convenient way. All you need is access to the internet, a computer, […]

The post 8 of the Best Online Tutoring Jobs to Earn Up to $50+ Per Hour appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Online Tutoring Jobs

Thanks to the internet and modern technology, making extra money from home remotely for other companies has become a growing norm. Online tutoring jobs are one of those growing trends that have made it easy for people to make extra money in a convenient way.

All you need is access to the internet, a computer, and a foundational knowledge about the subject you provide tutoring for (and in some cases, you may need some additional training or certifications, depending on what you tutor and what platform you use to market your skills). Here’s a deep analysis of the different online tutoring jobs, what credentials you need, how much money you can make, and how to get started.

→ Related reading: 150+ Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money in Your Spare Time

How to Make Extra Money Through Online Tutoring Jobs

There are plenty of companies that are looking for online tutors, but the challenge can be knowing which ones are best when it comes to pay, needed credentials and convenience. After doing some deep research on the topic, we’ve been able to compile a list of the top 8 online tutoring platforms to make extra money, and in some cases, create a full-time income.

1. Wyzant Tutoring


Wyzant is an online tutoring platform aimed at those seeking to build a freelance tutoring business. Anyone can create a free profile and start showcasing your skills to students in need of additional help on a range of over 250+ subjects.

The attractive thing about Wyzant is that you can set your own pay rates based on what you believe you are worth, and how knowledgeable you are on a topic. Wyzant also allows you to offer both in person and online tutoring lessons.

As you get reviews from former clients and lessons taught, your reputation will build up over time and attract more students. The higher your credentials are on your desired tutoring topic, the higher potential you have to make money. Furthermore, Wyzant provides you all the software on their platform to manage your schedule, your payments, ratings and showcase your credentials for potential student clients.

Income, Opportunities & Requirements

Anyone that believes they have a deep knowledge or understanding of a particular topic can create a free account with Wyzant. Once you’ve created an account, you will then have to apply for specific tutoring subjects which will require a basic proficiency quiz to prove you have the knowledge required to teach that subject.

Your income is determined by how much you believe your knowledge is worth and can even be different rates for in person tutoring and online tutoring lessons.

How to Get Started

First, you need to create your free account on Wyzant to get started. Once you’ve completed your account setup, you’ll need to get approved for the topics you wish to teach. You can then begin selecting your availability, whether you want to work in person or online, or both, and set your location and hours. You can begin the process at this page.

2. Qkids Tutoring


Qkids focuses on providing education to over 600,000 Chinese learners between 4 years old and 12 years old. You need access to the internet with a reliable computer so that you can teach a class of Chinese children via webcam over the internet.

Income, Opportunities & Requirements

When hired by Qkids, you are considered an independent contractor rather than an employee of the company. Qkids pays a starting rate of approximately $16 per hour, with additional opportunities to make extra money for performance, attendance and positive reviews from families. Each lesson that you teach is about 30 minutes long, and you can make additional money being available for “standby” lessons which pay $4 per standby lesson which is just 10 minutes of time, or about $24 per hour.

Qkids requires at least a bachelor’s degree in any topic to become a tutor for their platform. You also need to be eligible legally to work in the U.S. or Canada. Furthermore, since you will be teaching English, you will be required to have at least a deep understanding of the English language both verbally and written in terms of sentence structure, pronunciation, grammar, etc. Having additional English teaching certificates such as TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, and ESL are all preferred and will only aid in being hired.

How to Get Started

You can apply to work with Qkids as a contractor by filling out their online application first. You may also provide a 1-2-minute video of yourself telling a story or reading a book to children to help the recruiters get a better understanding of your teaching abilities. Once you’ve submitted your application, you will be contacted for a demo interview and a potential trial class, for which you will also be paid. To get started, visit this page.

3. Aim-for-A Tutoring Services

Aim4 A

Aim-for-A allows you to become a tutor for both in person students at their academic center in Michigan, or online if you are located elsewhere. Their students range from struggling students in particular subjects, to students who don’t feel challenged enough. The educational levels focused on are K-12 specializing in topics such as Math, English and Science related topics. Aim-for-A also provides tutoring for test prep for exams such as the ACT, SAT and other similar exams.

Income, Opportunities & Requirements

The requirements to apply to Aim-for-A jobs are a bachelor’s degree or higher with the ability to teach multiple students in one session. They also ask that you be available during certain times as needed for jobs and are more likely to hire you if you have any teaching certifications. According to, tutors can make around $15 per hour or more based on your experience.

How to Get Started

Applying to Aim-for-A is a bit old fashioned, since you only need to email your resume and credentials to You will receive further instructions with next steps to be hired.

4. Tutoring Services


Random fact, got its name based on the question “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” By combining the two words “chicken” and “egg”, you get Chegg!

What originally started out as a place for students to exchange notes for different classes and subjects, has evolved into an online platform for nearly all educational services such as book rentals and purchases, notes, and…of course, tutoring!

With Chegg’s already large network of students in all grade levels and experience levels, naturally they provide a vast network of students in need of tutoring services. Students can submit questions on their account, and Chegg will line that student up with a tutor that best fits that students’ topical needs.

Income, Opportunities & Requirements

Chegg provides an attractive opportunity in comparison to other tutoring job options, starting their tutors at $20+ per hour. Chegg gives you the opportunity to make even more money for tutoring online in subjects that have higher demand. As you build your reputation and credentials with Chegg, you will consequently become a top tier tutor to whom they send multiple student clients.

Chegg provides tutoring services to students in thousands of topics, including Math, Science, Computer Science, Law, Web Development and much more. Student clients will range from middle school students to college students and even working professionals looking to further their knowledge and credentials.

How to Get Started

Getting started begins with creating your free profile with, followed by an application for certain topics. You can begin by visiting this page.

5. Tutoring Service

TutaPoint provides tutoring services for students of all grade levels. You will provide live internet based tutoring services via webcam and one-to-one tutoring. Students who use TutaPoint can schedule live tutoring sessions for 60 minutes with tutors or submit immediate request for help on questions that have quick answers. Their online platform allows you to use a digital whiteboard, audio and video to help discuss topics and communicate with your student clients.

Income, Opportunities & Requirements

TutaPoint emphasizes working with tutors who have previous teaching experience, teaching certifications, retired teachers, teaching assistants and professors at colleges or universities. To work at TutaPoint, they require at least 2 years’ experience working as a teacher as a minimum expectation. They work with tutors based in the United States and allow you to work your own schedule and hours as you are available.

Subjects available for tutoring jobs are math, science, language arts, social studies, world languages, and writing. TutaPoint doesn’t directly list how much they pay their tutors, but after some quick research online, some reviews mention they start their tutors at a pay of $14 per hour.

How to Get Started

Applying to takes about 20 minutes to complete by filling out their online application. You will need your basic contact information, references, educational background and access to a webcam so you can make a quick introduction video. To start your application with TutaPoint, visit this page.

Learn About More Ways to Make Money:

6. Tutoring Services provides mainly part-time tutoring jobs to those looking to make extra money from home. Their services provide tutoring lessons for nearly any subject and for students of all ages who need help with homework, test prep, and general help for education and learning. Most of the tutors on are former teachers, college students, graduate students, math professionals, science professionals and computer science professionals.

Income, Opportunities & Requirements

Anyone with a deep knowledge on particular topics can apply to become a tutor for The requirements to apply are having knowledge on the topics you wish to teach as dictated by their “concept list”, you must reside in the U.S., have a valid social security number, you must be at least a college sophomore or higher education, and be available to work at least 5 hours per week.

The amount you will be paid an hourly rate based on the subjects that you tutor. They also provide extra incentives for high-quality tutoring.

How to Get Started

To begin the process to apply for as a part-time tutor, you need to fill out their online application. You will take a subject exam to check for knowledge on the topics you wish to tutor.

Next you will provide a mock tutoring session followed by a background check. Their application process takes anywhere from 1 week to 3 weeks to process and complete each step. To get started on an application with, go here.

7. Rosetta Stone Language Tutoring

Rosetta Stone

I’m sure many of you have heard of Rosetta Stone, an educational software that provides lessons on nearly any major language around the world. Their services even include tutoring for their customers, which creates a great opportunity for those who speak a second language and wish to make extra money working from home. You can even become a tutor for your native language to those seeking to learn your language in other countries.

Income, Opportunities & Requirements

Rosetta Stone reviews suggest that the pay for online tutors start around $15 per hour and may vary depending on the demand and the experience. Tutoring opportunities are posted online via their job board under “remote” positions. Most of their tutoring jobs available are part time jobs that require access to the internet, webcam and being fluent both verbally and written in the language you wish to teach.

How to Get Started

To begin searching for jobs with Rosetta Stone, you can browse their available jobs via their job site. Once you’ve followed the link to their careers page, select “search openings” and you can filter the available openings with the selections on the left side of the webpage to narrow down available jobs as an online tutor for your particular language you wish to teach.

8. Preply Tutoring Services


Preply is another “freelance” like job platform. They provide a platform where tutors can promote their services and students can post their needed help. Similar to many freelance websites, each posted job will explain the needed help on the specified topic, along with how much the approximate pay for the particular job posted.

Tutors can apply to posted jobs that students post and be selected as the tutor to help based on your credentials, reviews, and profile showcase. When you create a free account with Preply, you get access to tools and resources to calendar your tutoring sessions, process payments, build a client base and even get a custom-built website and domain to promote your online tutoring services.

More than 55 subjects are available at Preply, such as languages, hobbies, art, and almost any subject taught within schools and universities. Preply allows you to provide tutoring services both in person and online, as you prefer.

Income, Opportunities & Requirements

As promoted on, their statistics suggest that most tutors on Preply earn up to $550 on average per week. The potential to make money will be dependent on your reviews, experience, credentials and ability to help students learn and grow. For every first student you obtain, Preply will take the full commission of the lesson, and pay you a percentage of the commission for every subsequent lesson.

You obtain students based on how you promote your credentials on your tutor profile, and the reviews and repeat customers you attract from student clients who use Preply. The commission received will depend on the number of completed lesson hours and repeat students. This incentivizes tutors to provide great service and help, so that students will return for repeat business from the available tutors.

How to Get Started

Anyone who wishes to be an online or in-person tutor can create a free profile on There aren’t any certification or education requirements, allowing anyone with passion about a particular topic to begin a tutoring business. Mind you, your obtaining of new clients will be based on your ability to teach, your knowledge on the topics you promote tutoring for, and your customer service and repeat business.

To get started building a tutoring business with Preply, visit this page.

Why You Should Consider Online Tutoring

Teachers often are known for doing their jobs for reasons not related to pay, but for the work that they provide. In the traditional sense of being a teacher at a local school with obtained credentials, this may be true. But with the opportunities available through becoming an online tutor, both the satisfaction of work and the ability to earn are great, making it an excellent way for nearly anyone to make extra money on the side, or build a full-time tutoring business.

Among the many benefits of making money from home, online tutoring presents multiple options that only come from jobs that truly allow one to help others. Not only are you able to work from home, making much more than most people make working the ol’ fashioned 9:00-5:00 job, but you also get to pass on your knowledge and skills to others in need. You get to share your unique experience and perspective on topics you are skilled on, which as a result provides a sense of satisfaction not obtained at just any job these days.

READ NEXT: 21 Entry-Level Work from Home Jobs

8 of the Best Online Tutoring Jobs to Earn Up to $50+ Per Hour

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How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report and Fix Any Errors Thu, 03 Oct 2019 11:00:54 +0000 Maintaining a good credit score is an important part of effectively managing your finances. And of course, your credit score is dictated by the specific details that make up your credit report. Your credit score will impact things like your ability to get loans and lines of credit, the interest rates that you’ll pay, rental […]

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How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report and Fix Any Errors

Maintaining a good credit score is an important part of effectively managing your finances. And of course, your credit score is dictated by the specific details that make up your credit report.

Your credit score will impact things like your ability to get loans and lines of credit, the interest rates that you’ll pay, rental applications, and even job applications. Because your credit report and credit score carry so much influence, it’s something worthy of your attention.

Although credit reports are important, they’re not always accurate. If yours includes data that’s not accurate, it could be hurting you without your knowledge. For this reason, it’s a good habit to check your own credit report occasionally to make sure there are no problems or inaccuracies.

On top of the possible inaccuracies, it’s also important to monitor your credit report to deter identity theft, and catch any issues sooner rather than later.

But credit reports can be kind of confusing if you’re not familiar with them. With that in mind, this article will cover the topic of getting and checking your credit report, as well as how to fix any problems or inaccuracies that you might find.

→ Related reading: How is My Credit Score Calculated?

How to Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report

According to Federal law, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once per year, but you will need to request it. To get that free copy, go to You’ll be able to get a copy of your report from each of the three major bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) each year. You can request all three at once, or request them at separate times if you want to spread it out.

Your reports at the different bureaus can vary because not every tradeline will be reported to all three bureaus. If you haven’t checked your report in a while, I would recommend getting a copy from all three bureaus now, but you could do just one or two now if you prefer.

It’s important to note that you will get a copy of your credit report, but it will not include your credit score. But in just a minute, I’ll show you where to get your credit score for free.

In order to request your free report, you’ll need to provide your personal information like your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Address
  • Previous address

After you’ve verified your information, you’ll be able to download your credit report almost immediately. You’ll only be able to get access once, so either save it to your computer or print a copy to review.

→ Related reading: Debt Snowball vs. Debt Avalanche

How to Get Your Credit Score for Free

Both your credit report and your credit score are important. Each one can tell you something on it’s own, but you need both in order to get the full picture. The free reports that you will get from will not include your score. Don’t worry, there is an easy way to get your score for free, and I’ll show you two options.

Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame is a free service that provides you with your credit score and with basic credit monitoring. It takes just a minute to sign up and then you’ll quickly get access to your credit score. I’ve personally used Credit Sesame for more than a year.

While Credit Sesame is very useful, the free plan does not provide you with the actual credit report. You’ll need to get that from

In addition to the basic free plan, Credit Sesame also offers some upgraded plans with additional benefits like access to your full credit report, advanced monitoring, and daily refreshes of your credit score. For the purpose of this article, all you need is the free plan (that’s the plan I use).

Get your credit score for free from Credit Sesame

Credit Karma

Credit Karma

Credit Karma is fairly similar to Credit Sesame, and you can also get your credit score by signing up for a free Credit Karma account. Like Credit Sesame, Credit Karma will also provide you with basic credit monitoring that will notify you of important changes.

Get your credit score for free from Credit Karma

Things To Check on Your Credit Report

Once you have downloaded a copy of your credit report, here are some of the things that you’ll want to check.

Is Your Personal Information Correct? – Make sure that all of these are correct: name, address, past addresses, SSN, phone number, and any other personal details that are listed. If anything is off, you’ll want to notify the credit bureau that is showing the wrong information (more on that in a minute).

Are All of the Accounts Yours? – If any of the accounts listed on your report, including any that are showing up as closed, are not yours or you don’t recognize them, notify the credit bureau.

Is the Payment History Correct? – Verify that your payment history for the different accounts on your credit report is accurate. Specifcally, you want to be sure that any reports of late payments are accurate. The credit report will only show delinquencies of at least 30 days.

Are the Listed Account Balances Accurate? – Each tradeline on your report will list the balance. Check to be sure that the listed balance is correct. Keep in mind that balances change frequently and this information is not updated in real-time, so it won’t be 100% accurate, but it should be fairly recent.

Are the Listed Credit Limits Accurate? – Credit cards and revolving accounts will list a credit limit. Check to be sure that the listed credit limit is correct.

Is the Status of Your Accounts Accurate? – Each tradeline will list the date the account was opened, and closed accounts will also list the date the account was closed. Check to be sure that all of your closed accounts are being reported as closed. Keep in mind that credit card accounts will remain open until you close them. You may stop using your card, but the account will likely remain open until you contact the issuer and request to close the account.

Were All of the Accounts Opened by You? – You should be able to recognize each account on your credit report, even those that are closed. With the name of the creditor, type of account, balance, opened date, and closed date, you should be able to identify every account showing up on your credit report. If there are any accounts that you do not recognize, contact the credit bureau.

Are There any Public Records, and Are They Accurate? – Public records are usually things like bankruptcies, judgments, tax liens, or even lawsuits. These items can have a big impact on your credit score, so if any public records are listed, take the time to be sure that they are accurate.

Do the Credit Inquiries Make Sense? – Your credit report will also show the companies that have been checking your credit or your credit score, but it’s important to understand that there are different types of inquiries. The Regular Inquiries will be from things like credit card applications or accounts that you’ve opened. They can stay on your report for two years and you should be able to identify all of these. The companies listed in the Promotional Inquiries section received limited information, they don’t impact your credit score, and you really don’t need to worry about them as much as the Regular Inquiries. The Account Review Inquiries are typically from companies that you currently have a relationship with, and they will also not impact your credit score.

→ Related reading: 7 Steps to Improve Your Credit Score Fast

What to Do if You Find Any Issues

If you find any problems with your credit report, you will need to contact the bureaus that are reporting incorrectly. If the issue is on the reports from all three bureaus, you will need to contact all three of them. If it is only on one, you will only need to contact the bureau that is reporting the inaccuracy.

Fortunately, they all make it pretty easy to file a dispute. All you need to do is go to their websites and enter the relevant details.

Links to dispute inaccuracies on your credit report:

Taking Action

Now that we’ve covered the relevant details, take a few minutes to request your free credit report from and get your credit score for free from either Credit Sesame or Credit Karma. Staying on top of your credit will help you to catch any issues that may arise and protect your credit score.

READ NEXT: Liquid Net Worth: What it is, Why it Matter, and How to Calculate It

How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report and Fix Any Errors

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10-Week Christmas Savings Plan Wed, 02 Oct 2019 11:56:14 +0000 The holiday season is quickly approaching, and Christmas is coming up in just a few short months. If you’re like most of us, you remember chaotic Christmas shopping, and never having enough money to satisfy all the gifts you want to give. This year will be different because we’re planning in advance as a result […]

The post 10-Week Christmas Savings Plan appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Christmas Savings Plan

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and Christmas is coming up in just a few short months. If you’re like most of us, you remember chaotic Christmas shopping, and never having enough money to satisfy all the gifts you want to give.

This year will be different because we’re planning in advance as a result of lessons learned.

We’ve created a 10-week plan to help you save an extra $500+ for Christmas… and it’s much easier than you think.

Imagine Christmas with more money saved for gifts, no new credit card debt, and the peace of mind that you’ve done your due diligence, and can enjoy the added family time.

→ Related reading: How to Save $5,000 in a Year and How to Save $10,000 in a Year

How to Save An Extra $500 For Christmas in 10 Weeks

This 10-week plan is pretty simple. The way it works is our goal is to save $50 per week for 10 weeks so that by Christmas, we have an extra $500 saved ($50 x 10 weeks = $500 savings). The real value is found in following the savings strategies listed below.

For this plan to work, you need to start implementing it by October 16th because that’s exactly 10 weeks before Christmas Day on December 25th. To further aid you in your plan, we’ve created a 10-week goal tracking sheet to help you maintain motivation and stay on track. Download it here and print it for your own use.

10-Week Christmas Savings Plan Printable

Following this program requires understanding two vital concepts that will save you a lot of worry and debt. They are avoiding debt at all costs when preparing for Christmas shopping, and understanding the value of saving a little each week with enough time in advance.

Why You Should Avoid Debt at All Costs for Christmas Gifts

Most Christmas shopping debt comes from credit card spending. To illustrate the effect of using debt for Christmas shopping, consider this following example. Follow along…

John & Jane Smith have 3 children in their family and expect to spend $100 on Christmas gifts for each of their three children and $100 on each other, totaling $500 for their Christmas budget.

They didn’t plan as early as they should have, leaving them with no savings for Christmas shopping, and thus they decide to put $500 on their credit card for Christmas shopping.

With an average credit card interest rate of 17.61% (according to and a minimum payment of $15 (which is calculated by most credit card companies by totaling the interest due that month +1% of the principle, for a total minimum payment owed), it will take them 3 years and 11 months to pay off their $500 credit card balance. Furthermore, they will have paid an additional $191.61 in interest, for a total of $691.61. In other words, their $500 Christmas shopping actually cost them a total of $691.61 and an added minimum monthly payment to add to the budget of $15.

And that’s just for one year. If they go through this cycle every year, the results will be compounded.

Avoid Santa’s Naughty List by Starting Your Savings Plan Early

As you can see, the benefits of using cash to pay for Christmas shopping are worth planning for. Almost as important as avoiding debt at all costs is planning for Christmas shopping as early in the year as possible (and at least 10 weeks in advance, in this case).

With the same Christmas budget of $500, and a whole year of preparation, it would take you just $9.62 per week to save $500 for Christmas if you plan a year in advance. From a different perspective, that’s skipping out on just one lunch out per week and you have saved more than enough to meet your $500 Christmas budget!

9 Easy Ways to Save An Extra $50 Per Week

Perhaps your weekly lunch is more of a sentimental value to socialize with long-time friends. And that’s ok! Here are 10 ways to save an additional $50 per week to aid you in your 10 week Christmas shopping budget…

1. Cash Out Existing Credit Card Rewards

The average household carries about $6,803 in credit card debt according to a 2018 report done by NerdWallet. It’s safe to say most of us have some credit cards already, and little did you know you had a balance of rewards points!

All you have to do is log onto your credit card online banking account, and it should show you details of how many rewards points you have and how much cash that equals. For some, this may even be your entire $500 budget saved already!

2. Apply for A Credit Card That Has A Sign-On Bonus

Many credit card companies offer a signup bonus that’s worth considering. Some to consider are:

  • Capital One Savor Card: $300 Cash Bonus
  • Capital One Quicksilver Card: $150 Cash Bonus
  • Chase Freedom Card: $200 Bonus

Check out our top credit card recommendations here.

Most cards require you to spend a certain amount to obtain the bonus, say $500 within the first 3 months. The trick to not going into debt here is simply using your new card for already planned expenses, such as groceries and gas, and pay the balance immediately. Then get your bonus and it’s free money!

3. Take Advantage of Free Money with Cashback Apps

Cashback apps are programs that offer free money when shopping at partnered retail stores. In other words, you get cashback for expenses you already make each day! Some of the best cashback apps are:

  • Ibotta: Ibotta partners with thousands of retailers and allows you to upload your receipts to the app, automatically applying and approving cashback offers available.
  • Rakuten: Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten works in the same way that Ibotta does, and even offers a $10 sign up bonus. They work with over 2,500 stores, and some offers are as high as 40% cash back.
  • TopCashback: TopCashback is an online only cashback program that guarantees to offer you the highest cashback available among online purchases. By logging into your TopCashback account and click through to your favorite stores from your account, TopCashback can track your purchases and offer your cashback.
  • Dosh: Dosh connects to your banks debit card and offers you local cashback offers. When purchases are made at their partner stores, you get paid cashback rewards.
  • Drop: Drop rewards you points for shopping at partnered retailers, which can later be turned in for cashback.

4. Take Online Surveys in Your Spare Time

Did you know you can make money in your spare time just by taking paid online surveys? Similar programs to cashback offers, you can get paid just for completing quick surveys. Just open a free account and start taking surveys! Here are the best places to earn free cash from surveys:

Each of the above suggestions allow anyone to set up a free account and provide a variety of options to take surveys for money (and often times other activities like playing games, watching videos, and providing feedback too).

5. Sell Unwanted Household Items

We all have household items that perhaps we haven’t touched or used in years. How about making some extra cash by selling those items?

There are multiple ways to sell your unwanted items, such as selling them on eBay, Facebook, or other selling apps like OfferUp. Even websites like Raise and CardCash will pay you for unwanted gift cards with a balance! For more ideas on what to sell, take a look at our list of things you can sell for extra money.

6. Get A Temporary/Seasonal Job

Getting an extra job for a few hours work per week is especially needed during the holiday seasons. Good ways to earn extra money with a temporary job are:

  • Wrapping gifts at department stores
  • Working as Santa or Santa’s Elf
  • Working for a local Christmas tree lot
  • Working at a local Amazon warehouse
  • Finding seasonal work at local retailers whose workload increase during holiday seasons

7. Donate Plasma

For both the satisfaction of helping other people and saving lives, as well as making a decent amount of money, donating plasma is second to none. You can visit your local plasma donation center, and in an hour or so, you can spend reading a book while you give plasma. You can make up to $400+ per month! Take a look at our guide for more info on how to get paid to donate plasma.

8. Walk Dogs

Believe it or not, dog walking is a service in high demand. Thus, the birth of Rover, a dog walking/caretaking app that allows people to pay you for walking their dogs and even watching them overnight. It’s like the Uber ride sharing app, but for dog walking! You can set your own rate and work your own hours making money side by side with “man’s best friend.”

9. Rent Your Stuff Out

We’ve all got extra stuff, and sometimes we don’t always use it to the fullest extent. Renting out owned items is a great way to make some quick money, and its great pay for the time it takes. Websites that allow you to rent your stuff out like Fat Lama, Loanables and Rentah are great starting points that allow you to rent out just about anything you can think of. Furthermore, you can even rent out extra rooms in your home with apps like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. See our guide for a list of 20 things you can rent out for extra money.

How to Double Your Savings for Next Year’s Christmas Season…

If you can save an extra $500 in just 10 weeks that easy, imagine how much easier it will be when you start planning your Christmas budget for next year, starting December 26th!

Now that you have a large list of ways to make more money, you understand the importance of avoiding debt for Christmas shopping and the benefits of saving for Christmas as early as possible, perhaps next holiday season you’ll have double the spending power from a well-planned savings strategy.

READ NEXT: 101 Practical and Realistic Ways to Save Money

10-Week Christmas Savings Plan

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17 of the Highest-Paying Apps Mon, 30 Sep 2019 11:57:36 +0000 If you want a side gig, there are lots of opportunities around. You don’t need to troll the job boards and local newspapers, as you can make money using your smartphone with these high-paying apps. Although you may struggle to make a full-time income with an app, they do provide an opportunity to make decent […]

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Highest Paying Apps

If you want a side gig, there are lots of opportunities around. You don’t need to troll the job boards and local newspapers, as you can make money using your smartphone with these high-paying apps.

Although you may struggle to make a full-time income with an app, they do provide an opportunity to make decent money in your free time. You can also use several different apps to increase your earning potential.

Here we’ll explore 17 of the highest-paying apps around today that are definitely worth your time.

Editor’s Note: You may also be interested in Mistplay, a free Android app that allows you to make money by playing games. Get it here.

The Highest-Paying Apps

1. Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)


It is easy to start making extra money with Swagbucks. There are many different ways to make money, and it can even be fun. You can earn by watching videos, taking surveys, internet surfing, and even earn cash back on your purchases at thousands of participating websites.

As the name suggests, you collect Swagbucks (their point system) with various rates for different tasks. There are bonuses for sign up and referring friends. Your Swagbucks can be redeemed for gift cards for over 1,500 retailers that include iTunes, Starbucks, and Amazon. Alternatively, you can convert your SBs into cash via a PayPal account. In general, 100 SB is equal to $1, but they run a lot of promotions that allow you to redeem your points at discounted rates (for example, you might be able to get a $20 gift card for 1800 SB, which would be a 10% discount. You also need a higher minimum for a PayPal cash out, so you will need to rack up thousands of SBs for a $100 PayPal payment. This can be a little daunting, but you may be surprised at how quickly those SBs start to add up.

Sign up for Swagbucks here and get a $5 bonus.

2. Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates, $10 signup bonus)


Ebates is considered the most widely used and successful cashback app. You can earn as much as 40% on purchases made at over 2,500 stores. You can even combine your cashback with hot daily deals, coupons, and promo codes. This is a great way to earn extra cash for your regular shopping. Ebates is now a part of the Rakuten Inc group, which means access to even more offers and deals.
All new Ebate app users who spend $25 or more in the first 90 days after sign up will receive a $10 welcome bonus. Having the Ebates app will allow you to activate shopping trips at any time and shop through the Ebates affiliate link. You will receive your cashback every three months via check or PayPal, and you don’t need to fill out any forms or keep track of points. The payout threshold is very low, so even if you’re not a serious shopping enthusiast, you can still get a payment.

Signup for Rakuten here and get a $10 bonus.

3. Dosh ($5 bonus when you link a credit card)


Dosh is another cash back app that provides payment when you shop at selected retailers with your linked credit or debit card. The app is easy to install and very user-friendly. This means that you don’t need to worry about scanning receipts, logging in before you make a purchase or using promo codes. Every time you use a linked card with a qualifying merchant, Dosh automatically calculates the spend and adds your cashback to your “Dosh Wallet.” When your wallet hits $25 or more, you can receive a payment via PayPal or direct deposit.

Since Dosh has so many qualifying merchants, including retail stores, online stores, restaurants, and even gas stations, you can enjoy significant cashback with your everyday spending (you need to click through the app to get credit for online purchases).

The amount of cashback varies according to the retailer, but some of the most popular retailers offer decent cashback, such as Walmart offering 6%, Target 1.25%, and Macy’s online at 2.25%. You can even earn 1% at Exxon gas stations. So, if you plan your regular shopping, you will start to earn money fast.

Signup for Dosh here and get $5 when you link your first credit card.

4. MyPoints ($10 signup bonus)


The MyPoints app provides access to accumulating points for cashback through surveys and other simple ways. On sign up, you’ll start earning points immediately that can be turned into cash, airline miles, or gift cards. You can earn points from completing surveys, online shopping with over 2,000 retailers, reading BonusMail emails, watching videos, playing games, referring friends, and printing coupons. There is even an option for shopping in-store, where you can redeem points by uploading your receipt.

When you reach 480 points, or $3, you can exchange them for gift cards from 70 top restaurant and retail brands, or travel miles. However, there are different requirements for different cards. For example, a $25 Amazon card requires 3,950 points, while an AMC card needs 3,520. Additionally, if you want to exchange your points for a PayPal transfer, you will need to accumulate at least $25 worth of points.

Signup for MyPoints here and get a $10 bonus.

5. Ibotta


Ibotta allows you to earn cashback on your online and in-store purchases. This means that without changing your shopping habits, you can rack up some serious savings. The app works with more than 300 grocery store chains, including Walmart, Krogers, and Trader Joe’s. There are also offers for everyday items and a signup bonus.

You need to be prepared to spend a little time reviewing the offers and uploading copies of your receipts, but it is well worth it. Additionally, the minimum cash out is only $20, so you don’t need to wait months to see some cash. To get the most out of this app, you need to show a little commitment. You will need to review the offers before you head to the grocery store and upload your receipts when you return. There are also some grocery stores that are not supported, so you will need to check that your favorite is.

Signup for Ibotta here.

6. Truebill


Truebill is a free app that helps you to save money and recoup money in several different ways. It serves as an overall dashboard that allows you to see your cash, investments, and upcoming bills all in one convenient place. It also helps you to save money with smart savings goals and automatic transfers to help you achieve those goals. Most importantly, Truebill will put more money in your pocket through their bill negotiating services. They can help you to reduce your cable, cell phone, security, and other bills. There’s no reason not to try it and see what Truebill can save you.

Signup for Truebill here.

7. Trim


Trim is a relatively simple app, yet it has the potential for significant savings each year. Many of us are giving money away without even realizing it, and Trim can help. With so many of us using automated payments for important bills, it is easy to be paying out for things you didn’t realize. It can be hard to spot smaller charges going out of your bank account, but these can add up to hundreds of dollars throughout the year. The Trim app combats this corporate behavior to make sure you don’t lose money every month. You need to allow the Trim app access to your spending, but it will alert you of recurring charges that could be negotiated lower or even eliminated. Like Truebill, Trim can also negotiate your cable and internet bills to save you money every month.

Sign up for Trim here.

8. TopCashback


As the name suggests, Top Cashback is another cashback app, but it has some great benefits. There are exclusive deals with certain transactions offering up to 105 percent cashback. This means you’re being paid to shop. There are several cashback options, including getting more if you accept a voucher for Amazon or certain other sites. These offers mean that you gain 25 percent more on your rewards. You can also upgrade to the Plus Member level. This is a yearly membership plan that earns you an additional 5 percent cash back on some purchases. With savvy spending habits, you can easily negate the cost of the membership. Cashback rewards are not limited to online shopping, and there are some retail outlets supported, so you can maximize your rewards.

Sign up for TopCashback here.

9. Drop


Drop is an easy-to-use, intuitive app that allows you to earn gift cards for your everyday spending. When you download the app and sign up, you will need to link a debit or credit card to your profile. The app works by lining up your purchases made with the card with the offers available. This means that you’re accumulating points as you do your regular spending. You can also choose five of your favorite brands, such as Uber, Walmart, or Starbucks, where you spend the most money. These choices cannot be changed after registration, so choose yours wisely. You can also choose bonus offers to maximize your savings. After you’ve earned over 5,000 points, you can exchange them for gift cards at your favorite retailers. A $5 gift card will cost you 5,000 points across the board.

Sign up for Drop here.

10. Rover


If you’re a dog person, then you can turn your spare time into cash with the Rover app. You can sign up as a dog sitter and be connected with a nationwide network of pet owners who need dog walking, pet sitting, or boarding. Each scenario is different from caring for dogs in your home while the owners are on vacation or pet sitting in the owner’s house. You will need to be prepared to cater to the specific needs of the dog and even update the owners with photos so they can know their furry friend is in safe hands. You can specify your rates in your profile and accept or reject any requests that come through.

You might be surprised at how much money you can make by offering services through Rover. Earlier this year we interviewed Lily, who is making $40,000+ per year with a simple home-based pet sitting and dog walking business. Read the interview here: How to Become a Pet Sitter.

Sign up for Rover here.



Handy is the Uber of home cleaning, so if you like everything spic and span, you can turn your spare time into extra cash. You will need to supply some personal information to pass a background check, but then the app will connect you with homeowners in your area who need cleaning services, and other services like lawn care, plumbing, and more.

The cleaning services include vacation rentals, maid services, whole home cleaning, deep cleaning, and kitchen cleaning. Unfortunately, Handy has had some negative reviews in the past with users reporting issues with cleaners stealing or other unpleasant situations, so the app may not have as much traction for attracting potential clients.

Sign up for Handy here.

12. Postmates


The Postmates app is a tool for the delivery company that allows customers to have home delivery of pretty much anything. This versatility means that it is an attractive option for those looking to make money with a side hustle. Being a Postmate courier means that you’re paid for the time you spend waiting to pick up an order, the miles you travel and how many orders you complete in an hour. You can also receive tips from customers that boost your income further.

Postmates is available in all 50 states, and there are no vehicle requirements, so you can deliver by bike, car or even on foot. You do need to be at least 18, download the Postmates Fleet app and complete a background check. When you’re accepted, Postmates will send you everything you need, including a prepaid card and insulated delivery bag free of charge.

The app will alert you to new delivery requests and show a map highlighting the quickest route. You will receive your pay each week via direct deposit with a minimum payout for each order.

Sign up for Postmates here.

13. Instacart

Instacart Shoppers

Instacart allows you to cash in and shop. You can make money grocery shopping and delivering the items to a customer’s home. The orders come through the app, and you can work flexible hours. You can earn commission or work on an hourly rate depending on whether you opt to be an independent contractor or part-time employee. You can collect your earnings weekly.

Instacart operates in 38 states, and you can check that your town or city is listed on the service area section. You do need to meet some basic requirements, including being over the age of 18, the ability to lift 40 pounds and pass a background check.

Signup for Instacart here.

14. Uber and Lyft

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re likely to be familiar with Uber, but becoming an Uber driver can be a great side gig. Uber has over 3 million drivers operating around the world. You need to meet the Uber requirements, but you can earn some serious cash even if you don’t want to work peak hours. Uber takes 20 percent of the ride fares that are booked through the app, and your customers pay and tip using the app, so you don’t need to worry about carrying cash.

You do need to upload your paperwork to confirm your driving eligibility and provide vehicle details, but once everything is approved, you can manage your fares through the app and start making money.

With the popularity of Uber, it was inevitable that more apps and services would arrive and Lyft was founded in 2012. Driving for Lyft can be a decent side gig or with some dedication, a full-time income. The fares are broken down into the basic fare, the cost per minute and cost per mile. The app bills the passenger the basic fare to start the ride, and you need to tap the app after you arrive to start earning the cost per minute. Your fares can also include Prime Time, which is an extra charge for the customer when it’s busy, or there are fewer drivers available. You can also earn tips from your passengers.

Lyft takes between 20 and 25 percent commission, and you can get paid in one of two ways; a weekly checking account deposit or Express Pay that loads on to your debit card. Express Pay automatically loads your debit card when you reach $50 in earnings, but there is a small transfer fee.

Sign up for Uber here, or sign up for Lyft here.

15. Poshmark


The Poshmark app not only allows you to shop for great deals on designer clothing, but you can also earn some extra cash. Poshmark clothing needs to be good quality and in good condition. There is a boutique section, but this tends to be highly competitive.

The main difference between Poshmark and other selling apps is that this is a more social activity. The app is connected with different social media platforms, so you can connect with new friends who also enjoy your favorite clothing brands. You can also host clothing parties and other fun activities, but you need to adhere to the strict policies to continue operating as a seller.

Sign up for Poshmark here.

16. HealthyWage


HealthyWage is designed to make losing weight more exciting and fun. You can earn cash prizes and achieve your goal weight. The app allows you to make bets on losing certain amounts of weight within a time frame. The money you win is determined by a number of factors including the amount you bet and your current weight. If you win your bet, you can receive your winnings via PayPal or check. If you lose your bet, the money supports operating the app and website. There are also competitions and challenges to enjoy even more extra cash.

There is no limit to how much weight you need to lose, but there is a minimum 6-month duration and a maximum 18 months, so you will need to think about how much you want to lose and how long it will take. You can then determine your monthly bet from $10 to $995, then hit the gym!

Sign up for HealthyWage here.

17. StepBet


The StepBet app is essentially a fitness game to help motivate you into a more active lifestyle. Like HealthyWage, you bet on achieving certain goals calculated by the app. This is a great opportunity to earn a little extra cash. Supported activity trackers monitor your activity to meet your goals.

There is only one way to earn cash with StepBet, and that is to win the different games on the app, which can be $10 or $20. Essentially, the app takes 15 percent of the pot, and the rest is divided up for the game winners. So, if the total pot is $300, $45 is taken by StepBet, and the rest is split to the winners.

Sign up for SetpBet here.

While you may struggle to replace a full-time income with an app, they do offer some fantastic potential for an impressive side gig or turn a spare couple of hours each week into extra cash. Of course, you need to check the specific terms and conditions, but it is likely that you can find an app that suits your favorite activities and preferences.

The post 17 of the Highest-Paying Apps appeared first on Vital Dollar.

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FIRE vs. LeanFIRE vs. FatFIRE: What Does It All Mean? Thu, 26 Sep 2019 11:38:19 +0000 We’re not talking about a campfire exactly. Rather, FIRE is a movement to retire early with enough money to outlast your life expectancy. What is FIRE and how does it work? What are the differences between FIRE, LeanFIRE and FatFIRE? And, how does one achieve FIRE status? Here’s a description of the FIRE movement and […]

The post FIRE vs. LeanFIRE vs. FatFIRE: What Does It All Mean? appeared first on Vital Dollar.


FIRE vs. LeanFIRE vs. FatFIRE: What Does It All Mean?

We’re not talking about a campfire exactly. Rather, FIRE is a movement to retire early with enough money to outlast your life expectancy.

What is FIRE and how does it work?

What are the differences between FIRE, LeanFIRE and FatFIRE?

And, how does one achieve FIRE status?

Here’s a description of the FIRE movement and what you need to know to achieve FIRE status.

→ Related reading: 9 Steps to Financial Independence (How to Retire Early)

What Is FIRE and What Does It Stand For?

Perhaps you’ve heard of Vickie Robin and Joe Dominguez? They co-authored “Your Money or Your Life”, a popular and best-selling book on personal finance. In the book, the concept of weighing your time spent working for money and paying your bills versus the amount of time available to you in life is discussed as a way to judge and calculate what is needed to save for and retire at your desired age.

The concept sparked the FIRE movement, which stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early.

In other words, save as much money as you can, as fast as you can, so that you can retire ahead of schedule and live the rest of your life in financial freedom. Achieving FIRE status often means saving enough to retire within as short as 10, 15 or 20 years, depending on your situation, and retiring well ahead of schedule.

Following some basic calculations and retirement savings strategies, one can determine the amount of money they will need to retire comfortably, and therefore calculate how much they need to save each week, month and year to achieve FIRE status.

Although “financial independence” or “financial freedom” means different things to different people, the typical definition among people within the FIRE community is a net worth 25x your annual living expenses. So if you spend $50,000 per year, you would need a net worth of $1,250,000 in order to reach financial independence (the value of your home is usually excluded from your net worth for this purpose).

This definition is based on the Trinity Study, which found that you should be able to safely withdraw 4% of your net worth per year.

Of course, there are a lot of other factors that may influence your true financial independence, but this gives you a quick explanation.

→ Related reading: 50+ Financial Freedom Quotes to Motivate and Inspire

How Does FIRE Affect Your Finances?

Some may ask, how is one to retire early in just even 10 or 15 years’ time? Is it even possible?

There are a few things to consider when seeking to become financially free and retire early. Some of them are:

  • Consider how much debt you currently have, and how fast you can pay it off.
  • Consider what living conditions you will want when you retire. Do you plan on renting an apartment or owning your home? If you plan to own, do you anticipate still having a mortgage or do you plan to own your home free and clear?
  • Do you plan to live on a higher income in retirement than you live on now? Or do you anticipate living on a lower income in retirement as compared to your current income?

These types of questions will help form your objectives for determining how to save for retirement and even retire early. Seeking to achieve FIRE status takes an aggressive approach to saving money as fast as possible, in order to become financially free for the better part of your life. Thus, a rigorous savings and investing approach is needed in most cases to achieve FIRE

Consider these following points on what it will take to save enough for retirement in just 20, 15 or even 10 years:

  • Those seeking financial independence to retire early often save 50% or more of their total income. This often means living frugally now to save as much as possible.
  • Having high amounts of debt will make it very difficult to save enough for retirement, especially if you plan to retire early. Thus, paying off debt as fast as possible is advisable.
  • An overall minimalist type of lifestyle is sometimes needed in order to save these amounts of your income, meaning you drive a less expensive car, live in cheaper housing, commute for travel whenever possible, and seldomly eat out at restaurants.

Perhaps the hardest part to overcome, is your emotional well-being. If you make $60,000 per year and know that you can only spend $30,000 and save the other $30,000, chances are there may be some tough times emotionally to keep your mind right. But it has been done, and you certainly can do it too!

→ Related reading: 7 Different Paths to Financial Independence

3 Versions of FIRE, & How to Calculate Needed Savings

It’s good to note that the FIRE movement has multiple different levels or stages of achieving FIRE. Each FIRE category is a reference to approximately how much money you can live on in retirement, which helps determine how much you need to save up. The three different FIRE categories are:

  • LeanFIRE
  • FIRE
  • FatFIRE

We’ll cover in detail what each category entails below. Each is a varying degree of financial independence and depending on where you feel most comfortable will determine the approximate path to take.

Below is a brief explanation of each of the different kinds of FIRE. After which, we’ll take a look at a fictional example to show you how it is actually possible to save $1,682,325 in 15 short years, to give you an idea of what you could expect to achieve FIRE with your retirement savings number (assuming it may slightly vary from the above example).

How to Calculate the Retirement Savings Needed to Achieve FIRE

There are essentially two stages to properly calculate what you need to save to retire earlier than the average person.

First, we need to calculate how much you need to have saved up in order to retire, and second, we need to calculate how much you need to save each year in order to achieve your savings goal. We also need to take into consideration investment returns to accurately plan to achieve FIRE status. Here’s how it works.

Calculate How Much You Need to Save To Retire

The first step is to figure out how much money we need to save in order to retire comfortably. If $50,000 is enough to live on, we need to figure out what number we need to save to in order to have enough money for retirement, so that our money will outlast our life expectancy. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Determine how much you can comfortably live on in retirement (in this case, we decided $50,000 to illustrate).
  2. Using a financial calculator, or an online financial calculator, we want to calculate how much money $50,000 will be equal to in 15 years from now given an average inflation number of 2%.
    • In the financial calculator, input $50,000 as the PV (present value), 15 as “N” or number of periods, 2% as the I/Y or Interest/Yield, $0 as the annual payment or PMT, and then press compute followed by FV (Future Value). Your answer should be approximately $67,293.
    • If you don’t have a financial calculator, visit for an online “future value” financial calculator, and type in the following values under the FV tab: N (#of periods) is 15, Start Principal is $50,000, I/Y (Interest) is 2% (inflation), $0 is PMT (Annuity Payment) and select PMT made at the beginning of each compound period. Press “Calculate” and to the right you will see the FV (Future Value) is equal to $67,293.
    • This means that $67,293 fifteen years from now will have the same buying power as $50,000 does today, based on inflation of 2%.
  3. Since we need to calculate your retirement savings based on the value of money when you retire, we will use $67,293, your desired annual income in retirement (aka $50,000 income in today’s dollars, but fifteen years from now). A general rule of thumb is to expect your retirement savings to be equal to 25 years’ worth of savings. This works because if we assume you withdraw 4% of your retirement savings, which is based on the results of the Trinity Study mentioned earlier.

To live on a $50,000 per year income in today’s dollars (aka $67,293 fifteen years from now), you need to save approximately $1,682,325 to retire comfortably.

→ Related reading: 50+ of the Best FIRE Blogs

Determine How Much Savings Per Year Is Needed to Achieve FIRE

Now that we know you need to have $1,682,325 saved up in order to retire in 15 years and live on a $50,000 income, now we want to determine how much we need to save each year to achieve that. One would naturally think they need to simply divide the total savings number by 15 years, but keep in mind that investing your savings will speed up the process.

Thankfully, the process is easy because we simply use our financial calculator or to determine our annual savings. Essentially, we are taking the end retirement savings needed, and calculating how much savings is needed given an average investment rate of return. Here’s how it works:

  1. Using’s financial calculator, go to the Payment tab of the finance calculator. This is the calculator used to calculate payments needed to achieve a savings goal, given an invested rate of return.
  2. Type the following values into the calculator (note that the same values would be input into your financial calculator if you wish to do this manually with a calculator):
    • FV (Future Value): $1,682,325 (this is your savings needed to retire, thus the term “Future Value”
    • N (# of Periods): 15
    • Start Principle: $0 (or you can type in your total amount already saved, but for this example we assume nothing is yet saved).
    • I/Y (Interest): 6% (this is your expected investment rate of return that you expect while saving for retirement.
    • Select that the PMT is to be made at the “beginning” of each compound period.
    • Click “Calculate” to get $68,186.16.

This is the amount needed to save each year to achieve retirement in 15 years with an expected retirement income of $50,000. Does that sound like a number you can achieve in 15 years from now given your current savings amount? If that seems a bit daunting, that’s because it is. Condensing a 45-year career into 15 years and having enough money in order to require comfortably will require a lot of saving. 

NOTE: The numbers used to calculate your savings needed to achieve FIRE may vary. For example, consider the following:

Starting Net Worth: The calculation above assumes zero net worth to start. The numbers look much better if you currently have some money saved. For example, if you’re starting with $200,000 and all of the other variables are the same, you’ll need to save $48,759.21 each year.

The Rate of Inflation: One may want to assume a 3% average rate of inflation instead of 2% as used above. A higher inflation rate in the calculation will result in a slightly higher amount needed to save for retirement, and the opposite is also true if you choose to use a lower rate of inflation, your retirement savings needed will be less than the example above. To alter this amount, simply input your expected inflation rate in the I/Y section of your financial calculator or the respective section on

The Amount of Time Needed to Save Until You Reach FIRE Status: In this example, we assumed you need 15 years to save for retirement. This number will affect the final amount needed to save for retirement: 1) If you expect you need more or less time to save, your calculation of the future value of today’s income will vary slightly, and 2) If you expect you need more or less time to save, your calculation on how much you need to save per year will also be slightly altered. To change the amount of time needed to save, first replace the values of “N (# of Periods)” on your financial calculator or on to the desired years to save, and second, be sure to use the same number of years to calculate how much you need to save per year.

The Investment Rate of Return Expected: To some, an investment return of 6% annually may seem low. While I believe it is a realistic number, it’s certainly possible that you could do better. A higher rate of return would have a big impact and will change the calculations significantly.

How to Achieve LeanFIRE

Ok, so if the previous section seems depressing and you feel like this whole FIRE thing is unrealistic, you may want to consider LeanFIRE.

LeanFIRE is the category of the FIRE achievers looking to save enough for retirement expecting to live on a more moderate income. Depending on who you talk to, this category may suggest you plan to retire with an income anywhere from as low as $25,000 per year or up to $50,000 per year. The point is, LeanFIRE is the category for those expecting to save on smaller incomes, less ability to save, and are comfortable living with a smaller budget in retirement.

Following the same scenario and process above to find out how much you need to save for retirement, we can estimate that, on the lower end, you can achieve FIRE with even a $35,000 income following the calculations below. Use the future value calculator at to determine how much $30,000 will be worth in 15 after 2% inflation:

  1. $30,000 is your desired income during retirement. You plan to retire in 15 years.
  2. Using, you type in the following values to determine what $25,000 will be worth 15 years from now after inflation:
    • N (# of periods): 15
    • Start Principle: $25,000
    • I/Y (Interest): 2%
    • PMT (Annuity Payment): $0
    • Select the option to have PMT made at the “beginning” of each compound period
    • Your FV result in the graph should show $33,647. Again, this means that $25,000 today will have the same buying power as $33,647 in 15 years.
  3. $33,647 x 25 years of income = $841,175 needed to save to achieve LeanFIRE.
  4. When using the payment calculator to calculate your annual savings needed assuming a 6% rate of return and 15 years to save, your approximate annual savings needed is $34,094 per year.

While $34,094 is still a lot of money, it’s more realistic. Plus, this calculation still assumes zero net worth as a starting point, 6% rate of return, and 15 years to reach the goal. The numbers can look a lot better if you have some net worth as a starting point, if you’re able to earn more than 6% interest, or if you are willing to take more than 15 years to reach your goal.

Also keep in mind that these calculations assume you will have no income in retirement. If you’re willing to have a side hustle or do something to make money, even if it’s a small amount, that income can have a significant impact on the calculations as well. Most people who pursue FIRE are planning to have some sort of income from a job that they enjoy, even if it’s just part-time.

How to Achieve FatFIRE

If LeanFIRE is a lower expected retirement income, regular FIRE is an average income, then FatFIRE is referring to those who expect to live on a much higher than average income in retirement. This category often includes doctors, physicians, surgeons, investment bankers, business owners, attorney’s, accountants, etc. whose income is in excess of $100,000 per year, and they expect to live on at least that much in retirement.

Here is how much is needed to retire using the same steps:

  1. Using the future value calculator with the same steps used above, you can find out that in 15 years $134,587 will have the same value as $100,000 today, assuming 2% inflation.
  2. $134,587 x 25 = $3,364,675, which is the amount you will need to save to acheive FatFIRE
  3. You’ll need to save $136,373 per year for 15 years to reach FatFIRE (assuming zero net worth to start, 6% rate of return, and 15 years of time)

With these numbers, you can see that FatFIRE is unrealistic for most people. Of course, most people pursuing FatFIRE already have a significant net worth, so that will make the required annual saving much smaller. Also, most people who achieve FatFIRE have a very high income or make money in chunks (like selling a business) that allow them to grow their net worth quickly.

Why Does It Matter Which Category of FIRE You Are Pursuing?

As you can see, the FIRE movement approaches retirement at a very aggressive rate. This is because the goal is to achieve more time in life living financially free, rather than spending most of your life working. The objective is to save enough money as fast as possible in order to live maximize your time spent doing the things you love. Thus, the faster you retire, the more time you have available to enjoy life on your own terms.

Why does it matter which category of FIRE you pursue? Because the category of FIRE you pursue will determine how much you need to save for retirement, how fast you can save it, and what type of lifestyle you want to live.

Imagine A Life After Achieving FIRE…

Perhaps you are intimidated by the amount of money you need to save for retirement from the calculations above. You’re not alone. But one thing is for sure, it can be done, and people are doing it every day!

One tip to help keep the motivation strong is beginning with the end in mind. Imagine your life after you’ve retired. You have the ability to spend your time doing what you love most, with who you love most, for as long as you want, wherever you want. If that’s not enough motivation to retire early, then you’re probably best working your whole life anyways! (only half joking…)

READ NEXT: Liquid Net Worth: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Calculate It

FIRE vs. LeanFIRE vs. FatFIRE

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How to Make Money with Car Sharing (Insight from a Successful Car Share Host) Wed, 25 Sep 2019 11:03:10 +0000 Every day I get emails from people who are looking to make extra money. While there are plenty of side hustle options, many people struggle to find the right option. Car sharing presents a great side hustle opportunity because it breaks down a few of the common barriers that hold people back from making money […]

The post How to Make Money with Car Sharing (Insight from a Successful Car Share Host) appeared first on Vital Dollar.


Car Sharing

Every day I get emails from people who are looking to make extra money. While there are plenty of side hustle options, many people struggle to find the right option.

Car sharing presents a great side hustle opportunity because it breaks down a few of the common barriers that hold people back from making money with most side hustles:

  • You don’t need any particular skills or experience to be a car share host
  • You don’t need a lot of time to make some money with car sharing.

Websites/apps like Turo and Getaround are becoming increasingly popular for people who want to rent a car, and that presents a perfect opportunity for anyone who has a car that they are willing to rent out. The peer-to-peer rental platform allows you to make extra money from an asset that you already have (your car) and with a relatively minimal time commitment on your part.

→ Related reading: 17 Income-Producing Assets to Grow Your Wealth

I’ve mentioned car sharing in a few different blog posts as a way to make some extra money, but I have no experience actually doing it myself. I was excited to get in touch with Justin from Just Car Share recently. Justin has been a host on Turo for only a few months, but he’s already making a significant side income.

Last month he made $2,000 in about 9 or 10 hours of work.

Now, to be upfront, Justin’s situation may be a bit different from yours. He lives in a major city and has two nice cars that he rents. But his experience shows that there is money to be made with this side hustle, and I think you’ll find his results to be extremely interesting and inspiring.

I reached out to Justin to see if he would be willing to share his side hustle experience through an interview, and he kindly agreed. The interview is below, and you can also follow along with Justin’s progress and learn more about this side hustle at his blog, Just Car Share.

The interview is below (the bold text in Justin’s responses was added by me for emphasis).

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Justin and I live in San Francisco. Professionally I work for a global asset manager. My role involves partnering with financial advisors across Northern California. Most of my energy is spent optimizing their investment models so their clients achieve the best possible outcomes. I’ve been doing this for over 8 years.

Personally, my girlfriend and I are passionate about traveling and learning about other cultures. We’re looking forward to experiencing Taipei and Costa Rica. My favorite destination for driving so far has been Ireland. It was a fun challenge to drive on the opposite side of their tight roads (especially when a truck is approaching!).

Justin from Just Car Share

Please give us a brief introduction to your side hustle.

I was immediately interested in Turo when I learned about it a few years ago. For those unfamiliar, Turo is the world’s largest peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace. Think of Turo as the Airbnb for road trips. Turo relies on hosts, like me, to rent vehicles to guests. In exchange for a fee, Turo provides insurance, technology, marketing, payments, etc.

I fell into the ‘Turo rabbit hole’ and started studying the platform from a side-hustle perspective about a year ago.

My first Turo hosting rental was this year (March 2019). I rented my daily driver, a 2016 BMW X5. I have to say, I didn’t know what to expect. I was anxious. Nervous. I had an attachment to my X5. Having an operational vehicle for my job is a necessity.

After a few five-star reviews and some profits in my pocket, I decided to go ‘all-in’ on a 2018 Ford Mustang Ecoboost Convertible. My first and only full-time Turo car share hosting vehicle.

In August I made $2k in profit. My August earnings recap post is available on my website.

Compared to a lot of other side hustles, this one seems relatively passive. How much time and effort are you putting into it?

My main responsibilities as a Turo host include turning the car over in between reservations. Some hosts skimp here. I’m focused on providing an extremely clean car every time. This results in positive reviews, increased reservations, and hopefully a price premium.

I estimate that I spend roughly 9-10 hours a month on Turo. You should take this number with a grain of salt. Everyone’s situation is different.

If you decide to enter the Turo game it’s valuable to have friends and family that can help out occasionally. Work trips, vacations, and last-minute commitments come up.

Can you explain the process that occurs when someone rents one of your cars?

Logistics is the name of the game with Turo. Let me walk you through a typical scenario.

Marc reserves my Mustang for 4 days in San Francisco once he’s approved as a valid guest by Turo’s third-party background checking service. As the host, I receive an SMS text alerting me that my car has been booked (Instant Book feature enabled). We message each other right in the Turo app.

Within 24 hours of the reservation, I fuel, clean and park my Mustang street side. Very importantly I document and upload my car’s condition, fuel level, and miles to the Turo app. After uploading roughly 40 pictures of the car’s condition I’m finished and the car is ready to go for Marc.

Once the reservation starts, Marc uses the Turo mobile app to locate, unlock and start my vehicle. This is possible because of a hardware device that Turo installed in my car’s OBD port (on-board diagnostics). Keep in mind that not every market supports Turo Go (remote unlock/lock/start). Marc is encouraged to take pictures of any damages or dirt he doesn’t want to be responsible for.

After the reservation, Marc replaces the fuel, cleans and parks in a similar area as pick-up.

Within 24 hours I check-out the vehicle: review for damage, fuel, miles, and cleanliness.

For More Ways to Make Money, Please Read:

Are renters allowed to drive unlimited miles? Have you had issues with excessive miles being driven with your cars?

Mileage limits are set by the Turo hosts. The excess mileage rate is also determined by the host.

Most of my guests only use roughly 50% of the allocated miles.

Have you had any issues with damage or unusual wear and tear?

So far no issues other than a small windshield chip. Turo handled this claim very efficiently. I expect there to be additional issues at some point. I forecast maintenance costs into my financial projections.

Do you only use Turo, or do you also use other similar websites/apps?

Yes, I only use Turo since they request that hosts use their platform exclusively.

Did you buy your cars specifically with the intent of renting them out? If so, do you feel that it is turning out to be a good investment?

Yes, I purchased my Mustang exclusively to rent out. My utilization rate was >80% in August and I’m projecting ~90% in September. It’s been a good investment so far but it’s early days. Depreciation is a big factor. Turo hosts should account for this in their financial models.

Living in San Francisco, your experience is different than the results that other people might get in rural locations. Would you recommend this side hustle to people who aren’t in major cities?

I believe this side hustle makes more sense in a city for a few reasons:

  • Most people don’t own cars
  • Popular tourist destinations
  • Younger demographic

Get in touch with me or review the Turo blog for market-specific insights.

Your cars are pretty nice. Do think other people would get decent results with average cars?

Every market is different and every road trip is unique so there’s no perfect car.

My advice is to find a niche and strive to become a five-star host. This means focusing on the little details and providing an exceptional experience. There’s no greater feeling than getting a repeat customer.

Also, check out Turo’s Carculator for demand estimates.

Do you have any plans or specific ideas of what you want to do with this side hustle in the future?

I’m having fun car share hosting. I plan to grow my fleet. I’m documenting my experience and providing resources and coaching at

Car share hosting is a great way to reduce the cost of car ownership. I’m passionate about helping others make smart financial decisions.

What are your favorite and least favorite things about being a car share host?

It’s really fulfilling interacting with people and being a part of their road trip experience.

I dislike retrieving a filthy car. Nothing a good detailing can’t fix… but time is money!


Thanks to Justin for taking the time to answer my questions. If you think car share hosting sounds interesting, be sure to check out Justin’s blog Just Car Share, where you can learn a lot more. And if you decide it’s for you, you can get started by applying to be a Turo host (Getaround is another site/app that’s fairly similar).

READ NEXT: 20 Things You Can Rent Out for Extra Money

Make Money as a Car Share Host

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