Bad days are inevitable. Some days are very bad, and depending on how you cope with those days, they could be the most financially devastating days of your life. I’ve seen so many people fall into a financial hole because of depression, substance abuse, and poor diet, among other causes. It’s heartbreaking to see your closest friends dealing with pain that you cannot fix. It’s tougher when the person who is dealing with it is you.
Admit your day was bad and move on – it may sound easier than it actually is, but admitting your day was terrible is a great start to moving on from it. You can dwell on how bad it was and look to therapeutic shopping as a remedy, but that will often end in buyers remorse, which is another depressive state. Look for outlets that allow you to process your frustration like reading, coloring or spending time outdoors.
Avoid shopping to lift spirits – therapeutic shopping can devastate even the biggest bank accounts. Once you’re sad and you find that shopping lifts your spirits, there isn’t a store big enough to satisfy your demand. When you’re feeling down, call a friend, visit a park, and do anything other than going to the store. The store doesn’t have what you’re looking for, I promise.
Keep a journal – one of the best ways to offset bad days is to review the good days you had in your journal. Every day is a new beginning, so you don’t have to dwell on whatever has you down today. Write in your journal at least a few times a week to keep it current and relevant.
Dive into a hobby – thinking about taking up painting? Or do you want to learn how to play the guitar? Both of these hobbies are a great way to challenge yourself without breaking the bank.
Volunteer – whether at the local animal shelter, a senior center, or to help the veterans, there are many ways you can volunteer your time. This is also a great way to meet like-minded people who care as much as you do. Websites like Volunteer Match are a great place to find volunteer opportunities in your area.
There are many ways to distract yourself from the pain of a bad day. Especially when there are a string of bad days line up together, it can get tough to focus on the big picture. Know that impulse shopping, drugs, alcohol, and junk food aren’t the answer. Focus on yourself in the dark times and you’ll come out stronger and happier in the long run.
There are many ways to earn cashback on purchases. One of the easiest ways is to use an online cashback website like Ebates or TopCashBack. Credit cards, store rewards programs, and rebates are another way. Regardless, cashback is something you’re entitled to on almost every online purchase so don’t let that money slip through the cracks.
Sign up for cashback before you make your purchase. Refer to the list of popular cashback websites below. It costs nothing to sign up with the cashback websites, and many of them have minimal payout thresholds so you can get your money quickly.
Plan your purchases ahead of time – most cashback websites offer greater cashback amounts during holidays and promotional periods. For example, the anniversary of the cashback website may trigger an offer for 2x cashback. If you’re planning on making a large purchase like a TV or refrigerator, wait until a major holiday to see if the cashback amount is greater.
Know your categories – many cashback sites limit cashback on specific categories, including gift cards, low-margin goods like laptops, and other items with minimal profit margins. Don’t get confused and make a large purchase only to find your category was excluded. If in doubt, email the cashback website and ask if the purchase will qualify.
Track Your Purchases
Track your purchases – make sure that after you’ve made your purchase, you receive the proper amount of cashback. Mistakes are uncommon, but they do happen. If your cashback amount does not equal the amount you calculated, write to the cashback website immediately. They are often able to remedy these issues right away. If you wait too long, it may be too late to do anything.
Popular Cashback Websites
Active Junky focuses on active lifestyles, so you’ll find stores like REI, Cabela’s, Backcountry, Nike and more. They offer many articles in categories like cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, camping and hiking. Also, check out their buyer guides for an in-depth look at active lifestyle products.
Ebates is one of the largest and most reliable cashback websites on the web. They have over 1,800 active stores and 10,000 coupons. On major holidays, Ebates typically offers double cashback or more at select stores, up to 40%.
Mr. Rebates is a classic cashback website featuring over 2,000 stores. Their simple interface makes shopping cashback easy. Mr. Rebates also offers coupons at many of their cashback stores.
TopCashBack is one of the newer cashback websites, now offering cashback at over 3,500 stores. They bill themselves as the USA’s most generous cashback site and even guarantee the highest cashback.
Don’t wait to sign up for one of these cashback websites. You miss an opportunity to save money every time you place an order online outside of a cashback website.
Using Credit Wisely
In my experience, I found most money making opportunities take capital to get rolling, so I’m always concerned with using credit wisely. It’s tough when you have an idea that you think will really work, but you’re facing an uphill climb. On the flip side, you may really want that new car or designer purse, and you aren’t worried about the cost today. You know you can pay it off later. Both of these scenarios lead to the same path: debt. I minimize this potentially toxic debt by following these guidelines:
Credit and Relationships
Credit cards can make or break any relationship. If your SO doesn’t have the same approach you do, you’ll find yourselves at a crossroads. It’s important that you have the credit card discussion early on in your relationship so you don’t end up fighting over it later on. As long as you’re on the same page, you should be able to keep credit card problems at bay.
Know Your Limits
Know your limits – not just your credit card limit, but your cash limit on a monthly or quarterly basis. Never spend more in one month than your cash flow over a quarterly period.
Credit in Moderation
Don’t have more than 4 credit cards – I’ve heard people say they have 10 credit cards and an 800 score. That’s great, but you’d probably have an 850 with fewer cards. All of that extendable credit actually makes you a risk. If your limits are high (e.g. more than 4x your quarterly cash flow, or more than your overall annual cash flow), request that the banks lower them to a more reasonable level. Try to keep your limits under your annual cash flow.
Avoid Store Cards
Don’t use store cards – ever! There is nothing to be gained from a store credit card other than a large credit limit that’s only useful in the store itself. It’s actually a detriment to your credit, so be careful when the salesperson tells you that price is only good if you use the store card. That’s usually a sign that their profit margins are too low to sustain business without pushing their card on you. Avoid the pressure and use one of your bank cards instead, or buy it elsewhere.
Join a Credit Union
Join a credit union – this is probably one of the best pieces of advice I got early on in my adulthood. I joined a credit union at 21 which helped me with my first car loan and subsequent loans since. Each loan was at least 1 point below the industry average. The only times I have not used the credit union is when the manufacturer’s bank offered a better rate, sometimes as low as 0%.
Say No to Cosigning Anything
Never cosign – I cannot stress this enough. The best way to indirectly ruin your credit is to lend it to someone else. No one cares about your credit score more than you do, so once you lend it out to others, expect it to drop. Even if they make every payment on time, you’re still looking at outstanding balances, and the risk of a lawsuit if payments are missed.
Making Money Online
One of the first topics that needs to be covered is what it takes to start making money online. There are many, many different ways to make money. The most profitable ways are having a million visitors or a hot product, but not many of us have that. So what are the most profitable ways for a newbie to make money online? I’ll cover three different potential money-makers:
- Operating a niche website – examples are narrowly focused blogs that cater to a specific market or product line. A blog on knitting cat sweaters or a website dedicated to increasing public transportation are niche website ideas that are a good starting point.
- Selling a self-developed product – are you a craft brewer or an expert in scrapbooking? Selling a self-developed product that you already know how to produce is a great way to start making money online. You already know your material costs, your target market, and your output capacity, so you can spend more time on building an online brand.
- Offering coaching/training services – another great way to start making money online is to offer your coaching or training services to others on your website. You can start by recording an introductory video with an overview of what your full coursework involves. If you are an expert in your field, it will not be hard to produce enough content to keep your eager-to-learn customers happy.
But simply talking about these ideas is not enough to get started. In this article, I’ll give you examples of these ideas so that you can begin exploring ways that you can start making money online.
Operating a Niche Website
Julie, who has Celiac disease, operates GlutenFreeJulie.com, a niche website dedicated to gluten-free eating and managing her illness. This is a WordPress blog with a few plugins to make social media sharing and SEO easier to manage. These are both important features to have in your niche blog. Getting started with a niche blog is easy, and web hosting fees are minimal today, so you can be up and running in minutes. Julie earns revenue on her ads as well as affiliate marketing links in her blog posts. This is a great way to get started making money online.
Selling a Self-Developed Product
Imagine you’re a talented seamstress who stitches soft, cuddly blankets for newborns in your family, but you’ve always wanted to offer your well-loved blankets to the public. That’s exactly what Julie at CuddleMax did with her blanket designs. This is an example of an online store that’s selling a self-developed product – handmade gifts. In her blog, she talks about her designs and what made her decide to offer her blankets to the public. Through social media marketing, local craft fairs and placing strategic online ads, Julie enjoys a thriving business with her self-developed products and turned it into a a solid example of making money online.
Offering Coaching/Training Services
There are many examples of coaching and training online, from helping you troubleshoot problems with your car to showing you how to play Jimi Hendrix on the guitar. Building a website around your talents will help you build the credibility you need to sell that knowledge to others.
So as you can see, getting started with a website is not incredibly difficult. But if you still need help, reach out to qualified professionals like Foothill Creative to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently so you can start making money online.
Welcome to TimeWealthSpent.com. This website is a brain-dump of all of my experience in making money online and business in general, all with a focus on having time to yourself. The biggest challenge a young entrepreneur faces is having enough time to themselves to do the things that make life worth living. If your life is all about making money, it’s not a very wealthy one.
Taken in Yosemite National Park while hiking on our honeymoon.
I started making money online back in the late 90s, running a pretty successful eBay business selling computer equipment, electronics, car parts and musical instruments. It was one of multiple sources of income, so it worked out well. I also worked a retail job selling appliances, computers and electronics. That helped me score side jobs doing custom computer/network builds, providing on-site training and repairs. Although I did not have much free time, I made large sums of money for a teenager and used it for college expenses and travel.
By 2000, the tech bubble burst and with it, much of the retail and side income that was flowing. I focused on selling through eBay and began developing software applications to supplement my online income. It was then I began learning about affiliate marketing and incorporating it into my websites. Quality content, coupled with other paid ads, drove traffic to the sites and began building revenue. The sky was the limit.
Over the years, I’ve developed many money-making websites using these tools, and I’d like to help teach you how to make money using the same methods. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme or something that will make you money overnight, but with focus and determination, you too will be making money on your website.
The primary focus on this website is maximizing earning potential while minimizing the time required. Everything from earning money online to managing that money, setting goals, solving problems, planning for retirement, buying/selling real estate and anything else that makes money.
Read, enjoy, and join the conversation.