How to Make Money Using Rakuten

How to Make Money Using Rakuten

Looking for the best ways to earn cashback with Rakuten? Look no further! Rakuten is by far and away one of the best ways to make money, especially if you shop online like I do!

I mean seriously – how great is it that you can get money for doing something as fun as shopping? And sometimes – when done well – you can even MAKE money using Rakuten (especially on Black Friday, when I was basically paid $5 to buy a crockpot, griddle, and waffle iron from Kohl’s!)

How to Make Money with Rakuten

Disclosure: This post contain a referral link, which means I’ll be receive a monetary bonus should you choose to sign up. For more information on my policies and disclosures, visit this page.

What is Rakuten?

Have you asked yourself what happened to Ebates? It’s now Rakuten!

Rakuten is a site that allows you to earn cash back if you click through their links before shopping. Even better, they’ve recently added an “in-store” option! The best part is that you don’t have to do anything special, you just click through and shop like you normally would.

Does Rakuten Cost Anything?

Not a dime. Rakuten costs you NOTHING and I can’t think of a single reason why anyone would hesitate to sign up with them.

How Does Rakuten Work?

First, create an account by clicking HERE! By signing up through this link, you’ll earn an automatic $10 after your first $25+ shopping trip – not bad for 30 seconds of work, right?

And if you are living an EXTREMELY thrifty lifestyle, unable to make a $25 online shopping trip, make sure you check out these posts:

How I Made $2.168.47 in One Month

50 Ways to Make Money From Home

How to Make Money Through Rakuten

Obviously, if you plan to do some shopping online, go to Rakuten first to see if that store is a part of their program. You should also keep an eye out for times when they’re offering extra cash back to your favorite stores – they did 16% back at JcPenneys recently!!

Coupon Codes

Another great thing about Rakuten is that you can combine the cash back you’re earning with any coupons available. They even have coupon codes right there for you – no need to hunt down a mailer you got or sift through e-mails. It’s especially easy if you’re using the Rakuten mobile app!

Pick Up In-Store

Something else you can do to make even more money back is to choose to “pick up in-store” while still shopping online. I do this all the time whenever I need stuff from Lowes! Not only do I then earn cash back through Rakuten, but I can pick up my stuff quickly, rather than having to walk through the store to grab it all myself and risk buying additional stuff I didn’t actually need.

Using Gift Cards

If you’re planning to do a lot of shopping, this is my top tip (it’s the best way to save during the holiday season!)

If you know ahead of time that you’ll be shopping at a certain retailer, be on the lookout for discounted gift cards through sites like Even if you don’t do a lot of online shopping, be sure to check out – if you know you spend money on a regular basis somewhere (like a certain gas station!), why not buy gift cards for yourself and save even more?

For example, I recently purchased a $50 Sears Gift Card for $41.90. Then I made a purchase through Rakuten for $53, using mainly that gift card and earning myself a nice $4.24 back. So instead of spending the full $53, I’m actually only looking at a total deficit of $37.66. Pretty sweet, right?

How to Make Even MORE Money

First, make sure you’ve got the Rakuten extension downloaded for your browser! Just check out the bottom of the Rakuten homepage to download. This way you don’t even have to worry about going through Rakuten first when you’re browsing your favorite shopping site – seriously, could it get any easier to make money with this?

Rakuten cash back chart

Also, if you can behave when using credit cards, another “must do” with Rakuten is to have the Cash Back Credit Card. Just check out the footer on the Rakuten homepage for more information, but basically it allows you to earn even MORE cash back (typically an additional 3%). So in my above gift card example, if I used my Rakuten card, I could’ve only spent $36.07 on a $53 purchase. LOVE IT!

Finally, you can of course refer your friends. By just referring THREE friends, you can earn $75! How awesome is that?

Rakuten referral chart

At the time of writing this post, I’ve earned $134 and counting. That’s over a week’s worth of food for my family! All thanks to Rakuten and all in exchange for my doing something I would’ve done otherwise.

[Oct 2018 Update: I’ve now earned back well over $1,000!!]

Rakuten earnings statement

Don’t forget to use my link if you want that extra $10 back on your first purchase!

Have YOU signed up for Rakuten yet?

50 Ways to Make Money from Home

50 Ways to Make Money from Home

Making money from home is a big deal, especially when you’re on the hunt to pay down debt. Back before a cat convinced me to quit my job, I was all about the “side hustle” – eager to supplement my income and pay down debt any way I could.

I’ve written about my favorite ways to make money online before, but here are 50 more options I’ve considered when it comes to making money from home. Some require more “leg work” than others, but all are potential income sources!


A Huge List of Ideas to Make Money From Home

Make Money Online

Domain names can be purchased for less than the price of a cup of coffee, so this is an investment that can be made quickly and painlessly for future gains. Blogging is what gave me MY freedom from my former career to then work from home full-time. Check out this article on how to make money blogging.

Proofreading Work

Do you mentally correct the newspaper as you read it? Consider becoming an online proofreader.

Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants (VAs) do the same clerical work as their real-life counterparts, but their efforts are entirely online. Experienced VAs can pull in big bucks, so don’t be shy about tossing your resume in the ring, especially if you’re well-versed in social media marketing! VAs can make anywhere from $10-$50/hr. Join my Facebook Group to start making connections today!

Make Money With Your Phone

Some companies will pay you to test their apps. It’s not a bad way to make a little extra cash and I average about $5/month with SlideJoy – and I literally do nothing for it!

Data Entry Work

Telecommuting is the new normal in the world of data entry. Take advantage of this cultural shift and start working from home via FreelancerBONUS $20 when you sign up!

Legit Survey Sites

There’s a lot of survey sites that aren’t worth your time (like Swagbucks!) but I’ve also written a guide on how to make your first $50 with InboxDollars and how I’ve made over $700 with SurveySavvy!

Social Media Managing

Create, edit, update, design and stimulate activity for the social media accounts of companies, corporations, or even online bloggers like me!

Click for your FREE guide to
making $50 TODAY!


People are willing to pay for expert knowledge in a variety of fields. Best of all, these exchanges can be done entirely online, so you can work in your pajamas if you’d like.

Testing Websites

Do the links work? Do the images load? Become a guinea pig for web developers and test websites via UserTesting.


Freelance copying can pull in big bucks for the dedicated. All you need are writing skills and a willingness to seek your own opportunities (or you can work through a “middle-man” using a site like Textbroker!)

Some other work from home ideas include:


If you really excelled in school, help a child improve their grades by virtually tutoring them in your favorite subject. Whether you’re looking for a role as a social studies tutor, English, Math, or otherwise, tutoring is a great way to make extra cash. Find a great opportunity on sites like Tutor Hub!

Earn Cash with Rakuten

Not only does Rakuten save you tons of money (now on in-store purchases as well!!) but you can refer your friends to join and make money, too. I’ve earned back over $700, there’s literally NO reason not to use Rakuten when you shop online! And if you’re still hesitant, read my guide on how Rakuten works!


Your homemade scarves could turn a nice profit on a crafting site. If you can create it, there’s a market for it, so get online and start selling your wares via a site like Etsy!

Create Greeting Cards

Design and create greeting cards for a site like Smart Alex!

Making Money with Photography

You don’t need to be a professional photographer. There’s money to be made by staging and selling “stock” photos for websites that collect and re-sell them. Check out Shutterstock to get started!


You can always sell things you no longer need and if you’re a parent, you can be constantly reselling the clothes your children outgrow. Check out how to get kids clothes for free!

Customer Service

There are ample opportunities for call center representatives who want to work from home. These jobs are typically by phone or through virtual “live chats.” Thousands of opportunities are typically available on UpWork!

Win money for losing weight

Save AND Earn

As I said above, Rakuten is always a great option to save AND make money, but there are so many more, like:

  • Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial ($3/referral – refer enough people and you can get Amazon Prime for FREE!)
  • Discover Card (The only credit card I recommend – $50 bonus for anyone who signs up through the link plus double your cash back at the end of your first year!)
  • iBotta ($5/referral + a $10 bonus to those who sign-up; I average $50 earned back each month!)
  • The Grove Collaborative ($10/referral + $10 for those who sign-up!)


Some companies will pay you to review their goods and services online. Many provide free products, but often times they’ll pay, too! One company I absolutely love is Blogging For Books, though they don’t pay, they do provide free books and hey, if you were going to spend money on ’em anyway…


You can find a lot of translation work on the web. Since it doesn’t require face-to-face interaction to get it done, it’s becoming a brisk online business.


Lend your tech support skills to companies who are looking for people to fix their websites, databases and cloud networks. It’s a job that can be done just as easily online as in the real world.

Affiliate Marketing

If you already run a blog or online business, one of the easiest ways to make money from your creation is affiliate marketing. Getting started with affiliate marketing is surprisingly easy! Personally, I *love* ShareASale, but above all it’s important to find a company that allows you to be an affiliate for companies you actually support.

Graphic Designing

If you have an eye for design, consider becoming a web-based graphic designer. All you need to get started is Photoshop and you can start work through sites like Fiverr!

Focus Groups

Online focus groups will ask your opinion on everything from products to politics. If you’re willing to share them, you can make this a steady side gig.


You don’t need to physically travel to Wall Street to try your luck on the stock market. Email a financial advisor and get started with stocks, bonds, franchises and natural commodities whenever you’d like.


The world of self-publishing is growing by the day. If you have a story idea, put it online and see if you can become the next E.L. James.

Web Browsing

If you don’t mind new and experimental search engines, you can pull in some money by testing them for their developers instead of automatically directing your queries to Google.

Search Engine Testing

Speaking of Google, they’re willing to pay people to test their algorithms and judge their search engine results pages (SERPs) for accuracy and relevancy. Turn it into a full-job time for maximum cash.

Design and Sell Your Own T-Shirts

If you’ve got an eye for design or a flair for fashion, perhaps you could create and sell t-shirts via a site like Hanes Ink!


Do you have an ear for dialogue? Become a transcriber and lend your services to blogs, businesses and closed-captioning companies. Personally, I’ve paid for one myself a time or two when I wanted to convert video to text and I loved it – such a time saver! Check out Rev for transcription and closed-captioning work!

Drive others

This will require you to leave the couch, but you’ll still be your own boss and set your own hours. We live in an average size city in the middle of Illinois and still my Uber friends love to earn that extra cash, only working a few hours on the weekends.

Teach an online course

Are you an expert in something? Do you enjoy sharing that knowledge with others? With sites like Udemy, you can easily set up your own course and make money (it’s how I made enough money to quit my 9-5!)

Do laundry

Did you know you can get paid to do someone else’s laundry? Check out Laundry Care for more info!

Coupon Collecting

Are you tired of the piles of flyers, circulars and coupons that wind up in your mailbox? Start gathering and selling them on Ebay for extra cash.


Yep, you read that right – tweet! You need to have a decent following, but yes, it’s totally possible to get paid to tweet.

Lose Weight

Check out this man’s story on how he lost 50lbs and was paid nearly $700 to do so!

Get paid to lose weight with HealthyWage
Watching Television

While it won’t buy you a house in the Bahamas, there are certain sites, like Viggle, that will give you cash, prizes, and gift cards for watching and reviewing their TV programs.

Direct Sales

In the 21st century, Avon ladies are digital. Direct sales might be a good fit for you if you enjoy challenges and self-made opportunities. There are so many options, from Norwex to BeachBody to the aforementioned Avon!


Companies are always looking for the next big thing. Sell your ideas to others for a portion of the proceeds.


Your spare bedroom can be used as a landing pad for travelers all around the world. Advertise the space online; book people’s appointments online; open your doors in the real world.


Take a step up from selling your cookies on a personal blog. Become a caterer and arrange full-scale meals for parties, weddings, conferences and sports events.

Mystery Shopping

This is another job that will require you to leave your house, but since you’ll book these engagements entirely online, it’s still considered a virtual career. Check out Best Mark for some amazing opportunities (and use ID Number IL42201 should you sign up!)

Odd Jobs

If you like creativity and spontaneity, consider becoming an “odd jobs” specialist who builds a reputation for completing any digital task no matter how small or unusual it is (err on second thought, maybe set SOME limits…maybe…) Did you know Craigslist even has an “odd jobs” category? Easy peasy to get yourself on there!


It’s not just for teens! If you’re planning to spend your Friday/Saturday night at home with the kids anyway, why not offer up your services to watch someone else’s kid, too, and get paid for it? BONUS: Maybe all of the kids will place nicely together and you can actually enjoy an evening watching something other than Octonauts. A gal can dream, right…?


Create, design, sell, manage and flip apps for interested parties. It only takes one great idea to become a sensation.

Web Designing

Do you have knowledge of programming languages like C++ and SQL? Use them to become an online web designer.

Doing Your Regular Job

Last but certainly not least, ask your current boss if the company has any work-from-home opportunities. You might be surprised to learn that you can do your morning tasks from your home office.

My Favorite Ways to Earn Money Online

Of the 50 listed above, my top earners (and favorite to use!) are most definitely:

  • ShareASale for affiliate marketing
  • Rakuten – you get an automatic $10 when you sign up!
  • iBotta – $5/referral + a $10 bonus to those who sign-up; I average $50 earned back each month!
  • Discover Card – The only credit card I recommend – $50 bonus for anyone who signs up through the link plus double your cash back at the end of your first year!

What’s your favorite way to make money from home?

Comment below and let me know!


HealthyWage – I Received $700 For Losing 50lbs!

HealthyWage – I Received $700 For Losing 50lbs!

Well check out this proof of payment from HealthyWage! I myself won over $1,500 with HealthyWage after losing 60lbs in 9 months (with a buy in of $450!) It was obviously a bit of a gamble but I knew I could do it and goodness knows a big ol’ check at the end doesn’t hurt!

HealthyWage Check proof of payment

And today I’ve got Tony Lozzi, owner of, to tell us about he too was basically paid to lose weight! After having lost nearly 200lbs on his own, Tony used HealthyWage to motivate himself to lose another 50 – and received nearly $700 in return!

Please note this post contains affiliate links through which I may receive a small commission should you choose to click through and sign up or purchase anything through the following links. This is no way impacts the cost to you.

HealthyWage Review

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My name is Tony, and I run the website, a place where I’ve collected my experiences and knowledge regarding parenting and weight loss and what has personally worked for me to lose a total of 250 pounds.

Having struggled with being overweight my entire life, I finally decided enough was enough and did my research a few years ago, applying what I learned about diet and exercise to my life in order to drop 200 pounds, going from 450 to 250. This was great, but then I met my wife, and soon after, we had a baby boy. Things were great, but I gained a significant amount of weight back while my wife was pregnant. A sedentary job, coupled with a bad diet and lack of sleep put my back on track to gaining it all back.

After the birth of our second child, a daughter, I knew it was time to start dropping the weight again, but even though I had the children as a motivating factor, I still couldn’t get everything to sync up in my head. I fumbled around with exercise and fell on and off the wagon of healthy eating. I couldn’t seem to get a running start to weight loss. I needed something more, partly because I was a sleep-deprived zombie, but also because I’m easily distracted.

Part of my strategy when approaching weight loss – not just for myself but for people I’m advising – is getting as many motivating factors involved as possible.

Get Paid To Get Healthy With Sherri Shepherd!

Motivating Factors for Weight Loss

  • Making your goals public knowledge – posting on Facebook, in groups, on forums, and using public exposure to motivate you, either through fear of public failure, or through the momentum of people seeing you succeed.
  • Track your daily feelings, gains, wins and losses, food, and exercise. As you see a downward trend in weight or a upward trend in fitness goals, you have a tangible, readily-available reference for how far you’ve come.
  • Make the time to engage in exercise, at least 15 minutes a day, every day, and vary what you do. It takes about 21 days of 15 minutes minimum for something to become a habit. Make it as easy as possible on yourself so you have no excuses: set your weights out in the morning. Make sure your exercise gear is clean and ready to put on when your alarm goes off. Pay for a month of daily gym classes in advance. Whatever it takes to get you moving every day.

Employing all of these factors, I was about ready to start getting in the best shape of my life, but it was in March of 2016 that I found the one last push I needed to succeed: HealthyWage

Win money for losing weight

Is HealthyWage legit?

HealthyWage bets against your ability to lose weight. After signing up, you are asked to gauge how much weight you want to lose and how much time you think it will take you. Based on several factors, including age, weight, and how much you want to bet per month (this is a multi-month endeavor), HealthyWage will project the amount you stand to win, should you reach your goal in the specified time.

For me, I bet $50 over the course of six months and ended up with $676 for doing something that I wanted to do to begin with.

HealthyWage Proof of Payment


HealthyWage payment proof

With a supportive community of like-minded individuals, easy-to-access customer service, and a fairly straightforward concept, HealthyWage was that last kick in the pants I needed to actually bring it all together and get focused.

I ended up losing 52 pounds by the end of my wager, going from 282 to 230 from April to September.

I still have a ways to go, with my final goal being around 200 pounds by my 33rd birthday so I signed up for another HealthyWage, this time teaming up with my wife to do a team challenge!


Win money for losing weight

The motivation of winning money is fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but more than anything, it’s a feeling of conquering yourself. It gives a tangible reward for self-mastery, and at the end of it, you realize how good it feels to improve yourself, and what’s more, that you CAN improve. You really are getting paid to lose weight!

Get paid to lose weight

If you need a little bit of extra motivation, or a little fear at the back of your workouts to spur you to get that extra mile or that new personal record on your squats, HealthyWage is a great way to add a bit of extra incentive to something you’ve been wanting to do anyway.

So how about it – are you going to give HealthyWage a try?

How I Made $1,400 With Textbroker

How I Made $1,400 With Textbroker

Textbroker is a great way to start out when you’re first looking to freelance as a ghostwriter or content developer.

Generally, there’s a lot of freelance work out there, if you can find it. Many sites like Upwork, promise the concept of getting some side jobs but honestly, the effort either isn’t worth the payout, or it’s incredibly spotty trying to find actual work.

Textbroker (which I have written about before in my post on how I make money from home) is a great site to reliably get work, allowing you to pick and choose from a categorical list of writing assignments, ranked in terms of ability, from 2-stars to 5-stars. The higher your rank, the better money you’ll make per word, and the better opportunity for work you’ll have. The great part of this website is that it puts the control in your hands – you go through the list of available articles, read the instructions, choose one that fits, and then write it within the allotted time frame. Once it’s submitted, the buyer has 3 days to accept or send the article back for revisions. Once it’s accepted, you get the payment into your Textbroker account (linked to a Paypal account), and you can cash out, once per week if you so desire.

How to Start with Textbroker:

Go to

This is the easy part. From there, click “I Write Content”. This will prompt a sign-up page and you’ll fill in the logical components. When you get to the “expertise” section, this is where you want to focus on your own personal knowledge and strengths. The best way to maximize profits with TB is to pick articles that you are well-versed in, because the less you need to research a subject, the faster you can crank out quality articles and move to the next one. I suggest picking 5-8 subjects (or less if necessary) that you find to be ones you can rattle off information about pretty easily.

Initial Quality Prompt

Once logged in again through the registration link in your email, you will be provided with a prompt. This prompt, which should be between 120 – 250 words in length, will be the basis of your initial score on the site, and will therefore both impact your rate of pay and the quality level of articles you have access to complete. Make sure you do your BEST writing here – don’t rush, and maybe even get someone else to proofread for you. This step is critical to getting good assignments!

Approval and Beyond

Once you’re approved, check out the listings and find something that appeals to you, and start writing. Be certain you adhere to the guidelines and keywords, as missing these will get articles sent back pretty quickly. Textbroker’s rating of your writing is based on the last article you wrote, so never slack on the quality.

Final Tips of the Trade
  • Don’t write fluff – make sure every sentence conveys information, but do it in an interesting way.
  • Don’t use filler words – it’s readily obvious and will most certainly anger the client. You don’t want to risk having your article rejected all together!
  • Find a niche you can write about easily, but also focus on one that has a lot of requests. I got my start doing quick blurbs for eBay listings. It only paid about $3/article, but each one took me all of five minutes.
  • Stay away from clients who offer very vague instructions. Believe me when I say it’s not worth your time to message them for clarification.
  • I would suggest avoiding articles where you need to add photos, links, or do a lot of extra work besides writing. Again, this just bogs you down and adds a technical element that’s not worth your effort.
  • Go to the “Assignments” tab and sign up for some TeamOrders. These are groups you audition for (through another prompt) that have regular work of a similar variety. I made the most money through finding teams whose content was quick and easy for me to write.
  • Make sure you update as much of your profile as possible. This enables clients to “direct order” from you, which is personally requesting you for an article. Direct orders pay more (I suggest charging 2.5-2.8 per word for direct orders, of which Textbroker takes .8/word), and are another avenue for increased revenue.
  • Along those lines, if a client leaves you a great review, don’t hesitate to message them directly and let them know you appreciate the feedback and that you’re open to direct orders; this is a great way to build connections and move towards freelancing through a site of your own.

It can be a slog sometimes, but Textbroker is honest copywriting work that is consistent and pays reasonably well. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for remote, online work with minimal time investment.

Have you tried out Textbroker before? Tell me about it in the comments below!


How to Make Money Blogging

How to Make Money Blogging

Finding ways to make money through blogging is easy and there are a dozen different routes you can take – affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, e-courses, e-books, coaching, VA work, etc. etc. Making good money while blogging, though? Now it gets a bit tricky.

How to Make Money Blogging

Now I’ve been blogging since before MySpace was a thing. I rocked my Geocities site and my Neopets page was out of this world thanks to my mad HTML skills.

Now that you’re super impressed, let me tell you something –

Despite DECADES of experience writing online, I knew NOTHING when it came to monetizing. It had never been a goal of mine. I wrote to write, helped others learn to do the same, and never believed in myself enough to think I could actually make a living doing so.

That all changed when I launched this site and began my journey towards seriously paying down our debt. Within the first month, I knew this was where my passion lay and I was going to find a way to make a livable income from it.

I spent every single lunch hour working on this site and learning about how to make money from it. I was waking up an hour earlier, going to bed hours later, and pretty much working non-stop for months. My innate ability to develop effective efficiency strategies really came into play as I balanced my full-time office job with this nearly full-time digital job, all while still dedicating the same amount of time to my children and husband.

Obviously I do not recommend this “full steam ahead” approach for everyone. Making money from blogging takes time and if you’re looking for a quick buck, it’s probably not the best route for you (especially not long-term).

Get Those Freebies!

One of the best ways to learn is to sign up for free webinars. One of the first webinars I watched was co-hosted by Melyssa Griffin and Addi Ganley and it was a game changer. Both of these women are absolutely phenomenal and are CONSTANTLY offering incredible value FOR FREE. I’ve actually seen people question their paid courses because they’d already given out so much information for free, but believe me when I say these two are both incredibly intelligent women with a warehouse of know-how.

Don’t have time to watch webinars? There are always podcasts! Personally I adore Dana Malstaff from Boss-Mom and her podcasts are wonderful to listen to on your drive to your soon-to-be-former office job.

Make Nice

Another great way to start making money is by making friends. Join those Facebook groups and starting building those relationships! Just don’t join so many that you get overwhelmed and can’t maintain consistency within them. Some of my favorites are: Boss Moms, BTOP, and of course the groups I admin – Pinterest Pals and Entrepreneurs and Bloggers in the Spotlight. While I encourage you to check out those groups, I also recommend you do a little hunting on your own, particularly once you have your niche established. Find groups that feel like a community to you, one where you want to hang around and get to know people.

No One Is Better At Being You Than YOU

Finally, the best piece of advice I can give you when first starting out is to STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS! I say that as nicely as I can, but seriously – stop.

The woman who claims she makes $100,000/year? She’s either lying or has been working her tail off for years.

The blog that looks absolutely stunning, as though done by a professional? Chances are it was.

The Facebook page that has 30,000 likes while you struggle to hit 100? Probably built through paid ads.

You have countless ways to build additional income streams online, but you’ll only do so if you stay out of your own way. You’ll hear time and time again that most bloggers quit within six months of starting. Don’t let that be you. Keep writing, keep building connections, and keep learning.

If you want to speed up the process or you’re feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to invest in help. Whether it’s taking an e-course, hiring a Virtual Assistant, paying for your logo, or booking a blogging mentor, investments will have to be made. I do not recommend dumping a huge pile of money into your business from the get-go, but you will need to eventually invest if you want to see return.

Take the time to flesh out your blog and develop a rapport with your audience before trying to sell. Along those same lines, don’t clutter up your page with ads and affiliate banners – chances are good you won’t be making a ton of money from those anyway.

How can you make money? Lots of ways!

Personally, the majority of my income comes from being an efficiency strategist and blogging mentor. My former career (before a cat convinced me to quit my job) involved working with student clubs and organizations, educating them on time management, budgeting, marketing, and strategic planning. I’ve always loved this line of work and now I’m lucky enough to share it with others.

Making money online and through your site will all revolve around what you want to teach or share with others.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT, start a lifestyle blog on everything under the sun and then two months later try to launch an e-course on how to make money blogging.

You. Will. Fail.

That’s not to say e-courses aren’t a great way to make money. My first e-course sold out within a week and was a big part of what allowed me to quit my office job. But you have to first establish authority and prove yourself. Otherwise you will waste so much time building a course only to hear crickets and the sound of your tears hitting the floor when you go to launch.

Put out tons (and I mean tons) of free VALUABLE content and then send out your paid product – whether it’s an e-book, a course, or a digital service, don’t push it too soon only to lose hope when no one responds.

Along those same lines, don’t create a blog only to write up sponsored posts every other day. No one will believe anything you have to say when they constantly see you being paid to say it.

If you are looking to make money online or you’ve already started a blog but have yet to see any real money roll in, I’m currently offering FREE 30-minute strategy sessions.

And guess what? I promise there will be NO sales pitch during this call. I genuinely just want to help and hope that in return you’ll want to write a positive review of our time together.

Meanwhile, get to finding those blogging buddies and continue learning more about how to make money online. And keep believing in your passions. You’ll only fail if you quit trying.

Already a blogger? Comment below with your site and offer up your #1 tip to success for those just starting out!


Identify Why You Buy

Identify Why You Buy

Lately I’ve been sharing how I paid off a massive amount of debt in two months. One of the key parts of this is to understand impulse buying.

So today I encourage you to really sit with this post. Grab a pen and paper, it ends with homework. 😉

Identify Why You Buy

identify why you buy stop impulse buying

Impulse Spending

Why do we take such great pleasure in buying things? Why does having “more” bring so many such comfort?

Maybe it provides a primal level of mental security, knowing you won’t go without. Or maybe, for some, it’s more of an ego-related feeling – “I’m wonderful and people will know that when they see I have these wonderful things!”

Perhaps it’s because you had nothing growing up and having “more” means staying away from those icky feelings from the past.

Ask the Questions

Here are some questions to help you pinpoint why you buy:

  • Do you feel the need to “keep up with the Joneses”?
  • Does your brand loyalty hurt your budget?
  • Are you distracting yourself from inner dissatisfaction with new, shiny play things?
  • Do you think brand name guarantees high quality?
  • Are you addicted to luxury?

If you cannot identify “why you buy” then you will be unable to say “no” when the desire for more arises. By allowing yourself to constantly want, want, want, you are forcing yourself out of the present and living for what might be, for what you might acquire.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t live for the future. As you know, I’m all about developing long-term plans in order to kick debt to curb. However, you should focus on what will be, not what could be.

Think of the Future

As is the case with budgeting your life overall, a long view of your purchases can help with this. A new shirt at full price might be $50 now, but that same $50 taken off of a credit card balance with 22% interest can end up being $60 or more.

Teach yourself how to view a purchase in terms of how much it will cost later on. This will help immensely in avoiding impulse purchases. Like the adage “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels,” no unnecessary purchase can bring you the peace of mind and reduce your stress like obtaining financial freedom.

Likewise, living in the past isn’t always a bad thing either. Think about where you were a couple years ago and what your household income was. Now think about what your expenses were. Are you spending more because you make more?

If you are in debt, you should not be upping your lifestyle to fit your current salary!

I know so many people who made $40,000/year, got a raise or better job, and instead of putting that additional income towards debt, they have now somehow incurred $10,000 more in expenses (often without realizing it!)

Breaking the Habit

Well, one of my favorite things to do is to keep a gratitude journal. I recommend against notebooks, simply because the covers are often flimsy, and you want to be able to carry this around with you. Any time you’re feeling down or you’re tempted by an extravagant purchase, pull out your journal and write down five things you’re grateful for.

Doing this will make you happier overall. I guarantee it.

Another thing to help you on your road to satisfaction with less is to consider where less already makes you happy.

For example, less clutter can equal MORE money and that almost certainly helps improve your mood, no? It’s rather easy to have a successful garage sale! Or implement the smartest ways to save on kids’ clothes!

I recently read a great book called The Brain That Changes Itself and one part that really stuck with me was that the more you practice saying no, the easier it’ll become.

So for today: Practice saying NO. Not just to others, but to yourself. Not only will this go a long way in helping your financial state, but it’ll actually re-wire your brain and lead to a healthier, better life overall. How cool is that?

Which is easier for you – saying no to others or to yourself?

Comment below and let me know, I’m curious!