I’ve been sitting on this MicroHustle for a while, because my husband always says it is so good that I’m going to put this poor company out of business. And if I’m going to put it under by myself, imagine what will happen if I send ALL the Salty Mamas out there to get in on the action? They may not make it through the week! But I can’t keep holding out on you, so make good use of this MicroHustle while you still can. Continue reading “MicroHustle Monday Presents: Shop for Free(Ish) at Kmart”
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It’s that time of year again, folks- that’s right, it’s the happiest time of the year!
Welcome to ONLINE SHOPPING SEASON!
Remember the days when you had to schlep from store to store, children in tow, as you hiked and searched and ran price comparisons and did the returns and exchanges and oh-crap-I-forgot-Aunt-May?
Nope. Us Either.
We’ve been doing our holiday shopping online for YEARS. Not only can it be done while you are trapped under a sleeping baby, but you don’t have to buckle and unbuckle 1 million carseat straps in the process.
And best of all- it can earn you money.
If you haven’t heard of Ebates yet, you need to sign up, like, yesterday. You typically earn a nice little bonus for signing up, which is perfect to get you started (As of the writing of this post, you will receive a $10 bonus after making your first $25 in purchases). After that, you just begin all your shopping trips at ebates.com or on the Ebates app. It’ll take you to the store’s website, and then you just shop like normal. After your purchase is complete, Ebates will add a percentage of your purchase back to your account (varies greatly from store to store) and you can watch the earnings pile up.
You can help your earnings add up faster by shopping on Double Cashback days, and by doing some percentage-and-price comparisons. For example, Amazon and Kohl’s may have the same KitchenAid mixer you’ve been eyeing for the same price (this is the one I just got. Isn’t it a DREAM?), but Kohl’s typically gives higher percentages back through Ebates, so it ends up being a little cheaper in the long run.
So click here to hop on this bandwagon quick so that you can maximize your earnings before the holiday season. And make sure you’re following us on Facebook! We’re expecting some good deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and you don’t want to miss out on our reminders!
Let’s face it. Working out is on the back burner in my life. I mean, yes, I YMCA for the free childcare and in theory when I drop them off I head straight upstairs and hop on the treadmill where I WORK IT for a full hour. But sometimes I just.need.to.sit. And read. Or bujo. Or BE without three kids climbing all over each other, refereeing fights, and doing the Mom thing.
But relaxing doesn’t help me fit into my old jeans.
Unfortunately, not fitting into my old jeans hasn’t proved to be enough of a motivator. However, I have learned, in my new fiscally-conservative role as a SAHM that money is a BIG motivator for me.
Enter: Step Bet.
Step Bet is an awesome app where you can join Step Games (challenges) and WIN MONEY! The app syncs with your activity tracker as you compete against yourself – which is my favorite part. I am completely in control of whether I win this bet or not. So you can’t get stuck with someone that is a mail carrier and takes 40k steps per day or something insane, causing you to give up immediately.
Rather, the app takes your current activity tracker data and then sets you new goals. I had been particularly lazy just before I signed up, so my goals were pretty manageable 😉 My active goal was 7,279 steps and my stretch goal was 9,579 steps.
Each Monday through Sunday I had to hit my active goal 4 times, my stretch goal 2 times and I got one rest day. I also REALLY liked this, because, let’s face it, we all deserve a rest day!
Okay, okay, but how do you MAKE MONEY???
My Step Bet lasted 6 weeks and cost $40 to join. We had 517 players for a grand total of over TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS in the pot! (Okay, sorry, don’t get too excited, I’m not winning $20K!) BUT, if I hit my goals I DO win my $40 back AND a cut of the $40 from all the people that didn’t win! Step Bet also takes a cut (currently 12.5%) to pay for support during the game for you, game hosts and referees, so basically the money from the first few people to drop out.
You’re not going to win millions of dollars, but you’d be amazed at how motivated I’d be every time I checked to see 2 or 3 or 7 people drop out! Even if it only meant a few extra cents in my profits.
Which is why I walked and walked and walked and JUST finished my first Step Bet last night. I’m terrible at math and am waiting for the final results, but it should be around $10 profit, so I’ll be getting $50 back! (Which my husband likes to point out is a really good return on a $40 investment in only 6 weeks).
And YAY for my $50 cash-out, but I’m tossing $40 right back in and doing it again! Because I’m still money motivated and STILL not in those jeans!
For more info and to find answers to all your questions, check out the Step Bet FAQs – and be sure to let me know if you’re joining!!!
Today’s Micro Hustle won’t actually make you any money, but it can save you big bucks, and isn’t that kind of the same thing? Also, it’s a Hustle on your kids, which – I think it’s safe to say – we’re all on board for every once in a while! Enjoy!
Ask any Mama what she loves about the fall, and nestled somewhere between a Grande PSL and putting on a cozy sweater will be taking the kids to the pumpkin patch. Because kids and pumpkins are adorable. Need proof? Fine.
The pumpkin patch is AWESOME. Whether yours is in the middle of a city and has carnival style rides, a petting zoo and a concession stand or is out in the country and has apple launchers, a corn maze and homemade cider, every one is full of fun for the family.
Also, EXPENSIVE PUMPKINS.
Yes, the seedy underbelly of the pumpkin patch operation is insanely expensive pumpkins. And while you’re there for the adorable photo ops, your kids are probably there for the expensive stuff – like the rides, treats, and pumpkins. The pain that I feel in my heart – and my wallet – as I hand over a credit card to pay $20+ for a pumpkin that I can get for $3.99 at the grocery store is palpable. But what else can you do? It’s a pumpkin patch – you can’t just leave without a pumpkin!
But you can leave without a GIANT pumpkin…..
Enter…..The Pumpkin Fairy!
Oh you don’t know about the Pumpkin Fairy? Well let me introduce her to you! Because she may very well change your life at the Pumpkin Patch this year! You see the Pumpkin Fairy is a beautiful and magical fairy that can turn tiny (read: cheap) pumpkins from the pumpkin patch into big, beautiful pumpkins – overnight!
Confession: The Pumpkin Fairy isn’t real, folks. But it can be real in your house this year if you follow these steps!
First – you gotta sell this to your kids. Start laying the groundwork immediately. Tonight, when you put them to bed, don’t forget to tell them about the legend of the Pumpkin Fairy! She’s beautiful, with orange hair and a dress made from pumpkin seeds and the stringy stuff inside the gourds! And every October she visits all the little children to turn their baby pumpkins into big magical pumpkins! (This may be harder if your kids are used to picking out a giant pumpkin at the patch, but you can talk them into it – I believe in you! I mean, who wants one of those big pumpkins, when you can have a pumpkin that has been made out of magic???)
Then you go to the patch. Remind them of the new plan – tiny pumpkins kids! The
cheaper smaller, the better! Let them pick any pumpkin they want out of that bargain bin!
When you get home, find a nice easy spot to put your pumpkins! Don’t do something stupid like put them under pillows. The Pumpkin Fairy is a LOT bigger than the Tooth Fairy and isn’t as good at sneaking around- especially after a glass of wine or two. The porch is an excellent spot.
Then, tuck the kids in.
Have a glass of wine and watch Real Housewives while you wait for them to fall asleep. You’ll be kicking yourself next year, and spending big bucks, if you get caught. Then – swap out those pumpkins with the grocery store ones you’re hiding in the trunk of the car. If you want to get REAL fancy, sprinkle some glitter around. Fairies are notorious for getting glitter on everything.
And that’s it! You saved a ton of money and made a Pinterest-worthy tradition that will have you looking like a) a money saving genius and b) Mom of the Year.
When we first heard there was going to be a new Chick Fil A opening near us, we immediately began praying that they would have a playplace. And free WiFi. When we found out they would have both, we were way more excited than we should be. But then we found out there was going to be a campout, according to Chick Fil A company tradition. And that the first 100 guests through the door would get free Chick Fil A (Read: One #1 combo a week for the next 52 weeks)? Well, there aren’t enough words for all the feelings. Needless to say, we went.
So how did it go? Well, we slept a little, ate a little, and laughed til we snorted. And because we KNOW you’re dying to know, here’s a play by play of our overnight campout at Chick Fil A.
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Okay, so I have told you all about OhmConnect, and how residents of California and some parts of Texas can pay earn credits by saving electricity when they receive alerts that “dirty power plants” are about to turn on. You can read all about how it works here, but Y’ALL. I just HAD to update you.
I didn’t pay for power this summer. Not a penny in June, July, August, OR September. And I keep my house at a brisk 72 degrees.
And I have OhmConnect to thank for that.
I know a few of you Salty Mamas have joined, and you may be thinking I’m a big fat liar since you are pulling in a massive 70 cent payout. I know. I hear you. It so doesn’t feel worth the sweat for 70 cents.
But as in all things MicroHustle, you gotta focus on your long game. The more Ohm Hours in a row you hit (they call it a streak), the higher your payout is going to be. And as you level up, your amounts go up again. So if you hit Platinum level on a 60 Ohm Hour streak, you could be talking about making nine times as much each Ohm Hour as you are right now. And if you haven’t sign up already? Head to OhmConnect now to see if you qualify.
Now is the PERFECT time to start your streak, while the weather is cooperating and the sacrifice doesn’t seem as big. And by this time next year, you may be flipping the breaker and heading out to sip some margaritas, and proposing a toast to the good people of OhmConnect.
And to the Salty Mamas of course. Because obviously.
This post contains referral links, meaning that the Salty Mamas will receive a small commission when someone signs up for SurveySavvy using our link. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. We cannot guarantee that your results and outcomes will be similar to our own. Thanks for helping to support The Salty Mamas!
Ahhh, the survey. The MicroHustle many of us love to hate/hate to love. This is probably the MicroHustle I’ve taken the most heat over in recent years, because from a short-game stand point, it just doesn’t make sense. Sometimes I spend twenty minutes on a 50 cent survey, and those numbers just don’t seem to add up. But the survey is the tortoise of the MicroHustle Universe. You earn money in very small increments sometimes, it’s true. But eventually, you can win whole races- and pay for whole cruises– using these little guys.
I’m going to start by introducing you to the survey site that seems to have the most potential to make big money. It’s called SurveySavvy, and it works like most survey sites do- they send you surveys, you take them, and you make a little money. (You can also earn referral credit when someone signs up using your link, so yes, I’d like you to use mine if you’re wanting to sign up anyways 😉 ) But the reason SurveySavvy ranks number one on my list of sites is that SurveySavvy is a screening site for CSpace, a company that businesses and brands hire to conduct panels. And that, my friends, is how you make the big bucks.
I’m not on any panels right now, but when I was, I would make about $60 a month per panel, and I was on two. They would ask me to do things like participate in discussion groups, or visit a store and take pictures of certain sections, or post a video of me discussing why I liked (or didn’t like) their brand. It is very much like a focus group, except you participate from the comfort of your home and on your own time. I found the activities to be kind of fun, and it was neat to see products that I had weighed in on showing up in stores a few months later. And, of course, the money wasn’t too bad.
So there you have it, my first and favorite survey site. Do you do surveys at home? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section!
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Note: SurveySavvy also has an app, called SurveyConnect, that you can download. This app will give the company some access to your phone usage and browsing history and, for what it’s worth- I don’t use it. The idea of having someone tracking my phone just gives me the ick factor. If you don’t have the same reservations, feel free to try it out, but I can’t personally speak for, or recommend, a service I’ve never used. Just food for thought!
When I was growing up, every so often my Mom would hit a breaking point where we had TOO MUCH STUFF. Stuff in our rooms, stuff in the garage, stuff we did. Not. Need. We’d pick the hottest Saturday of the year, wake up at dawn and pull everything we ever owned onto the front lawn. My sister and I would post signs around the neighborhood and we’d inevitably spend the entire day sitting in the yard explaining to people that we weren’t selling our bikes that were still in the garage, but visible to all the gawkers. At the end of the day, we’d box everything up and just donate it anyway. It was such an inefficient system, but what else were you supposed to do with all your stuff?
Fast forward many years to today. And the internet. God. Bless. The internet. Because now, whenever I need to purge stuff from my house and/or need a few bucks, I take to the internet! In our house, we are pretty committed to systematically getting rid of STUFF. For instance, after my sons 4th birthday this summer, I held all of his new presents hostage until he helped us fill two boxes full of toys that he didn’t need anymore that we could give to other kids. He had some toys that were in great condition, hardly played with, that I knew another kid would love. And if I got a few extra bucks for Starbucks or a trip to Chick-Fil-A? Even better!
5 Tips for Selling Your Stuff
- Find a neighborhood sale site on Facebook
I’m in several “Trash and Treasure” Groups on Facebook. They may be called something else near you, but these are great buy/sell/trade sites where you can sell your stuff in a super easy virtual garage sale. It’s local so you don’t have to worry about shipping anything. You can either choose to meet at a central location or your home. Or my favorite – the porch pickup. God bless the porch pickup! I leave whatever I’m selling on the porch and the buyer drops the money in my mailbox. So easy!
- Take decent pictures
I want to make my items look as attractive as possible to potential buyers – but also be realistic about the item. You don’t want to think that your item sold only to have someone change their mind when they come see it. That takes more of your time – and time is money!
- Price to Sell
My husbands grandmother once gave us some art that she said was worth $1,000. But something is only actually WORTH what someone else is willing to pay for it. So when I want to unload, I price to SELL. I might think the item is “worth” more, I may have paid a WHOLE lot more, but if I’m not using the item and it’s just sitting in my garage or taking up space in my closet? Well that’s not making me any money either, is it? So personally, I’d rather have the item GONE with a few bucks in my pocket. So have I significantly undervalued some items? Maybe, but at least they’re not taking up space in my house anymore! Find the balance that works for you, but know that if you price to high you may not get the return you’re hoping for.
You’ve found your group, picked your price, taken your pictures and now it’s time to post! Usually all you need to do is post a description of the item, plus the picture and the price, and maybe your cross-streets if you’re in a larger area where that could make a difference to potential buyers. Make sure you follow the rules of your group. For instance, some don’t allow cross-posting (attempting to sell an item in more than one group at a time) or have very specific rules of how to connect with folks interested in purchasing your items.
- Sit. Wait. SELL!
Remember when you used to sit in the blazing sun waiting for someone to come by and make an offer? Well now you can do that inside your house. Or at the movies. Or at Disneyland. Or wherever you want to be. Make sure you’re notifications are on and wait for a bite! Most sites have rules about how to make the sale – like accepting offers in the order they are received, no cross-posting (meaning posting the same item on multiple sale sites), no sale via PM (where you could be cutting off people that made offers through the comments). Make sure you follow the rules – you don’t want to lose out on potential sales, or worse, get banned!
Get your offer, put your loot on the porch, collect and you’re done! All you have to do is decide how you’re going to spend your new green!
Hope y’all have fun turning your trash into treasure!!
I’m not totally sure when I jumped the gap between being frugal and being a cheapskate, but here I am, living in the land of pennies and dimes. I count them, I save them, I try to help them grow into strong, confident dollars. I find ways to earn them and work hard not to spend them without long, drawn out conversations with myself and a million lists and plans in my BuJo.
But this land of Pennies and Dimes also gives me power. When I decided to give up a pretty decent income as a well-educated special education teacher, I chose to become more than a budgeter. I decided to be more than a saver, which has always sounded so passive to me, and to become a hustler. A micro-hustler, that is.
It began with aggressive budgeting, and trying to spend as little as humanly possible. And I got good at it. Like, really good. Like, I-don’t-buy-meat-if-it’s-not-on-clearance good. But Holy Moses, that can stifle a person. I mean, a cheap month here and there is fine, but as Dave Ramsey would say, a person can’t live on beans and rice, rice and beans forever. And I wasn’t willing to take more out of our budget than I already was. So it was time to get creative.
I began to take on a series of increasingly creative side-gigs, one by one. I started using Ebates, became a mystery shopper, and joined one survey panel and then another. I found a program that paid me to save electricity, I subbed for people for pay at my daughter’s co-op preschool, and I synced up my Fitbit with an app that would pay me to do so. I recycled our bottles and cans, I rolled sleeves of pennies and dimes, and I sold some stuff-a lot of stuff- on Craigslist and Facebook.
And I’m not gonna lie, some people made fun of me. I mean, I was always hustling. But in teeny, tiny little ways. I came to think of all my little income streams as my micro-hustles, and I began to keep track of my earnings. I shrugged off the teasing, and I kept on keeping on. And as for the haters? They didn’t have much to say when I paid for an entire cruise with my girlfriends with those damn surveys and bottles and cans. Because those pennies and dimes? They WANT to be saved. They WANT to grow. I’m just helping to use those small coins to make big things happen.
So no, I’m not pulling in a full income off of these little side gigs of mine. And I’m by no-means replacing the income I gave up to be where I felt that I needed to be. But I am contributing to the household financially, and I am slowly but surely helping to make our dreams come true, the big ones and the small ones. And it’s happening one micro-hustle at a time.