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Hey everyone! Welcome back!
Today I’m going to be talking about ways for you to make money online and even build credit without any credit history at all. In fact, let me tackle that topic first.
Right out of high school, I had a part time job in a local preschool while at the same time attending an online design school, so the money I earned basically just went to pay for tuition, my laptop and all the software and services I needed. So that pretty much just cancelled it out which meant I wasn’t really making money. So, how did I start building a credit portfolio? Good question! And I have an answer. Well, actually, my brother had an answer for me, but I have a little tip to really help you go far.
Basically, what you want to do is open a secured card. A secured card is basically like a credit card but you have to put down a deposit. For example, I used Bank of America. I had $300 available from my summer job working in a day camp, and I used this money as my deposit. Bank of America then gave me a secured card with a $300 limit. Then it’s pretty much the same as a credit card. You have that $300 to spend and you have a monthly minimum payment amount. Unlike most credit cards, secured cards usually have more fees. Bank of America has a $39 annual fee. Other institutions may be different.
Now here’s where my brother and I experimented differently resulting in different credit outcomes. My brother sometimes left a small balance, whereas I paid off my monthly payments in full (I didn’t even wait for the due date). My idea was only to spend if I had money in my regular bank account to pay it off right away. Say I had $500 in my account and I was willing to spend $30 on a new outfit I loved. I would use my secured card to make the purchase and then immediately pay off the bill in full simply by transferring the money from my bank account to my secured card bill pay. The result? My brother (who did not pay in full every month because he was told to leave a small balance) graduated to a regular credit card with a $1500 limit and I (who did pay in full) graduated to a credit card with an $1800 limit and in a shorter period of time!
But wait, my little tip helps me even more! You see, the camp closed, and I no longer work in the preschool (it just wasn’t for me - kids are a lot harder to take care of than you might think… especially 17 wild ones. The school also didn’t have any openings that year.). So I started working in my high school but that’s only as a part time summer job. So how have I raised my credit score to over 750 without an income? I keep paying off in full. I only spend on necessities and when I do spend, it’s paid in full. So, I’m the only one in my family without a job at all but I still have the highest credit score. Would you look at that!
Now, how on earth do I live without an income? It’s hard. Trust me, it’s hard. But I do earn a little bit on the side. Here’s how:
- Zazzle - Yup! I’m a designer and I have a storefront on Zazzle. Zazzle is a platform where designers can upload images onto many different products and post them for sale. Customers shopping on the site will see your work and buy that item. When a customer buys a product with your design or photograph, you get paid commission :) My two proudest moments were when people in Japan and Switzerland bought something from my shop and when someone from Florida bought my absolute favorite designed product. So, if you’re a designer, photographer, calligrapher, or any type of artist for that matter, you should try it out! Come stop by!
- Swagbucks - In my opinion, Swagbucks is the best survey site out there. Actually, calling it a survey site doesn’t do justice. It’s way more than that. You can earn from watching video clips, discovering new content and offers, couponing, and even earning money from the shopping you already do online! No joke. When you shop, you can either shop through the Swagbucks “mall” and earn cash back points in the form of SB or you can add the Swagbucks extension and whenever you shop, you can just make sure the “Shop and Earn” is turned on. Shop like you normally would and earn SB! So far, I’ve earned over $900 worth in SB. SB are the points you earn that you use to redeem gift cards. (1 SB = $.01.) PayPal, Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Kohls, Pottery Barn, American Airlines… you name it! They also have Disneyland gift cards :) Are you the kind of girl who takes Uber? They have those, too! Need your morning coffee and a donut? Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme are on the list! Or you can donate your Swagbucks to charitable causes ❤
- SurveySavvy - SurveySavvy is a survey site (only surveys). Fewer survey opportunities, but each survey is usually a decent amount. Average is $1-$5 per survey. It’ll take a little more time to earn with this one, but I’ve definitely earned a bit.
- InboxDollars - InboxDollars is another Swagbucks kind of site, but again, not on as large a scale in my opinion. I don’t qualify for that many surveys and the “shopping mall” doesn’t have as many stores as Swagbucks. But, it’s a good addition.
- CouponCabin - On occasion I’ll use CouponCabin to shop and earn cashback rewards if the rewards are higher for a particular store than the rewards through Swagbucks.
- Apps that pay - Swagbucks, and InboxDollars both have apps so you can earn on the go. I also use Google Rewards app which is an app that has short surveys provided by Google so they can learn more about their customers. For this, you earn Google Play credits. S’more is an app that pays you $.10 for every day that you have it on your phone. Just install it, create an account and let it display ads on your lock screen. That’s it! You don’t have to click on any ads (but you could if you want). But you get the $.10 no matter what. As long as the app in installed, you get paid. You could also take surveys on this app to boost your account balance if you’d like. (if you sign up through my link, use the code: V5B9Z7 and you'll get 50 points to get you started! That's right - $.50 just for signing up with my special referral code :)
- Invest - I use Stockpile and Robinhood. I signed up for Stockpile and got $5 free worth of stock. With Robinhood, I had to invite people to earn stock. Watch the stock and sell when it’s high. You can buy stocks also, but remember - buy low, sell high. (Invest wisely and carefully. I take no responsibility for anything that happens as result of this post. Stocks are risky - play safely and at your own risk. Don’t invest any more than you’re willing to put on the line.) I suggest just getting free stock until you’re ready to invest small amounts. I earned 3 free stocks and just bought my first $10 in the stock of my choice. That’s a small enough amount that I was willing to risk. Sign up with my link to get free stock!
Here are some other ways to earn an income, but remember not to expect immediate results. It will take time.
- YouTube - Start a YouTube channel! If you’re really good at something, start a channel about that particular niche. Cake decorating, DIYs, and beauty tutorials are just some examples. Apparently unboxing videos are also very big in the YouTube world.
- Blog - Start a blog and use affiliate marketing to monetize it. That means companies pay you to put ads on your site. When someone clicks on an ad, the company tracks that you sent them to the company’s website and you’ll get paid for sending the customer to them. Most pay when the customer actually complete a purchase, but there are some who pay just for having someone click on the ad and visit the brand’s website. For this awesome blog you're reading right now, I use Weebly as my domain host and builder. There are others out there but I personally like Weebly the best.
- Sell Your Old Clothes - Many people say this is one of the easiest ways to make money, but don’t be fooled. While it is very easy to list your old clothes for sale, people might not actually buy it. So, will you make money? That depends on whether or not someone wants what you’re selling… So, this earning method is not a guarantee. I suggest using Mercari or Ebay since they have both buyers and sellers protected. If you sign up for an account with Mercari through my link, use my referral code: ENZXDG and get $10 off a purchase (if you choose to buy something ;) )
- Run Errands - If you drive and have a car available, offer your services buying groceries or driving someone around. Charge per minute or per trip. If you’re buying groceries for them, tack on the cost of the groceries if they didn’t pay you for that upfront. Don’t give them the groceries if they don’t pay you at drop-off.
- Teach Lessons - If you’re good at something, teach it! Tutor someone in math or science or give someone voice lessons or piano lessons. You can even inspire teens and adults teaching them about your favorite hobby! YouTube is the perfect place to start for beginners. With YouTube, you can just post videos to as mentioned before, and you'll make money if you monetize your videos. If you're more professional when it comes to teaching, Udemy might be right for you. Instead of monetizing your videos through ads, you charge per course like any regular school. If you're more of an introvert and would rather teach one-on-one in your own home, spread the word. I taught art to a 6 year old girl in my own home one hour each week. (If the student or the student's parent doesn't keep to your set schedule or doesn't pay on time too often, it's okay to let them go. You can't be taken for granted. Time is precious.)
- Bake - I also have a website for my baked goods. I used to get more orders but I started focusing more on my blog and design work, so I kind of started fading this out. But I do think I’ll start that up again as soon as I get my design work and blog a bit more settled.
- Stuff Envelopes - Ask your local school or community center if they have work for you - especially around events and busy fundraising seasons. Spread the word through people in your community that you'll do menial labor (such as stuffing envelopes or hanging flyers around town, but if you think of something else you can do, go for it!) for some extra pocket cash. Or you can make it into a business and charge for your service per job or by the hour.
- For the Artist - Design logos for local businesses or invitations for family celebrations. If you have a smartphone or computer, there are some free creative programs you can use such as Adobe Illustrator Draw and Adobe Photoshop Sketch, but if you don't have either, old-fashioned pencil and paper will also do the trick.
- Shop - Do you have a great sense of style? Have you got an intrinsic flair for fashion? Find parents who may not have that same fashion sense and offer to take their kids shopping and put together their wardrobe. How should you find these parents? Spread the word through your parents or Facebook (you can even create a Facebook page for your new business endeavor). It'll take the kids off of the parents hands for a while and their kids will look put together. You can take one or two kids at a time so it's not too overwhelming for you. Have the parent(s) pay upfront whatever they're willing to spend plus charge per hour or trip your specified service fee. If you anticipate going slightly over the budget, call the parents to make sure it's okay and make sure you're paid back for any extra you may shell out. Try to avoid this, but sometimes you just can't pass up a great tee :)
I hope this post gave you some ideas you can walk away with (along with a dream and a plan!). This was by far my longest post, so I hope I wasn't rambling too much, but if you're bored now, I'm sorry :) I do hope it was worth it though.
Until next time!
(This blog post is not endorsed by Bank of America and I am not being paid for this recommendation. It is my honest opinion and all products and fees are accurate as of March 2018.)