Weâve all been there. You walk into your favorite store, the one with the amazing branding and the conveniently set up dollar bins and somehow walk out with $100 worth of stuff when you just went in for conditioner. Or…
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Do you like to get free stuff in the mail? Weâve compiled a list of the top 12 sites to get free products sent directly to your mailbox. Don’t worry. There are no gimmicks. Youâll find your mailbox stuffed with samples of all sizes and even full-sized products. Itâs really exciting to find your mailbox […]
The post 12 Legitimate Online Sites To Get Free Stuff in the Mail (No Strings Attached) appeared first on Incomist.
Looking for free diapers and low-cost baby products? Diapers are expensive and a pain in the budget. Babies need roughly 8000 diapers before theyâre potty trained, costing parents $2000 or more. So weâve put together some simple and legitimate options to help you save money. When you combine these methods together, you can literally save […]
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If you are confused about balance transfer credit cards it’s likely because you’ve heard some of the myths about them. Believe me, I get it.Â I’ve been there. There are so many myths about balance transfer credit cards, it can be hard to distinguish the truth from the fantasy. Well, good news. Today we’re covering […]
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You know that plumber who lives on your street and drives the beat up pickup truck? Heâs much more likely to be a millionaire than the executive next door driving the BMW. Donât believe me? Well that was a common theme found in The Millionaire Next Door:The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by William Danko […]
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Meal Planning Can Help Save You $1,600 a Year on Your Grocery Budget!
Hmmm… donuts, pizza & mojitos OH MY! Isn’t it amazing how one stray sentence can totally take over your mind! Food is tasty, a treat, and can be downright mesmerizing! It can also be one of our biggest budget busters! We want what we want and when we want it (sometimes we hate wanting it (I’m talking to you brownies!) This gets us into trouble with our waistline as well as our wallet!
I have my fingers crossed that one day there will be a resurgence in renaissance body love, all curvy & pale Yet, I know that eating healthy needs to be a top priority. I know this because I tell myself this almost daily. You too? We want to do what’s best for our bodies and our wallet, yet sometimes those two things don’t always align. I mean, 1 lb organic strawberries in February can be $8.99! (don’t choke!)
So how do we align saving money on food while eating healthy? The answer is simple, yet kind of intimidating at first glance. It’s meal planning on a budget! DON’T WORRY and don’t get overwhelmed; it can be a lot easier than you imagine. I’m going to walk you through the main points to nail this piece of the grocery budget puzzle. So you never have to worry about hearing, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” ever again!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info
Feeding our body healthy foods has been a long time passion of mine. Previous to Money for the Mamas, I taught kids how food grows at combo learning farm & CSA. For 90 minutes, we talked about soil, farm animals, water quality, and most importantly, how our food grows and why fruits & vegetables are so important. I also did a stint with the State of Oregon and the national level, Farm to School movement, which helps schools create programing around healthy foods. Fantastic work, which is both heartbreaking and hugely rewarding!
With that experience, I know that meal planning can be a great solution, as moms, I know how we want to do our best to provide healthy foods for our family. Yet, rising food costs do not make this easy for us.
The Street reports that in 2018, the average American household spends $7,729 per year on food, which is about 12.8% of our after-tax income. Yet, with our current situation (August 2020), costs are rising. “April of this year food prices had the largest monthly increase in 46 years!” says ABC News.
There are many different ways that you can save money on groceries, but today we’re just going to talk about one specific element, meal planning on a budget! Which can still be healthy family meals, you just need to plan things out (and plan for the days when you “just can’t even” think of cooking)!
Now, I’m not going to say that an occasional frozen pizza doesn’t sneak into my freezer (and my belly), but I try really hard to balance those not so healthy items with better for you options.
Meal planning to save money on groceries
Let’s get down to specifics on exactly how meal planning can save you money in your grocery budget.
Saving money by not buying foods that you won’t eat
I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve bought veggies with the best intentions of eating them! And then that sad and guilt-ridden sound of the “thunk” as the jicama falls into the trash. Arg!
When you meal plan, you decide what you are cooking and eating and when, there is a “plan”, not some vague intention. When you know that on Tuesday it’s spaghetti squash & meatball night, you can be dang sure that the veggies are getting eaten and will not go to waste!
Speaking of food waste, you all know the squishy, greeny brown scenario at the bottom of the produce drawer. But what does this look like to our wallet? According to Marketwatch, “As much as 40% of food goes uneaten in the U.S! Americans throw away $165 billion in wasted food every year.” According to Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Natural Resources Defense Council, some 160 billion pounds of discarded food also clogs up landfills.
What that means is roughly, “219 lbs of food per person is wasted a year” quotes RTS (waste experts), and that’s $1,600 a year for a typical sized family!
Think of taking your grocery budget, pulling out 40% of the money, and just throwing it in the trash! Oh. Hell. No.
That’s crazy! Yet, we don’t intend to do; it just happens. And meal planning is one of the best ways to combat this by buying only what you know you will use for that week (or however often you go to the store).
Know your food costs
You can still buy most of the same foods but know which of your local stores have the best prices. For example, there are two stores of the same chain, maybe 4 miles apart, and one of them has consistently lower prices than the other. So I always go to the cheaper one.
Also, when you sit down to do your weekly menu, you can look at store flyers to see who might have chicken breasts on sale, or who has digital coupons for your favorite brand of cheese.
You may go to a Kroger store for chicken and then go to Target for sale on frozen burritos (a favorite late-night snack of my husband). Yet, for this to be a genuine savings, you need to consider the cost of your time & gas driving to multiple stores. If you’re spending 45 minutes driving to a store to save $.40 per pound on beef, that’s not saving! Your time is valuable, so absolutely count that into the equation.
Many times stores will have loss leaders (items they sell at a loss just to get people into their store”. Did I mention that I worked in a grocery store for six years? No? Well, I did. It is a fantastic, socially conscious store (B-Corp certified) that helped bring healthy and local food to the communities they serve.
Yet, they weren’t cheap. Even with a staff member discount, I was paying a lot for my groceries. Yet I knew that certain times of the year, they would offer boneless skinless chicken breasts at $2 off the regular price (that was basically at cost for the store), $4.99 vs. $6.99. I bought enough chicken to last a long time. We’re talking like 20 breasts. Then I would take them home, portion two breasts into a freezer bag and boom, chicken for months!
I knew about these times, so I planned it into my budget. Other times of year stores have a sale is their anniversary day (or founder days), or holidays. Each chain is a little bit different, so don’t be shy. Ask them when their big sales are!
Go the extra mile and ask them which days they mark their items down. For example, canned goods may go on Tuesday, boxed goods on Wednesday. Or they may go by the department, dry grocery on Monday, and perishable grocery (dairy and such) on Friday. Ask them what time of day they start and when they finish. Then see if you can go in near to the time that they are wrapping up.
Meal planning saves you time
As a super duper busy mom (aren’t we all?), one of the things I hate most is standing in front of the fridge trying to decide what to fix. When this happens, my mind immediately goes blank; nothing in the refrigerator looks good to eat. In the past, I would waste maybe 10-30 minutes a day just trying to decide what to make. What a waste!
By meal planning, you always know because you posted the weekly menu on the fridge! And what’s better is that your family never needs to ask you, “what’s for dinner?”
Resources to meal planning on a budget
Luckily, many women have masted the art of meal planning (hey, no reason that we need to reinvent the wheel!). So let’s dive in to see how others have meal planned on a budget.
The Healthy Meal Planning Bundle
If you’re a one-stop-shop kind of mom (me!), then you’re going to love this fantastic resource! It’s a bundle of 58 products all around meal planning, tied up in one neat package! You just buy it once (for a crazy low price), and you have access to all 58 items! You need to act fast, as it’s only on sale for the week of August 17th – 21st!
There are 11 Cookbooks, 15 Meal Plans, 11 eBooks, 9 eCourses, 10 Printables, 1 Membership, and a Summit. (Plus some great free bonuses and an early bird buyer special thank you gift!)
The Healthy Meal Planning Bundle is a great option because it’s all around this very specific topic of healthy meal planning (not all are low cost specific). Still, the bundle as a whole is very cost-effective, so you can meal plan on a budget (and there are a few resources around being budget-conscious).
Here are the main categories that the bundle covers…
How to get started meal planning
Quick & easy
Real food & nutrition
Now, you may be wondering why you would ever need 58 items all around the same topic? Totally fair question by the way. Let’s just say it like it is; we won’t vibe with everyone we meet or learn effectively from one particular teaching style. So in the bundle, some information may overlap, but that’s a good thing!
So many times, I read about a topic that I already know a lot about. Yet, one person says something in a specific way, or in a particular tone where it just “clicks” for me! The lightbulb goes off, and I suddenly “get it”! I am thrilled when this happens as it could have something that I didn’t quite understand, or never really knew why it was a big deal.
The great thing about this bundle is that they are giving everyone a free jumpstart by hosting a free Meal Planning Bootcamp starting August 11th. Yes, that’s coming up soon! Here, you can get a taste of some of the information, and get geared up to start your own meal planning journey.
The best part is that it’s a challenge, so you are participating right alongside other women just like you! Going through things together, so you can bounce ideas off of each other, learn from those who tried XYZ, and help others with your own experiences. Don’t forget that it’s free! Yup, zero cost to join in and participate!
Now don’t worry, if you’re reading this after August 11th. The bundle still exists, but it’s only available for a limited time. However, they bring it back annually, and sometimes they even do a flash sale after a few months (no guarantees though). So still sign up with your name and email, and then you will be on the list to get notified once it becomes available again!
Ultimate Bundles also offers a phenomenal resource on learning about all things personal finance! Check out their Master Your Money Super Bundle right here!
If you haven’t watched Frankie work his magic in the kitchen, then you are missing out! He doesn’t do meal prep, per se, but his expertise is in cooking cheaply, using leftovers, AND he’s damn entertaining too! Check out one of my favorite video’s down below (hint – save this video for after Thanksgiving!)
Grab some meal planning printables to help meal plan on a budget
Oh, organizing… did you ever know that you’re my hero? Everything that I would like to be? For you are the wind beneath my wings. Or something like that. Yup, organizing makes my heart happy!
That’s why I am such a huge fan of my Organized Home printables, and I created one specifically for meal planning! This packet has…
weekly menu planner
food inventory tracker (so you never lose steaks under the frozen spinach again!)
family favorite meals list (that are easy go to’s when short on time & energy)
grocery shopping list, broken up by department (no circling back to aisle 7 five different times!)
Let me at ’em!
This meal planner & grocery list is an instant download so you can print it in just 2 minutes from now! (save it to your hard drive so you can print as many copies as you want!)
Freezer meals are essential to meal planning on a budget
One of the very best things that you can do is plan on failing!
Yup, I freely admit that somedays I am a Hot Mess Mom! I am frazzled, I am running 54 errands, going to the eye doctor and end up getting my eyes dilated for what seems like forever, and on and on the tragedy of life turns into a comedy! And I am DONE!
That means I need to plan on things not going great, so on those days, I need something up my sleeve because I know that going to the drive-thru isn’t all that cheap, nor is it healthy!
There are two options for us Hot Mess Moms…
One – Frozen Meals – pizza, burritos, corndogs & tater tots (yum), etc. Now, these aren’t the healthiest, but they are cheap. Besides, who doesn’t like tater tots! So I am fine with doing this a few nights here and there.
Two – Freezer Meals! These are my secret weapon for when times are tough. For example, before I gave birth, I did a whole day of nothing but freezer meal prep, as I knew once the baby came, I would need all the help I could get!
A great resource that I have found is My Freeze Easy! It’s a freezer meal planning & prep plan, where you get access to new monthly freezer recipes! There are some great customizations too; gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, instant pot, etc.!
Now not only are these designed to save time, but they stem from the $5 Meal Plan program, so all the recipes are budget-friendly!
If you’re not quite sure about diving into freezer meals, Erin (the founder) has a great free workshop to introduce you to freezer cooking, so you can feel it out and see if it’s something you might like. Again don’t worry, it’s not a 90-minute life or death training. She’s a mom; she knows you’re busy! It’s three videos for a total of approx 20 minutes. easy peasy, right! (Pssst… you get three free recipes & shopping list, nice!)
Some of you may be a bit wary of freezing meals, especially produce. I mean, does freezing take away all the good vitamins & nutrients? Answer: Not at all! According to Healthline, “Frozen fruit and vegetables are generally picked at peak ripeness (while fresh is picked before it’s ripe). They are often washed, blanched, frozen, and packaged within a few hours of being harvested. Frozen produce is nutritionally, similar to fresh produce. When nutrient decreases are reported in frozen produce, they’re generally small.”
They mentioned that most of the nutrient loss happens with extended periods of storage in the freezer, like two years or more. So generally speaking, frozen fruits & vegetables are a great way to get your vitamins!
The Healthy Meal Planning Bundle does have a freezer meal cookbook, but it’s not as customizable as My Freeze Easy plan! BUT, I know that the thought of buying 58 items, like the bundle, can cause your brain to shut down from overwhelm. So here’s one great resource. Easy Peasy!
Look to Pinterest for inspiration
So this is a love/hate relationship. Everything looks great, yet it can be overwhelming. Simply put in the search bar “Meal planning on a budget”, or “easy dinners”, “crockpot dinners,” or “frugal foods”. So many options will come up.
I have a secret board just for “dinners to try”, and then maybe once a month I’ll go in and pick a few to try during the next month, and I work those into my meal plan. I may find a new favorite, or it may be a dud.
Oh, and don’t forget while you’re on Pinterest checking out meals, head on over here, and follow me for lots of budget-friendly inspiration!
Know your grocery budget (and stick to it)
If you want to do meal planning to save money, you need to know your grocery budget! Better yet, if you’re stocking up on things at a low price, then you need to know how much of your grocery budget is for regular food, and how much is for stocking up. You can’t blow everything on your stockpile, and you can’t spend every last dime on your weekly veg.
A good place to start is 75/25 split. So 75% of your grocery budget is for everyday shopping, while 25% of your grocery budget is for stocking up. Initially, you may find you’re spending a bit more on your stockpile, but it will taper down as you go on and build up your pantry.
Some things that I stockpile when the prices are good…
Cereal (I only buy if it’s $1 a box)
Meat (buy in bulk and divide into 1 lb portions then freeze)
Paper goods (paper towels, TP)
Health & beauty – soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc
In talking about budgeting did your stomach do a little flip? I know you’ve been meaning to get back to budgeting, so here’s a great resource! It’s my Ultimate Guide on How to Budget Series, and it goes through everything you ever wanted to know about it!
Tip for Meal Planning on a Budget – Leftovers are your friend!
Don’t forget to plan on having a leftover day for dinners! Make it one day at the end of the week to clean out your fridge before the next week’s shopping trip.
Make it easy!
Have Leftover Day be as easy as possible for your family by getting some great clear glass meal storage containers! That way, you can easily see what’s in there to eat, and by buying glass containers, you can reheat these directly in the microwave without worry. It’s known that microwaving food in plastic containers isn’t the best choice.
Harvard Health states that “When food is wrapped in plastic or placed in a plastic container and microwaved, BPA and phthalates may leak into the food. BPA and phthalates are believed to be “endocrine disrupters.” These are substances that mimic human hormones, and not for the good.”
Now, I’m not a scientist, nor am I a fearmonger. But if I don’t need to take a risk, and can easily avoid it, I will. So I bought glass containers for my family.
I love these Pyrex containers. They are a perfect size (3 cup) and stack great in the fridge! So after dinner is over, if there are leftovers, I immediately portion the items out into meals in the containers. So all my husband has to do is grab one, take off the lid and heat it up and BAM, full dinner/lunch!
Pyrex 3-Cup Rectangle Food Storage
pack of 4 or 6
Glass is pre-heated oven, microwave, fridge and freezer safe, & dishwasher safe
Non-porous glass won’t absorb stains or odors
Make leftovers new & different!
If your family doesn’t love the idea of leftovers, then you can easily shake things up! All you need to do is change how it’s served. For example, get some tortillas to make items into a wrap, or add on soup & salad to make small amounts of leftovers stretch into a full meal.
Here are some other ideas to give your leftovers a makeover with a different presentation
make it a wrap
turn it into soup
add a grain and have a buddha bowl
make a frittata or an omelet
use leftovers as fillings for a quesadilla
or as a topping on pizza
Just Google “what to do with leftover ________”, and you should get some fun ideas! Or just go to Big Oven’s Use Up Leftovers feature! You add in your three main ingredients, and it gives you a bunch of tasty options!
At the end of the day
Our Mom List never seems to get shorter, does it? You cross four things off, and then two hours later, you add seven more things! ARG! Yet, there are some things (like meal planning) that can reduce your mental and physical load over time. Meal planning may take a few rounds for you to work out the kinks, but overall you will save so much time and money!
Imagine what you would do with 40% more of that grocery budget? (as you won’t be throwing away rotted out lettuce, or wait, was the broccoli? Yesh, it’s hard to tell now that it’s a squishy stinky blob.
Meal planning on a budget can give you that 40% back! Remember, RTS estimated that it was $1,600 on average, a year per family! What would you do with an extra $1,600 a year? Use it to fund a family vacation? Revamp your back patio living space? Use it to help offset the cost of braces for your youngest? There are so many things!
Articles related to meal planning on a budget:
How to Motivated While Saving Money
Your Ultimate Guide on How to Budget Series
Tell me in the comments, If you started meal planning on a budget, what would you do with the $1,600 that’s back in your pocket?
The post The Frugal Mom’s Guide to Meal Planning on a Budget appeared first on Money for the Mamas.
Educators are the ones that ignite a love of learning inside each of us and help mold us for future success in life. Theyâre essential to student growth, invaluable in their communities, work countless hours preparing lessons, and care for their students. Despite all of their dedication and responsibility, itâs a well-known fact that educators are often underpaid, and many turn to side hustles to make ends meet.Â
If youâre a teacher looking for a way to supplement your income, there are many part-time opportunities that can fit your schedule and skillset. Whether youâre looking for work through the summer, or an extra gig for nights and weekends, weâve put together this complete guide of side hustles for teachers.Â
Jobs to Keep You Teaching
Jobs Online and On Apps
Jobs to Get You Outside
DIY Work From HomeÂ
$17.53 an hour, though it varies widely by experience and specialty.
Get started: Register online to become a tutor through sites like TutorMe, Tutor.com, and VaristyTutor, or set your own price and let parents at your school know youâre available.
2. Standardized Test Administrator
While test administrator requirements will vary across states and school districts, itâs needed everywhere there are schools. Administrators ensure that all testing procedures are followed, that no test materials are taken from the site, and that all tests are collected and submitted securely for grading. As schooling moves online, there are also plenty of opportunities to proctor exams from home.Â
Pay: Test administrators earn between $32,500 and $43,500 on average for full-time work, and can earn as little as $24,000 a year.
Get started: Find your state testing serviceâs site to learn more and apply to become a test administrator. You can also apply to become a proctor with online proctoring companies like ProctorU.
3. Teach English AbroadÂ
Do you dream of traveling the world? Teaching abroad during the summer months is a great way to strengthen your skills as a teacher and experience other cultures. There are great options for short-term teaching jobs abroad, or you can teach foreign classrooms from home.Â Â
Pay: This varies by region, but reaches as high as $5,000 a month. Keep in mind that some gigs cover room and board, while others require you to budget your own living costs.
Get started: You can learn more about the process and regions through International Schools Service and find international teaching jobs with sites like Teachaway and Go Overseas.
4. Adjunct Community College ProfessorÂ
More people are opting for community college to save on tuition, and thereâs an increased demand for teachers in these programs. While some colleges may require a Masterâs degree for employment, others only require a Bachelorâs and relevant teaching experience. Becoming an adjunct professor or teacher at a community college is a great way to continue teaching and change lives in a meaningful way.Â
Pay: Adjunct faculty make a median of $2,700 per three-credit-hour course, though this varies between institutions and experience.
Get started: Check out the education requirements at your local colleges to see where your experience would be accepted. Then, decide what you want to teach, meet with a few other professors, and apply.Â
5. Babysitting or NannyingÂ
Parents are always looking for someone responsible to watch after their little ones, and who better to trust than a teacher? Babysitting and other forms of childcare on nights and weekends is a flexible option that allows you to continue spending time with children while earning some under-the-table cash.Â
Pay: Pay varies significantly by experience and location, so use this babysitting rate calculator to determine a fair price for your services.
Get started: Contact families you know for a smooth start to babysitting, or use sites like Care.com to match with families. Youâll likely need a background check to find nanny gigs online.Â
Gridwise provides pay averages for major cities as well as other costs you should consider.
Get started: The first step is to download the app of your choice, then collect and submit the companyâs required information. For example, Lyft requires:
At least one year of licensed driving experience
Pass both a DMV and criminal background check
Have your car inspected by a licensed mechanic
Drive an approved vehicle model
7. Delivery Services
If youâre not comfortable driving strangers, then you may want to consider delivery or shopping services instead. You can choose to deliver packages for companies like Amazon Flex, or deliver food and groceries as people need them.Â
Pay: The average worker makes around $200 a month, though itâs heavily dependent on tips, location, and company.
Get started: Decide what you want to deliver, then choose the app that works best for you.
Postmates and Favor deliver everything from groceries to office supplies
DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub specialize in restaurant delivery
Shop and deliver groceries with Instacart and Shipt
8. Rent Out Your Extra SpaceÂ
If you have a spare room or apartment, you can rent it out for long- or short-term stays through services like Airbnb. This process is extra simple as you just have to set the dates and keep a clean and desirable place to stay. Just make sure you have updated insurance to cover any potential damages.Â
Even if you donât have a room or home to rent, you can rent out parking spaces, lawns, swimming pools, and more.Â
Pay: Airbnb hosts can make an average of $924 a month â the highest income of all gig economy services.
Get started: Register your space for free after deciding your rates, rules, and available hours. You can also check out these other sharing gigs to consider:
SniffSpot to share your yard with dogs
Swimply to rent your pool
JustPark and Spacer offer your parking spaces
Spinlister lets you rent sporting equipment
Getaround allows you to share your car when not in use
9. Virtual AssistantÂ
While a virtual assistant (VA) likely has some level of administrative work to do, they offer a number of different services including customer support, human resources, bookkeeping, and more. Most VAs are required to have experience in some type of administrative role.Â
Pay: Virtual assistants make an average $15.77 an hour, but the pay can reach $27 an hour depending on experience and job needs.
Get started: A virtual assistant is their own boss, so youâll want to follow some of the basic steps to building a business. Checkout Dollarspoutâs guide to get started.Â
10. Online Surveys
Online surveys may not be the most lucrative side hustle, but the money can add up. Theyâre convenient, quick, easy, and there are plenty of platforms to use online and on your phone. Itâs a good option if youâre just looking for a little extra spending money.Â
Pay: Each survey pays anywhere from $.10â$3, and thereâs usually a minimum earned amount to reach before you can cash out.Â
Get started: Choose a site like Swagbucks or InboxDollars to start receiving surveys and earning money. You can also earn Google credits you can use immediately with Google Opinion Rewards.
$15, but your location will affect prices. If you walk dogs for another company then youâll have to pay them a cut, too.
Get started: Reach out to friends and neighbors to work independently, or join a service like Wag or Rover.
12. Tour Guide
If you live in a historic city or neighborhood, there may be an opportunity for you to offer walking tours of your area to summertime visitors. Itâs a great opportunity to look at your city through a new lens and teach others about the area you love. Plus, being a guide will allow you to practice your public speaking skills, and you can use your knowledge of the area for future lesson plans!Â
Pay: Tour guides make anywhere from $10â$20 an hour with an average of $24,343 a year base pay.
Get started: Jump right in as a peer-to-peer guide with Tours by Locals and Shiroube, or reach out to local organizations and attractions to see whoâs hiring.
13. Summer Camp CounselorÂ
Relive your childhood memories of playgrounds, arts and crafts, and water balloon fights, not to mention spend all day in the gorgeous summer sun. Youâll be accustomed to the responsibility that comes with watching children all day, and you can let loose and have fun as a camp counselor.
Pay: Day camp counselors earn an average $10 an hour, and managers can make up to $20. Overnight camps pay a couple dollars more at an average of $13.
Get started: Local church, YMCA, and Parks and Recreation organizations often host summer and school break camps. You can also search other cities and overnight camps for a more unique camp experience.
Thereâs nothing better than spending the summer in the sun, and lifeguarding is a great way to do that while protecting others. The American Red Cross offers lifeguard and water safety courses year-round, which will help you earn the necessary certifications and skills for the job.
Pay: Lifeguards earn an average of $12 an hour, though job experience may earn you a boost.
Get started: Once you complete your lifeguard training, you can apply to be a lifeguard at local pools, beaches, or even your school.
15. Coaching Local Youth Sports
If you were a competitive athlete or just love fitness, you may be able to make money as a youth sports coach. Youâll make the most as a private coach or by starting your own business. This way you can set your price and schedule, but it will be a lot of work in the beginning.Â
Pay: You can set your own price, but most coaches earn around $14 an hour.
Get started: Start with coach training, then reach out to local organizations and meet other coaches in your area for opportunities and recommendations.
16. Lawn and Garden Care
Have a green thumb? You could earn some extra money in the summer months by going old-school and offering to mow lawns and tend to gardens.Â
Pay: Landscapers earn around $14 on average with the opportunity to earn up to $20 an hour.
Get started: If you have your own equipment, advertise to your neighbors through Nextdoor and Facebook groups. Or you can work part-time for an established company.
Redbubble, or sell independently at markets and on social media.Â
19. Farm for Cash
If you have the space and a green thumb, then consider selling food for cash. Garden vegetables and herbs can sell well on their own, or you can use them to make homemade sauces and salsas. Other products like eggs, honey, and flowers are also popular farmers market staples you can produce at home. Plus, your side hustle can double as a biology lesson.
Pay: Your product affects your price, but startup costs for selling at the market and purchasing basic booth needs are under $500.
Get started: Once you choose a product, plant it and get your business plan and certifications nailed down while they grow!
20. Begin Blogging
Blogging is a form of infopreneurship where you share your knowledge, build a professional reputation, and earn money. As a teacher, you can sell your lessons and resources, or write an e-book on effective classroom management. If you want a break from the classroom, share your experiences with gardening, business, or family instead. Once you build an audience, you can earn money through advertising or by selling your expertise as a speaker or writer.Â
Pay: Bloggers earn an average $33,428 a year, but many make closer to $20,000.
Get started: Plan your blog topics and study up on how to market your blog, then get started writing. WordPress is a go-to for websites, but you can start out on simpler systems like Wix.Â
21. Sell Stock Photos
If you dabble in photography, consider posting your photos on stock photo sites. You can make quite a bit from high-quality and desirable photos, but itâs becoming highly competitive. If youâre new to photography, then you may not make a lot, but if youâre already shooting then you might as well try to earn some money as you learn the basics.Â
Pay: Stock photography can range from $.10â$80 a photo, and some sites charge you to post on them.
Get started: Start taking pictures that arenât just pretty, but offer a story and context to them. Read up on royalties, then post your photos on sites like Alamy and Shutterstock.Â
Many teachers and educators see side hustles or part-time work as a necessity to supplement their income. On the bright side, there are so many options these days that teachers can choose what works best for their schedule or lifestyle. Once you have a side hustle plan, set some savings goals and learn to budget your extra cash appropriately to get you there.Â
Sources: Fortunly | Earnest | NEA | StatistaÂ
The post 21 Side Hustles for Teachers In and Out of the Classroom appeared first on MintLife Blog.
You may not realize it, but behind the scenes the Federal Reserve is quietly influencing your everyday life when it comes to borrowing, saving and even spending. Serving as the central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve, or Fed, is responsible for managing the country’s monetary policy. A big part of its job is adjusting the federal funds rateâthe short-term interest rate banks charge each other to lend funds overnight. The Fed decides whether or not to raise or lower this benchmark interest rate in order to reach maximum employment and stable inflation.
OK, wait. Policymakers, the economics behind employment and inflation, overnight lending between banks… so how does a change in interest rate affect your decision to spend or save, you ask? To borrow from a popular saying: âSo goes the federal funds rate, so goes consumer interest rates,” says Riley Adams, a certified public accountant and founder of personal finance website Young and the Invested. Whether it goes up or down, a change to the federal funds rate could have a ripple effect in the same direction for borrowers, savers and spendersâan important proof point for why the federal funds rate matters for consumers.
If this is news to you and the federal funds rate hasn’t really been on your radar, have no fear. What follows will help you more fully answer the question: How does the Federal Reserve interest rate affect me? Then you’ll be on your way to making the best money management decisions for your financial goals and the current interest rate environment.
A low interest rate environment makes borrowing more attractive
The answer to “how does the Federal Reserve interest rate affect me?” can be very beneficial in a low-rate environment if you have debt or are looking for new borrowing opportunities. When the Fed cuts rates, borrowing money tends to become less expensive since banks and lenders also typically lower rates on their credit products.
In a low-rate environment, for example, you could see lower rates on:
Private student loans
Home equity lines of credit
Why the federal funds rate matters for consumers and the credit cards in your wallet has to do with minimum payments and interest charges. A Federal Reserve rate cut could translate to a lower minimum payment on credit cards and a lower cost to carry a balance from one month to the next. For loans, a Fed rate cut could mean lower monthly payments and less interest paid out over the life of the loan. Lower borrowing costs can add money back to your budget that you could use to spend, save or apply to your financial goal of choice.
How does the Federal Reserve interest rate affect me when it comes to homeownership, you ask? There’s good news there, too. When the Fed lowers rates, homeowners with an adjustable-rate mortgage or homebuyers shopping for one may experience a rate reduction, since the rates for this type of mortgage typically track with the prime rate, which is in turn influenced by the federal funds rate. The lower your mortgage rate, the lower your monthly payment and the more home you might be able to afford. Good deal. Note that fixed-rate mortgages are less directly impacted by a Fed rate cut.
Chad Rixse, director of financial planning at Forefront Wealth Partners, says that when rates are falling, it may be a good time to consider refinancing or consolidating existing debt, such as private student loans, home loans and car loans. (Definitions: Refinancing means replacing your existing loan with a new one at a lower rate. Consolidating means paying off multiple loans with a single new loan.)
When analyzing “how does the Federal Reserve interest rate affect me?” Adams adds that consumers should be mindful of how much rates have dropped to determine the value of refinancing or consolidating. Using mortgages as an example: “They should not consider refinancing a mortgage after a 25 basis point (0.25%) cut in the rates because the associated costs and fees will outweigh any interest savings,” Adams says. “If rates move meaningfully lower (1.00%+), they should be on the lookout for refinancing offers, assuming they have significant time remaining on their mortgage and can benefit from lower interest costs.”
âSo goes the federal funds rate, so goes consumer interest rates.”
When rates rise, savers reap the benefits
How does the Federal Reserve interest rate affect me when rates go up? In a higher interest rate environment, your savings may actually be able to get a little more love.
“If interest rates rise, this benefits savers by possibly earning more interest on their bank deposits, assuming their bank indexes interest rates on deposits to remain competitive against other banks,” Adams says.
For your list of “ways the Fed interest rate affects me,” consider that these savings vehicles could earn more interest when rates rise:
Certificates of deposit (CDs)
Money market accounts
Interest-bearing checking accounts
You can take advantage of higher savings interest rates and get the most from your savings efforts by increasing the amount of money stashed in your interest-earning savings accounts. The higher the balance, the more you will earn.
If you’re focused on saving and there’s a chance rates could drop in the near term, you may want to lock in a higher rate while you can with a long-term, fixed-rate CD. That way, you can continue to earn a higher rate throughout the CD’s term even if the Fed cuts the federal funds rate and rates start to drop on deposit accounts.
A simple way to reach your goals.
Watch your savings grow with aÂ CD.
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Interest rates can affect spending habits
Why the federal funds rate matters for consumers even extends into purchasing power and everyday spending.
âBy raising the federal funds rate, the Fed makes it more attractive for banks to hold extra capital,” says James McGrath, a housing market expert and licensed real estate broker at New York-based real estate firm Yoreevo. âWhen more money is locked away in vaults, there is less available to make loans and buy things, which slows growth and inflation.”
If inflation is kept to a minimum by the Fed’s benchmark interest rate, prices for things you buy every dayâthink groceries or personal care itemsâhave less room to increase. If a Fed rate change keeps those everyday prices low, you can put more of your money toward savings or paying off high-interest debt.
On the flip side, McGrath says the Fed can lower rates to spur spending. That puts more money into the economy, but it does open up the potential for prices to rise, he says. If you’re wondering “what ways the Fed interest rate affects me?” consider that higher prices could mean that your money has to stretch further to buy the same things.
How to handle interest rate changes
By now, you should have a better understanding of why the federal funds rate matters for consumers. While there’s nothing you can do to control the Federal Reserve’s rate changes, you can control how you react to rising or falling rates.
Look at your overall financial situation against the backdrop of what’s happening with rates. Your list of ways the Fed interest rate affects me might be different than someone else’s. Ask yourself how you can take advantage of rising or falling rates for maximum financial benefit when it comes to your borrowing, saving and spending priorities. For example, if the Fed hikes rates and you’ve been building up a college savings fund for your children, you may be motivated to put more into savings to take advantage of higher returns. If rates are cut and you’ve been in the market for a loan for some time, now could be the time to jump on it.
Note that the ways the Fed interest rate affects me may also depend on more than just one Fed rate change. “Small changes don’t amount to significant differences over time,” Adams says. “It’s when a long-term rate increase or decrease path becomes the norm that consumers should pay more attention,” he adds.
Above all, remember that rate increases and decreases are a normal part of what the Fed does. âRemain calm and carry on,” Rixse suggests. âDon’t let panic or negative emotions guide your decision-making.”
The post How Does the Federal Reserve Interest Rate Affect Me? appeared first on Discover Bank – Banking Topics Blog.
After falling to the lowest rate in Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey’s near 50-year-history last week, the average U.S. mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan remained at a survey-low 2.67% this week.
Last weekâs announcement of a 2.67% rate broke the previous record set on Dec. 3, and was the first time the survey reported rates below 2.7%.
The average fixed rate for a 15-year mortgage also fell this week to 2.17% from 2.19%. One year ago, 15-year average fixed rates were reported at 3.16%.
âAll eyes have been on mortgage rates this year, especially the 30-year fixed-rate, which has dropped more than one percentage point over the last twelve months, driving housing market activity in 2020,â said Sam Khater, Freddie Macâs chief economist. âHeading into 2021 we expect rates to remain flat, potentially rising modestly off their record low, but solid purchase demand and tight inventory will continue to put pressure on housing markets as well as house price growth.â
Freddie Mac has reported survey-low rates 16 times in 2020, proving beneficial to borrowers looking to buy or refinance a home amid economic turmoil outside of the industry.
Mortgage spreads continue to compress, per Freddie Mac officials, with the 10-yearÂ TreasuryÂ yield remaining at or above 90 basis points through the beginning of December.
This week’s 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.71%, down from last week when it averaged 2.79%. That’s another sharp drop-off from this time last year, when the 5-year ARM averaged 3.46%.
The Federal Open Market Committee revealed earlier this month that the Federal Reserve plans to keep interest rates low until labor market conditions and inflation meet the committeeâs standards. Overall, Fed purchases have helped to drive mortgage rates and other loan interest rates to the lowest level on record by boosting competition for bonds.
Higher rates may be around the corner, as the calendar flips to 2021 and the promise of a second COVID-19 stimulus check along with a vaccine reaches consumers. The Mortgage Bankers Association has forecasted rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans rising to an average of 3.2% by the end of 2021.
But if the virus is not controlled in the new year, investors may remain cautious and consumer confidence could wane – keeping rates low, according to the MBA.
The post Mortgage rates remain at record-low levels appeared first on HousingWire.