Jobs Like GrubHub: 8 Alternatives for Delivery Drivers

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

One thing’s for sure: rideshare apps and the the “sharing economy” are booming right now. After the rise of Uber, there are many countless tech startups looking to capitalize on services that offer customers work from freelancers with the touch of a smartphone. I’ve previously written about alternatives to Uber , but in this blog entry I’m going to specifically focus in on delivery driving alternatives that are similar to GrubHub.

I’ve previously worked as a GrubHub driver (read about my experiences here) and think it can be a good way to pick up some extra money, as long as you’ve got a vehicle and a phone. It is worth noting that in larger cities you can also deliver by bike or even by walking, so those are options as well. GrubHub isn’t the only option out there, however, and I want to show you the range of choice available.

Please note that each company operates in specific metro areas, so check on their respective websites to see if its available in your city before applying. 

Are you a driver for GrubHub, Fasten, or Doordash? Find out how to get paid DAILY with DailyPay here

Here are 8 alternatives for delivery drivers:

Uber EATS

We’ve all heard of Uber. They are clearly leaders in the world of ridesharing and their delivery business offered with Uber EATS is rapidly expanding across the globe. Uber EATS delivery partners can use either a car, bike, or scooter for work depending on what’s available in their city. You’ll deliver both food and other products customers have ordered with Uber EATS and your schedule is 100% up to you!

To drive you must be at least 19 years old, have a driver’s license, and a vehicle that is from 1997 or newer. What’s great about Uber EATS is they have a rapid sign-up process so you can get on the road very quickly, plus once you start work you can transfer your earnings to your bank account instantly after a delivery!

Apply here to become an Uber EATS delivery partner

Or to become an Uber driver for the rideshare service (for people not food), go here

Orderup

Orderup is a service very similar in its structure to GrubHub. Customers order through an app, and delivery drivers working as independent contractors deliver the food to them. The website says you can make up to $20/hr. as a driver and the hiring process can have you on the road in as little as 7-14 days.

Apply here

Caviar

Caviar offers a more curated experience to customers from restaurants that are more upscale. Their delivery workers, called “couriers,” can make up to $25/hr with flexible schedules. They are currently in 12 metropolitan areas but plan to expand. You can deliver with a variety of different vehicles (car, truck, motorcycle, bike) as a courier.

Apply here

DoorDash

This service is similar to GrubHub and Orderup in its structure. It’s worth noting that they offer their drivers (called Dashers) insurance while on their shifts. So if you were in an accident while working you could potentially file a claim though DoorDash’s insurance. You can drive, bike, or walk depending on the city as a Dasher.

Apply here

Apply for Delivery + Driver Jobs on Snagajob
Search and apply for hourly jobs on Snagajob

Munchery

Munchery operates much differently than the other companies mentioned so far. Instead of picking up food from various restaurants, they have their own in-house team of chefs that make the meals. The meals are then chilled, boxed up, and delivered to the customers by the drivers (or bikers) after they order through the Munchery website or app. What’s also different is they hire employees rather than contract workers. With this you will have a specific, assigned schedule rather than the flexibility to work whenever, but you get full worker’s benefits- including a mileage reimbursement and data reimbursement for your phone.

Apply here

Postmates

Postmates is similar to GrubHub in that it focuses on food delivery, but it is much more versatile in terms of the job responsibilities.  Whereas GrubHub only delivers from restaurants that partner with their company, Postmates allows delivery from ANYWHERE the customer requests. Additionally, they can also request errands where you might be picking up products from a store or even picking up a customer’s dry cleaning. Their website claims you can make up to $25/hr. so it could be a good way to pick up some extra money.

Apply here

Favor

“Runners” for Favor do a variety of tasks such as get food and run errands for customers who request them through the app, similar to Postmates. You must have a car, bike, or motorcycle to be a Runner and are guaranteed a minimum of $10-$18 per hour depending on the city. Currently they are based out of several cities in Texas. Workers also wear distinctive blue shirts with a tuxedo design on them (see the website for pics).

Apply here

Instacart

This is a grocery delivery service that is currently operating in numerous metro areas throughout the United States. They partner with different grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, and some stores have dedicated Instacart check-out lanes. What’s nice about this service is that you can work either as a part-time employee or an independent contractor, with or without a car. If you have a car you can work as a driver, while if you don’t have a car or don’t wish to drive, you can work solely as a shopper who prepares orders for customers in a particular store. So overall it can be very flexible depending on your needs.

Apply here

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more updates on frugal living, as well as stay updated on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

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Get 25% off EVERY Online Order from Papa John’s with this Pizza Hack (Courtesy of RetailMeNot)

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I am happy to report that I tried this code and it WORKED. Take note, though, that it can’t be used with other offers (trust me… I tried) and there are individual locations and franchises that can opt out of the offer- so make sure you enter in your address first and choose the correct store to see if it works at your local Papa John’s.

I’m always a little skeptical of coupon codes I find online. They have usually not worked and provided tremendous disappointment. As they say, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!” When they do work, it restores a slight bit of my faith in humankind.

Just enter:

25OFF

Then the discount will be applied at checkout. 1/4 of your pizza is on me tonight, guys. Boom.

Apply for Papa John’s Jobs on SnagAJob now!
Search and apply for hourly jobs on Snagajob

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(Via RetailMeNot)

10 Free Things to do in While Traveling in Chicago

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Chicago is an awesome city with a distinct culture, tasty hometown food, and friendly people who manage to bring a Midwestern hospitality to a busy metropolis. From their famous comedy clubs like Second City, to the legendary sports teams like the Chicago Cubs, all the way to the big city glam of the shops on Michigan Avenue you’ll find something that anyone can enjoy in the Windy City.

Like any travel destination, though, it can be easy to get sucked in to expensive and sometimes unnecessary purchases and attractions. To help you travel in a thrifty way, I’ve assembled this list of things to do for FREE while traveling in Chicago.

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Millennium Park

Yup, this would be the park the infamous “bean” (technically called Cloud Gate) that has become an icon of Chicago in just a little over a decade. That’s not the only free thing to do here, though. Throughout the year, particularly in the warmer months, there are events and music festivals housed under the Jay Pritzker Pavilon from the country’s only free outdoor classical music series of its size  to the Chicago Blues FestivalChicago Gospel Music FestivalJazz FestivalWorld Music Festival, and the Chicago Air and Water Show that are all completely FREE! If it’s the winter time, don’t fret! They also offer a free ice skating rink.

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Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center, which just so happens to be in walking distance of Millennium Park, can be something of a best kept secret for travelers to Chicago. It’s a large, historic municipal building that is not only beautiful to look at but filled with a number of arts and cultural events that are completely FREE. If you like art exhibits, there are a number of exhibits from many renowned artists at the Center, in addition to free film screenings, kid’s events, and music performances. You can  also catch a free daily tour of the building (great if you are an architecture buff) and check out the world’s largest Tiffany-stained glass dome that is quite the sight to see!

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Lincoln Park Zoo

A trip to the zoo can be a great outing for families (or a group of scrappy 20-somethings!), but what can make it even better is if its free. The Lincoln Park Zoo happens to be free 365 days a year for each and every visitor. There are exhibits that are open in both the warmer months and colder seasons. During the holiday season, make sure to check out ZooLights- a fun Christmas light display.

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Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a famous shopping and entertainment district with beautiful views of Lake Michigan. Now this one comes with a bit of a disclaimer- technically it is free to walk around it but this heavily visited attraction has all of the typical markings of a tourist trap. The parking is expensive, the food and souvenirs are pricey, and if you aren’t careful you can end up spending quite a bit of money on things like boats tours and riding the ferris wheel (which costs $12 a person). I’d recommend taking public transit to Navy Pier rather than parking directly near it and maybe even packing a sack lunch to save money on food. If you walk far enough down the pier you can also normally find some cheaper priced boat tours. Plus twice a week during the summers they do a free fireworks show.

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Get a Free Guided Tour

There are a number of tours in Chicago that charge money but there are still PLENTY of options if you want a free tour run by volunteers. Tours by Foot offers walking tours of Chicago for a range of themes from a movie and television filming location tour (if you want to see places where famous movies were shot) to a ghost tour of allegedly haunted places in Chicago if you want to get your ghostbusting on. In addition you can get an individual tour from Chicago Guide, but make sure to reserve a spot at least 10 business day in advance.

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Free Museums

There a number of free museums in Chicago ranging from the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, and the Hyde Park Art Center. There’s also the Money Museum, which happens to also be free (go figure!). Plus you can take a free tour of a brewery.

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Check out the Beach!

A great thing about a lakeside city is that there are a number of beaches to visit for free. If it’s the summer, go ahead and pack a swim suit so you can soak up the sun! And if it’s the winter, seeing a snowy beach with a frozen lake makes for a very surreal Instagram-worthy photo-op.

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Watch a Free Improv Show

There are a number of improv theaters to see in Chicago, but most cost money (side note- at Second City you can tickets that have a view “partially obstructed” by a pole at a discount FYI). There is one improv troupe that offers shows completely free of charge, though. The aptly named “Free for All” show is every Sunday at 7:30PM at The Playground Theater.

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Watch Some Free Theater Shows

The Free Street Theater was one of the first racially integrated theater companies in Chicago when it was founded in the 1960’s and aims to create theatrical productions that highlight a diverse range of experiences. True to their name, they offer free shows!

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Take a Stroll Through the Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden offers free admission and is open year-round (yes, including winter). Whether you are looking for a pleasant stroll or a tram tour, this can be a great place to check out if you’re looking to unwind and enjoy the scenery in this 385-acre destination. There’s also the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park or  for something indoors, there’s the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to follow my blog for more updates on frugal living. Plus be sure to connect with me on YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

Do-it-Yourself Thrifty Mouthwash

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

Buying toiletries can be expensive! I know when I first was living on my own it was always a rather annoying and often unaccounted for expense. There are many things, however, that you can make at home using simple ingredients. Follow these instructions to make one such thing- your very own homemade, natural mouthwash!

You’ll Need

A small container (I used a recycle glass milk jar)

1 cup of distilled or filtered water

4 tsps. of baking soda

4 drops tea tree essential oil

4 drops peppermint essential oil

Funnel (optional, but recommended)

To Make it

Pour the water into the container then add the baking soda. Finally add the essentials oils, cover and shake, and you’re good to go. Use it like any regular mouthwash to clean your mouth.

Additional Notes

Baking soda has antibacterial properties and is a great item to have at home for a variety of frugal needs- from cooking to cleaning to personal grooming. The essential oils can be a little pricey, so you may need to shop around. They can typically be found at stores that sell organic and natural foods.

The oils add a minty flavor to the mouthwash and have additional antibacterial properties. It isn’t recommended that you make any more than one batch at a time because the oils can settle and change flavor over time. To save even more money, skip the oils all together and just use baking soda and water! This form of mouthwash isn’t medicated like the store-bought variety, so if your dentist has recommended other types of wash for specific dental needs, follow their directions.

If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to check out my YouTube Channel for additional thrifty living tips and follow The Thrifty Man on Pinterest and Twitter for updates!

Traveling Across the U.S. on a Budget: Tips for the Young and Adventurous

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For my YouTube video on this subject, click here!

You might see traveling as an expensive luxury reserved for those with the pocket change to handle first-class plane rides and five star hotels. The reality is, though, that if  you set your mind to it, you can travel on almost any budget. When you’re young, it’s great to get out and explore new areas that you’ve never been before. Whether you are in college and taking a summer trip with friends, or a single, millennial 20-something like me, traveling can be a highly rewarding experience.

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Here are my tips for traveling across the continental United States on a budget!

Consider Your Ground Transportation Options

Planes aren’t the only way to get around, it turns out. You can take an Amtrak train, a Greyhound bus, or, in certain areas, a discount double-decker bus line called Megabus. Megabus is a service that is popular in Europe and has now come to the United States. They are known for EXTREME discounts (they claim as little as $1) if you book ahead of time. Most transportation options offer a rate that varies depending on how early you book, but Megabus takes this to the max.

I was able to take a trip with a couple friends from Kansas City, MO to Chicago for about $10 round-trip because we booked several months in advance. While if you book the day of, the price skyrockets to what is often more than $100 one-way, if you plan ahead this could be a good way to save money. Do be forewarned, though- double-decker buses have a tendency to tip over when sliding and there have been a number of highly publicized accidents on Megabus rides. You get what you pay for, so pursue it with a cautiously adventurous spirit.

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Whichever option you take -plane, bus, or train, you can always save money by booking as early as possible. Or drive it yourself and make a road trip out of it!

Visit the Megabus website

Visit the Greyhound website

Visit the Amtrak website

Try Different Lodging Facilities Besides Hotels

When most Americans hear the word “hostel,” we probably have images conjured in our minds of the horror movie. Rest assured, though, that true hostels have NOTHING to do with this movie. I have had only amazing experiences in hostels and you could, too! Hostels, like the Megabus, are another European import that is picking up steam in the U.S. With a hostel, you have dormitory style lodging- think summer camp as a kid with a room full of bunk beds.

Hostels differ from hotels in that they function as more of a community space. There are often free events for travelers such as walking tours and community meals. It attracts a young, diverse crowd of travel-enthusiasts from all over the world. It can be really fascinating to meet the different array of people and, because you are sharing a room with others and pulling together resources, the fees for hostels are very affordable (think $30-$70 per night, depending on the city and size of room).

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In addition to hostels, consider Airbnb. This functions as a service where people can rent out their homes or apartments to travelers and is often much cheaper than a hotel. This requires a level of caution, though, so make sure you have received a good word about the host you are staying with. Plus, don’t ever feel afraid to ask family and friends if you can crash on their couches for a few days while you’re traveling- nothing beats FREE lodging.

Visit hostels.com for hostel listings

Visit the website for Hosteling International USA

(side note- Hosteling International offers a yearly membership that gives you discounted lodging and other benefits such as discounted car rentals, even tickets, etc. with any of their partnering hostels worldwide)

Visit the website for Airbnb

Eat In, Rather Than Eating Out for Most Meals

Now of course one of the best things about traveling to a new city is trying the food and I’m not saying you should deprive yourself of this experience. Rather, when it’s time for the “filler” meals, or those where you’re just eating because it’s lunch time and you need to grab some quick food, go back to where you’re staying and eat there.

Try to pack as much non-perishable food to take with you such as granola bars and soups, then when you arrive to the place you’re traveling to go grocery shopping and take the food back to your room with you.

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Even if the room you are staying in doesn’t have a kitchen, most hostels and hotels have a communal kitchen area SOMEWHERE, so look around or ask the management!

Food can be the one thing that if you really add up can get super out of hand against your budget, especially if you choose to eat out for every meal. Even if you tell yourself that you’ll just get cheap fast food, the prices at restaurants may be higher than you’re used to in the place you’re traveling to, so be wary.

Find Free Things to Do

Sure, there may be different landmarks and tourist traps in your travel destination that likely charge an arm and a leg to get in (not to mention outlandish prices for parking, food, and souvenirs). The real way to truly soak up the culture of a city, though, is to see where the locals are- walk around, window shop, see the different neighborhoods and soak up the ambience. This is totally free (if you resist the urge to buy things, that is!).

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You can also look up free things to do on Google. EVERY city has free things to do somewhere. You may be surprised at the depth of experiences you can have by just doing free activities.

163 Free Things to do in the U.S.

50 Free Things to do in North America

Your Adventure Awaits

Remember, you only live once! Get out and explore while you can and have fun. Don’t think that you have to be held down by a budget. With the proper planning, you can travel on ANY budget without draining your life savings.

If you liked this blog entry, make sure to check out my YouTube channel for more thrifty living tips, plus follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter for updates!

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Working as a GrubHub Driver- What’s it’s Like

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

I’ve worked as  GrubHub Delivery Driver and thought I would share my experiences for those that are interested in applying for this job and want to know what’s it’s like. Hopefully you’ll find this helpful!

What is GrubHub?

GrubHub has been around a long time (since the late 90’s, which is ancient in internet years) and was originally a “hub” where restaurants could post their menus for online takeout ordering. As they have expanded and evolved over the years, this now includes GrubHub’s own delivery service that operates through an app.

GrubHub is able to provide drivers to restaurants that may or may not offer delivery on their own. Essentially restaurants are outsourcing their delivery to a third party. Not every restaurant is available for customers to order from (in contrast to Postmates) so as a driver you will only be delivering to restaurants that have contracted with GrubHub.

How Scheduling Works

You can pick your own schedule. It is totally up to you if you want to work 80 hours or 0 hours a week and you will not be penalized either way. You sign up for mini shifts (called “blocks”) that range from anywhere from 2-6 hours. They release all of the blocks at the start of the week and they are on a first come, first serve basis. So if you want to work you’ve got to snatch them up fast!

Unlike Uber, you cannot just get in your car and work anytime you feel like it. You do have to stick with the blocks you signed up for.  If you work during a time that you aren’t scheduled for you won’t get paid- so don’t do that!!

The Training/Requirements/Sign-on Process

The “interview” process was very easy- there wasn’t one! Basically as long as you pass the background check and have a good driving record (and there’s spots available) you can become a driver. With Uber and other similar services you have to have a recent (5-10 years old) car, but with GrubHub you do not. Thus, as long as you have a vehicle with four wheels that runs you are probably good.

Training varies depending on your city. Some places have regional offices where you do the training, but mine did not so I had to train through an online webcast thingy. Once you start working all communication with GrubHub occurs though their phone line or by email, which takes some getting used to. You have no direct manager so you get the benefit of not having someone looking over your shoulder. Yet you are also kind of in this thing without direct assistance so it has it’s pros and cons.

What Your Blocks are Like

You are assigned a specific geographic region and you HAVE to be in that region to get offers and get paid. You have to download an app on their website. If you have an iPhone there’s a GrubHub Driver app in the app store but this is NOT the current app so don’t download it, use the link they have in the emails they send you.

Once you are on your first block, you go to your region and sign in to the app. Your phone will ding whenever there’s an offer available. You’ll see the address on your phone of the restaurant, then you pick up the food and take it to the customer. If you are signed up for a block you work rain or shine, so remember that when signing up.

The Pay!!

Okay so you’re thinking blah blah blah get on with it, how much did you actually make!? I wanna make it rain! You will not get rich from GrubHub but can make SOME money. Here’s how the pay structure works- for every order you get a base amount (in my region it’s $3, but in larger cities like NYC or LA it will be higher), then they reimburse you for mileage (which is based on a straight line distance from the restaurant to the customer only, they don’t count driving to the restaurant itself), plus the tip.

So for example, if I got an order from a restaurant I would first get $3 automatically for delivering the food, the measly amount they give for mileage (let’s say I get $1.50), and then I get a tip for $3.50 I would have $8 total for the order. Usually I would get about 1-2 orders per hour.

Are you a driver with GrubHub, Doordash, or Fasten? Find out how you can get paid DAILY with DailyPay here

So let’s say I was working a three hour block in the evening, and the first two hours I picked up three orders for a total of $27, but the last hour is dead and I get no orders the final hour as I sit in my car pondering existential life questions (it happens). Technically I would make $27 from the orders, but GH guarantees an hourly minimum (varies by region but can be 10-14/hr), so then GB would bump it up to at least $30 for the three hours.

Here’s where it gets tricky- you can decline an order that pings in on your phone. So if it’s too far of a drive you can decide against it, but if you don’t accept 75% of the orders you are NOT guaranteed the minimum pay.

Take note that you are an independent contractor so you don’t get benefits. Plus you have to provide your own car insurance. They also don’t pay any extra car expenses.

Conclusion

One final note- some cities have GH deliverers who walk or bike so that’s an option, too. Working with GrubHub can be a good way to pick up some extra money so it’s definitely something to consider if it’s available in your area!

If you liked this blog post, make sure to check out my YouTube channel for more tips on frugal living and follow me on Twitter and Pinterest for additional updates.

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Jobs Like Uber: 15 Alternatives for Freelance Work

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

We’ve all heard of Uber and many have been attracted to the flexibility that it’s “work anytime” policy offers. They are definitely a great option to check out, and you can always apply to become an Uber driver here. It turns out, though, that this is FAR from the only option if you are looking to pick up some extra money with freelance work. Here are 15 Uber alternatives that you can find work from!

Make sure to check the websites for availability in your area. The companies may not operate services in your city. 

Uber EATS

Uber EATS is a spinoff service from Uber that offers on-demand delivery of food and other products and it is rapidly expanding across the globe. Uber EATS delivery partners can use either a car, bike, or scooter for work depending on what’s available in their city. You’ll deliver both food and other products customers have ordered with Uber EATS and your schedule is 100% up to you!

To drive you must be at least 19 years old, have a driver’s license, and a vehicle that is from 1997 or newer. What’s great about Uber EATS is they have a rapid sign-up process so you can get on the road very quickly, plus once you start work you can transfer your earnings to your bank account instantly after a delivery!

Apply here to become an Uber EATS delivery partner

GrubHub Delivery

Think of the delivery service that GrubHub offers as kind of like “Uber for food.” Customers order food through the GrubHub app, a delivery driver is alerted from their own GrubHub Delivery app and the driver brings the food from the restaurant to the customer. This is something that I’ve had personal experience with and I would in general recommend it. It does differ from Uber in that you have to sign up for specific shifts and it doesn’t allow you to begin working at a whim’s notice (unless someone decides to suddenly drop a shift).

Apply here 

Check out my YouTube video on becoming a GrubHub driver

Find out how you get paid DAILY with DailyPay here

Wingz

Wingz is an app that is very much like Uber, except that it originally focused primarily on rides to and from airports. It has since expanded to offer pre-scheduled rides from anywhere, while still focusing on airports and special events (like sporting events or concerts).

Apply here

Turo

Turo is a service that lets you rent out your car for others to drive. So if you have an old roadster that’s collecting dust, this a good way to make some extra money off of it. According to their website, they offer a $1 million dollar insurance policy on vehicles that are used through the service that’s covered with the customer’s fees (although you can use your own insurance if you like and get more money from each transaction). Depending on the value of your car, you could literally make thousands of dollars a month from this-so it’s worth checking out!

List your car here

Wimdu

This services is a little like Airbnb, except that it focuses on city apartments. So if you have an urban dwelling you are willing to rent out to others while you’re away, this could be a good option for you!

List your apartment here

Roost

Roost is an app that lets you rent out storage space to others. This can include attics, basements, warehouses, sheds, or any other facility, whether indoors or outdoors. When you have extra storage space that isn’t being used this could be a helpful way to make some extra money.

List your space here

Instacart

This is a grocery delivery service that is currently operating in numerous metro areas throughout the United States. They partner with different grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, and some stores have dedicated Instacart check-out lanes. What’s nice about this service is that you can work either as a part-time employee or an independent contractor, with or without a car. If you have a car you can work as a driver, while if you don’t have a car or don’t wish to drive, you can work solely as a shopper who prepares orders for customers in a particular store. So overall it can be very flexible depending on your needs.

Apply here

Postmates

Postmates is similar to GrubHub in that it focuses on food delivery, but it is much more versatile in terms of the job responsibilities.  Whereas GrubHub only delivers from restaurants that partner with their company, Postmates allows delivery from ANYWHERE the customer requests. Additionally, they can also request errands where you might be picking up products from a store or even picking up a customer’s dry cleaning. Their website claims you can make up to $25/hr. so it could be a good way to pick up some extra money.

Become a Postmate

Amazon Flex

With Amazon Flex, you can turn your vehicle into a package delivery mobile by delivering for Amazon. It is currently operating in more than 30 cities, with more coming down the pipeline eventually. Delivery drivers for Amazon use their own vehicle, set their own hours, and will deliver both same day orders from Amazon Now as well as regular package deliveries in place of Fedex or UPS.

Apply here

Dolly 

Dolly operates as a moving service that is app-based. So if you are in the mood for some heavy lifting, this will be good for you! You can work as either a “Helper,” or someone with a truck or cargo van they’ll drive in addition to moving, or a “Hand,” which is someone who assists with moving but doesn’t provide their own vehicle. Both Helpers and Hands need to be able to lift up to 75 pounds, so if you aren’t keen on physical labor you might need to look elsewhere.

Apply here

HelloTech (merged with Geekatoo)

Are you a tech geek? Then this might be the job for you. HelloTech is an on-demand tech support service that provides technical assistance to both individuals and businesses. They offer a broad range of services for everything from computer support, TV mounting and installation, assistance with wireless networks, and helping people use their smartphones.

Apply here

Freelancer and UpWork

These services are very similar so I’ve included them together. They are websites that post a directory of companies seeking help with projects that freelance workers can apply to. If you have skills ranging from data entry, graphic design, digital marketing to accounting this could be a good place to look for some extra work. After setting up an account with them, you can apply for whichever jobs you like and the companies will make their own hiring decisions. If you are looking to make some extra money, it wouldn’t hurt to set up accounts on both websites!

Freelancer website

UpWork website

LawnLove

We all trimmed a neighbor’s lawn or two as teenagers to earn some extra money, so why not try it again? With this service you can offer lawn services from mowing, weed-eating, to snow removal. You MUST provide your own equipment and truck, so take note of this. Once you’ve applied and been approved you can pick whatever jobs you like and set your own hours.

Apply here

Thumbtack

Whether you are a cake decorator, personal trainer, housecleaner, or repairman (or woman!), Thumbtack offers a website and app that can connect you with people interested in hiring you for freelance work. Notable for its wide-ranging versatility, this service can be great for almost anyone.

Apply here

If you liked this blog post, please make sure to check out my YouTube channel and follow The Thrifty Man on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more tips on saving money and making money! Make it rain!

This post contains affiliate links

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Getting Your First Credit Card- What You Need to Know!

Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them

comparehero-evil-card2Credit cards are a necessary evil. They can be addictive like drugs but you also need a good credit history (judged by your credit score) in order to get certain jobs, get a lease on a house or apartment, or take out a loan for a car. Every bit of your financial history is recorded, sometimes in seemingly unfair ways, and if you aren’t careful your mistakes can come back to bite you years down the road.

What the Heck is a FICO Score?

Building your credit history is important. Your credit history is monitored by the three major credit bureaus in the United States- Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion and recorded as a credit score (using a model known as the FICO score) on a 300-850 scale. All
three credit bureaus have their own methods of acquiring information, so each of them may have a different score for you. 

The exact methods that are used to grade your credit score can be a little confusing and you might hear conflicting information from different people. The main things to know are that your payment history (i.e. if you paid your minimum balance due on time), the amount of money you owe, and the length of your credit history all affect your credit score. Additionally, if you have a variety of different types of creditce_fico-score-chart on your credit reports this will help your credit score as well as having a small number of credit inquires (these come any time someone does a full credit check on you). 

So if you just have student loan debt and you pay it off on time each month that won’t help you as much as if you had BOTH student loan debt that was paid on time AND a credit card that was paid in full each month (or a car loan, home loan, bank loan, etc.). 

If You Apply and Aren’t Approved

There are three ways to help build your credit history if you can’t get approved for a credit card on your own yet (due to a lack of credit history). 

  1. You can find a co-signer to apply with you, such as a parent or other guardian.
  2. You can get a secured credit card, where you put down money against your balance that you essentially loan yourself over time (once you close the account you get this money back).
  3. You parents or guardians can add you as an Authorized Buyer on their account. This will allow you to charge but does not give you administrative privileges and may influence you credit history.

Sometimes retail credit cards will have a lower bar to jump over in order to get approved, but be careful- these often have MUCH higher interest rates! 

The Best, Most Responsible Way to Use Your Credit Card (BE CAREFUL)

Once you have a credit card in your name, it is best to try and build your credit history in responsible ways. The primary factor in your payment history isn’t the AMOUNT of money you pay, but the length of time that your card is in good standing. If you don’t have any balance, this neither positively nor negatively affects your score (and most banks will close it automatically due to inactivity after 1-2 years).

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Thus, the best thing to do is find ONE thing that you definitely need such as gas, groceries, your phone bill, or any other recurring charge you have each month. Charge it to your credit card, and then when you get the bill pay it IMMEDIATELY. If you do this each month you can slowly build a good credit history by using it for expenses you would have had anyway- with or without the credit card.

Make sure to resist temptation. Use it only for necessary expenses or emergencies. Don’t use it to go out to bars, buy video games or clothes. When you want to indulge, use REAL money but stick to a budget!

Each of the major credit bureaus lets you get a copy of your credit report for free once each year as a result of the FACT Act at annualcreditreport.com

Good luck kids, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

If you liked this blog post, make sure to check out my YouTube channel for more frugal living tips as well as follow me onTwitter and Pinterest

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Tips for Selling on Craigslist

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For my YouTube video on the topic, click here!

We’ve all probably sold things on Craigslist at one point or another. At times, I had issues getting my products sold. Here are a few tips I’ve developed that have helped me improve my Craigslist selling skills. Hopefully you’ll find them just as helpful as I did!

Take Really Good Photographs

Nothing will be a bigger red flag than having cruddy photos (or none at all!). Without good pictures, no one knows if you’re being honest. Taking several clear, well-lit photos that highlight the relative size and features of the product you’re selling will help draw in potential buyers.

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Include a Good Description

Include as much detail as possible, but still be concise. You don’t want to have to go back and forth with a million emails from your buyers. You want to answer as many questions as possible in the ad itself. Including the dimensions of the product is very helpful. Remember proper grammar and spelling, too! Keep it professional sounding.

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Cluster Small Items Together

If you have smaller items, especially media like books, movies, and video games, this can be hard to sell individually. No one wants to set up a meeting with someone they met online to buy a DVD for $1. Clustering items that appeal to similar tastes (a box of sci-fi books, a bunch of comedy movies) and selling them as a unit can get your products sold easier and for higher prices than at a used bookstore.

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Set a Good Price

Prepare for the reality that most people will try to haggle the price down. For this reason, I recommend adding 10-20% more than you would prefer to sell the product for so when they ask for a lower price you can do so and still get what you originally wanted. Don’t feel guilty doing this- you are protecting yourself from getting ripped off. Remember your products are still used, though, so you can’t sell them for outlandish prices, either. And if anybody gives you a bad offer, don’t be afraid to tell them “no,” because someone else is likely to give you a better one in time.

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Beware of Scammers

Unfortunately, Craigslist is crawling with scammers! Sometimes when I’ve sold products, the MAJORITY of the responses I’ve gotten have been scams. There are “people” (probably just robotic programs) that respond to your ad with very generic messages and then ask if they can pay via wire transfer or cashier’s check. Don’t respond to these messages and take CASH ONLY. If they offering some other payment method it likely won’t go through. For higher priced items, require a bill of sale.

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Pick the Right Time of Day to Post

On Craigslist, the people who have posted most recently have a huge advantage over those who have posted in the past because the site will list everything from newest to oldest by default. Within 20 or 30 minutes your ad might get buried into the nether regions of Craigslist. Your prime time to get interested buyers is right when you post the ad, so pick a good time in the evening or on the weekend when it will reach the most eyeballs. If your ad has been up for a while, delete and repost it so it will get knocked back to the top.

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Happy Craigslist selling, everyone! Please make sure to follow my blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more updates 🙂