What is “The Gig Economy” and How Can I Use it to Make Some Extra Money?

man-791049_960_720.jpg

After the success of companies like Uber and Airbnb, many others have tried to capitalize on the rush of shoppers and workers ready and willing to use their smartphones to find and post gigs. These companies often rely on contract workers, who work on their own schedules and are not legally considered employees.

While this has come with its own set of complications and controversies, this allows potential workers the flexibility to work (or not) whenever they choose.

Maybe you’re a musician that teaches lessons and creates jingles on the side when you aren’t touring with your band. Or perhaps you’re a student that drives with a ridesharing service to pay your way through school (or, let’s get real, at least pay your room and board). If so, you’re one of countless others that can benefit from the work offered through the so-called “gig economy.”

As Forbes magazine has reported, by 2020 43% of the U.S. workforce will work freelance in some capacity or another. As a freelance worker in the gig economy, you’ll be part of a larger trend in the workforce, but is freelance work right for you? Read more to find out.

The Benefits of The Gig Economy 

The biggest draw to freelance work is the flexibility that it offers. You can work whenever you want, and depending on the nature of the work, wherever you want as well. If you have a particular passion like photography or web design, freelance work can give you an opportunity to either supplement your income while you chase your dreams or get some money doing the things you love while you work a regular 9 to 5 job.

You’ll also have a lot of variety to your workday and won’t have to worry about a boss criticizing your work because YOU get to be your own boss!

There are certain gigs that make up what is called “the sharing economy.” When consumers choose to rent pre-existing resources like a bicycle from a neighbor, rather than buy brand-new products, it decreases the need for consumer goods for the benefit of the environment. Much has been written about the environmental benefits of the sharing economy, for better or worse.

The Downsides to The Gig Economy

Working as a freelancer means you need to be able to prioritize your time and push yourself to work hard, which can be a challenge if you don’t have a set schedule. You’ll also be without benefits like a 401(k) retirement plan or medical insurance, so you’ll need to cover savings and healthcare costs on your own.

You’ll also not be covered with the same legal protections when you are working as a contractor instead of an employee. So if you’re injured on the job, for instance, you won’t be able to file for workman’s comp. Several companies that operate on-demand apps have been faced with lawsuits over classifying their workers as independent contractors instead of employees, so this remains a bit of a murky legal area that may change over time.

Shop online? Get paid whenever you shop with cashback from Ebates!Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Where Can I Go to Find Gigs?

If you’re looking for ways to find freelance gigs, you have numerous options out there, particularly with websites and apps that connect freelancers to customers. I’ve assembled lists on my blog such as Jobs Like Uber: 15 Alternatives for Freelance Work and Sites Like Airbnb: Make Extra Money By Renting Out Your Humble Abode that can help steer you towards potential gigs.

Each week I have new articles and videos right here on The Thrifty Man blog that will provide you with new ways to make extra money and save extra money. Make sure to bookmark my homepage and subscribe to my YouTube channel, plus follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates!

Gig Economy.jpg

Advertisements

Safety Tips for Delivery Drivers

steering-wheel-2209953_960_720.jpg

If you have a vehicle and a smartphone, delivery driving can be a good means of earning income. Whether you are delivering with an on-demand app like Postmates or UberEATS, or are delivering pizzas with a local pizza shop, you’ll find many options out there for work.

There are certain precautions to take into consideration, however, if you plan to start delivering. Here I’ve assembled some safety tips for delivery drivers.

Beware of Dogs

dog-663393_960_720.jpg

Just as it is with postal workers, who are infamously at risk of dog attacks, delivery drivers must be concerned about dogs and other animals at the homes where they are delivering to. If you see a large animal or a “Beware of Dog” sign at the residence where you are dropping off a delivery, consider calling the customer and seeing if they can meet you outside before entering their yard.

According to an article from WikiHow, if a dog approaches you and appears aggressive, stay calm and don’t run. If the dog senses fear they will feel more comfortable attacking. It’s also better not to engage with the dog, and to stay motionless. Only when a dog is clearly going to attack you should you speak to it in a commanding voice and tell it to go away.

There’s special equipment you can bring with you that deters dogs, but doesn’t harm them, such as a dog repellant buzzer or a fog spray. This should only be used if you feel a dog is aggressive and might attack.

In the event that a dog does attack you, seek immediate medical attention, contact the police, and if you feel it’s necessary seek legal action, certain states hold dog owner’s liable for attacks. It’s important to seek medical treatments and contact the authorities immediately to determine if the dog has a history of attacking or has a disease such as rabies.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road

mobile-1209058_960_720.jpg

When driving for a service like Postmates or GrubHub, you have to use your smartphone in order to accept deliveries, get GPS directions, and communicate with the customers. When you are balancing out your time working from your smartphone with driving to pickup and drop-off deliveries, however, this can be particularly dangerous if you aren’t careful.

You should shorten the time you use your smartphone when driving to the absolute minimum, if at all. While waiting to accept deliveries, wait in a parking lot (where you feel safe) and don’t start driving again until you have finished accepting the order, plugging in your GPS directions, and texting the customer. Keep a dashboard mount in your vehicle so your phone remains in your line of sight while driving if using turn-based navigation.

It’s always better to pull over to the side of the road and take a couple of minutes of time out to use your phone while you aren’t driving, than it is to sacrifice your personal safety by using your phone when driving. Always drive safe and resist the urge to speed. You can expedite your time by working promptly when at the drop-off and pickup locations.

Stay Alert and Aware of Your Surroundings

young-man-1515402_960_720.jpg

Delivery driving is a job that requires you to walk onto the private properties of strangers, which comes with a number of risks. Stay on your guard and use common sense when walking to and from people’s homes. If someone ever offers for you to come inside, politely decline and remain at their door- don’t ever enter someone else’s house or apartment.

If you are delivering to a neighborhood at night or to a region that makes you feel uneasy, minimize the time you are outside of your vehicle. Make sure you have pinpointed exactly where the house or apartment is that you are doing the delivery and call the customer before exiting your vehicle so they know you’ve arrived. If for some reason the customer doesn’t answer the door, go back inside your vehicle while waiting for them to respond.

Always prioritize your personal safety. If the the customers asks you to do something that seems unusual like deliver to an abandoned parking lot, trust your instincts and decline their request. Make sure to report any suspicious activity to the company you’re working with.

You Come First, the Food Comes Second

Remember that your personal safety is more important than someone receiving their food order, period. Should a customer make you feel uncomfortable or a situation arise that would jeopardize your delivery time in exchange for taking extra safety precautions, put yourself first. ALWAYS.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more tips on side gigs to make extra money, as well as follow me on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

Uber Vehicle Requirements- Do You Have What It Takes To Drive With Uber?

Page under construction- certain links may not be active at this time

With all of the on-demand apps out there, Uber remains one of the largest and most talked about rideshare companies. If you’ve searched for freelance gigs you’ve probably thought to yourself, “Do I qualify for Uber?”

In this blog post I will go over the requirements to become an Uber driver, including basic qualifications and Uber vehicle requirements for some of the largest U.S. cities.

This information pertains to qualifications in the United States, for other regions contact Uber. This post contains affiliate links.

Sign up for Uber here!

Basic Qualifications

  • You must be at least 21 years old
  • Have at least 1 year of driving experience if you are OVER 23 and 3 years of experience if you are UNDER 23
  • Have a non-expired U.S. driver’s license
  • Have a registered, insured, four-door vehicle that meets standards for your local region
  • You must present your documents including your license, registration, and proof of insurance
  • You must pass the background check and driver screening

Vehicle Requirements by City/Metro Region

Uber offers different types of services including their most basic, uberX, for non-luxury four-door Sedan vehicles, uberXL, for non-luxury SUVs, uberBLACK, for luxury Sedans and crossovers, and uberSUV, for luxury SUVs.

This list of requirements will focus on uberX and uberXL, highlighting the minimum you would need to drive in your respective cities.

New York City, NY

New York City Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

You must get a TLC (or Taxi and Limousine Commission) license to drive in NYC. Uber will guide you through the process of getting the TLC license after you register on their website (link at the bottom of this post). Rentals of TLC-certified vehicles are available as well.

Vehicles must be from 2006 or newer and they must pass a TLC inspection. Take note that they can be more selective with older vehicles during the inspection. You can access a full list of accepted vehicles here.

Sign up!

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan from 2002 or newer
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • Must be in good condition without any visible damage
  • Contains no commercial branding
  • Drivers must have insurance on the vehicle but it does not need to be registered in their name to qualify.

For uberX

  • The air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • It needs to seat at least four people in addition to the driver
  • Cannot be a full-size van or a salvaged vehicle

For uberXL

  • Must be a minivan or SUV with “independently opening doors”
  • Needs to seat at least six people besides the driver.

Sign up!

Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan from 2007 or newer
  • Must be free of cosmetic damage
  • Contains no commercial branding
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • Drivers must have insurance on their vehicle and it does not need to be registered in their name to qualify.

For uberX

  • The air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Needs to seat at least four people in addition to the driver
  • Cannot be a full-size van or truck
  • Cannot be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle.

For uberXL

  • Must be a minivan or SUV with “independently opening doors”
  • Needs to seat at least six people besides the driver
  • Air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Cannot be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle

Sign up!

Seattle, WA

Seattle Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan from 2007 or newer
  • Free of cosmetic damage
  • Contains no commercial branding
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • Drivers must have insurance on their vehicle and it does not need to be registered in their name to qualify.

For uberX

  • The air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Needs to seat at least four people in addition to the driver
  • Can’t be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle, a full-size van, a Crown Victoria, a town car, or a large truck

For uberXL

  • Must be a minivan or SUV with “independently opening doors”
  • Needs to seat at least six people besides the driver
  • The air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Can’t be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle

Sign up!

Denver, CO

Denver Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan from 2002 or newer
  • Must be free of cosmetic damage
  • Contains no commercial branding
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • Drivers must have insurance on their vehicle and it does not need to be registered in their name to qualify- HOWEVER it must still be registered in the state of Colorado.

For uberX

  • The air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Needs to seat at least four people in addition to the driver
  • They also can’t be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle, or a full-size van.

For uberXL

  • Must be a minivan or SUV with “independently opening doors”
  • Needs to seat at least six people besides the driver
  • Full size vans or trucks cannot drive with uberXL in Denver
  • Air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Can’t be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle

Sign up!

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

Dallas Uber Vehicle Qualifications (All Services)

  • Vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan from 2002 or newer
  • Be free of cosmetic damage
  • Contains no commercial branding,
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • Drivers must have insurance on their vehicle and it does not need to be registered in their name to qualify.

For uberX

  • The air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Needs to seat at least four people in addition to the driver
  • They also can’t be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle, or a full-size van

For uberXL

  • Must be a minivan or SUV with “independently opening doors”
  • Needs to seat at least six people besides the driver
  • Full size vans cannot drive with uberXL in Dallas.
  • Air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Can’t be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle

Sign up!

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan from 2002 or newer
  • Be free of cosmetic damage
  • Contain no commercial branding
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • Drivers must have insurance on their vehicle and it does not need to be registered in their name to qualify.

For uberX

  • The air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Needs to seat at least four people in addition to the driver
  • Can’t be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle
  • Can’t be a truck or a full-size van

For uberXL

  • Must be a minivan or SUV with “independently opening doors”
  • Air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Can’t be a rebuilt or salvaged vehicle
  • Needs to seat at least six people besides the driver
  • Full size vans or trucks cannot drive with uberXL in Atlanta.

Sign up!

Miami, FL

Miami Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Vehicle must be a four-door car or minivan from 2007 or newer
  • Must be free of cosmetic damage
  • Contains no commercial branding
  • Drivers must have insurance on their vehicle and it does not need to be registered in their name to qualify, however, the VIN on the registration must match the VIN on the insurance. Additionally, they must be listed as a driver on the insurance policy.

For uberX

  • The air conditioning and windows must be operational
  • Needs to be a four-door sedan than can seat at least four people in addition to the driver
  • Can’t be a salvaged or rebuilt vehicle

For uberXL

  • Must be a minivan or SUV with “independently opening doors”
  • Will need to seat at least six people besides the driver
  • Eligible four-door trucks are allowed with uberXL in Miami
  • Workings windows/air conditioning
  • No salvaged or rebuilt vehicles

Sign up!

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Must be a four-door car or minivan (year not specified)
  • Must be in good condition w/ no visible damage
  • Must pass vehicle inspection
  • No commercial branding on vehicle allowed
  • Does not need to be registered in your name, must have insurance

For uberX

  • 4-door sedan in good condition
  • Seat at least 4 passengers besides the driver
  • Working windows and air conditioning
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle
  • Cars 10 model years (12 years for hybrids) or newer qualify to drive with uberX

For uberXL

  • 4-door SUV or minivan with independently opening doors
  • Seat at least 6 passengers in addition to the driver
  • Working windows and air conditioning
  • No full-sized vans or trucks
  • No taxi cabs, government cars, or other marked vehicles
  • No salvaged or rebuilt vehicles

Sign up!

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Must be a four-door car or minivan from 2002 or newer
  • Must be in good condition with no visible damage
  • Contains no commercial branding
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • Does not need to be registered in your name, but still needs to be registered in Nevada and you must have insurance on the vehicle

For uberX

  • Must be a four-door sedan in good condition
  • Must seat at least 4 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditional must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle
  • Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis & Lincoln Towncar aren’t allowed

For uberXL

  • Must be a four-door SUV or minivan with “independently opening doors”
  • Must seat at least 6 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditioning must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle

Sign up!

Chicago, IL

Chicago Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Must be a four-door car or minivan from 2002 or newer
  • Must be in good condition with no visible damage
  • Contains no commercial branding
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • Does not need to be registered in your name, and you must have insurance on the vehicle

For uberX

  • Must be a four-door car in good condition
  • Must seat at least 4 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditional must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle

For uberXL

  • Must be a four-door SUV or minivan with “independently opening doors”
  • Must seat at least 6 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditioning must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle

Sign up!

Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Must be a four-door vehicle from 2002 or newer
  • Must have seats and seat belts for four passengers besides driver
  • Does not need to be registered in your name, and you must have insurance on the vehicle

For uberX

  • Must be a four-door vehicle in good condition
  • Must seat at least 4 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditional must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van or truck

For uberXL

  • Must be a four-door SUV or minivan with “independently opening doors”
  • Must seat at least 6 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditioning must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van or truck

Sign up!

Boston, MA

Boston Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Must be a four-door vehicle with “independently opening doors”
  • Must be 15 years old or less
  • Must have seats in good condition with working seat belts for four people besides the driver
  • Cannot have any commercial branding on vehicle
  • No visible damage allowed
  • Cannot be a large van or commercial truck
  • Vehicle does not need to be registered in your name but you must have insurance on vehicle

For uberX

  • Must be a four-door car in good condition
  • Must seat at least 4 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditional must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle

For uberXL

  • Must be a four-door SUV or minivan with “independently opening doors”
  • Must seat at least 6 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditioning must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle

Sign up!

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Uber Vehicle Requirements (All Services)

  • Must be a four-door car or minivan from 2002 or newer
  • Must be in good condition with no visible damage
  • Contains no commercial branding
  • Must pass a vehicle inspection
  • You must have insurance on the vehicle

For uberX

  • Must be a four-door sedan in good condition
  • Must seat at least 4 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditional must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle

For uberXL

  • Must be a four-door SUV or minivan with “independently opening doors”
  • Must seat at least 6 people besides the driver
  • Windows and air conditioning must be operational
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, truck, or salvaged vehicle

Sign up!

What if Your City Isn’t Listed in This Blog Post?

Don’t worry- I tried to highlight the vehicle requirements in some of the biggest markets in the United States in this blog post, but it is available in many other cities across the country and the globe.

For requirements in other cities, contact Uber and see what the Uber vehicle requirements are in your area.

Sign Up for Uber Here!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more tips on side gigs to make extra money, as well as follow me on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

How to Make Extra Money Teaching

How to make extra money teaching 2.jpg

Whether you are a teacher yourself, you’ve worked in a position where you’ve had to train employees, or you just have a knack for explaining things, there can be a number of ways to pick up some extra money on the side.

Here are some of the ways that you can make extra money teaching.

Become a Tutor

Students and their parents will pay sizable amounts of money for tutoring if they know it will help their student achieve more academically. Thus, it can be a good way to earn some extra income if you have experience teaching students. It’s also a job that typically requires only 1-2 hours of work at a time, so it can be flexible if you have a busy schedule.

If you’re looking to become a tutor, you have a number of options available to you. You can seek out a part-time job as an employee of major test-prep companies like Kaplan or The Princeton Review, or you could go the freelance route and post ads for your services on websites like Craigslist. Of course, the old-fashioned route of leaving paper fliers at local schools works, too.

Tech-savviness can help you earn a spot as a paid online tutor for companies like Skooli, Chegg, or Wyzant. This allows you the flexibility to teach students across the country (and the world) without ever having to leave your house.

Teach an Online Course

There are several websites that let you post your own online classes and sell them to potential students looking to learn new skills. If you have experience recording videos and uploading them to the web, or can learn how to do it, this could be a good way for you to pull in some extra money.

One of the largest online marketplaces for classes is Udemy. They have courses for everything ranging from technology, music, language, software, photography, and nutrition. The classes are geared towards adults that are looking to expand their knowledge for both personal and professional reasons.

Lynda.com is another option. They offer classes covering business, creative, and technological skills. Meanwhile, the website Take Lessons offers a wide variety of subject areas from crafts to mathematics to piano lessons and will accommodate both those looking to teach online or in person.

Teach English at Home or Abroad

Do you speak the English language? Well congratulations, you’ve got yourself a job skill that’s in-demand across the world and can be utilized in a variety of different teaching jobs. You can find jobs both in the United States and abroad (fill in your summer break perhaps?) on Teach Away if you are looking to teach English to non-native speakers.

There are also a variety of outlets to teach English online. Lingoda offers flexible hours for those looking to work from home and will pay based on experience. VIPKid offers lesson plans and support for teachers looking to teach Chinese children English online and can work at least 7.5 hours per week. Meanwhile, Cambly offers flexible hours, requires no experience, and offers a unique pay-per-minute pay structure.

Become an Adjunct Professor at a College

If you have a Master’s degree, or in some cases if you are pursuing one, many colleges and universities will offer teaching positions as an adjunct professor. You will work a part-time schedule and may be offered a position on a per-semester or per-year contract.

Should you have a higher education and experience in a job field that would give you expertise in intro-level coursework, being an adjunct professor might be the right part-time career path for you. Just take into consideration that adjunct professors often make less money than you would think.

Grade Tests for Money

Several companies will pay you if you grade tests from home. Grading tests isn’t always the most pleasant experience and can seem a bit daunting, but if you are already used to doing it, then why not use your expertise to make some extra money?

Some of the opportunities out there include contract work with Pearson, which require that you have a Bachelor’s degree and have experience teaching in a high school or college. ETS, or Education Testing Services, recruits scorers for a variety of major tests including the GRE and the SAT. If you are interested in evaluating younger students, Literably offers work for teachers who listen to audio of students reading. You’ll transcribe what the students read phonetically, then score their comprehension skills.

Sell Educational Materials Online

If you’ve worked as a teacher for many years, chances are you’ve probably amassed quite a collection of lesson plans, worksheets, and other activities you’ve created for your students. When you have such awesome learning materials, why not share them around with other teachers?

Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to do just that. With a free account, you can upload your lessons plans and activities to the website to sell to other teachers. Elsewhere on the web, eNotes hires stay-at-home freelance writers to develop study materials to be sold on their website.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow this blog for more tips on side gigs to make extra money, as well as follow me on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

How to make extra money teaching.jpg

15 Super Fun (and FREE) Things To Do In Kansas City

Free Things to Do In Kansas City.jpg

Kansas City, Missouri is known for being one of the most affordable metros in the country. With its rich culture of jazz music, barbecue, and a sports-loving hometown spirit, KC is swimming in Midwestern charm.

Whether you live in the Kansas City area, or are visiting, rest assured that there are a number of things to do in Kansas City that won’t break the bank. In fact, there’s lots of great things to do that are completely free!

Here is a list of 15 fun and FREE things things to do in Kansas City:

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The most renowned art museum in Kansas City, MO also happens to have free admission for all ages each and every day!

At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art you will find artistic works from all over the world including European, Japanese, Egyptian, African, Native American, and Chinese cultures, among others.  The gallery’s collection includes paintings by artists like Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keeffe. Step outside and you’ll discover that even the lawn is a sight is to behold!

At the Donald H. Hall Sculpture Park, you’ll find the famous Shuttlecocks that have become an icon of Kansas City. The museum’s Bloch Building, which houses their modern art, was named by Time Magazine as one of the best architectural marvels in the world.

The Rose Garden at Loose Park

It’s a bit of a magical experience to come to The Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden in the beautiful Loose Park. Stepping into this area is a bit like stepping onto the grounds of the Queen of Heart’s castle from Alice in Wonderland. But don’t worry- I assure you, no one is going to chop off your head!

During the spring, you’ll find dozens of archways with rosebushes of all varieties surrounding a beautiful fountain that makes for a nice place to sit and collect your thoughts. Just be careful when you walk through the garden in June as you might find yourself accidentally crashing an outdoor wedding!

If roses aren’t your thing, then trek across the park to find a historic marker for The Battle of Westport from the Civil War. A must for history buffs!

First Fridays

Every first Friday of the month, the Crossroads Arts District comes alive with a vast array of art exhibits, live musicians, food trucks, and other forms of live entertainment. The festivities start around 5PM and the monthly event draws thousands of people from all across the Kansas City metro.

During the warmer months most of event occurs outdoors, so dress accordingly and expect to do some walking. It’s a great way to socialize, enjoy looking at some artwork, and maybe have a beer or two- although that last part (usually) isn’t free 🙂

Tour the Boulevard Brewery

Kansas Citians are quite proud of a number of things in their home town- they love their sports teams, they love their streetcar (more on that later), and they love their home-brewed beer!

The Boulevard Wheat might as well be the official drink of Kansas City, as it is the standard local beer in most KC-area bars. To see the magic behind the brewery, they offer free 60-minute tours every day from 10AM-4PM. You even get to sample free beer!

Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis from their Welcome Desk and can be reserved at 10AM each day. Just make sure to snatch them up fast, because the tours fill up quickly.

Tour The Roasterie 

If beer isn’t quite your thing, you can always tour the KC-based coffee company The Roasterie to witness the process of the caffeinated magic being made. All ages are welcome to attend.

Tour participants are encouraged to register for a tour on their website before attending but walk-ins are welcome based on availability. One of the best parts is that you get to sample their coffees while touring!

In addition to The Roasterie tours, they offer coffee tastings twice a month at Corrigan Station Cafe.

Hallmark Visitors Center

Certain companies can become central to the cultural and economic climate of a city. Much in the way that Coca-Cola is a touchstone of Atlanta, GA, Hallmark Cards plays a pivotal role in the identity of Kansas City.

To learn about the history of Hallmark Cards, the Hallmark Visitors Center (located at their headquarters) offers free admission to guests. You’ll get a chance to see exhibits about their artists, make a souvenir bow with a bow-making machine, and even hear presentations from artists and writers of the beloved greeting cards.

Crown Center

Not only is Hallmark Cards headquartered in Kansas City, they even operate their own shopping center adjacent to their HQ. Crown Center has a number of stores inside that are fun to check out, including a Crayola store and cafe and the upscale Halls department store.

At Christmas time, Crown Center comes alive with holiday cheer with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, a lighting display, and of course, visits from Santa Claus.

Union Hill Cemetery

It may seem a bit macabre for some, but this historic cemetery has beautifully crafted tombstones and architecture dating back hundreds of years that are fascinating to see. During the day, you’ll find many different people walking through the cemetery, taking in the sights of our city’s history.

For those interested in the history of Kansas City, you can find the gravestones of many of the leading men and women who shaped the city into what it is today.

Cave Spring Park

This quirky and underrated park is a real gem of Kansas City. Also known as the William M. Klein Park, this was the childhood stomping ground for President Harry S. Truman, whose grandfather once owned the Cave Spring area.

At Cave Spring you’ll find a series of twisting trails throughout the woods complete with signs with labels like “Tim’s Trail” and “Corky’s Nature Walk.” There’s picnic shelters, a lake, a cave and an interesting relic of abandoned chimneys scattered throughout the forest.

After a resort was closed on the Cave Spring grounds in the 1940’s, looters came and burned down the buildings, leaving nothing but the chimneys. Today the chimneys make an interesting, if not somewhat eerie photo-op.

Ride the Streetcar

To people from outside of Kansas City, the idea of listing public transit as a “fun thing to do” might seem somewhat insane, but hear us out!

Kansas City’s Streetcar runs along a short, but notable, route that connects many of the city’s biggest attractions including The City Market, Union Station, The Power and Light District, and Crown Center with hopes for an expansion soon underway.

Anyone can ride the streetcar for free, and millions have since it first launched in 2016, surpassing the city’s expectations for ridership. The Streetcar offers a reliable, modern, and free way of getting around downtown Kansas City.

Money Museum

Short on cash? Well the Money Museum in the Kansas City Federal Reserve Building has you covered because their admission is free! You can see exhibits of rare coins, learn about detecting counterfeit money, and see what a wall of $40 million of bills looks like!

There’s fun activities for kids such as stations to design your own money.

Throughout the year, you’ll find special events like free guided tours and “Fed First Fridays” where they offer tours of their collections of artwork from local Kansas City artists.

Union Station

This historic train station houses many different traveling exhibits and has multiple free events for the public throughout the year.

Every Memorial Day weekend, Union Station houses the Celebration at the Station, a free outdoor event featuring music from the Kansas City Symphony as well as a fireworks display.

Recently, Union Station was the home for the Kansas City leg of American Ninja Warrior, an event that allowed free admission for those wanting to watch the filming.

The City Market

Every Saturday and Sunday, the City Market provides a farmer’s market that is much more than your run-of-the-mill parking lot veggie sale. They have one of the largest outdoors farmer’s markets in the country that’s been in operation since 1857.

At the City Market you’ll find live music, local vendors, and a vibrant restaurant scene in the bustling River Market district.

During the weekdays and evenings, you can still check out the various indoor shops and restaurants in the River Market area, or head north to take a walk at the Berkley Riverfront Park to get a beautiful view of the Missouri River.

Check out the Fountains on the Plaza

Kansas City, MO is known by the locals as the “City of Fountains” for its collection of various outdoor fountains scattered throughout the city. The largest collection of fountains can be found at the historic Country Club Plaza.

Built by J.C. Nichols, the Country Club Plaza was the country’s first outdoor shopping mall and remains an active upscale shopping center in Midtown Kansas City. The aptly named J.C. Nichols Fountain is a symbol of Kansas City and was recently renovated.

Catch Some Free Live Jazz Music

Several venues in the Kansas City area offer free jazz performances. Jazz is one of Kansas City’s signature cultural influences and hearing jazz music performed live is a must for anyone looking to get the full Kansas City experience.

The legendary 18th and Vine District is home to The Blue Room, which offers jazz performances on Monday and Thursday nights without any cover charge.

Elsewhere in Kansas City, The Green Lady Lounge offers free jazz performances in their basement seven days a week, and Jazz: a Louisiana Kitchen has free performances on the weekends. Even if the performances are free, please make sure to support local businesses by ordering food and drinks.

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!

Free Things to Do in Kansas City.jpg

Video Gaming on a Budget: How to Save Money on Video Games

Video gamer thumbnail.jpg

Video gaming isn’t the cheapest past time. You pay hundreds of dollars for a gaming console (or thousands if you want to buy a powerful gaming PC) and AT LEAST $50-$60 for every new game you get.

If you are a thrifty video gamer you don’t have to worry, though, because there are some really great ways to save money as a gamer on a budget. Here are my tips for being a thrifty gamer!

Buy Used or Vintage Games

The greatest video game franchises from The Legend of Zelda to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to Super Mario and Final Fantasy have decades of great video games to play. You need to look no further than a garage sale or a used video game store to find one of thousands of great games you can find at prices that are much cheaper than games that just came out recently.

In the tech world it can be very easy to fall prey to the traps of consumerism that tell you that YOU MUST have the latest and greatest gadget or else it’s completely pointless and obsolete. This is an area that can take some self-control as you learn to resist the lull of a consumer-driven society. Remember that just because something is new that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better. There are many people that rush out to buy gaming consoles or video games the first week they come out only to discover that their purchase was a dud.


Consider a Subscription Service

The entertainment world is going through massive disruption now as people shift towards using streaming services as their primary means of consuming media. It’s not just services like Netflix or Hulu that are streaming, it’s also video game companies, too. Playstation Now has a service that gives you access to hundreds of games for $20/month. You don’t even need a video game console- you can use a Sony Blu-Ray player with a Playstation controller.

Even thought Playstation Now only has last-generation games it offers a really good value if you are someone that is used to spending money each month on video games. It’s kind of a waste to dish out $60 on a video game if you only play through it once and then give it up. This gives you the opportunity to just pay $20 and get access to HUNDREDS of games. There are more subscription services for video games like PS Now on the horizon so be on the lookout for things to come.

Download Less Expensive Indie Games

The games from the major publishers definitely get the most attention, but there are some really awesome games available to download from indie publishers too. These games may not be as expensive but it’s amazing to see the creative gameplay that the inventive minds behind the likes of Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac, Braid, and World of Goo have come up with.

There are many awesome games, with hours of gameplay from indie developers to check out for less than $20 such as those from Green Man Gaming.

Purchase a Humble Software Bundle

Humble is an awesome service which offers software bundles in a pick-your-price model where you get to choose exactly how much of your money goes to Humble and how much goes to a charity of your choice. Every month you can get software for as little as $1.

They also offer a monthly subscription service for $12/month where you get a curated bundle of games (worth over $100) each month. 5% of your monthly subscription fee will go to charity as well. Check it out 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!

 

Sites Like Airbnb: Make Extra Money By Renting Out Your Humble Abode

airbnb 2.jpg

Much like Uber, Airbnb has become a shining star of the app economy over the past several years. People have even been able to make full-time incomes just from listing properties on Airbnb.

If you are looking to rent out your home, apartment, or other living space, though, you should consider the various options that are out there. It turns out that there are many different apps and sites like Airbnb to choose from.

Here I’ve compiled a list of sites like Airbnb to help you with your search.

You can also scroll to the bottom of the page for a video overview

HomeAway and VRBO

While Airbnb offers a great flexibility in the amount of living spaces you can rent out, including private rooms in your home or apartment, HomeAway and its subsidiary VRBO focus on vacation homes exclusively.

If you travel a lot or are away from your home for extended periods of time, this could be a good option for you.

Homeaway and VRBO also have a different payment structure than Airbnb for the people listing their properties. Rather than giving a chunk of the rental fee away each time someone rents your property, HomeAway and VRBO allow you to pay a flat, yearly subscription fee for your listing instead.

List on HomeAway here

List on VRBO here

Wimdu

Based in Germany, Wimdu is one of world’s largest competitors to Airbnb with listings including over 350,000 properties.

Much like Airbnb, they allow you to rent out apartments and spare rooms in addition to entire houses, allowing for a great range of options. According to their website, Wimdu listers earn an average of over $1000 a month- not too shabby!

List on Wimdu here

TripAdvisor Rentals and FlipKey

Famous for their hotel bookings, TripAdvsior also lets you post lodging listings of your own.

Their website claims you can list everything from “private rooms to castles, houseboats to villas” so no matter the type of property you’re looking to rent out, it sounds like TripAdvisor has your covered.

It’s free to list your property, but TripAdvisor (as well as its subsidiary FlipKey) will keep 3% of your guest’s payment.

List on TripAdvisor here

misterb&b

This was created to be a gay-friendly alternative to Airbnb, ensuring that LGBT travelers can know that their hosts are supportive.

Whether you are traveling alone or with a partner, misterb&b provides a space for queer people to travel safely without fear of judgment.

It is free to list on misterb&b and the company will keep 5% of the rental fee. You can rent out your house, apartment, spare room, or couch and hosts are eligible for insurance coverage up to $500,000.

List on misterb&b here

Rent Like a Champion

As featured on Shark Tank, Rent Like a Champion is a company that lets you rent homes near sporting events such as college football games, golf tournaments, and racing events.

Renters can list there home for free, and the company charges a 15% commission fee.

List on Rent Like a Champion here

Spothero

Perhaps instead of listing a home or apartment, you are interested in leasing a parking space? If you live in a city that is crowded enough that parking becomes a hot commodity, then Spothero could be a great way to earn some extra money with minimal effort.

Spothero lets you rent out a parking space to commuters in your area. You get to set your own rates and set the availability as well.

Then if you ever need to use the parking space yourself, just pause your availability temporarily and resume when you are ready to start earning money again!

List on Spothere here

Outdoorsy

While an RV is a bit like a home away from home, many house rental sites don’t include RVs in their directories. If you are looking to rent out an RV, though, don’t fret! Ourdoorsy has you covered. They rent out campers and recreational vehicles through their website.

When you rent out your RV with them, they provide rental insurance which covers both liability and com insurance.

They are one of the largest RV rental businesses on the net, plus they provide insurance for the renter AND the RV owner.

List on Outdoorsy here

Or Just Do Airbnb

Airbnb remains one of the largest and most well known places to rent out your home, apartment, room, or couch with over 3 million listings worldwide. They allow you to set your own price and will even send out a photographer to take pictures of your property (for a fee).

While safety precautions have to be take with ANY service where you are allowing strangers into your personal, private space, Airbnb and services like it remain a good way to pick up some extra money for your unused spaces.

List on Airbnb 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!