Some years, being an adult is really great, like when you can say, "You know what? I worked really hard this year," and then ask your bestie if she wants to go to Paris with you.
Other years, it sucks, like when you say "You know what? I worked really hard this year," and then you think about how your medical bills from the year total into the thousands and you can't swing a nice little vacay, even though said bestie is really good at planning affordable trips.
Then what do you do? If you're me, you have another surgery and feel really sorry for yourself.
But then 2017 becomes 2018, the pity party becomes passé, and you decide this is the year you make money move. Yes, I still have medical bills to pay, but I also have PLACES TO GO and people to see.
So aside from doing the obvious, boring money-making things (building my career, freelancing more, curbing spending, saving as much as possible), here are some of the more creative ways I'm trying to make a buck in the name of travel.
Well, actually...yeah. For several years now, one of the credit cards I use is the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards card. There are often promotions for signing up (50,000 airline points right off the bat), and at Southwest flight prices, you can usually get a roundtrip for free straightaway. And every time you use it (not just on travel), you rack up points.
This is great for me, especially since, you know, my boyfriend lives in Florida. Southwest is practically a sponsor of our relationship at this point. Of course, the downside to Southwest is that it is almost entirely domestic. There is a $99 annual fee, but if you have just one domestic trip ahead of you this year, it more than pays for itself.
BY PLAYING TRIVIA
If you are a trivia genius (I am not), this is a no-brainer. But honestly, I think it's a no-brainer anyway. Scott heard about this app over the holidays, and I *think* it's spreading like wildfire (even though I haven't heard any of my friends talking about it...?).
It's a live trivia game show you can play twice a day on your phone for money. The minimum prize is now up to $2500, split among the winners. Sometimes it's more (I've witnessed up to $15K). Each game is made up of 12 questions, starting with the easiest and becoming increasingly harder. You would think this would be easy, but Scott and I have yet to win.
It's pretty hard to cheat and Google the answers because you have only 10 seconds to answer each question. And at this point, Scott is so annoyed with the main host (also named Scott), that he is on the brink of quitting. He's also annoyed that it is glitchy AF (it REALLY is). But I've made it to Q11 now, and I am determined to win. Plus, it's 15 minutes (max) of your day, twice a day, for free. It's (mostly) fun, and you can win money, so I see no real downside.
IMPORTANT: If you read this and decide download HQ, PLEASE do me a solid and use the referral code, amazingstace, to give me an extra life next time I play! AMAZINGSTACE. Good karma awaits you.
BY SELLING MY CLOTHES
I just finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and while I'm not going to lie, the author, Marie Kondo, is more than a little bit absurd, her advice to only surround yourself with things that spark joy is a decent approach to starting your spring cleaning early.
So the other night, I started "tidying," beginning with clothes, according to Kondo's method (clothes, then books, papers, miscellany, and finally sentimental items). Although Kondo tells you to set aside a weekend and do it in one fell swoop, I thought I'd be able to get through my clothes in one night, especially since I purged before I moved a little over a year ago and then again before Scott came up for the summer.
WELL. With Kondo's method of holding each item to see if it sparks joy, I only got through my tops. I have an insane amount of tops for someone who has done a closet cleanse twice in the last year. Naturally, I Instastoried my shame, and a couple friends recommended that rather than donating everything (which I usually do), I check out Poshmark.
Most of my stuff isn't worth reselling and will be donated, but there are some nice items in there that are really gently worn, and it would be nice to make a few bucks on them. With Poshmark, you take a photo of each item, post it, and when it sells, Poshmark sends you the shipping label, easy peasy. (NO meet-ups, which is a must for me. Ain't nobody got time for human interaction.)
BY FIGURING OUT WHAT ELSE I CAN PAWN OFF
So yes, you read that right. I've only gotten through tops, a subcategory of clothes. I have four more categories to go. It's going to be HARD to part with books, but I figure I can sell some on Amazon (or...does anyone know of a local bookstore that buys used books?). I believe there is some miscellany that's gotta go too. And look at Marie Kondo! She's so neat and joyful and minimal! I have a ways to go.
I have more mugs than God.
When I moved, I complained to Scott that I had two full shelves of mugs. I GET it, OK? Mugs are great gifts. I've gifted them myself, over and over. They say pithy things, and when people know you love cats, GOD HELP YOU, mug makers know to throw some cats on mugs because everyone will buy you that shit. I mean, thanks guys. I AM grateful for the cat mugs. But I am one person, who, if need be, really could live with one mug. And somehow I own more mugs than almost anything else (except I guess...tops).
I realize no one will want to buy my mugs because I'm pretty sure most people have the accidental mug collection problem too, but I am interested in other places where I can sell perfectly usable items that I don't need + don't spark joy. Any suggestions?
MORE APPS PLEEZ
Starting with eBates, I am on the hunt for more savings apps. eBates, I guess works like rebates...you buy something and get cash back. It's just digital now.
Similarly, I already use the Target Cartwheel app since I do most of my grocery shopping at Target and despise paper coupons. My mom is a great coupon clipper, but I loathe having little pieces of paper floating all around my bag or wallet and then having to dig them out and read the fine print to see if I have coupons for what I'm trying to buy. So Cartwheel is great for me. The app lists all the coupons available for anything Target is selling, and you add it to your barcode. That's ONE digital barcode on your phone, and when you ring up your groceries (or other Tarjhay goodies), it automatically deducts the coupon discount for each item.
Other money-saving apps that have come across my radar that I plan to look into -- Acorns, which invests your spare change; Joy, a budgeting app that promises not to judge you; and Digit, another app that helps you save without making you remember to save.
So...tell me I'm not the only one with financial goals in mind for 2018. What tips and tricks do you use? Any apps I need to know about?
ALSO! Use my referral code for HQ! I WANT TO WIN! RAWRRR!