Take Back Your Finances
TTC 014 Virtual Assistant Side Hustle

TTC 014 Virtual Assistant Side Hustle

February 2, 2020

This week we continue on our venture exploring side hustles. This one can be a great fit for many as there are so many ways to make becoming a Virtual Assistant (VA) work for you. Today we interview someone that today makes a six-figure income in being a VA.

We start off with a lot of fun with the normal banter between Cassie and Alex – you’ve just got to listen in to join the fun!

PLUS, Alex (our guest – not your lovable host) was expecting during the recording of our podcast, not knowing whether at any moment she would need to be rushed to the hospital to have her baby. The next morning she had her beautiful baby girl. Coming on our show helps get the delivery going and in this case just a few short hours after recording. We don’t expect that record to be beat any time soon. 😁

This is quite appropriate as this is why being a VA is such a perfect fit for Alex! She is able to work on her schedule, in the comforts (if you can call pregnancy comfortable) of her own home, and adjust as needed! What a perfect fix and introduction to her speaking on her side hustle (which became her full time gig).

Alex starts off sharing with us what a VA is. A VA is someone that can virtually assist you with your business, including book keeping, data entry, anything that a virtual assistant can do. If you are good with computers and able to pick up new skills, this could be a perfect fit for you.

This is not only a great fit for someone that wants to be a VA, but other small business owners that need help with their own businesses. When you start a virtual business, sometimes you just want to focus on your passion and business goals. As such, having a VA assist you with some of those tasks that you don’t have time for (or where your time might be spent better elsewhere) can help make your own business even more successful.

In our world today we have such amazing opportunities at our fingertips. All businesses have some sort of online presence, so no matter the skills you offer (think outside the box – there is someone out there that needs the skills that you can provide), this can be a great fit.

Plus, don’t think that having a side hustle means you have to deliver pizzas, working some part time job where you make almost nothing and live off tips. We often limit ourselves so much because we put ourselves in a box, but in the online world there are so many amazing ways you can make money.

Alex shares with us how you can go out and find clients. There are so many answers on this question so we won’t go into all of it here. But Facebook Groups are a great place to start as there are many groups setup for businesses looking for VAs to offer their services. She talks through a number of those options with us.

There’s some great nuggets in this interview. We hear how Alex was able to grow and hone her skills as a VA and find very specific skills that she is passionate about and use those to form a new business. In other words, because as a VA she was able to explore all the different skills she was performing for a number of businesses, she grew those skills until she was able to determine “what she wanted to be when she grew up” and learned many of those skills on the job as a VA. What a great way to start and then create a new business – all based on those skills learned while she was a VA.

She shares with us where she started as far as her income, earning about $1,000 her first month. Just eighteen months later she was earning at the level of six figures. Alex (the host) then works through the numbers how this income increase is so much greater than our 2% increase each month we work towards. But this is a perfect example of how we share that the desired 2% increase in income each month is just a goal with the potential for earning so much more becoming a reality!

Alex (our guest) then shares her biggest piece of advice. “Just start.” There are so many people that want to start something but don’t because they wait for everything to be perfect. Find a few services you are passionate about and it will go from there.

She then shares how she has put together a “business in a box” called Virtual Assistant Jumpstart. This is a seven-module course on everything you might need to get your own VA business off the ground. The topics cover everything from deciding what services you want to offer, to how much you should charge and even what payment processing platform you should use. She has learned so much and is so passionate about the whole world of things you can do from home so she put together a business to help others do the same thing!

Alex provided all our listeners (and readers) a special coupon code to get $100 off her course (use code THRIFTY100). You’ll need to go through this link to her Virtual Assistant Jumpstart course to get that discount.

This is not sugar coated but simple actionable steps to get you started as a Virtual Assistant...and more!

The 2% Money Saving Tip

There are so many ways you can cut your budget – and especially in the area of food. Cassie shares this tip on how she makes five meals out of one rotisserie chicken. And yes, this works for large families as well.

Cassie goes the extra step to buy organic, whole chickens in an instant pot with the goal of the five freezer meals and making her own bone broth as well. Check out our resources below for all the links.

Resources Mentioned In This Podcast:

Finally make sure to check out this week's show notes where we break these tips down and give you exactly what you need to get started.  Plus you'll want to check those show notes as they give you links to all the resources we discussed on this show. :)

TTC 013 Did You Know You Could Make Money Using One of These 16 Ways With Amazon

TTC 013 Did You Know You Could Make Money Using One of These 16 Ways With Amazon

January 19, 2020

We shared a post a while ago that shares the 16 ways you can earn money through Amazon. These side hustles are perfect whether you have just a few hours a week or more to invest in yourself. Today we give a quick summary of all sixteen and share some examples for each. Please make sure to comment on our site on which of the following you would love for us to focus on in a future episode!

A lot of times people think that we, as The Thrifty Couple, just have an easy time working side hustles. It’s true we have a lot of experience making money on the side (racking up six figures of income just from the tips we share in this article over our years of side hustlin’) but we also have a lot of friends that don’t work side hustles all the time that have made thousands – and some even seven figures – as they have made these work for them! In sum, yes – everyone can do something (and more). In the words of Nike, “Just Do It!”

  1. Be a customer service representative – Get your feet wet as this doesn’t require a lot of extra skillset but just a bit of training.
  2. Sell t-shirt designs with Merch by Amazon – We have a great friend that does this exact thing. You make the design (Amazon gifts you the parameters) and upload it to Amazon. You can also use Fiverr to make designs as well. What’s great is you don’t have to invest thousands into stock, but instead Amazon prints the t-shirt on demand and ships it to the customer, all for a fee.
  3. Be an Amazon affiliate – If you do have a website or blog, post links to Amazon and if anyone clicks on your link to order that product (or anything else from Amazon within the next 24 hours) you will earn a percentage for that order.
  4. Become an Amazon influencers – Don’t worry if you don’t have a blog or website. If you’re on social media, you are an influencer. With the trust you have established with your followers, you can post links to products that mean a lot to you and similar to the affiliate program above, you will earn a percentage of that order!
  5. Sell products on Amazon through the “Fulfilled by Amazon” option – The next two tips (#5 and #6) are the ones that have made a few of our friends the seven-figure earners on Amazon. We will direct you to the information in our article to get all the details.
  6. Sell Products Directly on Amazon – This is the second tip where our friends have made a lot of money. Again, this is a huge topic.
  7. Trade-ins with Amazon – Whether you have a lot of items around your house you are looking at getting rid of or if you like to go to your local garage sales, the right products can be traded into Amazon for Amazon credit. And yes, we count that credit as income as we buy so much through Amazon and this cuts down the money we need for those items! Don’t miss the story of Cassie’s dad and what he specifically does in the episode.
  8. Earning Amazon gift cards – These are not directly with Amazon, but methods to earn Amazon gift cards. We share links to our articles on Swagbucks (we just shared in a post how we paid for Christmas just a couple of years ago with over $1,000 in Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks).
  9. Have your book published by Amazon – Similar to #2 with the Amazon Merch program, you can upload your digital books to Amazon and when a customer orders the book, they will print the book, bind it, and ship it to the customer for a fee. We did this and in our first three months made $512 after their fees.
  10. Sell your professional services on Amazon – If you offer professional services like a handyman, willing to clean, or any other type of service repairs, Amazon will allow you to post your offer to their customers. There are no fees other than a revenue share when you complete the job. This is also great as well if you are looking for a professional service as you can see reviews and know whether this is someone you want in your home. Amazon actually lists that as one of their benefits, stating that by offering your services on their site, you are leveraging the trust of Amazon.
  11. Publish a book through Kindle Publishing – Similar to what we mentioned in #9, you can publish your book to the Kindle store! You simply upload your book and work through the steps to get your book added to their store.
  12. Do random tasks through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – Amazon boasts that there are some tasks that a human can do better than a computer. As a worker, you provide these services. Check out the links for Mechanical Turk – this doesn’t seem to be as popular as it once was but is something to still check out.
  13. Make $18-25 per hour Delivering Through Amazon Flex – As Amazon just keeps being the #1 company in the world and exceeding their record breaking sales each year, they need people to deliver those products. Through Amazon Flex you use your own vehicle to make those deliveries for a nice commission.
  14. Own Your Own Amazon Delivery Business – This one does require an investment (the only one on the list). But with that $10,000 investment, they will provide the vehicle and everything you need to have your own delivery business. Business owners are paying themselves a $300,000 but this also includes more serious work.
  15. Selling Your Own Items Through Amazon Handmade – We don’t know a lot about this but link to it. This is much like an Etsy where you can see your own handmade products on Amazon – good for hobbyist or crafter that wants to sell your products for a profit.
  16. Create Audiobooks on Amazon – Create your own audiobooks and get your books heard! Plus for their authors, they get special links for referrals that sign up for Amazon at an outstanding amount (like $75) that is much higher than you can find elsewhere.
This was a very fast summary for all sixteen, but we encourage you that pretty much everyone should be able to find at least one of these money-saving idea to help them in their own money-making journey.

The 2% Money Saving Tip

We shared this tip a number of years ago in a popular magazine – and the tip is Dinner by 10! We adopted this in our home many years ago and it helped us save so much money. Whether you are someone that stays at home during the day (you have until 10 am that day) or someone that works outside the home (you have until 10 pm the night before), you need to decide and get everything prepared to ensure dinner is on the table and keep you from going out to eat.

We also through in an extra tip, the No Food Waste Menu Planner that we use to creatively use food in our food pantry and refrigerator to ensure we are not throwing out food but instead using it. You really need to check out this planner as we have had tens of thousands that have downloaded and used this throughout our years sharing it!

Resources Mentioned In This Podcast:

Finally make sure to check out this week's show notes where we break these tips down and give you exactly what you need to get started.  Plus you'll want to check those show notes as they give you links to all the resources we discussed on this show. :)

TTC 012 The Perfect Combination: Earning and Losing at the Same Time

TTC 012 The Perfect Combination: Earning and Losing at the Same Time

January 12, 2020

We loved this episode so much that we recorded it twice! Well, more honestly, we didn't record it the first time but did the second. Thankfully Lynda, our featured guest, was a great sport, rolled with the punches, and recorded a beautiful second episode. Thank you!!

But we are so excited for our FIRST! Yes, this is our first interview on our podcast. And what a fun and transformative interview - finding out how she was able to take something many of us struggle with and find a way to earn money in a fun and competitive way.

What is it?! Lynda initially lost over 70 lb (can you believe it?!) using Healthy Wage - a website that allows you to bet on yourself to lose a goal weight in a specified amount of time. And if you are successful like she was - you can earn a lot of money! Yes, this is a side hustle as there is so much money that can be made.

Lynda dives into the details on how easy and simple this wonderful plan is:

  • There are media giants that give validity to this program - We were wondering when we heard about this over a year ago whether this is hokey. But sites like CNN, NY Times, and more have reported on Healthy Wage.
  • Lynda found that the Keto diet worked best for her - It doesn't matter what diet you use to lose the weight so choose the one that is best for you!
  • You complete with yourself - You don't have to worry about what someone else does but it's all based on your own performance.
  • We all need motivators - Let's face it. We all want to lose weight for our health, to be there for our grandchildren and more, but having that additional motivation that when you lose the weight you pocket the cash gives you that much more motivation! In many ways you can look at this as one more additional layer of motivation to improve your chance of success!
  • You can buy more time - If you get to the end of the time your projected, you can buy six more months of time and still make a ton of money
  • The system is so flexible as you choose the weight you want to lose and the time you want to lose it in - She shares how easy it was when she signed up to find the perfect amount of time and weight she wanted to lose. She was impressed that a more realistic timeframe to lose the weight meant she would win even more money!
  • Think of the monthly payments as investments into yourself or betting on yourself - Seriously, there is so much in weight loss that depends on your mindset. And when you see this process as investing in you or betting on you, that can help give you a leg up.
  • You know what your winnings will be when you begin - When you select the amount of weight you want to lose and time to lose it in, you will see exactly how much you will put in your pocket when you are successful.
  • The weigh ins are simple - You use the app on your phone and it can be done in just a few minutes. What's great is you only officially weigh in on the first day and at the end.
  • This system is flexible - Since you choose the diet and the time, you are the one that dictates how you will lose the weight. It's really all about YOU!
  • YOU are your own high-yield savings account - We've talked about high-yield savings accounts in prior articles, but this is the best account - where not only do you make a lot (more than you can make with any account we know about) but you get so many health benefits too!

And Lynda made it to Onederland! You really need to hear her story how she found the best combination of weight she wanted to lose and time she wanted to lose it in that worked for here. And for her, she was able to win $1,600 her first time she did it. And now she's on her second round weighing even 30 lb lighter than what you see above! She has made quite the transformation - how far could you go?!

The 2% Money Saving Tip

For this tip we share one of our favorite homemade recipes. We have been using this for over 10 years now - this is definitely a time-tested recipe and tip! You can print the recipe to make it even easier to make. And unless you wrap it in that thick silicone wrap (you know, the one that is usually still halfway stuck in your detergent slot), you won't experience that fun either! Check out the link in the resources below.

Finally make sure to check out this week's show notes where we break these tips down and give you exactly what you need to get started.  Plus you'll want to check those show notes as they give you links to all the resources we discussed on this show from losing weight to massive gains in yours pockets. :)

TTC 011 It’s Been Two Years – What Happened?

TTC 011 It’s Been Two Years – What Happened?

January 5, 2020

We can’t believe it’s been two years since we recorded and released our last episode! They say time flies when you’re having fun, and we’re here to tell you that time really does fly no matter if you’re having fun – or not. We have experienced a lot of highs and lows but wanted to take the time to fill you in on both where we have been in addition to where we are headed with this podcast in upcoming episodes. But as Cassie says this is all part of the journey of becoming financially free and learning lessons along the way.

But we are BACK and are so excited to be in the recording studio again! 🙂

We want to be real and transparent with you so you can both learn from our failures via the school of hard knocks (so you don’t have to) and from our successes to help you along the way!

And in short, what we’ve been doing is side hustling! This is going to be our focus for 2020 (and beyond?!) as we found that in our journey to pay off $100K of consumer debt (Haven’t heard about that?! Check out our book The 2% Rule to Get Debt Free Fast: An Innovative Method To Pay Your Loans Off For Good) that we were able to increase our income much more than the hoped 2% increase each month.

Don’t miss out as Alex, then Cassie, work through each of their respective (and combined) side hustles we have been focusing on this year. One thing that we love is that through each of these hustles we are providing such a great service to others – all the while we are adding extra money to our income!

Where Are We Headed In 2020

We discuss at a high level some of the things you can expect from us as we continue to record episodes:

  • We plan to discuss side hustles – As mentioned above, with the huge impact that side hustles had on our get out of debt journey and beyond, we want to provide a format to help you in your own side hustlin’ journey, no matter your financial goals.
  • We plan to continue to share those money-saving tips – Don’t think we are giving up who we are as The Thrifty Couple. We will still be providing those tips in our 2% Tip of the Week.
  • Our episodes will be kept shorter – We know your time is valuable and you don’t want to listen to hours of podcasts to get your information. As such, we are cutting these episodes down to 15-20 minutes to give you information-packed episodes in less time.
  • We will have interviews from experts like you – We have a number of interviews lined up so you won’t miss hearing from the experts in their fields of side hustlin’ – and we would love to hear from you if you’re interested in being the next expert on our podcat! We’ll be starting to share those over the next few weeks and get you the info you need to get started and make the same type of hustle work for you.

Our 2% Tip Of The Week:

The 2% Tip is where we share an idea to either shrink your budget or increase your income by 2%. Although we couldn’t remember what this tip was called (from a ChaChing to a penny drop – just revealing how long it’s been since we recorded an episode) we still wanted to share this tip with you.  This week we work through how to make next Christmas a little less painful financially!

Seriously, we share one of our favorite tips on getting ready for Christmas financially. That tip is to set aside 1% of your income into a high-yield savings account to help prevent you from going into debt (or as much debt as you might have in the past). We recommend checking out one of our favorite high-yield savings accounts. What this does is gives you a buffer from using that money on something else while at the same time earning extra interest! Check in our resources below for links to both the tip and the high-yield savings that we use ourselves.

Finally make sure to check out this week's show notes where we break these tips down and give you exactly what you need to get started.  Plus you'll want to check those show notes as they give you links to all the resources we discussed on this show from losing weight to massive gains in yours savings accounts. :)

TTC 010 8 Ways to Set Yourself Up For Automatic Financial Success

TTC 010 8 Ways to Set Yourself Up For Automatic Financial Success

January 15, 2018

If you've ever heard about David Bach's book, The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich, then you know how simple, small, yet effective tricks you implement today in investing can transform your life years later!  We love his book and loved meeting him just a few months ago.  We were inspired by that and apply it to even more areas in your finances to encourage you set up those simple and effective tips for automatic financial success later!

You will love these ideas as many of them will make your life more simple and even relieve some of your financial stress (aka, the rest of your life stress as well).  Seriously.

We cover tips and ideas in the following areas:

  1. Automate Your Bills - We share a few cautions along the way
  2. Automate Savings With Your Taxes - We know this is controversial but address it head on
  3. Automate Your Retirement - Hide your money from yourself and get started today
  4. Automate Your Mortgage - This one simple tip can take 4-6 years off your repayment schedule and saves the average home owner an average of $50,000.
  5. Automate Your Refunds - Get back your money without blinking an eye
  6. Automate Your Child's Education - Save money without knowing for your child's education
  7. Automate Investing - Learn how to invest with small amounts and start earning your nest egg.  Plus get $5 just for signing up!
  8. Automate Your Savings Accounts - Earn 1.16% (or more) in an automated, high-yield savings account.  Even better, setup multiple accounts and invest in longer savings goals.  Plus get a free $5 for signing up.

Each of these tips can really set you up for automatic financial success!  No matter when you listen to this episode, setting these up today will set you up for success later!

Plus, don't miss our 2% Tip where we explore how you can use a no-cost method to start earning by being creative and expressing yourself.  We just started this and share a story how another friend is making decent money even without any prior experience.

Finally make sure to check out this week's show notes where we break these tips down and give you exactly what you need to get started.  Plus you'll want to check those show notes as they give you the special links to get your free cash on siginup for the savings and investing too! 

Let's automate our year and make it the best yet!

TTC 009 We Interviewed Dave Ramsey’s Daughter Rachel Cruze and Here’s What She Had to Say

TTC 009 We Interviewed Dave Ramsey’s Daughter Rachel Cruze and Here’s What She Had to Say

January 2, 2018

This week you are in for a special treat.  As we share in this week's episode, Cassie had a terrible case of laryngitis the morning we were attempting to record it.  As such, we throw back to an informative and fun interview with none other than Dave Ramsey's daughter, Rachel Cruze!  She digs into the tips and habits she shares in her then new book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs

We really do love how she addresses the issues we likely all struggle with in the "comparison struggle", or rather that struggle when reviewing social media and wishing we had the lives of those going on trips, buying those new vehicles, or whatever else their friends share.  How often do we see their struggles on social media?  How often do we share our own?  This comparison battle is real and is one that needs to be beaten.  Rachel shares in this book those habits needed to do just that!

I mention that we "throw back" because we recorded this over a year ago when we only dreamed of the day we would have a podcast.  Timely enough, that editing occurred on January 1st, a day we make new goals and resolutions for the year.  Don't miss a few minutes of the chat where we share from the school of hard knocks (waiting over a year to start our podcast and not realizing our goal sooner) and what we learned from the process.  It just might help encourage you to actually meet your goals this year.

Don't miss the show notes for this week as we share a couple of additional resources mentioned in this episode.  Plus if you miss anything you can likely find it all documented there for later reference.

Have an amazing year and let's make this the year to Take Back Your Finances!

TTC 008 5 Proven Ways to Get Your Spouse on Board to Pay Off Debt

TTC 008 5 Proven Ways to Get Your Spouse on Board to Pay Off Debt

December 26, 2017

This next topic covers one of the most asked questions we receive from our readers.  The question goes something like this: "I really want to pay off our debt but I'm having issues getting my spouse on board.  Do you have any ideas?"

This is such an important topic because not having a spouse on board will thwart your efforts.  If you've ever tried to pay off debt without the support of your spouse then you know exactly what we are talking about.

In this episode we learn the time-proven tips and techniques to help get your spouse on board with paying off your debt.  Each of these are geared towards making that discussion a little less painful while giving you both the tools needed to start your journey united.  Throughout this episode we share some of our back story as well to show you that we both share from our positive experiences and even those failures in our past as well.  Our goal is to share those struggles to prevent you from needing to learn from the school of hard knocks.

Finally don't miss our 2% Tip this week as we share some real ways to save on everything water!  Don't worry, we're not sharing to shower once per week.  Rather we share low-cost methods that you can implement this week to get started immediately!

Don't miss this week's show notes where we break down everything discussed in this episode.  We even share a link to a tool that we have found critical to help you and your spouse start communicating better and get you moving forward quickly and effectively!

TTC 007 6 Ways One Mom Earned an Extra $3500 of Extra Income Per Month

TTC 007 6 Ways One Mom Earned an Extra $3500 of Extra Income Per Month

December 18, 2017

We have received so many emails and questions asking for more ideas on how to generate extra income from home.  One such listener wanted to know specifically how she could earn money as a stay-at-home mom and help supplement her family's income.  To answer her question (and many of yours!) we interview one such mom that has done exactly that and brought in over $3,500 per month for her family.

She shares her back story and then start working through the steps she uses to bring in the income.  The show details the exact tools she uses.  Plus the show notes for this week will give you the full list of tools with little (and big) bonuses just for signing up through those links!

We promise there are ideas for every personality type and every level of expertise.  Each of us is a work in progress and we all have so much we can offer with our talents, skills and expertise we have developed over the years.

Finally we share a fun tool we have come to love as part of our 2% Tip this week.  Our kids have joined in on the fun and we share how they grew their money by 49.6% in one single week!

We had so much fun in this interview this week.  We promise there will be many more to come!

TTC 006 Everything You Need to Know About Your Emergency Fund

TTC 006 Everything You Need to Know About Your Emergency Fund

December 11, 2017

We all know there's a prominent author that gives a "one-size fits all" answer when it comes to the emergency fund.  We dare to differ with him!  Families are in all different financial situations, amounts of income, with differing levels of emergencies.  Telling a family that makes over $100K each year they need $1,000 is one thing.  Telling that to a family that makes $35K each year is something totally different.  We don't want you to feel defeated out the gate.  Thus, we have a different plan.

We share our time-proven strategy for selecting the right emergency fund for your family then walk you through it step-by-step to help you determine the right amount.  It's so simple and easy!

Then we break down everything you need to know about the fund.  Where do you store it?  What qualifies as an emergency to use it?  How long should it take to build up your fund?  We even break down ideas to help your family come up with the funds fast.

We hope you love our discussion as we walk through this potentially boring topic.  Instead of "boring" we hope you love the discussion and the banter as we get through it.

Finally we break down an important step you need to consider when starting and running your side hustle.  If you don't follow this step you just might miss out on hundreds - even thousands - of dollars when the tax bill comes!

Don't miss our episode's show notes as we give you all the resources provided in the show with everything we discussed broken down point by point to help you review it later.

TTC 005 8 Critical Financial Moves to Make Before the End of the Year

TTC 005 8 Critical Financial Moves to Make Before the End of the Year

December 4, 2017

Sometimes timing really is everything.  That's no less true for the content we share in this episode with the end of the year just a few weeks away.  We walk through some deadlines you really need to consider and tips on how to maximize your time before they pass.  In fact, you just might wind up saving a lot more money.  Who wouldn't want that?!

Are you listening to this episode with many months left instead of weeks?  What a perfect time to prepare your family's finances and understand what you can to make the most of this information.

In this week's 2% Tip we address a simple upgrade you can make in your home for less than $50 to save up to 10% off your utilities.  Now THAT is a great Return on Investment!

Finally, don't miss the show notes for this week as we share the tips step by step and provide the resources you need to succeed.

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