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10 Easy Road Trip Snack Recipes

10 Easy Road Trip Snack Recipes

Road trips are one of the best ways to travel affordably, and they can be a lot of fun for families, couples, or a way to travel on your own. Even though we no longer have a car, we did RV for several years, so we are road trip pros, haha.

Now, while road trips can be an affordable way to travel, it is also very easy to buy snacks every time you need to get gas or use the restroom. Even though they are usually somewhat cheap, the cost can really add up. That means you will probably be spending much more money than if you made your own road trip snacks in advance.

The other bad thing about the kind of road trip snacks you find in gas stations is that they are usually full or sugar, sodium, and just aren’t very healthy for you.

I have gotten much better at not grabbing candy or chips when on a road trip because I hate how it makes me feel afterwards. But, I also hate how quickly the cost of those snacks adds up.

So, if you’re wanting some ideas for healthy, make at home road trip snacks for your next adventure, then I have a great list of delicious recipes for you to try.

They are delicious snacks for anyone who might be joining you on the road, and they hardly take any time to make.

More recipe roundups:

Note: If you’re looking for easy weekly meal plans that are full of budget friendly recipes, then I definitely recommend looking at $5 Meal Plan. For just $5 a month, this meal planning service sends you a meal plan every week along with the exact shopping list you need to create their delicious meals.

Here are 10 easy road trip snacks for you to make.

 

1. Nutella Ganache Cookie Cups

Get the recipe here.

2. Oven Baked Rosemary Sea Salt Sweet Potato Chips

Get the recipe here.

3. Cinnamon Sugar Sweet and Salty Chex Mix

Get the recipe here.

4. Fruit And Veggie Muffin Bites

Get the recipe here.

5. Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Get the recipe here.

6. Oatmeal To-Go Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Get the recipe here.

7. Healthy Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Get the recipe here.

8. Toasted Quinoa, Dried Fig & Dark Chocolate Nut Free Granola Bars

Get the recipe here.

9. Peanut Butter Bliss Bars + Make Your Own Road Trip Snacks

Get the recipe here.

10. Homemade Vegan Doritos

Get the recipe here.

What are your favorite road trip snacks?

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Last Minute Tax Tips

Last Minute Tax Tips

Last Minute Tax Tips #taxtips #tax

The following is a sponsored partnership with H&R Block. 

The tax deadline is nearing!

Personal tax returns are due on Monday, April 15th, 2019. I recommend putting this on your calendar now, so that you do not forget because it is coming up very quickly.

Due to this, I encourage you to file your taxes as soon as you can.

Related content:

H&R Block has all kinds of great options to help you complete your tax return. A few of the things I love are:

  • Locations are open 24 hours the day before the last day to file
  • Tax Pro Review has a 3 business day turnaround
  • Tax Pro Go provides an easy way to quickly complete your tax return with the ease of submitting tax documents online while someone else actually does the tax return for you

The option that I’d like to talk more in depth about today is Tax Pro Go.

H&R Block has a great option for you, if you don’t want to go into a tax office or complete your tax return on your own. With Tax Pro Go, you will receive expert tax return help without having to go into an office.

Here’s how Tax Pro Go works:

  1. Visit https://www.hrblock.com/tax-offices/tax-pro-go/
  2. Answer some questions from H&R Block, such as your marital status, if you have dependents and if you own a home.
  3. Based on your tax situation, H&R Block will match you with a tax expert with local expertise and provide your price upfront. Your tax person is a tax expert who works in an H&R Block office.
  4. Simply upload your tax documents.
  5. Let your tax pro know how and when to contact you with questions (text/email/phone).
  6. Your work is done. Your tax pro now prepares your tax return.
  7. Your tax professional will complete your tax return within 5 days.
  8. Review your return and pay.

This is a great way to have your tax return done quickly, by a professional! And, you don’t even have to leave your home, so it is quite easy.

This option makes it so much easier if you are trying to complete your tax return at the last moment.

Now, I do want to talk about some other last-minute tax tips as well.

Now, there may be a chance that you don’t think you’ll be ready in time, even with the great options mentioned above. If that is the case for you, you may want to file a tax extension.

H&R Block has a great resource How Do I File an Extension for Taxes? that I recommend checking out. Some quick tips that are extremely important and good to know from this resource include:

  • If think that you will owe to the IRS, you should estimate your tax liability and pay the amount due when you file your tax extension.
  • If you don’t file either your tax return or Form 4868 by April 15th then you will be subject to a late filing penalty. The penalty is usually 5% of the amount you owe for each month, up to a maximum of 25%. So, you definitely want to make sure that you pay.
  • Once you file the extension for your tax return, you will have until October 15, 2019 to file your tax return. But, remember, you still need to pay your tax liability by April 15th.

Are you using H&R Block for your tax return this year?

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How To Use AppSumo To Grow Your Blog

How To Use AppSumo To Grow Your Blog

Today, I am sharing my AppSumo review with you. This article is sponsored by AppSumo but is 100% my opinion.

I want to share with you a website that I am using to improve Making Sense of Cents.

AppSumo partners with software companies and promotes INSANE deals on tools to help entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelancers grow and scale their business. Since they started in 2011, AppSumo has run 1,600 deals and saved their customers over $500,000,000.

Yes, you read that right.

Tools that are typically hundreds of dollars a month are in the AppSumo store for a limited time at price points like $49. AppSumo has helped launch household names like Dropbox, MailChimp, and Evernote, just to name a few. You can find tools for social media automation, SEO optimization, site design and development, and everything in between.

 

How AppSumo Works

The first question I had when I saw an AppSumo deal page was, “How in the heck could this tool go from $700 to $49?” It seemed too good to be true. But here’s how they’re able to do this:

The AppSumo team partners with software startups that are looking for increased visibility and who want to get incredibly valuable feedback from Sumo-lings (aka what AppSumo calls their customers), who have been helping shape and build these tools for nearly a decade. Once they find a tool to partner with, AppSumo works directly with the company for months to put together a launch to their community of over 1,000,000 people.

How To Use AppSumo To Grow Your Blog

What’s In Store Right Now

I am constantly asked what I use for my social media images, such as for Facebook and Pinterest.

AppSumo recently launched a deal I’m super excited about for StockUnlimited, a massive stock photo library with over 1,000,000 premium assets. Yearly access to StockUnlimited is typically $684, but AppSumo is running a limited time deal that lets you have access for $49 for 3 years!

How To Use AppSumo To Grow Your Blog

If you’re a blogger, this deal is worth its weight in gold! Not only is every image royalty-free but StockUnlimited also comes equipped with an editor that lets you directly customize and edit SVG and JPG images (including layers!) so you can have the perfect graphic every time.

You can create custom images for blog posts, social media posts (in all sizes), and ads.

StockUnlimited also has tons of fonts for you to choose from and even has an audio library so it’s perfect for any visual project.

I’m using StockUnlimited to make graphics like the below, and love how user-friendly and simple it is!

 

How To Use AppSumo To Grow Your Blog

In the above image, I’m also using another tool that I bought on AppSumo – RelayThat.

As you may know, Pinterest wants new pins, instead of you pinning the same pins over and over again with your content. An easy way to have a lot of new pins is to use RelayThat. And, I’m so happy that I just found RelayThat because it makes it sooooo easy to make a ton of new pins with just a few easy clicks. The deal just ended on AppSumo but they release new tools every week so make sure to keep an eye out for the next one.

You can see a snapshot of this amazing tool below.

How To Use AppSumo To Grow Your Blog

To grab StockUnlimited, head over to AppSumo while this deal is still running and grab a code (aka 1 license for 3 years of use) for $49. AppSumo deals typically only last 2-4 weeks so get this while you still can!

As a bonus, if you buy through my referral link below you can get an extra 10% off your whole order!

Click here to get StockUnlimited now.

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Save Your Money And Avoid A Storage Unit

Save Your Money And Avoid A Storage Unit

Save Your Money And Avoid A Storage Unit #moneysavingtips #savemoneyWhen we downsized our house and belongings to move into our RV, we rented a storage unit for a few months to help us deal with some things we still had left but couldn’t fit into the RV. While it was helpful at the time, we are now really happy that we got rid of our storage unit.

It’s been a few years since we got rid of it, but we’re still very happy with our decision!

I won’t lie, though, just a few months ago, we were talking about whether or not we should get a small storage unit again for some of the gear we have (bikes, bikes, and more bikes, and other outdoors gear that we have) and things that we have collected over the past few years while traveling.

But, we’ve decided not to.

We realized that we needed to start thinking even harder about the purchases we are making and either give away or sell the things we were thinking about storing. It definitely stings a little to sell or give something away that you’ve recently purchased because you hardly ever make all of your money back. But, it does make you more mindful with future purchases.

However, that’s not the case for others.

There are still many families buying more and more when they’re already not using the things they have. If you look at average home sizes over the years, you can see how easily we’ve gotten used to having more stuff and needing more space to store it all. For example, the average home size in 1950 was less than 1,000 square feet. Fast forward to now, the average home size has increased to around 2,400 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Despite larger homes, according to SpareFoot, nearly 10% of households also rent a self-storage unit. And, many of these people have a house with a garage, which they already use to store some of their stuff.

And, according to SSA, 52% of those who participated in their survey reported that they rented their storage unit for one year or more and only about 13% of customers rented storage for less than three months.

That’s a lot of storage units holding things that most people will probably never use again.

We didn’t want to be those people, so we cleared out our storage unit and got rid of it. We were paying $185 a month for a small storage unit, mainly for photo albums, childhood items, and anything else that we could stack in there. It was pricey because we were in a small town.

We only had the storage unit for around six months, but in that small amount of time we had already spent $1,110 in storage unit costs.

That’s just an unbelievable amount of money to spend on things that we knew we weren’t going to need or use for at least several more years.

The storage unit wasn’t completely horrible, but there were some negatives:

  • It seemed wasteful to spend $185 a month to store things that we weren’t using.
  • When we got the storage unit, I had to sign a paper that said we wouldn’t store photo albums in there. In fact, I found out that this was normal. This felt like I was jinxing myself, and I was afraid that something would happen to the hundreds of photos albums that my dad left for me after he passed away.
  • The storage unit was in an odd location. We put everything from our last house into that storage unit. However, that was in a town where we didn’t know anyone, and we knew that we wouldn’t be going back too often. If we did, it would require a long cross country drive or spending money plane tickets, a rental car, etc. That’s even more money!

So, we rented a moving truck and had everything moved to Wes’s parents’ attic. Don’t worry, they lucked out as well. We gave them all of the expensive, new furniture that we had stupidly bought right before we fell in love with RV life, haha. So, all we really have stored there are photo albums and childhood mementos.

Sure, there are legitimately good reasons to have a storage unit, such as if you are in-between homes, but for the most part, the average person is wasting money by having a storage unit.

Before you decide to get a storage unit, I recommend reading my blog post Downsizing Your Home? Here’s How I Went From A 2,000 Square Foot House To An RV.

Yes, it is possible to downsize, and I know this because I currently live on a boat with MUCH less storage than a “normal” house has. Our boat actually has less storage space than our RV did, so we had to downsize even more when we moved onto the boat.

Here’s why you may want to avoid a getting a storage unit or get rid of the one you currently have.

 

A storage unit isn’t an easy way to fix a problem.

Many people surprisingly get storage units because they think it’s easier to throw everything in a storage unit and pay the monthly fee rather than sorting through everything and finding a better solution.

Yes, it can be hard to go through what’s in your storage unit and get rid of things, but it only gets more difficult as time passes. You may have emotional attachments to some of the things, like if they came from a relative or friend who has passed away, but things won’t bring people back. You get to keep your memories and take them wherever you go.

The problem is that avoiding your storage unit creates a cycle that just never ends. It’s a temporary solution that gets harder and harder to deal with.

The reality is that many people put their stuff in a storage unit thinking that at some point they will go back to get their stuff, but eventually that $100 monthly payment looks better than the stress of clearing out the storage unit.

Storage facility companies LOVE this!

 

You probably have too much anyways.

According to NBC News, the average U.S. household has 300,000 things.

Yes, that says 300,000!

Sounds crazy, but it really adds up quickly. Think about all of the plates, each piece of silverware, clothing, and everything else you own.

Also, according to Lark, U.S. children make up less than 4% of the children on the planet but have 47% of all toys and children’s books.

That is just crazy.

Given that the average home size has nearly tripled over the past few decades to 2,400 square feet, I really don’t know how people still have more stuff to store than what already fits in their home.

You really do not need all of that stuff in your house.

If you were to go room by room and think about the things you are actually using on a regular basis, you will probably be shocked by the amount of extra stuff you own. That alone should show you that paying for a storage unit is probably a waste of your money.

 

The items you want to store may never be used.

When many people put their belongings into a storage unit, most of the time they don’t even step foot in there again until they get rid of the unit.

This may be years and years down the line.

I’ve heard of people who forget about paying for their storage units, and after decades of not returning, the storage unit facility then auctions off their belongings. A storage unit facility won’t just let your stuff sit there forever either – they auction off abandoned units at an average of $425 per unit.

While it’s hard to find exactly how many units are abandoned each year, according to this study from Simply Self Storage, there are approximately 155,000 storage units auctioned off annually. That totals over $65 million in storage unit auctions! There is such a big market for abandoned units that there are even television shows about the people who buy them at auction.

You stored it for decades, never stepped foot into it, and then forgot about all of your stuff? And now, the storage unit companies are making even more money off of your unused and forgotten about items.

This happens time and time again.

And, it is a huge waste of money.

If you’re storing your belongings, there is a big chance that you’ll never use those items. After all, they are out of sight and out of reach, so how often will you actually use or even think about them?

 

Many people store things they don’t even want.

Surprisingly, many people store things they know they don’t need or want.

When you keep items like that in a storage unit, you are basically paying extra for unused items every month. That makes all of those unused things even more expensive.

A storage unit costs anywhere from around $50 to $200 a month, and this is for a non-climate controlled unit. If you want it to be climate controlled, you may pay significantly more to store your items.

Again, it can be hard to address every single thing you might be thinking about storing, but if you want to save money, you’ll need to take the time to realize which things you have that you know you don’t actually want or need.

 

It’s probably not worth it to store whatever you’re storing.

If you’re spending $100 a month storing things you don’t even want, you should think about how much it’s costing you in the long run.

Even if $100 doesn’t seem like much, that’s $6,000 over a five year period.

Is your stuff worth $6,000?

Even if you’re just storing it for one year, is your stuff worth $1,200?

You also have to think about the time and cost of driving back and forth from your storage unit even if you don’t do it regularly, and your storage unit may be far away like ours was. There is also the cost to move things, like if you have large items that need to be moved by a moving truck.

All of those costs add up!

Related: 30+ Ways To Save Thousands Each Year

 

By storing stuff, you’re likely to buy even more.

Instead of just making due with the items and space that you already have, a storage unit can actually cause you to spend more money. This is because you will be hoarding more and more things, and then you’ll just continue to put things in your storage unit because you have that extra space.

Would you go so far as getting another storage unit? I hope not, that would be an even bigger waste of your money.

Instead, you should make due with the space that you already have, and really think about every purchase you are considering.

 

You have time to donate or sell your stuff.

Some people have a storage unit because they think they don’t have enough time to donate, sell, or otherwise get rid of the stuff that they want to store.

Well, with the amount of time it will take to bring your items to storage, you could probably just get rid of them.

Plus, someone else may find a great deal of value in your stuff and/or you may help someone in need!

You can donate things to Goodwill or Salvation Army, and some charity donation centers even come to your home to pick things up. You can sell items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You can host a garage sale. This means you might even make some money on your unused things instead of spending money to store them.

Do you have a storage unit? Why or why not? How much does your storage unit cost?

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Looking to monetize your audience? Stop looking, Interactive Offers is here.

Looking to monetize your audience? Stop looking, Interactive Offers is here.

The following is a sponsored post.

Based out of Boca Raton, Florida, start up company Interactive Offers is a new player in the digital marketing world. If you aren’t paying attention to this company, you should. The company was founded by three individuals with 20 years of digital marketing experience.  They set out on a journey to disrupt the stale model of marketing with a simple goal in mind: create a transparent, self-serve, financial digital marketing platform.

Using the cost-per-click (CPC) model, Interactive Offers has been able to lure some of the biggest financial advertisers and publishers in the industry to their platform.  The creation of this hub revolves around financial advertisers and publisher resulting in a mutual relationship for both parties. 

Advertisers get to showcase their product to their ideal audience while publishers reap the benefits of having such a targeted financial audience and get paid per every click delivered.  

The process for monetizing your database is quite simple.  

Visit InteractiveOffers.com and register as a publisher.  Once the registration is complete, one of their account managers will contact you to familiarize yourself with the company and explain the process of picking up offers.  The next step involves issuing a test offer in order to validate the traffic quality each publisher will bring.  This step is crucial, as the company wants high quality leads that convert for their advertisers. If the test results are up to their standards, you will gain full access to the platform and all of the offers available.  The vetting of publishers is completed within a week of registering.

Once on the platform, the publisher will have several options in regards to the type of offer they wish to send.  They currently have campaigns in the form of Dedicated Emails, SMS, Push, and Display ads.  Each available offer will display the CPC you receive per click delivered, as well as the name of the offer, time remaining, link preview and remaining clicks.  With dedicated email offers you can even schedule out clicks 2 weeks in advance! 

 

Several things that set Interactive Offers apart from the rest.  

Primarily, they have financial content that is relevant with the financial-hungry audience financial publishers provide.  This results in advertisers creating a higher CPC on their campaigns, because they know the traffic provided is very targeted.  

Higher CPC means higher returns for publishers. As a matter of fact, the average CPC on campaigns is $2.00. Imagine your returns if you have a database of 10,000 users or more!

When do you get paid? Good question! All publisher payments are made on or before the 15th of the month following your send.

With offers populating on the platform on a daily basis from top financial advertisers, it couldn’t be any easier to monetize your database.  It is as simple as a few clicks to pick up the offer, send it out, and make money.  Publishers already using Interactive Offers to monetize their database range from heavyweights such as The Washington Times to smaller financial sites and bloggers.

If you are a financial publisher looking to monetize your database, look no further.  You just found your go-to place to make easy money with minimal effort.  That place? InteractiveOffers.com

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We’re Moving Onto A Plane!

We’re Moving Onto A Plane!

We're Moving Onto A Plane!

We’ve lived in a house, then an RV, then a sailboat, and now… a plane!

Don’t get me wrong, this past year of living on a sailboat has been amazing, but we’re ready for another change – it’s time for a plane!

It may sound crazy to change our minds so quickly (it hasn’t even been a full year since we moved onto our sailboat), but part of being a blogger is that I can live and work from wherever I want. As long as I have my laptop, an internet connection, and can bring my dogs, I’m good. I can see the world from anywhere, and I’m ready to do it from a plane!

Plus, you just never know what’s going to happen in life. If you want to make a change, stop waiting around and just go for it!

You’re probably wondering how this all came about, so let me tell you what happened. When we sold our last RV, we were talking to the person who was going to deliver our RV to the next person – and he asked us what was next. He said that he knows a lot of RVers who go from RVing to living full-time on a plane. They just park their plane in a hangar when they aren’t flying. It’s pretty much like docking a boat in a marina or parking an RV in a RV lot.

We thought this was so interesting, but we honestly didn’t believe it at first.

Then, we met a few more people who told us similar stories and started getting more excited about the possibility. We met a really nice couple at the marina in St. Pete who actually lived on a plane before moving onto a sailboat. Since we’ve been in the Bahamas, we have met even more people who are living on planes.

Living on a plane has been running through our minds for a few months now and we’ve decided to go for it!

So, our sailboat Paradise is currently for sale, and we’re looking for our next home.

We’re not quite sure what kind of plane we will be buying, but it needs to be big enough to fit us and our dogs, and it would also be nice if it had enough room for when our family comes to visit. If you have any tips or advice on what kind of plane we should buy, let me know in the comments.

If you’re thinking this sounds crazy, here are the reasons for why we want to live on an airplane:

  • It would be fun.
  • We could travel even faster by plane than by boat or RV. This means we can visit even more places!
  • We’ve traveled by land and sea, now it’s time to be in the air. It’s the logical next step!
  • We learned how to sail a boat, and I’m sure it’s just as easy to learn how to fly a plane.

Just kidding.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

I’m completely kidding. We have no plans of moving onto an airplane. I wouldn’t even know the first step! And honestly, a boat is so much work that I cannot even fathom how much work it would take to live on an airplane full-time.

It does sound interesting, though!

Read my last April Fools’ Day joke I’m Tired Of Living In A Motorhome!

 

Oh yeah, don’t forget. Today is the last day! You can purchase the ultimate money bundle of financial resources – Over $1,200 worth of financial courses, ebooks, and printables for just $37! Ends TONIGHT on April 1, 2019, don’t miss out!

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How to use your tax refund to repair your credit

How to use your tax refund to repair your credit

How to use your tax refund to repair your credit The following is a sponsored post with Creditrepair.com.

Are you looking to improve your credit score and your credit history? As you recently learned in What makes you a good candidate for credit repair?, your credit score is so important!

As a refresher, your credit score can influence the interest rate you receive on a loan, buying a home, finding a rental home, attaining certain jobs, your insurance rates, and more.

If you’re receiving a tax refund this year, I recommend using it to your advantage and improve your life first. Yes, splurges are great, but if you have a low or not-excellent credit score and credit history, I recommend using your tax refund towards this instead.

Here are some ways you can use your tax refund to repair your credit.

 

Pay off anything you have in collections.

If you’re receiving a tax refund but also have bills in collections, then you should probably be thinking about paying those off instead of spending your tax refund on “wants” instead of “needs.”

This can help you to repair your credit because bills in collections hurt your credit score and credit history.

 

Pay down your debt.

Do you have credit card debt? If you’re carrying a balance month to month and are paying interest fees, then one of the top things that you will probably want to do with your tax refund is pay off your debt.

Paying down your debt can help your credit score as your utilization rate will go down.

Maintaining a low credit utilization, which means having access to credit but only using about 30% or less of your available limit. If your credit card balance is generally more than 30% of your credit limit, your score could be lowered.

 

Put it in your emergency fund.

Do you have an emergency fund yet?

If you don’t have a fully funded emergency fund, using your tax return money can be great use to get you started!

Emergency funds are always good to have because they can give you peace of mind if anything costly were to happen in your life. Instead of building onto your stress because of whatever has happened, at least you know you can afford to pay your bills and worry about more important things.

An emergency fund is also wise to have because it can help prevent unnecessary debt. There are too many people out there who count on their credit cards as their emergency fund and that is not a good idea. It can lead to debt spiraling out of control because of high interest rates.

 

Pay for credit repair help.

If you need credit repair help, then using your tax refund to get expert help can be a great idea.

If you have negative items on your credit report, than a credit repair company can help you do this for you. Yes, you may be able to do this yourself, but a company can probably complete the task easier and more efficiently because they have the experience and know-how.

If you’re looking for professional credit repair services, then I recommend looking into CreditRepair.com. There is a low monthly cost, and it can be a great way to use your tax refund to your advantage.

CreditRepair.com is easy:

  1. First, they analyze your credit report and identify the negative items which are hurting your credit score. In this step, they build a game plan to help you.
  2. After that, next in the process, CreditRepair.com challenges the negative items in your credit report and try to get them removed if they are inaccurate.

Previous clients of CreditRepair.com have seen an average of a 40 point increase in their credit score during just four months of membership.

CreditRepair.com helps consumers use their legal rights to fair credit reporting, which helps them to improve their credit score.

This can then allow your credit score to have a more positive impact on your life!

Please click here to check out CreditRepair.com.

What are you doing with your tax refund this year?

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45 financial resources with a value of $1,206.41, for just $37!

45 financial resources with a value of $1,206.41, for just $37!

Get your bundle now!

Hey!

Looking to gain access to some of the best financial resources out there?

Do you want to save for retirement, pay off debt, start investing, go on vacations, and more?

Being in control of my money and personal finance situation has cut my stress significantly, so I’m always looking for products to recommend that will help you do the same.

And, this is why I highly recommend the Master Your Money Super Bundle. When you buy the Master Your Money Super Bundle you’ll gain access to:

  • 13 eBooks
  • 10 eCourses
  • 11 video presentations
  • 9 printables & workbooks

And, it’s super affordable! Some of the best financial experts out there have come together to sell all of their resources together in a nice package. You can receive 45 financial resources with a value of $1,206.41, for just $37!

Yes, $37.

Examples of some of the amazing resources that you can receive in this money bundle include:

  • The Financial Renovation, eCourse by Lauren Greutman ($99.00 value). This course helps families create financial freedom by sharing simple, easy ways to take back control of their money, live within their means, and create the simpler, happier life they’ve always dreamed of.
  • Debt Free in 18 Months, eCourse by Deacon Hayes ($67.00 value).
  • DIY Financial Planning: Home Purchase, eCourse by Marriage Money Bootcamp ($80.00 value). This is a step-by-step video course for creating a financial plan for your first home purchase.
  • How To Be Frugal, eCourse by Jennifer Roskamp ($99.00 value). This self paced course teaches you how to create a budget, how to feed a family frugally, how to shop smart both online and in the store, how to use coupons, how to save money around your home, and so much more.
  • The 4% Rule: Safe Withdrawal Rates In Retirement, eBook by Todd Tresidder ($4.99 value). The knowledge contained in this book will help you remove the uncertainty around retirement savings and deepen your understanding of strategies other than the 4% rule so you can retire worry-free.
  • Full-Time RV Finance: Learn How to Afford Your Full-Time RV Travel Dreams, eBook by Sean & Julie Chickery ($3.99 value). Helps you prepare financially for the full-time RV lifestyle.
  • Financial Freedom Planner, Workbook by Jen Smith ($19.00 value). An all-in-one guide to help you make long-term financial goals and short-term action plans that will get you to financial freedom faster.
  • How I Made Over $12,000 Investing When The Stock Market Was Falling, Video presentation by Teri Ijeoma ($19.00 value). Teaches you the top four secrets to make regular daily or weekly income using the stock market.
  • Teaching Kids About Money: Practical Ways to Raise Financially Savvy Kids, Video presentation by Brendie Heter ($19.00 value). Shows parents how to take advantage of every day “teachable moments” and change the financial path of the next generation. Brendie, a trained financial coach, wants parents to feel confident regarding this sometimes overwhelming topic.
  • Money Talks: The Ultimate Couple’s Guide To Communicating About Money, eBook by Talaat & Tai McNeely ($9.99 value). Helps you open the lines of communication with your spouse, and reveals how you and your spouse can align yourselves together financially.
  • How to Financially Prepare your Family for a New Baby, Video presentation by Lauren Daly ($19.00 value). Lauren shares how her family saved thousands for their new baby, and how they came up with just how much they need.

And there are so many other great resources as well!

 

Common questions about this deal

Many of you have asked me questions about the bundle, and I completely understand. It’s a lot of products for a very low price, and you may not have come across something like this before.

Q1: Is this one big course? Or a bunch of different products?

This bundle is a collection of 14 eBooks, 10 eCourses, 11 video presentations, and 10 workbooks and printables. Inside this bundle, you will find tons of resources to help pay off debt, budget like a boss, and reach your financial goals, and so much more. It’s basically one big financial library – all for $37.

Q2: What am I going to do with so many resources?

There is no way on earth each of these eBooks / eCourses is relevant to where you are right now. Some of them will have a lot of appeal, and some won’t. But in most cases, it only takes 3 or 4 eBooks or eCourses that you’re going to use for you to start saving money.Not to mention, there are 8 resources alone that are worth as much or more than the cost of the bundle itself. So, even though you won’t use every resource in the bundle, it would still be really hard to not save a ton of money anyway.

Q3: How do I know I’m actually getting good quality products and not just a bunch of “throw-away” eBooks?

The Ultimate Bundles team spends months reviewing potential contributors, approaches only the best for inclusion, and then only accepts the top products that they think will have the most appeal out of those. Many of these are even full-length eCourses with video tutorials! They are highly selective and it shows in the final curated collection.

Q4: What’s the refund policy?

Although Ultimate Bundles has an extremely low return rate at less than 1/4 of the industry standard, there are some people who it doesn’t work for. That’s why they offer a 100% happiness guarantee refund policy for 30 days. If you don’t love it, just email customerservice@ultimatebundles.com to ask for a full refund.

Q6: This sounds like a scam. Can you prove it’s not?

I know it seems too good to be true. Pay $37 for $1,211.67 in resources? Doesn’t that mean someone’s losing big time? Or the prices are inflated?

I totally get your concerns. I’ve been an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles for years and I can tell you that I offer these bundles to my readers because they’re a great value. Even though a blogger may be including their product in a bundle that costs less than their product, product creators get exposure to new potential readers, which can pay off in big ways later. Plus, the bundle is offered for such a short time that they can go back quickly to selling their product at full price.

In short, it’s a great deal for everyone. Ultimate Bundles is a reputable company, so if you try the bundle and don’t like it within 30 days, just ask their friendly, helpful customer happiness team for a refund.

Q7: How long do I have access to the material?

You’ll have 6 months to download your eBooks and register for your eCourses. After that, you’ll have access to all the eBooks and many of the eCourses for life, so there’s really no rush.

Q8: Can I buy the bundle later?

I wish I could let you, but I can’t. In order to convince the partners to offer such a huge discount on their trainings, they’ve agreed to sell the bundle for a 6 day period only. After that, there will be no late sales.

I hope that answers your questions!

In my opinion, you really don’t want to pass up a deal this good. But I’ll leave that up to you. Just don’t wait too long, because the sale ends soon!

Check out the Master Your Money Super Bundle right here.

Thanks!

Michelle

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How I Made Over $1,000,000 in Photography Without Being a Pro

How I Made Over $1,000,000 in Photography Without Being a Pro

How I Made Over $1,000,000 in Photography Without Being a Pro #photography #howtomakextramoneyToday, I have a guest post from Marc from Vital Dollar. He is sharing how he had a few photography-related websites and even with no real photography experience, was quite successful with them. Hopefully, you’ll find this super encouraging like I did. Enjoy!

Photography can be a tough industry. While high-profile photographers can make a lot of money, most photographers struggle to make a good income from their work.

Many photographers need to do a few different things in order to earn a full-time income. Things like freelance writing for photography blogs or magazines, writing books or ebooks, creating online courses or other digital products, running workshops and seminars, licensing stock photos, and selling prints are all possible supplements to income made from client work.

Although I enjoy photography, I’m not a professional. I’ve never sold my photos and I’ve never been paid to take photos for clients. However, I was able to make more than $1 million in the photography industry over the course of about six years (2012 – 2018).

Related content:

I didn’t try to make money photographing weddings or by photographing for magazines. There are countless photographers more talented than I am, so I knew those weren’t good options.

Instead, I used blogging and digital products to make money in the photography industry.

During those six years, I started a few different photography blogs. I made around $550,000 while I was managing those blogs, and I made a combined $700,000 when I sold the blogs (I’m not running any photography blogs currently).  After my expenses for running the blogs, it came out to $1,138,610 in net income during those six years.

Not only was it a pretty good source of income, but it also gave me the chance to improve my own photography while I worked on something that I enjoyed.

I was able to travel to some beautiful places as a part of my work. Hiking through a National Park can be a great way to spend your work day! (Getting up at 3:00 am to be at the right spot for sunrise is not so fun, but every job comes with some sacrifices.)

How I Made Over $1,000,000 in Photography Without Being a Pro

I believe that my approach to making money from a photography hobby is something that could be applied to other hobbies or interests that you have, and we’ll look at those specifics later in the article.

 

How I Got Started with Photography

For most of my life, I had no interest in photography. But sometime around 2010 I started taking photographs of textures to be used in graphic design. At the time I had a web design blog, and many design blogs were giving away or selling textures that other designers could use in their own creations. For example, a rusty metal texture could be used as the background for a poster design.

I wanted some textures to give away on my blog, so I would take my camera out to a park and photograph whatever textures I could find. It would be things like large stones, grungy concrete surfaces, brick walls, rusty trash cans, or anything else that caught my interest.

How I Made Over $1,000,000 in Photography Without Being a Pro

When I would photograph textures I’d try to go out at times when people wouldn’t be around, because you get a lot of strange looks when you’re photographing the ground or a trash can.

I had to learn how to use my camera in manual mode in order to get the best photos. It was kind of a pain at first, but the more I learned, the more I liked photography.

Over the next year or two, trips with my wife to the Grand Canyon and to Europe took my small interest in photography and made it into something much bigger.

How I Made Over $1,000,000 in Photography Without Being a Pro

As I was learning about photography, I was visiting a lot of websites and blogs and I noticed that there were many different types of digital products being sold to photographers, both hobbyists and professionals. Things like ebooks, courses, software, plugins, apps, templates for marketing materials, card templates, photo overlays, Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, contract templates, business forms, and more.

I wondered if I could create (or hire someone to create) digital products and sell them to others who had an interest in photography.

 

The Process for Monetizing My Photography Hobby

At this point, I was intrigued about the possibility of making money with my photography hobby. I had been blogging for a few years (on subjects other than photography), so I thought I could probably incorporate blogging with photography.

Here are the steps I followed.

 

Step 1: Created Digital Products

To get started, I hired people to create a few products for me, with a budget of about $300. I had experience with Photoshop, so I was also able to create some of my own digital products. These were low-ticket products that would sell for a few dollars each, and then I also had a bundle that included all of the products together.

I’m not able to list the domain names of my former sites or the exact products that I sold because of confidentiality agreements. However, if you visit a deal site like PhotoWhoa you can see many examples of products being sold in the industry. The products I sold would fit in here. Each product at my sites would be priced between $5 – $99 for an instant download.

I chose these types of products for a few reasons:

  1. They are relatively easy and inexpensive to create.
  2. They are more of an impulse buy and if you’re just getting started they are a little easier to sell than an expensive product like a high-end course.
  3. You can create a lot of small, inexpensive products and bundle them together. The bundle price is higher than the price of a single product, but much lower than the price of buying everything individually. You can show this as a big discount, and get higher conversions because of the value. It’s basically the same concept used by sites like Ultimate Bundles, but on a smaller scale.

The initial product creation phase took me about a month or two. It was just a part-time project in my spare time, otherwise it could have been completed faster.

 

Step 2: Set Up a Basic Website

I set up a very basic WordPress website to display the products (see this page for WordPress installation instructions). The website had a simple shopping cart to allow visitors to buy the products, but I had no traffic and I didn’t anticipate many sales coming through the website at first.

 

Step 3: Contacted Third-Party Websites

My first attempt at making money with the products involved reaching out to a few daily deal websites that sold products to photographers and designers. These sites already had audiences of buyers and I could partner with them to sell my product, and we’d split the revenue.

These sites would offer the bundle of all my products to their audience at a discounted price. The amount I made on each sale was pretty small, but there was potential to do a large volume of sales.

Ultimately, I wanted to be able to sell the products through my own website instead of through third-party sites that would take a big chunk of the revenue, but I knew it would take time to build up traffic to my own website. Selling on third-party websites allowed me to quickly test the demand for my products and start making some money, even if it wasn’t a lot.

My first deal was on a small site. I knew it wouldn’t generate a lot of money, but I wanted to test things out before trying to line up promos on bigger sites. That deal made me several hundred dollars, which helped me to know that there was a demand for the products.

Once I had confidence that the first deal was a success on a small scale, I started reaching out to some other deal sites.

Note: If you’re thinking about how you would apply this concept to a different niche, you may be unsure how to find these types of sites. Essentially, all we’re really trying to do here is leverage someone else’s existing audience. Let’s take a look at a few options.

First, there are marketplaces like Etsy, Creative Market, Envato Market, Redbubble, and stock photo marketplaces where you can sell your products. Depending on the niche you’re in, there may or may not be something similar.

Second, many niches have daily deal websites that reach a targeted audience. Some sites like Ultimate Bundles reach large audiences in many different niches. AppSumo (tech and software), MightyDeals (design), Peachy Cheap (scrapbooking), and Spa Week (spa and wellness) are just a few examples of niche deal sites. These types of sites partner with product creators to sell products. Search your niche and you may find some good options.

In addition to the niche deal sites, depending on the product you are selling, you may also be able to partner with larger deal sites like Groupon. There are also local deal sites in many locations, so there may be some options in your area.

Third, if these types of deal sites don’t seem to be an option for you, consider finding affiliates to promote your products. If you can partner with affiliates who have an email list and/or blog audience you can get the same results, or even better.

Offer a coupon code or exclusive discount that affiliates can use to promote your products to their audience. Look for blogs that already promote other products in your niche as an affiliate, and reach out to them about the possibility of giving a special offer on your product to their audience.

 

Step 4: Created More Products

The first few deals went well (my share from the best deal was $10,000), but through these deals I was selling a bundle of all of my current products. That means I had nothing else to offer customers for future sales, and it also limited the number of promos and deals I could run on third-party sites. I couldn’t keep running the same deal over and over.

So my next step was to add more products. I created some on my own, but I also hired freelancers to create products that I wasn’t able to create myself. Thankfully, the deals I was running on third-party sites provided plenty of money for me to pay for the development of these new products.

With more products, I was able to create other bundles and sell them on the same deal sites that I had used earlier.

I also started selling some of my products on marketplaces like Etsy and Creative Market.

 

Step 5: Used the Blog to Get More Traffic

By this stage, I was bringing in decent money from sales on third-party sites (a few thousand dollars per month), but it was inconsistent. My long-term goal was to have enough traffic coming to my own site that I wouldn’t need to rely on third-party sites for sales.

I started to drive traffic to my blog by posting articles related to different aspects of photography. Since I wasn’t an expert photographer I hired a few freelancers to write detailed tutorials that I wouldn’t have been able to write myself. I did publish some of my own content, but it was mostly inspirational showcases and list posts.

The blog posts started to bring some traffic. Once visitors arrived on the blog they saw ads for my products, and slowly I started making more sales directly through my site.

Pinterest was a good source of traffic, and as time went on, Google search traffic became more significant as well.

Building up the blog also opened up the possibility of other revenue streams. While I made 80-90% of my money from these sites by selling my own digital products, I did supplement that with a small amount of revenue from promoting products as an affiliate. I didn’t promote products that were in direct competition with my own, but I did promote some complimentary products.  

If I had held on to the blogs I would have looked into the possibility of also using sponsored content to monetize the blog. That should have been a good option as the traffic and reach increased.

 

Step 6: Used Freebies to Get Links, Traffic, and Subscribers

Probably the best strategy I used for driving traffic was creating freebies to give away on my blog. The freebies were basically a limited version of the products that I sold, and to get the freebies people would have to opt into my email list.

At first, I reached out to some other blogs and websites to get a link to my freebies from their photography resource pages. That approach led to some links that sent targeted traffic day-after-day.

And after the freebies got a little bit of exposure, a lot of other blogs started linking to them without any effort on my part.

Those links wound up sending a nice, consistent flow of traffic, and many of those visitors turned into email subscribers.

The freebies allowed people to try my products without paying anything, and some of them wound up buying from me. As the email list grew, so did my sales.

The email list also helped me with the occasional promotion of products as an affiliate.

At this stage:

  • I had a growing collection of low-ticket products (I was still adding more products)
  • The products were still making some sales on third-party sites
  • Traffic and sales at my own site were growing, thanks to the blog posts and freebies
  • My email list was growing every day

 

Step 7: Duplicated the Process

Now that I had a site that was doing pretty well, I decided to start another similar site. This second site also sold low-ticket digital products to photographers, but the specific products were a little different than the ones I had been selling on my first site.

With the second site I took the same exact approach of using a blog and freebies to build an email list, and I also ran some deals at third-party sites. Within just a few months this site started making sales consistently just through organic traffic.

A few months after starting the second site, I actually decided to start a third photography blog/website. I took basically the same approach with the third site, except it was a niche website on a particular type of photography. I created only a few different products that were higher-priced, rather than having a lot of lower-priced products.

 

Step 8: Watched Sales Increase as Traffic and Subscribers Grew

2015 was the year it all started coming together. My three blogs were growing nicely, and by the end of the year I was making $15,000 – $20,000 per month, working part-time on these sites (I had another business going at the time).

By now I was seeing the results of the work I had put in earlier.

 

Step 9: Sold the Blogs

Early in 2016, I sold two of my photography blogs for $500,000, but I kept the third one. Over the next couple of years, I continued working on that blog by focusing on growing the email list and selling digital products. I continued to write some of the blog content myself, and I also had a few different freelancers that would write content for me as well.

In August of 2018, I sold that blog for $216,000 ($194,400 after broker fees) when I was ready to move on and do something else.

The sale of that blog put me over the $1 million mark (in terms of net income) with the photography blogs that started as a hobby.

Selling a website or blog is a personal decision and there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. Yes, I did lose the ongoing income by selling each of these sites/blogs, but I also freed up my time to work on other things.

If you do decide that selling a website or blog could be a good option for you, getting 2 or 3 years’ worth of profit when you are ready to walk away is a nice way to boost your income quickly.

 

Conclusion:

Although my process involved several different steps, the most important part of the process boils down to a few things:

  • The creation of digital products.
  • Leveraging other people’s audience to make sales (I mostly used daily deal sites, but you could take a similar approach to get others to promote your products as an affiliate).
  • The use of freebies to generate traffic and grow an email list.
  • Using the email list to make more sales.

I’m a big fan of finding ways to monetize a hobby, because it makes working a lot more fun. If you have a hobby that you’d like to monetize I’d recommend thinking about the types of digital products that you could create and use a blog to sell them.

Marc runs a personal finance blog, Vital Dollar. He’s been working online full-time since 2008 and has written a free report on How to Make Money with Your Hobby.

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Ask Me Anything

Ask Me Anything

A little over one year ago, I published my first Ask Me Anything here on Making Sense of Cents. That went super well, so I decided to make it more of a regular thing!

Ask Me Anything is literally that – you can ask me anything. If you’re struggling to figure out what to ask, here are a few of the topics you may want to know more about:

  • Personal finance
  • Blogging
  • My life
  • Travel
  • RVing
  • Sailing
  • Being location independent
  • Business
  • Making extra money
  • Questions about my dogs

And so on, and so on.

Seriously, ask me anything in the comments below, and I will take the time to answer every single one. Of course, please nothing inappropriate or creepy. I’ll let you be the judge of what is creepy, I guess, haha!

All right, go for it, ask away!

 

P.S. If you’re looking to see all of the comments and questions, make sure to hit “Older Comments” or “Newer Comments” below. The comments break apart in pages once there are over 50 comments.

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