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Have you ever had the urge to get your life together but you didn’t know where to start?
No worries, friend.
In this post, we put together over 100 things you can do to save money, make money, and be productive. This list is broken down into sections to make it easier to digest.
Before we get started… grab this entire list in a checklist!
Now, let’s get to it!
Things to Do to Get Your Finances in Order
1. Sign up for Digit and Ebates. Digit is a free app that saves money for you automatically by monitoring your bank account to find excess cash you don’t need for. Within three months of using the app, I had over $600 saved for a holiday cruise.
Now, three months later again I have over $700 in that baby that I’m using to jet off to St. Marten this summer. This app is the truth! Use the link here to get a special bonus!To finish the sign up and start saving, you have to connect a bank account to app.
Ebates is a website that gives you cash back for shopping with participating merchants. Priceline, Orbitz, and Expedia partner with them, so if you travel often… get on that cash back gravy train. Use this link to sign up for Ebates.
(To make sure you never miss an Ebates cash back deal, download the Ebates button for your browser. When you have the browser button, you’ll be alerted every time you’re on a site that partners with Ebates. Don’t miss out on cash back!!! Here’s how to download the button.)
2. Sign up for Swagbucks to earn some extra cash. It’s a free app where you earn points for easy stuff like watching videos and surfing the net. The points you earn can be cashed in for gift cards! To complete the Swagbucks application, make sure to check your email and verify the account!
3. Make a monthly budget. People hate the word budgeting — It’s synonymous with lack and struggle. But that’s not what budgeting is all about. Budgeting is nothing more than having a plan for your money.
Start with your expenses. List out what your expenses are for the month and decide what expenses you no longer need. Do you really need Netflix and Hulu? (These are the types of questions that need answers.) Subtract your finalized expenses from your income and you have the makings of a budget!
4. Set a savings goal. Do you want to save up for an emergency fund, vacation, car, or motorcycle? Speak it into existence. Name whatever it is you want to save for and how much it will require you to save. After writing the number down you need, break your savings goal down into daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Go back up to no. 1 if you need an app to help you with this savings.
5. Pull out your bills and try to lower them. Each year (or even multiple times a year), you should shop around to see if you can get a better deal for your services. Make sure you’re getting competitive rates for all services, i.e. your cell service, car, home, or renter’s insurance. You can do this by:
- Snooping online to see what competitor rates are doing.
- Calling your current companies to see if they’ll match the rate you found.
- If they don’t, think about jumping ship for the less expensive company.
6. Check your credit score and come up with a plan to improve it. Credit scores are risk scores lenders use to determine how good or bad you are at managing credit. Creditors use your credit score to decide if you qualify for products and at what interest rate. Learn more about why your credit score is important here and 25 ways to improve your credit score here.
7. Calculate how much money you need to save for retirement. Being prepared for retirement starts with knowing how much you need to save to live the life you want to lead in the golden years. Don’t worry — there’s a tool for this, two. Personal Capital is a platform where you can pull all of your asset accounts into one dashboard to see where you stand so you can build your investment plan. After knowing where you stand, you can adjust your weekly, monthly, and yearly savings goal to make sure you’re saving enough. If interested in tracking your net worth with Personal Capital, click this link.
Check out these other posts on saving money:
- How to Save Money When You’re Broke as Hell
- How to Budget with Inconsistent Income
- How to Lower Your Comcast Bill
- 100+ Things to Cut Out to Save Money on Monthly Expenses
- How I Increased Student Loan Payment By 500% on a Humble Salary
- 35-Day Holiday Savings Challenge
- How to Repay Debt With a Zero Sum Budget
- How to Eat at Restaurants for Free
Things to Do to Earn More Money (and Boost Your Career)
8. Sign up for delivery services. Not really into ridesharing? You can sign up to deliver meals from restaurants or food from grocery stores to customers instead of driving people around. DoorDash is one to consider:
DoorDash: is an app you can sign up for to pick up food from restaurants and deliver to doorsteps. You keep 100% of tips plus there’s a base minimum you can earn for each delivery. Woop, woop! The requirements are pretty simple. You need to be at least 17 years old with a clean driving history for the last 7 years. There’s also a background check. If interested in using DoorDash to make extra cash, click this link.
9. Brainstorm ways to turn your favorite hobby into a business. Starting your own business is a way to add an extra income stream to your household. Brainstorm a few businesses that you can do. With those ideas down on paper, do some market research to see if anyone is in need of your idea. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great ways to put some feelers out. Also, check Quora for people asking questions about your business idea to see if they need someone like you to be an answer to their problems.
10. Write your dream business plan. When you choose an idea, sit down to write your dream business plan. A business plan does not have to be something that’s a million pages. The idea that doing a business plan is a a huge undertaking could make you want to avoid the process altogether.
You just need to answer a few main questions: What is your business? What’s your offer? Who are you selling your product or service to? Who are your competitors? What are you doing that sets you apart? What are the numbers? What’s you’re selling point? How much do you need to sell to be profitable?
11. Make a checklist of business to dos. Next, start turning your dreams into actual plans. Come up with a list of tangible to dos that you’ll do next to put your dream business plan into action. Write things down beyond just “research.” There’s a time for research and then there’s a time to act. Write down things you’ll actually DO so you can be focusing on real actions.
12. Sell stuff on Ebay. Another way to earn extra income is selling on Ebay. You can sell your own items or flip items you find at thrift stores or garage sales.
13. Untag/delete every embarrassing photos. If you’re trying to turnover a new professional leaf, it may be time to go through your social media pictures and delete some of the ones that are no longer serving you. (Photos like the ones where you’re playing beer pong at college.) Your future employer or client may find it, and today our socials are our business cards/resumes.
14. Locate and follow blogs that are relevant. Are you trying to get into a new hobby? Do you have future goals and business aspirations? Do a search online with “your hobby + blog”. Find blogs and social accounts that are relevant to the hobby or business that you’re trying to get into. Subscribe to email lists and follow accounts.
15. Comment on those blogs and then e-mail the blogger to spark conversation. Take the new list of blogs you have and start commenting on posts. Engage on social media with the blogger or influencer. Email the blogger if you have something interesting and of value to share. This is how conversations and online networking happens!
16. Print out flyers of your side business. If you’re trying to get local awareness for your business, take it back to basics. Print out some flyers and post them to different areas in your neighborhood. Coffee shops commonly have a post board where you can leave business cards and flyers.
17. Write an ebook. Have an interesting non-fiction or fiction story to share? Time to get it down on paper! It’s never been easier to publish ebooks. You can formate the ebook on a site like Canva or just convert a Word document to a PDF. You can sell the ebook on your own through a site like Gumroad, or you can sell on Amazon.
18. Google your name to see what your online impression is. When employers review your application, they’re probably taking a look at your online presence to see what you’re all about.
Take some time to Google yourself to see what comes up. (If you use Gmail for your email provider, log out of your account to see what the public sees. Otherwise information connected to your Gmail account will come up first, which isn’t necessarily what other viewers see.)
Clean up information as necessary. Delete old social posts. You could also ask other site owners if they can take down information about you that you no longer want online.
19. Sign up to freelance. Freelancing is one of the fastest ways to start earning income on the side of your job. Freelancing is doing a service independent of an employer.
The best way to get started quickly is offering what you do professionally on the side. For example, a hair stylist, tax professional, dog groomer, or IT person can do freelance work on the side for extra coin. You can also get started on freelancer sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
20. Write down personal and professional goals. You may have a picture in your head of where you want to be at the finish line, but maybe you don’t know the baby steps to get there. Think of weekly, monthly, and annual goals. This way you know what small actions you need to take to get where you need to be.
21. Write down your dream bio. As a follow up to no. 20, do this exercise to get laser-focused on what you want to accomplish. You write about yourself in the third-person in a dream bio including everything you want to be known for. It’s a neat way to organize your aspirations.
Then you can think of actionable things you need to do to make your dream bio happen. For example, if you want to be a published author, you need to get to work on writing. Maybe you need to take a writing course and you need to start outlining your next story.
22. Make a vision board. A vision board is a great way to visualize your dreams. A vision board is typically made with poster board and different magazine pictures. If you don’t have those materials, head over to Canva and create a virtual one. Start a new blank document in Canva, add photos to represent your goals, and then print it out.
23. Make a LinkedIn profile or Twitter account if you don’t have one. LinkedIn and Twitter are two great social media platforms for networking professionally and personally. People go onto Twitter to have real time conversations with other people. Fill out your bio, and people interested in what you have to say can learn more about you. LinkedIn is where people are looking for employment and seeking employees. Go there if you’re trying to find another job.
24. Increase your LinkedIn profile strength. Increasing the strength of your LinkedIn profile can make it easier for people to find you. Completing your account can make your profile stand out to potential employers.
25. Find top influencers in your field and follow them on Twitter. Search for websites and people in the field that you want to get into. Start following the people and brands on Twitter.
26. Organize your Twitter followers into lists. Twitter lists are a cool way to manage the different people that you follow. When you follow a few hundred people, your Twitter feed can be a mess of too much information. Creating lists categorizes profiles so it’s easier to see updates from the right people.
27. Get social with hashtags. Log into Instagram, look up what’s going on in hashtags related to your hobbies, interests, or profession. Start liking and commenting on posts that grab your attention and network with new people.
28. Update your profile on career sites like Career Builder and Monster. When was the last time you took a look at your Career Builder or Monster profile? Go on to both sites and fill out your resume and do a search to see if you find any interesting open jobs.
29. Set up job alert notifications from your favorite job boards. Don’t miss out on any job leads by setting up notifications to get messages to your inbox.
30. Take some clothes to the consignment store to trade for cash. Selling items you already have is a great way to make a few extra bucks. Take your clothes and shoes to a consignment store or thrift store to see if you can get cash for items you turn in.
31. E-mail old friends, roommates, classmates, and acquaintances to catch up. Never underestimate the power of your network. If you’re job hunting, update people in your professional history and tell them you’re looking around for new opportunities. You never know when someone in your circle will be able to connect you with the perfect job.
32. Read a free ebook. There are tons of ebooks on Amazon that are 100% free. Take a look at some of the free best sellers.
33. Update your resume and cover letter. If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, pull it up on your computer and start making some changes. There are many free modern resume templates you can find online. You can even Google resumes to get ideas on how to fashion your new resume.
34. Look up conventions or trade shows coming to your area. Conventions, conferences, and trade shows are a great way to network in your industry. You can hand out business cards, get business cards, and rub shoulders with other people doing work you want to do. If you’re trying to make a career change, getting right into the thick of things can help you make the transition.
35. Sign up for free networking mixers. Local networking mixers are a fabulous way to meet other people who live right near you. Think about activities that you’re interested in and look to see if there are meet-ups for people who have the same interests.
36. Put together a brag book or portfolio. A brag book is a compilation of your different accomplishments. You can throw clips of your work, your accolades, achievements, testimonials, and photos into your book. This is a book you can look at every once in a while for an ego boost. You could also put it together in a package to give to employers when job hunting.
37. Ask for recommendations. Reach out to old colleagues and managers for recommendations to have on hand. This is another piece of information that you can add to your brag book.
38. Set up Google alerts. Google alerts are a good way to keep up with media. Set up Google alerts for information on different industries and news from certain thought leaders.
39. Read trending case studies in your field. A case study is research about topics in different industries. Many of them you can find online. Choose some case studies in your industry to read to brush up on industry trends.
40. Peruse the free section of Craigslist for things to recycle or resell. Buying cheap items off Craigslist and selling them is a way to make extra cash. Gary V has a how-to article on steps here.
41. Scan the gig section on Craigslist for side jobs to make extra cash. Beside flipping things on Craigslist, you may be able to find odd jobs. Be careful, of course, when doing business on Craigslist for obvious reasons. There are sometimes online blogging and social media type jobs that you can find on Craigslist. Instead of going out to places for work, you may be able to find jobs you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t miss these post on how to make more money:
- Top Survey Sites that Pay You Cash in 2019
- How to Get Cash Back for Shopping With Ebates
- 7 Ways to Freelance Online
- Why Freelancing is the Best Way to Earn Money Fast
- How to Start a New Career at 30
Things to Do to Be Productive
42. Clean your house.
There’s nothing better than waking up to freshness. Tackle cleaning one room at a time and get the whole family involved.
43. Try meal prepping to save time in the evenings.
Meal prepping is great for a multitude of reasons. It can help you health wise if you’re trying to trim down. Meal prepping helps you portion meals to cut down on overeating. It’s also convenient during days when you’re doing a million things. You can pop a few meals in the microwave you’ve already made instead of ordering out or getting fast food.
44. Cook a healthy meal using ingredients from your pantry.
Speaking of healthy meals — see what you have in the fridge and pantry right now. See what you can scrape together that’s healthy from what you have. If you need help, do an online search for some healthy meals with your ingredients.
45. Do the laundry.
Laundry is often last on our to-do list. Have some laundry to do? Put in a few loads while you’re reading this list.
46. Do a puzzle.
Puzzles get the brain working. Dust off the puzzles that you have buried in the closet and put them together with friends and family. Add a glass of wine or beer and it’s a party.
47. Walk a few miles.
For those who aren’t runners, walking is also a way to shed a few pounds. Head out to the park or walk around the block.
48. Groom your nails.
Nail grooming can be a confidence booster for both men and women. Think about it — your nails make an impression when you meet someone new. Clean and filed nails show that you care about, and take care of, your appearance.
49. Iron your clothes for the next work day so you can sleep in.
Scrambling for work in the morning can put a damper on the entire day. Iron your clothes the night before to save you some time the next morning.
50. Take a free online course in your field.
There are tons of online places where you can take courses for free. Some colleges even have free online classes for writing, marketing, coding, and many other topics. Do a search for a topic you want to learn to see if you can find a few courses to tackle.
51. Organize your e-mail and delete the junk.
Email can be a dead zone of junk. If you’ve been putting off digitally organizing your emails, take some time to delete emails and put ones you need into files.
52. Do yoga.
Yoga can help relieve stress and increase strength. Often people look at yoga as a slow exercise that doesn’t do much, but it can really work out your muscles. Search for free yoga videos on Youtube.
53. Call a relative.
Much of conversation these days happens through email or text. Grab your phone and dial some numbers. See how people are doing.
54. Join a meet-up or sports league in your neighborhood.
When you’re trying to meet new people, community activities can get you out and about. You don’t have to be a superstar at sports to join a league. Do some research to see if there’s one around you. Or sign up for a meet-up group where people like you gather. There are meet-ups for moms, freelancers, entrepeneurs, military spouses — you name it.
55. Play memory games.
Your brain can be trained. Look for memory games and mental puzzles to work on to challenge yourself.
56. Learn to do something new with YouTube tutorials.
YouTube is a one-stop-shop to learn almost anything like cooking, cutting hair, painting, and much more. Head over to YouTube and do a search to learn something new.
57. Pack your lunch for tomorrow.
Save money tomorrow on lunch by packing your meal and putting it in the fridge tonight. Make sure you remember it tomorrow!
58. Make a smoothie for tomorrow.
Smoothies can be nutritious meal and snack substitutes. It’s also a good way to use your fruits and veggies before they spoil. And if you’re not a big veggie eater, blending it down into a tastey smooth can make it easier to get down.
59. Organize your personal documents i.e. tax returns, insurance forms, passport, etc.
If you have a pile of important documents, take some time to get them organized. Clear out a place in your office, closet, draw, or filing cabinet and look through the papers to bring some order to the documents.
Meditation is a way to bring yourself back to present and remove other thoughts out of your mind. Meditation is a great stress reliever. It can take some time to be able to clear your mind, but once you get the hang of it, meditation can be life-changing.
61. Enjoy the benefits of a cold shower.
There are several benefits of cold showers. They can help you burn fat and recover after a workout. Cold showers are also good for waking you up and can be better than hot water on your hair and skin. Read more about cold showers.
62. Sit and talk with your spouse, roommate, friend, or child.
Turn off the TV, put away the devices, and hide the cell phones. Sit around with people you love and talk. How are they doing? What do they need help with? How’s their life going?
63. Count your blessings.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the mundane and minutia of life. Take a moment to be thankful for what IS going well in life. What have you accomplished recently? (Even small things count. Maybe you paid bills on time this month, or you got a compliment from your boss.)
64. Take a power nap.
A power nap can refresh you during the day. Just make sure it doesn’t last too long or you can get into a deep enough sleep that you feel groggy when you wake up.
65. Go out for a jog.
Lace up your running sneakers and head outside for a jog. Do this daily and you may see the results on the scale.
66. Give your dog a bath.
Take your dog outside (or in the bath) to give her/him a nice wash off. If you have a cat, clip their nails and a nice brushing.
67. Do a free fitness workout from YouTube.
There are tons of free workouts online. You don’t even need a gym membership to get fit. (Here are a few fitness videos.)
68. Ask that person you’ve been too shy to ask out on a date to the park.
Have a crush? Maybe it’s time to ask that crush out. See if they want to take a nice date out to the park or other bit of outdoor scenery.
69. Organize your junk drawer.
We all have the one drawer that we dump everything to get it off the floor or table. Go into that drawer and start organizing.
70. Go to a free museum, art show, or art festival.
Cities and towns sometimes have free activities. Search activities going on in your area and get out of the house to experience something cultural.
71. Go to a book signing or book reading.
Check the calendar at bookstores near you. Add the date of the next signing down in your phone calendar.
72. Go to a flea market.
Flea markets can have affordable gems. Head out to your local farmer’s market to window shop.
73. Feng Shui your home.
Feng Shui is a way of organizing your environment to make harmony between you and the surroundings. Do an audit of your home and look up ways to open up energy flow within your spaces.
74. Switch up your framed photos.
Have you had up your current pictures for a while? Go back through your photo stash to see if there are any new ones you want to showcase for a while.
75. Clean your fridge.
You should clean your fridge once a quarter. If it’s that time again, go the fridge and throw out bad food. Pull out the shelves and drawers from the fridge and clean the inside.
76. Teach your pet a new trick.
Pull out the treats from the cabinet and teach your dog to lay down or roll over.
77. Organize your closet.
The closet may be a war zone, and it’s time to clean that war zone. Put clothes and shoes you don’t wear into a pile to donate or sell.
78. Watch a documentary to gain new perspective on Youtube.
Yup — Youtube has a lot of neat free docs. There are many true crime docs in particular.
79. Ask a friend over for drinks.
Get social. Ask a few friends to come over for drinks. Make some finger foods for the party with what you currently have in the fridge and pantry.
80. Write in a journal.
Sometimes you need to get thoughts down on paper to clear your mind. Make a commitment to write in the diary every day.
81. Make a time capsule to be opened a few years from now.
Creating time capsules is a lost art. Put together some mementos, dig a ditch, and bury your capsule. Make sure to set a reminder to open the capsule.
82. Shop your own closet — pair new things together or hack it up to make something new entirely.
Instead of buying new clothes, think about ways you can put a new twist on clothes you already have. Pull out the sewing machine if you’re feeling particularly creative.
83. Plan out your outfits for a full week to decrease early morning rushing.
Choosing clothes in the morning can give you a late start. Pick out what you’ll wear for the entire week beforehand so you can sleep in a few extra minutes and feel less stressed when you wake up.
84. Bake cookies for your office — brownie points :).
Who doesn’t like baked goods? Bake cookies, cupcakes, brownies, or something else fun.
85. Do 107 crunches.
Trying to work on those abs? Do some core workouts and crunches. To learn how to get your butt in gear without the expensive gym membership, head here.
86. Do a Pinterest project.
Scan through Pinterest and look for DIY projects that you can do that aren’t too challenging.
Pull out a book that you’ve been meaning to read and get through a few chapters.
88. Do 107 jumping jacks.
Get some cardio in for the day with a few jumping jacks. If you really want to get a sweat going do some burpees.
89. Volunteer at an animal shelter.
For those who love animals, animal shelters are often looking for volunteers to help out.
90. Do a crossword puzzle.
Pull out the newspaper (if you still get one) or grab a puzzle book and put your brain to the test to solve some crosswords.
91. Research big brother/sister opportunities and sign up.
Give back to the community and sign up to be a mentor of a child in the neighborhood.
92. Blast music and dance around.
Dancing to music can be a good exercise and it’s a fun feel good activity.
93. Lay in the sun (with sunscreen).
Get out and enjoy some nice weather.
94. Practice a new hairdo or make-up look.
YouTube has hundreds of tutorials on hair and make-up. If you’re trying to up your make-up game, you can find everyday make-up looks to more extravagant looks for a fancy night out.
95. Plant some vegetables.
You can use the seeds from your vegetables to plant new ones. Here’s a cool video on how to plant different vegetables and fruits.
96. Weed your garden.
Put on a visor and head out to the garden to do some tidying up.
Pull out a piece of paper and get creative.
98. Write a song.
Never tried songwriting? Try giving it a whirl.
99. Finish a project you’ve been putting off – completely.
Is there something on your to-do list that you’ve kept putting off? Maybe a closet or basement needs to be organized. Finish the project in its entirety.
100. Clean your garage.
Put in piles what you no longer need. Organize the rest of the garage.
101. Walk up and down the stairs until you get a nice sweat going.
There are many exercises you can do at home. One of them is walking up and down the stairs. According to LIVESTRONG, a 160 lb. person can lose 29 calories in 3 minutes walking up the stairs so walking up and down the stairs four times a day could burn 116 calories. How many calories you lose will vary, and you should speak with a doctor before going too hard.
102. Plan a yard sale.
Think about items you have in your home to sell. Schedule a yard sale, create the flyers, and start sending out invites.
103. Visit a family member.
Call up a family member to see what they’re doing. If they’re not up to anything, grab a bottle of wine and have a visit.
104. Listen to a TedTalks. Here are a few of some good ones:
- The beauty of being a misfit
- Success failure and the drive to keep creating
- Who are you, really? The puzzle of personality
105. Mow your grass and offer to mow other lawns for $20.
Pull out the mower and cut the grass. This could even turn into a side hustle if you have a bit of time to mow around the neighborhood.
106. Do laps in your pool.
Swimming is another huge calorie burner.
107. Go hiking, biking, and outdoor exploring.
Lastly, take your exercise outdoors. Find a trail, pull out the bike, and go exploring!
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