Diversifying your income stream is one of the best decisions you can make early in life. For freelancers especially, the latter is extremely important as income is not always consistent. Over the last couple of years I’ve made enough money from outside sources, meaning other than my full-time job, to pay for my trips. Earning some side income is an amazing feeling, even if it only pays for a cup of coffee. Earning some side income that pays for a trip – well, I’ll let you find out for yourself how that feels. I talk a lot about ways to save money to travel and ways to make money to travel and at the end of the day its’ all about traveling smart not cheap. I’m excited to write about these two super easy ways to make money because while you might be thinking that having a blog with a big following is what enables me to make money from them, I actually made the most $$$ from my personal Facebook page and direct contacts like friends and family members. Which means you actually don’t need a website or a lot of traffic to make a little bit of cash on the side. I can actually almost guarantee that once you create a new stream of income, no matter how small, you won’t want to stop earning.
Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) –
I am sure you’ve heard about it, but did you ever give it a chance? First of all, Rakuten is free, so why wouldn’t you give it a chance? The idea behind Rakuten is that you can get $X back from virtually any purchase you make online (or in store). There are millions of people using Ebates because it is that simple to earn money. Various stores offer different % returns on the purchases you make and you get the cash back to your Paypal account or via check every three months. More often than not, they also have special deals – for example when Orbitz ran a 10% cash back promotion, a $1000 travel itinerary would return $100 to you. Here are just a few of my cashback purchases from January, $3 here, $10 there and it all adds up.
Now it gets better – you also get money for every person that you refer, meaning if you tell your friend who shops online ALL the time about Ebates, you will get more money. Tell ten friends and get an additional $150 to your cash back balance (that’s easily a roundtrip domestic flight). You don’t need a blog or a ton of traffic to earn money through Ebates, that’s why I love it and recommend it. If 25 of you who are reading this post now, use this link to sign up, you just helped me pay partially or in full for another flight and I forever thank you for allowing me to keep writing, traveling and doing what I love! Once you are set up, use YOUR link to invite friends and family & enjoy all the extra bonus cash $! All you have to do is click “get the button” and every time you are shopping online, click the little “E” on the top right corner of your screen to activate the cash back savings!
Similar to Rakuten, Honey searches the internet to see if the online store you’re shopping at has any “savings available” – if they discover a sale or a coupon, they split the return with you. Essentially, they are paying you to shop. Every time you refer a friend, you get a few bucks also! Honey is fairly new to the market, but its growing at a fast pace, adding more and more attractive coupons every day. They even work with Amazon! Although Amazon doesn’t offer discounts as often, it never hurts to try.