I get a lot of emails from people who desperately want to take one of my training courses and start their own proofreading businesses, but they just don’t have the money right now. So instead of trying to solve that problem, they think they will just never be able to afford Proofread Anywhere and that’s it.
Maybe they’re widows/widowers on a fixed income.
Maybe they’re single moms struggling to get by on one income.
Or maybe they’re military wives who find it hard to hold down a steady job because they move so frequently.
They could even be swimming in debt and can’t see a way out of it.
I know it can be frustrating to find a way you can make money doing something you love, but you feel like you’re falling at the first hurdle because you can’t afford the training.
That’s why I wanted to give you some out-of-the-box ideas for ways to earn extra money on the side that you can put toward the tuition fee. Not only that but I’m also gonna give you lots of ideas for ways to save money too.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way! If you really want to change your life, don’t let a little thing like money hold you back. Go out there and make it happen yourself!
Ways to earn extra money so you can afford Proofread Anywhere
Maybe you feel like you’ve cut your spending every single way possible, but you still can’t afford to save any money. That’s when you need to find ways to earn more. If you’ve got a bit of extra time on your hands, there are tons of ways you can earn extra money.
Tip #1: Sell your stuff for a profit — or buy things cheap and sell high
How much cash do you have sitting around your house or in your garage in the form of collectibles, unused treadmills, old smartphones, even cars that are just gathering dust?
My friend Robbie — seriously; he lives 30 minutes from me — earns more than $40,000 per year by buying in-demand items from flea markets and thrift stores at rock-bottom prices, then “flipping” those items for jaw-dropping profits. One time he bought, repaired, and sold a pair of jet skis and made a $17,000 profit! He and his wife Melissa have three young children and are able to support their entire family every month on just their flipping profits.
Flipping is something anyone can do! Robbie writes an awe-inspiring blog where you can learn more about exactly how he does what he does — including the exact apps and tools he uses to make it happen.
Update in 2020: Last year, Robbie and his wife, Melissa, earned $133,000 from their flipping business!
Tip #2: Do odd jobs
Everyone is busy these days! Some people are so busy with work and raising their families that they just don’t have time to get to odd jobs around their house. If you’re good with power tools, you could rake in lots of extra cash by helping people fix broken furniture. You could also paint rooms for them, organize their garage, etc.
Charge a super reasonable $10 to $15 per hour to start. A large percentage of the general population can afford that. It’s especially a no-brainer if they can earn more than that $10 to $15 per hour in the time you’ll save them!
My top tip for finding clients is to post on your Facebook page that you’re available for this kind of work and ask people to share it with anyone they know who might need a bit of help.
Here’s a basic script you can use. Feel free to tweak it as you see fit. Add or remove the services you want to promote. Customize it and go!
Friends and family in my local area: If you’re looking for help around your house or town, I’m available on an hourly basis. I run errands, do laundry, and take care of housekeeping chores. I can shop for groceries, organize files or photos, and help with other tasks around your house. My goal is to help you free up extra time in your day so you can enjoy your life more. If you or someone you know could use extra help like this, please let me know.
Tip #3: Mow lawns
Gardening is another thing that can get neglected when people get busy. If you’ve got a bit of a green thumb, you can make money by mowing lawns and pulling up weeds. Is there a bulletin board in your local area? Make up a quick flyer on your computer and stick that bad boy up there! And don’t forget to post on Facebook too.
Tip #4: Clean houses
Are you a bit of a neat freak? Some people can’t stand it or just don’t have time, and they need someone like you to come in once a week to give their place a good clean. Depending on the area you live in, you can earn anywhere from $10 to $20 an hour.
Tip #5: House sit
Here’s something you can do to either earn or save money. You can house sit for people in your own town while they go on vacation, or you can house sit for people while you’re on vacation instead of paying for a place to stay! When you house sit, you’ll be expected to watch over the home, bring in the mail, water plants, sometimes look after pets, etc. Trusted Housesitters is a good app to use to get started with housesitting.
Tip #6: Walk dogs
This one’s for all the animal lovers. You know those people you see walking around your neighborhood with six dogs on leashes strapped to their waist? They’re dog walkers! Pretty badass ones at that to walk six dogs at a time. You don’t have to walk that many in one go to earn good money as a dog walker. It’s the perfect way to earn a bit of extra money while getting fit at the same time. You definitely won’t need a gym membership if you do this!
Apps like Rover are a great way to get started in this industry.
Tip #7: Dog sit
One step up from dog walking is dog sitting (or cat sitting). Some people don’t like the idea of leaving their dog in a kennel for a week while they go on vacation. They’d prefer to leave their dog with an individual they can trust.
Tip #8: Babysit
Love kids? I’m sure many of you earned money as teenagers babysitting your neighbors’ kids when they went out. Why not do it again? Lots of parents need people to pick their kids up after school and watch them until they get home. And you can even sweeten the deal by offering to do tasks like ironing or cleaning the house for a little extra money.
Tip #9: Rent out a room on Airbnb
Got an extra room in your house? You can advertise your room on Airbnb as little or as often as you like to make a little extra cash. This works especially well if you live in a touristy area.
Tip #10: Rent out your car
Don’t need your car every day? Apps like Turo allow you to rent it out to people on a daily or weekly basis. What’s the point in letting your car sit in the driveway when it could be out there making you money?!
Tip #11: Become an Uber/Lyft driver
Tip #12: Deliver food/other items
You’re probably all aware that you get hired by apps like Uber Eats and get paid to deliver takeout to people. But did you know you can get paid to deliver other items as well? Apps like Postmates and Instacart allow people to order groceries to be delivered to their home. Postmates also allows people to order other things like food and alcoholic drinks.
Tip #13: Work as an extra on TV/movies
Spend a lot of time watching Netflix? Why just watch it when you could be a part of it?! You can get paid to stand around in the background of TV shows and movies. All you need to do is sign up with an agency for a small fee, and they will email you to check your availability whenever they need extras.
Tip #14: Be a mystery shopper
I’ve always thought this one sounds like so much fun! You get paid to go into a shop or restaurant, ask questions, and buy something. The company pays you for your feedback and covers the cost of the items you purchased. This is a good way to get some freebies as well as make extra money!
Tip #15: Pick up extra shifts
You don’t need to get a second or third job to earn extra money. You might be able to pick up some extra shifts at your current job. It might be worth asking your boss if this is an option.
Tip #16: Ask for a raise
Even better, negotiate a raise without having to do any extra hours! If you’re a hard worker, make sure your boss is aware of the excellent work you’re doing and present them with reasons why you deserve a raise.
Don’t raise your spending by the amount you got in your raise though! Set aside the extra money each month so you’re not tempted to spend it.
Tip #17: Go for promotion
Maybe these few options don’t appeal to you because you’re trying to get out of your current job, not get more responsibilities or more hours!
However, if you like your current job, but your end goal is still to work from home, it might be worth throwing your hat in the ring for any promotions that come up. You’ll earn more money that you can save up toward your end goal.
And taking on extra responsibilities is a good way to learn even more skills that you can transfer to your own business when the time comes. Mo’ skills = mo’ money!
Tip #18: Pick up a second job
Consider picking up a second job in the evenings or on weekends; for example, you could get a job as a server in a restaurant or as a salesperson in a retail store.
It doesn’t have to be for long! If you can earn an extra $100 a week from your second job, you’ll have $500 saved up in just five weeks!
Tip #19: Teach English online
Do we have any former teachers in the house? Or someone who’s good with kids? You can earn up to $22 per hour teaching English online to kids or adults. VIPKid is a good website to get started with this. (You do need to have a degree to get hired by VIPKid though.)
Tip #20: Sell crafts at markets
Are you a good baker? Photographer? Knitter? Jewelry maker? You can make and sell an endless number of things at local craft fairs or farmers’ markets. There will be costs associated with this one as you’ll need supplies and you’ll likely have to pay for your spot on the day, but it can be a good way to earn extra income from your hobbies.
Tip #21: Sell crafts online
Same as above but take it online. You can sell your crafts on websites like Etsy! Etsy will process the payments, so all you need to do is ship your items.
Tip #22: Teach an exercise class
Did you know that I used to work as a fitness instructor? That was before I realized that being an introvert and a fitness instructor who’s around people all day didn’t mix. If you enjoy working with people and you’re a fitness junkie, you can earn money teaching an exercise class. Some classes you can teach include yoga, Zumba, jazzercise, etc.
Ways to make extra money that require specific skills
Working from home and earning money online can be HARD. To be successful at it, you need actual skills, and you have to be willing to put in some time to build skills if you don’t already have them.
Maybe you already have some skills that you can use to earn money online? Proofreading may be your end goal, but you may already have skills in another area that you can use to earn money so you can afford Proofread Anywhere’s courses.
Here are some high-paying ways you can use your existing skills.
Note: I only recommend these options if you are already skilled and trained in these areas!
Tip #23: Transcription
Transcription is the process of turning any audio or video content into a text document. It’s definitely one of those work-from-home options that you need to be skilled in to be successful. You may already have skills in this area if you did transcription as part of your day job for many years. My friend Janet Shaughnessy shares how she got into transcription in this post.
Tip #24: Freelance writing
Writing is another arena in the work-at-home world where the sky’s the limit. Every business in every niche in every part of the world needs good quality writing to communicate with their audiences. Sales video scripts, SEO articles, travel articles, resumes, eBooks — the list goes on! Excellent proofreading skills are also a plus if you get into writing.
This mom makes $200,000 a year (no, I didn’t add a couple of zeroes to that figure!) as a freelance writer.
My friend Gina also shares her top tips for getting into freelance writing here.
Tip #25: Bookkeeping
Did you know you can become a bookkeeper without becoming a CPA? Yep — they are two different professions, and the market is ripe for skilled bookkeepers. Wondering how much a bookkeeper earns? This mom of two makes $60/hour working from home as a bookkeeper!
Tip #26: Virtual assistance
Because you can work in ANY market, virtual assisting is one of the best options for detail-oriented, skilled individuals looking for work-at-home job ideas.
A virtual assistant can earn up to $25 per hour (or more if you’ve got very specialized skills!).
Proofreading and virtual assisting fit very well together. You could start a virtual assistant business and add proofreading as one of your services once you’ve completed the training. Not sure if there’s demand for virtual assistants? I’m proof there is!
Ways to save money so you can afford Proofread Anywhere
I’ve been a saver since I was seven years old when my grandma opened my first savings account for me.
My friends like to poke fun at me because I know the exact price of everything I buy at Aldi, I shop with weekly flyers, and I use coupons whenever I can. I run searches for coupon codes for every online store. I regularly save 75%–90% when I buy clothing, and I only work out at home so I can save money on a gym membership.
Long story short? I’m really good at saving money, and I truly enjoy it!
But even for the best of savers, there’s always something more you can do to save money. Always. I’m learning new stuff all the time!
No one is the perfect saver, even if you started at age seven! So the tips and resources in this post are geared toward not the basic “save more, spend less” stuff you can find all over Pinterest, but the things that’ll take you to the next level.
Maybe even the things that’ll take you out of your comfort zone a bit.
Ready to challenge your savings habits?
So are you ready to get serious about saving towards your dream?
These are my best tips, resources, and free tools you can use to help “find the money” or save for just about anything — but especially for your self-improvement goals like up-leveling your skills and earning potential. After all, skills are the most critical factor for increasing your income.
I challenge you to go through this list and ask yourself: Am I really doing everything I can to save? Or is there something more I can do to reach my goals faster?
Tip #27: Trick yourself into saving
I recently signed up for a 100% free service called Digit, which securely connects to your existing bank account (just like PayPal does), studies your cash flow, and starts automatically pulling out affordable amounts each week based on that cash flow. It’s designed to help you save without even thinking about it! I’m so impressed with this service — and I’m excited to be setting money aside so I can treat myself in a few months to something I really want.
I recommend Digit to ANYONE who wants to invest in something but think it’s out of their reach — just to see that it’s really not out of their reach. It’s the small amounts that add up over time that make those big things possible.
(I published a post about my own experience using Digit — check that out here!)
BONUS TIP: I’ve been using another free budgeting app called Personal Capital to track all my income, expenses, and even my retirement accounts — which is smart to do if you’re freelancing! It even emails me each week to tell me how much I spent that week in comparison to last week. Talk about accountability, eh?! I love it when it tells me I spent less this week than I did last week.
Tip #28: Shop smarter
This one’s easy. We all have to spend money, and chances are, we all spend some of it online. If you could put a percentage of that money you spend back into your pocket, would you do it? That’s what I thought!
Ebates is an online referral service that enables anyone and everyone to get cash back on everyday purchases. Ebates will give you a $10 gift card just for signing up, and you can stack coupon codes on top of it. I also love Ebates‘ browser plugin, which auto-activates the cash back when you’re on participating retailers’ sites.
Then there’s Swagbucks. If you’re not already doing your Internet searches using Swagbucks, it’s time to get with the program! This neat search engine actually pays you just for using it. Run searches, watch videos, take surveys, and earn points you can redeem for free gift cards. Proofreaders run searches for all kinds of stuff every day — to check spellings, case names, and to check addresses. And if you’re like me, you’re probably already watching tons of funny videos on Facebook, so why not get paid for it?
I also save a ton of money by buying only gently used clothes on ThredUp which, on top of their rock-bottom pricing, always has a coupon code I can stack on top for even more savings.
Tip #29: Level up your grocery-shopping skills
This is something I think anyone can benefit from because there is always something more we can do to save money at the grocery store. I recommend Living On a Dime’s amazing eBook, Dining on a Dime, which features more than 1,200 recipes that are designed to help you save up to $10,000 a year on groceries. WOW! What would you do with an extra $10,000 every year?
RELATED: Living on a Dime’s groundbreaking book, Dig Out of Debt
Tip #30: Just eat… but eat cheaper
Probably the EASIEST way to save money grocery shopping is just to make more of your meals vegetarian.
GASP! Yes, vegetarian!
A lot of people believe eating meatless is expensive, but that’s only true if you replace your meat with expensive meat substitutes. BUT if you replace your meat with beans or lentils, you can save a ton of money — automatically! — because beans and lentils are incredibly cheap, not to mention packed with fiber, antioxidants, and protein.
It doesn’t have to be just a boring pile of beans on your plate, though! This list of 101 vegetarian freezer meals proves that eating vegetarian meals is not only cheap, it can also be delicious and save you lots of time too.
Tip #31: Meal plan
If going vegetarian isn’t quite your thing, there are still other options. Meal planning will help you cut down on food waste every week.
Erin over at $5 Meal Plan designs weekly meal plans for your family and you. Complete with a grocery list, a menu, and recipes, her meal plans let you feed your family tasty meals all while saving money! She even has gluten-free menu options.
Tip #32: Bring a packed lunch
Eating out is crazy expensive! If you spend just $5 buying a takeout lunch every workday, you’ll spend around $1,200 a year! Why not pack your own lunch, and put the savings toward your dream to work from home?
Tip #33: Consider giving up your fancy iPhone
I gave up my iPhone in July and haven’t looked back. I still have an awesome smartphone with Project Fi, but I’m saving over $120 per month — just by not having an iPhone. That’s $1440 every year and, if I plan and save carefully, the money I save by not having an iPhone will grow to more than $21,000 in 10 years. HOLY COW. If that doesn’t convince you to give it up, I don’t know what will.
Here’s a copy of my October bill from Project Fi, just in case you think I’m pulling your leg. It’s $28.52!
Project Fi offers you the option of having a smartphone without a data plan, or with a data plan that includes only the data you actually use — starting at just $15 per month! If you work from home like me, simply use your Wi-Fi instead of data to save major cash on data charges. I use less than half a GB of data each month!
Can’t give up your iPhone or carrier? Then consider buying refurbished phones instead of new ones. My students use sites like this one to purchase certified refurbished iPhones and iPads for their proofreading businesses. ALL of my iPad purchases have been refurbished units. It’s such an easy way to save an automatic 15% or more on your tech devices, and you can sell your old ones too!
Tip #34: Pull the plug on cable
I have friends who lease new cars every three years, pay for everything on credit, complain about being broke, yet still pay $200 per month for cable TV. Seriously!?
I’ve never had cable. Ever. I used to watch Nickelodeon at my grandma’s house growing up, and my parents had satellite, but since I’ve been out on my own the last 10 years or so, I’ve never paid for cable.
I still watch TV, but I watch it on Amazon Prime (for movies and past-season TV) and Hulu (for current shows) instead. It’s a great bonus in addition to the free two-day shipping, and the iPad app allows you to download episodes to your device (!!!) so you can watch them without WiFi — great for flights!!
Did you know Amazon Prime also offers free streaming music?! I made a playlist for my high school reunion this year using all songs I found in the Prime Music library.
Tip #35: Save up the money you receive as gifts
Got a birthday coming up? Why not be a bit cheeky and ask your friends and family for cash to put toward the course. I’ll bet that they’ll be relieved to be able to give you something you want and need rather than another beauty set or tie that will sit in the cupboard unused.
Tip #36: Take part in a savings challenge
This tip is a great one for tricking yourself into saving. We all love to feel like we’ve accomplished something. You can make a game out of saving money by completing this $20 savings challenge. Who knew saving money could be so fun!
Tip #37: Wait at least 24 hours before you make a purchase
Are you an impulsive person? Don’t worry; lots of us are. We get shiny object syndrome and jump right into purchases before we even think about if we need the item.
Waiting 24 hours before a purchase — especially large purchases — will give you time to consider if you need the item. You can ask yourself some questions like “Do I really want it?” and “Do I already own something like it?” If your answer is “Yes, I already have five pretty baskets that don’t even have anything in them,” then chances are you don’t need another basket.
Tip #38: Negotiate your bills
Some people love calling up their service providers to get the best deal, and others hate it with a passion.
You can try to negotiate pretty much all of your bills from your car and home insurance to your cell phone and cable package (if you don’t get rid of your cable like I told you to :-)).
If you don’t like doing it, it might be time to suck it up and do it anyways. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by switching to a lower-cost provider (or threatening to switch so your current provider gives you a better deal). Unfortunately, loyalty to one company isn’t always rewarded, so if you can get a better deal elsewhere, go for it.
Tip #39: Read personal finance books
Maybe you just need a little bit of inspiration to get you on the straight and narrow when it comes to saving money? Reading personal finance books and blogs will get you pumped up to find ways you can save extra money — and many will help you level up your money mindset!
One more way you can afford Proofread Anywhere
Tip #40: Use PayPal Credit
While we don’t offer a payment plan for the General Proofreading course, PayPal Credit is a good option for some people. It is subject to credit approval. If you’re interested, you can click here to learn more.
Your Takeaway? A Dollar Saved = A Dollar Earned!
Saving money isn’t a step down from earning money. Saving money, in my opinion, is equal to earning it. It takes skill to save money just like it does to earn it. A dollar saved is a dollar earned!
The way I see it is that each dollar you save, you can put those dollars back into your pocket — or towards something that will improve your life in some way. Onward and upward!
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Are you looking to change your saving/spending habits so you can up-level your skills and earning potential? Got any tips to share? Comment and share your story below!