In March, I published the article Wedding Update – Up To $20,000. In it, I mentioned that we were able to save over $6,000 in wedding expenses by bartering, exchanging services, and discounts.
Weddings are expensive, and since the very beginning I knew that I didn’t want to spend anywhere near the national average of $26,000 on our wedding.
That is just a crazy amount of money, especially since we are paying for it all (and I am rather cheap).
Even though we are at around $14,000 in costs that we have paid, it is nice to know that we are going to have a great wedding on a great budget.
I forgot to also mention that we are saving around $3,000 to $4,000 in venue fees since we don’t need to pay for our venue as well (similar venues that we looked at were that price). So, in total we are saving over $10,000 on our wedding!
The main way that I was able to save so much on our wedding is because I tried to barter for services and products as much as I could. There are negatives to bartering (such as paying taxes on the amount received – read this to learn more), but for the most part it is a great thing.
Here are my tips to save money by bartering:
What I did first was find companies that I was interested in working with.
I then sent them an e-mail to their marketing/media department, or their direct e-mail if they did not have a marketing department.
You need to have courage and be outgoing in order to barter effectively. Remember that the only “bad” thing that can happen is that a person will say no. However, they might say yes!
When bartering, you are opening yourself to new opportunities that people may not know about.
You need to know what you can barter with. Do you have some sort of service or product that people want?
If so, you need to craft the perfect wording (whether you send an e-mail or speak with the company directly) for why this person will want your service or product.
You need to know how to sell your product because that is what you are doing!
I offer a wide range of online services, and because of this I knew that I had many different services that I could offer to potential wedding companies. For some of the companies that I worked with, I offered services such as:
You should always be reasonable when bartering, and keep in mind that time is money.
If the value of your product/service is $100, then you probably shouldn’t expect to get something from your bartering partner that is worth $1,000. Always be fair, because you want your partner to feel that they got a good value out of the exchange as well.
You should always be fair with yourself as well.
Just because actual money is not being exchanged does not mean that you should short yourself. If you are doing 10 hours of work, you probably don’t want something that is $20 in exchange for your time. Be realistic and try to think of things in dollar terms if you are unsure.
Whatever you do, make sure it is clear what is being bartered.
Always try to have a contract if you can, but at least have it in an email where both parties agree to what is being done and exchanged.
If you do decide to use e-mail as your contract, try to create an e-mail that summarizes exactly what is being exchanged and have both parties reply to the e-mail in agreement. It’s always a good idea to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Last Summer, I saw that many other bloggers were buying blogs, so I started doing some research. Many successful bloggers have a large portfolio full of websites, and even though I knew it would be a lot of work, I wanted in.
I’m always looking to add income streams to my business, and buying more websites is something that has helped me increase my income.
Below are common questions that I have received about buying websites.
I won’t lie, the two websites that I bought were not the highest quality, but they were both within my budget. They were both less than $1,000, and I have already made my money back on them. I didn’t want to spend too much, since I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time.
Both of these websites are in the personal finance niche. I figured I should stick to what I know for now, and then maybe eventually get into travel websites as well. I won’t be sharing the names of the websites today, even though some of you probably already know. One day when I am ready to completely unveil them, I will. It will be a secret for now though
Read further on Diversified Finances.
One question that I receive a few times each month from new readers is what they can do to make extra money each month. They’re not sure where to start, or even if it’s possible.
I understand this.
Before I started side hustling, I didn’t know much about it. Then, I started blogging and came across so many side hustlers I couldn’t believe it.
They opened my eyes and showed me that side hustling and making extra money above and beyond my day job was possible.
Back in November of 2013, I published the post My Motivation For Side Income. As a refresher, I started working on my side income for many reasons.
These reasons included:
These side hustles completely changed our lives for the better, and we still can’t believe how different our lives are from just a few years ago.
We feel incredibly lucky, but I do attribute how far we’ve come to all of the hard work that was put into side hustles.
There are many different ways for you to make extra money each month. You may not be able to make $1,000 from just one side job (you may need 2 or 3), but depending on the amount of time and effort that you put into it, it may be possible.
If you say “Oh, $1,000 is NOT possible,” then I want you to think again. There are plenty of other side hustlers out there sharing their journey about how they are making extra money, you just have to look. They are proof that it is possible.
Here are different ways for you to make an extra $1,000 each month:
Of course, this one is going to be the first on my list. I started writing online because I knew I didn’t have time to physically go into a place and work. I also knew that working a part-time job would probably be too draining, and I would probably have hated my life.
I needed a flexible schedule because when I started my website (Making Sense of Cents), I was working full-time on my Finance MBA, and I was also working as a financial analyst full-time.
I didn’t start this website to make money. I came across blogging and became obsessed with it. Then, I started reading about how others were making money online by writing, and I decided to give freelance writing a shot. Everything started from there!
There are a few different ways that you can make money by writing online. You most likely won’t get rich from it, but it can be a good side income that you can make from the comfort of your home. You can staff write for another website, write articles for advertisements, start a blog, and more.
The amount of money that you can make from writing online varies greatly.
You may be able to make $20 an article starting out, which would mean that you would need 50 articles each month to make $1,000. However, for certain subjects and/or experience, you may be able to demand a higher price which would mean less articles that you would need to write each month.
If you are further interested in freelance writing, I have several articles about it:
When I was in high school and before I could drive, I watched a child who lived in my neighborhood. I worked around 40 hours per week in the summer, and a little bit less when school was in session.
I found a flyer on my neighborhood bulletin board, called them, had an interview, and was hired. The pay was $10 an hour, which definitely was not bad for a 14-year-old, and for me to walk just a few homes down the road.
The kid was also amazing and was not once ever a terror, even though I started watching him when he was around 8 months (his name was Wesley, funny enough!).
Does anyone know what the average pay for babysitters is now these days? That $10 an hour I received was around 10 years ago…
Mowing lawns can actually be a quite profitable business. I know of a few people who constantly have mowing jobs. They make somewhere around $30 to $50 per lawn, and do around 20 to 30 lawns a week.
If you’re already doing lawns, then there may be other services that you may be able to add as well. You could also clean gutters, do Spring or Fall yard cleanups, garden, and more.
There is one drawback though. Depending on where you live, there may not be grass all year-long, which means that there might be a period of around 6 months where you don’t have any work. Usually during this time though, many lawn companies switch to being snow-related companies – such as shoveling snow or plowing snow.
I don’t think that photography is a job where you can just pick up your camera and start making money. You do need to have talent, and in some cases it definitely doesn’t hurt to go to school for it (or at least take a few classes) if you want to make it a lifelong career.
There are different types of photography that you could get into:
Pay can vary greatly with photography. For example, some photographers charge $500 for a whole wedding, whereas others charge $10,000 and up. Of course, you get what you pay for though.
What do you do for extra money? Why do you do it?