May 7, 2011

How to Make a Million Dollars from Nothing: Part 2

Last post, we talked about how to start generating some income by having nothing more than a computer and a brain. So what's next? You have a blog, a live show, a popular youtube channel, and you've received your first check from cashcrate and you've made a few hundred from a few hours of work a night. What do we do with it? 

First thing we need to do is turn our blog into a website with a domain name. This will remove the unnecessary address and have a smoother name. This will increase traffic, give a better SEO ranking, and generate more income. Through blogger, a domain name costs $10/year as long as the name isn't taken, this amounts to about $0.80 a month which you can fund by taking one survey on cashcrate. With wordpress, I think it's $24/year or, $2 a month. Wordpress has better SEO and more options, so the cost is justified. Now, you have you're own website with content you care about and soon you'll be getting even more traffic and revenue!

What about the extra cash I've made on cashcrate? What can I do with that? 

So, you've made your first $20 bucks and you put you're cashcrate cash into your account, what we can do with it now to make even more money with cashcrate is make and print out ads for referrals. The first kind is with pull tabs, Microsoft Word has templates already in place for a pull tab flyer. Make sure to post these in trafficked locations like Schools and Universities, shopping centers have community bulletin boards, and other public locations. Good wording is important. You want to make it sound appealing and intriguing.

Next, use the business card template for ads to place under windshield wipers or to hand to your friends and people you meet. Now, you'll be making more money by having more referrals. 

Before we jump into Mutual Funds and other types of investing, we need to start with something that doesn't require a lot of capital.

There are a few ways we can turn $100-$300 into $1,000. First check out Lending Club, here you can invest a minimum of $25 and receive great returns (average returns are 9.67%). Check out Frugal Dad's experience with Lending Tree here.

If Lending Tree sounds a little too risky, look into opening a high yield savings account, there are plenty of reasons to have one. Traditional savings account rates have fallen due to the recent recession, but there are some out there. ING Direct is a great place to open one. Check out Broke Grad Student on how to make $25 in 10 minutes with ING and Why Choose a High Yield Savings Account.

As the Economy comes out of the recession, Banks are offering higher interest rates. Now might even be a great time to look into CD's.

Those are some great ways to earn interest and not have to do much work. Seems good to me, now let's see what else we could start doing to make some extra cash.

Yard Sales and eBay:

This is something considered a Side Hustle. Summer is coming and I'm going to be up early on hot days looking for great money makers. Go to a yard sale and use your keen eye to find something you could sell on ebay for profit. The great thing about this is there isn't much work involved, aside from getting up early and going somewhere (this could be a great way to exercise, take a walk around your neighborhood!). Get there early to get the best deals. A great example is an old Nikon camera I bought last year at a yard sale for $10 bucks, I did some research on eBay and the same model was selling for $80+ on eBay and Craigslist. The camera I bought had a special lens piece on it, since I wanted it to sell fast, I listed the camera $80.00, after the bidding was over it sold for about $100. Shipping was around $7 so I made roughly $80 from one small item. After getting the hang of it, you could even start up your own retail site if you wanted to take it to an extreme! I am currently working on developing one utilizing eBay, Craigslist, and - I'd love to hear some ideas for items related to Frugal Son and frugality and fitness in the comments section!

After I get a successful model, I will share the way on how to sell online and the best products to sell online.

So, take about $50-$100 of your online earnings and start hunting for those extra profit margins. 

Hopefully we'll start seeing even better returns on our website and the extra cash from eBay doesn't hurt!

What would you do to make money with only $100-$250?

April 27, 2011

How to Make a Million Dollars

Hello readers. It is currently 9pm and like most of my good ideas, they are either generated in the morning shower, at night while lying in bed, or while watching Netflix! While watching the Twilight Zone I began to think about my blog and things I could do to help out my readers even more.

The purpose of this Post:

A lot of folks want to know how to make money online, from home, or simply more quick and easily. Maybe you just want to quit your 9 to 5? I will be following this post with a lot of separate segments that I will eventually include into one big article on Frugal Son. This is the first post in a segment of posts I will be making on how to make money by starting with nothing more than a computer, your brain, and virtually no capital.

The List:
This is a list of ideas to make money and ways to net you a million bucks.
-Start a Website
-Invest in a Mutual Fund 
-Gamble (not recommended)
-Become a day trader
-Open an eBay store
-host a web show
-spend and save wisely (already touched on)
The Catch:
None of the above is going to snag you a million dollars over night. To get there, you need to be a hard worker, have patience and perseverance, time, and money. Of course, I will be showing you the ways to use all the above in a combined form to increase earnings and get you the money faster.

Now, there are some spectacular ways to make money instantly, like winning the lottery. Which is highly unlikely (but if you do, I suggest you go see a financial advisor immediately!) You could score a Hollywood contract, or become a famous musician. For the sake of this article, however, we are going to assume you are like me as well as every other average person in the globalized world today.
Let’s start with a few things you can do for free. If you aren’t already doing the following, I suggest you start! The sooner the better.

Start a Blog

Blogs are cheap, easy, and manageable ways to increase your income. Simply write a blog about things you are passionate about! The internet is global and links to trillions of users every day, chances are, someone else is passionate about the same things you are. To start making money set up an Adsense account linked with your blogger account. Setting up your blog is simple and easy (even easier if you have a gmail account). You are viewing a blog provided free my other blogging tools include wordpress and hubpages. A man named John Chow is earning $30,000 a month on his blog!
It might seem daunting at first but don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it and start making money in no time!
The biggest tips I can provide for blogging are the following:
-Focus on content, not the cash
-Get connected through facebook and the blogosphere
-keep at it, make a new post AT LEAST once a week
-read other blogs and learn from others
-develop content around a subject or niche that you find interesting

Starting a blog is probably the fastest and easiest way to start making money online with little effort. I started Frugal Son to have something to do in my spare time. I pay $10 a year to have it hosted under a domain name to make it more of an official website. This was the single greatest change I made. Shortly after the Google Adsense checks started flowing in. I believe there is something behind the psychology of a .com website over one that has blogspot in the title.

Keep at it and you will surely be the next John Chow! 

An easy way to easily make an extra $100 each month is by taking surveys online for payment. A lot of companies are willing to pay you BIG MONEY to hear your opinion so they can give you better products.
There are a lot of “paid survey sites” on the web today, and I’ve tried several. Most of them are a scam or not very trustworthy. Until recently, I had given up on paid surveys until I found CashCrate (Click here for my FULL review). In essence, CashCrate has 24/7 support and the best surveys. Not to mention a great referral program. You can easily make $20-$30 within the first few days of signing up.
Click the link below to sign up:

Slow and Steady:

I won’t sugarcoat this, the following ways to make money online are not the fastest way to earn cash, BUT effective over the long term. These will take extra work, and maybe even daily input; Luckily not too much.

People have been making money on youtube for years, the catch is, it is necessary to have a lot of traffic to your channel and your videos. If you think you are performing well, submit an application to become a youtube partner. You will have ads placed on your videos and will receive a percentage of the revenue generated. This takes time and patience, maybe even s small monetary investment for better recording equipment. Set up a youtube account (you probably already have one), start making and uploading videos, and make an effort to keep them nice. Youtube has several resources on how to become a partner and ways to get there.
My tips:
-be diligent
-upload short videos
Users don’t want to watch a 10 minute video unless it’s a tutorial.
-be funny and creative
-be nice to other users, NEVER post negative comments.

Web Show

Starting a web show is fun. I broadcast myself as well as a popular game called Starcraft II. I cast games of top starcraft players. You can do the same by using sites like ustream,, and livestream. The only site I know of that has a partner program like youtube is Have enough viewers and subscribers, and will ask you to be a partner.
The following is a link to my live stream on, in fact, you may be watching me live right now!

Starting a stream is simple and mostly easy. There are ways that are harder, but I use a program called Xsplit broadcaster that makes streaming simple and fun.
The good thing about and youtube is they virtually work in sync. You can use your youtube videos to promote your broadcasts and you can upload your broadcasts to youtube. You might also want to think about uploading your content to a website much like youtube, except you are already a partner when you sign up. They pay you each time someone watches your videos.


I hope you enjoyed the tips to start your way on a fun and exciting adventure to making money online. Set up your mediums and get to work! Once you’ve got some extra income, check out part two, what to do after you've made your first check. 

April 23, 2011

Mutual Funds

To help you set yourself for retirement, or to have a million dollars by age 35 or so, I'm going to give you a quick education of mutual funds!

Mutual Funds are a wonderful way to prepare for your future, whatever that may be. If you want to have your house paid off, a nice car, and early retirement then a mutual fund is a legitimate and low risk way to do so. If you want to have save a million bucks, simply putting your savings into a bank savings account earning 0.02% interest isn't going to get you there fast enough.

A mutual fund uses compounding interest to help you earn money. I've made a simple video explaining compounding interest:

Now that you know how compounding interest works, it should be fairly easy to decide you want to invest in a mutual fund! As a disclaimer, mutual funds do carry risk and there are several types always do more research before investing.

I'm going to give you guys a glimpse into my fund which I've held since July of 2009:

My first investment was for $1,000 and I originally planned to re-invest $1,000+ every year but it hasn't been good for on the job market lately. However, as you can see even after 3 years I've earned nearly $400 all thanks to compounding interest (and the market recovering!)

There are several ways to invest in mutual funds through financial advisors and online. What I have learned since opening my mutual fund that there is one mutual fund that is constantly returning high % returns and outperforming the other funds, the Vanguard 500. Personally, when I get my next $1,000 I will be investing in that one.

April 18, 2011

Having a "Side Hustle"

I realized that to earn extra money is hard. As a college student, looking to earn cash on the side, I've tried just about everything. Gaining fame on youtube is hard, mowing yards in the summer is tough when your mower is broken, and there are a LOT of scams online offering quick cash (so don't do them!)

So, what is a Side Hustle? A side hustle is anything that you do in your spare time to earn money, on the side. It's a hustle because it generally comes with an increased amount of energy and time expenditure. The key is finding one that is worth the effort you are willing to put forth on top of a current job or situation.

For instance, some Side Hustlers, like my former Football and Wrestling coach, do several things. His taxable job and the job he listed on IRS documents was probably just as I mentioned High School Football Coach or Head Wrestling Supervisor. However, he also operated a lawn business with the catch phrase "You grow it, we freshly mow it!" and he would offer several of the football players or wrestling players summer positions (smart cross exchange there, huh?) He was also the numbers guy for his wife's wedding planning and photography business. Together, they also bred pure bred Bulldog's. I even have one of his Business cards "J.J. Bulldogs 'Pure American Born and Bred'"

These several sources of income allowed him to live in a fancy area of town in a nice house (Ive been there) and drive a cobalt Blue Rouche Mustang. While he may not have a lot of free time between coaching in the Fall and Winter, cutting grass in the summer, and raising bulldogs he sure did have a lot of nice stuff and generally seemed to be a happy guy.

For me however, as a college student, it is too much! In my free time, I like to learn ways to make money, invest, and be a smarter person financially. Coupled with long hours spent in the library with my nose crammed in the books I find it more fulfilling to manage this website and blog if a creative idea strikes. Or, if I'm feeling repetitive or need a short 5 minute break from researching for my next Financial Statement Analysis or doing another practice run of Bond Refunding Analysis for the umpteenth time I'll take a few quick surveys on CashCrate.

Now, it's easy to go on and on about what to do as you constantly learn new ways to budget and allocate your assets and free time but having a "Side Hustle" is a wonderful way to earn some extra cash on the side. A google search will reveal several ways to start one and different ideas, but the easiest in my book are eBay and CashCrate. However, there are several other options that I will discuss throughout as I discover new an innovative ways to make money on the side (legally, of course!)

CashCrate is probably the only website that ACTUALLY pays you to take surveys. No sketchy point system, no empty promises. After a long day of studying (and soon to be working) or if I'm stuck at school (soon to be the office!) I'll hop onto CashCrate and do some surveys really quick. I'll do it for about an hour each day, if that, and earn anywhere from $2-$10.

eBay is definitely my preferred side hustle as it takes on more of a small business feel. I also love to use craigslist to sell items from around the house that are too costly ship such as older cars, stove tops, or furniture.

Just a few things before you go sign up, at CashCrate, you will get A LOT of spam mail- so use your spam email account or make one. Also, a few of the offers require actual payments to get the reward, but they will be indicated by a small red $ symbol. Most of the surveys take 30 seconds to a minute to fill out and reward anywhere from 25 to 50 cents. Surveys that reward a full $1 are few and far between, but it's the easiest buck you'll earn for legit "work" which it isn't.

Not only does it pay actual cash, CashCrate has a members section with a highly active forum and has dedicated support staff, so you're never left in the dark.

So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up at CashCrate now! Just remember to use your own discretion and earn some extra cash!

Starting a Side hustle, like blogging or getting your online used goods store on eBay can be time consuming and it will take time before you start seeing the profits. I've been operating this website for several years now, and while the content is minimal I manage to earn a couple extra bucks a month. I also published an eBook on my other website that adds to those earnings.

I can say that with consistency and dedication along with a passion for being active, you'll make money at your side hustle and may even be able to quit your 9 to 5!

Have you had success blogging? How much have you earned using cashcrate? Do you know any other good survey sites that are just as legitimate as cashcrate? What about some success stories selling on ebay?

April 2, 2011

The weight of the world...

I had a terrible dream last night. I dreamt that I was in a convenience store or gas station and I bought contacts (for some strange reason), a juice drink like a Gatorade, water, and a variety of other things. The total came to $303.67. When I saw the total I had a sensation of despair and fear. I knew I didn’t have that amount in my bank account. So why did I proceed and swipe my debit card?
In dreams, it’s not about the facts; it’s about the subconscious and what it’s trying to tell you. For me, as a junior in college about to graduate in one year the dream was symbolizing my fear of being on my own and my ability to control my own income.
As I began to analyze the dream, I realized that millions of other Americans are in the exact same boat as I am when it comes to finances. Whether they are in college, about to graduate, or long into their careers I know everyone can benefit from a few financial tips:
1. Check your bank account daily.
- Most, if not all, member banks should have some way for you to access and view your account online. If not, take step 2 to a more critical level
2. Budget
- Budgeting can be hard. I get an allowance of $80 dollars every two weeks and I still have trouble spending it correctly. If you really want to go above and beyond, check out Dave Ramsey and follow his advice. His program helped my parents out of debt in under a year. If you don’t have the time for that just remember three basic things” Plan, implement, don’t deviate. Plan for everything, groceries, cable, electric, and emergencies. The hardest thing to plan for is the emergencies: the baby runs out of diapers, the dog runs out in front of a car, or anything! Plan for the worst.
3. Get help
- There’s a plethora of help available. Online guides, resources, and financial planners are all there. But instead of spending $300+ on a program that you may or may not follow through on, find a financial planner that actually cares for your needs. You want someone who knows the business and loves helping people.
So, I realized that I want to become a financial planner or investment banker! Right now I’m hoping to become an intern at Northwestern Mutual, a mutual life insurance company. I’ll have to start slow, getting only my insurance sales licensing, but hopefully, soon after I graduate I’ll be able to get my CFP, ChFU, and CFA accreditations. It won’t be easy, but it’s what I want to do- Help people have a better life.