Pandemic Side Gig Skills Useful After COVID

Online tutoring is another essential pandemic side gig that we really can’t imagine disappearing anytime soon. “Online tutoring is a huge and growing need,” says Greene. “Many parents (and students) remain wary of returning to conventional school due to concern over Covid exposure and safety concerns. Now that the door for online education has been ‘kicked open’ it won’t be closing— there will always be an online academic option going forward.”
Much like homeschool assistance, elder assistance was and is another critical role, even in our post-pandemic world. “Isolation in the senior community has been prevalent well before Covid,” says Hoskins. “Now the benefits have been seen and reaped, so the service will continue, and it will be such a relief for their children or neighbors who are unable to give the full assistance that’s needed.”
Ready to stop worrying about money?

Grocery & Food Delivery

Don’t wait for another election or census to flaunt your new work experience. Consider applying for an administrative role in one of your local government offices.
While this particular gig might not be around again for a while (we hope), that doesn’t mean you can’t take that skillset with you into your next endeavor. Founder and hiring manager Rick Hoskins of Filter King says that contact tracers likely developed an impressive array of skills when it came to research, handling customer data, and discretion.

What To Do Next

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Contact Tracing

Given this type of experience, obvious next stepping stones seem to include data entry or analysis positions as well as any sort of medical receptionist position.

What To Do Next

Enjoyed watching Spot and his pad during the pandemic? As things open back up and more people venture out into the world for work and vacation, this side gig seems like an obvious one to stick around. “As people return to their workplaces, the need for someone to watch their pets, walk their dogs, take in the mail, and water their plants will increase, as will the demand for people to perform these tasks,” says Greene.

Homeschool Assistance

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What To Do Next

If you were one of the many drivers braving the pandemic to help people get around, we see you — and the good news is, your gig isn’t going anywhere. “Rideshare, and other services such as food delivery, will continue to expand and the number of drivers needed to perform these deliveries will continue to grow as well,” predicts Greene. “Driving is something almost anyone can do part-time to make extra, or in many cases, full-time money.” But the other great thing about being a rideshare driver? You’ve got people skills like no one else.

Poll Work

If you want to move past the driver’s seat, consider finding a job in customer service, sales, or even public relations. And be sure to bring that 5-star rating mentality with you.

What To Do Next

COVID-19 has changed a lot of things about the way we live, and the way we work is one of them. Whether you held a steady job throughout the pandemic, took some time off, or even joined the 55 million people working the gig economy, you’ve probably witnessed many of these changes first hand.

Elder Assistance

Did you make money contact tracing for a government agency in the last year? If so, the pandemic side gig skills you learned there might morph into another job, post-pandemic. Data entry, for one.

What To Do Next

Having acquired experience working with children in an educational environment, you might consider becoming a teacher’s assistant or even a childcare professional at a daycare facility. There are many types of daycare facilities including private and public school programs and those associated with large employers such as hospitals and universities.

Online Tutoring

If you spent part of the pandemic delivering food, Greene says you probably developed the ability to expertly manage your time and keep things organized, all of which lends itself well to any sort of administrative office job.

What To Do Next

This side gig is a great one to continue, but don’t forget you have other options as well. If animals are your thing, consider finding work in a local animal rescue organization or pet store. If you enjoyed watching the houses more than their inhabitants, consider upping your game and becoming a luxury house sitter.

Driving for Rideshare Companies

If you want to continue developing the helping skills you obtained during the pandemic, you might consider working in a senior center, senior living facility, or even in an administrative role in a doctor’s office.

What To Do Next

Parents couldn’t have done it without you, and fortunately this side gig is another important one that seems like it might stick around for a while. “This will be critical for parents who wish to continue to homeschool their children,” says Hoskins. “They might have discovered that their children thrive with a more personalized approach to their studies.” As the country continues the transition back into in-person learning and parents resume their normal day-to-day roles, their kids might still need your support with their schoolwork. Just remember, this won’t be the only thing you can do with your new hard-earned skills.

Pet-Sitting or House-Sitting

It’s easy to feel like time spent during the pandemic was wasted, but don’t. However you got through these past few months should be seen as an accomplishment, and as we head into a season of the “new normal” — remember to take your hard-earned experiences with you and wear them proudly in whatever venture you choose to embark on next.

What To Do Next

Because side hustles have become such an integral part of life as we know it, we thought we’d ask the career experts to tell us which gigs they think will survive the pandemic, and provide some advice for people looking to transition out of their side hustles and into full-time jobs. Here’s everything you need to know about these eight major pandemic gigs — and how you can use that side hustle experience in your next venture.

The Final Word

Whether it was takeout from Dumpling, groceries for Instacart, or something else entirely — food delivery services were huge during the pandemic, and author and career educator Dr. Steven Greene thinks they’re here to stay. “This is all about convenience first and safety second,” says Greene. “Families are always strapped for time and they want simplicity— and the time saved going to the market, shopping, and bringing the food home is precious.”
Not only has grocery and food delivery become a staple in our post-COVID lives, but it’s also a great way to rack up some seriously helpful transferable skills. Just like many other service jobs, delivering food provides valuable experiences you can take with you on your next career moves. Here are some ideas.



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8 Tips for How to Sell on Craigslist

Most of us have probably taken a deep, exasperated breath while surveying our homes, wondering how we managed to accumulate so much clutter. But there might be a way to turn that clutter into cash. It comes down to one word: Craigslist.

8 Tips for Selling on Craigslist

Selling on Craigslist seems easy, but it requires some know-how to get the intended result and money in your wallet. We scoured the Internet for the best tips.

So list that chair you’ve always hated. We’re here to help you find success and sell more of your items on Craigslist.

1. Take Photos That Work

Ever seen a Craigslist listing with an object you can’t quite make out? Is that a nightstand or a coffee table? Are they selling the whole dining room table set or just one chair?

A good photo can make your listing stand out while a bad photo has the potential to shut down any business. Take a good photo by posing your object in a well-lit spot, whether it’s in natural light or a warm artificial glow, and focus on the details that make your object special. Only photograph what you’re selling — leave extraneous things out of the picture.

2. It’s In the Details

Your listing can’t simply be a photo and the name of the object. You need a description and any relevant details — think dimensions or number of items or even age of the item, if relevant. It’s ideal for your listing to answer all of the questions a potential buyer might have so they don’t have time to really agonize over their purchase.

3. Tell the Truth

That being said, it’s important to be honest in your listing. If your couch has stains or your wooden dresser is chipped, add images that show the damage. Point that out to potential buyers in your description. People will be more likely to buy an item when they feel they are getting an upfront understanding of it.

One example: do not post the catalogue image of your piece of furniture from when it was brand new. (People do this.) Take a photo of your furniture piece as is — after all, that’s what you’re selling.

4. Be Simple

While you should absolutely share relevant details, there’s no need to tell the story of how your kids bounced around on these couch cushions or how the table was passed down in the family generation after generation. Potential buyers know they’re browsing for a used object, but they don’t want the legacy that comes with it. They want it to feel like their own.

And stick to simplicity in your listing title. Potential buyers often search for specific objects — trash cans or mirrors — and they likely won’t be searching with various adjectives.

5. Offer Delivery

Potential buyers love it when Craigslist sellers offer delivery. It’s an added perk and makes things easier, especially when the site caters to people from all over. Make sure to add a higher cost for delivery — whatever seems worth it to you based on location — and be safe. Bring someone along with you when you go to deliver.

6. The Price is Right

It really does boil down to whether the asking price is right. Craigslist is known for sellers that practically give items away, so it’s better to price your listing lower rather than higher. Interest is always key, and if you price it too high, you may have no takers.

But make sure you price your item at a level with which you’re comfortable. It’s not worth giving something away if it has sentimental value and you think it can go for more.

7. Reach Out to Your Network

Word of mouth is a powerful tool. If you think you might know someone in your social network — whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or more — who might be interested in what you’re selling, share it on those forums.

And better yet, if you have a specific buyer in mind, feel free to be direct and share your listing with friends and family. If it doesn’t work for them, they may know the right person.

8. Always Be Safe

Always remember that you are dealing with strangers online on Craigslist. If someone is coming to your house or you are going to theirs, have a friend with you. Don’t assume that you will be fine if you are alone. Entering a stranger’s house or allowing a stranger to enter yours always comes with risk. It’s better to be prepared and meet in a public place if that is the only way the meeting can take place.

Writer Elizabeth Djinis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, often writing about selling goods online through social platforms. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine and the Tampa Bay Times.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

How to Make Money Renting Equipment and Doing Maintenance Jobs

“I bought a chainsaw there for about 0 that would have been more than 0 new. And since they use the same tools, they stock all the parts to fix them,” he said.
Harbor Freight is a chain of more than 1,100 stores across the country that sell 7,000 different tools and accessories for up to 80 percent less than the price of competing products. It buys direct from the factories that supply better-known brands and is able to pass savings along to customers, according to its website. Littke said he has saved hundreds of dollars there for tools that are the same high quality as name brand equipment. He buys the extended warranty for an extra , and if something breaks or simply wears out over time, they replace it with a new one.
It can be well worth investing in certain small power tools that most people don’t own to develop a side gig.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
It’s easy to spread the word on social media or flyers on windshields about your services, whether chain saw cutting and debris removal after a big storm takes down trees or steam cleaning furniture and rugs before the holidays.
Many people need to move just one piece of furniture across town or throw an old mattress away at the town dump. It’s not worth hiring a moving company, and renting a truck from Home Depot is often more trouble and money than finding someone who owns a truck.
“I was lucky because I was in high school and I could be flexible. Sometimes people would call me saying: “Hey I’m going to need you here right now and I will pay you well enough you will want to drop whatever you are doing and help out,” Willingham recalled.

How to Make Money Renting Equipment and Doing Small Maintenance Jobs

Rent Before You Buy

“When you rent a tool they are always in good shape, clean and ready to use. No hoses are broken, nothing needs to be replaced or refilled,” he said. “You never get to a job site and find out it doesn’t work.”
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Rob Littke, a contractor who does large and small projects for clients, offered a few tips for folks considering purchasing expensive tools. Here’s his advice.
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Each city or county has their own regulations on what services require a license, business registration fee or insurance. Even if it costs a couple hundred dollars to file the correct paperwork, that cost can be recouped within a few jobs.
Along with the space of a truck, Willingham showed up ready to lift and load as well.

Find Good Deals on Tools

Not everyone owns a power washer, paint sprayer, chainsaw, backpack leaf blower, multipurpose steam cleaner or cordless wet/dry vacuum for auto detailing. But those who do own these tools can use them to make extra money.
Home Depot’s tool rental department is also a great place to buy tools. They sell them after being rented a few years.
“My mom is a Realtor, so she always knew people who needed something moved,” he said. “Then I think people started saying: ‘Call Weston. He has a truck. He can help you.’ I was also an extra set of hands.”
“There’s nothing worse for a paint sprayer than not using it,” he said, explaining there are pumps and rubber seals that can get stuck if they are left dormant.

Buy a Truck, Drive it for Money

For example, Popular Mechanics ranked its top three power washers, ranging in price from 9 to 9. HomeAdvisor, a website that helps homeowners find home improvement professionals, estimates the typical power washing job for a house with siding is 0 to 0 and 0 to 0 for a driveway. Thumbtack, another website that connects clients with service providers, suggests paying 16 cents to 22 cents per square foot of power washing.
He didn’t set prices, but asked customers to pay what they felt comfortable with. He made at least per job and often more than 0.
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If you need to buy a used vehicle for your own use, it makes sense to get a truck because it gives you the ability to use it to make extra money.
Also, some tools don’t perform well if they aren’t used frequently.
Facebook Marketplace is another good resource for used tools. “I can’t tell you how many people run out and buy a 0 tile saw to tile one bathroom, then they use it once and never again,” Littke said. After a couple years of that tile saw taking up room in the garage, it ends up on Facebook Marketplace for 0 or 0.
If you are doing a project for yourself or selling your services, Littke suggests renting tools instead of buying them unless you know you’ll use them regularly.
So the money earned on just two power washing jobs would easily recoup the cost of buying even the more expensive power washer. <!–

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“I sold my paint sprayer because I was never using it,” he added. (FYI: Littke prefers brushes and rollers because sprayers require so much preparation covering furniture, floors, doors and windows.)

How to Become a Paid Caregiver for a Family Member

Medicaid wants its elderly clients to be safe, but prefers they be safe in a financially efficient way. With that in mind, it benefits the government agency to keep aging clients living in their home instead of a long-term care facility.

Genworth, a Virginia-based provider of long-term care insurance, conducts an annual survey on the cost of care for retirees. The median price for one month in a private room in a nursing home in 2020 was $8,821. A semi-private room cost $7,756 a month.

To keep clients living at home longer — even once they need some assistance — all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer some kind of program through Medicaid that lets clients choose a family caregiver who is paid with Medicaid funds. In many states they can choose a friend or family member, often an adult child or spouse, to be their designated caregiver.

“The vast majority of older adults want to stay in their homes as they age, and allowing them to pay a friend or family member to help with their daily needs can make that possible,” said Susan Reinhard, senior vice president of AARP’s Public Policy Institute. “The pandemic provided a push for states to expand this option, and we hope many of them will make their policy changes permanent.

“Paying family caregivers is a solution that saves states money and meets the growing need for long-term care.”

How to Become a Paid Caregiver for a Family Member

Clients must show they need a certain level of care, and caregivers must show they are capable of providing that care. If the client needs medical care and the loved one isn’t trained for that, they cannot be designated as the caregiver.

The amount of money family caregivers are paid varies by states’ Medicaid programs, the level of care the individual needs and the average wage for a home health aide in each state. The programs that allow family caregivers to be paid also go by different names and have different caveats and benefits in each state:

  • Home and Community Based Services Waivers are offered by the majority of states. But many have a limited number of these waivers, so there may be a waiting list. This waiver allows the Medicaid participant to hire a friend or relative as a personal care assistant. This is also referred to as the 1915 C waiver.
  • The Self-Directed Personal Assistance Services State Plan Option allows a Medicaid participant to hire, train and pay the personal care assistant they choose. Based on the budget Medicaid offers, the participant decides what the assistant is paid. One unique part of this option is the participant pays employment taxes on the assistant. An intermediary helps with this financial aspect of the process.
  • Community First Choice, also called the 1915 state plan option, actually applies to Medicaid recipients who are in nursing homes but need personal care services. Instead of paying extra for a staff member at the facility to provide that care, this option allows friends or family to help with bathing, grooming, light housekeeping and transportation. According to the American Council on Aging, the following nine states offer this option: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Montana, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
  • With the Caretaker Child Exception, Medicaid doesn’t pay the adult child a wage to care for their parent but allows the parent’s house to be transferred to the adult child as a form of payment. This comes into play when an elderly Medicaid participant is moving into a nursing home but wouldn’t qualify for Medicaid because they own their home.

Learn More About Medicaid 

Medicaid eligibility in general, not just for these programs and waivers, is not consistent across the country. A general rule of thumb as of 2021 is senior applicants can’t have more than $2,382 in income and $2,000 in assets.

State-specific eligibility can be found here. If a senior is already enrolled in Medicaid, the next step is contacting their state’s Medicaid office.

The American Council on Aging strongly recommends finding a Medicaid planner to help with applying for caregiver roles and other benefits.

Katherine Snow Smith is a staff writer for The Penny Hoarder.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

When you order Nachos BellGrande…

A customer accepts an order from Taco Bell at their drive thru window.

Taco Bell will hire 5,000 people at 2,000 stores across the country. The fast food chain will be taking COVID-19 precautions by conducting interviews in parking lots. Photo courtesy of Taco Bell

When you order Nachos BellGrande at the Taco Bell drive-thru on Wednesday, April 21, you can request a job as well. The fast food empire is hiring 5,000 people at “hiring parties” in parking lots at 2,000 stores throughout the country.

The chain is growing toward its goal of operating 10,000 stores across the globe by the end of the decade, according to a hiring announcement. Taco Bell currently has 7,000 company-owned and franchise locations in the United States and 600 in other countries.

The jobs available vary based on location but include all levels, from “bellhops” who take orders on tablets at drive-thrus, to general managers. Click here to see what positions are open in your area. Interested candidates can fill out an application on that same site in advance or do it in person at a store on Wednesday

Not every Taco Bell is having a hiring party so job seekers should go to TacoBell.com/locations to get phone numbers of stores near them and call to see if they are participating in the event.

Taco Bell will interview candidates outside in order to follow COVID-19 precautions. In some locations applicants won’t even have to get out of their cars. Everyone must wear a mask and stay six feet apart. You can bring a resume and references, but that is not necessary, according to Meagan Ashner, a spokeswoman for Taco Bell.

“While we are hopeful for strong, qualified talent among all applicants, attending a hiring party does not guarantee a job,” she added.

According to Indeed.com, Taco Bell’s wages start at $10.26 an hour for kitchen team members. A shift manager can make $23,494 a year and an assistant manager can make $43,969.

The restaurant gives employees a free meal during a shift, according to Indeed.

Benefits for general managers of company-owned stores have recently been expanded to include up to four weeks of accrued vacation a year and four weeks of “baby bonding” time for new parents and guardians. The company also offers eight weeks of fully-paid short term disability after the birth of a child.

Taco Bell fared well during the pandemic, adjusting quickly to the shutdown of indoor dining. The drive-thru was already a key part of its business, and the chain made it easier for customers to order and pick up food.

The rollout of new “Go Mobile” stores this year is fueling part of the need for more employees. These smaller restaurants cater only to digital orders and drive-thru pickups.

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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The 4 Best Sites to Sell Gift Cards Online

Gift cards lay on a flat surface. Gift cards are from Target, Home Depot, Macy's, TJ Max, etc.

You can sell any gift card for store credit — new or partially used. Most cards sell within 24 hours, and Raise takes 15% of the selling price.

Maybe your boss gave you a Starbucks gift card, but you aren’t a coffee drinker.
Ebay has always been a popular place for buying and selling things online — but it might be the worst way to sell gift cards.
To get a quote on your gift card, all you need to do is input the brand and balance. On most of these sites, there’s an option to enter the gift card number to sell it and receive payment electronically — no need to mail anything.
Suddenly, your 0 gift card is only worth .

Tips to Sell Gift Cards Online

Whether it’s a birthday, graduation or holiday, it’s likely that you’ll get a stack of gift cards for any celebration. Also likely: you’ll end up with a few you can’t use or don’t want.
On top of that, you may be responsible for eBay’s insertion fees, a final value fee and a performance fee if your eBay seller account isn’t in good shape. Then, if you’re using Paypal for payment, expect an additional 2.9% fee. Yuck!

Consider Ways to Get Paid

If you do decide to sell a gift card, shop around and find the best offer. Check with two or three companies before handing over your gift card.
Dana Sitar is a former branded content editor at The Penny Hoarder. Adam Hardy is a former staff writer.
What’s better? Online gift card exchange sites. They’ll purchase your gift card for 90% or more of its value and resell it for you.
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Don’t Sell Gift Cards on eBay

Rates will vary depending on the service and the brand, so I thought it would be fun to see which would offer me the best price for my gift cards.
The gift card exchange site Raise has always been one of my favorite places to sell my unwanted gift cards because I get to set the price. However, as with eBay, you don’t get paid until the gift card sells.
And remember, you can buy discount gift cards on all these sites, too. Keep them in mind when you need a gift.
Depending on the service you choose, when you sell a gift card you can receive a check in the mail, a Paypal payment or a more useful gift card.
Paypal might be a quick form of payment, but keep those pesky fees in mind if you want to maximize your payout. Checks may take a little longer, but they’re as good as cold, hard cash. And depending on your spending habits, another gift card might be the best choice, as the conversion rate is going to be the highest.
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4 Best Websites to Sell Gift Cards

As with any product, the more demand, the more you can ask for it. Gift cards for major retailers — Walmart, Target, Best Buy — tend to sell on the marketplace for 95% of their value.
First, an eBay buyer isn’t likely to buy your gift card for more than 80% to 90% of its value. For a 0 gift card, you can count on a loss of between and .
I picked three leading online gift card buyers and asked for quotes on a Walmart gift card. Here are the results:

Gift Cards Still Need a Home? Auction Them Off on Raise

Still, on Raise you can list a card without paying up-front fees, so there’s no risk.
Here’s what to keep in mind as you find a buyer for that unwanted present.
There are plenty of websites to sell your gift cards, and each is a little different. Some will let users bid on your gift card, while others will purchase it from you and then sell it themselves. You also maintain control over your listing. If your card doesn’t sell in the first couple of days, you can always adjust the price to attract more buyers. Or you can unlist it if you change your mind.
There is no reason for this well-intentioned gift to go to waste. You can sell gift cards online for cash.

Here are the top sites that put the most money in your pocket.
There is, however, one notable exception that you probably should avoid when it comes to gift cards: eBay.
Each selection has its own perks, so choose whichever best fits your needs.

Or your Aunt Rita gave you a gift card to a steakhouse, but you’re a vegetarian.

Wondering How to Become a Transcriptionist? Take A Look At This Guide

Experienced transcriptionists often consider rates below to per audio hour too low. But if you’re brand new to the industry, you may find it’s worth working for a lower rate to get started and learn valuable skills that could help you land a better-paying transcription job later on.
Here is a list of legitimate companies that regularly hire newbie transcriptionists. Most of these companies will require that you take short, simple transcription tests to assess your typing accuracy and attention to detail before assigning you work.
Rev pays 30 cents up to .10 per audio minute, which works out to to per audio hour. The company pays weekly by PayPal and doesn’t require any special equipment apart from a computer with a reliable Internet connection.
However, most of the companies that hire newbies are more laid-back in their equipment requirements, so you’ll only need to have a computer and a high-speed internet connection to start working.
You’ll earn about three to 20 cents per media minute transcribed, plus bonus rates. You’ll be paid through Amazon to your Amazon Payments Account.
Pay for transcription work can vary. “General transcription pays well in comparison to most work-at-home jobs,” says Mills. “The least I’ve made per hour is . But I often make per hour or more. Those who specialize in legal can make an even higher wage per hour.”
She added that most companies expect a 48-hour turnaround time on work. “So I start something, take a break for a while, then come back to it later. And many companies allow you to take as much or as little work as you like.”

What Do You Need to Get Started as a Transcriptionist?

“My children are grown now, but when they were younger, I did a lot of my work at night, after they were in bed, and during the day while they were in school,” says Mills.
However, the flexibility of the work may make up for the fact it can be challenging and repetitive.

Is Transcription Easy?

If you’re a beginner, start by looking into general transcription.
In addition, managing your own schedule means you can plan time off when you need it.
If you’re considering giving transcription a try, here’s what you’ll need to know — plus some of Mills’ best advice.
The company pays per audio hour, and it does not require any equipment for transcription prior to getting started beyond a “reasonable computer” that has Google Chrome and a reliable internet connection. You’ll be paid weekly by PayPal for the work you complete.
Looking for a flexible job that allows you to work from home, requires little to no prior experience and doesn’t involve making sales calls?
Crowdsurf specializes in providing transcribed media files to the hearing impaired. You’ll have to create an account with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a popular crowdsourced work platform where Crowdsurf houses their transcription tasks.
The job sounds easy enough, right? But just like any other job, what’s easy for one person won’t be for another.
Transcription companies usually pay a rate per audio hour. For example, if you’re being paid per audio hour, this means you’ll earn for every hour of audio you transcribe.

How Much Does Transcription Pay?

Quicktate hires newbie transcriptionists once they pass a typing quiz. The company’s independent contractors transcribe short voicemail messages, as well as memos, letters, conference calls and more.
“I can take a vacation whenever I like. I just notify the company that I won’t be taking work for a few days to a week, and will get back in touch when I’m ready for more work,” says Mills.

Pro Tip
It could take you anywhere from two to five hours to transcribe just one hour of audio, depending on the complexity of the file and your transcription skill level.

Transcribe Anywhere doesn’t actually hire transcriptionists. It offers online transcription courses that teaches students how to transcribe and start their own freelance transcribing businesses.
You could become a transcriptionist. This job gives you the freedom to set your own hours and, in many cases, work as much or as little as you want each week.

5 Companies That Hire Beginner Transcriptionists

The work is also quite repetitive. You will have to listen to the same audio over and over again to be sure you have transcribed it perfectly. If you don’t like repetition, transcription might not be the line of work for you.

Pro Tip
“l needed to find a job quickly, and I wanted to be at home with my children, so transcription seemed like a natural fit,” she says. “[S]ince time was of the essence, I started applying immediately for [general transcription] jobs. I got lucky and was hired immediately by a super company.”

1. Transcribe Anywhere

The exact amount you earn as a transcriptionist will depend on the company you’re working for, how much work is available and your speed and skill level. In general, most companies that are willing to accept beginners do not pay as well as the companies that require past transcription experience.
Before you can take on projects with TranscribeMe, you have to register and take its Transcriber Training Program. The company does not require transcriptionists to work a set number of hours.

2. TranscribeMe

If you’re looking to earn a little extra money online, give transcription a try with one of these companies. You won’t break the bank, but you will be getting paid to learn how to transcribe audio files — and this could open the door to much better-paying transcription opportunities in the future!
Lisa Mills, blogger at Work at Home Mom Revolution and author of Jump Start Your General Transcription Career: The Fast & Easy Way to Get Started, started transcribing shortly after separating from her husband.

3. Quicktate

For example, the files you listen to might be very poor quality, making it difficult to understand what’s being said. And other times, you might find yourself trying to interpret unclear dialogue spoken with a thick accent.
If you start working for less than -50 per audio hour, use the opportunity to build paid transcription experience and then look for a higher-paying job.

4. Rev

You’ll need to pass a grammar quiz and submit a transcription template prior to claiming assignments from Rev, which allows transcribers to work as much or as little as they like.
After you have done transcription for Quicktate for some time, you may be promoted to iDictate — a sister company that pays slightly more for transcribed files. Quicktate pays approximately one cent for every four words transcribed, while iDictate pays two cents for every four words transcribed. You can work as much or as little as you want, and they pay weekly by PayPal.

5. Crowdsurf

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Transcription requires listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. Companies that hire professional transcriptionists usually require a high-quality foot pedal for controlling audio playback along with the popular Express Scribe transcription software.
The online course features modules, practice dictations and quizzes. It even shows you how to create sample client contracts and how to determine your rates.
While transcription jobs are usually broken into general, medical and legal categories, the latter two will usually require prior schooling and/or work experience.
Anna Thurman is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder. 

How Much Do You Get Paid to Donate Sperm? Here’s the Full Process

Let’s talk about how to make money by selling your sperm. Like, how this actually works.

Popular media sends a strong message: Selling your sperm is a lucrative and simple way to make money when you’re low on cash. And it’s not short on gags about the subject to make sure you feel totally weird about the whole thing.

No need to feel weird. Sperm banks support thousands of families who struggle with infertility and parents who want to conceive without a partner.

In a span of 30 years, an estimated 120,000 to 150,000 babies were born of anonymous donor insemination, according to an unpublished study by the American Association of Tissue Banks, reported by Cryogenic Laboratories. That’s 4,000 to 5,000 births per year that happened because of sperm donors.

But the process isn’t nearly as simple or fun as the gags might imply.

Don’t expect to pop into your local sperm bank, make a contribution and walk out with a check that afternoon.

Here’s everything you need to know about the process and requirements to donate sperm to figure out whether it’s the right move for you.

How Much Do You Get Paid to Donate Sperm?

The phrase is a little confusing — sperm donation isn’t a charitable act.

You do, in fact, earn money. (Not nearly as much as its counterpart, egg donation, but it won’t take nearly the toll on your body, either.)

Like everything else about becoming a sperm donor, the amount of money you make varies depending on the sperm bank or donation center you work with.

Here are some examples of compensation models:

  • Donors through the Seattle Sperm Bank can earn up to $1,000 per month at $70 per approved donation —  $50 when you deliver and $20 when it’s approved.
  • Donors through the Sperm Bank of California earn $125 per approved sample, with most donors earning between $400 and $600 per month.
  • Donors through the international sperm bank chain Cryos earn up to $40 per donation — $20 for every ejaculate delivered, plus another $20 if it’s approved.

Sperm banks also offer free fertility test results, physical exams and blood testing as long as you remain a donor, and some even provide a free annual physical after you stop donating.

Some clinics have more complicated contracts that require you to keep up steady visits and provide regular donations if a recipient chooses you as their donor. That arrangement could affect when you’re paid.

“Just to make sure you follow through [with your visits], your paychecks are kept in escrow by the sperm bank until the end of the contract,” Cracked contributor Sean Berkley wrote about his sperm donation experience in 2011.

Many sperm banks now pay monthly or per visit, however. Like any other side hustle, get details on compensation before you sign any contracts or make any commitments.

3 Things to Consider Before Selling Your Sperm

Take some time to understand all the information before you set your sights on sperm donation as your next side hustle. You might be surprised by some of these details.

Do You Qualify for Sperm Donation?

Each sperm bank has its own list of physical requirements for donors, but they’re all fairly similar.

Most donation centers require donors to be:

  • At least 5’7” tall and up to 6’6”.
  • Between 18 and 40 years old (none accept donations from minors).
  • Height and weight proportional.
  • In good overall health, based on general physical health screenings and fertility tests.
  • College graduates, enrolled in college or military veterans. Some banks pay more if you have a Ph.D. or attended an Ivy League school (because recipients pay more for those donor qualities).
  • A non-smoker and non–drug user.
  • Able to provide a biological family medical history.

Even if you meet a clinic’s basic requirements, you’re not guaranteed to be accepted.

Sperm banks are for-profit organizations, and like any business, they aim to provide what the market demands.

That means your sperm might be subject to the same kinds of biases you encounter among people face-to-face. In addition to the explicit requirements listed above, you could be denied because of supply and demand at a clinic based on things like your skin color, hair color and eye color.

Based on FDA regulation, potential donors are denied if they’ve ever had sex with “another man.” (The regulation doesn’t address potential nonbinary or transgender women donors.)

You could also be denied for genetic health issues, such as blood clotting disorders.

Some sperm banks will tell you why your application is denied, but some might not. You might want to know that information before you apply, so you’re not left wondering.

Donor Offspring Limits

Donation centers are regularly updating policies and practices to address ethical questions that come up about sperm donation and assisted reproduction.

Every few years, it seems, a news story reveals another serial sperm donor with hundreds of offspring. Check the details, though — in many of these cases, the donor worked with the recipient privately (a.k.a. a “known donor”), not through a donation center.

Most donation centers set a limit on the number of births or recipients per donor.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates sperm donation (and other organ and tissue donation), doesn’t set a legal offspring limit. Instead, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) sets guidelines for the industry and recommends a limit of 10 births per population of 850,000 (roughly the size of Seattle).

Many donation centers set limits well below the ASRM guideline — around 25 families in the U.S. per donor is a common maximum.

Anonymous vs. Open Identity Donation

The FDA requires clinics to keep some donor information for medical purposes, but it doesn’t regulate anonymity. You’ll make that choice based on the clinic you choose.

Ask the donation center about its policies, and be crystal clear about your options and long-term obligations before you donate. Donor arrangements include:

  • Anonymous: Neither the donor nor the recipient get identifying information about each other. You likely won’t even know whether a recipient conceived using your sperm.
  • Semi-open: You and the recipient get some information about each other, but not identifying details or contact information. The clinic is usually a go-between to pass correspondence between you and the recipient. You might learn whether the recipient had a baby using your sperm and even get baby photos. Or you might just stay open to possible contact in the future from the child once they’re an adult.
  • Open: You and the recipient have each other’s contact information and communicate directly, maybe even meeting in person. Ideally, you and the recipient determine together how much ongoing communication you’ll have and whether or not you’ll have contact with the child. But the child could always decide to contact you on their own sometime in the future.

Here’s the catch: Technology, as it often does without trying, has thrown a bit of a wrench in this situation.

Increasingly accessible family-tree DNA testing has made some curious (or unsuspecting!) donor-conceived children privy to their genetic roots — even when donors and recipients agreed to anonymity.

Many countries, including the U.K., have removed the option for anonymity in recent years by legislating a donor-born child’s right to find their biological father (i.e. the source of their donor sperm) after they turn 18.

The Sperm Donation Process

Every donation center dictates its own process for sperm donors, but they’re pretty similar and many parts of the process are regulated by the FDA. Here’s what you can generally expect.

1. Find a Sperm Bank

Track down a sperm bank that’s close to you through this National Directory of Sperm Cryobanks.

Most centers require donors to live within 25 miles or about an hour of the clinic, because if you’re chosen to be a donor, you’ll be visiting the facility regularly.

A legitimate organization will be registered with the FDA. Enter the clinic’s name in this FDA directory to make sure it’s registered.

2. Get Pre-Screened

All applicants start by going through a pre-screening over the phone or through an online application. Here’s an example application for Cryos.

The pre-screening confirms:

  • Your eligibility to work (and be paid) in the U.S.
  • Some medical history, including potential sexually transmitted infections, mental illness, allergies and drug use.
  • Your height, hair color, eye color and ethnicity.

3. Provide Detailed Family History & Get a Physical Exam

If you pass the initial screening, you’ll be invited in for a thorough interview that takes a deep dive into your family tree.

Berkley says you should be prepared to provide “a detailed medical history for every parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin and grandparent you have, as well as any children your siblings or cousins may have, going back four generations.”

That sounds like hyperbole, but this overview of the process from Phoenix Sperm Bank confirms the information you can expect to provide.

You’ll also get a physical exam that includes a blood test, urine test and DNA analysis, and screening for STIs including HIV. You won’t pay anything for this exam, and most clinics provide regular physicals as long as you’re a donor and possibly after.

4. Provide a Sample

If you pass the first two levels of the screening process, you’ll provide a semen sample for the clinic to test.

It’ll go through a fertility test for the kinds of things you’ve probably heard joked about on TV: sperm count and motility, and the overall health of the sperm.

In other words, what’s the likelihood this sperm can help conceive a baby?

Depending on the company, you might have to wait up to six months to find out whether your sperm passes this test. Semen samples are frozen and tested again after several months to make sure they can hold up in storage waiting for a buyer.

You don’t usually get paid for providing this sample, and the sperm bank won’t save it to sell to a recipient in the future.

5. Sign a Contract to Become a Sperm Donor

Eligible donor? Check. Healthy genetics? Check. Hearty sperm? Check!

You’ll be invited to become a sperm donor once you pass the full screening process, and you have to sign a contract with the donation center.

Depending on the clinic, the contract might include things like:

  • How often you’re expected to donate. Sperm banks prefer frequent donors, so your contract might require you to donate several times per month or even multiple times per week.
  • A requirement to abstain from sexual intercourse before donation. Presumably to ensure strong sperm samples, you could be asked not to have sex within a few days before donating sperm.
  • Payment terms. Your contract should spell out how much you’ll earn, and when and how you’ll be paid, plus any stipulations you have to meet.

6. Donate Regularly

You might be surprised to learn how often you’ll be expected to donate — but the rest of this part of the process is pretty much what all the TV and movies have prepared you to expect.

You can’t collect your semen from home and deliver it to the clinic. You have to visit the clinic and deposit your sample on site, in a private room and with access to pornography.

You’ll deposit the sample itself into a sterile container, and the sperm bank will freeze it until a recipient chooses your profile. Then it’s thawed and used for the artificial insemination process.

Are You Ready to Be a Sperm Donor?

Infertility isn’t an uncommon circumstance in the U.S. About 6% of married women, and 12% of women overall, between 15 and 44 years old have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, according to the CDC.

Sperm donation is one way to help them start the families they want, and the sperm banks all say the need for donors is high and growing.

The onboarding process is quite a bit more involved than most side gigs you’ll encounter, but the payoff is fair. If you’re accepted as a sperm donor, you could earn upward of $1,000 a month for a quick trip to the clinic about once a week.

Dana Sitar (@danasitar) has been writing and editing for online audiences since 2011, covering personal finance, careers and digital media.



Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Here’s How 3 Vintage Clothing Businesses Built Their Brands

It’s tempting to think that selling your old clothes on sites like Poshmark or ThredUp will immediately generate passive income that supports your brunch habit and annual rent increase.

But if you want long-term success and a recognizable brand that people return to, running a vintage resale business is anything but easy. It takes work, say small business owners who have done it. But it is possible.

We talked with three vintage clothing business owners about how they got their start, crafted their aesthetic and built their brand.

3 Sellers Making a Go in the Vintage Clothing Business

Sara DiNatale of Lucky 727 Vintage

Sara DiNatale has always loved secondhand clothing, so it makes sense that she spent a lot of time in thrift stores.

At first, she shopped for herself and bought items tailored to her tastes. But over time, she started to recognize what items were popular and trendy, even if she didn’t like them, like a Harley Davidson T-shirt.

“Maybe it wasn’t my aesthetic, but I knew that someone would totally die for this,” said DiNatale, who lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. “I did it enough times that I was like: ‘Why don’t I try this?’”

One of her first sales was a Dooney & Bourke vintage belt that she purchased on a bidding website for herself. When it arrived, she discovered that it didn’t fit. She resold the piece for more than double what she paid.

That was a teaching moment for DiNatale: She realized that there was money to be made in vintage. So she took the profits and invested them back into more vintage purchases that she would then sell.

For those starting out, she says, don’t take money straight out of your pocket. Either sell what you already own or invest what you’ve already earned into something else.

DiNatale partnered with a friend when she decided to officially start a vintage side-hustle. They chose clothing resale app Depop to start because DiNatale felt she knew their market and had a similar style.

A woman wearing vintage coveralls shows off other vintage items she sells on Depop and Etsy. The second photo is vintage shoes.
DiNatale loves secondhand clothing, so she started a side business selling vintage pieces with a friend in January 2020. Her biggest piece of advice: Know what sells. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

If she could do it over, she might not make the same choice. Depop’s audience skews young, she says, and doesn’t always see the value of spending a high price on an item, even if it’s a high-quality vintage piece. On Etsy, DiNatale has found she has a better chance at getting a buyer who understands the quality of the garment, but there is also more work involved with the platform.

DiNatale’s colleague came up with the name Lucky 727 Vintage, a play off of St. Petersburg’s area code. She and her partner chose to make a business name, partially because Depop requires it and partially because they wanted to interact online with customers as a single entity. They also made an Instagram page at Depop’s suggestion, although the Instagram account ended up working out as a separate revenue stream for local customers.

The vintage business is what you make of it, DiNatale said. Since starting in January 2020, Lucky 727 Vintage has sold 200 items, about evenly split between the two co-owners. On average, DiNatale makes about $100 a month in profit, although some months it comes out to much more than that.

DiNatale has learned some tricks:

  • First, make sure your product descriptions have appropriate information, like measurements and garment details. If someone has to message you to ask a question, they may no longer be interested by the time you respond.
  • Keep apprised of any changes to Depop’s interface through a sub-Reddit and watch for algorithm changes that could affect how your merchandise is promoted.
  • Most importantly: Know what sells. DiNatale is an avid Dr. Martens fan, and she knows that vintage Docs go quick and at a high cost. They are the rare item she will shell out for in advance, because she knows she’ll make a return.

Jenna Wu of Nanena Vintage

Jenna Wu didn’t always appreciate her love of thrifting. In fact, as a child, she was ashamed that she had to shop at thrift stores, a necessity in her low-income family.

It wasn’t until she got older that she realized thrifting could be cool. She was inspired by a friend who had an unconventional style but always looked amazing, and almost all of her clothes were thrifted. That turned Wu’s thinking, at the same time she started to look into the dangers of fast fashion and waste.

Now, Wu has come full circle. She runs a full-time business based in Portland, Ore., called Nanena Vintage, a play on her nickname of “Nena.” The perks of running a vintage clothing business are the flexibility — you set your own schedule — and the creativity of presenting and packaging the clothes to make them look as desirable as possible.

When Wu started thrifting for money, she was working in customer service and felt drained by her 9-to-5. Running a thrifting business was an artistic outlet that she actually enjoyed. Her partner encouraged her to pursue it full-time.

Jenna Wu, a vintage clothing entrepreneur, shows off some of her vintage clothing on a rack.
In 2019, Wu’s entire income from vintage was $5,000. It has increased since then, but she’s still unable to live independently off the money she makes from Nanena Vintage. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wu

Wu’s style gravitates toward feminine and classic pieces, but she tries to intersperse styles that are popular and trendy as well. She’s always keeping an eye on what people want to buy, but she’s also focused on the quality of the material and the uniqueness of the design. And there’s one thing she absolutely doesn’t do — streetwear.

When pricing, she takes into consideration how much time it takes to find what she calls a “gem” in a sea of mediocre items. All that time spent goes into the price a reseller will charge for a garment.

Wu started by selling her items on Depop and found success. She was selling at least one item a day. But a year in, she saw her sales drop off. She wasn’t sure why — had the algorithm changed? As sales continued to dwindle, she decided to switch to Instagram.

It was a learning curve at first.

“You just have to keep at it and keep going and then eventually people will find you,” she said.

Wu has a money-saving tip for anyone starting out: Create your own shipping labels rather than going to the post office.

And if you do want to go out on your own and make vintage a full-time business, be prepared for it to take time before becoming financially viable. When Wu first started, in 2019, her entire income from vintage for the year was $5,000. It has increased since then, but she’s still unable to live independently off the money she makes from Nanena Vintage. In December 2020, she made $1,200 in profit.

Lesson learned: If you want to transform your vintage clothing business from your side hustle to a full-time gig, save up in advance.

Esmeralda Castañeda of Esme Vintage Shop

For Esmeralda Castañeda, selling vintage clothes was initially a way to make money while in graduate school.

She learned the tricks of the trade by watching Youtube videos from longtime vintage sellers who had gotten their start on eBay. But she wanted to sell on a more aesthetic-driven forum — that’s why she initially chose Depop.

Like DiNatale, Castañeda recommends starting with selling your own clothes rather than buying clothes to sell. The first six months of her business were a lot of experimentation with where to shoot photos, how to style them and what backgrounds were best. But it’s harder to experiment if you’re depending on a return from your investment.

Castañeda doesn’t take her vintage reselling lightly — she recommends looking into when things were made and what to expect in material and fit based on the decade, because fakes do happen. Understanding the history behind the clothing helps to make your products better.

Castañeda doesn’t really have a defined style for the clothes she sells — instead, she tries to do a little bit of everything. Her website has designations for mod fashion, minimalist, romantic and classic. She says she skews more toward the romantic and minimalist side, but that’s largely because of what she finds in her local Indio, Calif., thrift stores.

“That’s the thing with vintage,” she says. “You really can’t dictate too much unless you are going to be exclusive. You’re not going to find enough to make a really good income. You really need to have a broader reach.”

Although Castañeda got her start on Depop, where she has almost 10,000 followers, she’s actually seen more of what she calls “influence” on Instagram. For those starting out, Castañeda recommends starting on Instagram and building a brand there. If you’re not finding success, Depop is a good way to have a built-in audience, but she finds Instagram better for building something long-term.

All three vintage business owners agree that making money with your vintage clothing business is totally dependent on how much you work. Some months, Castañeda says, she brings in as little as $500, while others can be as high as $3,000.

“A lot of people assume for some reason that this is passive income, but it’s not,” she says. “You do have to do something to get the income going.”

Elizabeth Djinis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com