5 (Must-Know) Tips for the New Blogger

You’ve heard everyone talking about it on Pinterest, and like most people, you may be a little skeptical. Blogging is becoming one of the top paying stay at home jobs. Seriously. On average, successful bloggers make between $1000-$5000 dollars per month. Of course, there are blogs that  make up to $30,000 per month. If you are looking to bring home some extra money every month, blogging is absolutely a great way to do so!

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Blogging is known for being the most flexible way to bring home big bucks. Seriously, the flexibility is what inspired me to begin blogging! I started this blog as a “side hustle” while working a normal 9-5 desk job. I loved that I could hop on the computer before bed and make money writing! Eventually (after many many intense google research sessions) I was able to support my family solely off my blogging income. I cannot tell you how incredible it was to quit my desk job! Blogging has truly allowed me to be involved in my family members lives. I am no longer missing out on important events due to work! Of course, my journey to blogging success wasn’t always a walk in the park. Here’s what I’ve learned!

It is impossible to blog without a hosting company. Okay, well, it is impossible to blog well. A hosting company is what allows your site to stay online 24/7. Even with heavy site traffic! When you register for Bluehost through my link you get a free domain name (mine is flippingpennies.com). You will be astounded at how much more traffic your blog gets when your pair WordPress with Bluehost!

Use Pinterest. Pinterest is becoming quite a tool for small businesses. Use Pinterest to promote your blog to other readers. Pick a “pin style” that corresponds well with the style of your blog. The pin style is the image pinners see , and picking one is crucial!  When developing a “Pin Style” for your blog images, I recommend using longer images to create a long pin. Only pick the best pictures from your article to pin! Comment and interact with your favorite bloggers through comments, and shared pins! Group boards are a fantastic way to get your content out there (check out mine, here. I am always looking for new contributors!)

Affiliate marketing rocks. An affiliate is when you have an advertising partnership with a company. For example, if you joined the Amazon affiliate company, you would insert links to products bought on Amazon throughout your blog posts. You get a percentage of money each time someone uses your link to complete a purchase. There are so many companies with affiliate marketing programs. You are sure to find something that works for your blog. TIP: When using affiliate links, make sure that you are advertising high quality products that you love. After all, everyone is trusting your opinion.

Check out Google Adsense. Adsense is my best friend. Seriously. Sign up for Google Adsense after you have filled your blog with content, and created a following on Pinterest. Place Adsense ads throughout your blog, and get paid by Google! Bloggers will either get paid through PayPal, or will get a monthly check in the mail. The more traffic your blog receives, the higher your payout is!

Be Patient. Blogging is not a way to “get rich quick.” It takes time to build a following, write quality posts, and figure out what exactly works for your blog. While all of this could take longer than desired, it is important to keep in mind that great things take time.

Have any of you tried blogging? Share your success stories in the comments! I would love to hear how you did it!

5 (Must-Know) Tips for the New Blogger

Traveling on A Budget: ITALY

If money is a bit of an issue, you don’t have to completely abandon your idea to travel to Italy! Believe it or not, it is absolutely possible to travel abroad on a budget. With a little planning ahead, some flexibility, and a desire to travel, anything is possible, even if you don’t have a plethora of cash!

When it comes to traveling, the first thing you want to have planned is your transportation. In most cases, you will likely have to fly to Italy. It is important to remain flexible with your dates and flight times. You can save hundreds of dollars if you fly at a time of day that would be less desirable to the general public. Anything to save a few bucks, right? Once in Italy, it’s extremely easy to visit all of your desired places on a budget. Italy has an extremely broad and developed train system. You can get pretty much anywhere in just a few hours time. There are bus and subway systems located in the larger cities, although these can be crowded. Walking is definitely the best option for avid sightseers!

When in Italy, accommodation can be cheap. Depending on the route you take, that is! Hostels are an inexpensive option for the young backpacker. They cost around 25 EUR a night, but are lacking when it comes to privacy. If you are looking for a little more privacy, but don’t want to spend a fortune at a local hotel, use AirBnb. AirBnB is a wonderful option for all travelers on a budget. Look for a place in the center of town, near convenience stores, tourist attractions, and yummy restaurants. If the only option you have is somewhere outside of town, look for a place with easy access to train or bus systems. It’ll definitely cut down on an stress you have when traveling through Italy!

The delicious food is what brings many travelers to Italy. But with delicious cuisine, comes higher prices. Before sitting down to eat, see if the restaurant or cafe charges a “coperta” fee. The fee is usually around  3 EUR, just for sitting down to look at the menu. Always look at the menu before sitting down to eat, and read to make sure you won’t be charged a fee. It is recommended to eat your main meal for lunchtime, and then have small snacks throughout the afternoon and evening. If you aren’t constantly eating out for every meal, you will notice a huge decrease in spending.  Of course, buying pizza by the slice is always an inexpensive (and delicious) option!

Of course, when traveling across the world, everyone wants to do some fun activities.  There are some free activities too! If you chose to stay at a hostel, see if they offer a free walking tour through the city, usually, just a tip for your guide is recommended. It’s recommended that you plan your travel time around the festival schedule. Consider going in February for the Venice Carnival, or over Christmas for the Rome Christmas market. Festivals are free to enjoy, and allow for a great insight into a culture. Do some investigating and see if the museums you are interested in seeing offer free admission for a time period or day of the week. Relax in Villa Borghese park in Rome for a free afternoon with a stunning view of the city.

Traveling on a budget is totally possible, and you may even find yourself in an area you wouldn’t have expected. Keep your mind open when it comes to accommodations, travel, and activities while traveling. You may come across something great!

5 Ways to Save $500

Making money is virtually everyone’s favorite pastime. However, sometimes saving money is so much more satisfying than simply making money.  Just relax for a moment, and imagine what you could do with an extra $500 dollars every month. If you chose to save it, you could be on your way to a vacation in paradise. Or maybe, the extra $500 can be used towards getting out of debt. Sometimes, it can even be used to do fun activities with your family. Because lets face it, what’s life without a little fun? If you’re interested in saving a little cash each month, here are five ways to cut your spending, and increase your savings.

Avoid The Grocery Store

I know, this sounds completely insane, but it isn’t as crazy as you’d think! For one week every month, forgo your trip to the grocery store. Your family members probably think they’re going to starve, but with a little creativity, that just isn’t possible! Use this week to fully use any items you have leftover in your pantry or freezer. Make meals with the leftover pasta, those frozen fruits and veggies, and all of those soup mixes you swear you’d make (but never did). Find fun recipes online to put your old items to good use, it will be so much easier to get through the week if your meals are yummy! At the end of the week, your savings should be anywhere from $60-$100 depending on the size of your family.


Summer is here, and a pedicure may be hard to scrimp on. This can be an expensive luxury, especially if you’re getting multiple a month! Instead of spending upwards of $25 on your next pedicure, try doing it at home! Pick a fun polish, and have a girls day with your daughters or friends! Don’t worry if your painting skills aren’t quite up to par, you’ll be a pro in no time! Hair cuts are another source of monthly expenses, especially if you’re adding hair coloring into the mix! Instead of dropping $150 at the salon, consider making an appointment at a hair school instead. The students are professional, and always have supervision. You can get a cut and color for under $50. Seriously, and all for a cut exactly like the one from your salon!

Sell Something

Bring a little more money into your home by selling something you don’t use much anymore. This could be things like clothes, furniture, or old electronics. You know that old iPod that is sitting in the drawer, broken, because it was dropped in some water? Most times, many parts are salvageable, even if it does have water damage. You can sell old Macbooks (that are broken) for $475. What an easy way to make some money! Not only does selling these items help cushion your bank account, but because many of the parts are being used in other models, you’re recycling and cutting down on contributing these items to landfills.

Prorate Utilities

If you notice that your utility bill seems to spike during certain months or seasons, it may be time to prorate your service. When you prorate your service, you are able to predict your monthly utility bills. This allows you to budget more effectively, and gives you a heads up when there is a spike in your bill. Depending on the time of year, you could save hundreds with this method.

Cell Phone 

Don’t worry, we aren’t telling you to completely ditch your cell phone. We are telling you to ditch the expensive phone plans! It sounds like a headache, but it could really be worth your while. Downgrade to a lower plan that could save you between $10-$20 every month. This is perfect if you find that you aren’t using all of your monthly data, why pay for an expensive plan if you don’t even use all that is allowed? There are tons of plans out there that cost $30 per month for a basic phone plan and data limit. Also, don’t upgrade your phone every two years. While this seems like a killer deal, there are tons of hidden fees!

Saving $500 a month has never been so easy with these tips. What are some other ways you save money every month?

5 Ways to Save $500

10 Bad Credit Card Habits and How to Avoid Them

I talked about some of the benefits of credit cards in a recent post, but now I want to go over the dangers. Credit cards have their place and can make life simpler and give you great rewards if you use them correctly.  Just be sure that you are disciplined and know the credit card pitfalls so you can avoid them. Here are 10 credit card habits that can be bad for your pocketbook. 1. Charging Everything to Your Card I will be the first to admit that shopping with a credit card is by far the easiest way, but it’s also the most dangerous. Whenever you are shocked by your bills at the end of the month it’s almost always because you spent more money than you expected or had budgeted.  Be sure to have a budget, and know exactly what is going on the credit card, and keep track of your expenses. That way at the end of the month there will be no surprises when it comes time to pay off the balance.  Charging everything to your card each month can work for some, but not if you aren’t careful. 2. Late Payments Or, the credit card trap! You don’t need to be spending extra money for no reason, but any time you skip a payment or forget to pay it on time that is exactly what you are doing. Don’t allow the credit card companies to charge you interest.  It’s a good idea to set reminders, or set up automatic bill pay so that you can never miss a payment by mistake.  Not only are you charged a late charge, and interest if not paid on time, but most credit card companies will raise the interest rate on your card if you are late making payments.  It will continue to cost you more and more money.  Be punctual with those payments! 3. Having Too Many Credit Card Accounts If you have too many open credit card accounts you may forget which cards have a balance on them, or what you need to pay off. Too many open lines of credit can also harm your credit.  Credit cards are a great way to build your credit score and history, but be selective in the cards that you have.  For best results, use them to show activity on them, and then pay them off. 4. Not Reading Your Statements Be on top of that statement and know exactly what every charge is for. This way you can easily detect if there are any mistakes, or expenses that you didn’t make. I have been double charged by businesses and also had fraudulent activity on my credit cards in the past, so it is important to watch those statements.  It will also help you be aware of your spending and know exactly where your money is going. 5. Making Only Minimum Payments  If you are only making minimum payments on your credit card, you may never get them paid off.  Credit cards are designed to make the CREDITOR a lot of money, not you.  If you are only paying the minimum payment, and consistently using your credit card, it may be hard to climb out of your credit card hole.  Be careful to pay off the balances each month, if you can.  If you can’t, try to budget how much extra you can pay each month to bring the balance down as quickly as possible.  You will pay a lot more interest than you should if you just pay minimum payments each month. 6. Using Your Credit Card for Unnecessary Purchases Your credit card should be used wisely and when needed not for your random “fun” purchases. The best way to keep unnecessary purchases under control is to decide how much each month can be used for “extras” then take out that amount in cash. That way you know that you aren’t spending too much money on things that you really didn’t need to buy. 7. Buying Things You Can’t Afford This can go along with #6, but is a little different. It is probably the worst credit card habit.  If you don’t have the money…DON’T BUY IT. No questions asked. It is too easy to charge a big amount to your credit card, and think “I’ll pay it off eventually”. This is the credit trap. You don’t want to rack up credit card debt this way…especially if a real emergency happens, such as medical bills, and then you really have no way out. 8. Maxing Out a Credit Card Believe it or not, having maxed out credit cards hurts your credit score.  The best way to keep your credit score high, is to never let the balance stay over half of the available credit limit.  Keep your debt to available credit ratio at less than 50% or it can negatively affect your credit score. You always want to have more available to you than what you owe. 9. Using it for a Cash Advance Are you low on cash? Taking a cash advance from a credit card may be tempting, but it is very costly.  Be sure to read the terms and conditions.  In most cases, there is a cash advance fee, and a high interest rate for cash advances.  Also, the cash advance interest rate begins accruing immediately (daily), and not after the statement.   It is expensive money, so unless you have no other options, cash advances are not a “smart money move.” 10. Letting Other People Use Your Credit Cards Whether it’s family or friends you trust every transaction is being linked to you, so if for whatever reason they can’t pay you back that amount in time then it will be shown on YOUR credit report and history.  Be careful and don’t trust others with your credit.

Here are some great tips and other money-saving options!

How to Budget When You Don’t Make Enough Money

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12 Ways to Reduce Your Utility Bill

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

How to Make Money Blogging

50 Ways to Make Money From Home

10 Bad Credit Card Habits and How to Avoid Them