Zebra Insurance Review Reveals Good and Bad

Kids these days may never know the pain of spending hours pouring through web pages to generate various auto insurance quotes or (gasp!) having to actually call and talk to insurance agents about what kinds of premiums they could offer. That’s because of the advent of car insurance comparison sites like The Zebra. Our Zebra insurance review shows the site is a good place to start your search but it may not have all the answers you need.

How The Zebra Got Its Stripes

The Zebra was started nearly a decade ago, back in 2012, building off the astronomical success of Google and mirroring the structure of travel sites such as Priceline, Hotwire and Kayak. The difference? The Zebra allows users to compare rates for insurance. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and as part of its “All Stripes Are Welcome” mantra, is very focused on diversity and inclusion.

Initially, The Zebra specialized exclusively in auto insurance (and this Zebra insurance review is primarily concerned with The Zebra’s performance in the realm of car insurance providers), but in recent years, the insurance comparison company has branched out to renters insurance, homeowners insurance and life insurance. And on the horizon: RV insurance, boat insurance and more.

Since its inception, The Zebra website has produced more than 6.5 million insurance quotes. Currently, The Zebra’s provider partnerships total more than 200 car insurance companies, including big names like USAA, Progressive, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, All State, Erie, Esurance, Nationwide and Metlife. The Zebra promises that it has no allegiances to any auto insurance providers, though my experience (detailed in the next section) suggests otherwise.

Fun Fact: Last year, The Zebra became the first U.S. employer to cover employees’ pet adoption fees. (No zebra adoptions permitted — yet.)

How The Zebra Works: A Review

Getting a car insurance quote from The Zebra takes fewer than five minutes. In fact, I was able to generate three sample auto insurance quotes in under 10.

Ready to see your personalized auto insurance rates? Here’s what you’ll need to input on the site:

  • Your ZIP code. To begin the process, The Zebra needs to know where you live. Car insurance laws and policies vary from state to state, so it’s important to choose the state in which you are actually licensed. (So if you’re going to school in Kentucky but still have Mom’s address in Ohio, you’ll technically need to use your mother’s ZIP code back home.)
  • The basics. After inputting your ZIP code, The Zebra will want some basic details. You’ll need to specify whether you have auto insurance, whether you own or rent (and type of home) and why you are shopping for car insurance.
  • Your vehicle details. Not only will you need to input your year, make and model, but you will also need the trim details. Depending on the manufacturer, you may also need to know which engine or drivetrain you have, as some automakers include those in trim distinctions. If you need to insure more than one vehicle on the policy, you have the option to add up to four more. Next, you need to input information about that vehicle: whether you own or lease the vehicle, how you use it and the number of miles you drive each year.
  • The drivers. To start, fill in the information about yourself: first and last name, birthdate and address. Then, you’ll need to specify gender (Note: Despite being a company that prides itself on diversity, The Zebra currently only has options for “male” and “female”), marital status, credit score range*, level of education, how long you have been continuously insured, current insurance provider, bodily injury limits of your current coverage and details about any accidents or tickets you’ve received in the last three years. If you indicate that you are married, you must include information about your spouse. You also have the option to add others to your auto insurance policy, such as domestic partners or children.

*Credit score options include Excellent (720+), Good (680 to 719), Average (580 to 679) and Poor (below 580). The Zebra prompts you to select “Good” if you don’t know your credit score, but you better believe that they will be pulling your credit score before actually letting you sign on the (digital) dotted line.

After inputting your information, The Zebra will take a few moments to calculate auto insurance quotes for you. Each time I generated a quote, I was shown results in ascending order of price, with the cheapest on top. (Each time, Progressive also had an unpriced quote at the very top of every fake quote I generated, which seemed to be a sketchy paid placement. So much for that no allegiance thing.)

A progressive ad appears.
This “ad” appeared at the top of every search that was conducted.

Once you have your auto insurance quotes, you can use the “Explore quotes at $XX/$XX bodily injury limits” link at the top to customize whether you view their Minimum, Basic, Better or Best coverage options. That’s helpful for those who like to be hands off, but if you want to customize your coverage beyond that (perhaps you want everything provided in Basic coverage but want to add roadside assistance, which doesn’t kick in unless you upgrade to Better), you’ll have to work with each insurance company directly.

This screen grab shows steps to building your policy.
Being able to select a level of coverage is nice as a starting point, but I wish you could then go in and further customize to your liking.

For each quote you are provided, you can see the name of the insurance company and the price in a big blue bubble. If you want more information, you can click the small “What’s covered” language, which I missed when creating my first two insurance quotes. The bright blue is definitely meant to draw your eyes so you immediately click into the quote without reading the fine print: a solid user experience decision or shady business practice? The jury’s out.

When you expand “What’s covered,” The Zebra does an excellent job of providing an overview on — what else? — the Overview tab. On the left is a paragraph about the auto insurance company for those who prefer their information that way while the right is for visual learners, with brief phrases about the benefits of the insurance policy and helpful iconography.

The “What’s covered” pop-out also has tabs on coverage and pricing. The coverage tab shows you whether this quote includes auto insurance options such as bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist bodily, uninsured motorist property, personal injury protection (PIP), collision (and its deductible), comprehensive (and its deductible), roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.

Here is where The Zebra could really be improved; I’d love to be able to see that the policy I’m looking at has, for example, a $1,000 deductible for collision and comprehensive and no coverage for rental reimbursement and then be able to edit to my liking. Then, the associated rate would dynamically update to reflect that change. Alas, that is not offered.

Finally, the pricing tab shows policy length, the first month price, how much you’ll pay in future months and the pay-in-full price.

Sample Quotes from The Zebra

To understand what the insurance comparison experience and pricing were like with The Zebra site, I created three auto insurance quotes: one for single 30-year-old Joe Schmoe, one for elderly married couple Johnny Tsunami and Daisy Duke and one for young college student Minerva McGonagall (because why not).

Quote #1

The first quote, for Joe Schmoe, was built off my own data:

  • Own a house
  • 30 years old
  • Owns a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek that is fully paid off
  • Unmarried
  • Excellent credit score
  • Male
  • 5,000 miles a year (I’ve been working from home for three years, and my odometer is happy with that decision)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Discounts: Employed full-time, paperless billing and auto-pay

Here were the top auto insurance quotes this profile generated:

One of the quotes generated from Zebra Insurance comparison.

These insurance rates are in line with what I currently pay, so The Zebra seems right on the money here. But as far as its claim that it can save me money on my current auto insurance rate? Not so much.

Quote #2

For the second quote, I used happily married Johnny Tsunami and Daisy Duke:

  • Own a condo
  • Early 60s
  • Making payments on a 2020 BMW 7 Series (they have expensive tastes)
  • Married
  • Excellent credit score
  • Male and female
  • 12,000 miles a year
  • Master’s degree
  • Discounts: Employed full-time, paperless, auto-pay and pay in full upfront

This couple received the following auto insurance quotes:

One of the quotes generated from Zebra Insurance comparison.

Quote #3

Finally, Minerve McGonagall, who is putting herself through school, input the following details for her auto insurance quote:

  • Rents an apartment
  • 22 years old
  • Makes payments on a 2009 Chevy Cobalt
  • Unmarried
  • Average credit score
  • Female
  • 15,000 miles a year
  • One accident and two tickets on her record
  • Some college but no degree yet
  • Discounts: Employed full-time and paperless billing (is not comfortable with auto-pay)

The Zebra generated these quotes for this driver:

One of the quotes generated from Zebra Insurance comparison.

The Zebra claims it can save drivers up to $670 a year on auto insurance. That, I cannot verify. I can only share that what The Zebra quoted me is in line with my current insurance rate, so I wouldn’t get any savings.

What We Like About The Zebra

The Zebra’s insurance comparison is certainly an excellent tool to get a sense for what you will need to pay for insurance and compare quotes. At the least, you can use the information from The Zebra to make an informed decision when shopping for insurance directly with providers.

Here’s what I liked about The Zebra

  • It was fast and easy to get my quotes.
  • It detailed the discounts I was eligible for. Discounts include the following: paperless delivery, multi-vehicle, auto-pay, safe driver, pay in full, currently insured, currently employed, low mileage, excellent/good credit, and homeownership.
  • It provides a good foundation for your research.

What We Don’t Like About The Zebra

That said, there was a fair amount I didn’t like about The Zebra:

  • The Zebra works with over 200 auto insurance companies, but I probably couldn’t name more than 10 car insurance companies myself. Some of the companies suggested to me were brands I’d never heard of, and when it comes to something as important as car insurance, brand recognition is important to me as a shopper.
  • I couldn’t customize my coverage. If you are the type of savvy shopper who knows how much insurance you need and the exact deductibles and add-ons you’d like, this tool isn’t for you.
  • The Zebra patently lies about spam, and I have the receipts to prove it.

My Experience with The Zebra and Spam

I don’t like to give my email address out to just anybody (call me old-fashioned), so I was apprehensive when completing my fake quotes. But I’m a millennial consumer who knows the deal so I entered my email address.

Besides, The Zebra assured me they wouldn’t spam me. No, really:

A saying that says they won't send you spam.

But as soon as The Zebra had generated my quotes, my phone lit up with the sound of unwanted communication. It took just seconds for two emails to enter my inbox:

Spam from Geico.
It was at this moment that I realized I’d have to come clean about getting my first quote as Joe Schmoe in my review.

I did read online in a Better Business Bureau thread that, at one time, The Zebra used to require phone numbers for a quote and would immediately place spam phone calls (sometimes before users could read the quotes they were just provided), but The Zebra acknowledged that this was less than ideal and has since removed the phone number requirement in its auto insurance quote process.

What Customers Are Saying About The Zebra

So The Zebra’s insurance comparison site didn’t seem right for me, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not a great resource for others. At the least, I do maintain it’s a good tool for preliminary research. Perhaps I’m just old-school, but I want to do more digging and customization on my own to make sure I’m getting the best deal.

But all in all, The Zebra has wonderful customer reviews. It’s got a great score on BBB (an A, currently) and a 4.8 out of 5 overall satisfaction rating on Shopper Approved (with 1,683 5-star reviews out of 1,989 ratings total, at time of writing). Across the board, customer reviews on Shopper Approved highlight users’ satisfaction with The Zebra’s products, price and customer service.

With that said, it’s worth giving The Zebra a shot, if only to see what kinds of quotes you might get and then supplement with additional research. And if you’re worried about the spam, here’s a tip from a friend: You can still see the quotes even if you provide a fake email.

Timothy Moore is a market research editing and graphic design manager and a freelance writer and editor covering topics on personal finance, travel, careers, education, pet care and automotive. He has worked in the field since 2012 with publications like The Penny Hoarder, Debt.com, Ladders, WDW Magazine, Glassdoor and The News Wheel. 

<!–

–>



Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Getting an RV Loan: What You Should Expect

An RV’s steep price tag means owners rely heavily on financing. Lenders include online and traditional banks, credit unions and RV dealerships. Here’s what you should keep in mind about RV loans.   

Loan terms are longer. Some RV loans rival home mortgages, with repayment periods ranging from 10 to 20 years for amounts that can sometimes top $500,000. Aim for a loan with the shortest possible term that you can manage.

Lenders are more stringent. The more you need to borrow, the more a lender will require of you, says Gary Ocallaghan, finance director at Gerzeny’s RV World, a dealership with four locations in Florida. “Once you go over the $150,000 mark, you will need to provide additional documentation,” he says, including credit information, tax returns and personal financial statements. The buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, including the projected RV loan payment, must be under 50%, he adds.

Down payments are bigger. Most lenders require a minimum down payment of 10% of the sales price, says Ocallaghan. 

Credit scores are higher. A good credit score for a car loan is typically 660 or better, but the bar is higher for RVs. You’ll need a credit score of at least 700, Ocallaghan says. “If your score is under 700, it is difficult to obtain approval.” Although his company works with many lenders, Ocallaghan knows of only two that would approve RV financing for borrowers with credit scores below 700. 

The RV often serves as collateral. Most RV lenders will only consider a secured loan that uses the RV as collateral. Secured loans are easier to obtain, charge lower interest rates and have higher borrowing amounts than unsecured loans, which lenders consider riskier. Interest rates for secured loans recently ranged from 4.2% to nearly 8% at various banks and credit unions, depending on borrowing amounts and the loan term.

Older RVs are harder to finance. Generally, lenders won’t finance RVs that are more than 15 years old. If you are buying an older RV, you may want to consider a personal unsecured loan. Lenders may also require an RV inspection, which ranges from $150 to $1,200 depending on the vehicle.

Source: kiplinger.com

Picking the Kind of Home That’s Right for You

Ready to shop for homes, but overwhelmed by listing descriptions or not sure which type of home is right for you? Homes can be classified in two ways, either by the type or style of the house. The type of house refers to the building structure, while the house style is based on the architectural elements that make up the overall design.

Knowing the different types of houses and styles available can help you make an informed decision on your next home or allow you to better understand your current residence. Learn more about all the types of houses available with names and pictures below.

Single-family home 

A single-family home is a standalone, detached house used as a single dwelling unit, meaning a residence for one family, person or household. It has its own private entrance and direct street access, and is built on its own land, usually with additional yard space. According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019, 77% of home buyers purchase a single-family detached home, and the typical single-family home purchased is a 3 bedroom, 2.2 bath, 2,000 square foot home. Among renters surveyed, 26% rented a single-family detached home

Multi-family home 

 A picture of a type of multifamily home.

If a structure includes more than one collection of living spaces with separate entrances and privacy, it’s a multi-family home. The term multi-family home can be applied to any structure with more than one independent dwelling space, from a simple duplex to a sprawling apartment building.

Apartment

An apartment is a type of housing unit that shares walls with a similar unit where three or more residences are contained within a larger structure. The apartment building usually has one or more levels and oftentimes includes shared spaces like a gym, pool, playground, laundry room or game room.

Apartments can be found all over the world and are generally located conveniently within more urban areas. They are typically owned by a landlord or property manager and rented out to tenants under agreed upon terms. The owner may choose to furnish the units or allow the tenant to furnish their own apartment. The size of an apartment can range from a studio with a single living space to units with three or more bedrooms.

Condo

An owner-occupied apartment is generally referred to as a condominium or condo. The public common areas are jointly-owned and usually managed by a homeowners association (HOA). Residents must pay a fee to the association to maintain the public spaces, while the physical condo unit is owned outright by the resident.

Condo equivalents can be found in many countries. The first to be built in the U.S. was in Salt Lake City, Utah in the 1960s. Since then, condos have become a familiar type of house and a more affordable option for homeowners who don’t want the additional upkeep that comes with a single-family home.

Co-op housing

A cooperative, or co-op, is a type of housing that is actually a corporation. A co-op resembles a condominium but the unit owners do not own their unit outright. Each resident owns a share in a corporation that entitles them to live in one of the units under a lease agreement.

Co-ops are generally less expensive than an apartment, making them an attractive option in more expensive urban areas like New York City. However, Homeowners Association (HOA) fees that are paid to the co-op to take care of maintenance, landscaping and rules may be a bit higher than those paid on a condo.

Duplex 

A duplex is a single structure with two private living spaces that share a wall. While a duplex is considered one property, it may be sold to two separate owners (similar to a twin home). If there are two owners, they must cooperate on decisions regarding the property.

Twin home 

A picture of a type of twin home.

A twin home is sold as two properties on two separate lots. You might share a wall with the person next to you in a twin home; otherwise, the owners are free to treat their side of the structure and their lot as they wish.

Townhouse

A townhome, or townhouse, “shares at least one wall with another home. Mostly found in urban areas, they became popular in the early 19th century due to limited space and the financial benefits for the architect or builder because they could be built quickly on a smaller area of land. They have a “row-house” design; they are typically two stories or more with a traditional layout, side hallways and minimal lawn space. Unlike row houses, townhomes can be arranged in clusters or lines that aren’t parallel to the road.

Row house

A picture of a type of row house.

A row house specifically refers to attached homes that line up along a street, in a row, and that shares at least one wall with another home. 

Manufactured home 

A picture of a type of manufactured home.

A manufactured home is ready to be lived in when it leaves the factory. A manufactured home is not a modular home because it can be moved after construction.

Prefab

A prefabricated home, or a “prefab”, is constructed in pieces which are then assembled on-site.

Modular home

The term modular home refers to houses that are built off-site, and placed on a permanent foundation (and includes prefab). According to Andy Gianino, a builder of modular homes and the author of “The Modular Home,” most modular homes are between 12 feet and 15 feet, 9 inches wide, and up to 60 feet long, which allows for transportation of the pieces via truck. A manufactured home is not a modular home because it can be moved after construction. 

Motorhome 

A motorhome or RV is a home on wheels that can be easily moved from place to place. The most common size of motorhome (Class C-25) is 23 to 25 feet long and can sleep a family of five.

Mobile home 

A picture of a type of mobile home.

A mobile home is less mobile than a motorhome or RV. Mobile homes (also called trailers) are generally placed in one location for permanent living. They come in two standard sizes: singlewide (typically 18 feet wide or less and 90 feet long or less) and doublewide (typically 20 feet wide and 90 feet long or less).

Houseboat

A houseboat is like a motorhome on water; it’s self-propelled and can be driven like a boat. 

Floating home

A picture of a type of floating home.

A floating home is a home on the water that floats on a foundation of logs, Styrofoam and/or concrete. Floating homes are permanently connected to a dock where they’re hooked up to electrical and sewage.

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

A picture of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) type of house.

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a small standalone structure that is added to a residential property, usually serving as its own separate living unit. They’re commonly called guesthouses, in-law apartment, and backyard cottage. In most cities, the minimum size for an ADU on a residential property is around 800 square feet. To get around these restrictions, the first tiny home builders constructed their dwellings on wheels, so they could park them on their property like an RV.

Tiny home

 A picture of a type of tiny home.

A tiny home or tiny house is a standalone structure, typically between 100 and 400 square feet. Most tiny homes are built on wheels, but they aren’t necessarily meant to be mobile. Some say tiny homes and tiny houses are the same thing. Others argue a tiny house is any small living space, including RVs, vans, sheds, boats, etc. When in doubt, call the 400-square-foot-or-less structures on wheels tiny homes.

Mansion 

A picture of a type of mansion.

A mansion is a very large house; somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 square feet. But the specifics of what qualifies vary based on opinion and location. A mansion in Manhattan might be 3,000 square feet while a house in Atlanta would need to be much bigger to qualify. A mansion is also defined by luxury: tennis courts, large open foyers, grand staircases, crystal chandeliers.

McMansion

McMansion is generally used to describe a large, recently built, multi-story, often cookie-cutter house with no clear architectural style other than it’s sheer mass in size. There is no real clear definition. Some refer to a McMansion as an oversized and cheaply built house and others may refer to it as a structure that replaces a smaller-sized house making the home too big for its lot. The term “McMansion” was said to be coined sometime in the early 1980s, and this type of home seemed to fall out of trend sometime around the 2010s.

For more resources on buying a home, start here or read our tips on how to Level Up Your Zillow Home Search.

Source: zillow.com

How Does Renters Insurance Work?

If you want to know how renters insurance works, you’re in luck. Renters insurance is not only one of the most straightforward types of insurance to purchase, but it’s also quite affordable. Renters insurance protects you in a wide variety of circumstances, from coverage if your laptop is stolen out of your car, to medical payments for your friend who manages to fall and hurt themselves in your kitchen. 

America’s top-rated renters insurance

  • Policies starting at just $5/month
  • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
  • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

While renters insurance is generally clear-cut, there are basics you should understand as you begin shopping for premiums. And knowing what isn’t covered by renters insurance is as important as knowing what is.

In this article

Do I need renters insurance? 

Obtaining a renters insurance policy makes sound financial sense. Yet an alarming number of renters choose not to obtain one. It could be because there is confusion surrounding the need for a policy. Renters commonly assume landlord’s insurance covers property damage, but this is false. Landlord’s insurance only covers the physical structure of the property, whereas renters insurance covers all the belongings located inside and personal liability.

Many landlords require you to carry renters insurance, but even if they don’t require it, the coverage is not very expensive. For an average cost of $180 per year, your belongings are covered if there’s damage from a wide variety of events. Your belongings can be replaced and your property repaired with help from a policy, not to mention the liability protection a policy provides. 

If you have any items worth protecting, or have pets and visitors, then a renters policy is worth the investment for your financial protection.

What does renters insurance cover? 

Renters insurance covers your personal property. But the policy goes further and also provides personal liability and medical payments in case someone is hurt inside your rental or as a result of an accident you caused. 

Another essential coverage category is the additional living expense (ALE) or loss-of-use. This coverage kicks in if you have to vacate your rental due to damage such as water or fire damage. It provides reimbursement if you have to live elsewhere and incur expenses for hotel bills, temporary rentals, meals and other living expenses. 

Renters insurance provides coverage for several major categories, but there are a few more areas a policy provides greater protection.

  • Credit cards and forgery: Most policies include protection if your debit or credit card is stolen or you’re a victim of fraud (including identity theft).
  • Food spoilage: If your refrigerator dies, the power is out or you’re forced out of your rental due to damage, your policy reimburses you for food lost.
  • Replacement value: Another option with renters insurance is choosing Replacement Value (RV) versus Actual Cost Value (ACV). When an item is damaged in your rental due to a covered event and it needs to be replaced, the renters insurance claim payout would either be RV or ACV. If you choose RV, you receive more of a payout, but your premiums are more expensive.
  • Personal belongings located elsewhere: If you have personal property located off-premise, it’s still covered by property damage. For instance, if your mountain bike is stored in a storage unit and it’s damaged, it’s covered.

[Read: Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units?]

What renters insurance doesn’t cover 

There are situations when renters insurance does not provide coverage — and you don’t want to be caught assuming you’re covered. The good news is, even if something is excluded, there are typically policy add-ons available to make your policy more comprehensive.

  • Natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes: Although most policies cover a long list of natural disasters, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and sinkholes are excluded. If you live in an area where these excluded disasters occur, talk to your agent about adding the coverage to your policy.
  • Pest damage: If your rental is damaged by bedbugs, termites, rodents or any other creepy crawling insects, your policy does not cover this. However, some insurance carriers offer optional protection against bedbugs and other critters.
  • Your roommates: A rental insurance policy only provides coverage for the person whose name is on the policy. This often excludes roommates, unless you sign a join-renters insurance policy together.
  • Your high-value items: Any items worth a certain amount, usually $1,500 or higher, are considered high-value. You need additional coverage added, otherwise the item is excluded. This applies to items such as jewelry, antiques, equipment and electronics.
  • Damage from pets: Damage from your cats and dogs inside your rental is not covered. For instance, if your furbaby chews through the walls of your rental then you’re responsible for the damage. However, if this same furbaby bites your neighbor, any necessary medical treatment would be covered by your policy.

[Read: Defending Against Porch Pirates: What to Do about Package Thefts]

America’s top-rated renters insurance

  • Policies starting at just $5/month
  • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
  • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

What to look out for when shopping for renters insurance 

Like other insurance products, there are specific items you should look for to ensure you’re getting the best policy for your financial situation. For starters, confirm the limits of the renters insurance payouts. Each category has different payout limits, which is the maximum amount paid for a claim. Make sure these limits aren’t too low or too high, and provide the right amount of coverage. 

The liability coverage should provide enough protection to equal your net worth. Your net worth is the value of your assets — such as retirement accounts, savings, cars you own free and clear  —  minus your debt. So if your net worth is $300,000, then your liability coverage should be at least this amount. The reason is to protect you in case of a lawsuit from an at-fault accident. If your net worth is higher than $300,000, the Insurance Information Institute recommends obtaining an additional liability policy.

Your property damage limit should be high enough to cover replacement of your belongings.

Comparison shopping is a smart tactic to make sure you get the coverage you need. Comparing renters insurance policies not only gives you the most competitive cost on your policy, but your agent can guide you to get the most comprehensive coverage.

[Read: 3 Reasons Why You Should Get Flood Insurance] 

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

GEICO Insurance Review

  • Car Insurance

Founded way back in 1936, GEICO is the second-largest auto insurance company in the United States behind State Farm. It has worked its way into the public consciousness thanks to an unforgettable series of commercials featuring the shenanigans of a Cockney gecko and is the preferred choice for millions of Americans.

Find your best rate on Car Insurance!

Attention: Still Open During the Financial Crisis…

Tip: Act now to see if you qualify for lower rates!

Compare free personalized quotes from the nation’s top providers.

As a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, with revenue of nearly $25,500 billion and over 15 million auto insurance policyholders, GEICO has few equals for size, reputation, and reach. The question is, how does GEICO’s car insurance products stack-up to its competitors? In this GEICO insurance review, we aim to find out.

Types of GEICO Auto Insurance

​You can purchase all of the following insurance products from GEICO:

Vehicle Insurance

Get liability (property damage and bodily injury) coverage for cars, motorbikes, ATVs, and boats. The bulk of this GEICO insurance review relates to this type of vehicle cover and when it comes to standard vehicle insurance, you will struggle to find a cheaper and higher-rated provider.

Includes mechanical breakdown insurance, which covers repairs and replacements for all mechanical faults on cars that are less than 15 months old and have driven less than 15,000 miles.

RV Insurance

Complete cover for motorized and towable recreational vehicles in most states. RV owners can get “total loss replacement” cover, whereby they will be provided with a new RV (fitted with comparable equipment and features) if their vehicle is a total loss within the first four years, with additional payout options if the vehicle experiences a total loss through to the 7th year.

Other features of this auto insurance policy include bodily injury and property damage relating to vehicles and vacation sites; emergency expense cover to pay for hotel stays as and when needed; unique windshield replacement programs, and medical payment coverage for accidents, with the latter offered regardless of who is at fault.

The exact coverage you’re offered, and its limits, will depend on your individual policy, which in turn will depend on everything from your state to your driving record and the type of RV you drive.

Rideshare Insurance

Recent estimations suggest there could be as many as 2 million rideshare drivers in the United States. Some of these are working part-time, earning a consistent wage as part of the growing gig economy. But many are working for just a few hours a week, doing what they can to scrape together some extra dollars, whether because they have debts to repay, college fees to cover or an expensive life to lead.

In all cases, drivers can apply for rideshare insurance from GEICO. This is a specific type of car insurance tailored towards drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft.

Due to the quirks of auto insurance, you may not be covered if you have an accident while using your car commercially or if there is any damage to the interior. With rideshare insurance, you should be covered, and GEICO offers reasonable insurance rates all-round.

Classic Car Insurance

Classic cars are not ideally suited for typical car insurance policies. They often lack the safety features and anti-theft features that can reduce the price of insurance premiums, and they may also be expensive to repair due to rare parts.

That’s where classic car insurance comes in. Your car or cars will be covered for a fixed value, which means you don’t need to worry about depreciation, and you can also get low deductibles for an affordable price.

Other Types of Insurance

In addition to car insurance, GEICO also offers all the following insurance products, and just like GEICO car insurance, these products are available at highly competitive rates:

  • Property Insurance: Home insurance, renters insurance, condo insurance, and more. GEICO will cover your property and/or the contents, and if you purchase this product alongside car insurance, you can pick up a bundling discount.
  • Business Insurance: Professional liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and more. If you have a business, it’s imperative that you get cover just in case you suffer any losses or legal issues.
  • Umbrella Insurance: An umbrella policy will cover you in excess of the standard liability and may provide coverage for losses that are not covered elsewhere.
  • Travel insurance: Get protection for when you travel with GEICO travel insurance. If your baggage is lost, your flight is canceled or there are any other issues resulting in a loss of money, you might be covered.
  • Life Insurance: Get term-life insurance from one of the country’s biggest supplies. You can get a substantial death benefit for a low monthly premium, and GEICO offers a term of between 5 and 30 years.
  • Pet Insurance: GEICO can insure your pets against harm. It’s health insurance, but for pets, so if anything happens to them and they need medical care, that care will be covered by GEICO once you pay the deductible.

GEICO Insurance Coverage and Features

GEICO is one of the few truly nationwide insurance companies, as it offers products in all 50 states. It offers great rates for all coverage options, include liability and PIP, and it also provides a few unique, standout features:

Car Buying Service

Use the GEICO Car Buying Service to see what other drivers are paying for vehicles similar to the one you want to purchase. This service helps when buying a new car, allowing you to save money on the vehicle of your choice.

Mobile App

GEICO has fully embraced the digital age and has a full-featured mobile app that policyholders can use to manage their auto insurance policy. It’s a simple way to keep everything in check and you can even use the GEICO app to make a claim and to get a quote in the future.

Prime Time

A Prime Time Contract is offered to senior drivers over the age of 50, providing they don’t have any drivers under the age of 25 in their household, have had no accidents in the last three years, and don’t use any of their vehicles for business purposes.

This contract will guarantee renewal year after year, which protects drivers from issues that would otherwise prevent them from getting a renewal, including traffic violations and other high-risk red flags.

Auto Repair Xpress

GEICO offers a number of benefits when you choose to have your car repaired at a GEICO approved Auto Repair Xpress facility. This will guarantee your repairs for the life of the vehicle and gives you a little extra peace of mind.

GEICO Insurance Cost

GEICO is consistently the cheapest of all major car insurance providers in the United States. We have previously compared it to Progressive, Allstate, Nationwide, State Farm, and more, finding that GEICO has by far the lowest rates for average policyholders and those with a good driving record.

It also has some of the cheapest rates for senior drivers and young drivers.

However, it won’t always be the cheapest provider. As noted in our guide to the cheapest car insurance by state, local insurers lead the way in a handful of states and there are also provided by USAA that will nearly always have cheaper solutions for specific applicants (military members, in this case).

Most users will get the cheapest quotes at GEICO.com and through GEICO agents; everyone else will be offered consistently low rates. As a result, you should always get car insurance quotes from GEICO when looking for the best rates.

GEICO Insurance Discounts

One of the reasons GEICO has some of the lowest premiums of any providers is because it offers a plethora of discounts. These are driver-specific benefits that can reduce rates, with reductions that can range from just a few dollars all the way to a combined discount of 90%! The discounts offered by GEICO include:

  • Vehicle Equipment: Safety equipment like airbags, seat belts, anti-lock brakes, and anti-theft systems could save up to 25%. In fact, if your vehicle has both front and side airbags, your insurance quote could be as much as 40% less.
  • Good Driver: A good driving history with no at-fault accident claims for 5 years can save you 26% with GEICO. Using a seat belt can also save you 15% on medical payments and personal injury protection elements.
  • Driver’s Education: Completing driver education like a defensive driving course can shave a few bucks off your premiums, although the exact rate of savings differs.
  • Good Student: Students can save as much as 15% if they maintain a B average.
  • Organization: Military members (up to 25%) government employees (up to 8%) and members of other organization clubs can save.
  • Bundling: Both multi-vehicle and multi-policy discounts are offered, with the former going as high as 25% and the latter varying.

GEICO Insurance Customer Support

GEICO reviews are mostly positive, but there are a lot of negative reviews out there as well. As is the case with all big companies, bad reviews are abundant and there is no shortage of consumers who hate this company with every ounce of their being. But when you deal with over 15 million policies, you’re going to make a few mistakes and anger a few people. It’s normal.

The good thing is that the positive experiences are much more common than the negative ones. On many car insurance review sites, GEICO is rated as one of the top 5 insurers and user reviews are also very positive on consumer review sites. Furthermore, J.D. Power rates GEICO as “better than most” for customer satisfaction.

GEICO Insurance Review

GEICO is one of the best car insurance companies in the country, with the financial strength to back your policies, the variety to keep all the family satisfied, and some of the lowest prices in every state. Whether you need car or motorcycle insurance; comprehensive coverage or uninsured motorist cover, make sure you include GEICO in your comparison shopping.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

15 Of My Best Working From Home Tips So You Can Succeed

Do you need some working from home tips to make it easier to transition to remote work?

working from home tips

working from home tipsMore and more people are starting to work from home or are becoming location independent and traveling while they work, such as those who backpack, RV, or sail full-time.

If you’re new to working from home, you quickly realize that it’s not as easy as it may seem. In the beginning when you’re new it may seem like a great thing, but it can easily turn sour if you are not careful with how you use your time.

Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden have 8-10 hours a day of free time – you will still be expected to WORK!

The only thing that has changed is WHERE you are working.

I have been working from home and while traveling since 2013 – so for around 7 years now! 

I know many people often dream about working from home and/or being location independent. And there are a lot of great things about working from home.

You don’t have to drive to work (no more commute? YES!), you can wear your pajamas if you’d like, and more. You may even be able to have a more flexible schedule.

Being able to work from home and/or be location independent can be a great thing. I know this because I’ve been working from home for several years now, and I truly love it.

However, there are many things a person needs to keep in mind if they want to work from home (or on the road, while traveling, etc.) and that is why I am publishing this post today about my top working from home tips.

I know several people who have tried working from home only to find that they have a hard time getting anything done. While I’m not one of those people (I love working from home), I know there are certain things that may hold you back if you’re not careful.

This is why it’s important to realize that working from home doesn’t mean you are retired. I’ve honestly heard from people who said they felt that way at first, but quickly realized that wasn’t the case at all.

You still have work that needs to be completed, and you still have to earn a living. Cutting out your commute, being able to wear your pajamas, and being your own boss all may seem like great positives, but you have to remember that you still have a job.

Here are my best working from home tips so that you can be as productive as possible, while still maintaining a good work and life balance.

Content related to working from home tips for success:

15 working from home tips:

 

1. Set working hours for yourself.

Even though you are working from home and you probably don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder to see what you are doing all day long, I still recommend having clear work hours. This will help you manage your time, complete your work, and “leave” work for the day.

You will want to schedule your day so you have:

  • A start time
  • Lunch break
  • End time
  • Anything else that you would normally do to break apart your work day

Even if you can have the most flexible schedule in the world, it’s usually wise to still have somewhat of a work schedule. This way you can mentally get into the “work zone” each day and have fewer distractions.

I find that I am most productive when I “get up and go to work.” Even though that might mean I am working at the kitchen table – I get myself into the mindset that I am working.

 

2. Create a dedicated work area.

Similar to sticking to a work schedule, having a dedicated work area can help you work better due to the fact that you will be in a spot in your home that is used just for work. 

This can help you separate work and life, be more organized, and be able to concentrate better.

Also, if you have anyone else in your home while you are working, it will be more clear to them that you are busy at work, so that they will be less likely to bother you.

Your dedicated work area doesn’t have to be an office – you can use your dining room table, spare bedroom, extra room in your basement, etc. But, if you are able to have an actual office space in your house for working only, you may be able to write that off on your taxes.

Related: How To Be More Productive: 17 Tips To Help You Live A Better Life

 

3. Exercise regularly.

When working from home, it can be quite easy to sit in one spot all day long. This is one of the working from home tips that many people don’t expect.

Unlike with going to work where you may have to walk into work, walk to someone’s desk, and so on, you may find yourself getting a lot less movement in your day when you work from home. 

By exercising regularly, you can stay healthy, refresh yourself, and clear your mind.

This may mean going for a jog in the middle of your work day, going for a walking break outside, or simply doing a workout routine once your work day is over.

 

4. Hire help if you need it.

Outsourcing work can help you focus more on tasks that you need to complete, find “experts” who can do certain tasks better than you (such as accounting or legal work), manage a better work-life balance, and more.

You don’t have to only hire help for your work either. You can hire help for both work and home life. This could mean finding a virtual assistant, a nanny, a housekeeper, and so on.

I know it can be hard to feel okay spending money on outside help, but outsourcing often makes you more productive so you can earn more money.

 

5. Cut out distractions.

While social media and TV may be great at times, you have to be careful so that it’s not impacting your work in a negative way.

Working from home means that your coworkers or boss aren’t watching over your shoulder, and this can cause you to become more distracted. Due to this, it’s always a good idea to cut out things such as social media, TV, and so on while you are working so that you can be more efficient with your time.

This may even mean downloading cell phone apps that minimize your screen time, so that you are forced to cut out distractions. I even know of some people who put their phone in another room so they aren’t tempted to look at it while they are working.

 

6. Socialize with others.

Working from home can make some people feel a little lonely at times. You don’t have the normal socialization that you may receive when you go into an office, which can make you feel like you are cut off from the world.

There are still many ways to socialize with others. You could join a club, hang out with friends, call coworkers, or even work in a shared space with small business owners.

 

7. Don’t run errands for others all day long.

There’s a common myth that people who work from home don’t actually do anything all day. This sometimes leads to friends and family members asking for favors from those who work from home.

Many of my online work friends are constantly asked to babysit, run errands, and so on from others. While the occasional favor may not be so bad, of course, these favors often start with, “I know you have nothing to do today so will you…”

If you have the time and you want to, by all means say yes to every favor. But, I believe you need to be realistic with yourself and those around you, and this is one of my most important working from home tips. Running errands all day for others can prevent you from completing work, and it can also cost you money.

 

8. Make sure you take breaks.

This may not apply to all work from home jobs, but for many people, working from home means you may have a flexible schedule. So, as long as you get your work done, you can most likely take any breaks that you think you deserve or need, and this is a big perk of working from home.

This is something I highly recommend that everyone who works from home do, but I also know it can be hard sometimes.

A break can help you feel more refreshed so that you can work better. Whenever I am feeling stuck with work, I always take a break and that almost always helps.

9. Connect with other people who are working from home.

One of the best pieces of working from home advice I was given was to connect with other people in my field. So, I found other bloggers to connect with via email, and we eventually started a mastermind group with one another.

Most of the time we talk about how to grow our businesses, but we often talk about tips, advice, and struggles we have with working from home. 

If someone has never worked at home, they probably won’t understand certain aspects of your day. Even your spouse, partner, family, or friends may not get it, and having a group of others who understand you feels great.

10. Find tools and apps to make working from home easier.

There are so many great tools on the internet that can help you work from home. You can use workflow management software like Asana, make the best out of Google calendar, or even just use reminders on your phone.

This is one of the tips for working from home effectively that can really change how you structure your day so you actually get stuff done.

11. Explain what working from home means to those in your life.

Like I’ve said, some people around you may not understand what working from home means, like some people may ask you for favors because they think you do nothing all day. This is why I recommend this as one of my best working from home tips.

When you start your new remote work life, set some boundaries with those around you. Tell the people in your life if there are certain times they shouldn’t bother you, that you might not pick up the phone right away, etc.

Others probably aren’t sure what working from home really means, and they will happily respect your boundaries once you tell them what they are. 

12. Ask for what you need.

This is one of my top working from home tips for those who are employed by someone else and not self-employed. If your employer needs you to work remotely, they may supply you with the equipment you need to work from home.

Your employer may provide a computer, desk, ergonomic chair, keyboard, mouse, etc. Large companies often have a budget for these things, and you just need to ask.

13. Take time off work when you are sick.

Taking time off when you are sick is a hard thing for even those who go into work, but it’s especially hard if you work from home. 

I have to admit that this is one of my working from home tips that I wasn’t always very good with.

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean that you need to work while you are sick. Yes, you may be more comfortable working from home, but take time off so you can rest and feel better. You will get better soon and be better at your job when you are healthy.

14. Create routines for the beginning and end of your day.

When you start working from home, you lose some of the routines that come with going to work and leaving for the day. So, it can be helpful to create new ones.

You may want to start your day by going for a short walk, getting a cup of coffee, going over your daily schedule, then opening your work emails. 

You could end your day by organizing your schedule for the next day, shutting down all of your work apps, and then going for another short walk.

This is one of the working from home tips that will help you feel like you are “going” to work everyday, and can establish boundaries with the rest of your day.

15. Enjoy your new career working from home.

In the end, you need to remember to have fun. There are a lot of benefits to working from home, and it’s important to take advantage of them when you can.

Spend more time with your family, be successful with your career choice, do things that you’ve always wanted to do, and more.

Being able to work from home is one of the best things I’ve been able to do. It allows me to spend more time with Wes, travel full-time, have a flexible schedule, and more. I know it can be hard at times, but with these tips for working remotely, you’ll adjust and love it too!

Do you think you’d like working from home? What are your top working from home tips?

How To Start A Blog FREE Email Course

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates and get access to the free course.

/* Layout */ .ck_form /* divider image */ background: #fff url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: “Helvetica Neue”, Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #666; font-size: 16px; border-top: solid 20px #3071b0; border-top-color: #ff006f; border-bottom: solid 10px #3d3d3d; border-bottom-color: #990043; -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); clear: both; margin: 20px 0px; .ck_form, .ck_form * -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; #ck_subscribe_form clear: both; /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; .ck_form.ck_horizontal .ck_form_content border-bottom: none; .ck_form.ck_vertical background: #fff; .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; .ck_vertical .ck_form_content border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) .ck_form background: #fff; .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; .ck_form_content border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 24px; padding: 0px; .ck_form_content p font-size: 14px; .ck_image float: left; margin-right: 5px; /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea display: none; #ck_success_msg padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; .ck_label font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; .ck_form input[type=”text”], .ck_form input[type=”email”] font-size: 14px; padding: 10px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #f8f7f7; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; .ck_form input[type=”text”]:focus, .ck_form input[type=”email”]:focus outline: none; border-color: #aaa; .ck_checkbox padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; .ck_checkbox input.optIn margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt margin-left: 4px; .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p display: inline; .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 10px 0px; font-size: 18px; background: #ff006f; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; .ck_form .ck_guarantee color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; .ck_form .ck_powered_by display: block; color: #aaa; .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover display: block; color: #444; .ck_converted_content display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg padding: 0px 10px; @media all and (max-width: 403px) .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link top: 30px; @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link top: 57px;

Related Posts

<!–
–>

Source: makingsenseofcents.com

2018 Side Hustle Income Report Month 6

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

Hello there!

How’s your summer going? I’m tired. I maxed out in June. Like, couldn’t take on any more.

I’ve always been good at saying no and knowing my limits but with the addition of the RV renovation, I am beat. So we’re slowing down on the RV. What I thought would take 2 months will take 3 if we’re lucky. As long as I can get it listed by September I’ll be happy.

Summer is always slower for online businesses so it’s a good time for us to work on the RV and plan for the fall. Back to school and Halloween will be my next big pushes.

Here are the first five months for reference:

As always, I only include income that’s deposited into my account so sometimes it’s from stuff I did a while ago but none of it is speculative. If you want more ideas on making money at home you can grab the list of work-from-home jobs I started with by entering your deets below.

Airbnb: $1,040.99

Summer is definitely the slow season but instead of being empty we’ve found that bookings are just very last minute.

We started June with no bookings and ended up with only 3 days unbooked. And one of our guests stay with us off and on 3 weeks! We ended up becoming good friends.

I highly recommend it as a way to monetize unused space. If you want to get started, sign up through this link and you’ll help us earn a little extra too!

T-Shirts: $2,151.53

May’s earnings from Merch by Amazon were $2135.83 and $15.70 from Etsy.

This number is artificially high due to Mother’s Day so next month’s will be back to normal.

Merch has been frustrating me.

My designer has made 60 designs so far (including 10 popsockets) and only the popsockets are selling which leads me to believe that Merch is too oversaturated to be viable.

Unless I sit around at the computer waiting for that one viral pop culture reference, I need to divide my attention.

Popsockets offer a really low ROI compared to shirts so I don’t want to focus too much of my effort there. I’m pausing the last 40 designs to focus on beefing up Etsy because I don’t want all her work to waste away on Merch.

Books: $723.60

These are my book earnings from April. I sold 276 copies of The No-Spend Challenge Guide and 41 copies of Meal Planning on a Budget. April was the start of the downward summer spiral.

It’ll pick back up in the fall but for now, it’s a great time to try out some ads!

I started running an ad for MPoaB. It’s been live for a week so it’s too soon to tell but my cost per click is good so far! (I’ve sold one book and only spent $.15 cents.)

Mystery Shopping: $0

We didn’t do any mystery shopping in May because of our vacation, hence no income in June.

If you want to learn more about mystery shopping you can read my post about it.

Blog: $258.17

#GetRichBlogging. The blog income broke down like this for June:

  • $28.71 from Amazon Associates
  • $49.60 from other affiliates
  • $29.86 from ads
  • $150 from freelance writing

Total: $4,174.29

Expenses: I’m a frugalprenuer so I keep my expenses low but there are some that are unavoidable.

T-Shirt Designer: $164.40

This is for the designer on Upwork who’s designing my shirts.

Etsy Seller Fees: $2.90

It’s $.20 cents to list and $.70 cents when you sell.

Total: $167.30

Set aside for taxes: $775

June Grand Total: $3,205.59

2018 Running Total: $16,117.59

Goals for Q3 of 2018:

1. Grow the Frugal Friends Community. I met my Q2 goals! So this quarter I’m taking it easy and focusing on growing our podcast audience. I’m going to be emailing other podcasters to appear on their shows to talk about frugality and we’re starting a book club to increase reviews! We’re giving away a copy of our Book of the Month for every 5 reviews we get.

If you want to participate, leave us a review and send a screenshot to frugalfriendspodcast@gmail.com!

2. Build my presence on Etsy. Yeah, I didn’t even make $20 on Etsy last month but I’m ready to put more time into it. I don’t know what’s going on with Merch and while I’m happy my old shirts are selling, I don’t want to get complacent, I want to grow. So by next month I’ll have 40 products live and optimized and by the end of the quarter I’d like to venture into digital products.

<img data-attachment-id="2008" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/2018-side-hustle-income-report-month-6/2-28/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="How I Made $3200 Side Hustling2" data-image-description="

How I Made $3200 Side Hustling

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”2018 Side Hustle Income Report Month 6″ class=”aligncenter wp-image-2008 size-large jetpack-lazy-image” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2018-side-hustle-income-report-month-6.png” alt=”How I Made $3200 Side Hustling” width=”400″ height=”600″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2018-side-hustle-income-report-month-6.png 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?resize=100%2C150&ssl=1 100w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?resize=600%2C900&ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>

<img data-attachment-id="2008" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/2018-side-hustle-income-report-month-6/2-28/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?fit=735%2C1102&ssl=1" data-orig-size="735,1102" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="How I Made $3200 Side Hustling2" data-image-description="

How I Made $3200 Side Hustling

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-title=”2018 Side Hustle Income Report Month 6″ class=”aligncenter wp-image-2008 size-large” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2018-side-hustle-income-report-month-6.png” alt=”How I Made $3200 Side Hustling” width=”400″ height=”600″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2018-side-hustle-income-report-month-6.png 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?resize=200%2C300&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?resize=100%2C150&ssl=1 100w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?resize=600%2C900&ssl=1 600w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2-1.png?w=735&ssl=1 735w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

9 Things I Love and Have Learned After 9 Years Of Blogging

I still remember the month I started my blog. I don’t really remember the exact first day, but I remember the first month and how excited I was.

In August of 2011, I started Making Sense of Cents.

That was exactly 9 years ago!

Back then, I had no idea what I was doing, and I also had no goals for my blog.

I didn’t even really know what a blog was, or that they could make money.

I also didn’t even like to write at that time!

In the past 9 years, so much has changed for me.

It’s crazy to think that I started my blog nine years ago, especially when I consider all of the amazing things it has done for my life.

It was something I started and worked on in addition to my full-time day job as a financial analyst, and around two years after I started this blog, I quit my day job to blog full-time.

Some numbers on Making Sense of Cents:

  • My first blog post was published on August 10, 2011. You can read it here.
  • I have published 1,878 articles here on Making Sense of Cents. That number was higher about a month ago, but I recently deleted several hundred articles that I thought weren’t good enough.
  • I have 70,816 comments on my blog posts.
  • I’ve personally replied to 21,080 comments.
  • It took me 6 months to earn my first $100 from Making Sense of Cents.

First, a little backstory on how I began.

You may have heard this from me before, but the funny thing is that I created my blog on a whim after reading about a personal finance website in a magazine. It started as a hobby to track my own personal finance progress, and I honestly didn’t even know that people could make money blogging!

I knew NOTHING about running a website.

At that time, I was working as an analyst at an investment banking and valuation firm. I chugged along working the 8-5, Monday through Friday grind and didn’t see myself having an enjoyable future there. I had a stressful job filled with lots of deadlines and responsibilities that just didn’t interest me. Yes, I know this is the norm for some people, but I just couldn’t imagine myself living like that for 40+ years.

Blogging was an outlet for my stressful day job, and my interest quickly grew, even though it was just a hobby. It gave me space to write about my personal finance situation, have a support group, to keep track of how I was doing, and more. I did not create Making Sense of Cents with the intention of earning an income, but after only six months, I began to make money blogging.

A friend I met through the blogging community connected me with an advertiser, and I earned $100 from that advertisement deal.

That one deal sparked my interest in taking my blog more seriously and learning how to make even more money blogging.

I now earn a great living from my blog, and it all started on a whim, not even knowing that blogs could make money.

Blogging completely changed my life for the better, and I urge anyone who is interested to learn how to start a blog as well.

Blogging has allowed me to take control of my finances and earn more money. It means I can work from home, travel whenever I want, have a flexible schedule, and more!

Related content:

And, all of this happened because I started some random blog nine years ago.

I made so many mistakes, and I still make mistakes today. But, I continue to learn and improve, which has shaped this blog into what it is today.

I was so afraid to quit my job when I did, especially for a blog.

So many people thought I was absolutely crazy and making the worst decision of my life. Especially since my husband quit his job at the same time!

Today, I want to talk about the the 9 things that I love and have learned about blogging over the years. I feel like what I enjoy about blogging as well as what I’ve learned go hand in hand.

Oh yeah, if you haven’t yet – please follow me on Instagram.

Here’s what I love and have learned about blogging.

1. I love being my own boss.

When I first started my blog and realized I could make an income from it, I quickly learned how much I love being my own boss.

I love being in complete control of what I do, and becoming self-employed may allow you to feel that way as well. I enjoy deciding what I will do each day, creating my own schedule, determining my business goals, handling everything behind the scenes, and more.

I actually have a rule in my life/business where I don’t do anything unless I want to. While I still say yes to many amazing opportunities, I’m not doing anything that feels like a total drag or is against my beliefs. This has really helped improve my work-life balance, which is great because being able to choose how you earn a living amounts to making sure you love everything you do.

I honestly love each and every service I provide – writing online, promoting, networking, interacting with readers, and more.

Running an online business (and being your own boss) may not be for everyone, but it’s something I enjoy.

2. A flexible schedule is one of my most favorite things.

One of the best things about working for yourself and being a blogger is that you can have a flexible schedule.

I can work as far ahead as I want to, I can create my own work schedule, and more.

I love being able to work for a few hours in the morning, do something fun during the day (such as a hike), and then work later at night when I have nothing planned. I can also schedule appointments during the day and it’s really no big deal.

I can work at night, in the morning, on the weekends – I can work whenever.

But, this can also be something to be careful with as well, as it can be difficult to have a good work-life balance.

3. Location independence is AMAZING.

Being location independent for so many years has been great.

I love being able to work from wherever I am, and it’s allowed me some of the best experiences I’ve had, like living in an RV and now on a sailboat. All I need is an internet connection and my laptop.

The only problem with being location independent is that it can be hard to separate work from the rest of your life. You may find yourself working all the time, no matter where you are, and while that may seem great, being able to take a true vacation can be a hard task.

However, I’m not going to complain because the work-life balance I’m rocking right now is great.

4. Remember, success takes time!

Many bloggers quit just a few months in.

In fact, the statistic that I’ve always heard is that the average blogger quits just 6 months in.

I completely understand – starting a blog can be super overwhelming!

But, good things don’t come easy. If blogging was easy, then everyone would be doing it.

It took me 6 months for me to earn my first $100 from Making Sense of Cents. If I would have quit at that time, I would have missed out on so many great things!

Remember, success takes time!

5. Don’t write when you feel forced.

One thing I have definitely learned about myself over the years is that I write best when I’m not forced – i.e. when I’m on a deadline.

Instead, I always try to write content ahead of time.

I used to write content for Monday on the night before (Sunday!), and I found that to be super stressful. Even a week in advance was too stressful for me.

I like to be at least a month ahead, as then I can truly write when I feel inspired and happy to write.

6. Get ready to learn.

Pretty much everything about having a blog is a learning process.

Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme, and anyone who tells you that it is (or acts like it is) is lying.

Blogging is not easy.

And, you won’t make $100,000 your first month blogging.

Blogging can be a lot of work, and there is always something to learn. Something is always changing in the blogging world, which means you will need to continue to learn and adapt to the technology around you. This includes learning about social media platforms, running a website, growing your platform, writing high-quality content, and more.

This is something that I love about blogging – it’s never stale and there’s always a new challenge.

7. Stop seeing other bloggers as competition.

Okay, so this isn’t exactly something that I’ve learned, but I want everyone else to learn!

I have always had this mindset – that there is plenty of room for everyone in the blogging world. However, not everyone feels the same.

So many bloggers see other bloggers as enemies or competition, and this is a huge mistake.

I mostly see this in newer bloggers, and this can really hold them back.

Networking is very important if you want to create a successful blog. Bloggers should be open to making blogging friends, attending blog conferences, sharing other blogs’ content with their readers, and more.

Networking can help you enjoy blogging more, learn new things about blogging, learn how to make money blogging, make great connections, and more. If you want to make money blogging, then you will want to network with others! After all, networking is the reason why I learned how to make money blogging in the first place!

The key is to be genuine and to give more than you take, which are the two main things I always tell people when it comes to networking. I receive so many emails every day from people who clearly aren’t genuine, and it’s very easy to see.

I’ve made great friends who are bloggers and influencers, and it’s truly a great community to be in.

8. You don’t need previous experience to be successful.

To become a blogger, you don’t need any previous experience. You don’t need to be a computer wizard, understand social media, or anything else.

These are all things that you can learn as you go.

Nearly every single blogger was brand new at some point, and they had no idea what they were doing.

I’m proof of that because I didn’t even know that blogs existed when I started Making Sense of Cents, and I definitely didn’t know that bloggers could make money. I learned how to create a blog from the bottom up and have worked my way to where I am today. It’s not always easy, but it’s been rewarding!

With blogging, you’ll have a lot to learn, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s challenging, but in a good way.

9. You can make a living blogging.

This is probably one of the best things that I’ve learned since I first started my blog.

You can actually make a living blogging!

No, not every single person will become a successful blogger (it’s NOT a get-rich-quick scheme), but I know many successful bloggers who started in a similar way as I did – blogging as a hobby and it just grew from there.

For me, I have earned a high income with my blog, and I have enough saved to retire whenever I would like. I am still working on my blog, though, as I enjoy what I do.

What’s next?

I’ve never really been much of a planner, so I don’t want to commit to anything HUGE haha.

But, for Making Sense of Cents, I do have some plans. I am working towards improving traffic and readership, and coming up with more and more high-quality content.

I am so grateful to all of you readers, and I want to continue to help you all out by writing high-quality content.

That is really my only goal for now!

If there’s anything you’d like me to write about on Making Sense of Cents, please send me an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below.

Thank you for being a reader!

There’s a ton of valuable free resources.

I know I’ll be asked this, so I am going to include this here.

One of the great things about starting a blog is that there are a ton of FREE blogging resources out there that can help you get started.

In fact, I didn’t spend any money in the beginning in order to learn how to blog – instead, I signed up for a ton of free webinars, free email courses, and more.

  1. First, if you don’t have a blog, then I recommend starting off with my free blogging course How To Start A Blog FREE Course.
  2. Affiliate Marketing Cheat Sheet – With this time-saving cheat sheet, you’ll learn how to make affiliate income from your blog. These tips will help you to rapidly improve your results and increase your blogging income in no time.
  3. The SEO Starter Pack (FREE Video Training)– Improve your SEO knowledge in just 60 minutes with this FREE 6-day video training.
  4. The Free Blogging Planner – The Blogging Planner is a free workbook that I created just for you! In this free workbook, you’ll receive printables for starting your blog, creating a blog post, a daily/weekly blog planner, goals, and more.

Do you have any questions for me? Are you interested in starting your own business?

How To Start A Blog FREE Email Course

In this free course, I show you how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting readers. Join now!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates and get access to the free course.

/* Layout */ .ck_form /* divider image */ background: #fff url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: “Helvetica Neue”, Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #666; font-size: 16px; border-top: solid 20px #3071b0; border-top-color: #ff006f; border-bottom: solid 10px #3d3d3d; border-bottom-color: #990043; -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,.3); clear: both; margin: 20px 0px; .ck_form, .ck_form * -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; #ck_subscribe_form clear: both; /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; .ck_form.ck_horizontal .ck_form_content border-bottom: none; .ck_form.ck_vertical background: #fff; .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; .ck_vertical .ck_form_content border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) .ck_form background: #fff; .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; .ck_form_content border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 24px; padding: 0px; .ck_form_content p font-size: 14px; .ck_image float: left; margin-right: 5px; /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea display: none; #ck_success_msg padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; .ck_label font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; .ck_form input[type=”text”], .ck_form input[type=”email”] font-size: 14px; padding: 10px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #f8f7f7; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; .ck_form input[type=”text”]:focus, .ck_form input[type=”email”]:focus outline: none; border-color: #aaa; .ck_checkbox padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; .ck_checkbox input.optIn margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt margin-left: 4px; .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p display: inline; .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 10px 0px; font-size: 18px; background: #ff006f; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; .ck_form .ck_guarantee color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; .ck_form .ck_powered_by display: block; color: #aaa; .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover display: block; color: #444; .ck_converted_content display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg padding: 0px 10px; @media all and (max-width: 403px) .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link top: 30px; @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link top: 57px;

Related Posts

<!–
–>

Source: makingsenseofcents.com