5 Tips for Approaching the Open House

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For decades, sellers and their agents have been using open houses to help generate interest in their listings. Open houses give the general public the chance to view a home without scheduling a private showing. While open houses do get a lot of curious neighbors and casual browsers, they can be a good opportunity for serious buyers to decide if a home is worth pursuing further, or a way to get a better grasp on neighborhood home values. 

In fact, 59% of home buyers attended an open house during their shopping process last year and 43% of buyers said attending the open house was very or extremely important to determining if the home was right for them.* On average, home buyers attended 2.6 open houses before buying.

Whether you’re a sincere buyer or simply curious about the inside of a home, you should know how open houses work and understand how you can be a good open house attendee. 

Note: If open houses are restricted or unavailable due to public health concerns, work with your agent to arrange a private tour or video tour. All Zillow-owned homes include a self-tour option — just use our app to unlock the door and tour at your convenience.

What is an open house?

An open house is an event during which potential buyers can tour a home that’s on the market. It’s usually hosted by the seller’s listing agent, or by the seller themselves, in case of a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) listing. Open houses usually take place on weekends, during a set range of hours typically midday.

Open house benefits for buyers

No scheduling required: Unlike a private showing, you don’t need to set up a specific appointment to see a home. Simply show up during the open house hours and view the home at your own pace. 

Scope out the competition: If you’re interested in a home, attending the open house can help you gauge interest from other buyers. This can be helpful when determining how quickly you need to submit an offer and how much you should offer. 

Understand current home values: Seeing what homes are selling for in your area and what you can buy at a particular price point can be helpful if you’re just starting your search. 

Redefine your nonnegotiable home features: Checking out homes in person can help you redefine your list of must-haves: Do you really need that extra bedroom? What does a backyard of this size really look like?

How do open houses work?

Not every seller or listing agent will hold one, but here’s the typical process for sellers setting up an open house:

  1. The seller and their agent determine a day and time for the open house.
  2. The agent lists the open house on the local MLS.
  3. The agent advertises the open house on social media, online and with print ads or flyers. 
  4. The agent prepares for the open house — purchasing refreshments, printing flyers, setting up signs and adding little touches to make the home feel welcoming to buyers. (Yes, as a shopper, you can eat the cookies.)
  5. The agent hosts the event, greeting buyers and answering questions about the property and community.
  6. Buyers remove their shoes, tour the home, take pictures and video (if allowed) and jot down important notes. 
  7. Any buyer who liked the house will contact their own agent. They’ll then set up a private showing to see the home again or they’ll submit an offer right away — the latter is common in fast-moving real estate markets.

Who hosts an open house?

The person hosting an open house could be any one of the following: 

  • Listing agent: As the person hired to sell the home, the listing agent should be an expert on the property. 
  • Listing agent’s team member or associate: A busy listing agent may also send another agent in their place — either someone on their team or another agent in their office. They should be experts in the local market, but may not be as familiar with the individual home. 
  • Homeowner: If a home is for sale by owner (FSBO), the homeowner will be hosting their own open house. They’re undoubtedly the expert on the home, but their local market expertise may be limited. 

How to prepare for an open house

There are times when you might just stumble upon an open house while you’re on a walk or running errands. But if you’re intentionally looking for open houses as part of your home-buying strategy, try these tips.

Seek out relevant open houses

If you plan to visit multiple open houses in one day, make sure you’re focusing on listings that fit your criteria for budget and location. It’s not worth wasting time looking at homes outside your budget or those that are too far from your work or school. 

Tip: With Zillow’s home search tool, buyers can filter by homes with upcoming open houses (this filter can be applied in addition to other search filters like price, bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage and location). When you use the open houses filter in conjunction with filters for your other criteria, you can easily find the right open houses for your search.

A map of home listings on Zillow.

You can also tour most Zillow-owned homes any time between 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., any day of the week — just select the tour option on the listing. Although the listing agent will not be present, you can avoid a busy open house and rest assured the property is in move-in ready condition.

Do research on the market beforehand

With help from your agent or on your own, find out how each home you’re planning to visit stacks up against others nearby. Is the price in line with similar listings in the area? Are there any defects? Has it gone under contract recently and then returned to the market? Are there a lot of other interested buyers? Has it been sitting on the market for a long time? (“Days on market” is an indicator of a stale listing, but the standard number of days on market can vary based on where you live.)

Stay open-minded

If you’re searching on a tight budget in a hot neighborhood, there’s a good chance that the home that fits the bill will need some TLC. Fortunately, attending an open house can give you a better idea of the home’s condition and potential, while also giving you the opportunity to ask renovation-related questions — e.g., the location of load bearing walls and the details of local regulations. 

How to attend an open house

Now that you’ve done your research and are prepared to add some open houses to your home search, here’s what you should do once the day arrives. 

Ask questions

An open house is your best opportunity to ask the listing agent (or their associate) your questions — don’t be shy. Ask questions that you wouldn’t be able to answer just by reading a home’s listing description, such as:

  • What are the HOA restrictions?
  • Has the seller done a property tax appeal?
  • Have there been any recent renovations or repairs?

Tip: If you’re not currently working with an agent and you ultimately decide you aren’t interested in a particular home you tour, the open house could help you see if the listing agent might be the right person to represent you — many agents represent both buyers and sellers. 

Be honest

If anyone other than the listing agent or the homeowner is hosting the open house, they’re likely an agent hoping to find potential buyer clients. If you’re already working with an agent (or if you have no real interest in buying), be honest.

Check for damage and disrepair

Professional or edited photos can make a home look a lot better online than it is in person. At an open house, take the opportunity to closely evaluate a home’s condition and take note of any potential defects that would factor into your offer price. 

Assess the windows: Look for flaking paint, misaligned sashes and condensation due to air leaks. These could be signs of windows that need replacement. 

Check for water damage: Look for warped baseboards, ceiling stains and musty smells. 

Make note of cracks: Noticeable cracks in the ceiling or drywall could indicate foundation issues. 

Test functions: Open cabinets, doors and drawers. Run the faucets. Check the water pressure. An open house is a good opportunity to make sure every part of the home is in good working order. 

Gauge potential renovation needs: Home improvements can really add up. As you walk through a home, keep an eye out for urgent renovation needs like floors, fixtures or large repainting projects.

Open house tips for buyers

Whenever you attend an open house, put yourself in the seller’s shoes — you’re letting a bunch of strangers walk through your home while you’re not there. While every seller wants their open house to net a buyer, they also want to keep their home safe and their furnishings free of damage.

Do

  • Take off your shoes or wear booties if requested.
  • Greet the host and provide your name.
  • Sign in if necessary or requested (this is a safety issue for the seller and their agent).
  • Take notes on your phone about your likes, dislikes and follow-up questions.
  • Ask if you can capture a video (if the listing doesn’t already include a video).
  • Respect other buyers and guests. 
  • Wait for others to exit a room before you enter.
  • Provide feedback if requested.
  • Thank the person hosting the event.

Don’t

  • Refuse to comply with an agent or homeowner’s house rules.
  • Criticize the home or the owner’s style.
  • Listen in on other visitors’ conversations.
  • Touch the owner’s belongings.
  • Let kids run around without supervision.
  • Bring food or beverages in (except water).
  • Reveal information that would compromise your negotiating power, like your budget or level of interest in the home.
  • Bring pets.

*Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019 survey data

Source: zillow.com

Couponing Do’s & Don’ts — How to Save Money Shopping With Coupons

You’ve probably already used coupons at some point in your life. According to a 2020 survey by Statista, almost 90% of respondents reported having used coupons for shopping. Considering that coupons provide a fast, free way to reduce spending on groceries and essentials, it’s clear why coupons are so popular.

But to make your couponing efforts more successful, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the tips and tricks successful couponers use. The last thing you want to do is waste time collecting coupons only to realize none of them is valid when you’re checking out.

If you’re relatively new to couponing, start slowly by bringing a few paper coupons to your next shopping trip. Over time, you can incorporate more of these couponing do’s and don’ts to save more.

Couponing Do’s

Couponing doesn’t have to feel like a marathon or take up hours of your week. By following one or more of these couponing do’s, you can start to trim your monthly spending — and ultimately save more money.

1. Do Know Where to Find Coupons

The most basic step in starting to coupon is to collect them. Ideally, you can gradually build a stash of coupons for the stores and brands you frequently shop so you can always find some savings at the register.

To begin your coupon hunt, plan your weekly meals around sale products if possible. That helps you find discounts without even having to coupon. To find in-store sales, look for digital flyers on grocery store websites.

Another resource is Flipp, a free app that provides weekly flyers, deals, and online coupons for over 2,000 stores. Flipp has weekly flyers for stores like Aldi, Kroger, and Walmart. You can clip deals you find to the in-app shopping list to help you keep track.

Once your virtual or paper shopping list has all the food you need for the week, finish the list with any household essentials you need to restock, like toilet paper or cleaning supplies. You’re now ready to track down coupons for everything on your shopping list.

There are several free websites you can use to print paper coupons. These websites include coupon databases and brand websites like:

Coupons.com, Coupon Sherpa, RetailMeNot, and Valpak also have mobile apps that let you find and redeem digital coupons at the register. If you don’t want to spend time and money printing coupons, apps are your best resource. You can also try other mobile coupon apps like Grocery Pal and The Coupons App, which have digital coupons for grocery stores like Aldi, Albertsons, Kroger, Food Lion, Safeway, and Publix.

Between paper and digital coupons, you should find savings on some of the products on your weekly shopping list. If you can’t track down a specific coupon, searching online for the product name plus “coupon” is another tactic to try.

Finally, if you subscribe to a Sunday paper or get coupons and ad flyers in the mail, take a few minutes to scan for coupons you need. If you spot an incredible coupon for a product you buy regularly, you can scoop up a few extra newspapers on discount at a dollar store the following day or look online for the same coupon.

Also, don’t forget to check out those coupons they print out at the register after checkout (sometimes called Catalina coupons). Those are typically based on your specific purchases, so there may be something in there you can use. Others may be percent-off discounts on your total sale price if you spend over a certain amount.

You don’t have to go overboard and find duplicates of every coupon for your shopping list. Find as many as you can, and remember to check expiration dates so you shop in time to save.

2. Do Combine Coupons With Cash-Back Rewards Apps

Coupons usually provide a percent discount or certain dollar-off amount to let you save. But if you want to save even more on your weekly grocery haul, you can use cash-back rewards apps to earn rebates for buying certain products.

Just like searching for coupons, you can research rebate opportunities before heading to the store to earn cash back for products you were going to buy anyway. Popular rewards apps you can use include:

  • Ibotta. Earn cash back for buying specific products from Ibotta partners and uploading your receipt to the app for proof of purchase. Ibotta works with over 1,000 brands, and there are always offers on groceries and everyday essentials. You can redeem cash back through PayPal, Venmo, or free gift cards when you reach $20. Read our Ibotta review for more information.
  • Fetch Rewards. If you like Ibotta, Fetch Rewards is another must-download app. With Fetch Rewards, you earn points for buying products from dozens of popular brands. An advantage of Fetch Rewards is that you can redeem many free gift cards once you reach $3, which is possible in a single shopping trip. Read our Fetch Rewards review for more information.
  • Checkout 51. Checkout 51 is similar to Ibotta. Download Checkout 51, select offers to shop for, and upload your receipt to earn rewards. Checkout 51 works at stores like Aldi, Albertsons, Costco, Kroger, Meijer, and Walmart. You get a check when you earn $20 in cash back. Read our Checkout 51 review for more information.

There’s still nothing wrong with using paper coupons or mobile coupon apps if that’s all you have time for. But to save even more, it’s worth trying cash-back rewards apps alongside your couponing efforts.

3. Do Sign Up for Store Savings Cards

Sign up for rewards cards at the stores where you shop. Store rewards cards typically provide shoppers with additional savings in the form of reward points or discounts. Plus, some loyalty programs also send additional coupons in the mail.

Reward cards also help you earn more with Ibotta since you can connect cards from retailers like Meijer, Kroger, and Wegmans to your account. Once you connect a card, Ibotta automatically detects whether your purchase qualifies for cash back and pays you.

4. Do Stay Organized to Maximize Savings

Organize coupons to keep them easily accessible when you shop. The last thing you want is to miss a coupon when checking out or — even worse— forget your coupons at home.

Your organizational system doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. For casual couponers, a coupon wallet on Amazon costs around $10 and comes with dividers to group coupons into different sections, like meat or produce.

If you prefer managing everything from your smartphone, you can also use the free SnipSnap app to transform paper coupons into digital ones. Once you snap a picture of a paper coupon, Snip Snap uploads it to its database so you can use it while on the go. The app also tracks expiration dates and sends reminders about expiring coupons.

5. Do Know Your Store’s Coupon Policy

Does your grocer double coupons, price-match, accept competitor coupons, or give rain checks if sale goods are out of stock? If you don’t know, research coupon policies online. Grocery stores and general retailers like Walmart and Target outline coupon rules on their websites. To find a policy, use a browser to search for the name of your store of choice plus “coupon policy” (for example, “Kroger coupon policy”) or look for a frequently asked questions section on the website. These policies help you save even more money, and they aren’t always prominently advertised. Things to stay informed about include:

  • Price Matching. Stores don’t like losing a potential sale because a competitor has a slightly lower price tag, so many are willing to price match. Price matching is when a store adjusts its price to match a sale at another local store.
  • Competitor Coupons. Your store may accept competitors’ coupons, but you should clarify who their competitors are. For example, Publix accepts coupons for competitors’ private-label products, whereas Meijer doesn’t take competitor coupons at all. But some stores are more specific than Publix. Lowes Foods accepts competitor coupons only from select competitors, like Aldi, Food Lion, Target, and Walmart.
  • Rain Checks. When you want to buy an out-of-stock product, some stores issue rain checks, which guarantee the current price when it’s back in stock. But many stores have specific rules for rain checks. For example, Publix only issues one rain check per household per day (in addition to other, sometimes product-specific restrictions).

6. Do Know Local Stores’ Best Deals & Sale Patterns

You can get the most out of any coupon when you shop at the stores with the best deals for that product type, such as canned goods or toiletries.

That requires paying attention as you shop around. Over time, you learn each local store’s pricing quirks and sale patterns. For example, perhaps your local Walmart’s bakery section regularly puts bread and bagels on sale during certain days of the week. Or maybe your town’s Kroger has better prices and more frequent discounts on frozen meals than your local Publix.

As you learn this type of information, you can be more selective about where you shop for individual products. You don’t have to waste time and gas shopping at multiple stores for a single grocery trip, but for specific products, it can make sense to coupon at stores that are more likely to have deals or just better prices on that product category.

7. Do Start Slowly

When you first start couponing, it feels intimidating if you’re redeeming dozens of coupons and have a lot of numbers to crunch.

For your first few shopping trips, focus on the highest-value coupons, the ones you know are worth using. That might look like bringing three 50%-off coupons or your highest-dollar-value-off coupons.

You can even try using coupons on sale products, but don’t get too creative until you’re comfortable calculating whether things are good deals and handing over coupons at the register.

8. Do Try Stacking Coupons

Combining a coupon with a store sale is a simple way to stack savings. But you don’t have to limit yourself to just stacking coupons with sale prices. Stores like Dollar General, Meijer, and Target let you stack a manufacturer’s coupon and store coupons to save even more.

For example, if Target has Planters peanuts on sale for $2, you can use a $1 Target coupon for Planters products and a $1 Planters manufacturer’s coupon to score a free can of peanuts. You can find store coupons online or in your favorite store’s weekly flyers.

If you can’t get something for free, try stacking coupons with store sales and apps like Ibotta to maximize savings.

For example, there’s a 50%-off clearance sale on a $3.99 Red Baron pepperoni pizza, bringing the price down to $2. If you have a $1 manufacturer coupon, the price is just $1. But since Ibotta has a $0.75 rebate on Red Baron pepperoni pizza, you just scored an entire pizza for only $0.25.

To top it all off, shop with a cash-back credit card to earn even more. The goal of couponing is to find deals whenever possible and get creative to stretch the value of every dollar you spend.

9. Do Use the Overage

When your coupons exceed the sale price of a product, it produces an overage. While that doesn’t invalidate the coupons, most often, that means you get the product for $0.

However, certain retailers apply overages toward other products in your shopping cart. For example, say you get an overage of $0.50 on a box of Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix by using a manufacturer coupon and sale price. Overage-allowing retailers apply the $0.50 overage to another product in your cart.

Walmart and Kroger are two major retailers that apply overages to your cart. And Walmart is one of the few retailers that pays cash back for overages (except on purchases made using government benefits, so save coupons for purchases you make when you’re not using your SNAP and WIC benefits). Kroger issues overages on a merchandise return card (essentially, a Kroger gift card). If you’re in doubt, look up your store’s coupon policy online to learn about overage rules.

10. Do Present Coupons in the Right Order

You can maximize your savings by handing the cashier your coupons in a specific order. For example, if you have a store coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase, use that coupon first. Otherwise, your other coupons might negate the $5 coupon by discounting the total amount of the sale to less than $20.

Some stores automatically apply your coupons correctly, so the order doesn’t always matter. But to be safe, give the cashier the price-minimum coupon before you use any other coupons.

11. Do Get in & Get Out

Know what you plan to buy before you go to the store, and stick to your shopping list.

If you stay in the store too long, you become susceptible to their marketing ploys, and you may end up spending more money. Get in, get the deals, and then get out.

If you shop during less busy grocery shopping hours, like during the week or at night, your trips will also be faster than battling weekend shopping crowds.

12. Do Stock Up

If you spot an incredible couponing opportunity on nonperishable goods or products you use frequently, it’s generally a smart move to stock up. It ensures you benefit from the deal as much as possible and lets you use more coupons before they expire. It’s an excellent way to set up long-term emergency food and supply storage.

Stacking coupons and store sales lets you score the lowest price possible when stocking up. For example, if Green Giant canned corn is on sale for $0.99 per can and you have several BOGO coupons or manufacturer coupons for $0.50 off per can, you can stock up on as many cans as possible to build your food storage for less than half the regular price.

Some stores limit the number of sale products you can purchase at once. If a store puts a limit on something and you need more of it, visit other store locations to create your stockpile.

Stocking up also lets you be pickier about when you use coupons. For example, if you run out of toilet paper, shop your emergency pantry first. You can replace your emergency supplies when you’re able to stack a sale and a coupon rather than buying full-price TP without a coupon.

That’s especially important for edible pantry goods. Canned and dried foods last a long time, but even they eventually go bad. This method ensures your emergency supplies are always safe to eat. If you have to throw them away, you won’t save any money (and may be in trouble if you need them during a bona fide emergency).

But before you come home with 30 cans of creamed corn, make sure you have a place to store it. You can convert a small area of your home, like a guest room closet or second bathroom linen closet, into your emergency pantry.

13. Do Donate the Excess

When couponing, you sometimes encounter scenarios where you can get so much of a free or cheap product that you can’t even use it all before it expires. It’s still a better deal than purchasing without a coupon, but the thought of letting all that product go bad doesn’t sit well with most people.

Instead of turning down an incredible deal, look into ways to donate excess couponing successes to people in need. Charities like homeless shelters, food banks, and women’s shelters make excellent candidates for donations. You can also reach out to local churches and community outreach programs to see if they need certain supplies.

You may even be able to take a charitable contribution tax deduction.


Couponing Don’ts

If you ever watched shows like TLC’s “Extreme Couponing,” successful couponing looks like hours of dumpster diving for coupon flyers, endless clipping, and (in some cases) being way too frugal.

But couponing doesn’t have to become your full-time job. You don’t need to make things overly complex either. As long as you follow couponing best practices and avoid some common couponing mistakes, your savings can benefit without transforming your living room into a coupon-clipping factory.

1. Don’t Shop Without a Meal Plan

Shopping with a meal plan is an often overlooked couponing tip, but it’s crucial to saving money. If you don’t have a plan to use the products you’re buying each week, you’re more likely to waste food.

Additionally, shopping without a menu makes you more likely to buy convenience food: frozen pizzas, hot dogs, and other fast meals. While these are delicious, they’re not conducive to eating healthy on a budget.

When building your shopping list, plan dishes that line up with products you have coupons for. For example, you find a $1-off coupon for two bags of Sargento cheese, a $0.25 coupon for Classico pasta sauce, and a coupon for $1 off two boxes of Mueller’s pasta. You can plan to make lasagna for dinner one night that week and macaroni and cheese as a side for another meal.

Or perhaps you find a coupon for an ingredient that’s central to many dishes, like chicken or ground beef, that also happens to be on sale. You can plan to make several recipes that use that ingredient, then stack the sale and coupon for even more savings.

If that sounds intimidating, affordable meal-planning services like $5 Meal Plan provide a month’s worth of dinner recipes and various breakfast and lunch ideas for only $5 per month.

2. Don’t Use a Coupon on a Full-Price Product

If you use a $1-off coupon on a full-price two-pack of SlimFast protein drinks for $5.68, you still pay $2.34 per beverage. But if you wait until SlimFast is on sale, you can save even more money. For example, if SlimFast goes on sale for 20% off, you can buy two drinks for $4.54, use your coupon, and pay $3.54, or $1.77 each, saving nearly 40% on your purchase.

That’s why operating with an emergency pantry is such a good idea. If you need to restock on an ingredient or product that day, you have to use coupons even if you miss a sale (or worse, pay full price without a coupon). But if you can afford to wait, you can save money in the long run by shopping during sale periods and with coupons more often.

3. Don’t Buy Something Just Because It’s on Sale

Don’t let sale prices trick you into buying something you don’t typically use just because it looks like a deal. If you use coupons without thinking, you inevitably buy things that are a waste of money or products that expire before you have a chance to use them.

Jumping on every great deal out there significantly lightens your wallet and defeats the whole purpose of couponing. That said, if you find a fantastic deal on something you can donate, there’s nothing wrong with couponing for charity.

4. Don’t Be Brand-Loyal

Prego or Ragu spaghetti sauce? Skippy peanut butter or Jif? Which brand should you buy? The answer: whichever one you can get the cheapest using your coupons.

Many people start couponing because of a major life event, like job loss, pregnancy, or too much debt. Those aren’t the times to be brand-loyal. You need to save money, and you can’t do that if you pass on deals because you prefer specific brands.

And sometimes, the cheapest bet is to go with the store brand, even if it means passing up on a coupon or sale for another brand.

For example, at Walmart, the Great Value line is extensive, covering a range of affordable grocery products and everyday essentials. If your coupons can’t beat Great Value, it’s probably best to save them for another time.

Plus, many retailers give coupons for their own brands through register coupons and coupon mailers, so you can still find ways to save on already affordable store brands.

5. Don’t Use Every Coupon

Some coupons don’t represent real savings. For example, a coupon for $0.50 off two boxes of brand-name cereal doesn’t result in much savings. That’s only $0.25 off each box. Even during a good sale, the coupon may not take the total price down to a better deal than the store brand. Wait for a better coupon and another sale.

Sometimes, you also have good coupons nearing their expiration dates but no sales on the goods you need. Let them expire. You don’t have to use the coupons, especially if you have to buy a brand name at full price to do so.

Couponing is about saving money, not getting good deals on brand-name products.

If you really need something, buy one or two of them now and wait for a sale to buy in bulk.

6. Don’t Waste Time

It’s easy to fall into the couponing trap of spending so much time searching for deals and preparing to shop that you’re turning couponing into a part-time job (there are better side gigs to make extra money).

Start by asking yourself how much time you want to dedicate to couponing. The answer could be 15 minutes on Sunday to look through coupon apps or a couple of hours every week to do more thorough research.

With a time commitment in mind, you should also work efficiently. Some tips to save time when couponing include:

  • Only clipping paper coupons you know you’re going to use
  • Turning clipping into a family activity (don’t forget safety scissors for the younger ones)
  • Linking store loyalty cards with apps like Ibotta to avoid preselecting rebates before shopping

You can also order groceries online and use coupons to save both time and money. Online grocery shopping gives you plenty of time to scout deals and coupons and do the math without feeling pressured. It also saves you from clever marketing tactics that induce impulse buys. They try to do the same things online, but you have more time to talk yourself out of it. And you can typically use the same or similar coupons online you do in stores.

For example, at Kroger, you can load digital coupons onto your Kroger Plus card and have them automatically apply to your online grocery order. And if you pick up the order, you can also use paper coupons (Kroger only accepts their own digital coupons for delivery). Just make sure you hit any free pickup minimums to ensure you’re really saving.

As long as couponing is enjoyable and effective, you’re on the right track. Plus, as you gain experience, you’ll find certain coupon apps or websites work best for your shopping habits and become even more efficient at growing your coupon supply.

7. Don’t Print Coupons You Don’t Use

Online printable coupons from websites like Coupons.com can save money. But you still use computer paper and ink to print the coupons, which costs money and wastes paper.

Many people print every online coupon available and then throw most of them away. Print online coupons as you need them. Save any you’re interested in but don’t need as a PDF or browser bookmark.


Final Word

In many ways, learning to coupon is a series of stages. At first, you use a few tips that are convenient to save, like buying products you have coupons for. As you become more comfortable, you start to mix in tricks like coupon stacking and simply using more coupons per shopping trip. If you start loving the process, you eventually graduate to extreme couponing, where it’s possible to score entire grocery hauls for almost pennies on the dollar if you get it right.

Whatever stage you’re in, the goal of couponing is to save more of your money. How much time you spend on it is up to you.

Source: moneycrashers.com

25 Best Travel Jobs | Make Money While Traveling The World

Are you looking for the best travel jobs? Are you wondering, “How can I make money and travel?”

The best travel jobs give you a chance to make money while pursuing your passion of travel.

Travel is a dream for many, but it doesn’t have to just stop there — you can side hustle, or earn a full-time income while traveling the world.best travel jobs

best travel jobs

Whether you want to make extra money or if you’re looking for a full-time career, this list of best travel jobs may help you reach your goal to travel more.

Yes, it is quite possible to make money and travel full-time.

Making money holds many people back from traveling more, but it doesn’t have to.

This is because there are many different types of best travel jobs that can make your travel dreams become a reality.

We sold our house, moved into an RV, and started traveling over 6 years ago, and we’ve now been living on a sailboat for around 3 years.

I’ve been location independent since 2013, and have been traveling full-time since 2015.

Because I work a job that allows me to make money while traveling, I have been able to travel extensively, while also being able to pay my bills and save fully for retirement.

Over the years, I’ve met many full-time travelers. There have been people who have saved up enough money to travel for an extended amount of time, those who are retired, those who find odd jobs on the road, those who work some of the best travel jobs I’m about to tell you about, and more.

The majority of the people I have met are not bloggers or Youtubers. I know you see a lot of that online, but the reality is there are many people traveling while working more traditional jobs. 

Everyone has their own way of doing things to make full-time travel work, so I’m sure you can find something that will fit you the best.

Related content to best travel jobs:

Here are 25 best travel jobs.

 

1. Find remote work

Many, many of the people that I have met who travel full-time have remote jobs.

By remote jobs, I mean that they simply work full-time or part-time for an employer through their laptop. These aren’t jobs that pay you to travel or jobs that require international travel. Instead, they are just regular jobs that can be done online.

So, these people are able to work from anywhere, but they usually need to be available Monday through Friday during certain hours — just like if they were going into the office.

Because of the events of 2020, many companies have moved their employees to remote work, and there are many companies that plan to stay that way. Jobs like analysts, programmers, customer service reps, human resource management, and more can all be done remotely. And many big companies — Amazon, American Express, Siemens, Microsoft, etc. — have announced plans for staying remote or making it optional for the future.

If your company currently doesn’t allow for remote work and you’re interested, you can see if they are willing to work with you. Make a plan to meet with your boss and be prepared with reasons it would work for them too, and then talk about the possibility.

You can learn more about what makes remote work one of the best travel jobs in Remote Work: Work, Live, and Travel Where You Want With Remote Jobs. You’ll learn:

  • What a remote job is
  • How to make money as a remote worker
  • How much a remote job will pay
  • How to find remote work

What jobs allow you to travel the world?

What jobs allow you to travel the world?

2. Become a blogger

Blogging is great because you can work from anywhere. I know I’m biased, but it’s definitely one of the best travel jobs out there.

Blogging is what allows me to travel full-time. I make a great income and have enough saved to retire whenever I would like. Blogging also allows me to have a flexible schedule, meaning I can enjoy many of the places I travel to.

As a blogger, you may make money through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored partnerships, reviews, creating your own product, and more.

You can create your own blog here with my easy and quick tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $2.95 per month, plus you get a free domain name when signing up through my guide.

Related content: How To Start a Blog Free Course

3. Become a park ranger

Becoming a park ranger can allow you to really get to know a new place, and you can transfer to different parks to visit new areas.

The website ParkRangerEdu.Org is a great place to learn more. According to the site, earning a college degree in a relevant major such as earth science, forestry, conservation, biology, and more can be very helpful to becoming a park ranger.

As a park ranger, you may help protect the park, wildlife, visitors, and more, and may work at the visitor center, as law enforcement, protecting animals, guiding tours, and so on. It all depends on the position that you are looking to fill.

This would be one of the best travel jobs for people who love to be outdoors.

 

4. Cruise ship worker

If you want to know what jobs allow you to travel the world, working on a cruise ship is definitely one of them. You can work and travel through the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and more.

We went on a cruise many years ago and met a man who was sitting in the hot tub waiting for his wife to get off work. She was a balloon artist on the cruise ship, and he got to join the cruise and stay with his wife. She didn’t work a lot of hours, and they both seemed extremely happy with their travel and living situation.

There are many different types of opportunities to find on a cruise ship, including:

  • Daycare/childcare worker
  • Cleaning crew
  • Boat crew
  • Photography team
  • Salon/spa
  • Fitness center
  • Restaurant server or cook
  • Entertainment

Those are just a few of the jobs you can find on a cruise ship, and there are over 300 cruise ships in the world, and hundreds of workers on each cruise ship.

With a job on a cruise ship, you would live on the cruise ship and many of your expenses, such as room and board, may be paid for by the cruise ship company. You may also make a salary and tips.

 

5. WWOOFer

WWOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and it’s an organization that connects visitors with organic farms around the world.

WWOOF allows volunteers to choose an area and country to travel to and volunteer in at a farm. The stay can range from a few days to several months, depending on what is agreed upon.

In return for your food and provided accommodations, you may work 4-6 hours a day on the farm. 

This is one of the best travel jobs if you are looking for an affordable way to travel the world. You won’t make a full-time income, but it sounds like a fun way to visit new areas.

 

6. Freelancer writer

A freelance writer is something that you can work on from nearly anywhere. And, it’s one of the best online jobs because there is a growing number of freelance writing jobs.

A freelance writer is someone who writes for different companies, such as websites, magazines, books, and more. They don’t work for one specific company, instead, they work for themselves.

So, this means that you can have a flexible schedule and travel full-time.

My friend Holly has a successful freelance writing career and has earned over $200,000 each year writing online! 

Learn more about one of the highest paying travel jobs at How I Earn $200,000+ Writing Online Content.

 

7. Au pair

Au pairs are like nannies, but they go to live abroad with a family in a foreign country so they can learn the language, experience the culture, and travel. Au pairs don’t usually get paid a salary, but their host family pays for food and stay and gives the au pair some spending money.

Working as an au pair is one of the best travel jobs for anyone out of high school, in college, or younger adults who want to travel.

My sister was an au pair in Italy a few years ago. It was an interesting experience, and she had both positives and negatives from it.

In the blog post linked to below, she talks about:

  • How much an au pair can earn
  • The positives and negatives of being an au pair
  • Tips to find a host family to work for
  • Questions that you should ask the family before moving in with them

You can read more at How To Become An Au Pair And Travel The World.

 

8. Campground worker (workamper)

Campground workers or workampers are people who work at a campground in exchange for free stay and sometimes pay. There are many campgrounds across the country looking for workampers, and this can be one of the best travel jobs for people who like to camp.

You can find amazing campgrounds that are on the beach, in national parks, state parks, forests, and more. Pretty much any kind of campground can use workampers.

After RVing full-time for many years, I have met many happy workampers who enjoy their jobs. And, it’s something that I would definitely do myself!

After all, you get to stay for free, and many times you’re even paid to stay in some of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s a great way to make RVing work full-time.

As a work camper you may be:

  • Answering phones and making reservations in the campground office
  • Cleaning RV sites and bathrooms
  • Helping RVers learn their way around
  • Making food for visitors

As a workamper, the way you are paid can vary. Workampers can be paid with an RV site to stay in, at an hourly rate, or a mixture of the two.

Many times, campgrounds prefer a couple as well.

Related content: How To Make Money While RVing

 

9. Outdoor guide or instructor

If you’re the adventurous type, then becoming an outdoor guide or instructor is one of the best travel jobs available.

You will need some sort of skill level in order to safely do this, of course.

Outdoor guide or instructor jobs may include:

  • Hiking guide
  • Rock climbing guide
  • Scuba diving guide
  • Wilderness and survival guide
  • Kayaking/rafting guide
  • Fishing guide
  • Surfing instructor

As a guide or instructor, you may work for yourself, work for a park, a summer camp, or for another company.

 

10. Flight attendant

Many people desire to become flight attendants because of the travel opportunities that you are given.

There are strict requirements for becoming a flight attendant, but you may receive super discounted flights for you and companions. This can be a great way to travel while you’re working, and when you’re not on duty as a flight attendant, you can explore new places.

 

yacht crew travel jobs

yacht crew travel jobs

11. Yacht crew

Working as part of a yacht crew is a super interesting travel job. And, people are always looking for help on their boats, whether it’s a small 30 foot sailboat or if it’s a 200 foot mega yacht.

My husband has delivered two sailing catamarans for a total of around 4,000 miles (that doesn’t even include the amount of sailing he’s done on our boat), and we’ve both been offered crew jobs on several other occasions as well.

Being on a yacht crew doesn’t always pay (full-time jobs do pay well, though), but it does allow you to travel because that’s literally the job!

As yacht crew, you may be working as the:

  • Captain
  • Mechanic or engineer
  • Server
  • Chef
  • Cleaner
  • Crew

Now, working on a boat is not easy. It’s usually quite hard work, but it can be extremely rewarding and one of the best travel jobs if you’re interested in sailing.

To find travel jobs on a boat, a lot of it is about networking. Simply hanging around the docks may help you get some jobs, there are websites that you can join which connect crew to boats, and agencies that can help you find yacht jobs as well.

 

12. Photographer

We’ve met some amazing photographers ever since we started traveling, and I’ve always thought this would be one of the best travel jobs.

There are so many different kinds of photographers that make a living traveling the world. These include National Geographic photographers, people who travel around the world chasing crazy races and taking pictures of them, people publishing amazing photos on Instagram, and so on.

This is a very creative job that many people dream of.

 

13. Take surveys or take part in focus groups to make money traveling

Taking surveys definitely won’t be a full-time job, but it may help you make some extra money while traveling. It’s perfect if you’re looking for traveling jobs with no experience.

Some survey sites I recommend include:

  1. American Consumer Opinion
  2. Survey Junkie
  3. Swagbucks
  4. InboxDollars
  5. Branded Surveys
  6. Pinecone Research
  7. Prize Rebel
  8. Opinion Outpost
  9. User Interviews

With survey companies, it’s a good idea to sign up for as many as you can so that you can get the most surveys opportunities each month.

 

marine biologist travel jobs

marine biologist travel jobs

14. Marine biologist

Becoming a marine biologist was definitely something that I dreamt of as a kid. I can thank movies for that, haha.

Now, I live on a boat so I guess that’s the next best thing!

As a marine biologist, you may work for a university, the government, or a nonprofit organization that is focused on the water. You may work with wildlife, doing research, working as a naturalist, researcher, consultant, guide, or in some other role.

This travel job clearly requires more education and training than many of these other jobs, but if your dream is to travel and spend a lot of time near the ocean, this is something to work towards.

 

15. Proofreader

This is one of the best travel jobs because it allows you to travel full-time and be your own boss.

Proofreaders look for misspelled words, punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors, and they contract out their services to other business owners.

As a proofreader, you may be editing and proofreading articles, blogs, website copy, advertisements, emails, and so on.

You can learn more at How To Become A Proofreader And Work From Anywhere.

 

16. Travel nurse

Travel nurses are RNs (registered nurses) working short-term positions at healthcare facilities. Whenever there are nursing shortages, which happen often, travel nurses help healthcare facilities fill these roles.

I have had several friends become travel nurses, and I’ve also met a few travel nurses while traveling. Travel nurse jobs usually last around 3 months and can come with many benefits, and they also tend to pay quite well.

 

17. Write your own eBook

Writing your own book, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, is a great way to make money and travel full-time.

My friend Alyssa self-published her first book and has sold more than 13,000 copies. Her book was all about RVing, and she earned over $6,500 in one month alone, all while traveling.

You can learn more about making money while traveling by writing your own eBook at How Alyssa is making $200 a DAY in book sales passively.

 

18. Find items to resell online

If you’re traveling full-time, then you may come across items to sell quite often because you are visiting so many different places. 

I’ve met people who travel the country in vans or RVs and pick up items as they travel. They sell their inventory online and ship items out from wherever they’re staying.

Etsy, eBay, Craigslist, and countless others are great places if you decide to sell items online.

You can learn more at How I Made $40,000 In One Year Flipping Items.

 

How can I make a career in traveling?

How can I make a career in traveling?

19. Work as a freelancer

Freelancers are people who work for others and businesses hire them for one-time gigs or long-term contracts.

Freelancing is a growing field because companies are hiring more freelancers instead of full-time workers because it’s more cost-effective for them. 

In addition to some of the freelance jobs I’ve already mentioned (writing and proofreading) there are many, many other freelancing gigs such as:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Graphic design
  • Web design and development
  • Video editing
  • Sound design
  • Programming

There are so many different types of services you can offer as freelance work. It makes this one of the best travel jobs for lots of different types of workers.

20. Sell printables on Etsy

This might surprise you, but you can travel while earning a living selling printables.

Printables are digital files that can be bought and sold nearly indefinitely, and because they are delivered online, you don’t have to ship anything or store physical products.

Some examples of printables you can sell while traveling are:

  • Grocery shopping checklists
  • Gift tags
  • Candy bar wrappers
  • Printable quotes for wall art
  • Holiday printables

You can learn more at How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy.

 

21. Teach English

Teaching English is a very popular travel job. Whether you’re teaching English online or if you find a school in a foreign country (such as China or South Korea), teaching English is one of the best travel jobs because it’s in-demand and can take you to so many different places.

In this section, I’m mainly going to talk about teaching English online, as that’s very popular these days.

You do not need to be a teacher to teach English online or speak another language, which is great. You only need to speak English.

Typically, you can earn around $14 to $22 per hour by teaching English online.

There are a couple of companies I recommend signing up for if you want to travel and make money as an online English teacher:

  1. VIPKID
  2. Education First

Learn more at Make Extra Money By Learning How To Teach English Online.

 

22. Amazon Camperforce

Amazon has a program where they hire RVers to work at their company “picking, packing, stowing, and receiving” packages. 

If you’re an RVer, Amazon’s CamperForce program is one of the best travel jobs because it’s pretty flexible and easy. They offer hourly pay, a completion bonus, referral bonuses, and paid campsites for those that join and complete their CamperForce program.

23. Ecommerce shop owner

There are so many different things you can sell online, everything from clothes, home decor, electronics, outdoor equipment, and much more. And unlike a brick-and-mortar business, ecommerce shop owners don’t necessarily need to store inventory or handle shipping.

If you’re unfamiliar with this idea, it works this way because of something called dropshipping. Your online store is the middleman between the wholesaler and customer.

That makes running an online store one of the many jobs that allow you to travel because you can manage your online store from your laptop.

Learn more about running an ecommerce store in How Jenn Makes over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week.

24. Peace Corps

Working for the Peace Corps as a volunteer could be one of the most life changing travel jobs. I’ve heard it is a very rewarding experience as you will travel to places you’ve never thought you’d visit while helping people along the way.

But, the Peace Corps isn’t for everyone. This is technically a volunteer position, and volunteers live with hosts in the community. You are paid a small monthly stipend that is enough to live on in a developing country. 

25. Virtual assistant 

Many individual and small business owners hire virtual assistants (VAs) to help with tasks that don’t need to be completed by the business owner. It’s a way for business owners to free up their time and focus on more important tasks

Virtual assistants work online doing things like billing, scheduling, basic website tasks, responding to customer requests, and more.

As long as you have an internet connection, you can work as a virtual assistant from anywhere in the world. 

You can learn more in How Kayla Earns $10K From Home As A Virtual Assistant.

What are the best travel jobs?

There are many different travel jobs that may interest you. It’s all about finding the one that you are passionate about, the one that pays the bills, one that fits your skill level, and so on.

There are pros and cons to each type of travel job, so there is no single solution — it’s all about finding what will fit you best.

As a recap, some of the best travel jobs talked about above include:

  • Remote jobs
  • Blogger
  • Park ranger
  • Cruise ship worker
  • WWOOFer
  • Freelancer writer
  • Au pair
  • Campground worker
  • Outdoor guide or instructor
  • Flight attendant
  • Yacht crew
  • Photographer
  • Take surveys or take part in focus groups
  • Marine biologist
  • Proofreader
  • Travel nurse
  • Write your own eBook
  • Find items to resell online
  • Freelancer jobs
  • Sell printables on Etsy
  • Teach English
  • Amazon Camperforce
  • Ecommerce shop owner
  • Peace Corps
  • Virtual assistant

Are you interested in finding travel jobs? What would your dream travel job be?

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Source: makingsenseofcents.com

The Consequences of Gray Divorce

Divorce rates overall are increasing but it is notable that the number of divorces for those over age 65 has tripled in the last 25 years.

The term “gray divorce” was coined by the AARP to describe adults 50 and up who are going through a separation. Rising gray divorce rates can be attributed to several factors: Being divorced is no longer stigmatized as it may have been in the past; people are living longer; family circumstances and relationship dynamics have changed; and people have different in lifestyle expectations.

Divorce is difficult for both parties, but unfortunately, gray divorces often have more difficult outcomes for women rather than men. Regardless of gender, divorce deals a financial blow to both spouses. For those over 50, it can be more difficult to rebuild financially because you don’t have several decades of work ahead. Likewise, if one spouse has been out of the workforce for many years to care for children, he or she may not have the same career progress or earning potential. Additionally, although you likely don’t have custody issues for minor children to consider in a gray divorce, your grown children may get involved and perhaps might even take one side or the other.

If you are going through a divorce at any age, you need to carefully consider the financial issues involved. But if you are experiencing a gray divorce, there are some issues that merit specific attention:

  1. Division of assets. At this stage of life, it is likely that your financial situation is complicated. You should consider consulting a financial adviser, particularly one with specialized divorce certifications, such as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional, to help you understand how the division of retirement assets works and to help you separate marital assets from non-marital assets.
  2. Social Security. It is very important to know your options for drawing on your Social Security benefits. In many cases, it is more advantageous for one spouse to consider drawing off the higher earning spouse’s benefits, but there are specific requirements to be able to do so.
  3. Health insurance. If you are not yet 65, you will not qualify for Medicare and may have been covered under a spouse’s employer-sponsored health insurance. If that is the case, you need to plan for the gap in years until you qualify for Medicare and understand how COBRA benefits, the cost of individual health coverage and the policy coverage limits apply to your personal health insurance needs. You may also consider whether you need long-term care insurance if you are single, as many married people assume their spouse would handle caregiving if needed.
  4. Estate planning. After a divorce, you need to create an updated estate plan and draw up new documents to replace those that you had in place with your former spouse. It is important to make sure you have updated your beneficiaries and named those that should now have your powers of attorney for financial and health care matters. If you remarry, you will need to review and revise again to be sure your plans reflect your wishes at that time, as well.
  5. Tax considerations. Alimony may be part of a gray divorce settlement, and the tax consequences for both the payor and the payee need to be understood. In general, the receiver of the alimony will owe income tax on the payment and there is no longer a tax deduction for the payor. Additionally, it is important to understand the tax implications of the assets that are being divided in settlement discussions. A home worth $500,000 that has appreciated in value by $100,000 has different tax treatment than an investment account worth $500,000 with a $100,000 capital gain. Again, a qualified financial adviser and tax professional are very helpful in understanding the tax treatment of your proposed asset split and future income tax expectations.

Divorce at any age can be devastating, but having a clear vision of what you want your next chapter in life to look like – along with a trusted financial adviser – will help you avoid mistakes that could lead to financial heartbreak. The good news is, the AARP survey that first identified the gray divorce phenomenon also noted that 76% of people who divorced late in life felt they had made the right choice for a fresh start.

Mercer Advisors Inc. is the parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. and is not involved with investment services. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. (“Mercer Advisors”) is registered as an investment advisor with the SEC. Content, research, tools and stock or option symbols are for educational and illustrative purposes only and do not imply a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell a particular security or to engage in any particular investment strategy. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change. Some of the research and ratings shown in this presentation come from third parties that are not affiliated with Mercer Advisors. The information is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed or warranted by Mercer Advisors
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Managing Director of Client Experience, Mercer Advisors

Kara Duckworth is the Managing Director of Client Experience at Mercer Advisors and also leads the company’s InvestHERs program, focused on providing financial planning to serve the specific needs of women. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®. She is a frequent public speaker on financial planning topics and has been quoted in numerous industry publications.

Source: kiplinger.com