Being a solopreneur is pretty great. Except when it’s not.

We hear a lot about starting a business online and becoming your own boss. In fact, this trend is so prevalent now that it’s got its own term: solopreneur.

Most of the time, I love working from home. I also making money (mostly) on my terms. Before you decide that being a solopreneur is the move for you, here are some of the realities involved.

You set your own schedule.

One of my favorite things about being on my own is the fact that I get to set my own schedule. Since I started working for a company as a W-2 employee again there are a few more restrictions, but I work from home and still get to set my own schedule much of the time.

As a solopreneur, you have freedom and flexibility to work when you want — and from where you want. It’s freedom, and one of the things I treasure most.

Sometimes you have to work even when you don’t want to.

Ok, this is true whether you have a real job or whether you’re a solopreneur. You just have to suck it up and work sometimes.

But when you have a real job, the assumption is that you can clock out at some point and take a break. When you have a business, that’s not always the case. You might be up late working, even if you want to sleep. I can’t tell you how often I work on the weekend.

You have to force yourself to work sometimes, even if it’s the last thing you want to do. And sometimes, especially at first, you find yourself working more than you ever did while holding down a regular job.

Get ready for the self-employment tax.

One thing you don’t think about when you’re working for The Man is that your company is paying half your payroll taxes. When you’re working for yourself, you pay both parts of payroll taxes.

It’s important to be prepared. You could see a higher tax bill when you quit your job, just because you no longer have an employer subsidizing part of your taxes.

Set aside money each month to go toward taxes. I like to set aside about a third of my monthly income to go toward taxes (you might feel more comfortable adjusting this amount). And remember: you should pay quarterly to reduce the chance of problems with the IRS. Plan ahead of time to avoid money problems down the road.

Sometimes it feels like you have several bosses.

Be your own boss! You’re totally in charge!

The reality for many solopreneurs is that it can feel like you’ve got multiple bosses. There are days when I’m wrestling with multiple deadlines for different clients. I definitely don’t feel like I’m my own boss in those situations!

For freelancers, it’s common to feel as though you have more than one boss. The bright side, though, is that you have the chance to fire an unreasonable client down the road when you start seeing success.

Making money online takes more than just setting up a website.

Online entrepreneurs make it look so easy. Just set up your website and boom. The money rolls in.

But does it, really?

Sure. After you’ve put in the work. And it can take years to find success with your website or store. It can happen faster, of course, but it takes work. You need to market your website, services, and products — just like any other business.

You need a plan. You need to do the work. And you need to be realistic. If you build it, they aren’t guaranteed to come. You have to entice them.

It can get lonely cooped up in your home office.

I love working from home. And part of the reason I started doing the online thing was to avoid having to people on a regular basis.

But even introverts get lonely. We need to talk to people sometimes, too. As a solopreneur, though, that human contact might not be as frequent as you’d like.

You can ease the pain a bit by heading to a co-working space or a coffee shop. Meetups, conferences, and video calls can also help. Plus, if you have a life partner who works from home, that can provide you with support as well. Of course, having your life partner at home all the time with you can have its own drawbacks.

Your friends and family just don’t get what you do.

Working online as a solopreneur is hard to explain to friends and family. I’ve got people assuming I can just drop everything and do things for them left and right.

And my IRL acquaintances think what I do is a quaint hobby. Um, no, I support my family.

Trying to explain what I do to my grandma? She didn’t think I’d “made it” until she actually saw my name in the newspaper.

Luckily, as the internet becomes an increasingly acceptable way to make a living, and as the gig economy becomes a Thing, it’s easier to explain what I do. But sometimes it can be truly maddening.

It’s possible to go to the spa on Thursday.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy a flexible schedule?

This is my favorite reality of being a solopreneur. I love going to the spa on Thursday. I can almost always get an appointment, there aren’t many people there, and I can truly relax while my son is at school. It’s perfect.

Maybe the spa isn’t your thing. Maybe it’s golf. Or going to lunch with a friend. Perhaps you just want to go for a hike or play paintball. Whatever it is, go wild.

Just realize that you might have to make up for it by working on Sunday afternoon.

All your friends are working when you want to play.

It’s nice that you can go to a matinee movie on Wednesday afternoon. But you better like going alone. Because your friends with real jobs are all working.

This is a tough reality for many solopreneurs. They’re so excited that they can set a schedule to their liking, but what happens when everyone else is still on the 9-to-5 grind?

I get around it by meeting friends for lunch near their workplaces so we can enjoy a little time together. You can also find other friends to do things with, or even learn to be your own best friend.

You are responsible for your success.

This is the biggest, scariest, harshest reality of being a solopreneur. It’s also the most liberating aspect of being out there on your own. The fact that you are totally in charge of your own success is a huge deal — and it can make you or break you.

I love thinking that I can chart my own course. Even if you are still working your real job, and your solopreneurship is mostly in the side hustle stage right now, you are still taking control of your future success.

To me, even though there are hard realities associated with doing what I do, the biggest reality is also the most encouraging reality.

Are you a solopreneur? Tell us your story in the #Adulting community on Facebook

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

We’re all replaceable. But what if you could be less replaceable? Get your shit together and show your employer that you really are someone they don’t want to lose.

You’ve got the job.

Now you need to keep it.

With the tough job market and concerns about student loan debt ratcheting up the worry levels, it makes sense to think about how to make yourself indispensable at work.

That way, when it’s time for lay offs – or even if you want a promotion or raise – you are more likely to be considered a valuable company asset.

If you’re trying to figure out how to make sure your employer finds you necessary, here are several strategies to try:

1. Develop strengths valuable to your company.

Pay attention. What skills does your company value?

A surefire way to become indispensable at work is to have strengths that your employer relies on.

It’s not enough just have a valuable skill, though. You also need to be one of the few people who possess it. Figure out what your strengths are, and then determine how they can translate into necessary skills that are somewhat rare at your company.

Once you do that, they’ll never want to let you go.

2. Cultivate a good attitude.

The better your attitude, the better you are for the company. True, positivity can’t make up for a lot of things, but it does go a long way.

If you are positive, see opportunities, and are good for morale, your employer will likely decide that you’re necessary. When it comes down to a choice between letting go of one of two employees, and one of you is a downer, it’s the downer that is usually out, all other things being equal.

Don’t be a downer.

3. Stay current with technology and skills.

If you’re up-to-date on all the latest technology and best practices, you are more valuable to your employer.

Plus, it can be enriching and a good way to invest in yourself to stay current with technology and keep your skills up to date.

Show that you are interested in remaining relevant in your field. As you continue to expand your skill set and ensure that your company stays ahead of the curve, you’ll make yourself indispensable at work.

4. Focus on tasks that matter.

It’s tempting to bang out a bunch of easy tasks to look productive. But almost anyone can do the easy stuff.

Instead, look to accomplish things that matter. They might not be super-easy things, but they should have a bigger impact. If you develop a reputation for doing things that matter you will be more likely to be considered indispensable.

5. Go the extra mile.

You’d think this goes without saying: go the extra mile. However, it often does need saying.

Is there a way you can add extra value? Do you go above and beyond?

When you can show that you do more than is expected, or if you can add an extra twist, you are seen as a valuable resource. You want to be seen as someone who will continue to help move the company forward, rather than someone who does the bare minimum.

It doesn’t mean you have to work overtime every week or let work take over your life. But if you can add that extra bit to your work, you will be more valuable overall.

6. Be a team player.

Are you a helper? When others know that they can come to you for a little extra help, you are likely to be seen as dispensable at work.

Collaboration is increasingly becoming a major part of doing business. If you can’t play nice with others, your employer is likely to see you as a liability, rather than an asset.

Do your best to help the team and show that you are willing to move forward with goals. Stay focused on the team goals and be ready to help the company, and your bosses will feel much better about keeping you around.

7. Show reliability.

One of the best ways to make yourself indispensable at work is to be reliable. If you say you’re going to do something, can you be trusted to do it?

Meet your deadlines and be someone that others trust. Avoid over-promising. Do your best to accurately estimate what you can accomplish – and when you can reasonably get it done. Then, if you can’t meet your obligation, let someone know ASAP.

However, if you are constantly late and unable to keep up, that could indicate an issue in how you manage expectations. Review how you do things and what you can realistically get done. Underpromise and over deliver on a consistent basis, and you’ll gain a reputation for reliability.

8. Build important relationships.

Sometimes it really is about who you know. And it’s not about sucking up to your boss’s boss.

Instead, it’s more about building relationships with people important to your company. Is there a client that you could connect with and become point person with?

Can you help build a partnership? Can you introduce someone as a consultant to help solve a problem?

Think about the relationships you can enhance in work and business. As you build these relationships with your co-workers, supervisors, clients, and others, you will be seen as an integral part of the workplace, and someone to keep around.

9. Make your supervisor’s job easier.

If you really want to be indispensable at work, make your supervisor’s job easier. Do what you can to pitch in, help out, and solve problems. When your supervisor can trust you, s/he is more likely to go to bat for you.

Your supervisor knows what you do to help them with work. When they look good, and your efforts are part of the reason, they know it. Supervisors want to keep people around when they help them look good.

As a team player and as someone who shows skills and abilities that can help your company, you can become indispensable at work.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Stop obsessing about the “perfect” relationship or partner. You want to find love with a person, not an idea.

It seems perfect. True love.

But then, somehow, it all went wrong.

Maybe you desperately want it to work still. So you make excuses and find reasons to stick around. You love someone and you’re sure you’ve found the perfect one.

When you’re in this place, there’s a good chance you’re not in love with an actual person. Instead, you’re probably in love with an idea.

The idea of love.

We like to think we’re in love. The romance. The allure of the perfect soulmate. Someone who understands us. But the truth is that, in many cases, this is an idea of love. We think we know what love means, and then we try to mold the situation (and a partner) to fit that.

Or, rather than really seeing your mate as a person, you see the “potential.” You’re in love with an idea of what the perfect romance would be, and you try to make it fit.

Here are some of the signs that you’re more in love with the idea of a person and your relationship than you are in love with the actual person:

1. You envision a future with a changed mate.

Is it all about potential when you look at your lover? If all you see is the possibility that s/he will change and turn into your ideal, you’re not in love with them.

You’re in love with an idea of them. You fantasize about how it will be different when your s.o. finally finishes school or decides that camping is really fun. Perhaps you think about all the great Broadway plays you’ll see once your lover has developed a refined taste.

When you love a person, you respect their differences and that they might not like the same things – and it’s ok. You can both enjoy your activities without the need for the other. Loving someone is about accepting that they may never come to a basketball game with you or follow the profession you think they should.

2. You live more in the future than in the present.

This goes hand-in-hand with the first sign that you’re in love with an idea and not a person.

Instead of paying attention to the present and working on yourself and your relationship, you live in the future. Your future memories and fantasies are what matter most to you.

Yes, you need to plan for the future with your s.o. But you can’t live there. Especially if your constant fantasizing about what will happen makes you grumpy that the present doesn’t live up to that ideal. You need to work on yourself and your relationship.

Living in the future puts the focus on trying to make your mate into someone else, rather than helping you become a complete person in a healthy relationship today.

3. You constantly compare your relationship to other couples.

Every couple is different. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

You run into trouble, though, when you compare your relationship to what you see from other couples. When you idolize a couple for their “perfect” relationship, and you want to do things just like they do, you’re on dangerous ground.

Rather than looking at the relationship and working on it in a way that makes you and your lover both happy, you constantly wish it could be something else.

Looking at the public face of other couples is dangerous. Mainly because what looks so perfect on social media might not actually be. You like the idea of what this couple has built, and aren’t really interested in the person you’re with.

When you compare your relationship to other couples, you spend too much time looking outside, to what others are doing. Instead, you should be looking at your mate, seeing a person, and focusing on whether or not this relationship makes sense.

4. On paper, it’s perfect.

Sometimes we look at someone and, instead of seeing them for who they are, we check boxes.

Athletic? Check.

Pretty eyes? Check.

A business major? Check.

Maybe you even share a lot of interests. You both like the same music and movies. You have similar religious backgrounds. It seems like the perfect match.

And maybe it is.

But when you focus on how “perfect” all these “qualifications” make your partner, you aren’t actually seeing a person. Instead, you’re seeing a collection of characteristics that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to present to your mom.

You’re in love with an idea. The idea that you have this great match, your parents will approve, and you’ll be proud to go to all the dinners and parties with this person on your arm.

Unfortunately, just because someone seems perfect on paper, that’s not always the case. None of us are perfect, and you need to look through the traits and see the person. Sometimes, even with the surface compatibility, you’re not actually good for each other on a deeper level.

5. You find yourself changing to meet their expectations.

Maybe instead of expecting your mate to change, you start changing yourself.

Your s.o. is perfect on paper, and things are a little rocky right now. You don’t want to lose the ideal, so you decide to make some changes. If you change to meet your lover’s ideal, then things will smooth out, they will love you more, and it will be perfect forever.

Nope, nope, nope.

We can all improve as people. Progress is about being a little better each day. But that doesn’t mean you have to change the core of who you are just to please your lover and get them to stick around.

If you are with someone who places contingencies on their affection, and they want you to change into someone else, it’s not really love. And you are more in love with an idea of not being alone than in being with this person.

Not too long ago, someone who knows I’m just not having any more children said this to me: “If you find the one, you’ll want to give him a child if he really wants one.”

Um, no.

If I find “the one” he will respect that I don’t want any more children. In fact, if someone really wants children, it’s clear I’m not the one for him. We aren’t compatible.

Sticking around and trying to change who you are and what you want out of life just to be in a “perfect” relationship isn’t love.

Don’t settle for an idea.

Don’t fall prey to the idea that you need to have someone. This is what leads us to being in love with an idea instead of a person.

Instead of trying to find someone, anyone, to fill a hole in your life, start by figuring out who you are and enjoying life on your own. Once you are happy with yourself, you are more likely to attract others who are happy with themselves – including potential partners.

Look for people, and look at them as people, rather than fantasies or ideas. In the long run, you’ll have more rewarding relationships.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Are you in a sort-of relationship without wanting to commit? Not sure what to call it? You, my friend, are in a situationship.

There is no doubt that I love the single life.

But sometimes I find myself spending time with one person enough that things start moving into “boyfriend-like” territory. But I don’t actually want a boyfriend. And I certainly don’t want anyone moving in.

What are you supposed to do with that?

Luckily, a friend of mine came to the rescue.

This perfectly describes some of my recent interactions. It’s that weird place where you are kinda seeing each other. You’re more than dating, but one or both of you are unwilling to totally commit. It’s beyond friends with benefits, but you’re not going to take it to the next level. At least for now.

So, are you in a situationship? Let’s take a look at some of the indications that you are involved in this type of pseudo-relationship:

You don’t want to label it.

The first sign that you’re in a situationship is that you don’t want to label it. When people ask if you’re dating, you say things like, “Sort of.” You don’t want to call your … person … a boyfriend or girlfriend.

If you do come up with a label, it’s sorta lame. I sometimes refer to the subject of my situationship my “not-boyfriend.” The idea is to avoid actually committing full-on, leaving room for other dating experiences, should they come up.

You aren’t actually dating anyone else.

Have you reverted to the easiest situation? Is it easier to just hang with your not-girlfriend than go on a date with someone new?

A hallmark of a situationship is that you claim to be “free” to go out with other people, but you don’t actually do it very often. You’re basically exclusive, but you don’t feel a level of commitment that comes with true exclusivity.

If a better opportunity presented itself, you would totally bounce.

You aren’t going on dates anyway.

Forget dating other people. You aren’t even going on dates in your situationship. Instead, you hang around the house, much like a long-time couple. You might even sleep over at each other’s places sometimes. Netflix and chill is basically the order of the day and you rarely make an effort to go on a real date.

You still fly solo at events.

Family function? You go by yourself. Holiday party? Ditto.

While you might bring your situationship buddy along to some things, you’re still not “there” yet in terms of making them a permanent fixture in your life and bringing them along to all the events.

When making vacation plans, you’re not really interested in ensuring that you have company; you’re perfectly happy alone. While you don’t mind traveling with them, you’re not interested in doing it all the time.

Your friends and family might not be aware there’s someone.

By the way, do the people who know you best have any idea that there’s a Thing happening? Maybe your closest friends and family members know that “something” is going on, but they haven’t actually met your situationship person.

Or, maybe they have met the person, but only on occasion. You certainly aren’t arranging double dates with your brother and sister-in-law or planning fun couples hikes with your BFF and their squeeze over the weekend. Sometimes there’s a casual “this is so-and-so” when you do bring them along to something. You don’t make plans to do things with the couples.

Instead, you mostly try to keep your worlds from colliding. You don’t want your situationship to be part of the rest of your life. Or, at least, you’re trying to put it off as long as humanly possible.

Your Facebook status remains resolutely single.

You’re not even willing to elevate the status to “it’s complicated,” although for some people in a situationship that is an option.

You do have pictures of yourself with your situationship person, but they are relatively innocuous. They show you having fun, but they aren’t that much different from the pictures you take with your friends. You certainly don’t post all the pictures you might have of the two of you together.

Maybe you refer to yourself as “mostly single” (as I do), or you find some other way to subtly clue people into the fact that you are kinda sorta maybe seeing someone in a way that looks similar to a relationship, but you really aren’t doing the relationship thing.

Your future plans don’t take the other person into account.

Sure, sometimes you talk about the future or daydream about things you’ll do together. But, really, your future plans don’t really account for the other person. You make plans that could have room for the other person, but it’s not really your primary concern.

You just aren’t making long-term future plans together. When you think of your future, it’s attractive to you whether or not your buddy has a place in it.

Is a situationship a bad thing?

A lot of what I read about situationships seem to imply that they are bad things. However, I’m not sure it’s an awful thing to be involved in a situationship.

When you’re looking for a degree of stable companionship with someone you enjoy, but you don’t want to move in together or get married or do whatever it is that committed couples do today, a situationship can be just the thing.

The biggest risk is that you are content with the situation, while the other person starts developing stronger feelings and different expectations. What happens when the other person starts thinking about a future together and wants to level up to a real relationship? At that point, you need a Come to Jesus and figure out what’s next. That next might even be taking the plunge and committing.

If one of you is not happy with the situationship, but the other is just fine living in this pseudo-relationship indefinitely, it’s time to end it. The other person needs a chance to develop a relationship along the lines of what they want.

However, if you’re both cool with the situationship, there’s no point in messing up something you both enjoy. It doesn’t matter what those around you say. Figure out what’s working for you, and then go for it.

Are you in a situationship? How’s it working out for you? Let us know what you think about this new relationship category in the #Adulting Facebook community.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Independence. Fire. Ambition. An alpha female sounds great. If you want to keep it great long-term, follow these tips.

For centuries, women have been told that “proper” females are demure.

Our concept of “traditional” roles are stuck on a binary that is largely a social construct. Rather than looking at individuals and preferences, we have this idea that men are providers and protectors, while women are nurturers and managers.

Today, though, with an increase in women as breadwinners and the growing social acceptability of the idea of those who identify as female becoming a little more aggressive, we’re seeing the rise of the alpha female.

Do you want to date an alpha female?

The alpha female is a woman who is confident and assertive. She usually has a career that she prioritizes (maybe even over you sometimes). She has ambition and drive. In many cases, an alpha female is at home being considered a woman, and doesn’t mind dressing up and being “girly” sometimes.

The alpha female looks like what we consider a “traditional” or stereotypical woman, but she doesn’t act that way. She’s ready to take charge and enjoy her life. Whether you’re a woman or a man, or identify as someone else altogether, the truth is that dating an alpha female can be challenging — especially if you’re mired in ideas of what a “lady” should be.

Before you start to date an alpha female, here five things you should probably know:

You need to have your own interests.

It’s fun to do things together. But sometimes work calls and things need doing. Sometimes an alpha female just wants to go do something alone or with a different group of friends.

For some, this feels like being ignored. This doesn’t mean she’s lost interest. It means she has other things to do right now. The emotional and mental stress of trying to reassure you can become overwhelming and annoying.

When you have your own interests, it helps a lot. An alpha female is her own person, and much of the time, she likes a partner who is their own person. When you have your interests, you can entertain yourself and you are less likely to get jealous when your partner is engrossed in a big project or goes out to lunch with a friend.

That goes a long way with an alpha female who wants her own space sometimes, and who is driven to the point where she wants to accomplish her goals before turning her attention to you. But realize that once that attention is turned your way, it’s most likely going to be all for you.

Make decisions.

After making a ton of decisions throughout the day, an alpha female might not want to decide where to go for dinner. Making another decision, or trying to people for another minute (if your alpha is also an introvert), can feel exhausting.

Instead, be ready to make decisions. If your partner says she doesn’t care what you have for dinner, don’t press her for a decision. At the very least, narrow it down to two or three options.

You can also suggest activities for the both of you. She might want to do something with you, but not have to make the plans. Of course, I know there are days I’m tired, done with decisions and just want to chill at home. In those cases, I’ll more than happily tell a partner I just want to watch an action/adventure/comedy and lay in his arms on the couch.

Try not to feel threatened.

I’m cis and straight. I “look” like I should be “normal” (read: “stereotypical”). However, many men I date feel uncomfortable with me once they start talking to me. I’m opinionated and happy to share my opinion. I make a pretty decent living, and mostly get to do what I want, when I want.

For some men who go out with me, especially now that I live in a culturally conservative area, it’s off-putting. They get upset when I try to pay for my own meal (and especially theirs). And they really don’t know what to do when I start talking about politics and money.

If you decide to date an alpha female, try not to feel threatened. If I ask someone on a date, I expect to pay. And if a dude lets me do it without getting all weird, I take it as an indication that he’s “man enough” (whatever that means) to actually appreciate a strong, independent woman.

One thing I’ve noticed: Many “traditional” men think it’s great that I have energy, life, and ambition. At first. Later, they feel threatened when they aren’t the center of my universe. It gets worse if I actually make more money than them.

Don’t feel threatened by your partner. She loves what she does. And if you’re not always the first thing she does, you’ll be happier if you can avoid jealousy, do your own thing sometimes, and appreciate her for who she really is, rather than wishing she was just a little more “traditional.”

Help out.

Not gonna lie. Even though I try to do everything, I really can’t. One thing that helped me recently was that I had a friend help out. He was kind enough to take my car to get an oil change while I worked. He ran a couple errands for me.

He was in between jobs and driving for Lyft, and thought he could make my life easier. And he did.

If you have spare time, help out. In any partnership, both partners need to do their share, depending on what that is. Don’t worry; many alpha females feel like they need to pitch in. They’ll pull their own weight – although it might be in different ways than you’re used to seeing.

When you date an alpha female, one of the best things you can do to show you care is make life easier by helping out.

Know when to back off.

When I get stressed and feel like I need to get stuff done, there’s nothing that helps, other than getting the shit done. Hugs and kisses are all very well, but they won’t get the job done. So I like a nice hug, and then leave me alone.

It’s not rejection. It’s just that I need to focus. For many alpha females, the fact that you’re there takes focus away from what needs doing. You don’t need to feel threatened. If your partner is stressed, ask if she wants to be held, or if she just needs you to go away for a while so she can focus intensely and get whatever is causing the stress out of the way.

This works out really well if you aren’t threatened by her independence and if you have your own interests. You can disappear for a couple hours with your friends or your hobby and when you get back, she’ll be less stressed, and ready to focus on you.

What do you think? How do you handle your relationships with people who might be considered “difficult” by traditional standards? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Yes, it is possible to legally sell yourself. You might be surprised that some people are willing to pay you just for who you are.

At some point, any number of us are looking for ways to earn a little fast cash.

Whether it’s an extra $50 this week or a desire to find an extra $1,000 in the budget this month, the ability to make extra money entices all of us.

But how do you make extra money quickly? And can you get the cash when you want it?

One way to get that paper quicker is to sell yourself.

Not like that. That’s illegal.

But there are ways to sell some bits of yourself and it’s totally legal. Here are some of the ways you can make extra money by selling what your mama gave you:

Hair.

Believe it or not, people want to buy your hair. You’ve probably heard of people donating hair, but you can actually get money for your hair.

Your best bet is going to be if you have long hair (at least 10 inches or so) that hasn’t been treated or dyed.

However, even if you have shorter hair, or hair that was treated or colored at some point, you might still be able to get some money.

It’s possible to make up to a few hundred dollars when you sell your hair. There are websites like HairSellon that allow you to list your hair for sale. There’s even a hair price calculator to help you estimate what you should list your hair for.

I just did my own hair and discovered that it is worth $70. (It’s been dyed). Not bad considering all I need to do is cut it off.

Blood plasma.

I know several people who have made decent money by donating blood plasma. You can make $25 to $50 per donation, depending on where you live.

It’s also possible to donate up to twice in a seven-day period. That’s up to $200 a month. I know a guy that paid for his family’s groceries just with his blood plasma donations.

Companies like BioLife can provide you with the ability to make extra money quickly and easily. You do need to make sure you meet the requirements, including a medical screening and testing negative for hepatitis and IV, and follow a recommended diet.

Eggs (for the ladies).

When I was in college, I saw an ad in the newspaper for egg donations. I was intrigued. Ultimately, I didn’t go for it. But sometimes I wish I had.

When it comes to egg donation, you can earn thousands of dollars. One company, Growing Generations, starts at $8,000. You get $750 of it upfront, as you begin the medications required.

Most egg donation isn’t just about getting the compensation for the donation itself. All your expenses are paid. This includes mileage if you have to drive and airfare if you have to fly. Meals, hotel, and other expenses are covered.

However, the downside is that this can be harder to do than just lop off your hair. You have to go through a whole cycle of medications. Plus, you have to be healthy. The ad I saw insisted on high intelligence as well.

I’m almost too old to make a good candidate now, but there are times I wish I’d gone for it when I was younger. I was a good weight, not totally unattractive, and doing quite well in school.

It’s something to think about if you want to make extra money and don’t mind the idea of your genetic material being given to someone else.

Women can also make money by selling their breast milk and by being surrogates. But you really have to be committed to make extra money in these ways, since it requires going really above and beyond.

Sperm (for the dudes).

Men can also get in on the genetic material racket by selling their sperm. This is easier than being an egg donar, though. You can make up to $1,500 a month if you meet the requirements to be a sperm donor.

You have to make a commitment, though. You need to come in at least once a week for between six months a year. You might also need to meet a height requirement and pass a health screening.

Realize, though, that you could end up with some of your progeny coming to find you. Even if you ask for confidentiality, there are ways for determined people to find out the truth about their biology — and come looking.

You can find a local sperm bank using a directory.

Poop.

Yes, poop.

A company in Boston is willing to pay you $40 per stool sample.

You do need to pass a screening and be willing to donate several times a week for 60 days. But that’s not too bad, when you think about it.

However, it’s limited to those who can get to the centers in the Boston area. So if you aren’t local enough, it’s not going to help you. But if you do live in the Boston area, your poop could save lives — and be profitable.

Clinical trials.

I recently had a medical procedure. Because I was willing to answer questions about it, I received $75 in Amazon gift cards.

While it’s not cold, hard cash, it was still useful. And I shop at Amazon regularly, so it was very helpful. Not bad for 45 minutes worth of talking on the phone.

You can also participate in clinical trials to make extra money. If you meet the requirements, you can try out pharmaceuticals and other medical items.

You can search for clinical trials in your area to see whether you have a nearby trial that you qualify for.

Of course, the downside is that you can end up with adverse reactions and serious discomfort. But if you’re willing to stick it out, it can mean thousands — or even tens of thousands — of dollars.

Used panties.

Finally, you can wear your panties like normal and then sell them. Websites like Pantydeal can hook you up with buyers looking to sniff your used panties.

It’s part of the adult industry and a way for you to make some money easily and even quickly.

Websites that deal in panties promise discretion, although you are likely to make more money if you are willing to share pictures and videos.

If you consider yourself “adventurous,” there might be some money in your old underwear.

Bottom line.

Before you get too excited about selling yourself to make extra money, think through it. It can be hard to give bits of you away. And some of the best-paying opportunities can be painful and inconvenient. B

But if you are sure, look into ways that you can take your income potential to the next level just by being who you are.

Have you ever sold your body parts legally? Are you interested in taking that step? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Your next work event doesn’t have to be about being bored or getting drunk. Instead, make it a career opportunity by networking.

Attending a work event, whether it’s a team building exercise or the company picnic, can be brutal.

What do you say to everyone?

It can be boring and lame.

But what if you could use a work event to boost your own career prospects? At the very least, you can use this as a chance to get to know others at work and creating rewarding relationships.

Networking at a work event can be a good way to improve the situation in your company and boost your own opportunities.

Figure out what you want to accomplish.

The company picnic isn’t just a place to sit around and be bored. Your team building exercise shouldn’t be about gritting your teeth and getting through it. An office holiday party isn’t an excuse to get drunk.

All of these are events that allow you the chance to make a new connection or show yourself in a good light.

Figure out what you want to accomplish ahead of time. Do you want to spend a couple minutes speaking with the boss? Do you want to get to know someone in another business unit?

As you’re networking at a work event, concentrate on your objective and what you hope to gain from it. Getting to know someone in another area of the business might be useful if you want to make a lateral move. Face time with the boss is always a good thing.

Maybe you just want to show yourself a friendly and enthusiastic presence in the office — someone others speak well of.

Once you know what you hope to accomplish, you can create a game plan.

Work on rapport.

Networking at a work event is all about building relationships. You want to work on a rapport with others. You can’t just show up and then ask people for something.

Instead, take an opportunity to show interest in others and build a solid foundation.

In any networking situation, building rapport is important. However, it’s extra-important at a work event. You need to be able to call on your relationship with others later on.

Building these relationships can also help your career later. When you network, you get a chance to let others get to know you. If there is a promotion opportunity or some other chance to advance, you are more likely to come to mind if you have been building relationships.

Ask questions.

Ask good questions and glean insights. If you can get the other person talking, you can learn about them. And you also help them feel as though they have had a great conversation.

Think of some good, relevant questions to ask before the work event. Insightful questions go a long way toward impressing others. Show you are a good listener, willing to learn and ready to ask good questions, and you might be surprised at how much that can help you in the long run.

Don’t be too pushy, though.

One of the most difficult parts of networking at a work event is avoiding being too pushy. In some cases, your coworkers are just trying to relax.

So, even though you definitely want to do a bit of networking, don’t be too pushy about talking about work. No one wants to do a deep dive into next quarter’s projections at the summer picnic. Instead, keep your networking to somewhat light topics, or ask a more general question about where you think the company stands in relation to other firms in the industry.

Try to be engaging without being overbearing. The idea is to show yourself as open and insightful, but you also need to know when to have fun.

Offer help.

A key tenet of networking, no matter the situation, is offering help first. Rather than asking what others can do for you, try to figure out how you can help others.

Think about what you have to offer. How can you help someone else with a work project or assignment? Can you be an asset? Do you have a good idea that could provide special help to someone else?

Know what you have to offer, and then offer it. Take an interest in at-work struggles and then show how you can help solve the problem. It’s a way to be valuable, and show your interest in teamwork.

Later, others will want to help you and recommend you.

Be yourself.

Ah, the most cliché advice ever. But it’s true. It’s especially important to be yourself when networking at a work event. These are people who will find out pretty quickly if you’re faking something.

It’s always best to be yourself when you’re networking. You want to be the best version of yourself, of course, but you do still need to be yourself.

As you are genuine, you are more likely to make real connections that last your career — and can even enrich your life beyond work.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Want better health? You may have to get off your lazy ass. The good news is that you might not have to get off it for very long.

I hate exercise.

I literally have to trick myself into it by being active in ways I don’t associate with exercise.

Unfortunately, it’s not always effective. I can’t make it to the pool each day. I don’t always make time for a bike ride. Getting to the mountains for a hike isn’t always feasible.

In a world where the research says, “Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity,” it can feel like a serious endeavor to live healthy.

Generally, in order to make it work, the experts recommend spreading the workouts over a period of days. Exercise every day (or at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week), and you reap the benefits.

But what if you could stave off early death and a host of problems by exercising only two days a week?

Nice!

Thanks to science, you might be off the hook. At least for some of the time.

Health benefits from exercising one or two days a week

What if you don’t want to try to exercise each day?

Sure, you can break it up into 10 minutes sessions each day to feel better about the whole thing. But what if you don’t even want to do that?

But what if you don’t even want to do that?

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), it’s possible to get solid health benefits from cramming it all in on the weekend.

Here’s what one of the study’s authors, Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, said about the results:

It is very encouraging news that being physically active on just one or two occasions per week is associated with a lower risk of death, even among people who do some activity but don’t quite meet recommended exercise levels.

That’s right. Even if you don’t get up to that 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) exercise, even just going for it one or two days a week can help reduce some of the health risks that come with a sedentary lifestyle.

Adopt the weekend warrior exercise lifestyle.

This takes the concept of minimum exercise to the next level. And it also makes it easier to follow the “trick yourself” method of exercise.

Think about it: I don’t have to try to exercise every day. If I just take half a Saturday, my son and I can ride bikes to the Greenbelt and then go for an exploratory walk. It’s perfect. That’s a nice combo of vigorous and moderate exercise.

And it does the job.

As a bonus, I get to enjoy quality time parenting my child and making good memories.

This is really easy during months when the weather is is pretty good. Yardwork. Picnics in the park. Hiking. Biking. Family basketball games in the driveway. Tennis. A day playing in the municipal pool.

It’s harder for me during winter because I’m not into skiing and snowshoeing. But a Sunday afternoon sledding with my son and his friends or a couple hours building a snow fort does the trick.

Hell, when my cousins come over to play Rock Band, I can get a couple hours of “moderate” activity just by jumping around like an idiot in the family room, pretending I can actually sing.

If you have a free Saturday or Sunday each week (or one other day during the week), you can engage in the minimum exercise you need to not die too early in one fell swoop.

Get some benefits with even more minimum exercise.

Is the prospect of giving up half a weekend day to exercise just as horrifying as exercising 30 minutes a day?

There are indications that the absolute minimum exercise you can do is a 10-minute walk each day. This is especially true if your life is mostly sedentary.

Going for a walk can be a good way to boost your cardiovascular health. If you can manage 10 minutes a day, it’s an upgrade. You won’t see the same results of doing 30 minutes a day (or powering through the weekend), but you can still see positive results that reduce the chance of dying horribly and dying early.

Plus, a side bonus of going for a 10-minute walk each day is that it can help you feel instantly better about life.

Just finding 10 minutes in your day to go for a walk can mean better emotional and mental health, as well as better physical health.

Don’t forget about your eating habits.

Of course, just doing the absolute minimum exercise alone isn’t going to save you from heart disease, diabetes, and any number of ailments.

If you’re serious about your health, you might also need to address your eating habits.

When you don’t up your exercise, you need to change what goes in, if you want to avoid some of the worst of the debilitating illnesses related to your daily habits.

That might mean switching to healthier foods, eating less crap, and generally paying attention to these things. When you make that move, you are more likely to get away with doing as little exercise as possible.

At one point, I managed to lose five pounds just be eating better. No extra exercise needed. Score!

Healthier habits = better quality of life.

In general, better health habits mean a better quality of life. Despite my hatred of exercise for the sake of exercise, I know that physical activity will help me feel better in the long run.

When I make sure to exercise every day (even if it’s only a 10-minute walk or a few minutes of yoga in the morning), limit the junk I eat, and get enough sleep, I feel better.

I make better decisions. I feel more energetic. I’m less grumpy with my son (and other people in my life). I get more done.

So, even if you only do the minimum exercise, make the effort to change things up with your other habits.

Baby steps toward a healthier overall lifestyle can have positive consequences, even if you never become a health nut.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

You’re a grown-ass adult. So why do your parents treat you like you’re still a kid? You need to set some boundaries ASAP.

Are you tired of your parents always butting in?

Do they ask prying questions? Tell you how you should be doing things? Insist that you should dump that loser boyfriend/girlfriend? Let you know that you’re doing it all wrong with your own kids?

You love your parents, but they seem to be popping in with surprising frequency at your home. And, my goodness, do they really have to guilt you into spending every holiday and every celebration with them?

There’s no reason for that business.

While you’ll always be your parents’ child, the fact of the matter is that you are also a grown-ass adult and you have your own life and your own values. Your parents shouldn’t be steamrolling you.

It’s time to establish boundaries. For the good of your relationship.

How it helps your relationship to establish boundaries.

You probably want to maintain a good relationship with your parents. If so, you need to establish boundaries. Stat.

Interestingly, boundaries in romantic relationships actually help the situation. That principle also applies to other, non-romantic relationships as well. Boundaries can help you feel safe.

Plus, think about how much you hate it when your parents are too pushy and interfering. Don’t you resent them a bit afterward? Are you reluctant to see or talk to them in the future? That’s not good for your relationship.

Establish boundaries that are healthy and that work, and you will be happier to interact with your parents and your relationship will improve. It’s important to understand this as you move forward.

Remember: you’re coming from a place of love and you want to strengthen the relationship.

Good relationships aren’t about being inseparable and being up in each other’s business all the time. All healthy relationships require space for individuals and room to be yourself and make choices.

Figure out your boundaries.

You can’t just rush in and tell your parents that you hate what they’re doing. Especially when you aren’t exactly sure what your boundaries are, or why you’re upset.

So, take some time to yourself. Think about what has been bothering you, and dig into why it’s been bothering you. What can you live with? What can’t you abide at all? What have you been arguing about?

This is about constant demands for time or things that you can’t or don’t want to give. Or perhaps it’s about constant discussions about topics you wish were off limits, like your S.O., how you parent your kids, or your weight.

It’s one thing for your parents to offer you a bit of advice and let it go. My own parents have expressed things to me in the past. However, my parents are awesome examples of how to give space to their adult children. They said their piece in a loving way, and, satisfied that they had fulfilled the dictates of conscience, never pushed the issue again.

Sometimes you need your parents’ input. So carefully think about the boundaries, and why you’re setting them. Once you have that down, you can draw the line.

Be clear about what’s off-limits.

If your parents consistently do things that you find intrusive, demanding, and inappropriate, you need to be clear about what’s off-limits.

“I’m sorry that you feel that way about [insert boo’s name here], but I really like our relationship. I won’t talk negatively about it or him/her, and I won’t tolerate you saying bad things, either.”

“I understand that you don’t like how I handle discipline, but our family is doing what works for us, and I’d appreciate you not telling my kids that I’m not doing it right.”

“I love talking to you, but I also need to be able to rest for work, so I’d appreciate it if we could limit call times to an hour.”

Express empathy, and be polite and calm. Let your parents know you care. You can even thank them.

“Oh, thank you for inviting us. However, we have other arrangements for that night. We’ll see you another time.”

If they keep pressing, you can say something like, “We enjoy spending time with you, but we also have other obligations. We appreciate invitations and hope we are always welcome. However, we also don’t want to feel guilty if we can’t make it. Please know we will come when we can.”

In most cases, when you establish boundaries this way, your parents will respect that. Unless they are totally toxic people. But that’s another problem.

Stick to your boundaries.

Of course, once you establish boundaries, you need to stick to them. That means you need to walk away if the line is being crossed.

This is easiest to do when you’re on the phone. If your parents are pressuring you to come to a family event, but you have already said you aren’t coming, and expressed that you don’t like the guilt trips, you can just say, “I’m sorry, but we’ve talked about this. I love you, and I need to go.” And then you hang up.

That phrase works for just about everything, whether you’ve said you don’t want to talk about your S.O., your parenting style, or your job prospects.

It’s harder in person because you have to say that and then either stare them down or leave the room. But stick to it. If you have to leave, do so. Eventually, your parents will get the hint and start respecting your boundaries.

This is especially true when you have kids. There are times I think my parents’ amazing restraint and boundary-respecting comes from the fact that they don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize their ability to see their grandchildren.

I don’t have to say anything to my parents, or threaten to withhold my son. They just assume that if they make things unpleasant for me, I’ll visit less — and that means less face time with their eldest grandchild.

You have to give, too.

When you establish boundaries, it’s important to give as well. Know what you are willing to give. Maybe instead of coming on Christmas, you share dessert on Christmas Eve.

My ex and I had a firm policy of not going anywhere on Christmas. So our holiday visits were made the week between Christmas and New Year. Interestingly, my son and I still spend Christmas with my ex — and we still spend the Christmas Day just us, and then go visit the ex-laws afterward.

Figure out how you can remain positive and give, even as you set up boundaries. This can include saying something like, “I love to talk to you, but talking every day is starting to impact my school work. Can we talk every Sunday morning?”

Offering positivity, love, and a compromise is a way to establish boundaries while still maintaining the relationship. Once you start doing that, your parents will start treating you more like an adult, and everyone will be happier.

What’s your biggest challenge when setting boundaries? Share your struggles or your tips that others can use in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Ugh. Life getting in the way of happiness again? Feel better ASAP when you use any of these life hacks to boost your mood and improve your life.

Have you felt kind of … blah … lately?

I know I have.

Spring doesn’t seem to want to make an appearance. I’ve got a lot on my plate. My teenager will soon be driving.

But all this negativity isn’t helping me. It’s not good for my mental state, and it’s not good for my quality of life or health.

So how do I bust out of this negatively?

The good news is it actually doesn’t take much. While a good vacation would be amazing, the reality is that I’m really not in a place where I can just drop everything and spend money on a trip to Hawaii. Instead, I’m going to have to life hack my way out of this one.

I learned a long time ago that feeling better about life can be as simple as an afternoon with a book or a brisk walk in the sunshine. If start to feel blah here are a few life hacks that can help you feel better about life almost immediately.

1. Help someone.

One of the best ways to break out of a funk is to help someone. Volunteer work has happiness benefits. You don’t even have to go so far as to spend an entire afternoon at the food pantry (although that’s not a bad way to spend a few hours). Just buying coffee for the person in line behind you, or helping your neighbor carry groceries can provide you with a bit of a mood boost.

2. Buy flowers.

Studies indicate that just looking at flowers can make you happier. I keep a plant near my desk. And, if someone doesn’t send me flowers, I go out and buy them myself. If you are feeling down, take a break and work in the flower garden or buy a bloom or two. It’s inexpensive, won’t lead to unnecessary clutter at home, and it will brighten your day.

3. Go for a walk.

In addition to flowers, this is one of my favorite go-to life hacks for feeling better almost instantly. Just getting up, stretching and walking up and down the stairs helps. But you get double happiness points if you get outside and walk in the sun.

4. Hug someone.

One of the best life hacks out there is hugging. Physical contact with others can help you feel better about life almost immediately. Cuddle with your kids. Get a massage from your S.O. Give a friend a hug.

But what if bae doesn’t like being touched or what if, like me, you’re single-ish? There’s a solution for that. I get a facial once a month, and manicures twice a month. Sure, I’m being paid to be touched, but it still improves my mood. Plus, I give my son a hug every morning before he leaves for school.

You can get that human interaction and feel better. Even introverts need to feel connected.

5. Listen to music.

Crank up the volume. Upbeat music can help you feel happy. When you listen to music you like, you get a mental break. Singing along can even increase the enjoyment. I love singing along to my favorite tunes — even if I’m not that great at it. If you’re looking for a release and an instant mood boost must is the way to go.

6. Hang out with happy people.

Who’s the happiest person you know? When you feel shitty, go find that person and hang out. Don’t complain at them. Just hang out and have fun. When you surround yourself with happy people, you are more likely to be happy. It’s one of the great life hacks.

7. Eat something healthy.

Full disclosure: I just ate three cookies. My son and I had a baking extravaganza and I sort of went for it. The downside to eat unhealthy food is the way it makes you feel afterward. Tame that sweet tooth.

A handful of nuts, an apple, or some carrot sticks can go a longer way toward helping you feel happy. Do your best to eat better in general. I’ve been slowly adding healthier food to my diet, and eating less junk.

Something healthy can perk you up immediately. And developing healthy eating habits can help you feel happier in general.

8. Smell something delicious.

One of my favorite life hacks for feeling better is to change the smells. Vanilla is one smell that many humans like — and that makes us happy to smell. (In fact, eating vanilla yogurt can help you feel better about life instantly.)

Figure out what smells make you smile, and then keep them on hand. I like citrus smells. They invigorate me. I also like lilacs smells. Plus, when you smell something, you are likely to take a deep breath. Just breathing deep can boost your mood. So take a deep breath and enjoy yourself.

9. Do something creative.

Whatever it is. Paint. Sketch. Get out the guitar. Write a poem. Sew. Creativity sparks something in us. It makes life instantly better. Just strumming aimlessly on the guitar until something different comes out provides me with a great deal of satisfaction.

I also enjoy coloring. I didn’t like coloring when I was a kid, but the advent of the adult coloring trend made me a believer. Just a few minutes with some colored pencils and a flower mandalas book can improve my mood immensely.

Let those creative juices flow and your life will be better immediately.

10. Take a social media break.

A growing body of research indicates that spending a lot of time on Facebook can make us feel bad.

How much time are you on social media?

Because it’s not just Facebook. We compare ourselves to others on Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, and just about anyplace else. Spending a lot of time on social media takes us away from what we have, and gets us focusing on what we don’t have, or what we think we should have.

I deleted the Facebook app from my phone about two months ago. I love it. Now, instead of checking Facebook when I feel the urge to be on my phone, I do a 10-minute language lesson with Duolingo.

Take a social media break and feel instantly better.

Small things make a big difference.

These things seem small. And they are. That’s the beauty of it. These little life hacks can make a big difference. Doing them will help you feel good right now.

But doing them on a regular basis will help you build habits that can improve your life substantially.

What do you think? Do you have any life hacks for feeling better right now? Share in our Facebook community!

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!