How I Make Money Blogging Picture 2 Help with starting your blog. Some people write for love. Others write for money. I say it’s possible to do both, by starting a blog and monetizing it.

Although I dislike that neologism, I do embrace its underpinnings, i.e., that the laborer is worthy of his hire.

This week’s giveaway, an e-book called “How I Make Money Blogging: The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Money-Making Blog,” can kick-start your own efforts to be rewarded for your thoughts.

Some people make a little money blogging. Some make a lot. The book’s author, Crystal Stemberger, is in the latter camp. She really works it, running a handful of sites and also acting as ad-sales goddess, mentor, consultant and freelancer. Apparently she is allergic to sleep, because she recently added yet another specialty: pet-sitting.

Not everybody wants to work 24-7. But if you want to start a blog or if you’ve got a site and want it to start paying its way, this e-book can help. A lot.


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th4 150x150 When it says check engine, believe it. Want to spend a lot of money? Ignore your car’s “check engine” light and cheap out on simple maintenance.

If money is tight, some people will stretch out the times between maintenance periods. Or they’ll ignore the manufacturer’s suggested timeline with an idea they’re being frugal.

Bad idea.


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th3 Blog roundup: Sick as a dog edition.Two weekends ago I came down with what seemed like an upper-respiratory virus: congestion, low-grade fever, and general aches and pains. In addition I felt sharp pain in my face whenever I coughed (which was often).

The fever disappeared within two days but everything else hung on, and dug in. After nine days of feeling that I’d been beaten with several efficient hammers, I reluctantly made an appointment at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center.

“Reluctantly” because I figured there wasn’t much to be done about a virus and that I didn’t have a full-blown sinus infection that could be treated. But I was so tired of hearing my own breath wheezing and clotting that I figured it was time.

Besides, my Aunt Elna was known to have broken ribs while coughing, and eeeewwww.

Professional demeanor prevented the doc from saying “You sound like crap” but I think that’s what she meant. No pneumonia (“although it could turn into that”) so just as I thought: no antibiotics.


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th2 150x150 Between the (budget) sheets.Recently Wells Fargo sent a study about how financial worries influence sex habits. An astonishing (to me) 48% of U.S. students over age 18 find that concerns about cash affect their intimacy with romantic partners.

In fact, more than one-third (36%) of people aged 18 to 34 said that money woes affect their sex drives.

And here I thought that sex was one of those inexpensive things that could help take your mind off your bank balance.


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th1 Tight belts, Capt. America and a Swagbucks promo.I’ve got two new pieces up at Money Talks News, one of which is serious and one of which has comic-book references. Both can help you marshal your finances.

How to survive when your income drastically drops” is an article some people would just as soon not read. After all, who wants to think about hours cutbacks or having a spouse lose a job?

But stuff happens whether you want to think about it or not. Put another way: You have the option of a little prep work now or a lot of regret later on.

8 personal finance tips from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’” is another of my “PF is where you find it” pieces. Having done money-advice pieces based on “Parsifal,” “Gotterdammerung” and “True Grit,” I figured it was time to take on the latest in the Marvel franchise.

“The Winter Soldier” was great fun, by the way – as much political thriller as straight-up action flick. In fact, at least one reviewer warned fans of the first film that the sophomore effort contained less action.


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book 281x300 Giveaway: Couponing For The Rest of UsAnd now for something completely different: a coupon expert who doesn’t like coupons.

Kasey Knight Trennum, who blogs at Time 2 $ave/Time 2 Give, says that she’s never sung the praises of coupons. Ask her about “the joys of saving a ton of money,” however, and she’ll get pretty vocal.

More than vocal: Trennum wrote a book, “Couponing For The Rest of Us: The Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More,” that’s designed to help readers save money “without it becoming an obsession.”

The author offers information on topics like deciphering “sales cycles,” how to locate coupons for items your family actually eats, smart stockpiling, making the Internet do most of the legwork, and turning saving into sharing.

And again, a sane approach: “I can’t stress enough (that) balance is the key to making couponing work for you. You have to figure out how to make it fit into your world; it cannot become your world.”

In addition to the book, this week’s winner will also get a cute little green accordion-style folder. After all, some coupons are still made of paper rather than pixels.


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th2 Be yourself, and save. Frugality bloggers are all about the hacks, i.e., the conscious ways they stretch every dollar. My daughter recently wrote about unconscious savings – or, rather, savings she didn’t specifically pursue.

“I have an awful lot of unintentional frugality, just based on how I live my life,” Abby notes in a piece called “Life’s accidental savings.”

Among them: working at home (huge savings there), not having a pool (they’re fairly common in Phoenix), skipping manicured hands and a manicured landscape, not eating red meat or drinking coffee, having hermit tendencies, and laziness.

What she calls “laziness” has to do more with spoon theory than sloth. A near-fatal neurological illness left Abby with some permanent health issues, one of which is chronic fatigue. So when she says she’s sometimes “too lazy” to make a junk food run, it probably means she’s not sure she would be able to get back out of the car and into the house after the errand was completed.

(True story: Once when walking home from the bus in Seattle, Abby considered lying down on the public sidewalk because the two steps up to her front walkway seemed just too much to manage. She did make it into the house, but I expect she used her last spoon to do so.)

Judging from the comments sections, she’s not the only person accidentally saving money.


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th Welcome, Grandparents.com readers!I thought my website’s dashboard was playing an April Fool’s Day trick on me when I got up this morning: Not even 8:30 a.m. and I already had nearly 1,200 page views.

Nope: It was because more than 600 of you had read “6 everyday habits that are draining your wallet” in the Grandparents.com e-newsletter and then trotted over here to read my linked post, “14 ways to get off the kid-gift treadmill.”

Welcome to all of you, and I hope you stick around to read a little more. As noted in the “About” section of this site, Surviving and Thriving is my playground for words, a place to express ideas that don’t always fit neatly into other sites’ expectations.

Sometimes that’s in a fun way, e.g., “Midlife love rocks! (Ask me how I know).”

Sometimes it’s a midlife-musing way, as in “The bottle blonde at the DMV.”

And sometimes I just get really angry about something and need to vent, such as “Think you’re broke? You probably aren’t.”


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th11 150x150 Getting winter off your feet.When I was a kid we got one pair of sneakers each year – always in the springtime, and always a size too big so we could grow into them. Invariably they were either red or blue, because black was considered a “boy” color and white sneakers would get dirty too quickly.

While researching this month’s post for Retail Me Not, I learned just how big a fashion statement sneakers can be. To paraphrase the poet, April may be the coolest month when judged solely (pun intended) on the stylin’ sneaks of today – especially since they’re among the best deals of the month.

I also learned about the existence of vegan sneakers. And here I thought vegan condoms were startling.


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1491708069 b 187x300 Help with living a life of passion.Having trouble getting started with your goals? Can’t seem to get it in gear to build the business, create the service, learn the skill or write the book you know will make a difference? Motivational speaker and accountant Onyx Jones can help.

She knows a little something about change and growth. Once a homeless single mother, Jones now has a master’s degree in accounting and is a motivational speaker.

She’s turned the latter into a book called “The Unofficial Guide to Achieving Your Goals,” which is this week’s giveaway.

“(After) committing to following all seven steps, you will see improvement in your quality of life in just 30 to 90 days,” says Jones.

This slim paperback (66 pages) is designed to “motivate, inspire and provide you with tools for achieving your goals and living a life of passion.” And those seven steps mentioned above? If you’re not the kind of person who likes to follow directions, maybe this book isn’t for you.


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th10 The fascination of DIY Cool Whip.Yesterday I made a bowl of raspberry Jell-O because cooking – even if it’s just boiling some water – is a great work-avoidance tool. So much easier to postone sitting down at the computer if you can tell yourself, “I’m fixing dessert.”

I ate so much Jell-O as a kid that I rarely indulge, save for turning the powder into a scary-looking (but delicious) rhubarb cake. But it’s a big treat to DF. Whenever he opens the fridge and sees a bowl of the stuff he’ll sigh happily and say, “You made Jell-O!” as though it were a tremendous culinary achievement.

We didn’t have bananas or even fruit cocktail to jazz up the gelatin, let alone Cool Whip (another of DF’s faves). That’s when I remembered Amy Dacyzcyn’s recipe for homemade whipped topping.

Oil or cream?

I’d been fascinated by the idea – DIY Cool Whip! – since I noticed it in “The Tightwad Gazette II” a couple of months ago. Nobody kicked frugal patoot like Amy Dacyczyn, so I was inclined to follow where she led.

The ingredients: powdered milk unflavored gelatin, sugar, oil and water. Lots simpler than commercial Cool Whip, whose label contains more than a dozen ingredients – including high-fructose corn syrup, skim milk, light cream, sodium caseinate, natural and artificial flavors, xanthan and guar gums, sorbitan monostearate and polysorbate 60.

Yum.


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th9 Free money for staying put.I am officially an Alaskan once more: The state has determined me eligible to receive the 2014 Permanent Fund Dividend.

During my previous residence here (1984-2001) we used to joke that the PFD checks paid for our obligatory visits to visit family back on the East Coast. Now that I’m on a tighter budget, I’m going to follow the sage advice of Liz Weston: Keep 10 percent for whatever you want, and send the rest where it can do some good.

In my case that means 90 percent will wind up in my Roth IRA. The rest? We’ll see.

How much money are we talking? The ballpark estimate for 2014 is $1,800. That’s a lot of money just for staying put.


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