Connect with us


US retail sales zoom higher in June despite high prices



Resilient American consumers continued to open their wallets to buy furniture, electronics and cars in June amid surging prices
Share this:

US retail sales shot up one percent in June amid the ongoing surge in prices, according to new data Friday that spelled more bad news for the Federal Reserve as it struggles to rein in rampant inflation.

The data showed that after pausing in May, American consumers last month were still eating out and buying furniture and cars, even amid the fastest inflation in more than four decades. 

That poses a challenge for the US central bank, which has been hoping to see more decisive signs that its aggressive interest rate hikes were starting to take the economy off the boil and tamp down high prices.

After total sales dipped 0.1 percent in May, they recovered with a vengeance last month and climbed to $680.6 billion, the Commerce Department said.

Record gas prices at the pump in June were a major factor, boosting sales at gasoline stations 3.6 percent in the month, and posting an eye-watering 49.1 percent surge over the past year, the report said.

But the data showed increases were widespread, and sales were still up 0.7 percent even when gasoline is removed from the calculation.

The Fed started raising the benchmark borrowing rate in March, and last month increased it by 0.75 percentage point, the biggest hike in nearly 30 years. But talk has now shifted to the possibility of a massive, full-point increase later this month.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller on Thursday said he could favor the mega step — which would be the biggest such move in four decades — if there were no signs of cooling in the retail sales data and the new home sales report due out in two weeks.

– Mega rate hike in play –

The Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee is due to meet July 26-27 to debate the next move in its war on inflation.

Kathy Bostjancic of Oxford Economics said “Today’s strong report keeps the Fed in an aggressive policy tightening mode — the debate at the July FOMC meeting will be between a 75bps or 100bps rate hike.”

But she noted that, when adjusted for inflation — the report does not take into account rising prices — spending on goods appears to be slowing in the second quarter “but not contracting.”

“While consumer sentiment is very downbeat, it doesn’t mean they will stop spending,” she said, although they will shift spending more to necessities.

The report showed auto sales rose 0.9 percent in June, after a 3.4 percent drop in May, while furniture stores and restaurants saw sales rise one percent or more, and online sales gained 2.2 percent.

Grocery stores saw a 0.6 percent rise, slower than in the prior month.

Clothing and building and gardening stores were among the few categories posting declines, the data showed.

Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData, called it “quite remarkable that the consumer has not retrenched more” amid surging prices.

But he noted that “consumers did not buy more stuff in June – they bought less product but paid more for it. This is not a comfortable position.”

Share this:


How to maintain strong culture in an age of layoffs

Embracing honesty, transparency, and fear (yes, fear) in the workplace.



Share this:

The staff at Virtual Gurus in Calgary have some important things in common, according to founder and CEO Bobbie Racette.

The company, which operates a marketplace of virtual assistants, is buoyed by shared attitudes, behaviours, and values, Racette says — meaning staff know who they are as an office, and “what is their ‘why.’”

The recipe for a strong office culture is cultivating this clear and unified understanding of the mission, vision, and values of a business, she says.

“If we’re all following that, then we’re all under the same culture, we’re all understanding that we have a good office culture,” Racette told DX Journal in May.

For the expanding startup that began in 2016 — and that Racette told the Times Colonialist in March is now worth $70 million — the formula makes sense. 

But what if fear replaced that unity, or buying into a company’s mission, vision, and values was a tougher sell?

What if a company is circling, or undergoing, layoffs?

“Layoffs test a company’s culture both when they occur and further down the road when those at the company begin to establish their new normal,” Green Circle Life CEO Dinesh Sheth wrote in a May Forbes column.

In fact, Sheth said the fear of layoffs can spread to employees “even if they have no real reasons to fear for their own job security.”

But experts say there are ways to mitigate these office anxieties, and even maintain office culture despite them.

“Let’s be real, fear can go a long way in the workplace,” Racette said. 

“But I think it’s just understanding and embracing the fear with [your staff].”

Transparency and communication

There’s job anxiety in tech, and it’s understandable: layoffs in the sector have generated plenty of conversation in recent months, and at the time of this writing, aggregator reports that globally, 199,759 tech jobs have been lost since the beginning of 2023.

Racette actually knows a thing or two about getting laid off. Once a safety technician foreman in Alberta’s oil and gas sector, Racette was a casualty of a 2016 downturn that caused her to lose her job, the Times Colonialist reported.

What appeared as life’s misfortune proved to be the opposite: by the following year, she had founded Virtual Gurus.

The company recruits skilled remote assistants based in Canada and the U.S. who traditionally face barriers to employment, such as neurodiverse, Indigenous, and 2SLGBTQIA+ talent. Then, it matches businesses with those assistants.

According to the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, which recently named Racette its 2023 Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year, more than 800 virtual assistants have used the platform and “Racette recently closed a successful $8.4 million Series A funding round, becoming the first Indigenous woman in Canada to do so.”

But despite these successes and efforts to build a unified culture centered around those shared office beliefs, Racette admits her own company isn’t immune to fears about the layoffs that make the tech sector so notorious.

“I’ve had, like, two employees in the last week or so go to our HR department and say they’re really scared that they’re going to lose their job, because they feel that they’re not performing as well,” Racette said.

“And the number one thing is essentially being completely transparent.”

In regards to maintaining corporate culture amidst layoff anxiety, this is perhaps the most resounding advice from experts across sectors.

“Proactive, open communication to ease employees’ anxieties over their job security … can make a difference in their view of their work culture, resulting in improved productivity and holistic happiness at work,” Sheth wrote.

And should it come to actually letting people go, that transparency should be maintained. Communicating clearly and sensitively is critical to maintaining trust, according to HR Cloud.

“When layoffs are not conveyed to employees effectively, it may result in resentment, disorientation, and a deterioration of trust between you and your employees,” it said.

“As a result, this communication process must be handled with considerable delicacy.”

Embrace the fear, acknowledge emotions

An important thing to understand about having a job in tech — or even just being human, Racette says — is that fear is normal.

And from the current macroeconomic environment to ChatGPT, there are plenty of developments happening quickly within the sector that are likely to generate uncertainty, she says.

But according to Racette, it’s possible to create an environment where people feel fears that are natural while also feeling confident and safe.

It involves understanding and acknowledging the layoff concerns of your employees, and letting them know it would be a last resort.

“Say, hey, you know, we’re going to do all we can to make sure we don’t have to do layoffs. But if we do get there, you know, this is where it’s going to be,” Racette said.

“But let’s continue working. And, we got this. Let’s keep growing as a company and keep going.”

If a company must conduct layoffs, experts say it should be reiterated to staff that other options were exhausted.

“You want to model to your organization that reducing staff was the last measure taken after dozens of other alternatives,” Yahoo Finance’s Janine Yancey wrote last August

And while Racette says it’s important to acknowledge the emotions that can occur before layoffs are even on the table — like fear — Yancey said it’s also important to acknowledge the ones that surface after layoffs have happened.

“People are afraid for their jobs and upset that friends and co-workers are gone. They also may feel that they now have more work on their plates. Be ready to talk about this — anticipate these feelings and questions,” she wrote. 

Let staff know what to expect 

In addition to maintaining transparency, acknowledging fear, and ensuring employees trust their employer will do whatever they can to avoid layoffs, there is a final piece of advice Racette offers to tech companies hoping to maintain their corporate culture.

“The other thing is making [your employees] understand, too, that if that ever happens, they will be given a package,” she said, “and that they’re good.”

If employees know what to expect if the worst should happen, it can help temper fear of the unknown.

And as a company, trying to take care of those you are letting go is also important.

“Do what you can to help affected employees move on quickly,” Yancey wrote, citing Airbnb, which conducted layoffs in 2020, as an example of a company that showed consideration until the end.

“They covered their whole recruiting staff into an outplacement team, offered stock acceleration for employees, and created systems to map all their departing staff to open roles worldwide. They turned their company into an outplacement force never seen before,” she said.

“This resulted in departing staff being almost more loyal to Airbnb despite being let go.”

Share this:
Continue Reading


Homebuyers are leaving big cities for affordability—here's where they're going and how much they're saving




Homes are expensive. People are finding better deals in the suburbs. American Home Shield looked at data from Freddie Mac to see how much they save.  
Share this:

It’s an age-old trend supercharged by the economic conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic: Homebuyers look to the suburbs for a home with enough space that also meets their budget.

American Home Shield looked at data from Freddie Mac to see which major metropolitan areas are experiencing an outflow of homebuyers, as well as where they are going and how much they could save on monthly mortgage payments. Metropolitan areas include the main city as well as its surrounding towns and suburbs.

Monthly mortgage payments were calculated using the median home price for that metro based on Freddie Mac loan applications over the past year. It assumes a 15% down payment and a 6% interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. It does not include the costs of property tax and insurance.

The analysis reveals that those able to purchase a home in the past year are fanning out from urban centers. Many affordable places people are moving to are in the same state but farther away from the city center. In many cases, homebuyers are moving to suburban areas and, in some cases, the exurbs beyond them.

And by doing so, they’re potentially saving a considerable amount of money.

Based on the weighted average of median home prices, the typical mortgage payment is about $3,000 in the top 20 urban metro areas. People who move from these places to more affordable alternatives save about $600 on average.

Big cities lost their appeal over the last five or so years, and the invisible threat that was the pandemic gave homebuyers only more reasons to seek out less dense spaces. Now that home prices are roughly 43.3% higher on average than in 2019, the price differential in these areas continues to appeal to buyers looking to stretch out their dollars.

Continue reading to see where homebuyers in the top 20 metros are heading.

Aerial view downtown.

Kevin Ruck // Shutterstock

#20. Charlotte, North Carolina

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,100
– Top affordable destination: Hickory, North Carolina ($1,300 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $800

Charlotte is the most populous city in North Carolina and is quickly becoming unaffordable for many of its residents. To the northwest, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hickory offers a walkable historic downtown and a similar Southern setting to Charlotte.

Tower Bridge and Capitol Mall.


#19. Sacramento, California

– Estimated mortgage payment: $3,000
– Top affordable destination: Yuba City, California ($2,400 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $600

Many Sacramento homebuyers have their eyes set on suburban Yuba City as they look to trade high costs of living for a city where most residents can afford to own their homes. Sacramento politicians are facing pushback as they attempt to add homeless shelters.

Cityscape from Pittock Mansion.

Josemaria Toscano // Shutterstock

#18. Portland, Oregon

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,700
– Top affordable destination: Salem, Oregon ($2,300 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $400

Oregon is becoming pricier than ever. A new report from United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and United for ALICE found that almost half of the households in the state don’t make enough money to cover basic bills. For Portland residents looking to buy a home, Salem may intrigue them due to its relatively average cost of living compared with the rest of the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report.

Skyline on clear day.

Vladimir Mucibabic // Shutterstock

#17. Detroit

– Estimated mortgage payment: $1,500
– Top affordable destination: Flint, Michigan ($1,000 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $500

Detroit, home of the U.S. automobile industry, has not historically had a high cost of living compared with other parts of the country. However, record inflation has not spared any part of the U.S., nor any individual income demographic, and it is giving households reason to eye homes for purchase in Flint.

Skyline, freeway and riverwalk.

AevanStock // Shutterstock

#16. Tampa, Florida

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,000
– Top affordable destination: Lakeland, Florida ($1,700 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $300

The Tampa metro has been a frequent target of hurricanes that make their way across the Gulf of Mexico, including Hurricane Ian, which ripped apart Fort Myers Beach to the south. Lakeland is roughly 30 miles inland and east of Tampa and may offer homeowners more protection from bad weather.

Aerial view of river and skyline.


#15. Austin, Texas

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,600
– Top affordable destination: San Antonio, Texas ($1,700 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $900

Austin, the San Francisco of the South, is going through growing pains as housing stock falls short of demand and prices have skyrocketed to unaffordable levels. San Antonio offers an appealing alternative for homebuyers who love the hill country and its lakes and rivers, and the city is only 1.5 hours away from the state capital.

Skyline and lake.


#14. Orlando, Florida

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,100
– Top affordable destination: Lakeland, Florida ($1,700 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $400

Lakeland is a hot spot for Florida homebuyers looking for affordable alternatives to the big metros, pulling buyers from both Orlando and Tampa. Lakeland is near a number of attractions like Disney World and the beaches along the Gulf Coast.

Skyline and waterfront at dawn.

Dancestrokes // Shutterstock

#13. San Diego

– Estimated mortgage payment: $3,800
– Top affordable destination: Riverside, California ($2,900 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $900

The so-called Inland Empire, centered on San Bernardino and Riverside, has been luring millennials looking for affordable housing for at least the past decade—a trend that only intensified with the pandemic’s effects on the cost of living in Los Angeles County.

Sunset over downtown.

Uladzik Kryhin // Shutterstock

#12. San Jose, California

– Estimated mortgage payment: $4,700
– Top affordable destination: San Francisco, California ($4,200 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $500

California home prices may feel like a totally different ball game for much of the country, but high-earning San Jose homeowners are cashing in and moving into San Francisco, which is nearly equally as expensive. San Francisco has experienced slower housing growth than comparable cities—including Austin, Texas, and Seattle—over the past decade due to permitting fewer new builds, according to a San Francisco Chronicle analysis published in 2022.

Arial view cityscape and mountains.

Nate Hovee // Shutterstock

#11. Phoenix

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,400
– Top affordable destination: Prescott Valley, Arizona ($2,200 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $200

Phoenicians are trading their valley for more mountainous landscapes about 1.5 hours north. Prescott Valley has a proud Western ethos that sees more winter weather than Phoenix. Phoenix housing costs saw one of the largest jumps nationally in recent years, fueled partly by deep-pocketed investors who bought starter properties to make into rental units over the pandemic.

Aerial view metro and highways.

Brett Barnhill // Shutterstock

#10. Atlanta

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,100
– Top affordable destination: Gainesville, Georgia ($2,000 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $100

Gainesville is a hub for poultry farming and, according to the 2020 census, home to 42,000 people, making it just a fraction of the size of nearby Atlanta, which boasts a population of nearly half a million. A shortage of home inventory in Atlanta is suppressing the market there and continuing to put upward pressure on home values.

Aerial view of cityscape and highways.

kintermedia // Shutterstock

#9. Dallas

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,300
– Top affordable destination: Houston, Texas ($1,900 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $400

Houston, we have a problem—those hoity-toity Dallasites are being priced out of Dallas-Fort Worth and want lower costs of living. And they may be finding it in sprawling Houston, another of the most populous metro areas in the entire country. Houston offers a low cost of living to the DFW metro, and builders in the region are actively adding home inventory that could help bring prices down in the near future.

Downtown park and skyline with mountains in background.

Studio 1One // Shutterstock

#8. Denver

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,900
– Top affordable destination: Greeley, Colorado ($2,600 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $300

In Denver, homebuyers are looking to Greeley, home of the University of Northern Colorado, to reclaim a few hundred dollars of their housing costs each month. Home costs in the Denver metro have skyrocketed due to a shortage of inventory in recent years—much like the rest of the country.

Elevated view of Seattle Space Needle and downtown.

kan_khampanya // Shutterstock

#7. Seattle

– Estimated mortgage payment: $3,400
– Top affordable destination: Phoenix, Arizona ($2,400 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $1,000

Seattleites are fleeing Big Tech’s backyard in the Pacific Northwest for dry and sunny Phoenix. And even putting Seattle housing costs aside, it’s no wonder—a recent regional economic study found the cost of just about everything in Seattle is more expensive than the U.S. average.

Skyline with palm trees.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#6. Miami

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,200
– Top affordable destination: Port St. Lucie, Florida ($2,000 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $200

Port St. Lucie has experienced massive population growth in recent years, now ranking just behind major cities like Miami, Tampa, and Orlando. In the face of that growth, the city is currently trying to rediscover its identity and what sets it apart amid a throng of Florida population centers with world-renowned tourist-driven economies.

Skyline with Charles River.

lunamarina // Shutterstock

#5. Boston

– Estimated mortgage payment: $3,000
– Top affordable destination: Worcester, Massachusetts ($2,100 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $900

Massachusetts homebuyers pay the fifth-highest down payments in the country on average, and the state is dealing with its own shortage of housing inventory—especially the kind that middle- and low-income residents can afford. Worcester, which has seen its population grow by roughly 21,000 over the last decade, is the second most populous city in the state and is located just west of Boston.

Financial district skyline.

Pete Niesen // Shutterstock

#4. San Francisco

– Estimated mortgage payment: $4,200
– Top affordable destination: Sacramento, California ($3,000 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $1,200

Like many other business centers, San Francisco, the gateway to the Pacific, is currently undergoing a post-pandemic shift in culture as offices sit vacant. Retailers and other businesses have begun to exit the city, citing a rise in shoplifting. Homebuyers are finding a booming arts scene, a wide array of festivals, and lower housing costs in nearby Sacramento.

Pennsylvania Avenue and US Capitol.

Orhan Cam // Shutterstock

#3. Washington DC

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,700
– Top affordable destination: Baltimore, Maryland ($1,900 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $800

Baltimore’s median home prices dropped for the first time in years this spring, and the city has lost residents in recent years. The downtown has also been plagued by blight due to historic disinvestment in Black communities that have inhabited its characteristic rowhomes. But the market is offering Washington D.C. residents, who pay among the most in the country for housing, the opportunity to trade down their housing costs.

Aerial view downtown at sunset.

TierneyMJ // Shutterstock

#2. Los Angeles

– Estimated mortgage payment: $3,800
– Top affordable destination: Riverside, California ($2,900 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $900

Like those in San Diego, Los Angelenos continue to be swayed by the promise of an easier cost of living in the Inland Empire, which comprises Riverside and San Bernardino. Riverside, in particular, is where children can attend above-average schools compared with the rest of the state, and most residents there can afford to own their homes, according to Niche.

Elevated Manhattan cityscape.

Thiago Leite // Shutterstock

#1. New York

– Estimated mortgage payment: $2,900
– Top affordable destination: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ($1,900 estimated mortgage payment)
– Monthly savings: $1,000

One of the greatest towns for professional sports fans, Philadelphia is pulling the attention of New York homebuyers seeking to lower their monthly mortgage payments. Philly offers a reprieve for a buyer who could drop $1.5 million for property in the New York City borough of Staten Island, even if it still has relatively high housing prices.

Data reporting by Elena Cox. Story editing by Jeff Inglis. Copy editing by Andrew Mangan. Photo selection by Elizabeth Ciano.

This story originally appeared on American Home Shield and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

Share this:
Continue Reading


10 side hustles you can launch yourself




Looking to make a little extra cash? Vending Mavericks highlighted 10 side hustles people can start up on their own.
Share this:

Looking for ways to make a little extra cash? Whether you’re saving for a particular goal or just trying to combat inflation, taking on a side hustle alongside your day job can help put a little more money in the bank.

Vending Mavericks highlighted 10 side hustles people could start on their own at a relatively low cost, including those involving skill or mastery and others that can be done without.

Hustle culture is prevalent throughout American culture—showing up in our TV, movies, social media, and everyday lives. If you’re ready to hit the grind, remember that not all side jobs are created equal. Some require more upfront investment than others.

While the jobs on this list cost little to start, you may need various skills, tools, and resources—access to reliable transportation, for instance. Be sure to do an audit of the resources at your disposal before deciding which side hustle is best for you.

This kind of work is on the rise: 2022 Census Bureau data showed about 27.1 million nonemployer business establishments nationwide in 2019. Following a period of record business applications, that number is likely higher now. Check out these options if you’re ready to jump on the trend.

Etsy website on laptop screen.

Casimiro PT // Shutterstock

Open an Etsy shop

Are you crafty? Do you crochet in your spare time or dabble with digital design? Try turning your hobby into cash by opening an Etsy shop.

It only takes a few minutes to start selling on Etsy. Listings cost $0.20, and you’ll also be charged a 6.5% transaction fee and payment processing fee of 3% plus $0.25. If you want to advertise your listing beyond Etsy, you’ll also need to pay a 15% fee for offsite ads.

These fees can add up quickly, so consider this in tandem with labor time and the cost of materials when setting prices.

Girl looking at the colourful handmade jewelry on the local fair outside.

localcinema // Shutterstock

Sell goods at markets, fairs, and festivals

Another option for making some cash off your creativity is to sell your products at markets, fairs, or festivals.

Start by doing a search for markets and fairs in your area. Most major sites will have an application page with a list of the kinds of businesses they feature and the requirements to score a spot. For instance, the Texas Farmers Market currently warns that the wait list is long for those selling sweet confections.

You might still be subject to fees with this option, but it’s possible they’ll be less than an online vendor like Etsy. Additionally, ensure you don’t need any specific license to qualify—especially if you’re selling food. Requirements vary by state.

Male driver on a ride-share app.

antoniodiaz // Shutterstock

Sign up for rideshare and delivery

If you have access to reliable transportation, you could also consider signing up for a ride-share or delivery service. Both Uber and Lyft have specific vehicle requirements you must meet to be eligible to carry passengers.

The major benefit of this side hustle is that you can make as much out of it as you are willing to put in. Services like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Gopuff, and more allow drivers to set their schedules. You’ll typically earn money in the form of a base fare, tips, and special promotions during peak delivery times.

Group of dogs being walked by a person in the background on city sidewalk.

a katz // Shutterstock

Walk dogs

Did you know animal lovers can earn cash just by hanging out with pets? Services like Rover and Wag! allow you to sign up to walk dogs, cat-sit, or provide other pet-related services on your own time and at your own rate.

To set yourself up for success on these platforms, be sure to do your research on the going rate for other sitters in your area. If you set prices too high, you might not get as many hits on your listing; too low, and you aren’t making as much as you’re worth.

Woman cleaning table using rag and diffuser at home. // Shutterstock

Clean homes

Cleaning homes is another great option for bringing in extra income. Hourly rates for maid services range between $9 and $16 on average, but you could bring in more in the right area.

There are a couple of ways to get started cleaning homes. You could work independently, marketing and finding clients via social media, neighborhood groups, or friends and family. Or you could sign up to work with a national service to get access to extra benefits, including transportation and cleaning supplies.

Cropped shot of a maintenance man.

Ivan Kruk // Shutterstock

Perform errands, maintenance, and repairs

Are you a whiz at assembling Ikea furniture? Looking for a way to combine earning extra money with getting a workout? Advertising services like assisting with moves, running errands, or helping with repairs on a site like TaskRabbit could be for you.

When you sign up to become a Tasker, the site will give you the going rate for someone providing that particular service in your area. For instance, help moving in Austin, Texas, is currently worth about $51 per hour. You have the power to adjust these rates as you get more experience and feel more confident with your ability to score work.

The best part? After a $25 registration fee, you’ll keep 100% of your service fees and tips. There’s no listing or transaction fee for Taskers.

Man looking on screen of laptop computer in a coffee shop.

GaudiLab // Shutterstock


Nearly 2 in 5 Americans provided freelance work in 2022. Those skilled in writing, editing, photography, and other in-demand work can take on additional jobs at almost no cost. Most of the time, you’ll just need a computer, internet connection, and whatever software and equipment you already use for these purposes—like cameras and lighting.

Freelance opportunities abound if you do the work to find them. Tap your network on LinkedIn, check out job boards on Indeed or Glassdoor, or sign up for an aggregator site like Fiverr or Upwork. Each of these options has pros and cons: Tapping your own network requires a bit of extra searching on your part, but you won’t have to pay the service fees associated with aggregator sites, and vice versa.

Hand pushing button on vending machine operation panel.

Ground Picture // Shutterstock

Operate a vending machine

Ever bought a candy bar at the laundromat and wondered where the money went? In many cases, people own and operate their own vending machines at a steep profit.

Operating a vending machine requires more upfront investment than other side hustles on this list. You’ll have to invest in the machine itself, which could be anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a used machine to a few thousand for a new one. You’ll also need to cover the cost of stock to fill it up.

Then, find the right place for your machine, and contact that business owner. This might be a school, shopping mall, laundromat, or other local business. Some owners will charge you a percentage of the profits for the space, while others might charge fixed fees or apply no fees. You also might have to secure a vending license.

Woman instructor with headset in exercise class with group.

Lucky Business // Shutterstock

Teach a class in something you’re good at

Though typically reserved for specialists in a given field, teaching a class is another great way to use your knowledge to earn extra income. For those with in-demand certifications and expertise, you might be able to teach via online learning platforms like Udemy or Coursera.

If you have an advanced degree, you also might be qualified to teach a course at your local community college. Adjunct professor salaries vary significantly by state and metro area but average more than $26 an hour.

Male freelancer working on movie production with computer software.

DC Studio // Shutterstock

Create media

Digital content creation is a booming industry. From independent blogs to YouTube channels or TikTok accounts, content creators leverage brand partnerships, advertising, and more to bring in thousands annually.

Growing a following on a major social platform can take time and investment, however. You’ll need to make sure you have all the best editing software, filming equipment, and other tools needed to create your particular brand of media. You’ll also need to be well-versed in selling yourself when it comes to landing partnerships and setting rates. But the biggest factor is time. The more your audience grows, the more brands will be interested in partnering with you.

Data reporting by Paxtyn Merten. Story editing by Jeff Inglis. Copy editing by Paris Close. Photo selection by Clarese Moller.

This story originally appeared on Vending Mavericks and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

Share this:
Continue Reading