Monday Night Finance- Volume 66

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9 Legit Ways to Make Money With Your Bike

Have you ever considered driving Uber or Lyft to make some extra money? While these apps can put money in your bank account, they can also be expensive. You have to pay for gas, oil changes, and new tires. At the end of the day, you might realize that you are making much less money than you thought you were. While it can be expensive to drive your car around to transport passengers (or food for DoorDash), bicycles can be a much cheaper alternative. This article explores different ways you can make money with a bicycle.

You don’t always have to ride your bike to make money on the side. If you have a bike that you don’t regularly use, you can also list it on Spinlister to earn cash. It doesn’t cost anything to list your bike on the platform. You only get charged when someone rents out the bike. At that time, the company keeps 17.5 percent of the total rental cost. ~Frugal Rules

Let’s start with the obvious choices: DoorDash and Instacart. Not only can you deliver food on a bike with these apps but it can be especially advantageous for you to do so. Not only would you save on the fuel and maintenance costs of your vehicle, but you’re also getting paid to exercise and reducing your carbon footprint. It’s a triple win! But there are more ways to earn money with a bicycle besides just making deliveries. Did you know that you can rent out your bicycle when you’re not using it with Spinlister or turn your bike into a moving billboard with the Ridevert app? If you have a bicycle and are looking for extra cash, check out this article.

Planning a mini-retirement with kids

Mini-retirements are just one of the potential ways that people are exploring the FIRE (financial independence/retire early) movement. You may have read articles of people who have quit for a year and taken a sabbatical to drive across the United States or hike the Camino de Santiago. These sabbaticals are often described as pivotal and life-changing by those who undertake these mini-retirements. However, very rarely do these stories of mini-retirements involve kids. Financial independence blogger and mother of 5 Jillian Johnsrud just completed a 12 week “mini-retirement” traveling with her kids and shared what she learned.

My family of 7 just returned from a 12-week road trip in our 26-foot camper. Planning this kind of trip can be overwhelming. There are so many unknowns and complications to work through. Large adventures with kids in tow (ages 14, 13, 9, 8, and 6), seem wonderful in theory, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty can be stressful to get started. ~Jillian Johnsrud

As someone with my own family, I thought that a mini-retirement or sabbatical was completely out of the realm of possibility for my family. What about school? What if we ruined our kids lives? Jillian did a great job of describing how school and family dynamics worked during this time. She un-enrolled her kids from public school, homeschooled them for 12 weeks, and then re-enrolled the kids upon her return. Although she was worried that one or more children would fall behind academically, she in fact was happily surprised to find that they all excelled academically during this time. She also discussed the calculus of upsetting the kids and the trade-offs that they faced as a family. If you’ve ever dreamed of having a major family trip but were worried about the logistics, this article was written just for you.

A Brief History of American Money

Did you know that American currency got its start during the Civil War? I sure didn’t. In fact, while I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about money and read finance articles every day, I knew very little about the history of paper money in the United States. In this interesting article by GoCurryCracker, I learned so many facts about the history of money and banking throughout US history.

Last fall during a trip to Virginia, we stopped into the American Civil War Museum in Richmond. Among the many well-crafted displays was an excellent exhibit on the history of American money and how the currency we know and use today began as a result of the war. ~Go Curry Cracker

Paper money was created during the US Civil War as a tool to finance the war. One cool thing about being the government is that if you don’t have enough money to pay for something, you can just print more money. Which, as I learned from the article, is what both the Union and Confederate governments tried to do to finance the war. Unfortunately, a biproduct of printing money is inflation, which apparently was a much bigger problem in the Confederate states. This printing of money by a central bank during the Civil War was a major innovation; before that, each bank printed their own money and it often became worthless overnight (could you imagine???). This creating of currency also resulted in our distinctive green color of money. The government used chromium oxide to make the money turn green which made it harder to counterfeit. The article does a wonderful job of explaining not just the start of dollar, but also about many innovations in the US currency that continue to the present day. It’s definitely an interesting read!