Checking In On My 2017 Fitness Goals

I’ve written a few times about how I have really tried to focus on better fitness this year.  I worried about our long camping trips and how that would affect me.  I’m happy to report that things are going well.  Here’s an update on my fitness goals.

Recap of My Goals And My Plan

I wanted to lose some weight and lose some body fat.  I’d spent most of 2016 gaining 0.5 to 1 pound per month, and there was no excuse for it.  I was just lazy and full of poor decisions.

I decided to commit 2017 to make better decisions.

My goals were two fold:

  1. I wanted to lose 13.5 pounds.
  2. I wanted reduce my body fat from 21% to 15%.

My plan was pretty simple:

Read moreChecking In On My 2017 Fitness Goals

5 Side Hustle Ideas to Make Extra Cash

If you’re like most Americans, you think that your paycheck isn’t large enough and your bills are too large. Unless

Image from morguefiles courtesy of Domas

you can demand a raise, you might think that you’re stuck, but there are dozens of different ways that you can earn some extra money on the side. Getting a second source of cash can completely change your finances.

Uber Driver

If you haven’t heard of Uber by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past several years. Just in case you don’t know what it is, Uber is essentially a taxi service, but it lets just about anyone be the taxi drive. You use your own car, and people looking for rides can use the app to find a driver.

One of the best parts of being an Uber driver is that you only drive when you have the time. That means that any weekends when you have nothing to do, you can hop in your car and start earning some extra cash on the side, it’s as easy as that.

There are a few requirements that you’ll have to meet before you can be an Uber driver, but most people shouldn’t have a problem qualifying. You have to have a 4-door sedan that can seat at least 4 or more passengers, have a car that was built in 2001 or more recently, has in-state plates, and the car must pass their vehicle inspection. As long as you meet those requirements, you’ll be able to drive for the Uber service.

How much money that you make is going to depend on where you live and how much time you devote to driving. There are a lot of people that make a sizable second income by driving in the evenings and on the weeks. If you live in a city that has a lot of popular events, like concerts or sporting events, capitalize on the people coming into the city and make sure that you’re available to drive on those nights.


If you like to make some hand made goods, then Etsy is the place for you. You can turn your crafting hobby into a source of extra spending money. Etsy will allow you to create a shop and start selling your goods in a matter of minutes.

One of the best parts of Etsy is that it allows you to sell just about anything you can create. It has everything from jewelry and clothing to furniture and paintings. If you enjoy making anything, then you can put a price on it and put it on Etsy. There are going to be some small fees, but it’s still an excellent way to make extra cash.

Survey Sites

Maybe you don’t want to dedicate a lot of hours to earn extra money, but you still want to have some spending money in your pockets. One of the most popular ways is to join a survey site. These sites work with large companies to create surveys that they will deliver to customers and get the responses.

Companies are always looking to see what their target audience thinks of their products or services. With these survey websites, you’ll get rewarded for every survey that you complete. Each website is going to give you a different amount for filling out a survey. These sites are not going to make you a ton of money, but it’s a simple way to earn extra money just by clicking your mouse.

The best part is that you can do these surveys anywhere. You can do them on your lunch break, while you’re on the bus, or while you wait in the doctor’s office. Instead of sitting around waiting, you can make some spare change.

Make a Blog

Creating your blog can be one of the most fun side hustles, but it can also be one of the hardest. There are millions of blogs out there that people never make any money off of, but there are also people that make a decent wage by putting new content on their site. You can make a blog about anything. Find something that you enjoy talking about, think of an interesting way to package it, and then create your blog. You can make money by selling advertisement space or by partnering with companies to do sponsored posts.

It’s important to note that making money off of a blog is not going to be a “get rich quick” scheme. It may take a while, but it will be worth all the work.


Freelancing is another side hustle that can net you some serious profits. Depending on what your skills are, or what you’re an expert in, you can earn just as much freelancing as you do with your full-time job. There are plenty of people that quit their day job to start freelancing instead. Find something that you’re good at, or that people need, and start doing extra work after you leave your job every day.

Making Extra Money on your Side Hustle

There are plenty of ways that you can make money. If you’re like most people, you aren’t going to complain about having more money in your bank account. Don’t let anything stop you from starting a side hustle and putting extra dough in your pockets every month.

What Factors Determine Auto Insurance Pricing?

Shopping around for car insurance quotes can be confusing.  Finding one that best suits your needs (and budget) can be just as intimidating.  What you have to realize before you even begin, however, is that while companies often differ in regard to the premiums that they offer to you.  There are several factors that will automatically result in you having a higher or lower premium.


Your age, gender, marital status, and where you live can all affect your auto insurance premiums.  If you’re under the age of 25, you’re statistically more likely to be in a car crash.  Insurance companies will put a higher premium on your policy.  However, if you are a student, many insurance companies will offer you a discount.  Don’t forget to ask about that if it applies to you.

In terms of gender, this is often tied in with age—specifically, young men tend to be in more crashes compared with young women.  However, the opposite is the case for the older cohorts.

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10 Thoughts On Our First Week Long Camping Trip of 2017

We generally do a week long camping trip twice per summer.  One is always over the 4th of July week.  We wrapped up our trip and it was a success.  I thought I’d share some of our (mostly) ups and downs, as well as a few laugh out loud moments.

The Popularity of Outdoor Activities Is Increasing

Driving on the freeway to get back and forth to the campground showed just how popular outdoor activities have become.  Michigan is always home to great summer activities and always has been.  However, even versus a few years ago, you can see a tremendous uptick.  The number of campers and boats shows that more and more have climbed out of the hole of the Great Recession.

Read more10 Thoughts On Our First Week Long Camping Trip of 2017

Why Are So Many Consumers Hypocrites About Fuel Economy?

I always take polls with a grain of salt.  Still, this one astounded me.   Consumerist reported that 87% of Americans surveyed think that automakers should do more to improve fuel economy.  The first thought that crossed through my mind when I read this was “Hypocrites!”

All For Increased Fuel Economy

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for better fuel economy.  I’ve been driving for about 25 years now (Yikes!) and the advancements in fuel technology have been remarkable. I know that even before that things came a long way from the fuel guzzlers of the past.

Image via Morguefile courtesy of gracey

I think many of the technologies are great.  Automakers build better engines.  They use lighter materials.  They make things run more efficiently.  Aerodynamics are improved.  It all works together so that vehicles use less fuel.

It’s pretty cool.  And I have no doubt that the innovations will continue.

So why am I shaking my head?  Read on.

Read moreWhy Are So Many Consumers Hypocrites About Fuel Economy?

Why Block Ad Blockers?

I browse with Google Chrome.  On my laptop and desktop computers, I always install ad blocking software.  I’d install it on my mobile version if I could do so without having to root the device.  It always amuses me when I come across a site that will block ad blockers.  The site refuses entry when it detects that you are running ad blocking software.  Instead of loading the requested content, you get a page refusing you entry until you disable to ad blocking software.  Or disable it for their site, anyway.

The Case For Blocking Ad Blockers

Many sites exist only by selling advertising.  I get that.  Without placing ads that generate revenues, the site couldn’t exist.  So the case for ad blockers is easy: More revenue.  Without revenue, the site wouldn’t exist, so it makes sense to maximize ad value, right?

It’s not that simple.

Read moreWhy Block Ad Blockers?