This post is by Karen Cordaway of Money Saving Enthusiast.
If you’re cutting back on discretionary spending, a much-needed vacation may seem like a luxury. But raveling to a beach paradise doesn’t have to be your only vacation option. This year, make your own local tour and plan leisure activities while making a little pocket money at the same time.
Let an app dictate your plans.
Sign up for apps like Gigwalk, Field Agent and Easy Shift to make pocket money while out and about. These apps are used for market research and hire a mobile workforce to do small tasks. Assignments may include taking exterior photos of a business, mystery shopping at a nearby drugstore, gathering data, checking stock, giving your opinion and more. Tasks can pay between to $2.50-$10. If you sign up for a bunch of assignments in the same area, it is possible to make $20 to $30 an hour.
Search for assignments in local areas you would like to visit within driving distance. Bring your camera and make some cash along the way. If you were on vacation, you would take photos of restaurants, businesses, landmarks, parks, statues and more. Why not get paid for your efforts?
Plot out where you will go and what you will do based around the interesting, available assignments you choose. Maybe there’s a town you’ve been wanting to explore but never got around to visiting. Perhaps a neighbor or colleague mentioned a new restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Give the app the reins and let it guide the itinerary of your staycation.
Set a spending limit based around your gig.
Obviously you don’t want to spend more than you planned. Determine what you can afford beforeheading out. After relaxing during your leisure activity, think of your task completion as a big coupon or reward for having a great time. I recently took on a Gigwalk task. The photos I took will be used for Bing’s search engine but they also serve to remind me of a special time I shared with my family. I jotted down descriptions and historical tidbits I learned along the way. I later used that information to complete the assignment.
Until Gigwalk asked me to record information about this area, I really didn’t realize the park we walked in was named after an American Revolutionary War hero, David Wooster. I took that local neighborhood for granted and never read any of the information on the statues when I was in the area. It turned into a history lesson for me and my family.
Get a twofer.
Try to overlap your assignments with deals from Groupon or LivingSocial. Get discounts on restaurants, events or other things to do in the same area. Maybe you can find a deal at the exact same place you plan to visit, if you’re lucky. You can spend less, make money and relax at the same time.
The bottom line.
Reframe your idea of what a vacation is. Cutting back on spending doesn’t mean you have to cut back on fun while vacationing locally. Make extra money along the way using apps that pay you for small tasks.
Karen Cordaway is a part-time teacher by day and freelance writer by night. Her work has been featured on a Fox News website and on Mamiverse. Visit her website, Money Saving Enthusiast.
Photo by anankkml, freedigitalphotos.net.