This was probably the hardest contest I’ve had to help judge, but MAN was it fun. Y’all had some CRAZZZZZY good ideas out there! I couldn’t even come up with half of them if I tried, haha… Seriously, check some of these out (full details are in the giveaway entries):
- Re-starting up a balloon animal/shape making business
- Updating a CPR training biz with new mannequins for students to train on
- Adding to a non-GMO farming pasture raising rabbits for meat and goats for dairy
- Launching a new voice-over side business
- Revamping a hand crochet beanie hat store
- Adding a paint booth in the back yard of a custom bicycle shop!
- And, one of my favorites cuz it’s so old-school, building a new arcade from scratch by hustling gumball machines :) You don’t hear about those businesses much these days! (Perhaps cuz there’s not much money in them anymore?)
Half of those up there became our runner-ups :) At the end of the day though, Deals2Buy and I had to go through all 100+ of them and whittle them down to our fave handful, and eventually all the way down to our favorite of the bunch. We considered variables like creativity of the idea, how successful it probably would be, the research that had gone into it, the overall game plan, and most importantly *how* the $750 we were giving away would be used for it. Not everyone spent the time getting into a lot of details, but for those who did it certainly helped us put them closer to the top. And really proved how passionate they are about their ideas too. We really wanted to help out *everyone*!
But, as contests normally go, there can only be one winner in the end. And that winner of our first (annual? :)) Hustler Giveaway – beating out over a hundred others – is… drum roll please…
Her idea was not only well thought out, and FUN, but also happened to align exactly with the kind of stuff we’re all about here on this blog and at Deals2buy: being smart with your money. It wasn’t the only reason why we picked her of course (see variables above), but we were def. excited she landed where she did. I wish her products were already out there!
Here was her entry and brilliant idea:
Custom Credit Card Sleeves and Envelopes
Okay, you see these everywhere with company logos on them etc, but what if they had inspiring sayings to support savings or better yet, could seal?
I got into credit card trouble after grad school and found the only way to make progress was to not carry any credit card around with me. Living totally off debit/cash was a huge change for the positive, but there were times when I was traveling or wanted it in my pocket for emergencies that require a credit card, such as renting a car.
But if I had easy access, it was too easy to really, really “need” those shoes on sale. Ever see the scene in Confessions of a Shopaholic where Isla Fischer freezes her credit card in a block of ice to stop herself from using it? I am using that principle, but anyone can carry it anywhere.
So, my idea is to use the $750 to create custom Tyvek peel/seal envelopes and open-end credit card sleeves with different art. Funny, well-designed, possibly inspirational designs. Tyvek cannot be ripped, so you have to cut open a sealed envelope, not just tear it open. Or, the open end sleeves are not sealed but can act as a protector and reminder all in one.
I can market them, design the sleeves/envelopes, whip up a website and source the printing myself b/c I already do all of the above as my career. I also know mail regulations and how to set up a system to mail orders out easily and quickly. I just don’t have the cash right now to do the first print order. $750 would get me set-up with ~5000 sleeves and mailing envelopes for 1500 orders.
– “Only in Case of Emergencies” for parents to give a teen or college student a credit card that really is only every supposed to be used in emergencies. This could also be cash in the envelope to go in their wallet, but tidily packaged up.
– “I am saving $____ for _____.” Leaving room to use a Sharpie to write in a goal amount and what it is for, to stop anyone from spending needlessly when reminded that “I am saving $5000 for my dream wedding.”
– “We do read every line of the credit card statement. Love, Your Parents”
– Famous quotes about frugality, maybe even a JMoney one!
– I have more ideas, but this gets the gist across.
This is not an idea that would have me rolling in the dough, but maybe I could earn a tad of cash to go towards my student loans while helping other people save. Or using it as a tool so I would sell them in sets of three for a price TBD. Open to suggestions for cost. What would you pay?
At worst, I can use these as lead for my marketing consulting side hustle!
I told Caitlin I wanted to be the first one in line to buy them :) Not only cuz they’re cool as $hit, but they’d make for awesome presents to people too. Especially those who you KNOW could really use some help w/ their money, but you need a more subtle way of telling them, haha… Perhaps we’ll even give some away on this site later once they’re created? Or sell some J. Money ones? ;)
When the site is launched, I’ll let y’all know. Feel free to get on Caitlin’s email list too if you want to be one of the first notified when her products drop.
Congrats again, Caitlin! Keep on hustlin’ everybody!
PS: Big thanks again to the folks at Deals2Buy for hooking our winner up with so much money and encouragement! Very VERY cool of y’all. Make sure to check them out, everyone, next time you’re looking online for some coupons – especially in the electronics department. Thanks guys!!
(Photo by FromSandToGlass)
PS: Some of my favorite tools:
|Personal Capital (FREE) -- If you’re looking for a robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go! They’re like Mint, but on steroids and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. // Full review|
|Digit (FREE) -- A super easy (and automated) way to save. Every day Digit analyzes your income and expenses and will push money aside for you any time it sees extra sitting there. I've saved over $4,000 myself using them so far! // Full review|
|Acorns -- Having trouble finding money to invest? Check out Acorns – they round up all your transactions to the nearest $1.00 and drops the difference into an investment portfolio for you. Easy way to start investing! // Full review|