Penny Hoarders Unite
A USF student creates a blog to share oddball money-making side jobs, and there are many of them.
Photo Credit: Daylina Miller | USF News
TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 30, 2011) – Kyle Taylor has made money selling coupons, building Macquariums, and spying on the mailman – he’s even tested liquor laws. He never thought he would be a blogger, but he’s used his odd-job experience to build a website that helps others – especially cash-strapped college students – save money.
So, The Penny Hoarder was born.
“I’ve always had a knack for finding weird and different ways to make extra money so it was definitely encouraged by my family and friends,” said Taylor. “They would tell me, ‘You should be sharing these things with other people.’ ”
Taylor, a University of South Florida senior who is majoring in political science, doesn’t like to just slap up referrals for moneymaking strategies on his website. He tries it out himself to see if it’s a realistic way for people to make money.
“Six or seven years ago, the only game in town was Ebay,” Taylor said. “That’s how you made money online. Now its completely different. There are so many ways you can make money: rating music, visiting websites and in fact, if anything, Ebay is less of an influence now.”
Taylor is familiar with the squeeze that tuition, textbooks and living expenses have on a college student’s wallet but his penny hoarding abilities starting at a young age out of necessity.
“I grew up with a single mom,” Taylor said.” We had enough money but weren’t well off. We clipped coupons, my mom would work extra jobs, we’d go mystery shopping after school. We’d make money but also spend time with one another and it was fun because we’d get free meals at the restaurants we mystery shopped at.”
While Taylor does embrace every opportunity to save a few dollars, he wouldn’t consider any of his methods extreme, like those seen on the popular television show “Extreme Couponers.”
“I don’t know that I’d call myself an extreme couponer but I’m definitely very good about it,” Taylor said. “I have a small apartment so I don’t keep the stockpiles they do but its not uncommon for me to get $150 worth of groceries for $15.”
While odd jobs used to pay the bills, Taylor said that the site is now making enough money in advertising revenue to support him. He’s not growing rich off the ad money and has no plans to stop testing the methods he writes about but he’s happy the site is doing so well.
“The first few months it was just my mom reading the blog,” Taylor said, laughing.
Taylor started the site in December 2010 and it has grown to having 2,000 subscribers and thousands of unique visitors a month. If the site continues to grow, he hopes to hire a professional to redesign it later this year.
Taylor said he has never had a traditional job, and he plans to keep it that way.
Daylina Miller can be reached at 813-500-8754.