How Reselling Items On eBay Is Similar To Stock Market Investing

Guest post by Nathan Clarke. Nathan is a systems engineer and eBay reseller with a goal of reaching a million dollar net worth. He blogs about his journey at millionairedojo.com

eBay has been around for over 20 years now. It was founded on the idea that you could take junk out of your closet, list the items and ship them across the country once someone purchased them. It’s amazing to think this business model actually worked, because there’s a high level of trust involved.

When the company first started, nothing was stopping someone from creating a listing and then taking the money and running without shipping the item when someone made a purchase. That rarely happened though, and the company continues to thrive today.

Most people don’t realize the opportunity we have with eBay. Anyone can start selling their items on the platform, begin making money and even create their own business. Here are some ways that eBay is similar to investing in stocks.

Ebay.jpg
Ebay Screen Saver, Pixabay

1. You’re purchasing something with the hopes that you’ll make money.

No one buys stocks with the intention of losing money (unless you’ve got so much money that you need to lose some for tax purposes). Just like a stock investor, eBay resellers look for items that they can buy at a low price and sell for a profit. It’s really the same idea as stock investing in a way.

When you buy a stock, you’re purchasing a part of a company. The company uses the money you invest to hopefully grow their business and make even more money. If they achieve this, the value of your stock goes up because the company is worth more money.

When you buy something to sell on eBay, you are hoping to sell it later on for a profit. I have purchased a hat at a thrift store for $0.25 before and it sold for $35.00. I profited over thirty dollars and was able to buy more items to continue reselling. Once you start making money on eBay, you’ll see a snowball effect with your cash pile by reinvesting your earnings.

2. You expect to get a good return on investment.

When you invest in the stock market, you hope that your investment is going to grow and you’ll earn money rather than lose it. When you’re reselling items on eBay, you are trying to do the same thing. If you go out and buy things that aren’t worth anything, you’re going to lose money.

It takes some time to figure out what sells well on eBay, but when you know a few items that are valuable, you can focus your energy on looking for those things. Investing in the stock market is a bit of a gamble since you never know if it’s going to go up or down. Buying things to sell on eBay can be a gamble as well. The most valuable item I’ve sold so far was something I knew nothing about. I got an old CB radio at a yard sale for free because the person was just throwing it away. I did some research on it, listed it, and it sold for over $500.00!

3. It’s best to diversify your assets.

Having a well diversified stock portfolio is key to being a successful investor. If you aren’t diversified, you have a higher risk of losing money. The more companies you are invested in, the better chance you have of earning more money. I personally invest in index funds that cover the entire stock market. Since my money is spread out across the entire market, I have well diversified exposure.

Having a diverse set of items to sell on eBay is a great way to ensure long term success. I’ve seen several people specialize in selling only one type of item. The problem with this is that trends come and go, and if people stop being interested in the items you’re selling, you aren’t going to make any sales. I will literally sell anything that I think I can make a profit on. I tend to stick with smaller items since they’re easy to ship, but if you look at what I sell each month, you’ll find all kinds of things.

4. A large eBay store will pay you dividends over time.

The main purpose of investing in the stock market for most people is to have a passive form of income in the future. You are investing money now with the hopes that it will grow and you’ll be able to pull dividends from that investment later on in life.

When you grow an eBay store to have lots of items, it will start paying out profits over time when you make sales. I sell items regularly that have been listed for several months. Sometimes it can take years for certain items to sell, but if you’re in it for the long run, this shouldn’t discourage you. The fact that items can take a while to sell just means you have more time to grow your store and continue building your inventory.

My eBay store currently has about 300 items in it and I’ve sold hundreds of items over the past year. When your items sell really fast, it can be hard to keep building your inventory. The great thing is that I could stop listing items for a whole year and continue to make money each month until my inventory runs out. I just have to collect payment and ship the items!

Final Thoughts…

Selling on eBay isn’t nearly as passive as stock market investing. When you invest in stocks, all you have to do is put money in a fund and let it sit. With eBay, you have to find items, list them and ship them when they sell.

Reselling on eBay is a lot of work, but if you love doing it, you can possibly turn it into your full time stream of income. It isn’t the same as retiring and living on stock market investments, but you might be able to quit a job you don’t enjoy and sell things on your own time. eBay can be a great way to make some extra money and if your earning enough from it, you could even invest some of your profits into the stock market!

A Beginner’s Guide To Buying Your First Car!

Buying a car can be one of life’s largest expenses and greatest sources of stress.

But it doesn’t have to break your bank or make you tear your hair out or refill your ulcer medicine.

Do your homework, arm yourself with information, and don’t be deterred by a sales pitch designed to throw you off course with promises and bargains that seem too good to be true. That’s because they probably are.

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Buying A Car, Flickr

Before you EVEN THINK about buying a car or even picking up an auto digest or the latest car magazine, you need to determine how much you can afford, right down to the dollar. That means don’t estimate or guess. Base your decision on your current financial situation.

If your budget is bursting at the seams (you DO have a budget, right?) you should consider a new vehicle something to put on the back burner and put your energy into stashing cash away into an auto fund.

There is no one-size-fits-all calculation you can use to gauge how much cash you should spend on a pre-owned or new vehicle. Whether you use cash or get a loan and make monthly payments, it should not cause an upheaval of your finances or leave you broke without enough money to pay for necessities like rent, food and Internet services.

Unless you are hitching rides (NOT safe!) to work or walking miles in the snow barefoot, a new vehicle is a “want” not a “need.”

The best answer for how much you should spend on a car is the amount you’ve saved for that purchase. Saving up and paying cash for a vehicle is wise and won’t derail your budget.

Do NOT Buy Brand New!

Come on, did you really think we would recommend this as an option?

Prices on new cars are through the roof. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average new car price at the end of 2017 logged in at $36,110. And the average for pre-owned vehicles is nudging $20,000.

Most people don’t have that kind of cash. Because of this, loans are the most common option, and they’re high. In the first quarter of 2018, the average new car loan was a whopping $31,450.

Consider for a moment the long-term impact a loan of this magnitude would have on your future. Then stop looking at new vehicle brochures and get back to reality.

Here is a great video on the car buying process…

Affordable And Pre Owned

This is an option for people who need a vehicle ASAP and have some cash set aside to pay for it.

It also is a good choice for you if you’ve worked a car loan payment into your budget and it won’t sabotage the rest of your monthly expenses.

Here are some initial steps to take when deciding to buy a vehicle…

  1. Look for a car or truck that’s within your price range. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
  2. Identify the year, make, and model of several used cars you’d like to purchase.
  3. Develop a short list of cars/trucks that will work for your needs. Be flexible. Ideally, you will put together a list of several vehicles not just one.
  4. Narrow your list by checking Consumer Reports or a similar website to read trustworthy reviews of the cars you’re interested in.
  5. Browse auto digests, Craigslist and other similar sites for vehicles, and also go to car lots and dealers to check them out in person. Don’t be talked into a quick sale. Impulse buying is always a no-no.

If you decide to buy directly from another person, ask the right questions. You want to know as much as you can about the car’s performance and history.

Here are some suggested questions…

“Does this car have any issues you know about?”
“Why are you selling it?”
“How many previous owners did it have?”
“Do you have paperwork about recent maintenance or repairs?”
“Has this vehicle been in any accidents?”
“What is the age of the tires?”
“When was the last oil change?”
“Who is your mechanic?”

Check out the facts. Then, put your sleuthing hat on and check history reports to learn
more about the car. Sites like CARFAX and Auto Check are great for searching vehicle history reports. Just enter the VIN (vehicle identification number) to find information regarding a specific car.

The info that may be available includes previous owners and whether the vehicle has any liens against it, as well as if it has been involved in major accidents.

Don’t forget to look up the vehicle with the national traffic safety agency to determine if the car you’re considering or any of its parts have been recalled.

If you are looking at a car being sold by a private owner, always have the vehicle inspected by your own independent mechanic. Walking around the car/truck and kicking the tires isn’t a good enough indicator of whether it’s a smart purchase or not.

If you find the seller stalls or won’t allow the car to be inspected, you can safely assume they’re hiding something, and our advice to you at this point is to run.

If your mechanic finds problems with the vehicle, ask how much it would cost to have them fixed. If it requires a lot of work and money, this is likely a deal-breaker. But for more minor repairs, you could use this as a negotiating point for a better deal on the car/truck.

Get Behind The Wheel

Always test drive the car. Giving a used car a test drive is imperative to see if it fits your style, budget and needs. It will help tell you if the car really is the one for you. During your test drive, evaluate the car’s performance and whether or not it accommodates you comfortably.

Here are some things to consider…

  • Ensure that the seats are comfortable and easily adjustable.
  • You must be able to sit in the car without your head grazing the interior ceiling.
  • Test the blinkers.
  • Keep your ears open for any sounds of clinking, clanking or grating which could mean engine trouble.
  • Test the brakes
  • See how easy it is to drive. The steering wheel should be responsive.
  • Blast the air conditioner then the heat to make sure both work effectively.
  • Look for any warning lights or symbols flashing on the dashboard panel.
  • Check for blind spots by adjusting the rear-view mirror and side mirrors appropriately.
  • Drive by your mother’s house and see what she thinks (this step is optional).

Dealer vs Private Party

Although you may score a good deal buying directly from an owner, shopping through a dealer has strong selling points. Dealers offer certified pre-owned vehicles, which means they’ve passed industry standards of excellence. They also often come with a warranty that gives you reassurance if you find something wrong after you drive away.

Keep in mind, too, that the best price is not necessarily the lowest dollar price. If you get a car from a private seller, the cost will probably be less than it would at a dealership, but a dealership can offer certification and warranties that a private seller can’t.

We always recommend you get a service contract. A service contract (or extended warranty) is available through dealerships and holds them responsible if your car blows a gasket, if the engine warning light comes on, if the brakes fail, or the car exhibits any number of other faults within the time period specified by your service contract.

Read the details of your service contract carefully so you know what is covered and what is not.

Signing The Deal

If you’re in the position of paying cash (lucky you!), keep that to yourself when shopping at a dealer. In other words, don’t tell the sales people you’re using cash. They often earn hefty commissions on car loans, and if they know they won’t be personally benefitting, they may be less helpful negotiating the deal. Only tell them at the very end of sale that you’ll be paying with cash.

Do your best to negotiate a good deal. Straighten your shoulders and speak with authority. Don’t cave and accept the advertised price immediately. Instead, offer a figure that is lower than your target price, then edge up little by little. For example, if the asking price is $10,000 but your ideal purchase price is $9,000, you might offer $8,500. The seller might make a counteroffer with a price of $9,500.

Keep working to lower the price. Eventually, you may settle for a price of $9,200 – a compromise between the seller’s starting price and your ideal purchase price.

Don’t be afraid to take up too much time, or to even walk away if you get flustered or feel pressured by the sales people. You can always go back the next day.

Did I Get A Good Deal?

There is no measure or definition of a good deal. If you’ve done all your homework and know beyond the shadow of a doubt you are getting a serviceable vehicle, and the vehicle you want, consider it a good deal. As long as you feel that the price is fair, you’ve done your best to negotiate a fair deal. Good job!

Paperwork

Always sign and retain a bill of sale for the car you are purchasing. The bill of sale should include the date of sale, the make, model, year, and VIN of the vehicle, the current odometer reading, and the sale price. It should also include your name, the seller’s name, and each of your addresses.

Get the title from the seller of the vehicle. Laws regarding the vehicle title vary from place to place, but generally, both you and the seller will be required to sign the vehicle’s title. With the title, in hand, you officially own the vehicle.

By following these steps outlined, the car buying process can be utterly painless! At the end of the day, the best rule of thumb we can give you is not to make an impulse purchase. Do your research and put some serious thought into how much you can realistically afford to spend on a car.

Hint: it is probably less than you think!

8 Essential Tips To Save More Money In Your 20’s

Guest post from Ryan Reeves of Investing City.

Let’s face it. Saving money sucks. It’s not fun, it’s not cool, and it’s not easy. No one likes a cheap-skate right?

Regardless, saving money is important. It enables us to live the life we dream of and achieve the freedom we so desire.

But first, a story.

Delaying Gratification

Nearly 60 years ago, Walter Mischel and his team of Stanford psychologists, performed one of the most popular studies ever.

Here’s how it went.

Mischel tested hundreds of young children. The kids were told that they could either eat a marshmallow now or wait 15 minutes to receive two marshmallows. Then, the researcher would leave the fluffy dessert on the table and leave the room.

As you can imagine, the video footage of the kids is quite entertaining. Fidgeting, squirming, staring at the marshmallow.

The study seems innocent, but over a decade later, the results of the famed Marshmallow Experiment were eye-opening. The kids who delayed gratification and received two marshmallows went on to get better SAT scores, had lower levels of drug and alcohol abuse and were even healthier.

Further, the researchers followed up with the test subjects over 40 years later and the results were the same. The ones who delayed gratification as children were more likely to succeed in life.

Why do I tell this story?

Well, it’s the same way with money. By delaying gratification, we set ourselves up for success. At times, it is difficult to see this. But if we know “why” we need to save, it can helps us to actually do it.

As the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

I’d like to alter that a little, “He who has a why to save can bear almost any how.”

Here’s why you need to start saving now.

The Why Of Saving Money

The #1 investing secret is time. Not elaborate trading strategies or insane amounts of research. It’s time.

Let’s run through a scenario.

Picture this: Phil and Todd are new college graduates and best friends. They both end up getting great jobs at the same investment bank right out of school.

However, Phil knows about the power of compound interest so he saves as much as he can during the first year of work. Todd, on the other hand, doesn’t really care because it isn’t interest-ing (pun intended).

After expenses, Phil saves almost $11,000 during the first year, $10,733.80 to be exact. Todd doesn’t save anything because it is too difficult (he would’ve eaten the marshmallow immediately).

Phil puts $10,733.80 into the stock market. Todd, well, he just bought a new car.

Fast forward 30 years, both guys are 53 years old. Phil hasn’t put a penny more into the market since that first year after college. On the other hand, Todd wakes up one night in a sweat. He realizes he hasn’t thought about retirement at all. He was too busy trying to impress everyone with lavish vacations, European sports cars, and a ritzy zip code.

So he buckles down and decides he needs to start saving and investing as soon as possible. He makes quite a bit of money so he starts socking away $20,000 a year. And he does this for the next 20 years. In total, he saves $400,000.

Fast forward another 20 years, and both guys are 73.

Who do you think came out ahead?

Phil who put less than $11,000 dollars in the stock market? Or Todd, who saved and invested $20,000 a year for 20 years?

If both men received the same 10% returns over time, the results actually come out as a tie. Well, Phil will be 5 cents poorer.

Phil’s total at 73: $1,260,049.94
Todd’s total at 73: $1,260,049.99

Phil’s amount put into the market: $10,733.80
Todd’s amount put into the market: $400,000

Phil’s Results:

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Todd’s Results:

Screen Shot 2019-01-10 at 3.04.50 PM.png

There is so much financial advice circulating in the news and on blogs and on TV, but this lesson is really the only one you need to grasp. Be Phil, not Todd. In finance, rather than counseling, time heals. Let time do its thing.

But this can only happen if you start saving. NOW.

The more you save, the younger you are, the better off you will be. It’s that simple. The power of compound interest will take care of the rest. So now that we can see the “why” of saving money, let’s dive into the “how.”

The How Of Saving Money

Here is the part of the article where we zoom in and break the problem down into actionable steps so we can make daily progress.

Not to be Captain Obvious, but the key to saving money is not spending it. We’ll give some tips and tricks, but fundamentally, it’s that easy. Spending fewer dollars than you make is the only way money will accumulate.

Let me preface this with something important. There is more to life than money, so if you find yourself extremely miserable with no friends because you are doing so well at saving money, maybe you need to tone it down.

Ok, got that off my chest…

Let’s skip the chit-chat and dive right in. Here are eight underrated ways to save money.

1. Don’t eat out.

Eating out is fun and it is enticing. But it adds up. Eating 3 times a week at Chipotle could put you back about $30. Over a year, that’s $360. Nothing to sneeze at. As an added bonus, if you learn to cook, you can save money and have exactly the food you want.

2. Make your own fun.

A lot of times, we spend money on experiences; going out to the movies, bowling and
whatever else sounds fun. But there are so many ways to have a good time without spending money. We can play sports, games, or explore. Creativity wins you extra points!

3. Care less about what people think.

If you need to have the latest gadgets and the coolest shoes, you might not be cut out to save a lot of money. The good news is you can change. At the root of buying stuff for ourselves is caring too much what people think of us. We try to impress them by buying nice things. You know what is more impressive? Being kind and caring about people, not what they think.

4. Look for deals.

If you must spend money, make sure to do a little research to get the best deal you can. Some people take this really far and become professional coupon clippers (I kid you not). One about buying cheap stuff is that it can actually be a worse deal in the long term if it doesn’t last. Keep that in mind.

5. Walk or ride a bike more places.

Gas is a big expense, especially if you live in a city. While it may be impractical to ride your bike everywhere, try to do it whenever possible. You’ll get in great shape and save money in the process.

6. Be single.

I’m joking… partly. If your significant other guilts you into spending inordinate amounts of money on them, it might not be the healthiest relationship. While it’s unlikely you’re looking for relationship advice here, this can be a tell-tale sign. Your significant other should like you for you, not your money.

7. Don’t carry around cash.

Cash is dangerous because it is so easy to spend. Since you don’t see your bank account
number go down, it feels like Monopoly money. Instead, deposit all cash into your bank as soon as possible. By doing this, you will increase the friction it takes to spend money lowering the odds you will actually do it.

Some will find that it is actually BETTER to spend cash! By seeing the money leaving you hand, it gives you a better idea of how much money you are spending. Try them both and see which strategy works for you.

8. Increase your income.

Often, most financial blogs get into the nitty-gritty of saving money like we’ve done here. An underrates way to save more money is to keep your spending habits the same but make more money. You can do this by hustling (washing cars, cleaning, helping out), learning and implementing new skills, or investing smarter. By starting your own little business, you can make a nice chunk of change. You can walk dogs, do website design, cater, sell products online and so much more. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just start something and learn as you go.

Conclusion: Final Thoughts

Though saving money isn’t fun, it will change your life. If you can wait for two marshmallows, you will increase your odds of living the life of your dreams exponentially.

One other tip that has worked well for myself and others is coming up with a monthly budget. Simply writing your expenses out on paper can help you to realize exactly where it is going!

Delay gratification. Remember “the why.” Be Phil, not Todd. And try out these eight tips for saving money.

You’ll be on your way to becoming a millionaire before you know it. If you’ve read all the way up until this part, it shows you really care about this. So I’d put my money on you!

Happy Saving,
Ryan Reeves

Ryan Reeves is CEO and founder of Investing City, a blog to help people invest better. 

20 Ways To Earn $100 Per Day (Or More) Online Without Taking Surveys!

I have been a full time online entrepreneur since June of 2017. Since I was old enough to have my own computer, I have been trying different methods for making money online. The idea of pulling money out of thin air by using the internet has always fascinated me.

My early ventures for making money online were not successful. I would guess that I have tried and failed at close to a dozen different online businesses. Thankfully, I have now found a few money making ideas that have actually worked for me. The good news is, none of them involve a rich prince sending you money through email!

I will be sharing those with you now as well as money making ideas that have worked for close friends of mine!

So, let’s get into it!

If you prefer watching videos, here you go…

1. Start A YouTube Channel

You know that phone sitting in your pocket? Or the one you are reading this article on? Well, that phone has a camera and a mic. Did you know you can make some serious money as a YouTube personality?

I have been doing YouTube videos since October of 2016 and it is hands down my favorite way to make money online. It does require you to put yourself out there, but if you have an outgoing personalty and thick skin, this could be a great way for you to make money online.

What you need to understand is that there is a massive amount of effort involved with building an audience on any platform! In fact, it took me over 7 weeks to get my first 100 subscribers on YouTube.

Once you build a large following, the money to be made is honestly unbelievable. One of my friends, Graham Stephan, put together a video showing his YouTube earnings.

Here is how much money you can make on YouTube…

2. Affiliate Blog

And now, we move on to my second favorite method for making money online! A lot of people think that blogging is dead, but that could not be farther from the truth. Blogs have been around for a very long time, and I do not see them going away anytime soon.

When I am talking about starting up a blog, I am not talking about a blog where you write about your day and include what food you ate. What I am referring to is an authoritative, niche specific blog.

Take our blog here for example. Investing Simple is a niche specific blog that covers personal finance and investing. I don’t write articles about avocado toast or my vacation to Vancouver. I create engaging blog posts about money, personal finance, investing, credit score and a variety of other topics!

You can make money from a blog in a number of different ways, but my favorite method is affiliate marketing. To explain this simply, you get paid for making referrals to purchase a product or a service.

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, check out our 5,000 word guide on affiliate marketing for beginners!

Again, building up a successful blog requires a lot of hard work. Take Jeff Rose for example. He has a personal finance blog Good Financial Cents that he has been building for the last 10+ years! While he does make a lot of money with this blog, he has invested thousands of hours into content creation.

Here is a great video by Jeff Rose on how to make money with a blog…

3. Make Money On Instagram

In June of 2018, I purchased an Instagram account called Investing Simple. Included with this package was a blog called Investing Simple as well. That is how I came to acquire this brand and start this blog!

Now, a lot of people might be wondering why I would purchase an Instagram account. When I tell them I paid close to $10,000 for it, they think I am a complete nutcase! The truth is, there are a lot of different ways to make money with an Instagram account.

P.S. don’t forget to follow @InvestingSimple on Instagram!

I make money with this page in a few different ways. First, paid shout outs. Brands and influencers will pay me to post something on my feed or story. Second, affiliate marketing. I refer traffic to brokerage companies through swipe up stories and earn a commission in the process. Third, I refer traffic to my blog. Most of the traffic for this blog comes from the content I share over on the story of Investing Simple!

There are countless ways to make money on Instagram. Earlier this year, I did an interview with Josue Pena over on my channel. He runs an Instagram marketing agency that is bringing in over $100,000 a month!

Check out that interview here…

4. Review Products You Already Own

Are you a guitar aficionado? Do you know a lot about headphones or kitchen gadgets? One of the best ways to make money online is to review products that you already own and are using. Believe it or not, you are probably an expert at a certain category of products. What if you could review these products, talk about what you like and don’t like about them, and make money in the process?

Now, let me take this a step further. What if you could partner up with Amazon, refer sales to them and earn a commission in the process? Amazon pays thousands of people just like you and me for referring traffic to the online store. If someone makes a purchase within the 24 hours that you sent them, you earn a commission!

This is known as the Amazon Associates Program. When I first started making money online, this was one of the first avenues I explored. I got out my camera, filmed reviews of products that I already owned and was knowledgeable of, and uploaded them to YouTube!

Now, I didn’t make a killing with this but it was a great learning experience for me. I still make money through Amazon Associates, primarily by recommending books. If people purchase a book through my link, I earn a commission!

If you aren’t comfortable with getting in front of a camera to film a product review, you could create a review blog instead! One of my close friends Odi Productions created a headphone affiliate blog known as Recording Now. On this blog, he reviews headphones and recording equipment and refers sales to Amazon. Easy money!

Here is a pretty comprehensive video I did talking about Amazon affiliate links…

5. Do Gigs On Fiverr

I am sure we have all heard of this money making idea before. You post gigs on Fiverr and earn $5 (hence the name “Fiverr”) in the process. Here’s where it gets interesting though… there are a lot of people charging more than $5 for their professional services on Fiverr!

I’ll admit, Fiverr does not have the best reputation. I have purchased gigs before where the quality was very poor, but at the end of the day you get what you pay for. I have also spent $200+ on gigs before that have been exceptionally good! As someone who spends $500 or more a year on freelancing gigs on Fiverr, I can tell you that there is a lot of money to be made on this platform.

You might have to start out charging just $5 for your gigs in order to get some reviews, but once you have a dozen or so reviews you can increase your price! As you build trust with the community on Fiverr, a higher price for your gig is justified.

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Fiverr Pro Banner

In fact, for top freelancers there is Fiverr Pro. Some of these gigs go for $1,500 or more! If that doesn’t get you motivated to post some freelance gigs on Fiverr, I don’t know what will. Go ahead and make some money!

The Penny Hoarder did a great job writing a guide on how to make money on Fiverr.

6. Creative Writing

Are you a good writer? The truth is, most of us aren’t! Personally, I feel that I am much better on my YouTube videos. I do enjoy writing though, so I write one or two articles a week for the blog.

So who writes the rest of these articles? Currently, I have two creative writers working for me! That’s right, even if you are the worst writer in the world you could still have your own blog by leveraging the talent of other people. Or, if you are the greatest writer in the world, you could have others pay you to create content for their blogs!

Here is a tip; the more specialized you are, the more you will earn!

If you are a expert in a certain field, and a great writer, that is a winning combination. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr allow you to post gigs or services for hire. People looking for creative writers often start their searches at these two sites!

Looking to brush up on your writing skills? Here are some great tips…

7. Virtual Assistant

In every business, there are some tasks that you enjoy doing and some that you absolutely hate doing. For me, one of the tasks that I hate doing is SEO optimization of my blog. Thanks to the internet, I was able to hire someone from across the country to handle the SEO for my blog!

This individual is known as a “VA” or a virtual assistant. These virtual assistants have become a vital part of the way online businesses are run today. Ask anyone running an ecommerce business. Most of them would not be able to do it without a team of these virtual assistants working for them behind the scenes!

Your strength is someone else’s weakness. Become a virtual assistant and help business owners with the day to day tasks behind the scenes!

8. Public Notary

Now, this isn’t technically an online business but you can advertise this business online. One of the easiest ways that you could make some extra money on the side is to become a public notary.

There are a number of different sites like 123 Notary that allow people to find a public notary in their area. Some of these are paid listings while others are completely free!

Most notaries are charging between $40 and $60 for their services. In order to be a notary public, you have to pay a fee for testing and pass an exam. Here is more information!

9. Sell An Online Course

Investing Simple is affiliated with Teachable.

Ready to demonstrate how to write the perfect resume? Knit a sweater? Read tarot cards? Buy a car? Balance a checkbook?

If you are an expert at virtually any topic, you could package that knowledge up into an online course and sell it to others! This was one of my largest sources of income in 2018. The way that people are learning things is changing. More and more people are looking to learn new skills online!

Setting up the curriculum will take some time, as will marketing your course, but once it is up and running you will be able to earn passive income based on the number of students that enroll.

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Course Creation Companion By Ryan Scribner

Ryan Scribner, one of the blog authors, offers a free course all about building a successful online course or membership site. You can enroll here!

This is one of the best ways to make passive income. Once the course is completed, you just collect the payments! Hosting sites like Teachable will handle the rest. There are countless examples of people who are making $100,000 or more with an online course.

Take Tai Lopez for example. In this video, Tanner J. Fox estimates that he does close to $90,000,000 a year in revenue from his online courses and coaching!

10. Create A Membership Site

On the topic of creating an online course, another great option is to create a membership site! Some things are better taught through a course while others are better taught through a membership site. With a membership site, you charge members a set fee on a recurring monthly or yearly basis.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you were creating an educational program that shared healthy cooking recipes. You would be better off creating a membership site, as you would be regularly adding more content and sharing new recipes.

Sites like Teachable allow you to create a membership site with ease. One of the best parts about membership sites is that you have a general idea of how much you will be making each month!

11. Being A Flipper Or Reseller

In my opinion, this is one of the EASIEST ways to make some extra money online. The concept is really simple. Purchase items that have high resale value and resell them on sites like eBay!

Think about college textbooks for example. Most college students are not going to take the time to create an eBay account, take photos of their textbooks, list them on eBay, package and eventually ship them out. What if you were able to purchase textbooks from college students in cash and resell them online? By putting in the extra work, you could easily make a 20% profit margin or more as a reseller!

Another example of this is picking items at thrift stores like Salvation Army and Goodwill. Simply go to these stores with your smartphone and scan items to see what they are selling for on eBay. Most people working at thrift stores have no idea what these items are worth. Since they are donated, any amount they can get is profit. It is easy to find money making flips at thrift stores.

A third way you could do this is by going to garage sales. Again, people just put arbitrary prices on their unused items. Find items with high resale value and flip them!

Here is a video of Gary Vaynerchuk (shocking, right?) talking about how to make money online as a flipper…

12. Coaching, Tutoring Or Consulting

This money making method has been around for a very long time. If you are an expert in a certain field, you can make money teaching others. You might be saying to yourself that you have no skills that you could teach, but you don’t have to know as much as you think!

Consider college or high school students for example. If you excelled at a certain subject in school, you could simply tutor students in this subject! Don’t feel like leaving the house? Simply do this over Skype or Zoom.

13. Ecommerce

The way people are buying things is changing. Actually, let’s be honest, it has already changed. Young people in particular are doing more shopping online than ever before. Amazon Prime subscriptions are now more common than a landline telephone in a household in the United States.

Thousands of people are taking advantage of this trend by getting involved with ecommerce. This could be selling items on Amazon, creating your own store on Etsy or dropshipping on Shopify! There are countless ways to make money online.

One of the most popular ways to make money online these days is by dropshipping. Essentially, you are selling products that you are never putting your hands on. You build out a website, run ads to get traffic to the site and then fulfill the order.

For example, many people are creating a Shopify store where they can sell products from AliExpress. Keep in mind that it will take weeks if not months for products to ship from China, so you want to be transparent about this on your site!

A better way to dropship is to ship the products to the United States first and pay for fulfillment services. This will significantly reduce the shipping time.

Dropshipping Model
Dropshipping Explained, Oberlo

14. Run Facebook Ads For Businesses

One of the BEST opportunities today in my opinion for making money online is to learn how to run Facebook ads. Digital advertising is going nowhere but up as more and more businesses ditch traditional advertisement methods each year. The truth is, digital advertising like Facebook ads is just more effective.

Take a billboard for example. If you put up a billboard and spend $5,000 on it for a month, you will get thousands of eyeballs on that ad a day. But how many people are actually interested in your product or service? With this type of traditional advertisement, there is no way to determine who is looking at your ad or who followed through with it.

With Facebook ads on the other hand, you can build audiences of EXACTLY who you want viewing your ad. On top of that, you can also determine how many people clicked the ad and followed through with a meaningful action on your site. The opportunities with Facebook ads are endless!

So, why should you care? Even if you are not a business owner yourself, you can help business owners by setting up Facebook ads for them! Business owners should be focused on one thing; running the business! They don’t have time to worry about testing, running and optimizing Facebook ads.

Check out this interview I did with Kevin David to learn more…

15. Create And Sell An Ebook

This is one of the old school methods for making money online, but it still works today! Personally, I prefer making online courses (money making idea #9) as the profit margins are higher. You can still make some decent money selling ebooks though!

Selling paperback books is annoying. Who wants to deal with physical products these days? Selling a digital product like a course or an ebook is a great way to earn passive income. Once you take the time to create the ebook or course, you just keep on selling it!

Personally, I have never tried this. The Writing Cooperative put together a great guide on how to sell your first ebook. Check it out here!

16. Build ClickFunnels Funnels

Back in November of 2018, I hosted my first live event in Dallas, Texas. Now, I am not telling you this to brag. The reason why I am sharing this is because I had to use ClickFunnels to create a sales funnel for that event!

After an agonizing hour of trying to figure out this platform myself, I went on to a Facebook page for ClickFunnels and put up a post in search of someone who could build a funnel for my event. I found someone relatively quickly, and he agreed to build us a sales funnel for $200.

It took him about a day, but that was easy money.

If you are well versed with programs like ClickFunnels, you can get paid good money to simply build funnels for other people! All you have to do is simply advertise your services for free in Facebook groups or online forums.

Here is a video Kevin David did that talks about how to make money with ClickFunnels…

17. Build Manychat Autoresponders

This idea is very similar to #16, but there is another new program out there that is extremely useful to small businesses and influencers. Manychat is an automated messenger bot for Facebook Messenger. As open rates for email marketing efforts continue to decline, services like Manychat are becoming more popular.

If you become an expert at building these messenger bots, you could advertise your services in Facebook groups, forums or reach out to businesses and influencers directly and offer to help them set up this powerful tool!

Here is a Manychat tutorial for those of you that are interested…

18. Get Free Traffic From Quora

For those of you who already know what Quora is, skip this paragraph. For those of you who don’t keep reading! Quora is an open forum where people can both submit questions and answer questions for others. Let’s say, for example, I was looking for some ideas to make money online! I could go on Quora and submit a question that says “What are some ways to make $100 a day online?” and other people could answer. (Hint: this is actually a question I answered on Quora!)

But… why should you care?

Believe it or not, Quora can serve as a great source for free traffic to your site or business! Let me run you though a example. Let’s say you have a consulting business (money making idea #12) where you help small business owners with staffing. You could go on Quora and find questions that are already out there that you could answer!

On Quora, you are allowed to include links to your own site, your LinkedIn and even your email. You want to make sure your posts are extremely valuable, otherwise you will get flagged as spam.

So, in case you aren’t connecting the dots, here is the run down. First, you find questions in your niche being asked by people on Quora. Then, you answer those questions adding a tremendous amount of value. Finally, you add your contact information at the bottom where people can learn more about you.

And BOOM! Now, potentially thousands of people could read your answer. If done correctly, this could generate free leads for your business or free traffic for your site.

19. Invest In The Stock Market

Okay, I know this one is a stretch, but there are thousands of people out there making $100 a day or more on average through the stock market. One of the most common ways is through dividend income. Dividends are payments to shareholders that are typically paid out on a quarterly basis.

Consider a stock like AT&T. This is a company that currently pays a dividend of around 7%. That means for every dollar you invest in this company, you will get back seven cents a year in the form of dividend payments. Now, it is important to remember that dividends are never guaranteed. However, companies like AT&T have been paying dividends for decades, so it is a pretty sure bet.

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AT&T Stock (T) 6.89% Dividend

In order to average $100 a day from dividend income, you would need to be earning $36,500 per year. Assuming AT&T continues to pay a dividend of 7%, an investment of just over $500,000 would earn you that income. While that probably sounds like a lot of money for most readers, that is a great goal to aim for long term! Dividend income is one of my favorite methods for making money because it is completely passive. You simply invest in a real company and collect a portion of their earnings!

Looking to learn more about investing in the stock market? Here is our free guide.

20. Email Marketing

And finally, we have this old school method for making money online. While open rates on email marketing activities are getting lower and lower, there is still potential to make money here. In order to build an email list, you need to offer something of high value for free. Typically, this is some kind of free guide or course.

Once you build up an email list, there are countless ways to make money with it. You could leverage affiliate marketing, sell your own course, sell a membership site or sell your own online coaching services just to name a few examples!

Email marketing is a great addition to an existing online business. There are very few businesses that I can think of (actually, none!) that would not benefit from ongoing contact with their customer base.

Closing Thoughts…

Every year, there are more and more ways to begin making money online. The best piece of advice I can give you is to find one thing that you enjoy doing and stick to it! Those who dabble with different money making ideas often have “shiny object syndrome” where they constantly jump from one idea to another. There is no secret out there when it comes to making money online. The closest thing to a secret that I can come up with is that money is made by sticking to one thing for a long time. Have patience and see the long term vision for what you are building!

 

What Does It Really Mean To Be Wealthy?

This article is a guest post from the blog Prestige Defined.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word wealth? Money, yachts or watches? In the normal sense of the word, you wouldn’t be wrong. But my challenge in this post is primarily to change your perception of wealth as well as set you on the path to create wealth in the other areas of life. (I’ll leave the financial part to my friends here on Investing Simple!)

In an effort to alleviate any dismay, you should take comfort in knowing that much of the process experienced through financial investing is the same for investing in yourself and developing non-monetary wealth.

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau

If you’re reading this blog, you already recognize the importance of investing. It is truly an invaluable skill in this game we call life in order to get and stay ahead. It requires the understanding of delayed gratification, exercising patience and skill over a prolonged period of time. All of these are valuable traits which are sorely missing from our society. Simply by being aware, you are ahead because you then have the choice of taking action. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know.  Just as you research and carefully select investments, you must educate yourself in the areas which you seek to pursue.

Our first distinction being rather obvious, monetary wealth, extends to all that can be bought. Materialistic possessions include luxury vehicles, watches, clothes and beyond.

Non-monetary wealth refers to all that cannot be bought, touched or felt. Instead, these are things that are experienced, felt and cherished. A few examples of this are memorable life experiences, wisdom, knowledge, health or significant relationships.

Wealthy In Health

The wealth in health is incomparable to that of monetary riches simply because without it nothing else is possible. What good is all the money in the world if you can’t enjoy it?

Let me begin by saying that for any of these categories, it all begins with a choice. You need to make a choice to be wealthy in health. A healthy body, mind and spirit is an intentional habit that must be developed throughout time. You yourself know exactly what you need to do.

It’s the things you’ve been telling yourself you need to work on, but that you’ve been putting off for a while. Make the choice to take action on it. If you know you need to improve your diet, then add those vegetables and reduce the fast food. You most likely know what foods are healthy and which aren’t, and if you don’t, Google it!

Has the exercise been inconsistent, or worse, non-existent? Take the first step and educate yourself on the fundamentals or develop an exercise routine if you’re ready and follow it! It is important to keep in mind that health doesn’t only extend to your physical body, but also to your emotional, social, psychological and perhaps spiritual body. It’s important to develop these areas as well!

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Wealthy In Health

Wealthy In Love

How would you rate your friendships? Are you satisfied with your current relationships with your significant other or family? If you’re like me (cold and distant at times) then you most likely need to work on this aspect of your life. We live in the most connected time in history, and yet we are also at our loneliest. You may have more than a thousand friends on Facebook, but how many of those would help you in a time of need? How many would support you through an emotionally difficult time?

I used to be focused on quantity versus quality, however upon self-education through books and experiences, I reversed my objective and gained so much more value from three or five closest friends that I knew I could depend on.

Do you call your parents enough? When was the last time you went on a proper date with your significant other? Put in the effort to strengthen your relationships, because we never know when our time here may be up. I know it may seem macabre to think about the end, but coming to terms with our ultimate fate makes life much more beautiful and worthwhile.

So many times we get caught up in the monotony and tedious day to day life, but just like happiness cannot exist without sadness, and light cannot exist without darkness, life cannot exist without death. But there is beauty in that. Train yourself to see it every day.

Perhaps most importantly, love yourself, because it all begins with you. It is rather unfortunate that we can be so harsh to ourselves at times. Most of the time, we are our own worst critic and while this can be healthy in some aspects such as a project or work, it can quickly become toxic if you continually put yourself down.  Learn to love yourself and I am positive you will find tremendous value in doing so!

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Wealthy In Love

Wealthy In Happiness

What was your first conscious thought this morning? Did you dread the alarm clock? Did you make getting up a chore? Did you notice it yet? So much of life and YOUR happiness is truly in what YOU make of it. Believe me when I say your thoughts are more powerful than you think. But what is stronger; you or your thoughts? It’s an interesting concept isn’t it? So often we believe we are our own thoughts, but are we? Thankfully, we are not. But you could be if you keep thinking like that!

Who controls you? Your thoughts, your emotions or do you control them? I used to believe that happiness meant you would forever be free of troubles and achieve everlasting bliss. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The reason why I say fortunately is because if it truly was like that, being the humans that we are, we would quickly grow weary and bored just like we do with anything familiar. You think laying on a beach every day watching the ocean wouldn’t get boring?

The truth is that happiness is a conscious choice you make every day and you can start right now. Gratitude is my key to happiness. It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well and all is right with the world (which is still a great time to be thankful) but the character building times are of course when things are not going well.

When something (you perceive to be) undesirable occurs, do you blame others, yourself or curse the world and the forces that be? Or do you instead say thank you either way and move forward? In the heat of the moment (and I struggle with this myself for now) it can be extremely difficult to be grateful. If you can break through that anger and sadness for just a split second, and think of being grateful and act on it, you can dissipate that anger quickly and turn your mind towards more fruitful thoughts.

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Wealthy In Happiness

Perception Is Reality

In conclusion, I sincerely believe that one should not be an extremist in life but should rather implement all tools throughout life in a balanced manner. It isn’t about one being necessarily more important than the other, but about being in harmony and living a well-balanced life.

Spending too much time working and making money? There’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself to reach a goal, but at what cost? Neglecting your family and friends? Too much of anything is bad. 

I truly believe the path to becoming wealthy in these areas is through self-examination and reflection. As Socrates once famously stated, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Sit down and really evaluate these different areas in your life and improve upon the ones which are lacking.

This is truly only an introduction into various topics we could discuss for days. Do yourself a favor and invest in yourself, your education, your relationships, your health and your happiness!

Most of these habits are simple, but not easy. They’re just as easy to do as not to do them and therein lies the trouble. But because you’re already trained to look past the immediate future, you should have a head start!

I hope you make the powerful realization throughout your journey that all these habits create a powerful positive cycle which can turn into a negative cycle simply by lack of action. Taking care of your health gives you more energy, which can result in working on a side project or investment to build up your monetary wealth. This frees up time you could spend with family and building relationships thereby increasing your happiness and fulfillment in life. Now, think of the opposite and ask yourself which life are you living?

If you’re interested in learning more about the topics discussed here, I delve into these on my website Prestige Defined focusing on the four pillars I consider to be crucial in life:  Health, Wealth, Love & Happiness.

Thank you for your time and I hope you make the decision to invest in yourself in order to improve your life in the long-term!

How To Make A Monthly Budget (That You Actually Stick To!)

You know you’re officially a responsible adult when you actually sit down and write out a budget. Our job is to motivate you to put this on the very top of your to-do list.

But first we want to offer the following (scary) facts about what happens when you DON’T stick to your budget:

  • The average American household carries more than $135,000 in debt. This includes mortgage loans.
  • A whopping 75 percent of Americans are in debt.
  • The sum of consumer debt totaled $3.898 trillion in 2018, representing a leap of 7.6 percent over last year.
  • Excluding a mortgage, average consumer debt per capita hovers around $11,800.
  • 88 percent of graduates from private colleges had student loans.
  • People are using way too much plastic! The average credit card debt is around $5,800 for households that carry a balance – which by the way is 43 percent!
  • About 15 percent of American families are living well beyond their means. In other words, they are spending more than they earn on a monthly basis.
  • According to recent reports, credit card debt hit $810 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

Why are we throwing all this grim news in your face? #1, to educate you with the startling statistics that many adults are facing. Then #2, to help you find a way to stay OUT of that pool of percentages.

The solution? Three words: Make A Budget. Then three more words: Stick With It.

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Budgeting Your Money, Flickr

For starters, toss out the notion that having a budget is a bad thing or that you have to wrestle with columns of numbers to make the bottom line tied up in a neat and tidy knot. Sure, you want your expenses to be equal or less than your income, but we promise, this can be done without an excessive amount of sweat (or tears).

A budget is simply a plan for how you will spend your money. And it’s also an accurate assessment of how much money you earn.

Living within a budget is actually the opposite of stressful, because you will have complete control over your money and your spending habits. We’ve all been victims of shopper’s remorse, where we over spent and felt terrible about ourselves. Worse, still, the things we bought were non-returnable! If you have a budget, all your purchases will be planned except for small splurges. You will know at all times what you can afford and what will get you in over your head. After all, wouldn’t you rather save up for a week in the Caribbean than toss it away buying drinks for your friends every Friday night?

Like all things in life, moderation is key here. If you map out a too rigid budget, you will want to rebel in the same way you scarf down cookies at 2 a.m. after a day of kale and unflavored mineral water. Keep your spending plan doable by building in flexibility. There are times of the year – like the month of December – in which you will spend more, but make up for it with a lean January. A budget can be a very positive addition to your life because you will have a better handle on your finances. No more throwing money away on things you can’t even account for. What’s more, a budget can help you squirrel away money for a car, college, a vaca, or your first house.

Expenditures are what it costs to live your life. Some are fixed, such as rent or car payments. Others are variable, like weekly groceries and weekend entertainment.

Income is any money you receive, such as your paycheck. You can always beef up your income with a part-time job or side hustle.

Probably not the best idea to jot your budget down on the back of a paper napkin at the coffee house on a Saturday morning. You want something semi-permanent that looks official so you will respect it.

In order to stick with your budget, you have to find some way to organize it and keep an eye on it. If you want to go low-tech, draft up a spreadsheet with columns for income and expenses. You can use Excel (or a similar program) to effortlessly total columns. In other words, it does the math for you.

If you’re not fluent in Excel, take a class and learn it for goodness sake, because you will use it in virtually every facet of your life.

Here is a video from one of the blog authors on how to create a monthly budget in excel!

Have a smart phone? There are dozens of easy to use apps at out there to choose from.

In other words, there are tons of tools out there to help you, including online budget sheets, software, and spreadsheets. The key here is to find a system that works for you. While it won’t be as much fun as beer and hot wings, making a budget shouldn’t be grueling.

Budgeting Your Money 101

Step 1: Identify your goal.

Maybe you just want to track where your money is going on a weekly basis. Or maybe you want to start saving up for a new toy, or better yet, to have a cushion if you did
happen to lose your job (industry experts recommend stashing away at least three month’s worth of income for emergency savings). Maybe you’re working your way out of debt. Or working hard not to get into it. Setting your goal is a good way to see the big picture before you start tracking every dollar you spend.

Step 2: Determine your income.

This can be from a single job, or, if you’re smart, from your main job and your side hustles. List every source of your income and total that on your budget sheet.

If you work on commission or via client contract, get a handle on your monthly income by averaging your payments over the last 12 months. Remember, too, that this income isn’t always consistent, so plan ahead for the leaner months.

Step 3: List your monthly expenses.

Itemize your monthly expenses including fixed costs such as utilities, gas for your car, rent or mortgage payment, cell phone, internet, water, loan payments, etc. Then list all your variable expenses, and be honest with yourself about this column. No, sushi dinner every night is not a variable expense.  It’s a splurge (more on this later).

However, your grocery costs would be considered variable because you have ultimate control over what you spend. Yes, it’s nice to buy brand labels, but generic store brands are just as good and will save you a bundle.

Another pro tip is to cut down on your liabilities. These are things that you own that are regularly taking money out of your pocket. Think; boat, RV, motorcycle!

Step 4: Prioritize items.

Start with the things you absolutely need or are committed to pay. This ensures that you have money for the most urgent needs.

Step 5: Add your “guilty pleasures” at the end.

This includes everything from Friday night pizza to movies on demand.

Step 6: Plan for the unexpected.

Adding an allotment for an emergency fund is a fantastic idea. Saving money for emergencies helps stamp out the possibility of future debt if you have a medical emergency or some other crisis arises.

Step 7: Look at the bottom line.

Total your expenses and see if they are equal to or lesser than your income. If you have income left, congrats! You have a surplus. If your expenses are more than your income, you’re looking at a shortage, and you will have to do some work to modify your budget (hint: take a second look at your splurges).

Step 8: Revisit goal setting.

Set both short and long-term goals. This is imperative to staying motivated. Maybe you’ve had your eye on a leather jacket or backpack. Or, longer term, you want to upgrade your ride. If you keep plugging away at your savings, following your budget to a T, and staying accountable (no, you don’t need to track every penny…but you need to know where you’re tossing away $20 bills) you can meet or even exceed these goals.

Remember that a budget is meant to be fluid and flexible. Things can change (and they usually do!) Your income may go up (Yay!) or you might pay off your car loan. Conversely, you may have unexpected car repairs or a doctor’s bill for that stubbed toe that turned out to be broken.

Budgeting By the Numbers

There are some budget ratios people swear by that may work for you as well. One is the “50/30/20” rule. This refers to allocating 20 percent of your income should go towards savings. Meanwhile, another 50 percent (maximum) should go towards necessities, which leaves you with 30 percent going towards discretionary items. This rule of thumb is popular, quick and rather easy to follow.

Get Over The Excuses!

“I don’t have enough money to budget.”

You’re living, right? You have a roof over your head and clothes on your back and food in the pantry? Then you have enough money to organize and track. Chances are good you will surprise yourself when you see how much of your income is going out the door on discretionary spending.

“It’s too complicated/time consuming/boring.”

You work at least 8 hours a day, right? Clean your apartment? Stand in line at DMV?
These are prime examples of the mundane aspects of life. Making a budget will take less time than helping your mom program her Roku. Once constructed, it’s all a matter of updating numbers weekly and then congratulating yourself on a job well done.

“Budgeting makes me feel worse about my money.”

Actually, budgeting empowers you by giving you a full picture of your spending habits as well as the many areas in which you can change them. There’s nothing worse than having nothing to show from your paycheck. Budgeting is a positive step in financial freedom.

“Budgeting will force me to eliminate things I like.”

You will have a category in your budget for discretionary spending, and so if you want that croissant, have it! Just track the money you shell out for bakery items and if you’re not happy with what you see, change your routine. And maybe start baking.

Here are 11 handy, even humorous, suggestions for keeping your lifestyle within your budget boundaries.

  1. Don’t carry your credit cards around every day in your wallet, or for that matter, near your computer with access to online shopping.
  2. Pay for purchases with cold hard cash! It’s amazing how reluctant you will be to part with those $20s when you physically see your hard-earned money going for that latte or lunch.
  3. Along the same lines, put a specific amount of cash in an envelope for the week, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. This will make you think twice about those little nickel and dime expenses and limit impulse spending. In a very short time, you will find yourself toting around an insulated coffee container from home rather than stopping at Starbucks.
  4. See how far you can stretch that cash. If you pass up the fancy salad for lunch, you will have enough cash for movie tickets Saturday night.
  5. Track every dollar! Save all your receipts and review them every weekend to analyze your spending habits over time.
  6. Make smart choices. Choose water over soda. This applies to the soda machine you visit at work during the 3:00 slump and also your order at restaurants. If plain water isn’t palatable, add a lemon wedge or cucumber slice (which of course you bought on sale!)
  7. Be vigilant, even obsessive, about keeping an eye on your checking account balance. You will be surprised at the small purchases that add up to a major hit on your bottom line.
  8. Keep a copy of your budget in a place where you will see it every single day. Tape it to your fridge. Use it as your home screen saver. Go crazy, laminate it and prop it up next to your computer. Be creative, but be committed.
  9. Borrow, don’t buy books. Yes, there is still a place called a library that stocks a good inventory of best sellers. Or snag books from friends who recommend them. Bonus: you can give them back after they’re read, saving you space in your apartment.
  10. Use every drop of that laundry detergent. Fill the bottle with water and shake it out. This also goes for dish soap, shampoo and any other bottled liquid. You get the idea here.
  11. Take at least 24 hours to consider anything other than minor purchases. Sleep on it.

Making a budget – and sticking with it – is a rite of passage for young adults who want to manage their finances, rather than having their finances overwhelm them. Remember, you can always add to the income column with a side job, or subtract from the expenses by wearing your Nikes for one more season. Be creative. We know you’ve got it in you.

Once you have a budget established and your spending is under control, another step you might want to take as an adult is to begin establishing credit. Your future self will thank you! Check out our comprehensive guide on credit scores.

Got a budgeting tip to share with us? Comment below!

Assets Versus Liabilities: A Rich Dad Poor Dad Lesson!

This article is a guest post from the blog Investors On The Rise.
A very important lesson I have learned throughout my self studies of personal finance is from the book by Robert Kiyosaki known as Rich Dad Poor Dad. This is where I learned the true difference between assets and liabilities. Now, the Google definition of an asset is a useful or valuable thing, person or quality. The definition of a liability is the state of being responsible for something. These definitions are very unclear, so I hope to shed some light on them!

I learned from reading this book that an asset has the power to bring money to you and a liability takes money away from you. Throughout this article, this will be the definition we are going to use as we dive into the mind of Kiyosaki. I hope to share with you a different perspective of your own assets and liabilities. This different mindset may help you when it comes to making the difficult money decisions made on a regular basis.

What Are Assets?

Try to spin the traditional definition of an asset on its head. We are going to talk about what I believe is the true and most important definition of what an asset is. An asset is an investment tool that brings in cash flow.

Perfect examples may be real estate, dividends, or royalties. There are many different types of assets. Not all have the power to generate cash flow, but purchasing assets that do can be a tremendous wealth builder.

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Rich Dad Poor Dad Cash Flow Chart

There are some charts in the book that show how most middle class people live today. If you are not careful, you could fall into this yourself. As you can see in the picture above, most people rely on their one source of income which is their salary from a job. They then proceed to take on a lot of expenses and liabilities. This, in turn, is what people use as I believe excuses as to why they can’t invest their money into assets. Or, they have some of the other beliefs such as “money is the root of all evil, I don’t need money to be happy, etc.”

If people took the money they spent on unneeded liabilities and purchased assets that will generate income, such as rent from a rental property, dividend income from dividend paying stocks, bonds, notes, etc. you could completely change your financial outlook.

You may be a lot better off in not only your financial life, but in your personal life as well. You will stress less about money and the less you stress, the happier you are! Imagine instead of having to pay out $100 a month towards a liability such as your car payment, you instead earn $100 from an asset such as from your dividends. It would most likely put a smile on your face (because I know for me, it does!) For certain assets, you could reinvest your earnings and get your best friend compound interest on your side. A change of your mindset about money can have a tremendous impact on your life.

One of the biggest challenges when building assets is that it can take a long time. If you don’t have the upfront cash to put in right away, it can seem difficult to get started. As someone who is building up my assets slowly, but surely, I can tell you that it will be worth it in the long run. Eventually, you will have multiple streams of income working for you. Diversifying your income is a great wealth builder. Having this freedom will allow you to do things you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

What Are Liabilities?

These are what you need to stay away from! These are car loans, mortgages, credit card debt, school loans, etc. that just eat away at the hard earned money you make. Not all liabilities are bad, but many times liabilities can quietly destroy your cash flow without you even noticing. How can anyone get ahead in life if they only have one source of income with no assets while at the same time keep racking up expenses and liabilities? It is near impossible to attain financial freedom when you are spending more money than you make. Now, certain liabilities can be good such as a mortgage on a rental property. At this point, it is an asset not a liability because that rental property will put money in your pocket. I would try to eliminate as many liabilities as possible so you can purchase income generating assets.

Write down a list of all your liabilities and see which ones you can get rid of so you can increase your cash flow and purchase more income generating assets. Your mindset plays an extremely important role when it comes to dealing with liabilities. You have to maintain a strong mindset and stick through the tough times in order to reach financial freedom.

You can’t have the following money mindsets:

  • Negative thoughts about money
  • Believing you can get rich quick
  • All talk, no action
  • Negative thoughts about being wealthy

Eliminating these thoughts from your mind is one of the essential steps when cutting down on liabilities and expanding your assets.

Overall, I hope this “new” definition of what an asset and liability are will help you in your future endeavors when it comes to financial freedom. By working on building up your income generating assets, such as dividends from stocks while at the same time working on eliminating liabilities, you will increase cash flow and your overall take home pay. I would recommend reading Rich Dad Poor Dad as this lesson that I learned will forever be one of the most valuable pieces of information when it comes to money.

21 Ways To Make Some Extra Money In College!

So, you’re in college – congrats! By investing in yourself, you’re taking a great step forward in securing your financial future. Trouble is, though, until that point when you’re out in the real world launching that lucrative career…. you’re flat broke.

Don’t lose any sleep over your current money probs. There are plenty of ways to bridge the gap between where you are, and where you want to be.

Here are 21 suggestions for rolling in the dough – ok, at least fattening your wallet – while you’re in college.

1. Drive for Uber or Lyft.

This wildly popular avenue to potentially high earnings is sweeping the nation, putting people in the driver’s seat of setting their own sked and working independently.

Sure, there are requirements, such as a vehicle that’s not a clunker, but once you jump through a few hoops, you will be up and running.

Driving for Uber or Lyft lets you work when you want. You simply turn off your availability through the networks and get back to your studies on business administration, art history, or what have you.

With would-be customers clamoring for rides day and night, you can pick up fares around the clock.

Uber
Uber App

2. Sell unwanted and unused items online.

It’s an old adage that still holds water: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. That guitar you haven’t picked up since your high school days, the perfectly good laptop that’s accumulating dust, or the tux you bought for prom because it was just as cheap as renting could be gold for someone else. Go on Craig’s or eBay and list your junk, er, items, alongside stellar photographs and watch the deals roll in.

Want to take this a step further? Ask a few of your friends, particularly the lazy ones, if they want you to sell some stuff for them online. Sell items for your friend online and keep a cut for yourself!

3. Design websites for small businesses.

Admit it, you have a flair for design and secretly love playing on the computer with color, fonts and logos. There are zillions of small businesses out there that don’t have the budget to have a web expert on staff, and some of them don’t even realize the potential for growth leveraged by a solid site and memorable logo and branding.

Finding these hidden gems is simple enough: Google businesses near you in an area of interest, say, dog groomers, or chiropractors or clowns who do birthday balloon sculptures. Compose a generic pitch outlining your skills, then personalize it to their niche and get that message out there. You can crank out a dozen emails in less than 10 minutes while your college student staple dinner – boxed mac and cheese – is boiling.

Create some sample logos for anywhere – doesn’t matter if you’ve been paid to craft them or not – and ask every new client for testimonials. Also ask for recommendations, and watch business grow through word-of-mouth.

4. Tutor other students over Skype.

You can tutor a ton of kids of all ages without ever leaving campus. Put your natural acuity for algebra, or that high school Spanish you mastered to work and you will find lots of struggling students looking for help.

Nailed your college essay? Critiqued the works of Shakespeare? Find your strong points and make the most of them! You can also offer tutoring to international students of all levels in math, history or English.

5. Take care of pets for others.

Sure, there are dog walkers out there, but how many are willing to roll up their sleeves and give Fido a bath? Hand out business cards and stuff flyers in neighborhood mail boxes offering a full range of services. Some work-obsessed people have even been known to look for others to play with their dogs (they call it “socialization”) during busy weekdays.

If you can manage more than one leash, walk several at a time! Throw a galvanized tub in the back of your car with some dog shampoo and offer on-site scrubbing for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Or invest in a brush and offer to comb out snarls. Or clippers to trim nails. You get the idea.

If you’re a true pet enthusiast, people will pay big bucks for your care and attention to their pups.

6. Plan parties and events for others.

Speaking of work-obsessed people, many parents today lack the time and patience to plan a children’s birthday party at the local bowling alley, play place or even their own backyard.

Suggest a theme, shop for paper goods, hire that clown, order the cake. Extras could include personally designed invitations, tracking RSVPs, and taking photos/videos of the event itself.

7. Become a personal shopper or assistant.

No, we are not talking about someone who buys clothes for a wealthier person. Amazon has cornered that market. We mean everything from a trip to the grocery store to a run to the dry cleaner to delivering outgoing mail to the post office.

Perhaps a better title would be “errand assistant.” Grocery stores charge high premiums for assembling items off a list and getting them bagged and ready. You can do this for people, and add the service of convenient home delivery. Along with a standard charge, you may even get tips.

Try apartment complexes near campus for starters and watch business take off.

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Woman Shopping, Pixabay

8. General car service and maintenance.

Think hard about things required by car owners who have no time or inclination to do them.

Start a part-time business installing new windshield wipers, helping out with flat tires or even changing oil at customers’ homes.

9. Driving instructor or tutor.

Speaking of cars, this is one of those required parenting tasks that many people do not look forward to at all.

Make sure your parallel parking skills are up to snuff, then advertise driving lessons to teens. Check with your insurance carrier first, of course, but this is a niche side hustle that isn’t as well known yet but would be very sought after and propel your earnings into high speed.

10. Create and sell an online course.

Ready to demonstrate how to write the perfect resume? Knit a sweater? Read tarot cards? Buy a car? Balance a checkbook?

If you’re an expert (or willing to do the footwork and become an expert) on any topic, you can create an online course to teach others your skills.

Setting up the curriculum requires a time commitment, as does marketing your course, but once it’s up and running, you’ll earn passive income based on the number of students.

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Course Creation Companion, Free Online Course Guide!

Ryan Scribner, one of the site authors, offers a free course all about building a successful online course or membership site. You can enroll here!

This is one of the best ways to make passive income. Once the course is completed, you just collect the payments! Hosting sites like Teachable will handle the rest. There are countless examples of people who are making $100,000 or more with an online course.

Take Tai Lopez for example. In this video, Tanner J. Fox estimates that he does close to $90,000,000 a year in revenue from his online courses and coaching!

11. Manage social media accounts for small businesses.

Investing Simple is affiliated with Kevin David.

Many people don’t know the difference between a Tweet and a Facebook post, or what Instagram even involves. Whether they want to learn these skills for a small business or for keeping in touch with family and friends, you can use your knowledge and experience with social media to teach others lacking understanding and practice. There are plenty of technology shy people out there too embarrassed to ask for help but willing to work privately with someone who knows their stuff. Leverage the social media know how you already have into a great consulting gig!

Check out this video to learn more about how you can make money through social media marketing. Here is the free training link.

12. Babysit or become a part time nanny.

Gone are the days when an evening of watching kids sent you home with a $20 bill.

These days, parents will pay a premium for a trusted, responsible person to babysit. Ditto for a part-time nanny, which usually includes your meals. You might want to register with a reputable child care company online that pre-screens everyone and will help get your foot in the door.

13. Launch your own blog. (Like we did!)

This will require some initial time invested, but hey, if you love to write it won’t be difficult to churn out blogs about anything and everything.

Get blogs up and running, then pitch your services to small local businesses who aren’t yet up to speed with social media and the attention it can command. Find a niche market, thoroughly research your subject matter, then spend a few hours a night at your keyboard. Always ask everyone on your client list to refer you to other business owners.

You may even want to attach a perk to referrals, such as 5 free blog articles if a referral proves fruitful. Now get typing!

14. Write an eBook and sell it on Amazon.

While you’re polishing your writing skills and becoming an expert on a niche topic, expand on your word count and create an eBook.

Selling books via Amazon is a stellar start to earning passive income. That means you’re making money without active work on your part once the initial time investment is made. Your eBook could be selling while you sleep!

The eBooks cost nothing to produce since they sidestep the traditional publishing process, and makes you money based on sales. Talk it up among family, friends, your parent’s neighbors, distant cousins, anyone you can think of who will support your work. Ask for testimonials touting the eBook as clearly the next best seller. Who knows, a publisher may get wind of your book and pick it up for paperback publication.

One caveat: always have your manuscript professionally edited and proofread, because you’re only as good as your work is concise, accurate and grammatically on point.

15. Become a personal chef or baker.

Love to cook? Have a ton of recipes from your Grandma? Able to bake (and decorate!) fancy cakes? This could be the money-maker for you. Get word out about your small business, then whip up samples for hungry prospective clients.

It would be wise to stick to your strong points rather than taking on something new, but that gives you the opportunity to market yourself as The Pasta King, or The Cupcake Lady. Once you’ve gained confidence and compliments, set up cooking classes for small groups of novices. Most high schools and veteran’s organizations have commercial sized kitchens where you can teach people everything from omelets to chicken marsala to red velvet cake (hungry yet?) It’s amazing how much people will pay to watch other people cook for them, so give this side hustle a try, from soup to nuts.

16. Wash and detail cars.

Taking a vehicle through a commercial car wash comes at a high cost for a little soap and water and some turbo brushes. You can pay an average of $15 for a simple, no frills wash and dry. But nothing beats a good old hand wash and buffing to dry. Get your name out there, then make a small investment of gas for your own car and go wash vehicles on-site. Add waxing services, then take pics of your finished work for advertising purposes. Bonus: you’ll be working outside, which is a great contrast to the college dorm or library or lab.

17. Become a mystery shopper.

This income option isn’t well known, but many mid to large size companies offer mystery shopping gigs. Mystery shoppers blend in with customers and make transactions, including buying and return, then provide feedback about the retailer. This can be done at a physical store, or if you’re lucky and look hard enough, you can get shopping jobs at an online store. Google “Mystery shopping” to start, or if you really want to put yourself out there, contact companies and pitch your mystery shopping services. Restaurants also use this service, and many offer free meals!

18. Clean homes and offices.

Another ideal side hustle because this can be done at night. Cleaning offices can be as simple as vacuuming and taking out trash! Pop in earbuds and zone out; the work will be done before you know it. There’s a huge demand for house cleaners, and this can be done around your class schedule. Most people have cleaning products at their houses, so all you need is energy and motivation, and maybe a couple friends to get the jobs done quickly. Most cleaning services come with a hefty price tag. Find out what the going rate is in your area, then go 10% lower to reel in more customers.

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Cleaning Floor With A Mop

19. Write cover letters and resumes.

You will be doing your own resume soon when looking for a job post-graduation, so why not hone your skills while helping others? Many people freeze up and get writer’s block when it comes to composing cover letters and resumes. You can start with a template then work in the details for each client. Take the time to consult with clients first (electronically) so you have a good working knowledge of their strengths, accomplishments and career goals. This will also help you organize your own resume that will stand out from the sea of applicants.

20. Flip cars on Craigslist or other marketplaces.

One of the best ways to make some extra side money is flipping cars. If you know what you are looking for, you can find great deals on used cars online. This is usually a result of a seller needing to get rid of a car that day for some reason. While you should be mechanically inclined, this can be a great way to make some extra side income!

Check out this video here. These guys flipped a 2007 Toyota Camry for a hefty profit of $1,000! You can too.

21. Build a following on Instagram and make money.

Investing Simple is affiliated with Online CEOs by Josue Pena.

Use what you do every day to your advantage. There are so many businesses getting left behind because they don’t know how to use social media. If you are able to help businesses with their social media and get them more customers, they will pay you massive sums of money.

Take Josue Pena for example, he has a social media marketing agency that does close to $100,000 per month in revenue. It took Josue months to learn the ins and outs of social media, but now clients all over the world pay him for his expertise.

Here is a video that talks about his social media marketing agency.

Click here for a free Instagram training guide by Josue Pena!

Become an expert on Instagram and other social media platforms, then go look around where you live for local businesses you think could use some help. Take over their social media, and get them more customers while earning a monthly retainer in return.

Once you become too busy, hire an employee or outsource the work to someone overseas! This business is very easy to scale.

Got a money making idea for college students? Comment below!

17 Huge Financial Mistakes To Avoid In Your 20’s

You’re in your 20s and looking to make smart financial decisions; congratulations! There are so many pitfalls out there, mistakes everyone makes at one time or another during their life. That said, now’s the time to understand and be on the lookout for money mishaps that can easily be made in your 20s…and beyond! Check out the following 17 no-no’s, and consider yourself smarter.

1. Spending too much money.

It seems simple enough: Never spend more than you take home in your pay check. But it’s easy to fall into this trap when you’re not tracking your expenses down to the penny. Always remember to live within your means!! Sure, it’s nice to buy a round of drinks for friends on Friday night, but how much is that going to cost, and what kind of dent will it make in your monthly budget? Which leads to the next point…

2. Not setting and following a budget.

This is imperative and should be the first step once you are out in the working world. Make a complete list of EVERY expense you will encounter, right down to incidentals like laundromat quarters, bus tokens or having one draft beer after work. Add everything up and see how it compares to your monthly income. Certain expenses are fixed, such as rent/mortgage, utility bills for electricity, cable/WIFI, gym membership, etc. Other expenses are something you have control over, including groceries, clothing, grooming and entertainment. What does this mean? You can (and need to) set a fixed amount you will spend monthly in these categories. Then – and this is key – STAY WITHIN THOSE LIMITS!

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Budgeting, Max Pixel

3. Comparing yourself to others.

This will bring nothing but trouble. Envy is an emotion to which we can all relate. Your friend, neighbor or co-worker may have the best car on the market, a fabulous home, take luxury vacations, but here’s the thing: you have no way of knowing HOW they’re amassing these things. Could be, they are spending money they don’t have. If they’re plunking down the old credit card for purchases, this won’t serve them well in the long run. In fact, it’s one of the worst financial decisions people make, no matter what their age and income. The lesson here is to be satisfied with what you have. Spend more time being grateful and less time being envious!

4. Not setting financial goals for yourself.

This is imperative for both short- and long-term goals. Maybe you want to buy a new cell, outfit your home with new furniture, or save enough to invest in a stock portfolio. You need a plan with precise steps on how you can make that happen. Remember, it won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without a lot of pre-planning. Set aside a very specific amount of your earnings each month towards these goals, and stick to it. Don’t be deterred by instant gratification items like a 4-Star dinner or weekend at the casino…these will put you right off your path and your sound financial plan. It’s important to WRITE DOWN your goals and how you will meet them. Consider them written in concrete, and don’t modify them. Before you know it, you will have reached that financial goal and be making smarter money decisions as a direct result.

5. Not keeping track of where your money is going.

Track, track, track every dollar you spend. Get a notebook and write it down, or better yet, develop a spreadsheet to monitor every purchase and expense. You may be surprised by what you find out about your spending habits! Sure, it’s cheap to buy a $2.99 movie on Netflix, but if you’re doing it to binge watch your faves every weekend, it will add up, even though it seems like nothing major. One of the most common expenses people do not track is dining and entertainment. Even if you split the bill with friends, that night of beer and wings will add up. Ditto for Amazon purchases like new kicks or protein shakes. See if there are less costly ways to have these items than spending money on a regular basis. Buy fresh produce and yogurt and make your own smoothies. Wear your Nikes one more season. You get the idea.

6. Not being realistic.

You need to be brutally honest with yourself about your finances and expenses. Sure, you may make a pledge to yourself to never eat out, but if you’re starving and there’s nothing in the fridge, or if you have to join a colleague for a business lunch, this will break that rule. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do. For example, vow to buy groceries and bring your lunch to work most days of the week. Learn to cook some simple meals like tacos and burgers and make dinner on weekdays. Give yourself a break Saturday night and get takeout or order in from Grubhub.

7. Living off credit cards.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the vast majority of people have credit card debt that will take years, if not decades, to pay off. Most of the temptations to buy on credit are for instant gratification items (think: not groceries, which are needs instead of wants) that won’t bring much enjoyment when you start seeing the interest adding up. If you absolutely can’t avoid making a purchase on credit, pay off the balance immediately, and don’t even think about paying the minimum amount monthly. A better bet than using any plastic – including debit cards – is to use old fashioned hard cold cash. Studies show when you pay in cash, you’re less likely to overspend than when you don’t have to hand over your hard-earned dollars. Even better, put a precise amount of cash your wallet (money clip, whatever), and spend not a penny more than you have allotted for the entire weekend. Well, maybe a penny more, but you get the idea.

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Credit Card Spending, Max Pixel

8. Not having an emergency or rainy day fund.

Yea, so you’re 25, what could happen, right? Think again. Emergencies can happen to anyone at any time. Your car breaks down. You twist an ankle at the gym and have medical bills. Your basement floods. Your work hours are cut back. These are worst case scenarios for sure, but the point is, you need a cache of cash to tide you over. Experts recommend having a savings of 3 month’s salary in emergency funds.  Save it, don’t spend it.

9. Not starting a side hustle.

We know you work full-time. And we know you need down time. But there must be a few throw-away hours each week when you allow yourself to do…nothing. Get motivated and get moving! A side hustle could bring in hundreds of dollars more per month, and you might even enjoy it. Walk dogs, rake lawns, personal shop, wash cars, do whatever sounds interesting and maybe even fun. Find a niche need and fill it. Who knows, you might find that entrepreneurial spirit that has lain dormant ever since you quit selling Boy Scout popcorn door-to-door.

Looking for some side hustle ideas? Here is our list.

10. Believing your own financial lies.

This has something to do with superstition. For example, if you leave a bill in the mailbox or don’t open the envelope, then the bill doesn’t exist, right? Many people fall into this state of denial about their expenses and, as a coping mechanism, pretend debt isn’t there. If you’ve made a budget (see #2 on this list) and are doing your absolute best to stick to it, you should have a very good idea what’s inside those envelopes and how you’ve allotted for it. When you spend within your budget, there won’t be any surprises, and you can safely check your bank statement by email without going into shock.

11. Allowing student loans to stop you in your tracks.

Granted, college tuition is through the roof. But if you’re in your 20s, you will never have the time and energy again to pursue higher education. So, take advantage of the opportunity. Live off campus, go to a community college, then transfer those credits to a four-year college. Buy used books and eat Ramen Noodles. Take classes part-time while you maintain a full-time job. Forego sleep if you must. Research and apply for scholarships based on income and also on merit. Do your best to avoid student loans, which will need to be repaid with interest.

Consider pursuing your degree an investment in your own future. Aim for a better paying career that will motivate you to work hard and excel. Your 20s are a great time to further your education, and there are many ways out there to do it without digging yourself into a financial ditch.

12. Putting off saving for your retirement.

The sooner you start stashing money away into a 401(k) or other retirement account, the better. You want to give your money optimal time to accumulate interest and build up a nest egg that will benefit you in your old age (yes, you will be old one day).

Financial experts recommend squirreling away around 10 percent of your income starting in your 20s. It’s not a huge stretch for you right now, and it will pay off remarkably to your future self.

If you are ready to get started with investing, check out our beginner’s guide.

13. Not working on building good credit.

Having an excellent credit score will be an enormous benefit in all your financial endeavors. You will need it to rent an apartment, buy a car, get a loan or take out a mortgage. Start with a single credit card and pay off the entire balance monthly. Never miss a payment or pay a late fee. Stay well within your credit limit. For example, if your limit is $7,500, resist the urge to rack up $7,499 in charges! Keep it low and pay it off immediately to build a good credit history. Also, avoid opening too many accounts at one time. It’s much easier to keep track of one account and will reign in your utilization as well. This leads to the next item to avoid….

Check out this video by Honest Finance about how to build your credit score.

14. Not checking or knowing your credit score.

As you know from all the commercials, there are plenty of free credit score sites that take literally seconds to pull up your number. Knowing where you stand is key to your overall financial well-being. If your score is low, take immediate steps to improve it. If it’s good, put all your energy into maintaining it. Challenge your friends to see who has the best score. Loser buys beer. Actually, loser might not be able to afford beer.

15. Not taking smart risks.

You’re young, probably single, and it’s a great time to grab life and see where it takes you. Smart risks are things like moving to a new area with better job opportunities, launching your own business, or furthering your education. In a few short years, you will likely have far more weighty responsibilities on your shoulders (think marriage, mortgage, kids). Now is the time to take that leap – but make it a smart, calculated risk. We’re not saying quit your day job to become a stand-up comedian. Maybe just add the comedy as a side hustle (see #6).

16. Skipping renters insurance.

A wise fortune cookie once said, always expect the unexpected. Renter’s insurance may seem frivolous…until the ceiling leaks and ruins your leather sofa, a freak lightning storm fries your computer or television, or a break-in results in losing your jewelry. For the small monthly cost, renter’s insurance pays you back a thousand times fold in security that it’s there when you need it.

17. Having no health insurance.

OK, so maybe the last time you had a cold was 2010. But who knows, you could forget to get the vaccine and come down with the flu and need a doctor’s visit. Twist a wrist at the gym and need an x-ray. Even a single visit to a walk-in emergency clinic could rack up charges quickly, or worse, you might be tempted not to seek medical care. Don’t play this risky game. Invest in low-cost health insurance and for goodness sake, get that flu shot.

Do you know of any financial traps that didn’t make the list? Comment below!

25 Part Time Jobs To Make Some Extra Money In 2019!

If you’re finding your wallet empty and your budget stretched too thin, it may be time to add another job to your resume. Even part-time jobs can yield big returns.

Check out the 25 jobs below that are known to bring good sized paychecks without requiring you to clock in a 40-hour work week.

1. School Bus Driver

Most school districts have a difficult time finding enough drivers, and openings pop up at any time during the school year. Drivers are given complete training and then work around 20 hours a week or even less. Pay scales average around $15 per hour, and you may will have plenty of school holidays and the whole summer off for other pursuits.

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2. Bank Teller

There are also frequent openings for tellers, and in financial institutions there’s plenty of opportunities to advance in your position. Pay is good and even as a part-timer you could have the option of contributing to a retirement account. You will quickly get up to speed handling money and your math skills will increase exponentially. Bonus: you can make your own hours and even work weekends so you can fit this part-time job into your schedule with your regular full-time job.

3. Private Tutor

If your math skills are above par or you know the books “Lord of the Flies” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” (which you read and critiqued in high school and are still part of the
English curriculum) this part-time job is for you. It can be done online, but you can typically charge more if you go to your student’s home or even work at a public place such as the library. Since this job is done in evenings or weekends, this is a good choice if you’re adding a part-time job to your daytime 9 to 5 job. Personal tutors can rake in as
much as $30 per hour, making this a stellar option if you’re willing to crack the books and are patient correcting grammar and spelling. Be prepared to proofread and edit your student’s work so it’s perfect.

4. Editor

Speaking of proofreading, editing is a great option because you can work your own schedule (although you need to make sure you adhere to deadlines). Build up a steady group of clients through social media marketing and word-of-mouth, and you can earn a pretty penny. Since this is done online, if you work accurately and efficiently, this can be the ideal part-time job for you.

5. Landscaper

Love being outdoors? Landscaping is a fantastic part-time gig because there’s work in all seasons. In summer, you’ll be hired to mow and trim bushes; there are plenty of leaves to rake in fall (no jumping in the piles allowed!) and snow removal in winter. Again, you can set your own house and do the bulk of the work in summer and fall on weekends to rake in the highest pay. Design business cards to distribute and watch your client list blossom.

6. Home/Office/Church/School Cleaner

There are almost unlimited places that need cleaners, from private homes to high schools. Pop an ad up on social media and you’ll soon have lots of messages from home
owners, church pastors and business people looking for cleaning services. School cleaners and office help typically work nights, and you can squeeze in home cleaning during the day when clients are at work. Piece together a small group of customers for a part-time job that makes sense to you and your schedule.

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Cleaner, Flickr

7. Office/Administrative Assistant

From making travel plans to scheduling meetings, this assistant to business people is a great part-time gig. Some assistants even work from home. You can bring in optimum pay if you snag a boss that’s a CEO in a larger company, earning around $15 to $25 per hour. Note: you will likely need to work regular business hours, so plan accordingly.

8. Deliver Mail

Did you know mail carriers average about 20 hours a week? If you are interested in being outdoors, getting lots of exercise and working independently, this job is for you.
Even though this is a part-time job, with pay around $20 an hour, you’ll see money delivered to your bank account that really adds up.

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9. Dental Hygienist

If you’re willing to go back to school to earn an Associate’s Degree, this low-stress, high demand job allows you to set your own hours and also the number of hours you work
each day. You will always have nights and weekends off, and can earn a smile-worthy $35 an hour.

10. Makeup Artist

Always had a way with eyeliner and contouring? Master the art of cosmetics and you can work at a store offering makeovers or work on your own with clients who want to
look their best for special occasions like parties and weddings. Be sure to take pics to develop your own portfolio and ask happy clients for testimonials praising your work.

11. Yoga Instructor

Study for your yoga license and open your own business to teach classes, or work with small groups or individuals on this form of exercise and relaxation that’s become highly
sought and is all the rage these days. Both physically toning and mentally soothing, yoga is being embraced by people wanting to escape the stress of everyday life. As an added bonus, you’ll get into the best shape of your life teaching classes! Time to say “namaste” and learn this art to teach to others wanting to slow down their fast-paced stressful daily life.

12. Entrepreneur

There are so many ways to work part-time developing your own niche business. Artsy? Create a brand and sell anything from painted sneakers to hand-stitched placements on sites such as Etsy. Got an idea for something that will improve peoples’ lives? Have a gadget you’d love to develop? Take the plunge and follow your dreams as an entrepreneur. If you’re committed and willing to put in the time and effort, you can watch your home-based small business grow and flourish.

13. Baker

Many successful bakers launched a business starting with just a handful of recipes for homemade pies and cakes. You will need to set up a certified commercial kitchen that
meets health department standards, but once up and running, you can bake your specialty gourmet cheesecake, frosted cookies and shortbreads and even offer delivery as part of the service. Some churches and fraternal lodges have commercial grade kitchens they may be willing to rent out to you. Watch this sweet business grow, and you can turn it into a full-time job running your own bakery.

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14. Pet Care

From dog walking to dog washing, this job always has a high demand. In today’s busy world, lots of business people seek dog walkers during the day, or even while they’re away on vacation. Some even hire dog lovers to go socialize with this much-loved member of their family. You can also offer pet washing and grooming at peoples’ homes. Or try a “take a pet to the vet” service to relieve owners of the stressful job of keeping Fido’s shots up to date. If you’re an animal lover, this part-time job is a walk in the park.

15. In Home Care

You will need to sign on with a professional service to take on this job, but there is high demand for people to provide home care for older adults. Your tasks will likely include light housekeeping and/or meal planning and cooking, but your main job duty will be spending time with an elderly adult, socializing and ensuring their safety. Be sure to have pristine references for your background. If you’re compassionate and want to work with people, this caring part-time job could grow into full-time work as you take on a roster of clients.

16. Realtor

Brush up on your sales skills and get your realty license, and you’re in business. Sure, you will spend a good amount of time showing homes, but commissions are high when you make a sale. Sign on with a reputable realty company and start hustling.

17. Test Monitor

This is a no-stress job that pays a decent hourly wage. From civil service tests to college exams, monitors keep an eye on what’s going on in the classroom to ensure rules are
being followed and to time test completion. You will be paid by the hour for this easy peasy gig. Check with local school districts to start.

18. Grocery Store Brand Rep

This is another low stress part-time job because it doesn’t involve actual sales. Instead, you offer samples and hand out coupons for everything from Kellogg Cereals to Doritos to boost their business. Sure, you may need to wear an apron, but you can work your own schedule and even test the samples yourself.

19. Customer Service Reps

Places like visitor’s centers, museums, convention halls and hotels are always looking for guest service reps to handle everything from greeting people to leading tours. At conventions, you can be a scheduler and event organizer for any gatherings you choose, making this a part-time job that will keep you challenged and on the go.

20. Survey Caller

No one likes to answer the phone for a cold call from someone with a pushy sales pitch, but answering surveys is an entirely different thing. You can be hired by any number of companies to do surveys on peoples’ likes and dislikes that provide valuable feedback about a product or service. There may be a call center, but chances are good you can conduct surveys from home, making this ideal for setting your own hours.

21. Parking Attendant

Sure, you will have to sit in a small booth, but hey, at least you’re not on your feet for hours at a time. Ticket booth operators may also need to make change and deal with a
few cranky people when you tell them the lot is full, but in general this is a low-stress part-time job that has the added benefit of working independently without anyone looking over your shoulder.

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Parking Attendant, Flickr

22. Retail

You can easily name your own hours in this high-demand job. Pick a store with brands you like to take advantage of the worker’s discount. Many store workers simply greet
people and offer to help them shop, or work the cash register. You don’t necessarily get involved with pushing sales on people that may be undecided. Another plus: you can work evenings or weekends at your discretion, so this job can easily be fit in with a full-time job. Seasonal work around the holidays is always available.

23. Restaurant Host/Seater

Pick your favorite chain or independent eatery and apply for a host/hostess job. This is different from waitressing, which is a stressful, labor intensive job. Hosts and hostesses generally greet people, lead them to a table and hand out menus. Time will fly by in this fast-paced job and you may even be offered discounted or free meals as a staff member.

24. Social Media Marketing

Investing Simple is affiliated with Kevin David.

Many people don’t know the difference between a Tweet and a Facebook post, or what Instagram even involves. Whether they want to learn these skills for a small business or for keeping in touch with family and friends, you can use your knowledge and experience with social media to teach others lacking understanding and practice. There are plenty of technology shy people out there too embarrassed to ask for help but willing to work privately with someone who knows their stuff. Leverage the social media know how you already have into a great consulting gig!

Check out this video to learn more about how you can make money through social media marketing. Here is the free training link.

25. Lifeguard

Yes, you will need to become certified, but think of the great shape you will be in afterwards. You can work outside during the summer and inside at gym or school
pools in colder months, and rates of pay are high. Try this out and expect a flood of job offers coming your way.

Part-time gigs require flexibility and the willingness to think outside the box to seek work that’s in high demand. But once you’re in the groove of your 20-hour or less a week job, you will see your income soaring.

Got a suggestion for a part time job? Comment below!