How to Become Rich – 9 Actionable Steps!!

how to become rich

how to become richEveryone wants to know how to become rich, and it IS possible, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes. Some people search the phrase, “how to become rich”, but for every one person that’s searching about how they can become rich in their lifetime, there are about 10 more people searching for “how to get rich quick” and “the easiest ways to become wealthy”.

People love the idea of having money, but they’re not always looking for a slow-moving 9-step program to get them there. 

So first off, congratulations for being interested and reading this far! You’re already part of the elite 10%! Now it’s time to read on and complete the mission – to grow wealthy and live a stress-free life and to never have to worry about money ever again!

How to Become Rich in 9 Actionable Steps!!

My wife and I are on our way to wealth because we’ve followed the steps outlined below. We’re nothing special and we don’t earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. We’re just regular people like you, but we’ve searched countless times and have compiled a list of what we believe are the steps for building wealth. We consistently asked the question, “how to become rich?” and we have learned all the answers. And now, we’re willing to share it with all of you!! 

Come along with us on our journey to wealth! Simply follow the steps below and you’ll likely get there. Heck, you might even beat us there!!

1) Ignore the Get Rich Quick Ads

Anyone that tells you that you can get rich quick is a scam artist. They know how to get rich quick…and it’s by suckering you in, taking as much of your money as possible, and then tossing you aside as they hunt down their next victim.

  • Get rich quick in real estate,
  • multi-level marketing, 
  • beating the lottery,
  • counting cards at the casino,
  • picking the right penny stocks, 
  • investing in high-risk currencies…

These are all scams. They promise a quick return. All you have to do is take their class, sign up as a member, and then sit back and watch the money roll in…except it never does.

Anything that promises a quick return is a lie. Run away. Far far away….

2) Give Some of Your Money Away

It sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? If you want to have lots of money, give it away…

No, this isn’t the Prosperity Gospel, and it isn’t a way for me to scam you out of your money (if you were about to send me a few bucks, please refer back to step #1 ;)). I believe that giving money away does three specific things to a person, which allows them to grow their wealth beyond what they would have ever dreamed.

  1. Giving first requires that you find a need, and in finding a need you begin to realize how much worse life is for some people. This then inspires you to live a more content life.. ie. to spend less money on yourself and enable you to save more (even though you’re giving more).
  2. Giving gives you a feeling of satisfaction, which you’ll soon find is even more of a high than buying something super awesome for yourself. So, not only do you become frugal out of guilt or contentment, you become frugal so you can give and experience a happiness that you’ve never known before!
  3. And finally, giving allows others to think about you differently. They might not even know that you give away thousands of dollars to homeless people in your neighborhood, but they can sense it. When you give, you get this aura about you that says, “I care about you and your struggles” and it makes people want to do things for you – to befriend you, to help you, and to even give you money since they sense how much of a quality person you are.

Now again, these things might not all happen (the prosperity gospel basically promises you financial riches), but I believe it’s good to give regardless. Start giving to people in need and you’ll begin to understand what I’m talking about!

3) Find a Need and Fill It

Poor people look for a job that’s easy and won’t take up their weekends. If you’re looking for how to become rich, fight against that mentality. Instead, ask yourself, “What do people need that they’re currently not getting?, or “Can I simplify something that people are already buying (or doing)?”

Perhaps it’s…

  • A website or book about a topic that’s not very well covered, but has a ton of interest
  • A tool that will help people perform a task easier and faster (like…a wine opener that actually works, a make-up application kit that doesn’t take an hour, or a way to get a beer out of the fridge without getting up and missing the game (can anyone say, a walking fridge?? Patent pending!!! Lol.))
  • Or maybe the best idea in your area is as simple as becoming the local dog-walker!

Wherever you go and whatever you’re doing, always have this thought in your mind… “What do people need?”, and “How could I make this situation better?”

Oh, and by the way, this doesn’t always lead to starting your own business. The answers to this question could lead you into a particular career field or job! If you have a great question and some solid answers to those questions, then it could lead to a GREAT job!!

4) Find Mentors That Already Are Where You Want to Be

If you want to be a CEO when you grow up, who should you ask about how to get there?

  • Your Dad, the janitor?
  • Your teacher at school?
  • Or maybe your buddy that just landed an internship at a big firm?

…While it might be easy to ask these people, the answer is “none of the above”.

If you want to be the CEO of a company….then go talk to some CEOs! And you know what? They’re probably more than willing to give some advice to a smart guy or girl like you that’s actually willing to seek them out and heed their wisdom!

Once you figure out what you want to do with your life and have a decent idea of the path you might be on, seek out counsel from those that have been there, done that. Their advice might seem strange to you, but do what they tell you!! They’ve already maneuvered their way to the top. They already know all the plot twists in the story and how the book ends. They’re trying to give you the cliff notes and get you the best results even faster than they did. Take the advice.

how to become rich5) Live Well Below Your Means

If you want to know one of the more important steps for how to become rich, it’s right here….for two solid reasons. 

Live well below your means, so that you can…

  1. Have plenty of money to invest each month, and to
  2. Work confidently so you don’t have to cower in fear every time your boss asks you your opinion.

Liz and I have lived on less than half of our income for most of our adult lives. We accomplished this by buying a $75,000 starter home (and paying off the mortgage quickly), driving cars that had a combined value of $5,000, and going on vacations for $100 instead of $10,000 (can anyone say, “camping”?? :)). This has allowed us to invest in the stock market, in rental properties, and in our children’s college education!

Oh, and it has definitely allowed me to be more vocal at work. If they don’t like what I say or the ideas I bring up, that’s fine. I’ve got plenty of money and side income to float me for…like….3 years or more. We’d be totally fine. Buuuuut you know what, instead of firing me, I’ve been promoted 3 times in 7 years. 😉

6) Never Stop Learning and Growing

When I was in my 3rd year of engineering school, I discovered that in order to keep up vs. my colleagues and co-workers, I’d need to continue to take classes, go to trade events, and continually educate myself on the latest industry standards… As a full-time student that was ready to never read another book in his life, this sounded terrible to me…so I dropped out of engineering school…

(…It was an immature decision that thankfully didn’t totally derail my future.)

The reality is, no matter what you do or who you work for, you’re going to want to constantly learn and grow in your field. Because you know what? If you’re stagnant in a world that’s constantly moving (and there’s no doubt our world is on the move!), then you’re actually going backwards. If you minimally learn and grow, you’re standing still. And, if you’re all-in, ready to suck up all the knowledge you can whenever you can, then you’ll finally be putting yourself in a position to become rich.

7) Map Out a Way to Continually Earn More Money

While you’re learning and absorbing all the information you can around your work, it would behoove you to think about where all this knowledge will take you. What could you do that would actually earn you more money

  • In your situation, it might be best for you to focus on your career and continually move up the ladder.
  • Or, perhaps you can take what you do and apply it a little differently – perhaps into a side hustle.

As an example, maybe you create videos for your day job (a furniture manufacturer), but you’d actually love to make short clips and movies about the sci-fi adventures. Use your video skills to make some YouTube videos! If they’re excellent, you might even grow a following and earn some serious money!

Related: 35+ High Paying Jobs Without a Degree

8) Let Your Money Make You More Money

As you exercise frugality and begin to earn more money than you ever thought possible, you’ll start to develop a new problem…having so much money that you don’t know what to do with it.

It’s really a tough problem to have… 😉 (note the sarcasm)

In your quest for how to become rich, it’s time to learn yet another important step – how to make money with your money.

Oddly enough, it’s tough to find information on this topic online, but when you think about it, it all makes sense… Most people don’t have any money, so what’s the point in writing about it if no one is ever going to search for the article???  (So, instead, you find millions of posts about buying rental property with no money down!! By the way…please don’t click on these links…and if you’re tempted, again, refer to step #1… ;))

Different areas to make money with your money:

…and here’s 16+ other ways you can invest your money — 20+ Ways to Invest Outside of the Stock Market.

Related: 25+ Great Passive Income Ideas…and 6 to Steer Clear of…

9) Love What You Do

The alarm goes off.

You think to yourself, “Ughhh, it’s Monday. I have to go back to work and try to survive that torture for yet another day… Why me…?”

After waking up with this mentality…

  • How productive do you think you’ll be at work?
  • How likely is it that you boss will think, “Man, that employee of mine is sure doing an amazing job! He’s certainly in line for a promotion!”

Ha, yeah…I don’t think so. 

You obviously don’t love what you do, which means that…

  • you’re likely not learning more about what you do,
  • you’re not seeking out a mentor for how to do your work better,
  • and you’re therefore not earning more money, because the work you’re doing is sub-par at best!

But what if you actually enjoyed what you did each and every day? You’d want to learn, you’d want to grow, you’d want to talk about your work and your ideas with the leadership team. Each and every day, you’d be radiating energy and people would just be drawn to you, wanting to talk with you about what you’re doing and how you’re making an impact. 

People that find an area where they can make a difference and that actually love the work they do are often far more successful than those that just pick a job because it’s easy or because it promises to pay a lot of money. 

How to Become Rich – Are You Ready to Tackle These 9 Steps?

Well there you have it. A solid 9-step plan on how to become rich.

  1. Ignore get-rich-quick schemes
  2. Give
  3. Find a need
  4. Find a mentor
  5. Live frugally
  6. Never stop learning
  7. Keep earning more
  8. Make money with money
  9. Love what you do

If you’re serious about making a change and becoming a future financial success, follow the steps above. You won’t regret it!

Are you committing yourself to these 9 steps?? Tell me in the comments below! I want to know that we’re not alone!

Impulse Buying: 11 Steps to Stop Yourself From Spending

impulse buying

impulse buyingWe live in a world that is constantly urging us to buy things. Shop displays, flyers, TV ads, radio ads, social media ads, promotional emails, and in-app adverts are all convincing us to purchase products, making us believe that we need them. It’s no wonder that some of us are impulsive buyers – the temptation to spend is too much. Impulse buying can also be kind of fun. Planning out every purchase can feel restrictive – there’s exciting freedom to being able to spend money spontaneously.

Of course, impulse buying often isn’t good for us. Some of us can end up spending money we don’t have, preventing bills from getting paid on time and preventing us from saving towards important items. In other cases, an impulse buy can result in us purchasing something that we later regret. Something that seemed worth buying at the time may later prove useless or may only bring short-term enjoyment.

To stop yourself from impulse buying, you have to learn to restrain yourself financially. It is important to prioritize the things that you need. Here are some steps that could help you quit impulse buying so you can save money. 

Impulse Buying: 11 Steps to Stop Yourself From Spending 

Have you ever bought something you didn’t need but wanted it anyway so you spent unnecessary money on that item? Did you instantly regret that decision? That’s usually how it happens and you spend more money than you initially intended to. Look at some of these steps you can take to stop impulse buying.

1) Set Yourself a Budget

A budget gives you the challenge of staying within a spending limit. This forces you to weigh up the importance of purchases and conserve your money. The biggest mistakes people make when budgeting is setting the budget too high or failing to keep track of it. Weekly budgets are generally the best form of a budget – you can more easily keep track of how much you’re spending than you can with a monthly budget.

Personal finance apps can be useful for recording your budget and helping you to save money. You don’t have to guess how much money you’ve got left – you can simply check it on your phone wherever you are – and you can use the app to guide you on ways to spend less. Other people may prefer to use calendars and notebooks.

Related: 7 Tips to Making a Budget and Sticking To It

2) Make a Shopping List (and Stick to it)

Most people create shopping lists to stop them forgetting important purchases, but a shopping list can also stop you from buying things you don’t need. If you’re going grocery shopping, writing a shopping list beforehand could stop you from picking up snacks and extras that you never intended on buying. Browse if you want to, but make sure that you’re not deviating from the list. If you see things you need that aren’t on your list, make a record of them – but don’t buy them then and there. Plan a return trip – in the meantime, you may reassess how much you need them.

3) Take Time to Sleep On it

When impulse buying, many of us don’t take time to weigh up the pros and cons. Taking time to sleep on the decision to buy something can help you to determine whether you really want and need it.

This is particularly important with expensive purchases like cars, vacations, furniture and gadgets, as well as mid-price items like clothes and video games. Shop salespeople will often try to convince enthusiastic shoppers to buy immediately – this is because when people have time to sleep on decisions, they often change their mind.  

4) Always Check Online Reviews

Taking the time to read online reviews can help you to assess whether something is a good purchase. You may be blinded by the perks of a certain product – a review can help point out the possible faults and drawbacks. You can check online reviews on your phone from any location.

Make this a habit every time you see something that you want to buy.

5) Stop Viewing Deals as Chances to Save Money

Promotions such as ‘buy one get one free’ and ‘half price’ can convince us to buy products with the belief that we’re saving money. However, these items are often things we never intended to buy in the first place. Even if the item is discounted, you’re still spending money that you never planned to spend.

Unless that product was already on your shopping list and you physically need it, don’t fall victim to buying it. You can sometimes save money by investing in limited deals on essentials (items that you are certain to use in the future such as washing powder or toilet paper) but you shouldn’t give into deals on non-essentials that you weren’t planning on buying (e.g. snacks, clothing, video games).

6) Unsubscribe From Retail Mailing Lists

Many people follow mailing lists of retailers as a way of keeping an eye on promotions. However, these mailing lists can often convince us to buy things online that we don’t need. While you can avoid certain shops to avoid spending money on them, a mailing list makes these retailers inescapable.

Many of us receive emails on our phones, which leads up to being alerted of deals 24/7. Unsubscribe from these mailing lists so that you’re not constantly being tempted into thinking about buying.  

losing to depreciation7) Only Bring Cash While Shopping

Paying by card has made impulse buying easier. When you’ve only got cash to rely on, you give yourself a physical limit as to how much you can spend. Next time you go shopping, visit an ATM first, take out only the cash you need and then leave you card at home/in the car while you shop.

This forces you to only use the cash you’ve got.

On top of shopping, this can be a sensible strategy when on a night out. If you don’t want to overspend on rounds of drinks, bring cash and leave your card at home. Many of us are more susceptible to impulse buying when we’ve had a few drinks, so it makes sense to stick to cash any time you think you may be drinking.

8) Freeze Your Credit Card

If you find cash inconvenient or like to still have your card as a backup option for emergencies, consider freezing your credit card while you shop instead. Many card providers now allow you to do this online from your phone. Designed primarily as a way of stopping others from spending money on your card if you lose you it or get it stolen, freezing your card can also discourage you from flashing the plastic when out shopping or on a night out.

9) Shop With Someone Who Will Stop You

Another option is to bring a trusted shopping buddy who will hold you back. Tell them that you’re trying to quit impulse buying – they can then try and talk you out of any attempts at spontaneous purchases.

You may find that they don’t even need to speak up and that their mere presence stops you from buying things impulsively. Just make sure to not shop with someone who could be a negative influence.

10) No Spending Challenges

Trying to go a day without spending can be a fun challenge. You could even try going an entire weekend without spending anything.

This could persuade you to finally eat that food stocked up in your freezer rather than ordering takeout or it could persuade you to find free ways of entertaining yourself rather than going shopping or drinking. All in all, it could make you realize just how many purchases you make and how many of them aren’t needed.

11) Treat Yourself to the Occasional (Planned) Splurge

Being too restrictive of your finances could get frustrating. Allow yourself the occasional splurge as a treat for good spending. If you’ve gone a couple of weeks without a single impulse purchase, treat yourself to some impulsive shopping or let yourself go on a night and see where it takes you. Sometimes we all need that sense of adventure to keep life exciting – just make sure that you’re treating yourself for good behavior and not just splurging randomly. 

Related: How to Afford Your Dream Honeymoon on a Budget

Want to stop impulse buying? Try the tips above. Have your own tried and true methods? Tell us about them below!!

17 Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online

legitimate ways to make money online

legitimate ways to make money onlineHaving multiple streams of income is important for many different reasons. Peace of mind, creating a healthy budget and setting up your retirement are just some of the reasons to have another source of income. It can be hard trying to generate a second income when you have other responsibilities along with your current job. However, there are legitimate ways to make money online that can really help out with extra needs in your home. 

In this society, there are already so many ways to make money and with technology growing, online jobs are becoming more prominent. You might even be able to quit your current job and make your online gigs your primary sources of income. However, you can only do this if your online jobs can actually generate some viable income. Take a look at some legitimate ways to make money online. 

17 Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online

This post was written by our staff writer, LaTia Longuemire. It contains affiliate links.

Making money online can be fun and exciting if you’re doing something you want to do and making a real profit. Here are some legitimate ways to make money online. 

1. Start Tutoring

Online tutoring can be a great way to make some extra money. You can work full-time or part-time and still have time to spend doing other things that genuinely interest you.

There are a few sites that help you become a successful online tutor including: 

  • Aim4A
  • Tutor.com
  • Revolution Prep
  • Wyzant

The pay can vary based on your experience and what subjects you choose to teach. But, it still is a great way to earn some legitimate money online. 

2. Become a Freelance Writer

One of the most legitimate ways to make money online is by becoming a freelance writer.

You can write for popular blogs and get your name out there. You can even get paid a lot more based on the quality and length of the writings you submit. As a freelance writer, I can tell you that it can be very rewarding. 

3. Start A Blog

Another one of the legitimate ways to make money online is by starting a blog. A blog can bring in thousands of dollars in extra income. However, this method requires a lot of hard work on your part and can be time-consuming. 

If you want to start a blog, make sure you:

  • Do your own research
  • Find your niche

Starting a blog can be a good side gig and can bring in some real money if done correctly. 

Related: 6 Things I Did to Start Earning Money With My Blog

4. Become a Virtual Assistant

Becoming a virtual assistant can earn you a lot of money. An online virtual assisting business can be attainable and can help you showcase your skills. The trick is to just land your first client, if you can do that, you can get the ball rolling.  You can potentially make $300-$1000 a month as a virtual assistant helping other business owners. Even if you know nothing about being a virtual assistant, you’d be surprised at the number of skills you already have to help you in this venture. 

5. Make Some Money By Selling Used Products

Do you have things in your home you no longer use? Well, sell those items to someone who may need them! The more items you have, the more products you have to sell. Selling used products is another one of the legitimate ways to make money online.

You can use sites like: 

  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • LetGo
  • Poshmark
  • OfferUp

You can sell or auction off clothes, handmade crafts, shoes, books, etc. If you have it, there is a chance that there is a site that will let you sell it. 

6. Create An E-Book and Sell It

Once again, writing can make you money! You may think it is hard to write a book, but it may not be as hard as you may think. If you’re passionate about what you want to say, you will be able to complete your book in no time. When it comes to sales, MARKETING IS KEY. Even though it is an E-Book, it’s not going to sell itself. After you’re done writing your book, or even beforehand, you should learn a little something about marketing. It can help you sell more copies, which equals more exposure and more money.

7. Affiliate Marketing to Make Money

Are you looking to make money while you sleep? Well, affiliate marketing may be one of the easiest and most legitimate ways to make money online. You just spend time referring people (customers, followers, friends/family) to products/services that could be useful for them. Your payment is a percentage of the referrals you make. More referrals mean more money. If you’re looking for some passive income to get going, this may be something of interest for you.

Related: Passive Income Ideas: 25+ Great Ideas…and 6 to Steer Clear of…

8. Sell Photos

If you are an aspiring photographer or just have a knack for taking great pictures, this would be where you can shine. Sell your photos to make some extra income.

There are a few sites that will pay good money for your photos including: 

  • Shutterstock
  • iStockphoto
  • Snapped4u

That’s just to name a few but there are so many others. You can also cater to specific categories like food, nature, and travel. 

9. Make Money By Selling Old CD’s and DVD’s

If you still have your old CDs, DVDs, and even games, you could be making money just by getting rid of all of it.

Use sites such as:

  • Decluttr
  • Bonavendi
  • Abundatrade

Some sites will give you free shipping based on pre-valuation prices. Some also have higher payouts than others. Since there are so many sites to choose from, do a little research if you’re looking for the highest payout. 

10. Create and Sell Online Courses Legitimately

If you’re looking for more legitimate ways to make money online, then you can create and sell online courses. Especially if you specialize in certain subjects that you feel people can benefit from.

There are many ways to make money from online courses:

  • Offer payment plans
  • Try coaching in either group or one-on-one sessions
  • Go live so your students can talk to you

Sites like Udemy and Teachable help you get started with setting up your online course business. They can also help with online course pricing. 

legitimate ways to make money online

11. Create Videos on YouTube to Make Money

Creating videos can help you bring in some extra income as well.

There are a few different ways to make money from your online videos like:

  • getting paid from the number of views and/or downloads
  • placing ads in your video
  • producing videos for others

You can create a full-time job out of video creation and it is a legitimate way to make money. 

12. Narrate Audiobooks

If you have a great voice and like to read, this is something for you. There aren’t really standard rates but you can be paid by the hour anywhere from $100-$350. You can narrate audiobooks and work from home all while making some pretty good money. 

13. Flip Websites and Domains

Yes, this is a thing and it can make you a lot of money. Sites like Flippa and Afternic can help you buy and sell websites and domains. You can literally build a business off of building business sites and sell them for a profit. It’s another one of the most legitimate ways to make money online. 

14. Sell Your Hidden Skills or Talents

If you have any hidden skills or talents, use them to your advantage. Maybe you have a marketing degree and love social media, create a business off your skills. You have many skills that you can put to use if you just think about what moves you. 

15. Create Reviews For Websites and Apps

You can earn cash from writing reviews online. Sites will pay you to write reviews and test sites.

Some review sites include:

  • ReviewStream
  • User Testing
  • Crowdtap

You can find different sites that will pay you cash just for becoming an influencer, writing reviews, and even doing surveys. For some sites, the pay starts out low but if you join many sites to do this, the money starts to add up. You can even start your own blog based on writing reviews of products or stores. 

16. Invest in Peer to Peer Lending

Peer to peer lending can be a good way to earn money online. Interest rates are typically higher on P2P lending sites (vs. a traditional loan through the bank) which can help you earn more money with this venture. However, there can be a downside: if the borrower has any problem paying back the money, you don’t get paid.

The trick is really just lending money to those you believe will be able to pay back the loan so you get paid. It can be easier said than done but there is still legitimate potential to make money using P2P lending. 

Related: What You Should Know About Peer to Peer Investing

17. Try Real Estate Crowdfunding

I’m not a huge fan of real estate crowdfunding (see Derek’s review here), but people are making money with these investments. It may not be as much as they think they’ll make, but they are making money nonetheless. If you like the idea of investing in real estate, but don’t want to physically manage a property yourself, then real estate crowdfunding might work for you. 

Start Making Money Online

You can make money just about any way nowadays. You don’t have to get quick cash by doing illegal work when there are so many legitimate ways to make money online. Many of these ways have been personally tested by both Derek and myself.  You can in fact find a way to quit your day job by considering some of these options.

Are you ready to jump on one of these legitimate ways to make money online?

5 Simple Ways to Manage Your Money Like A Pro

simple ways to manage your money

simple ways to manage your moneyMoney — it’s one of those things that we all need to use every day of our lives, but it can also be something that feels totally impossible to control and manage. Want to make sense of your finances but not sure where to start? Take a look at these five simple ways to manage your money like a pro and you might be surprised at what you’ll learn that can help you get your finances back on track. 

5 Simple Ways to Manage Your Money Like a Pro

There’s no use waiting around. Let’s hit the list!!

1. Actually sit down and look at your finances.

It’s all very well and good saying that you want to manage your money better, but how many of us actually sit down and look at our finances? Chances are not that many of us!

It’s extremely important that you take the time to assess your finances because you need to understand the money that you have coming in on a regular basis as well as what is heading out. That way you can see where you can cut back and save yourself some cash. 

It’s definitely one of the most simple ways to manage your money – to start by actually looking at it – but I believe it’s one of the most powerful steps you can make! Do it now! You won’t regret it!

Related: How Much Should You Spend on That?

2. Be sensible with your budget.

When you decide that you want to save money and take control of your finances, many people think that they can dive straight in and save hundreds of pounds on a monthly basis. The thing is, this rarely works out, especially in the long-term. A much better idea is to be sensible with your budget, especially in those early days. It will be much easier to manage and keep on top of things, and you will learn that you can save money every month without having to cut back on everything. 

3. Have something in mind.

It’s much easier to stay focused on completing a task if you have an end goal in mind. The same goes for your finances.

  • Want to pay off a credit card?
  • Saving up for a much-needed holiday?

This is a great motivation. The key here is to give yourself a reason to budget and save in order to keep you on the right path. 

Related: How the Debt Snowball Really Works (Free Tool For YOUR Debt Snowball!)

4. Get into the habit of checking your bank page every day.

How many of us only check our bank balance after payday and when we think we might be in trouble?

The thing with internet banking is that it has made it way easier to keep track of our finances and make sure that we know where we are at. It might sound like overkill, but always make sure that you check your bank account each and every day, as this will help you to get into a good habit of keeping an eye on how your bank balance looks from day today. That way there will never be any surprises if your card is denied!

Talk about simple ways to manage your money. This takes literally 30 seconds a day and it will have a powerful impact on your future finances!

5. Limit credit.

Credit isn’t always a bad thing and it can really help you to make purchases in your life from time to time. When it’s misused, however, it can have an incredibly negative impact on your financial stability.

It’s important that you respect the idea of credit rather than seeing it as money to spend. Over time you can end up getting yourself in a financial mess that will have lasting consequences for a considerable amount of time. 

Simple Ways to Manage Your Money: Conclusion

Budgeting isn’t easy, which is why many of us don’t even bother. But living paycheck to paycheck can take its toll on your mental, emotional, and financial well-being. You can’t live your life constantly wondering “when will I get my tax refund?” as if that will fix all of your problems. Take control and take charge of your finances as soon as possible, and you’ll be out of debt and saving bundles in no time! 

Are you ready to start these “simple ways to manage your money” tips? Which is your favorite?

7 Ways To Give Back When You’re Broke

give back even if you're broke

give back even if you're brokeAny decent human being wants to leave the world in a better place, even if it’s just slightly. We have this need to help others, make life better for others, and give back to our communities and the world. But, it’s hard to give back when you’re broke, or when you feel like you can’t even afford to pay your own bills. So what do you do then? Here are 7 ways that you can give back, even when you don’t think you have the money to do it.

7 Ways to Give Back When You’re Broke

This post was written by our fabulous staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.

1) Volunteer

This is one of the easiest ways to give back when you’re broke.

  • For one, it takes no money on your part.
  • For two, there are many non-profits, charities, and more that are looking for people who want to give back to their communities.

Volunteering not only makes a difference, but you feel better when you do it. Plus, the non-profits get some more helping hands, which can mean more people being taken care of!

When volunteering, try to find something you’re passionate about doing and can commit time to. For me, women’s shelters and animal shelters were where my heart was. I don’t mind volunteering for health care or at soup kitchens, but I love animals, and as a product of abuse, love working with women and getting them to a place where they can be confident in taking care of themselves.

So for me, volunteering at these two places…

  • fills my heart with joy,
  • gets me out of the house to do something good, and also
  • means I can help without spending any dollars.

2) Donate Stuff

I can guarantee that you have at least one or two items in your home that you don’t need or want. Why not donate them to someone who will cherish them?

  • Maybe you have blankets that are old and that you think are a little worn out, but an animal shelter can always use more blankets for their dogs and cats.
  • Maybe you have furniture that you don’t like and want to get rid of. Low-income nursing home patients could always benefit from a nice recliner or a nightstand.

Whatever it is, donating your stuff is a great way to give back when you’re broke, because it doesn’t require anything on your part but the stuff you were going to throw away anyway.

As a note, you may not want to donate to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. While these organizations are cheap and will take just about anything, they have been surrounded by controversy and there are better ways to donate your items.

3) Give Some Change

Even when I was broke, I would always throw my change into a donation jar or even tack on a dollar to my total when checking out from a store. Sometimes, even if you give just a dollar, it can make you feel good about yourself and encourage you to do more when you can.

A dollar or less may not seem like much to you when it comes to donations, but they add up, and quickly. It’s like those commercials that say “For just .10 cents a day you can….” and it’s true. Even if you don’t have much to give, it’s still a blessing to someone that can really use it.

4) Donate Your Hair

My husband actually did this himself this past year. He grew out his hair for over 2 years and donated over 19″ of hair to Wigs For Kids. He was told that his hair would make at least one wig (for free) for a child living with hair loss due to an illness and that it may even be able to make a second wig. I’ve never seen my husband so proud!

To top it off, he even got a discount on the haircut because he was donating his hair. So instead of paying $40, he only paid $15. And his haircut was great too!

If you’re willing to chop off your hair, this is a good way to donate to a great cause. Wigs For Kids offers free wigs to children in need of them in order to feel like themselves and go through life as “normal” as they can. And knowing that he could brighten the lives of at least one kid made my husband’s hair growth journey totally worth it.

5) Donate Blood/Plasma

I know that not everyone can do this. For example, my sister is severely anemic and has tiny veins that make it impossible for her to donate blood. But, if you’re relatively healthy, donating blood and plasma can be a lifesaving opportunity for someone else.

And, did you know that you can earn money by donating plasma?

It takes time (upwards of three hours), but you can get up to $50 a donation and you can save someone’s life. Not a bad gig huh? Plus, you get to give back while earning money. It’s a win-win situation.

6) Play Freerice

When I was in high school, we practiced Spanish using a site called Freerice. For us bored high schoolers, it was an interesting game that got out us out studying for an hour. But in reality, the organization behind Freerice was donating food with every answer we got right.

With Freerice, every correct answer donates 10 grains of rice to a community in dire need of food. And unlike some other organizations and charities, Freerice gives all donations, including money, right into the communities that need it. It’s truly non-profit, and none of the money they make goes into their own pockets. So, if you have a problem with non-profits profiting off of donations, you can feel good about this one.

7) Do Something Pro-Bono

If you’re in college or have a talent, gift, or degree you aren’t using to your fullest potential, offer your time pro-bono. This isn’t just a thing for doctors and lawyers. Anyone can give their time pro-bono.

For example, I have a friend who was an accountant studying for her CPA and Master’s Degree. She wanted to give back but money was tight, so she decided to donate her time to other African-American women starting businesses with little funds in her community. She set up their bookkeeping, helped them with their budgets, and more. This allowed her to do something in her field, pro-bono, while also giving back to the women who helped her become who she wanted to be.

Other pro-bono options include:

  • free tutoring,
  • teaching music lessons,
  • teaching a language,
  • writing resumes, and more.

There is always a way to give back to individual people and communities, that also utilize your skills.

Give Back When You’re Broke

See? There are quite a few ways to give back when you’re broke.

You don’t need to be rich to make a difference. You just have to take the time and make the commitment to do something that helps others. There is no right or wrong way to give back, as long as you love it and do it because you want to make a difference.

Are you ready to give back, even if you’re broke?

How to Make Additional Income As a Social Media Manager

make additional income as social media manager

make additional income as social media managerBusiness owners feel compelled to participate in social media – yet they are typically too busy to mess around with running their own social media accounts. Even though social media is essentially supposed to help your business, it can become quite a hassle. However, if you are looking to make additional income, this creates significant opportunities for freelance social media managers.

Are you looking for a lucrative side hustle, or perhaps even a full-time job you can do from home? It is possible that perhaps managing social media profiles for busy business owners could be an excellent option for you. 

Why Make Additional Income As a Social Media Manager?

The social media manager is one of the best work-at-home jobs you could ask for. You can do the job from anywhere, which makes it an ideal job if you want to travel or stay home with your kids.

The overhead and barriers to entry for this role are low; you might even already have all the tools you need to get started.

For some gigs, all you would need is:

  • an internet-enabled device
  • a connection to the ‘net

Others would require more gear such as:

  • a camera
  • photo editing software

If you’re experienced with social media, there are many jobs available that don’t require intensive formal training. However, some business owners prefer to hire someone with a marketing background. If you want to make additional income as a social media manager, here are some steps to follow. 

How to Make Additional Income as a Social Media Manager

Working from home can be a very lucrative and can give you more free time to do with as you please. You can make additional income as a social media manager and here’s exactly how you can do it. 

5 Steps to Becoming a Social Media Manager:

1. Choose Your Platform(s)

Do you already have thousands of followers and want to make additional income? Perhaps, you’ve mastered the art of telling an entire story in less than 280 characters.

Here are a few platforms you can choose to work from:

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest

Or maybe you’re a champ at one of the smaller social networks like Ravelry or TastyKitchen. There are zillions of social media platforms, and you probably aren’t an expert at all of them. So you’ll want to choose which ones you’ll want to specialize in.

Your choice of platforms will be influenced by your skillset. For example, if you have outstanding video editing skills, Youtube would be an excellent platform for you to specialize in. If you don’t, Youtube probably wouldn’t be your top choice. If you’re a great photographer, Pinterest and Instagram would most likely be better options for you to start with.

Related: 35+ High-Paying Jobs Without a Degree

2. Build Your Business Brand on Your Chosen Platforms

If you really want to make additional income, build your business brand. When you solicit clients in the future, you’ll want to be able to show them compelling proof that you’re capable of building a community on your chosen platforms. One straightforward way to gain credibility is to create a community around your business brand.

It can be beneficial to:

  • narrow your focus
  • pick a highly specific niche to target

Perhaps you’d want to focus on creating interesting money-related quotes to upload to Instagram for finance bloggers, or filming gluten-free baking videos for Youtube’s food vloggers, or managing Pinterest accounts for graphic designers. This is the same type of content you’d want to consistently post on your business’ social media accounts.

3. Set Your Pricing

You’ll have to figure out how to price your services. It can help to create package deals consisting of the types of services you’d like to offer your clients — for example, you might offer a package deal featuring one price for posting a tweet per day for an entire month.

4. Find Clients and Do the Work

In order to make additional income, you need to find clients. Potential clients can be found in all sorts of places. You can find clients in different areas, you just have to be willing to look.

Potential places to do your client search include:

  • Facebook groups
  • on Linkedin
  • via internet searches
  • jobs from job boards
  • help wanted ads

Once you’ve located some potential clients that would be a good fit for your services, you’ll have to figure out how to approach them. If you found them through help wanted ads, this is easy; you just follow whatever instructions they included in their posting. Otherwise, cold calls and cold emails can both work well for approaching potential clients.

Whichever type of approach you choose, you’ll have to work on perfecting a concise and compelling pitch for your services.

Once you land some work, make sure to do your absolute best with completing it.

5. Solicit Testimonials

Testimonials are helpful for attracting more new clients to your business — so, make a habit of soliciting them from satisfied customers.

Earn Additional Income: Become a Social Media Manager Today

Handling social media can be a hassle if you’re not used to it. However, there are people out there who have made social media a huge part of life. If any of this information sounded like you or you find it interesting, then becoming a social media manager may be the career choice you were looking for. 

Would you like to make additional income as a social media manager? Which platforms would you specialize in? 

Buying Rental Property: 5 Tips to Help You Make The First Purchase

mortgage notes for sale

buying rental propertyIf you’ve ever bought a house, you know how long and frustrating it can be. The early enthusiasm of checking out houses is quickly overrun by offers falling through, meeting with realtors all throughout the city and trying to find a loan. When it all comes to an end, you can’t even rest easy as you’ve got to start the moving process. Buying rental property can be tough yet fulfilling. It’s something that many experience, but also something that few look forward to doing.

There are quite a few people out there who are not looking for property to purchase and live in, but property to rent (it seems like there are more of more of them every day!). If you’re one of those people, you might be curious about the process and basic steps you should take. Here are a few tips to help you out when buying rental property.

Buying Rental Property: 5 Tips to Help You Make The First Purchase

Trying to find a property to rent can prove to be a challenging process. These tips should make buying rental property for the first time a tad easier.

1) Leave No Doubts When Buying Rental Property

Owning a rental property is a huge step for anyone, especially for first-time property managers. Before you start this process, you want to be 100% sure this is a road you want to travel down.

There are more things that we’ll delve into later about being a property manager. Unfortunately, you simply can’t just buy it and wait for a wild tenant to appear. There is a lot of work that goes into your property both before and after making the purchase.

Related: We Bought a Rental House With Cash: One Year in Review

2) Find a Solid Realtor

Yes, just like searching for your own home, you’ll want to work with a realtor. This is important for buying rental property.

Find a realtor that:

  • has experience working with a rental property, instead of one that simply works with residential areas
  • will be able to help navigate you through the slightly different processes that come with purchasing rental property
  • can keep you focused on your objective

That doesn’t mean you should always do your own research first. But, it’s always good to stay ahead of the game!

3) The Golden Rule When Buying Rental Property

You don’t have to be a real estate wiz to know that the most important rule is…. “location, location, location.” Always consider this rule when buying rental property. When you’re searching for a rental property, you want to make sure you’re purchasing in a prime location.

Your city may or may not have a growing housing market and you need to be aware of how you quickly or not you’ll be able to find a tenant. If you’re lucky enough to be in a major city, finding a tenant may take no more than a week.

If the property was vacant before you bought it, consider these questions:

  • Why was it vacant?
  • What can you do to make it attractive?
  • Are you in an up and coming area?

There will surely be a period of time where you go without a tenant, but how long will you be OK with it staying vacant? That is important to ask yourself before buying rental property.

4) Show Me The Money

Just like home loans, there are plenty of loans for rental properties out there. Finding the right one for you may take some time and a bit of patience.

Rental property loans are different from their loan brethren. To qualify for some home loans, you only need to put down as little as 3%. That won’t fly with rental properties, as 20% is often the floor. After that, there are many different types, ranging from fixed to variable and in length.

Some people go after the rental property as a way to escape out of debt. Hint: that’s a very bad idea. You’re likely to lose money and dig yourself into an even deeper hole. If you have your eyes set on being a real estate mogul, make sure you have everything else paid off first.

5) Honest Labor

As stated above, owning a rental property is much more than buying a rental property and planting a “for rent” sign in the front yard or street corner. If you’re fortunate enough to have the rental property move-in ready, that’s great! If not, are you willing to do the dirty work?

You can easily hire someone to come repaint the bedrooms or tear up the carpet, but it’s going to be much cheaper if you do it yourself. You might not be the handiest of people, but it’s certainly going to help if you can take care of the major projects yourself.

What about when something inevitably breaks? Are you going to be the first person on the scene, ready to fix the issue or will you be making a call? Consider all of this during your process of buying rental property.

Buying a Rental Property: These Tips and You

There is much to consider when buying rental property. You shouldn’t jump into a project of this nature without doing proper research. It may end up hurting you in the long run and making the experience a hectic one for you. Don’t let that person be you. Use these tips to your advantage when you’re buying rental property.

Are you prepared to buy your first rental property?

Everything You Need to Know About Credit Cards in 2 Minutes

everything you need to know about credit cards

everything you need to know about credit cardsAmong all the financial products available, you must admit that credit cards are the most divisive. Everybody has their own opinion. It is one of those topics that strike up heated arguments between those who care for, and those who are against. They usually are quite vocal with their beliefs, which they wish to pass on to others. You could say that credit cards are here to stay. So, it is certainly time to find out everything you need to know about credit cards. 

See, the world is more technologically advanced, it may be practically impossible to go back to a world where people transact in cash. Think about it. When was the last time you saw anybody using cash as their primary method of making payments? Everywhere you look, everyone has a credit card. I can actually foresee a future where credit cards will be the only means of transacting.

Dave Ramsey is one of the most well-known anti-credit card voices. He believes that it is possible to live without a credit card since a responsible way of using a credit card doesn’t exist. He insists that even using it as a debit card will not help you at all.

In this review, you will also find out how you are being charged to use your card as well as how those credit card companies are making their money. Take a look at everything you need to know about credit cards…in as little as 2 minutes. 

Everything You Need to Know About Credit Cards in 2 Minutes 

So, opinions are quite varied, and you will be surprised to note that Ramsey has got quite a following. Well, mostly because people tend to fear what they do not know. Since he has his own radio show, he can pass on his beliefs of credit cards to his listeners.

However, if you are on the fence and probably have no idea which is the right side to stick to, or you are just wondering what the big deal with credit cards is, hopefully, this post can assist you. Come check out everything you need to know about credit cards to get a clear understanding before making a decision. 

How do you define a credit card?

This is the best place to start. Defining what a credit card is and what it can do. You may be unaware of what you can do with your card. This is why it is so important to learn everything you need to know about credit cards. 

A credit card can be viewed simply as:

  • a plastic card
  • issued by a bank or building society, or any other credit card company
  • sort of freedom — it allows you to make all sorts of purchases without carrying cash.

When you purchase a product using a credit card, the credit card issuing company will pay for the products on your behalf. You will then receive a bill at the end of a specific period – mostly a month. Within that month, you shall be required to pay back the money. However, the repayment process can be very stressful because this is an area that most people do not understand. Read further to learn more about this process. 

What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?

A Credit Card

A credit card is a card you use to make purchases with money that you don’t have. This means that the card allows you to borrow money against a line of credit. This line of credit is known as the “card’s credit limit.”

You can make as many purchases as you wish on your card, as long as you do not exceed the credit limit. These transactions shall be reflected on your bill, which you shall be required to pay at the end of the month.

It is important to note that you shall be charged interest on the money you spend on the card per month, but if you do not purchase anything with the card, there shall be no charges.

Credit cards:

  • do tend to have high-interest rates
  • the credit card balance and your repayment history will affect your credit score
  • credit score can be positively or negatively affected

A credit score is a 3-digit number that is given by credit bureaus, to summarize your credit history.  What does this mean for you and your credit card? Simply put, if you do not pay the card on time and end up with too much credit card debt, your score shall be negatively affected.

A Debit Card

A debit card, on the other hand, is your ATM card. This is a card that:

  • allows you to pay for purchases
  • works almost similar to a credit card
  • doesn’t accrue any interest on money spent
  • BIGGEST DIFFERENCE – debit card draws money directly from your account whenever you use it.

Using a debit card is the same as withdrawing money from an ATM.

What happens is whenever you purchase something with the debit card, the bank places a hold on the amount of purchase. The merchant then sends the transaction to the bank, who will transfer funds from your account to their account. 

The beauty of a debit card is that you do not owe anyone anything at the end of the month.

which debt to pay off firstMaking Credit Card Payments

Credit card payments are important when learning everything you need to know about credit cards. Most people will tell you that the reason why they are in deep debt is due to their credit cards. This is because it is money that you do not have, and yet, you have been given access to it. It is very easy for you to spend beyond your means.

In addition, you can get many different credit cards with different limits that you cannot possibly afford to pay back.

Here is how credit cards SHOULD be paid back;

  • once a month, credit card companies will accumulate the number of purchases you have made on the credit card
  • they will send you a bill
  • you should settle this bill in full on the due date

However, according to research, over 45% of Americans never settle their credit card bills on time or in full.

What To Do If You Are a Part Of The Percentage

If you cannot settle in full, the bank will give you the option of paying a minimum amount per month. This helps to avoid further fees. Each month, you shall be allowed to keep using the card, as you pay a little at a time.

It is highly likely that you’ll experience fees with your credit card. In addition, if you do not pay the bill on time, or do not pay the minimum amount, then additional interest will be charged on the already existing credit card bill. It is important to note that the interest charged on non-payment accumulates typically very quickly. You may find that a bill of $100 rapidly increases to $200 within one month.

When you pay the bill in full and on time,

  • The bank will consider you to be a well-behaved customer
  • Good payment history can be reported to the credit bureaus which will then be used to improve your credit report and score

However, you need to know that banks don’t really want you to be a well-behaved customer, because they get most of their money from penalties and additional interest on unpaid credit cards.

Related: 8 Things You Can Do Once Your Credit Cards Are Paid Off

Why do most people hate credit cards?

Credit cards make you spend money even when you do not want to. Scientific studies have shown that people are most likely to complete a purchase when they know they’ll be paying with a credit card, than if they were to spend cash.

Spending is much easier with a credit card because:

  • Cash is scarce so people try to conserve it
  • The psychological barrier exists with cash

The barrier doesn’t exist with credit cards because credit cards contain money that you cannot see, hence the ease of spending. 

On the other hand, with cash, you can never spend more than you have. But with credit cards, it is extremely easy to live beyond your means.

The bank will also never check how much savings you have in your account before they approve the purchase. All they need to see is that you haven’t exceeded your limit. In fact, even if you have exceeded your credit limit, the bank will most likely approve the purchase, just so they can charge you extra in terms of interest.

Therefore, as a result of all this, many people find themselves spending more with their credit cards than they would typically spend. This just ends up making the banks more profitable, while destroying their client’s financial future.

Hence, most people tend to dislike credit cards, while continuing to use them.

An anonymous writer once said that; Credit cards are like hammers. You need them to drive nails through the wood, but if you are not paying close attention, you can easily hurt yourself in the process.

Related: Should You Use Cash Or Credit Cards?

Everything You Need to Know About the Benefits of Credit cards:

Even with their limitations, it is virtually impossible to live without credit cards. Here are some of the benefits of using a credit card;

1) The concept of using other people’s money

This is only for a short period of time if you are wise. So, in case your paycheck is late, and you need to buy food for the family, a credit card can come in handy.

Credit cards can also help you organize your finances; if you have other loans that need to be cleared, you can use the credit card to settle your most urgent expenses, while using your paycheck to pay for what needs to be cleared.

2) They create a barrier between your money and merchants

A credit card can be quite beneficial when dealing with fraud. They can create a line of defense between a fraudster and your hard-earned money.

It is important to have a good look at the rules before applying for a credit card. However, in most cases, you shall find that you are not liable for any unauthorized use of your credit card. This is unlike a debit card, where unauthorized use will affect your bank account. I1f you happen to pay for a purchase in a store which later on ends up having a problem, and the store doesn’t accept to refund you the money, you can simply call the credit card company and ask them to stop the payment.

In this regard, stores have a much bigger incentive to ensure that they resolve any issues between them and their customers because too many reversals can affect their businesses.

3) Extended protection and warranties

If you have problems with a purchase, and you used a credit card to pay for it, the bank gives you very many options compared to paying with cash.

Most credit cards usually

  • have an extended manufacturer’s warranty
  • they also offer purchase protection

In case you damage the product after purchase, you shall have coverage by the warranty. The bank can even replace such a purchase.

In addition, credit cards offer purchase price protection, which means that; incase a store lowers the purchase price of a product after you have already purchased it, the bank can refund you the price difference.

4) Credit card rewards

This is one of the most significant benefits of using a credit card. Credit card rewards are the same as free money. It is their best incentive yet.

In order for banks to gain more users and more credit card transactions, they offer customers rewards such as:

  • sign-up bonuses
  • cashback money
  • zero percent introductory interest

The savviest credit card users will take these rewards to an extreme level. They will ensure they use their cards for all sorts of transactions, to accumulate as many miles or points as possible so that they can earn some good rewards.

Everything You Need to Know About Credit Cards: Conclusion

Credit cards are not only useful but extremely powerful and they can either make you or break you. Many people have had their finances messed up, simply by misusing their credit cards. You must understand the power you carry in a credit card. You can also choose to use your debit card or a pre-paid card instead of your credit card. The debit card doesn’t accumulate any charges and neither does it charge you interest to use it. The best advice would be only to use it when you do not have any other option and to ensure that you pay it in full at the end of the month.

Have you considered everything you need to know about credit cards in order to make your decision?

How to Make Money Gaming…and Maybe Even Wealth!!

how to make money gaming

how to make money gamingOnline gaming has taken over the world! With a combination of crazy advanced graphics showcasing first-person visuals, real-time player interactions, and a dedicated fan base, online game play has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry.  Not only is it making tons of money for the entertainment industry writers and designers, but now hard-core gamers are also getting to enjoy a slice of that financial pie. Ever wonder how to make money gaming? Well wonder no more…

How to Make Money Gaming…and Maybe Even Wealth!!

If you are a gamer – or have a kid that shows more interest in gaming than life itself – this may be a wealth growth strategy to consider (believe it or not). 

In fact, some teens have already figured out how to make money gaming.

On July 28th, 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf of Pennsylvania earned himself a $3 million win in the first ever Fortnite World Cup, hosted by Epic Games. 

$3 MILLION. 

In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Kyle talks about his gaming routine and his six-hour-per-day practice time he approaches like a job, fitting it in between school and other life obligations. Kyle appears to have a good head on his shoulders because when asked what he planned to do with the money…

Kyle stated the following:

“Save the money, put it to my future and probably buy a new [gaming] desk,” he said.  He told another interviewer that he plans to “save the money and invest it and not do anything dumb with it.”

Kyle may have enjoyed quite the windfall as the grand prize winner, but several other teens took home some substantial winnings as well. Epic Games awarded $30 million in prize money and made quite a few teenagers millionaires in the process. You can learn more about the Fornite World Cup Finals winner’s here. 

A Brief History of Gaming

Love it or hate it, it’s rare that you don’t know someone who is a little obsessed with video games. Although, it doesn’t seem fair to call them “video” games anymore, considering that the user is plunged into a fully immersive experience that appeals to almost all the senses. It’s more like a computer generated image (CGI) alternate reality in which the player holds a fair amount of control.  

  • The first known video game was invented by a physicist in 1958 and was a simplistic version of what would eventually become the popular game “Pong” in the 1970’s.
  • Although, it could be argued that British professor A.S. Douglas, who created OXO (a tic-tac-toe) in 1952 as part of his dissertation at Cambridge could be considered the first creator of video games. 

In any event, the advent of the gaming console came to fruition by the efforts of a group of developers led by Ralph Baer when they invented a multiplayer, multi-program prototype gaming system that could be played on the TV. It was called “The Brown Box.” The device was licensed to Magnavox in 1972, renamed “Odyssey,” and become the first video game home console.

While the Odyssey would ultimately die out over the coming years, it paved the way for a new industry and others began to build on this very basic design and branch out into a myriad of computer, arcade and console-based gaming designs, leading to Atari, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Xbox and others. 

How Gaming Has Grown into a Wealth-Building Strategy

What used to be something fun to do on the weekends or as a way to hang out with friends has turned into a potential money-making opportunity. The question of how to make money gaming is being asked more and more these days, and quite obviously (given the stats above), some are attaining big dollar amounts in and around the industry!

In fact, some online gamers have risen to celebrity status. One notable individual is Richard Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, a Twitch streamer, YouTuber, professional gamer and Internet personality. As of this year, he has a following of fourteen million and averages over 40,000 viewers per week. Blevins net worth is estimated to be around $10 million and he doesn’t show any signs of fading into obscurity. 

So, can you make it to Kyle or Ninja status?

Maybe not – but here are a few ways you can start using gaming to grow your wealth today.

1) Test games in the Beta Phase

Before a game hits the market, developers often seek feedback on any game-play issues or technical glitches that need to be dealt with. Granted, these games are often not the big-name ones already on the market, however, as a beta-tester, there is still some money on the table for your time. 

While some companies pay in cash, others pay in free games or gift cards.

So how can you find these testing opportunities? Be sure to:

2) Join a tournament to game your way to wealth

Another way to earn money with gaming is to seek out and join online communities. Within these communities, you can find and enter online tournaments and work with a team to earn prize money. 

One great example is Optic Gaming – a team of players that went on to develop not only their own team play in games like Call of Duty, but created an entire entertainment organization from their efforts. 

Looking to get started building your own team or entering as a solo player? Sites like World Gaming can get you started. 

Related: 40+ Side Hustle Ideas That Anyone Can Do

3) Help others with their gaming questions

Are you a hard-core gamer with experience playing a variety of different games? Do you eat, sleep and breathe games? Are you relentless in learning how to beat a game rather than let it conquer you? 

If so, you may be the perfect fit for helping others who are stuck, struggling or just need some answers on a particular game.

Game development companies are often looking to hire support for their customer service teams. Be sure to check out your favorite organizations as well as game manufacturers and distributors to see what’s available. Not seeing anything posted? Don’t hesitate to reach out and share your level of experience with them. They may find you are exactly what they need after all. 

Here is a link to get you started on your search. 

4) Become an online gaming streamer

Remember Ninja and how he built an empire by streaming on Twitch? Well, why not you?

To become a streamer is fairly simple:

  • Create a username,
  • pay a small monthly fee for a subscription, and
  • become an expert in a specific gaming niche to attract followers. 

To become a notable streamer, though, will take quite a bit more effort. If you are trying to build wealth, not only do you have to be a pretty darn good player, but you must be willing to put in the time to build a following. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a good personality either. Why all the effort? Because the only way you make money on streaming platforms like Twitch is via donations from your subscribers. 

Want to learn more about how to get started? Check out this guide on how to make money on Twitch. 

5) Become a gaming connoisseur

Finally, you can game your way to wealth by becoming a gaming guru and reviewer.

The best way to do this?

  • Build your own blog,
  • your own Youtube channel, or
  • use an online streaming platform to take on the latest and greatest games.

Then, share your thoughts on what you love, what could be improved and why you would or wouldn’t invest your time or money is a particular game. 

Eventually, you will be able to make affiliate income off your highest rated games, not to mention earn potential ad revenue via Youtube and along with subscriber donations via Twitch. 

Have you thought about how to make money gaming? Do you have any other gaming money-making ideas you’d add to the list?  Please share! 

Treat Yourself: Little Treats That Won’t Leave You Broke

treat yourself - woman drinking wine

Everyone deserves a treat from time to time and it’s okay to treat yourself. It’s just something that we have to do in order to make ourselves feel better. Sometimes it can feel like all you’re ever doing is treating other people, and we all know how much that can drain the finances. However, when it comes to spending your money on yourself, suddenly this frugal brain kicks in that prevents you from even buying a chocolate bar.

You’ll go into the shopping center with good intentions of what you want to buy yourself. But, you’ll walk away possibly having a bite to eat because seeing the price of the clothes is all too much. When it comes to buying presents for other people, it doesn’t bother you watching the money fly from your bank account. You may even find more joy when you actually see them open the present. However, now we’re well over halfway through the year, which means Christmas jingles are just around the corner.

Before the madness of all of the festivities start and you really can’t afford to treat yourself, look at your options. It’s time to think about the little treats you should be getting yourself that really won’t leave you broke. Keep reading to find ways to treat yourself and save some money. 

Treat Yourself: Little Treats That Won’t Leave You Broke

Sometimes you need to treat yourself, even if only for the small things. Treating yourself doesn’t always have to be expensive and you don’t always have to come last. If you don’t want to keep breaking the bank in order to afford yourself and others, check out these tips to help out. 

Making Your Car A Little More Snazzy

There are three places that you’re going to spend most of your time:

  • In the office or whatever your place of work is
  • Your home
  • Driving around in your car (whether it be to and from work, to the shops, to see family…)

The list could go on. But we don’t often think of our cars as our pride and joy unless of course, you’re someone who is super into their cars. Consider this, we spend so much on our cars. The first initial investment and then everything else that comes with upkeep can be expensive. You should start thinking about how you can make it something far more personal to you and something you will actually enjoy looking at.

So the thing we have in mind is personalized number plates.

It doesn’t matter:

  • how old or new your car is
  • how good or bad it looks

This will make you feel like your car is far snazzier than it is. The great thing is that you can transfer the plates from car to car. Private number plates are not that expensive to buy and they’re a one-off payment that you can carry with you until you decide you don’t want it anymore. Or until you think of another one that you want. If you have a nice new car, then this idea is probably going to appeal to you even more! If this is something you’re interested in, it might be worth getting your order in sooner rather than later. The options that you might like, might not be available in a month’s time.

 Related: 7 Reasons to Buy a Used Car Over a New Car

A Nice Night Out Can Help You Treat Yourself

Everyone deserves to have a nice night out. It is a great way to treat yourself and you can still save money. A night where you can truly get glammed up and experience something a little different. But by a nice night out, we don’t just mean a cheeky trip to Nandos and call it a day.

We suggest that you:

  • start saving up a little bit
  • get to booking a super fancy meal

If you and your partner, or your friend, saved up over two paydays, you could easily afford to book a table at a super fancy restaurant and feel like you’re being wined and dined in style. Even if it is just a one-off, it would be nice for you to feel all elegant and fancy, just for a few hours. You could even stretch the night out by going for a few cheeky cocktails afterward!

Treat Yourself to Something To Make You Feel Beautiful

Now, this is going to touch on the shopping center conundrum. It can be so hard to pick something out that you like when you know you have to. However, this is good for you in order to properly treat yourself. Online shopping willy nilly is no problem, but when it comes to actually treating yourself to something special, it becomes a little harder.

So try these steps:

  • Think about something that you’ve always wanted (perhaps a new pair of heels, or even just a new handbag)
  • Take a look at discounted designer websites online
  • Save up some money
  • finally, buy yourself something fancy

When that designer label is put on, you can’t help but feel beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with saving for a few months to be able to afford it either!

Start Treating Yourself Today

Treating yourself is part of self-care and it is very important. In order to take care of yourself, you need to treat yourself every once in a while. These are just a few ways to do that but there are so many more. Take some time to focus on you before you focus on others, you can still save money while doing so!

Have you taken some time out to treat yourself and save a little money at the same time?

7 Ways to Educate Yourself While Saving Money

high paying jobs without a degree

educate yourselfEducation is very valuable at any stage in life. It can be a great investment because knowledge is power. The more knowledge you gain, the better off you can be in the long run. There are many ways that you can educate yourself nowadays, however, education can still be quite expensive. 

From tuition fees to course literature, there can be many costs to consider when studying for a degree. Whether you are considered a traditional or non-traditional student, the costs will rack up very quickly. Here are just some ways in which you can reduce the overall costs of learning in order to educate yourself. 

7 Ways to Educate Yourself While Saving Money

Getting an education can be very rewarding. However, it can still be considered a huge expense so you will want to figure out how to educate yourself and still save money. Take a look at some of the ways that you can do that. 

1) Study Online to Educate Yourself

Studying online is a popular option for those that want to save on costs.

Not only are tuition fees sometimes cheaper, but studying online…

  • allows the option to study from home
  • saves costs on having to travel to a campus and rent accommodation
  • allows you the ability to study flexibly

Studying online also makes it possible to easily work a full-time job around studies. In fact, some students are able to earn money as they study and pay for their tuition fees, allowing them to graduate debt-free.

Online courses are now available in almost every subject with the likes of Baylor University Online even offering courses such as nursing. Requirements for online courses are generally the same as normal courses. Studying online requires a lot of self-discipline and it’s worth keeping up a study schedule so that you’re able to keep up with the workload.

2) Study Abroad

If you want to educate yourself and travel, try studying abroad. You may also be able to save money by doing so. In some countries, higher education can be cheap and even free in cases such as Germany.

You do need to factor in:

  • the cost of living, and
  • the cost of traveling abroad

However, in many cases, it’s still much cheaper studying abroad than taking a domestic course. For many people, it’s an opportunity to not just get a qualification, but to travel the world and gain new and exciting life experiences.

Colleges across the world have their own application systems and requirements – it could be worth talking to a study abroad advisor to help you through the process. Most courses around the world are conducted in English. However, you may still want to learn a few key phrases before traveling to study in a non-English speaking country.

Related: 14 Steps to Get a Serious Head-Start in Life

3) Take an Employer-Sponsored Course

It’s also possible to take an employer-sponsored course to educate yourself. This is when an employer of a company pays for your tuition in exchange for you working at their company once you graduate. On top of effectively allowing you to study for free, employer-sponsored courses also offer the security of a job after studying.

Sponsorship opportunities are few and far between – sites like The Scholarship Hub offer information on some of the companies that offer them. There’s generally a rigorous application and interview process as you need to be able to prove to an employer that:

a) you’re a right fit for the company;

b) you’re likely to knuckle down and pass the course

Failing to pass the course may result in you having to pay back the tuition fees, so keep this in mind.

4) Look Into Grants

Some students are eligible for student grants. Unlike a loan, this is money that you don’t have to pay back.

Student grants are usually:

  • only available to students with low-earning parents/guardians
  • aim to cover living costs such as accommodation and food (although generally, these grants aren’t large enough to entirely cover these costs).

There are federal grants and state grants worth looking into. In rare instances, colleges may even give out grants to specific students. On top of this, local charities may be able to offer some form of funding. Sites like Sallie Mae offer more information on college grants.

5) Buy Used Books

Buying used books can really help you educate yourself. Some courses can have extensive reading lists. Buying all these books brand new could be very expensive. To save money, consider buying used copies online – these will usually be a fraction of the price.

If the reading list for your course is the same as last year’s, see if someone may have a copy that you can borrow. It’s possible that students in the year above will be able to sell you their copy for cheap. Some colleges may even have Facebook Pages or student union shops dedicated to trading books.

Related: 10 Sites to Find Super Cheap Textbooks

6) Download E-books to Educate Yourself

Another way to save money on course literature could be to download e-books. This could require you to invest in a tablet or e-reader first. However, given the low cost of e-books compared to paper books, you could still save a lot. You can shop for e-reader discounts online.

7) Share Resources With Other Students

It’s possible that you may be able to share certain resources to save money. To save you from buying your own printer, you may be able to share a printer with another student. The same could be possible for certain books or equipment.

Certain colleges may have online groups set up for sharing these resources. If not, you may be able to set up your own Facebook or WhatsApp group dedicated to sharing resources with course mates, helping everyone to save money.

(Bonus!) Educate Yourself By Making Use of Free College Resources

If you’re studying on campus, don’t forget to take advantage of any free campus resources that may be available. All colleges have their own library where you can usually take out books for free – some of these books may be ones on your reading list (although usually, such books are hard to get your hands on, as everyone on your course will be trying to take them out).

On top of the library, the campus may also have:

  • free computers
  • free printer services

If you don’t have your own computer, this could save you having to buy one. Some colleges are able to lend out free laptops to students under a certain income, however, you will usually still have to pay for any damage.

Time to Educate Yourself!

Education is very important. Obtaining the knowledge you need to pursue the avenues you want in life can be expensive but it can still be done. You can educate yourself and save money just by using some of these tips. The reward of your education can be very gratifying.

Could it be time for you to save some money and educate yourself?

5 Things You Should Be Saving For Before The Year Ends

things you should be saving for

things you should be saving forIt’s crazy that we are already halfway through the year. And yet, now is the best time to start getting your finances together. Better to do it now than have a freak out at the end of the year!! Take note of these things you should be saving for before the year ends…

5 Things You Should Be Saving For Before the Year Ends

This post was written by our wonderful staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.

1) The Holidays

Look, the holidays are not a surprise. We all know that…

  • Halloween is the 31st of October.
  • Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November.
  • Christmas is on the 25th of December.
  • And of course, let’s not forget about new years, which happens every 1st of January.

So, you should be saving for these holidays, if you celebrate them. For me, I know I’m usually the host on these holidays, so I need to save/prepare more than some. Because of that, I have a line item in my budget that is “holidays” with a breakdown of what I need to save each month to meet my holiday spending goals.

If you host the holidays, or if you know you want to get gifts for Christmas and celebrate with family and friends on the other holidays, start preparing for them now.

2) Black Friday/Cyber Monday

I don’t know about you, but I hate Black Friday. However, I love Cyber Monday and being able to shop from the comfort of my own home while scoring some pretty sweet deals.

Here’s how I do it:

  • Plan the items that I know I will need/want a month ahead of time (you can typically find out what will be on sale by utilizing the web and local flyers for stores in your area). I only buy items that we’ve been wanting but waiting on a deal, or items that I know will be of use to me.
  • Figure out the total costs of these items.
  • Use some of my “holiday” savings for these items, up to a certain amount (I typically spend about $200 on Cyber Monday).
  • Use any extra side hustle money or bonuses from clients to pay for the rest (if needed).

Now, you don’t have to follow exactly what I do. However, if you plan on shopping during this time, this is a holiday that you should be saving for. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great, as long as you prepare and don’t go overboard.

3) Insurance

For many people, the end of the year is the time that insurance rolls over or it’s time to pick a new one. So this is certainly one of those things you should be saving for.

  • Premiums can change.
  • New insurance can be more expensive with the addition of a family member or a move.
  • End of the year exams can end up costing a small fortune.

Whatever it is, insurance and health costs are things you should be preparing and saving for.

If you have FSA or HSA options and savings, now is also the time to prepare to spend them. Might as well save some money on costs because you prepared for them.

4) Tax Season

For some people, tax season is like a second Christmas. But for many others (like myself) it can mean financial ruin if not prepared for. Don’t get caught owing the government thousands of dollars. Instead, make sure you’ve paid enough in taxes, have your deductions and credits in order, and start building up your savings in case you DO owe for the end of the year.

I use Quickbooks Self-Employed to track my deductions, expenses, and taxes owed from my small business. You can also see a CPA/Accountant and get professional advice on how much you should be saving.

5) End of The Season Mishaps

Maybe it’s just me, but something always happens at the end of the year, right after the holidays.

  • The car will break down,
  • water pipes burst, or
  • my kid gets hurt and has to be rushed to the hospital.

Sometimes, these mishaps aren’t so bad, and can typically be paid out of pocket. But sometimes, I’m looking at thousands in bills or fixes.

By having a well-stocked emergency fund, I can breathe a little easier knowing that I can pay for these mishaps and not get into debt or worry about paying my bills. That’s why I have a 3-6 month emergency fund. It’s there as an emergency fund for when things just go left and my regular monthly income can’t cover the emergencies. If you haven’t started saving for the mishaps that will inevitably happen, now is the time to start.

Things You Should Be Saving For – Are You Sold on the Idea?

So many people just fly by the seat of their pants. They don’t think about saving a dime until their credit card bill gets too big to handle. Don’t go there. Instead, think like the millionaires do and plan ahead for all of these spend items.

Now, I’m not saying that now is the time to start trying to save thousands of dollars each month. However, just by saving a few dollars here and there, you’ll be more prepared for the end of the year than most. And, if by having these savings in place, you’ll breathe a little easier knowing that you have the money in your account when things start popping up.

Are you sold on this idea of “things you should be saving for”?