Investing Based on Trump Tweets? Or Index Funds? Which is Better?

investing on trump tweets

It’s been going on for years now, but…slow as I am, I’m just now starting to catch on. It seems that when President Trump tweets about trade talks, businesses, or about the economy in general, the stock market reacts – up or down depending on the message of the tweet. First of all, why might this be? Does Trump’s twitter handle really carry that much power? Secondly, is it actually true? Could someone become rich by trading based solely on President Trump tweets? And finally, what should you do about it?

All interesting questions. And we’re going to dive into every one of them. 🙂

Investing Based on Trump Tweets? Or Index Funds? Which is Better?

Check out the Trump tweets below and the stock market’s reaction to them:

trump tweet 1

…the Dow went up 373 points.

…and the Dow went up 326 points.

trump tweet 3

…the Dow responds yet again…320 points.

The stock market seems to move as a whole when President Trump tweets what’s on his mind. You’d think it would move even more so when he tweets about business – After all, it’s a much smaller market that can be more easily impacted – especially by a guy that has over 65 million followers!

What Businesses Were Tweeted About? And How Did the Stock Respond?

trump tweetThe T-Mobile stock that day….down 2.2%.

trump tweet - Toyota

The Toyota stock didn’t dive massively, but it was still down 0.6% that day.

Does the stock always take a dive with President Trump’s negative tweets (or shoot up during the rare positive ones)?

The answer: of course not.

Trump might say something completely negative about a particular company (like when his daughter was treated unfairly at Nordstrom), but the overall stock market was up and the economy was strong, so naturally, the specific stock that Trump is bad-mouthing still goes up that day. 

BUT, in order to win with trading on Trump’s tweets, you just need to be right more often than you’re wrong. In other words, if you invest correctly 51% of the time, you’ll eventually come out on top. But what if the odds were even better? What if they were 60/40? Or 70/30?

How much money is there really to be made here?? 

Get Rich By Trading on Trump Tweets?

Like I said earlier, I’m a little slow to this party. Planet Money thought about this back in 2017. In fact, they actually paid a computer programmer to build a bot that would automatically:

  • Detect all of President Trump’s tweets
  • Identify who they were about
  • Decipher if they were positive or negative
  • Then, buy or sell the stock immediately
  • And finally, reverse the trade just 30 minutes later after the masses have reacted to the tweet.

Pretty cool stuff, right?

But, the real question is…”Did it work?”

The Trump Tweet Investment Bot – Winning Results?

Unfortunately, the original bot (called BOTUS – “Bot of the United States”) had a few glitches. There were quite a few instances when it should have traded a stock, but didn’t. Over the course of 7 months, the bot actually only made 2 trades and lost 0.2% of the $1,000 investment. Soooo…not too great.

Actually, a little terrible…

BUT, what if the bot performed as it was supposed to and made all the trades perfectly? How much money would have been made from the start date (January 1, 2018) to the end date (October 9, 2019)?

As it turns out, on the $1,000 investment, BOTUS would have earned $118! That’s pretty sweet! Roughly 7% annual earnings.

Did the Overall Stock Market Perform Better During the Same Stretch?

In the past, I’ve heard far too often the gloating from those that have “chosen the stock of all stocks” and their returns are just soaring! When I stop and humor them for a moment, I discover that they had earned 15% on their money that year. Not too shabby…but that was also the year that the overall stock market earned 20%!!

Suddenly, their fairy-tale stock wasn’t all that impressive.

But what about this case? What about investing based on Trump tweets? Is it better to load up all your money with BOTUS and let him do his thing (you know…assuming he would actually operate exactly as he should)? Or (as I have preached many times) should you just put your money into a market index and let it ride with the overall market?

Drum roll….The Results!!

During the exact same stretch of time (1/1/18 – 10/9/19), the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (which models the S&P 500) went from $248.88 in January, 2018 and landed at $269.58 in October, 2019.

Okay, so it went up. What was the annual yield vs. the 7% that was achieved by the bot?

You’re not going to believe this…

The overall stock market only grew at a 5.0% annual rate. The bot won…

What Does This Mean For You?

I started writing this article on the premise that Index funds are almost always the best way to go. My assumption was that the overall stock market surely would have beat the BOTUS bot. In fact, I was so confident that I didn’t even compare the two until basically just now.

And…I’m honestly a little dumb-struck…

However, these results are reminding me of a documentary I’d seen a few years ago. The name of the documentary as well as the featured fund managers are escaping me at the moment (I apologize…perhaps I’m still in shock at the above results), but the story went something like this:

  • Two very intelligent college grads enter the market in the 1980’s and decide to start their own investment fund
  • People know that these guys are really smart and have a ton of potential, so they happily invest with them
  • 1st Year: They earn 41%
  • 2nd Year: They earn 45% (Whoa!)
  • 3rd Year: They earn -2%
  • 4th Year: They earn -30%

They started out so well! What happened??!

The basis of their trading platform was on algorithms – math that would tell them whether they should buy or sell based on a number of factors…

  • debt ratios
  • trending in the market
  • past performance of other related stocks
  • patterns of rising and falling prices
  • volume of trades
  • etc. etc. etc.

In other words, they used logic and patterns to predict the rise and fall of future share prices. And heck, it worked GREAT for those first few years!

But then…the scare of the Cold War started.

People no longer traded based on logic and future foresight. They pulled money out of the market at the slightest sneeze that something was going wrong – that perhaps their money wasn’t safe. 

And suddenly, the algorithms broke down.

History used to be a great indicator of future results, but not anymore…not when emotions started running the show.

So What Does This Mean For You?

The hot-shot fund managers of the 1980’s were foiled by emotion. Day traders today are often beat out by bots and high-frequency trades. And you know what? Bots based on Trump tweets will soon fade into the darkness as well.

These are all flash-in-the-pan techniques…

Sure, they might work for a couple of years, but they’ll soon just leave you scrambling for the next method/trick/stock tip… And, whether you realize it or not, all that scrambling comes at a cost (the cost of trading, setting up bots, management, and most importantly, the cost of time!).

I’ve done the research, I’ve watched the market, I’ve experienced time slipping right through my finger-tips. It’s just not worth it… 

BOTUS? No Thanks. I’ll Stick With the Index Funds.

Even thought BOTUS technically won this battle, I’m convinced that it won’t win the war.

President Trump will eventually not be President. Like all of us, he will get older, have less of an impact on the world, and probably sooner rather than later….get forgotten about. There’s no use setting up a bot to trade on his off-the-cuff opinions.

Instead, here’s what I’m going to do:

  • Have my automatic draw (from my paycheck) put my money into index funds
  • Build up my blogging business and my real estate empire (on a very part-time basis)
  • Buy flowers for my wife regularly
  • Take my two young kiddos to the library, the park, and to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and Nana’s house often
  • Exercise, relax, and half fun with what I do
  • And most importantly, not worry about whether my bot traded my money accurately. I’ll leave that up to the professionals…

How about you? Would you invest based on Trump tweets? Did this above article spark an idea for you to make millions and act on something that’s totally against what I’m recommending?? Or, would you rather invest passively and potentially earn even more money in the long run?


Kids Are Expensive And Making You Broke: What To Do About It

kids are expensive

kids are expensiveNot including college, parents today will spend around $240,000 on their kids between the ages of birth and 17. While that number can vary based on living area and status, it’s no secret that kids are expensive. From healthcare to daycare, and everything after that, kids cost money. And even though there’s no real way to get around the costs of certain things (like regular health checkups) there are ways to cut costs and make sure you’re financially stable, even with kids. Here’s how.

Kids Are Expensive and Making You Broke: What to Do About It

Yes, kids are pricey…but follow these steps and the financial pain might just subside a little… (And who knows? Maybe you’ll decide to have more!! Lol…well, maybe not. 😉 Let’s just make the ones you have a little cheaper.)

1) Prepare Ahead Of Time

I get it, sometimes kids are a surprise. But even still, if you’re having a child naturally (ie. not through adoption or foster care), you have a good 40 weeks, or 9 months, to start preparing. Your child shouldn’t come into this world without you at least having some sort of plan in place.

  • Can you get better health insurance?
  • Do you or your partner need to pick up extra shifts to put some money in savings?
  • Will you have family or friends that you can rely on when the baby comes?

Asking these questions, and getting prepared ahead of time, will help you when the baby is born.

Will it be stressful? Most likely. But kids are expensive and stressful anyways. Might as well get used to that now. Knowing that you’ll have some savings to fall back on if something goes wrong, or that your family will be able to watch the child if you go back to work, can offer peace of mind and mean less money spent upfront.

Related: 5 Monster Benefits of a Health Savings Account

2) Live Below Your Means (Even If No One Else Is)

Would you like to know a secret? My family of 3 (soon to be 4) has always lived in a one or two-bedroom apartment. Even when we took in my sister and became a family of 4 for the first time, we lived in a two-bedroom place.

Why?

Because there was no point in upgrading to a bigger place. Kids have shared rooms for years. My sister and I did it until I was over the age of 14. It used to be normal before Americans started wanting bigger and better.

  • Would you also be surprised to know that many people in other countries (even first world countries) find it weird that we live in such large and extravagant homes?
  • That we own more than two cars?
  • That we eat out ALL the time, instead of cooking at home?

And the fact is, they’re right. We’re weird.

We have this incessant need to prove to “people” that we have our lives together, even if that means we’re drowning in debt.

Add kids to the mix, and parents jump at the chance to have the biggest house, biggest car, best daycare that teaches 6 languages, and all the sports they couldn’t do growing up. But ask yourself, who are you really doing this for? Your kids, or your ego?

Living below your means is one of the smartest things you can do for your kids. Kids are expensive, but only as expensive as we allow. Sure, you can get that four-bedroom home for your 2 kids. Or, you can stay in a two or three-bedroom and have them share a room. Yes, you can absolutely buy a huge Suburban like the many flashy soccer moms out there, or you can make do with a smaller SUV that’s great on gas. The choice is yours.

3) Realize That Kids Don’t Need Much

On the note of keeping up with the Joneses, it’s also important to remember that kids don’t need much.

Do you want to know what I wanted as a kid?

  • For my parent’s to take the time out of their day to show me love.
  • Go to my games.
  • Meet my friends.

Not for them to work all the time just to buy things I didn’t want or force me to do things I didn’t like.

And the same goes for kids around the world. In reality, they don’t need the baby wipe warmer or huge swing set. They don’t need super expensive clothes or the latest gadgets. They need their parents to love and care for them. To give them their time, not just their money. To make them feel safe and secure. They need parents to teach them things their parents never knew, not buy them things their parents never had.

There are some things you can’t skimp on as a parent. Healthcare and education being two. I get it. I want my child to have the best education and healthcare that I can provide to her. But other than that, she really just needs me, her mom, to love her unconditionally and raise her to be a well-adapted and decent human being.

4) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Even if you stick to a budget, lower your bills, plan ahead, and have great health insurance, sometimes things just happen.

That’s life…

And as much as it sucks, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.

  • Food pantries,
  • government assistance programs, and
  • grants are there for a reason.

It’s to help you get back on your feet and take care of your family.

Don’t struggle because you think it’s the “right thing to do”. Don’t bury yourself into a financial hole you can’t get out of just because of your pride. Kids are expensive, and we know this. And sometimes, you need help with them. And that’s OKAY.

We can’t always control our lives or misfortune. So, cry your tears, make a plan, and ask for help. Because at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. And I can almost guarantee you that your community won’t think lesser of you just because you asked for help, financial or otherwise.

Kids Are Expensive, But They Don’t Have To Be

I can say first hand that I know kids are expensive. Having my daughter cost me $2,500 just for her birth, and I got lucky with that number! But what I’ve come to realize is that it doesn’t have to cost you a quarter of a million dollars just to raise them.

My daughter is healthy, happy, and thriving, and at 5 years old, hasn’t cost me even a quarter of what the numbers show she should. And while everyone’s situation is different, I’ve learned that there are always ways to cut costs and beat out the norm.

5 Things to Consider When Buying Property to Renovate

make thousand with a flip house

things to consider when buying propertyWhen it comes to managing your finances and optimizing your cash flow, there are lots of ways to go about it. Being able to save money and also to make some is achievable in all aspects of your life with the right approach. One area where this is very true is buying property. Many people choose to buy a renovation property to live in rather than a new one or one that is older but still in great condition. However, there are still some things to consider when buying property to renovate.

But why is that?

It all comes down to money and getting a better deal. As renovation properties need work done to them (sometimes a lot of work!), then the price you pay is usually lower than it would be if the property was in good repair. You may, for example, get a $500,000 home for half that amount due to the fact it needs fixing up. When the renovation work is finally completed, you will have a $500,000 property to enjoy or sell that you actually paid much less for.

Renovating a property can be hard work. It can also be very gratifying once the property is complete.

Before you go rushing into buying a renovation property though, be sure to think about the points below.

5 Things to Consider When Buying Property to Renovate

Renovation properties make it easier to get onto the property ladder in the first place due to the lower cost of buying these homes. If you have managed to save up enough money to buy one without needing a mortgage then it gets even better as you will not be taking on extra debt when buying the property. This is not true in newer houses where a mortgage will usually be required to enable you to buy. So, consider these things before you buy a renovation property. 

1) Work Out a Total Budget Beforehand

As we have already noted, renovation properties are often a lot cheaper than other kinds of property. You still need to sit down beforehand though and work out a budget for what you can afford to spend.

Failure to do so could:

  • see you spending beyond your means or
  • be forced to take on extra debt to buy a property

It is much better to identify a sensible budget and stick to it in order to avoid this. When setting a budget, remember to take into account all costs for the renovation work. Be realistic and always overestimate the costs by as much as 20%. 

2) Take Out Home Warranty Cover

A home warranty is a wise investment to make when it comes to these properties – if you have never had home warranties explained you might not know exactly what they are for and what they cover. Basically, they are a cover plan which protects your home systems and appliances if they break down or need replacing.

This cover can come in very handy in any renovation property which has older working appliances included that you plan to keep. As older appliances may fail or need replacing at some time in the near future, it gives you peace of mind that they are covered. A home warranty plan is also worthwhile if you fit entirely new systems and appliances as part of the renovation. In that case, it will safeguard your investment on new items that could be damaged or break down in the future.

3) Check Out Local Building Regulations

Another good tip when buying a property to renovate is having a good look at local planning and building regulations in your area before beginning the restoration work.

There are 2 things you don’t want to waste during your renovation project:

  • time
  • money

This is because you can spend a lot of your time and money on restoring a property, only to find local laws dictate you have to tear it all down! By taking time to research this (or employing professional architects or project managers to do so), you will avoid any nasty surprises further down the line and know that what you plan to do to the property is allowed.a

4) Expect the Unexpected

Another one of the things to consider when buying property is that the unexpected can always happen. This applies to most renovation projects – even with the best planning in the world, unexpected things will often come up to flummox you. Older properties can have a variety of hidden secrets underneath floors or in ceilings – the problem is that you don’t know about some of them until you have bought the house and started work.

The key here is to have:

  • enough room in your budget
  • a sensible enough timescale to deal with any unforeseen issues

In addition, a great idea to help avoid this in the first place is to commission a full building survey before buying so you have prior knowledge of any easily identifiable issues which might crop up.

Buying a Renovation Project Makes Financial Sense

If you are looking to get the best value you can when buying property, then purchasing a renovation project is worth considering. It will not only cost less than a normal house but can also make you money if you sell it on when revitalized. Before getting involved with this though, it is necessary to first consider the above points.

Conclusion

Renovating a property is a huge deal and can prove to be a great investment. However, you still need to consider your options before jumping in headfirst. The process is time-consuming and you want to be sure you will be ready for this beforehand.

After taking these things into consideration, are you ready to find your next renovation property?

Deep in Debt: Has Your Debt Gotten Out Of Hand?

deep in debt

deep in debtGiven the ready access to a wide range of information at the click of a button — debt remains to be a significant problem. It is saddening that in an age where people are considered to be highly informed, this is still the case. If you ever realize that you have several due dates from different creditors, then the red light should beam and the alarm should start beeping. It is worse if you do not need any calculations to know that it is impossible to pay all these debts, regardless of how much you stretch your finances and are in all evaluations cornered. This is never a position anyone chooses to be. Often times than not, the realization comes when it is too late as you have already sunk deep in debt.

If you believe your debt is out of hand, take a look below…and heck, take notes if you have to! 

Deep in Debt: Has Your Debt Gotten Out Of Hand?

Debt is still a growing problem. Most people are deep in debt and may or may not know it. If your debt is out of hand, there are ways for you to find relief. Read below if you have fallen into debt and are trying to find a way out. 

Debt in America

While the realization of how messed up your finances often comes as a shock and can easily result in lots of self-blame games, studies show that you are not alone. Market analysis and research show that the debt problem in America is massive and cuts across all age groups. More than 80% of the population is having money problems.

This covers:

  • baby boomers where 80.9% are in debt
  • generation Xers where 79.9% are in debt
  • millennials where 81.5% are in debt

These high percentages are outrageous and show just how widespread the problems associated with money and debt management are in the nation.

Fortunately for you, there is never a reason to be part of such a worrying trend and continuously having to deal with lots of negativity associated with debts. This is because there are lots of debt relief solutions that can be embraced. They can help you gain much-needed financial freedom.

Shark Tank expert Kevin Harrington who is renowned for his financial expertise, comes as a trusted partner at such moments when you need fully tailored solutions to your problem. The practicality of seeking professional solutions is that you get to stop gambling with your finances and take the bull by the horns. This can offer some financial help that is much needed. 

Debt Relief is an Option

Attaining debt relief is never easy, as, in most instances, it is the accumulation of financial behaviors that have never been put under control. However, this does not make it an impossible venture. With the guidance of seasoned financial experts, it is made a walk in the park. The approach to debt is the first significant concept that you have to understand as it provides the foundation for holistic financial reorganization.

This re-organization and change of perspectives then mark the first steps to:

  • breaking free from debts
  • having a life free from lots of worries and pressures

A financial expert will then guide you through the different debt relief programs. They are comprised of practical and pre-approved techniques for paying off the current debt without thinning out your finances.

Sounds like something that you might benefit from if you’re deep in debt, right?

Since the situations that various debtors face are distinct, the right program comes after:

  • An in-depth consultation
  • Understanding your current financial condition

A fact to have in mind is that debt relief is not an instant solution but a long-term program. It is aimed at having you take back the powers of having your finances under control.

Related: Debt Relief Options Are Available For Many

Find a Financial Expert

As you may realize, there are numerous reasons to bring in a financial expert to help weather the storm. However, you need to pay attention to certain traits when choosing an expert because not all of them are created the same way. They differ in terms of solutions, experience, fees, and specialization. To pick the right one for you, you have to establish your needs and what you are planning to achieve working together.

A few guidelines to consider when choosing a financial advisor include:

  • The kinds of services you want
  • The price level that works for you
  • The advisor’s standards and qualifications
  • The advisor’s reputation

Ideally, you want to work with an advisor who specializes in your area of interest to ensure you get high-quality help. The advisor should also have the necessary qualifications that make them suitable for the job. So basically, you want to ensure they are trained and certified by known authorities. It’s an added advantage if the advisor’s known for his/her good works, and even better if you can afford their services.

Conclusion

Many people are dealing with debt day-to-day. Often times, people really need some help but they aren’t sure where to start. Meanwhile, debt is still accumulating. If you know you are deep in debt, maybe it is time to seek some debt solutions, even if that means getting a financial expert.

Are you ready to tackle your debt problems and rise out of debt?

Support For Your Business – Should You Choose A Line of Credit or Loan?

support for your business

support for your businessFinding financial support for your business can be a hard task. Especially when you’re just starting out and even more with poor credit. Though it may be hard, when you need to raise capital for your business, there are still a number of options available.

Not everyone can use cash to pay for needed equipment or fund their expansion into a new location. The two most common options for small businesses are loans and lines of credit. However, each has its pros and cons. In the debate between lines of credit vs loans, which would be better as support for your business?

Support For Your Business – Should You Choose A Line of Credit or Loan?

Starting up your business can be a great experience. However, you still need a way to fund your business. When you are looking for support for your business venture, it’s imperative to figure out whether a business line of credit or a loan would be better for you. Here are some benefits and disadvantages to both. 

The Benefits of a Small Business Loan

Business loans have fixed terms. You know the amount you have to pay each month and how many months the payments must be paid. In some cases, you can pay only the interest, lowering the payment but leaving the principal amount untouched.

The main benefits here are:

  • predictability
  • certainty

Just make sure you don’t accidentally sign up for a loan with a balloon payment at the end.

If approved, you get all of the money upfront. This gives you the full amount to pay for everything from equipment to real estate. You don’t have to worry about any delays getting the equivalent to a cash advance from your line of credit.

The Disadvantages of a Small Business Loan

Getting a business loan with a low-interest rate will often require the security of some type if you don’t have good credit. If the business loan isn’t secured by something, the loan term is generally five years. A longer loan term and lower interest rate will be allowed if the loan is secured by your home.

The downside is this:

  • your home or business is at risk if you can’t make the payments
  • if you don’t have capital, your odds of being rejected go up substantially.

Small business lenders often take their time approving loans and still reject around 80 percent of them. However, alternative options like Advanced Point Capital could allow you to be pre-approved for a line of credit or loan even if you don’t have the kind of business credit history most major banks look for. You can check them out by signing up here.

Related: Commercial Real Estate Loan: What You Should Know

The Benefits of a Line of Credit

The line of credit is similar to a credit card.

You can: 

  • withdraw as much money as you want up to the credit limit.
  • access the money whenever you want.
  • avoid making payments if you haven’t withdrawn the money.

This flexibility allows you to pay for what you need when you need it.

If you do need to make payments, the amount is flexible as long as you pay the minimum payment. There is no prepayment penalty, and you can pay the whole amount off if you’d like.

Lines of credit are generally not collateralized. This means a line of credit does not use an asset to secure the loan. More importantly, you can use the line of credit to cover a cash shortfall or pay the bills while waiting for the customer to pay you. The use of money isn’t restricted in any way.

The Disadvantages of a Line of Credit

The interest rates on a line of credit can be variable. These interest rates could change monthly or bimonthly. That creates unpredictability about what you’ll have to pay each month. However, the lender will almost certainly require you to start making payments on the loan balance thirty days after your first withdrawal against the line of credit. Banks may charge you a fee for every withdrawal from the line of credit.

Line of Credit or Loan – What’s Best For You?

Lines of credit are flexible and tend to come with low monthly payments. Loans give you the cash upfront and come with predictable payments. The one that’s right for you is the one that fits your budget and needs the best. Just do your research so that you can make an informed decision.

Are you ready to decide on which financing option is best for you?

How to Find High Paying Side Hustles: Work Less and Earn More!

high paying side hustles

high paying side hustlesLooking for high paying side hustles? You definitely came to the right place, and you will NOT be disappointed that you’ve landed here on this page, let me assure you. I’ve run the full gambit of earning money – from making hardly just a few bucks an hour to now earning an hourly rate that’s way higher than most people earn at their full-time jobs! Take it from me. Keep exploring the high paying side hustles and find your niche. You won’t be sorry you did.

How to Find High Paying Side Hustles – Work Less and Earn More 

When I first started side hustling a couple years ago, I decided to register for two paid survey sites:

  • Swagbucks, and
  • Inbox Dollars.

After making a few dollars taking surveys, I decided to share the news with my closest friends. If I could convince them to create an account, I’d get a bonus!

Although some friends were supportive, one friend was brutally honest with me. He told me,

“Man, you are wasting your time chasing pennies.”

At the time, I brushed his comments off. I was making easy money. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to do the same.

So I continued taking surveys daily. I’d even sneak in a survey or two during my downtime at work. This continued for months. Then one day it occurred to me that my friend was right. I was wasting my precious time on those survey sites.

When I took time to do the math, I realized I earned very little money by taking surveys. Under $5 an hour to be exact. From that day forward, I chose to focus on finding high paying side hustles.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to find high paying side hustles so that you can work less and earn more.

The Hunt For High Paying Side Hustles

Why do you think survey sites pay such little money? It’s because they are easy. Anyone can take a survey. In order to get paid more, you have to find a high-value side hustle.

A high-value side hustle is a side hustle that requires in-demand skills such as:

  • Copywriting
  • SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Graphic Design
  • WordPress
  • Web Design

If you are looking to get paid, you should definitely invest your time in acquiring an in-demand skill. These are all skills you can master by using your local library system or paying for a course.

When you feel that you have reached your desired level of competence, then it’s time to move on to finding potential clients that will pay you what you’re worth. Let’s discuss three proven strategies you can use to find high paying clients.

3 Proven Strategies to Find High Paying Clients

After countless hours of deliberate practice, you want to get paid for your hard work. Unfortunately, your work has only just begun. Now it’s time to find potential clients who can use your skills.

How do you go about doing that? You should try these 3 proven strategies:

  • Networking Online and in Person
  • Pitching Clients Directly
  • Becoming so good they cannot ignore you

reasons why you need a side hustle1) Networking

Sometimes it can be nerve-wracking to meet new people and introduce yourself and your skill-sets, but wouldn’t it ultimately be worse for no one to ever know who you were? By doing nothing, you’re certain to fail!

Networking Online

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Your network is your net worth?” Your network is paramount when trying to find clients that will pay you what you are worth. Reaching out to someone who is highly paid in the niche you want to pursue can speed up your desired result.

Paid Online Courses

How do you go about finding someone like this to become your mentor? One way to do this is by purchasing an online course that gives you access to a private FB group. This gives you a chance to ask questions to the person who is killing it in your niche.

Not only that, it also gives you a chance to interact with like-minded members who share the same goal of earning more from their side hustle.

Since deciding to focus on high paying side hustles, I have purchased two online courses with private Facebook groups:

These groups are ran by two amazing individuals;

  • Holly Porter Johnson runs Earn More Writing, and
  • Larry Ludwig runs SEO for Writers.

I have learned so much from both of them.

At this point, you may be wondering how to find similar online courses in your niche. The answer, of course, is networking! Before purchasing a course, I recommend asking at least three people in your niche whether the course is worth it. Maybe someone who is in an unpaid online mastermind group.

Unpaid Online Mastermind Groups

Napoleon Hill is credited with creating the idea of a mastermind group. In one of his books, he has this to say about the mastermind principle,

“The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

Nowadays, mastermind groups can be formed using:

  • Slack,
  • Reddit, or
  • other group messengers.

I’ve joined a couple of unpaid groups and they have led to some paid opportunities. Also, I have shared opportunities some clients of mine had with the group that I wasn’t interested in.

If you don’t want to pay for a group, I’d highly recommend creating your own unpaid online mastermind group or joining an existing one.

Here are three ways you can go about searching for one:

  • Create a Slack account and search for groups in your niche
  • Use Twitter to find like-minded people in your field
  • Connect with people via LinkedIn

Networking in Person

While networking online allows you to connect with people across the globe, do not overlook the potential value of networking in person. In Grant Sabatier’s book Financial Freedomhe has an entire section dedicated to networking in person.

He reveals that he went on coffee dates with several potential clients. This led to him securing more contracts for his digital marketing business.

You can apply the same concept to growing your side hustle. While I do most of my networking online, I know some friends and coworkers who have joined offline mastermind groups.

Another way to get to know people in your field is by attending conferences in your niche. About a year ago, I attended a personal finance conference called FinCon. There I was able to pitch a potential freelance client in person.

If you are serious about growing your side hustle, I highly recommend that you attend at least one conference in your field.

make additional income social media manager2) Pitching High Paying Side Hustle Clients Directly

Although networking with other members in your field may lead to paid opportunities, pitching to clients directly is still something you should do.  To be honest, pitching scares me sometimes. What you have to do is feel the fear and do it any way. It is the only way to be successful.

Where can you find potential clients?

You can find them on job boards like:

  • LinkedIn ProFinder, and
  • Upwork

It’s a good idea to always keep a list of potential clients stored in a document somewhere. Before you reach out, do your research on each client. In your pitch, be sure to let them know what problem of theirs you can solve. Let them know how you can make their life easier.

A perfect example of this is when my coworker pitched a client in person the other day.

  • The client was her doctor’s office.
  • After noticing that the form she had to fill out wasn’t digitized, she offered to create a digitized form for them.
  • She knew how to do this from learning one of Adobe’s programs.
  • When she submitted her solution, they paid her $800 for her services.

When looking for potential clients, look for problems you can solve. That’s where the opportunities lie!

3) Becoming so Good They Cannot Ignore You

When asked by a member of the audience how to be successful, Steve Martin told them,

“Be so good they cannot ignore you.”

His logic is that, “If people are thinking, ‘How can I be really good?’ then people will come to them.”

If focus on becoming a master of your craft and you combine it with the advice in this article, clients will start reaching out to you.

In the meantime, keep building your portfolio, marketing yourself, and pitching potential clients. It will all be worth it in the end!

Working Less and Enjoying Life More

Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think

–  Guy Lombardo

When you find a high paying side hustle, you no longer have to waste your precious time chasing pennies. Since you earn more, you can work less. While true balance might not be possible, you can spend more time on things that truly bring you joy.

  • Do you want to spend more time with your family?
  • Want to spend more time on a hobby you love?
  • Start your search for that high paying side hustle today!

If you don’t know what you’d like to do, experiment! Listen to podcasts like The Side Hustle Show to get some ideas. When your side hustle takes off, you might decide to pursue it full-time. But that’s a discussion for another day. Go enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think!

Make More Money at Your Job With These 4 Easy Tips

make more money at your job

make more money at your jobThey say that you should choose a career involved in something that you would happily do for free. A simple way to make sure what you do never really feels like a job. However, that’s just the starting point. Later on, you’ll want to make sure that you’re adequately compensated for your skills in order to make more money.

Nobody wants to be stuck earning an entry-level wage for their entire lives. While the money will eventually come if you’re patient, there are things you can do that’ll have it come your way more quickly.

Take a look at these few ways on how to make more money at your job.

Make More Money at Your Job With These 4 Easy Tips

Doing what you love for a living can always be fulfilling. However, you still need to be able to afford basic life needs and no one wants to live paycheck to paycheck. So you may need to consider some ways to make more money at your job. Here are some tips to help you make more money at your job. 

Ask For It

It’s amazing how infrequently workers ask their bosses for a raise. It’s an effective way to boost your salary. Companies aren’t in the business of going around and asking their employees if they want to make more money. However, many are receptive to the idea if it comes from their staff.

Of course, there’s a right and a wrong way to ask. It’s also important to strike at the right time. If you’ve had a few months where you’ve been crushing your work, and you truly feel that you’re indispensable to the team, then you’ll have a high chance of being told yes to that salary raise.

Be Willing to Move For Better Opportunities

Loyalty is a dying trait in business. It used to be that companies were loyal to their employees, but that’s not the case these days — if you’re not producing the goods, you’re out, that’s it. While this has hurt the worker overall, the silver lining is this:

No employee can feel bad about jumping ship and working for another company

And indeed, there are some strong financial reasons for doing so — studies have shown that workers who move around tend to make more money than those who just stay working for one company. So prepare yourself to move if the opportunity comes up. 

Related: Why You Should Start a Career Working From Home Today!

business motivationFurther Education

Knowledge is power, is what they say.

And it’s hard to argue against that saying since, in nearly all instances where it counts, knowledge helps. Take your career for instance:

  • There would be an upper limit of how much you could earn if you have only completed high school
  • Salary options increase significantly once higher education comes into play

To give yourself the best chance of earning a higher salary, take a look at accredited online mba programs. Employers like to see applicants that have proven their commitment to their profession by studying for a master’s degree. This is also reflected in how much money they offer.

Related: Investing in Yourself – The Real Cost of Higher Education

Long-Term Prospects 

In some cases, it’s recommended that you look beyond just the base wage that a company is offering. Other companies, such as startups, might offer less but have better prospects. It would have been smarter to work for Facebook when they just started, rather than a much bigger company at that time. If you really believe that a company is going places, then you could take the hit when it comes to base salary. Just have faith that it will one day come to you, especially if they include stock options as part of the package.

Make More Money at Your Job – It’s Time!!

If you have found your passion in your career, that is great! However, there is always a way to make more money doing what you love. You could even further your options with your career prospects. Just remember you work hard and you deserve to be paid what you’re worth. Do you think you’ll be able to make even more money in your career or is it time to look for better opportunities?

Career Prospects: Simple Steps to Improve Your Career Path

career prospects - new job

career prospects - new jobSo much of your life is spent at work, approximately nine hours/day, for some it may even be more. When you add it all up, it is a big amount of time. So it makes complete sense that you should choose career prospects that you enjoy because it takes up so much time. But sadly, with some economic conditions and the way that life goes, your career can lead to something that you never imagined for yourself. Or, that you end up doing something that you’re not entirely passionate about. You could be stuck in a dead-end job, or doing something that has very little room for progression. It can be really discouraging.

If you’re not working in your dream job, then the good news is that there is some hope. You might need a bit of a boost to go for a promotion or ask for a raise or be searching for something new. You might even be looking to start your own business.

But taking a few steps to help you to be:

  • happier at work
  • more employable
  • more valuable

These things can make such a difference. Being able to boost your career prospects is all about taking some action.

Below are some tips to help improve your career.

Career Prospects: Simple Steps to Improve Your Career Path

Sometimes you can waste time in the wrong profession because you aren’t sure what you want to do. However, there’s always time to change your path by using different career prospects. Take a look at some tips that could help with that. 

1) Ask for an Evaluation

It can be quite scary and a little bold, but asking your boss or colleague for job evaluation is something that can help you to improve your career. Some of the things that are said can be painful to hear, but having an evaluation can help you to understand a different point of view, and things could hit home about how you can change and improve. If you are someone that is self-employed or not currently working, then talking to old colleagues can be a good idea, so that you’ll still be able to improve your skills. 

Related: Why You Should Start a Career Working From Home!

2) Take a Course

If you have a job in a certain industry, then it doesn’t mean that you can only ever work in that industry. You do not have to stick in something that you have no interest in.

You could:

  • take an online course as an online BBA program,
  • sign up for night classes
  • going formally back to school

Taking a course, in whatever form it means, can help to expand your knowledge. This can increase your career options and can increase how employable you are. It doesn’t have to be a new degree necessarily, but it can be something to bulk out your resume. 

Related: How to Change Careers: A True Story of Leaving the Retail Grind

3) Work on Your Communication Skills

Being a strong communicator is something that is so important for business and your career.

You can put people off if:

  • you’re not clear about what you are saying, or
  • you have a passive voice, whether on the phone or on email

Learning to be more clear, confident, and direct can be tricky for some people. But doing so can really help you to boost your career options. To get started, try looking in some of your old sent emails and other work-related communications.

  • Are you doing something that is clear and straightforward?
  • What do you think you can improve on?

It is important to understand your own communication flaws so that you know where it is you need to start. 

Career Prospects – It’s Time For You to Win!!

If you’re not happy in your current career, try searching for new career prospects. You should seek to find the career of your dreams…because who knows? It might be right there for the taking, right in front of your nose! You won’t know until you actually start looking.

No one wants to be stuck in a dead-end job – that can be energy draining. Using these tips might just help your current career situation.

Have you considered changing your career path?

How to Simplify Your Finances: Save Time and Reduce Stress!

simplify your finances

simplify your financesAs I got older, obligations seemed to multiply. Life got more complex, and the myriads of the personal financial tasks I had to deal with left me stressed. Therefore I tended to avoid them. Guess what? My finances took a nosedive, and my spending spiraled out of control. It was when I got neck deep into consumer debt that I knew I had to do something fast. Determined to get my finances under control, I forced myself to start budgeting, tracking, and monitoring my finances. However, I didn’t make much headway until I adopted a minimalist approach to money management. It’s time to learn from my experiences – how to simplify your finances.

How to Simplify Your Finances: Save Time and Reduce Stress!

This post was written by Bernz JP – the blogger behind Moneylogue.com. BA in Accountancy, he entered the entrepreneur world by starting his first online marketing business in 2004. He’s passionate about personal finance, the stock market, and a digital marketing addict. He is also an avid golfer and a 15 handicapper.

If there’s one thing you can start doing today to manage your money better, let it be simplifying your finances.

Streamlining your…

  • accounts,
  • bills,
  • credit cards,
  • systems, etc…

…makes it easier for you to get a grip on your money and help you keep more of it.

When your finances are organized, you’ll be on top of every aspect of your money. You won’t procrastinate endlessly when it comes to money management tasks because you have a system as smooth as silk.

On the contrary…

  • working with a shabby disorganized personal finance system is complicated (and thus inefficient).
  • Hence, you will tend to avoid it as much as possible,
  • which will further entangle your finances,
  • and possibly some of your hard-earned money may get lost in the intricate webbing.

Helpful tips for how to simplify your money

Want to learn how to simplify your money and get rid of as much complexity as possible? Of course you do! Let’s dive into the action steps below.

1) Consolidate

If you are like most people, you likely have too many accounts and investments scattered all over the place with different institutions. You may have opened several accounts and invested in mutual funds over the years and for good reasons too. You may have changed jobs several times and kept changing retirement accounts along with employers. Now you have a trail of various funds and accounts, which makes your finances needlessly complicated.

A better way is to consolidate your various accounts into a single checking account, and a savings account at a brokerage or a bank.

The advantages of this are numerous.

  • Not only will you reduce the paperwork, you’ll also reduce or eliminate some fees.
  • And with fewer accounts in one place, you can make decisions more easily and act on them faster.

For example, if you have a checking account in the same bank that gave you a mortgage, it could be free with no or little required minimum balance. Also, you are entitled to free checking accounts, zero annual account fees, and other benefits if you have your retirement accounts and investment accounts with one discount broker.

Another benefit to consolidating your accounts to one firm is that you can have an overview of all your accounts with a single sign on to the online banking portal. Since all your accounts will be linked, you won’t need to log into each account separately.

Consolidate your retirement accounts in the same way.

Rollover your 401(k) plans from previous jobs to a self-directed IRA account. This will help you easily and adequately manage your retirement assets.

When you have closed your surplus accounts and now organized your dealings with a firm or two, monitor the benefits available. This is because the firms offer excellent deals to attract new customers, but with time may not keep up with what is available in the industry. Always check to see what competitors are offering and negotiate better terms with your financial firm.

Related: How to Earn a Passive Income With a Checking Account

apps to help you save and invest2) Use Personal Finance Apps for Budgeting

Creating a budget (and actually following it) is one of the best ways to simplify your finances. A budget helps you organize your financial affairs and track them easily. Creating and using a budget may seem like a lot of work, but it is key to being financially successful

It even gets better: there are dozens of apps that help you…

  • create,
  • implement,
  • track, and
  • manage your money.

Some of the top budgeting and personal finance software include:

  • Mint,
  • YNAB,
  • Acorn,
  • PocketGuard,
  • Prism,
  • EveryDollar, and
  • a whole lot more…

Choose an app that can connect to your bank accounts and download your transactions to it automatically. You won’t have to spend precious time entering the data manually. And reconciling your accounts monthly can be completed in 20 minutes or less.

With a good budgeting app, you can untangle your finances, track and reign in your spending, pay down debt, save loads of cash and invest profitably – all from the handy convenience of your smartphone.

Related: 7 Top Apps to Help You Save and Invest

3) Automate

Make use of technology to simplify your financial life by automating your transactions. Some of the tasks you can automate include…

  • investing,
  • saving, and
  • bill payments.

Start with the golden rule of personal finance – pay yourself first.

Automate direct transfers of a portion of your paycheck from your checking account to your retirement savings and emergency fund once your paychecks drop. Even if you have high-interest debts to pay down, contributions to your emergency fund and retirement savings should be non-negotiable.

Bills and expenses are also easily automated.

Charge recurring bills automatically to a dedicated card or account. That way, you won’t have to forget a due bill and therefore save money you would have otherwise paid in late fees.

  • Mortgage,
  • utilities,
  • tuition costs,
  • memberships,
  • subscriptions, etc.

…are all bills that can be automated in a snap.

Automating bills will also save you time which you can dedicate to analyzing your finances.

With an automated bill payment system in place, you’ll easily track your spending too. Furthermore, you can generate and download this data into an accounting software like Quicken for in-depth analysis of your spending habits and patterns.

Automation is not limited to only bills and savings.

You can set up automatic deposits into your investment accounts periodically and into a mix of funds of your choosing. This will help you avoid the temptation to time the market.

Finally, when you buy investments with regular payments over time – a process, known as dollar-cost averaging, you diversify your purchase price. When you make equal dollar purchases over time, you buy more shares when the prices are low and fewer shares when the prices rise.

4) Limit Credit Card Usage

Credit card companies lure consumers with rewards and interest-free promos. But once the rewards and zeros interest rate elapses, your diverse collection of cards are often excessive.

However, the solution isn’t to close them.

For a good credit score, keep the card accounts open, but limit your usage to only one card. Research all the rewards program available for your cards and choose the one that offers the most benefits and stick to it. It is easier and simpler for you to manage expenses and payments with a single card.

Some people make certain types of purchases with a card that offers the highest reward for that particular expense. But they all likely come with a maximum number of reward points each year.

  • Therefore, you can use each card to make purchases for which it offers the most rewards.
  • Or you can exclusively use the card with the most benefits till you exhaust the annual reward limit. Then move on to the next card with great benefits.

While reward points are good, do not let them blind you to the annual fees and cost of the card. It won’t make sense to have card costs and fees that exceed the rewards.

  • People who use their cards heavily could be better off with cards that charge an annual fee. This is because such cards are likely to offer better incentives and other benefits.
  • While people who don’t use their card as much may want to opt for zero-fee cards, which usually provides fewer rewards and benefits.

5) Go Paperless

As much as possible, request for your account statements to be sent electronically.

  • This way, you won’t have to process lots of mail
  • And at the same time, you’ll minimize your environmental footprint.
  • Some financial institutions will even waive fees if you choose to go paperless.

Sending mail electronically protects you from identity fraud, centralizes your business documents, and reduces the amount of paper you have to deal with.

Keeping track of all the paperwork – bank statements,  receipts, investment reports, tax returns, etc, can be stressful. But if you opt to go paperless, your financial institution will let you access all your documents in one place once you log into your account. With just a click, you can dig up a transaction record from years back, you would never have  to worry about looking for missing relevant paper documents

Also, you may want to create a digital file containing all your essential data and documents.

When needed, you can go online to view them or print them out if necessary. This will reduce the time you would have otherwise spent searching through musty file cabinets for that piece of mail that you may have or may not have kept!

Paper receipts are becoming a thing of the past. Most vendors offer electronic receipts for purchases that can be sent to your email. There are also several apps available to help you take pictures of receipts and store them digitally. These include

  • Smart Receipts,
  • Expensify, and
  • Zoho Expense.

Simplify Your Finances – In Conclusion

Most systems become more efficient when you simplify the process. Managing your money in today’s world can be overwhelming.

When you have…

  • mortgage payments,
  • an IRA ,
  • a 401(k),
  • savings,
  • car loans,
  • rent payments, and more…

…your natural instincts are to avoid handling them altogether.

But that is hardly the solution. Avoiding or procrastinating managing your finances is an invitation to disaster. With these money management suggestions, you’ll reduce the complexity in your personal finances, and ultimately gain control of your money without stress.

Are you ready to simplify your finances?

Landscaping on a Budget: 5 Easy Tips For Your Next Renovation

landscaping on a budget

landscaping on a budgetIs your backyard tired? Is the front yard looking a little rundown? Maybe you are just in the mood for a change-up or you want to spruce up the land surrounding your home for potential reselling down the road. The problem with this is that landscaping doesn’t come cheap; especially not when you contract out to a business. Pricing shouldn’t have to deter you from transforming your front and back gardens though because you could do the work yourself. Landscaping on a budget can be tough but it is doable. 

DIY projects for the home, both inside and out, has been taking the world of social media by storm and showing how you don’t need a gigantic budget for a renovation project. All you need is a bit of imagination, some elbow grease, willpower to get the work done and a smaller budget than you realized.

This theory applies to landscaping as well, which means that face-lift for your front and backyard is a go. Keep reading to find out how you can start landscaping on a budget!

Landscaping on a Budget: 5 Easy Tips For Your Next Renovation

Sometimes a change of scenery can be nice if you can afford it. However, your home renovation project doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg. Check out some ways to start landscaping on a budget. 

1) Choose the Correct Type of Lawn

Depending on the climate you live in, a fully seeded lawn might not be the best option for you. Without the proper climate to grow the grass, and the time it takes to maintain it, you could end up with a patchy, sporadic lawn.

Grass also requires continuous…

  • mowing
  • fertilizing
  • raking

This can make it hard to find the time to complete all the tasks.

Plus, it can be extremely expensive to have a contractor come in and install sods in both your front and back yards.

Instead, choose plants that offer large coverage and can be trimmed to mimic the look of a sloping grass lawn. Plants such as thyme or labium grow quickly and spread over dry patches to give your lawns a lush, full appearance. These plants will need some maintenance – especially pruning (click here to find out the best ones on the market).

2) Get Crafty

If your landscaping includes changing out your patio furniture on your back deck; then instead of purchasing an entirely new set (unless your current set is falling apart or is unsafe), why not spruce it up with a coat of paint and some new cushions? You can pick up paint at your local hardware store and find cheap cushions at a department store. Can’t find something that you like? Then head to your local craft store for material, thread, and stuffing. There are numerous easy DIY cushion tutorials.

With a fresh coat of paint, snazzy new cushions and an updated look; it will seem like you have a new patio furniture set when you don’t!

3) Start Building When Landscaping on a Budget

Another option to landscape your budget on the cheaper side is to start building. If your AC unit is located outside, your main propane tank is by the side of the house or your garden hose is just throwing in the middle of the lawn; then get building.

Choose natural woods such as:

  • oak
  • a light varnish
  • stain and a weatherproofing coat

Build containers for these objects that can distract from the natural beauty of the home and instead enhance it. You can even leave the room at the top of the structure for a small flower garden.

Use tilled soil and colorful, annual flowers to set off the natural-looking wooden structures around your yard.

4) Make Paths

Concentrate patio stones or wooden cases surrounding poured cement can turn your backyard into a showcase. Use these to make a path to the highest-trafficked areas and line the borders with solar lights.

Making paths can:

  • create a safety barrier between your lawn and the person trekking around
  • help the lighting illuminate the path for those evenings spent outdoors

All the equipment for creating patio stones or pre-made ones can be found at your local hardware store and solar lights are sold everywhere from dollar stores to department stores and of course, hardware stores.

5) Upgrade your Garden Beds

Use a colorful mulch or flat beach rocks to outline your garden beds. This can turn your backyard into a structured and uniform array of lush greenery. If using mulch, use it to raise the beds about two or three inches to prevent accidental damage from people walking. If using flat beach rocks, dig into the soil to stabilize them against changing weather conditions.

It’s Time to Get Started!

Your backyard can be a place of relaxation and somewhere to escape the craziness of the hustle and bustle people must contend with every single day. You don’t want to lose this oasis of peace and relaxation for the simple reason you aren’t enjoying it anymore.

  • Plan out your front and backyard plans before going out and purchasing anything.
  • Make a list of the items you will need to complete your blueprints and start saving extra money when/where you can.
  • Get creative in finding items for your new landscape and put aside a few dollars each payday.
  • Set an end goal date of six to eight months to allow for savings to grow.

All of this can prevent you from feeling the entire expense from your checking account at one time.

Are you ready to get started on your new renovation project with a healthy budget?

How To Stop Wasting Money On Small Expenses

stop wasting money

stop wasting moneyHave you seen the memes where someone tells themselves they should have a certain amount of money, just to find out they had overdrawn their account instead? The shocked look on their face says it all. They overspent. And most likely, they overspent on things they didn’t even know could affect the budget “that much”.

Have you found yourself in that position before? Did you treat yourself, on only a few items, only to realize that they’ve completely derailed your spending? Here’s how to stop wasting money on the small expenses, so you can start having more money in your account.

How to Stop Wasting Money on Small Expenses

Stop wasting money on small expenses. It’s time to transform yourself, stop wasting money, and build up your savings!

1) Know Why You Spend Money

For some people, spending money comes out of habit or emotions.

  • Do you find yourself going on a shopping spree because you worked hard all week?
  • Do you go out to eat when you’re stressed or sad?
  • Have you online shopped just to pass the time and ended up actually buying things instead of just browsing?

These are your spending triggers…

…and they’re important to note so you can stop wasting money on the small things.

  • If you know you go out to eat every time you’re stressed out, start buying easy to throw together (or even microwavable) meals.
  • Treating yourself after a stressful work week? Instead, go for a run or put on a yoga video so you can get out those emotions instead of spending money.

Knowing why you spend money is the first key to stop wasting money. When you know why you overspend, or why you find yourself with a lot of small purchases and expenses, you can then find cheaper, and healthier, options to cope.

2) Make A List

Even if you don’t have a ton of spending triggers, you may find yourself getting shiny object syndrome while out shopping. So, to stop wasting money at the store, make a list. If it’s not on the list, you don’t buy it.

While this is easier said than done, you’ll start to notice all of the extra spending you do when you don’t stick to your list. And this could be a huge eye-opener for you, which can then reduce your spending.

3) Have A Budget

You won’t know if you’re wasting money unless you have a budget. Write down all of your income and expenses, including items like yearly expenses that you know come up (like insurance). Having a budget can help you stop wasting money, because you’ll know where your money is coming in and going out.

Also, along with a budget, track your daily spending. Seeing those little $4 purchases of coffee coming out, along with random stops and shops can open your eyes into where, on what, and how you’re spending your money on a regular basis. This is also helpful if you’re in debt and trying to find ways to cut costs.

simple ways to manage your money4) Use Cash

You can’t waste what you don’t have! By using cash, instead of spending with a debit or credit card, you can’t overspend and waste money. If you’re new to using cash on a regular basis, you can start by reading about cash envelopes and how they can work in your day to day life.

As a general rule, never travel with all of your cash envelopes, and don’t keep an overage amount of money in them either. Be smart, as cash can’t be replaced like a debit or credit card can. And as far as the spending, running out of cash means that once it’s gone, it’s gone.

If you’re a spender, or if you usually overspend in certain categories, having cash envelopes can force you to come to a hard stop. While you could still overspend (by transferring cash from envelope to envelope), it’s highly unlikely, making it a great way to budget if you’re constantly overspending.

5) Have a 24-72 Hour Rule

Do you buy things as soon as you see them, even if you didn’t really need them?

Even if they’re just small items, they can cause havoc on your budget if you do this often enough. So instead, give yourself the 24-72 hour rule.

  • If an item costs under a certain amount (say $50), you have to give yourself 24 hours to think about the purchase before going back to the store and grabbing it.
  • If the item is over your “highest” amount (let’s say $250), you have to think about it for at least 72 hours.

Now, if you’ve never tried this rule, the takeaway is that most likely, after going home and not purchasing the item the first time, you’ll forget about it, thus saving yourself money. And if you are still thinking about the item, you may still write it off because you don’t feel like going back to the store. If you buy the item after the waiting period, that’s okay, because you’ve spent the time to think about it and really made sure that you wanted it.

6) Borrow, Re-use, Or Do Without

In a day and age where instant gratification is all the rage, it may be hard to start asking to borrow items, re-use items, or just do without. But, if you can do this, the savings really start to add up.

For example…

  • Instead of renting a truck to move some heavier items, can you borrow from a friend and give them gas money instead?
  • Instead of buying a bunch of plastic bags that are just going to go to a landfill, can you invest in some silicone bags that you can re-use over and over for the next 5-10 years (thus saving you a ton of money over time)?
  • And, instead of buying a whole new wardrobe every season,  can you re-wear some items that you haven’t worn in a while, and only purchase the few items you need to complete your capsule wardrobe?

While these small changes may not seem like much, they’ll help you stop wasting money over time, and can even lead to less stress and waste. It’s a win-win for you!

Are You Ready to Stop Wasting Money

See? It really is possible to stop wasting money on the small things. Remember, a small leak can sink a big ship. And small leaks in your budget can cause you to save less or dig yourself into debt. So instead, follow these tips and rules, and plug those holes in your ship so you can save more money.

Are you really ready to stop wasting money?

Baby Boomers May Change The Way You See Retirement

baby boomers - home

baby boomers - homeMost people are working so that their retirement is very relaxing and fruitful. However, the baby boomers will be changing how you really view your retirement. Investment tools, such as your 401k, are used for retirement. But the 401k plan was created around the time the baby boomers were starting to work and needed an option for their retirement needs. Since the 401k is fairly new, you won’t know how it will truly work for everyone until the baby boomers start going into retirement. How they handle retirement will be the blueprint for years to come.

Here are just a few reasons why baby boomers may change the way you see your retirement

Baby Boomers May Change The Way You See Retirement

The Baby Boomer Generation – which includes those born between 1946 and 1964 – is the largest generation of seniors in history. As housing costs go up and the average savings account goes down, the way this generation handles retirement could change everything.

Today’s Seniors Not as Financially Fit as Previous Generations

According to a generational study by PropertyShark

  • 58% of older adults said they have less than $100,000 in savings.
  • Fewer than 25% of those surveyed have between $100,000 and $400,000, and
  • only 9% have savings between $400,000 and $700,000. Fewer than 10% have more than $700,000 in savings.

With inflating costs of living in cities and rural areas across the country…

  • those with less than $100,000 may not have the option to truly retire
  • those with a few hundred thousand saved may have to take extraordinary measures to be able to retire semi-comfortably

And they all know it. In fact, nearly 75% of seniors reported that they had a “wait and see” attitude about changing their living situation. This is in stark contrast to the uber-planning of past generations as they reached retirement age.

Related: Planning Your Retirement Investment (RI) and Savings

Nearly One-Third Struggle with Housing Costs

As if not having enough money in savings wasn’t enough, almost 33% of respondents reported that they had struggled with housing costs at some point in the previous 12 months. As expected, seniors in lower-income brackets struggled the most. However, challenges caused by housing prices were an issue for people in all income brackets and retirement timelines.

Unsurprisingly, statistics show:

  • 42% of people earning $20,000 to $40,000 per year struggled with housing costs
  • 6% of those earning more than $100,000 a year said they, too, had difficulties keeping up with housing costs in the previous 12 months.

Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that the struggle plans to progress over time. Of seniors who planned to retire within the next five years, nearly one in four were still dealing with the burdens of housing costs.

mortgage notes for saleBoomer Retirement May Look Different than Expected

Some Baby Boomers will need to find innovative ways to stay afloat during their retirement years. With less money in savings and difficulty keeping up with housing costs, creativity is necessary. Some are simply working further into what was once considered standard retirement age. However, others are getting creative to make up the difference between what they have and what they need.

This may explain why nearly 20% of seniors have explored how they can monetize the extra space in their homes. Although, 10% of older adults who have not reported difficulty with housing costs have also considered monetizing their extra space. The number of years until retirement also makes a difference. The study showed that 25% of adults who were planning to retire in five to 10 years considered monetizing their home, while 16% of those who were planning to retire in more than 10 years were interested in doing the same.

According to Airbnb , 400,000 seniors worldwide (defined here as individuals 60 years of age and older) are renting rooms or their entire homes on Airbnb. In 2017 alone, senior rentals on Airbnb accounted for more than $2 billion in earnings.

Seniors are also earning supplemental income by…

  • renting out extra parking spots or garage space
  • allowing a tiny home to be parked on their property for a monthly fee

Seniors who are willing to get creative can find a wide range of ways to monetize this extra space – if they’re willing to deal with the potential hassle.

Related: What if You Save a Million Dollars For Retirement? Will it be Enough?

“The Golden Girls” Arrangement Less Appealing

While The Golden Girls may have been one of the most beloved shows of yesteryear, most seniors report they would rather not bunk up with their friends. Nearly 60% of those responding to the survey said they had no interest in long-term room rentals to younger adults. A whopping 65% said they would not be interested in renting to people closer to their age – even if they received considerable rent for doing so.

However, the stats change if the person moving in is willing to contribute more than money

  • 2% of those responding to the survey said they would be open to allowing an older adult to move in if the other person helped out around the house.
  • Even more respondents (20%) said they would consider allowing an older adult to move in if they helped out around the house, paid rent and were vetted
  • 23% said they would allow a younger person to move in if they met the same criteria.

They would benefit more from help rather than the money.

Baby Boomers Learnings – In Conclusion

Baby boomers are paving the way for what retirement will look like for everyone. They are quickly learning they will need more than some savings from their job to retire. What once felt like it was set in stone has now just become a way to support yourself. But, it’s not the only way and more is needed in order to live comfortably during retirement. You will just have to wait and see what retirement will ultimately look like as time goes on.

Do you understand what the future of retirement will look like for you and your situation?

Have you adequately prepared yourself for retirement?