Archive for September 2015

4 Ways to Make Extra Money Before Christmas

extra money

child-577010_1280It may not seem like it, but Christmas is right around the corner. If you are like most people, you can?t wait for the holiday season to arrive. From late November on through New Year?s Day is a special time of the year, highlighted by Christmas Day. Of course, that holiday season can come with a significant downside ? extra expenses.

Between buying presents and hosting parties, the bills can add up right before the year draws to a close. Unless you want to run up your credit card balances, and you don?t, you would be wise to think about making a little extra money?before Christmas arrives.

Fortunately, in today?s world, it is easier than ever to pick up side jobs in order to make some extra cash. The Internet has opened up an incredible number of opportunities that simply didn?t exist just a decade or two ago. Following are four ideas for making extra money before Christmas.

Selling Items on eBay

This is a great option because it accomplishes two goals at the same time. Not only do you have the opportunity to make some extra money, but you also can get rid of clutter around the house. Look around your house and see if you can locate items that are no longer used, have no sentimental value, and may be of use to someone else. Most people will have at least a few things that they can sell, and eBay makes it easy to find a market.

Make Extra Money Through Seasonal Work

Just like some businesses have to hire extra help during the summer, others have to hire extra staff during the holiday season. Many of these part-time positions are in the evenings or on weekends, so they can be a great fit around your full-time job. Start looking for these temporary jobs in late October as businesses want to have short-term staff in place comfortably before the holiday rush.

Online Jobs

Do you have a skill that you could use to make money online? Maybe you are a good writer, or even just a good proofreader? There is a rapidly growing freelance economy online, and you may be able to earn some extra holiday income by picking up a few of these jobs in your spare time. Sign up for one or more freelance sites and apply for jobs that match your skill set. Who knows, you might even be able to make money writing for blogs.

If writing for blogs or other sites online isn’t something you want to do, there are plenty of other options to look at online. From making money through using a different search engine, like through Swagbucks, or earning cash back with your online shopping, like through TopCashBack, there are many routes to consider. We do most of our shopping on Amazon?and love having the ability to earn cash back through TopCashBack on top of the normal savings.

Work Overtime

Is there extra work that you can do at your current job in advance of the holiday season? Many people take time off of work at this time of year, so you may be able to pick up the slack for some of your missing co-workers ? and make some extra money in the process.

This is a convenient option because it simply adds to the job you already have, and eliminates the need for driving between two different jobs. Ask your supervisor if there is any overtime available, and let him or her know that you will be willing to take on extra hours in November and December.

 

 

Do you need to make some extra money before the holidays? How will you go about earning it??What are some other ways you try to make extra money before Christmas?

 

 

Photo courtesy of: Pixabay

3 Popular Ways to Attack Your Debt

attack your debt

wallet-908569_1280If you?re in debt and you?ve recently come to the realization that you need to get it paid off ASAP, you may not even be thinking about different ways to attack your debt. All you know is that you want to get it paid off and fast!

But before you start blindly attacking your debt, you should consider which method of paying off debt is right for your situation. We?re all different and we all have different financial and debt situations, which is why there are different strategies to paying off debt. Here are three popular ways to attack your debt.

The Debt Snowball

Probably the most popular way to pay off debt?thanks in part to personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, is the debt snowball.

With this approach you simply put your debts in order from smallest to largest balance, ignoring everything else. Then you make the minimum monthly payments on every debt except the smallest. One that debt you?ll pay as much as you can each month until it?s wiped out.

After that, you?ll apply that minimum payment from that debt onto the next debt on your list. This way your ?minimum payment? keeps growing, like a snowball rolling down a hill.

Part of the reason this method is so attractive is that you get small, psychological wins more often since you start paying off the smallest balance first.

The Debt Avalanche

Another method to paying off debt is the debt avalanche. This method is the one that will actually save you money because it requires you to rank your debts in order of interest rate ? from largest to smallest ? ignoring all other factors.

The downside of using this method comes if your largest interest rate debt also has one of the biggest balances. In this instance, it could take you quite a while to get that first ?win? that so many of us need to keep going when things get tough.

The Debt Tsunami

I always knew there was another method of paying off debt, but until recently I didn?t know the name for it. The debt tsunami is where you pay off whichever debt you feel the most passionate about. For instance, if you own money to your friends or family, you might want to get it paid off first to avoid any hard feelings in your relationship. This may not make the most financial sense, especially if the interest rate is low or even 0%, but it will make the most emotional and psychological sense. This method appeals to the emotional nature of humans.

Combination

Personally, I?ve decided to do a bit of a combination of these methods. While I like the money savings behind the debt avalanche, I also knew I needed that ?win? quickly to help me keep going. Therefore, I decided to start out with the debt snowball method until I got to the point that two of my debt had very similar balances. At that point I decided to save some money by paying off the one with the higher interest rate.

No matter which method, or combination of methods, you decide is best for you, at least you?ll be paying off your debt. That?s what matters the most anyway.

 

Which strategy did you use to pay off debt? Did it work? Can you think of any other strategies to pay off debt?

 

 

Photo courtesy of: stevepb

Making your Retirement Shine Bright

glance-780635_1280If you are one of those people who looks towards the future, then you probably already have a retirement savings account of some sort. For most people this is something provided by an employer or a workplace. The traditional retirement account from an employer is called a 401(k).

The problem with an employer provided retirement fund is that there doesn?t seem to be any sort of stability when it comes to its relationship to the global economy. The value of the currency in the normal retirement account fluctuates with the economy. This can lead to a very scary set of prospects for your future and your retirement, considering the state of the economy right now.

What are the Alternatives?

A better option that you should probably consider, or already have, is a retirement account at a private institution, like a bank or finance company. This kind of account is called an IRA or an Individual Retirement Account. It isn?t much better than the typical retirement account from an employer though. Either option is very closely linked to the current market. If you haven?t been living under a rock recently, you will know that this is a very precarious position. What, then, is the solution that will make your future glitter with hope?

An Iron-Clad Answer Arises

Well, the answer to that question does literally glitter! Bad puns aside, the solution is a gold or silver IRA account. In short, a precious metal IRA account is one that you can open at a lot of financial institutions across the globe. The principle is that part of the money in the IRA is used to buy silver for IRA, or gold, whichever suits your taste.

Buying these metals may seem like nothing more than a fleeting fancy to the new customer. However, when you look at it properly and do your research, it begins to make sense. Precious metals are famous for not being directly linked to the global market. Unlike currency, the value of gold and silver (and other precious metals) doesn?t change with time or with fluctuations in the economy.

Don?t Take the Risk ? Get Secure

You may think that the account you have right now is secure against most market fluctuations, but it is a fact that metal has had a consistent value over the last couple of millennia. Ever since the dawn of time, mankind has been fascinated by shiny things. Why not feed your primal instincts while protecting your nest egg for the future? You might be surprised by the peace of mind you will feel upon getting a silver IRA account.

This means that getting an IRA account and then getting a portion of it converted into silver or gold will actually help you out immensely in terms of stabilizing your retirement fund. With silver protecting your investment in your future against possible crashes in the market, you should be able to easily get on your way to having a far more stable retirement account. Soon, the streets of your retirement fund will be paved with gold like biblical Jerusalem.

 

Photo courtesy of: DutchAir

Savings Accounts vs. Investing Your Money

Savings Accounts vs. Investing Your Money

pig-632117_1280If you are trying to build up your wealth, then you are probably considering both saving and investing. There are benefits and drawbacks to both of these methods, and you should understand what those are before you start putting your money anywhere.

Saving Accounts- Pros and Cons

A savings account can be more than just the basic long term or short term savings account most banks offer. These basic accounts simply grow interest over time based on how much you deposited. Each bank offers a different rate, so you want to look into what is available and find the highest possible rate to get the best return.

Savings accounts can also be accounts where the money is put into certificates of deposit or insured money market accounts. The upside to all these means of saving your money is that they are very secure. There is little to no chance that you will lose the money you put into a savings account. Most of the time it is insured, even if the bank were to go out of business or the currency were to lose some value. That’s why the U.S offers FDIC insurance.

These accounts are also very liquid, which means that you can get your money back fast, usually within hours. Some banks offer easy to access accounts for savers specifically for this need.

The main disadvantage of using a savings account to grow your wealth is that the rate of growth is usually very slow. It is often fixed, meaning you will know how much growth to expect year over year, but those rates are usually quite low in comparison to investments.

Investing- Pros and Cons

Investing can be done through any number of means. You can invest in stocks, in bonds, in property, in business and more. The main advantage to this kind of wealth accumulation method is that your chance for a great result is much higher. Incredible gains are the goal of every investor, and those who know the markets they are investing in know where to expect such gains.

That chance of making it big with an investment also means there is a possibility for significant losses. There is a lot of risk involved in investing, and anyone who has been doing it for some time has probably lost quite a bit of money.

Investments are far less predictable than savings accounts. There is no fixed rate and no insurance. Once you lose your money, your only hope of recouping it quickly is to invest it once more. It can be a vicious cycle, but it also offers many opportunities for success.

The best and soundest investments often take years to actually come through. You may have to cultivate and grow a portfolio or an investment before it pays off. Investing in a rising celebrity or in a collection of antiques can earn you big money later, but it may take many years to actually get that investment to a point where it becomes profitable.

For anyone looking to grow their wealth, it is recommended that they use both savings accounts and investments. Make the savings the foundation of the wealth, growing your money steadily to cover any losses that may be made while investing.

 

Photo courtesy of: LJ-

4 Money Myths That Are Costing You Money

Money Myths

once-upon-a-time-719174_1280There is no lack of money-related advice available today, thanks in large part to the plethora of personal finance blogs on the internet. 😉 You don?t have to look far to find tips and tricks on how to save money. In general, that is a good thing ? unless you are receiving bad advice. If you are using tips on how to save money, and they are actually costing you money, you will need to correct that problem as soon as possible.

Following are four commonly repeated money myths. If you are currently trusting one of these myths to save you money, consider rethinking your approach.

Myth #1 ? Everyone Needs Life Insurance

It is true that life insurance is a wise purchase for many people. However, it is a myth that everyone should have life insurance, and you may be wasting money on premiums each month if you fall into a category of people that don?t really need a policy.

For example, if you have children who are already self-sufficient adults, and your spouse can support himself or herself, it may not be necessary to take out life insurance. Remember, the insurance policy is there to protect your loved ones in the case of your death ? but if you have self-insured, there may be no need to have a policy in the first place.

Myth #2 ? You Have to Live On a Budget

Using a budget can work for some people, but in some cases, having a household budget will end up costing you money in the long run. How? Because, when money is placed into a budget to be spent, you run the risk of spending it even if it’s not needed.

I know this might fly in the face of what you hear other experts say. I’m not suggesting you spend money like crazy with no knowledge of it’s doing you any good. What I am saying is that a budget isn’t for everyone. If you’ve found a better way to manage your month-to-month finances then stick with it.

Myth #3 ? Investing is Risky ? Keep Your Money in Cash

In reality, you can?t afford not to invest. Now, that doesn?t mean that you need to rush into the next IPO offering and put your life savings into a young, unproven company. That would be a bad idea. Instead, look for relatively low-risk investments that provide you with the opportunity to grow your money gradually over time.

There can be a variety of ways to do this, but most will tend to focus on investing in low-cost index funds?allowing them to stay with the market. If you don’t know where to start investing, make sure to check out my online brokerages page?to get some ideas.

Myth #4 ? Run Away From Credit Cards

There is nothing wrong with credit cards ? in fact, they can be a very useful tool for building credit, enjoying payment protection, earning rewards, and more. There is, however, a problem when you start to carry a balance on your credit cards. If you are paying any amount of interest each month, you will want to work on eliminating that debt as soon as possible. When used responsibly, credit cards are an effective financial tool.

 

 

 

Have you heard any of these financial myths??What are some other common money myths you’ve heard or seen? What money myth have you fallen for?

 

 

Photo courtesy of: Pixabay