Categories
Investing

How to Save Up to Buy a House

This is a question that is being asked over and over again. How much will my house cost? Can I refinance my mortgage? Especially now that rates are so low, many homeowners are looking to refinance. Maybe you haven’t purchased a house yet but you want to in the future. If you want to know how much you need to save to buy a house you may want to use a mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payment may be. Let’s take a look at what determines home values and how you can figure out how much your home may cost.

What Determines My Home’s Value?

Public School Zone Districts

There are several factors that determine the value of your home. In America, one of the biggest factors is the school zone. Because your property taxes pay for the local school, bigger more expensive homes naturally contribute more in property taxes and usually have better schools. The public schools can afford to hire better teachers, stock the classroom with more supplies and sponsor extra curricular learning activities like field trips. Usually schools in low income neighborhoods have less in the way of funding and therefore, the teachers are usually not as good. So when you are looking for a home remember that a good school zone is a factor in the price of your home whether you have children or not.

Government Properties

Some homes have a lower cost because of government subsidies. For example, there is a program for Veterans that will allow you to purchase a home for a cheaper price if you have served time in the military. There is also a program called Section 8. With this program the government offers a subsidy to those with low income.
There are also programs to help with the upfront cost of purchasing a new home. If you are asking how much can I borrow then you should also know about private mortgage insurance. If you put up cash of less than 20% of the home’s value, then you will have to pay private mortgage insurance. There are government programs like the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. They can provide education on what it will take to purchase a home. Even if your home had a lower cost, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a lower value. You should seek the advice of a qualified appraiser to find out what your home is worth.

Location Location Location

The last and possibly most important factor in the value of a home is the location. If you are in a location with lots of development, you can be confident that the developers see opportunities in your area. When you are ready to sell your home most likely there will be buyers ready to purchase your home.

Whether you decide to refinance or you are looking to buy your own home, you need to make sure you are doing your research and save enough to avoid unnecessary fees. Compare mortgage rates in your area.

How to Save Up to Buy a House

Getting on the first rung of the property ladder has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Banks usually ask for a deposit of twenty per cent, a fact which generally leaves prospective first time buyers reeling.

So saving up to buy a house can be trying, especially if you have to pay rent on your current house or flat. It is essential to be prepared to cut back on your current expenditure to be able to save up for your deposit.

Here are a few ways you can get your spending into line and raise enough money for your dream house.

Set a target

You should try and set yourself a target for every month, this will help to motivate you and keep you on track. By calculating how much money you need to save every month and setting up a direct debit, which takes money out of your account every month after you have been paid, you will have a realistic idea of how long it is going to take to save up enough money for your deposit.

Shop around for the best interest rate

By looking into all the different types of bank accounts you will be able to get the best interest on your savings. Bank accounts offer differing interest rates, so make sure you shop around for the best deal. Search to compare mortgage rates in your area.

Curb your spending

Every time you avoid spending money on luxury items you should pay the amount you would have spent into your deposit savings account. You will be able to put away a significant amount of money by doing this.

It also keeps you in the saving frame of mind and every time you look at the balance on the account you will be spurred on.

Find cheaper accommodation

Moving in with your parents, if possible, will save a huge amount on your bills and rent. If this is not an option then you could consider finding cheaper accommodation. Every dollar you save on your rent can be put towards your new home.

Compare energy prices

There may be cheaper companies out there and by switching energy providers you could save a significant amount of money. You should also look at your bills; do you really need a car or cable TV?

Could you repair a garden hose on your own and save money on your water bill? By cutting out little luxuries you will be surprised at how fast you can reach your target.

Save every dime

Put all your loose change to one side at the end of every week. It may be a small amount of money, but every little counts.

What type of tactics do you use to save for a large purchase?

Search to compare mortgage rates in your area.

Originally posted 2012-09-10 06:00:28.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

How to Get Your Free Credit Score

A credit score is just a number.

But the reality is, it’s a number that is used to rank you at various points in your life.

When you turn 18 and become eligible to begin managing credit, that number will begin to fluctuate.

Hopefully you will have good money management skills and your credit score will go up and never go down, but hey, life happens.

If you want to check your credit score and see what it is there’s a free way for you to do that.

Easy way to get your credit score. I need to get my finances together and this was on my list! Saving!

How to Check Your Credit Score

1) Get A Free Credit Report

Your credit report is similar to a report card in school.

On your credit report you will see your lines of open credit, how long they’ve been open, the credit limit and how they are currently being paid.

How to get your free credit score

You will also be able to see if they’ve ever been paid late i.e. past 30 days. The credit report used to be kept behind closed doors and you had to pay each time you wanted to see what was on your report.

There is a service at annualcreditreport.com that will allow you to see your credit report once a year from all three credit bureaus for free.

(Be sure to use their navigation and not your browser’s back and forward button, or the system may think you’ve seen one or all reports and you might not be able to see them all. This I learned from experience.)

Once you look at your credit report, you might be curious to know what your or credit score is.

Annualcreditreport.com does not give you your credit score and often one of the three credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian or Equifax will offer you access to your score for a fee.

But there’s a nice way to get that for free also.

2) Get Your Free Credit Score

You can get your free credit score from a service called Credit Sesame (partner link).

Credit Sesame is a trusted partner and they are one of the companies on my list of go-to resources for this very reason. Credit Sesame will give you your free credit score each month.

They allow you to see how your credit score compares to your peers and they suggest ways for you to build and/or repair your credit.

I used Credit Sesame recently when I was shopping for an apartment. I wanted to check my credit score and my credit report to make sure there were no negatives on it.

It’s good to check your score and your credit report before shopping for a mortgage, a job, or of course, credit.

Credit Sesame uses the same security measures as banks and other financial websites so you know that your information is safe.

They offer this as a free service and they make money if and when you decide to use one of the services that they’ve recommended.

You might be wondering “How does the Credit Sesame credit score compare to a paid service?” I actually had that same question.

So I decided to pay a dollar for a free trial with one of the big three credit bureaus. I checked my credit score and it was with in 1 to 2 points difference from the Credit Sesame score.

That’s close enough for me.

So keep up with your credit score and check out the free service from our partner Credit Sesame. Have you checked your score lately?

What is a Good Credit Score?

When it comes to a credit score, size does matter. Lenders judge you by how high your credit score is. If you are looking to borrow money to buy a house, purchase a vehicle or an engagement ring, you will need a good credit score. 

Why You Need Good Credit

If you want to keep your expenses low by qualifying for cheaper car insurance then you need “good credit”. But what determines a good credit score versus a bad credit score? Most people are reluctant to divulge that information. So let’s look at a few stats to help you determine if you have good credit.

Who Determines Your Credit Score?

“Who died and made you king?!”

I find the entire credit scoring process to be a bit biased. When investing, money managers will constantly tell you, “past performance is no indication of future results.” The entire FICO scoring model uses old information to predict the likelihood that you will repay.

The idea behind this Fair Issac scoring model is that history tends to repeat itself. If you pay on time consistently, you are expected to continue paying on time. If you have a habit of being late, you are expected to continue that habit. As someone who has a habit of winning like Rocky Balboa and changing my personal habits to become successful, I don’t see this model as all that fair, Isaac.

But nonetheless, that is what we have to work with.

Are You the Average American?

Your FICO score is determined by a several factors.

  • Length of Credit History
  • Payment History
  • Credit Limit to Balance Ratio
  • Types of Credit Used
  • Frequency of New Credit Received

Based on data collected by Credit Karma, the average American has a credit score in the range of 600-700. The average American has a mortgage that they pay monthly, credit card debt that they typically pay on time and a utilization ratio of about 30% on those credit cards that they carry from month to month. But you and I know that the goal is to be above average. After all, average people don’t have assets like Kim Kardashian.

What Makes an Above Average American?

The above average American has a FICO score in the range of 700-850. They have little to no consumer debt, at least on paper. They typically pay their credit balance in full each month right before the statement is issued so that they have a zero balance reported to the credit bureau.

They make use of cash back or travel reward cards to get the benefits of using credit without the fees that come with carrying a balance.

What is your credit score? Have you taken the time to check it? There are three services that I use to stay on top of my credit score. I check up on changes to my credit report monthly for free with CreditSesame.com. Click here to check your credit score right now.

Originally posted 2017-08-05 08:00:34.

Categories
Earn Extra Income

Transitioning from 9-5 to Full Time Blogger (Can I have my cake and eat it too?)

This was initially posted on July 17, 2014 about a month after I left my full time job to become a full time blogger.

Cake Day.

I’m going to miss Cake Day.

As I get ready to pack up my desk my mind races but settles on this one event. Each month my employer celebrates birthdays with cakes.

This month is my birthday month so I had a chance to help choose the two cakes that the entire company will eat. Unfortunately, I will miss the opportunity to celebrate June birthdays.

There is really no one else to blame. I made the decision.

I decided to leave my relatively safe, well paying position for the unknown.

As of 5pm on June 13th, 2014 I will become a full time solopreneur.

Love this story! This shows exactly what's possible. Can't wait to set my quit date and grow my blog so I can work for myself as a full time blogger! :D
I wrote the excerpt above a few days before my last day of work.

That’s right.

I am no longer a 9 to 5 employee.

The decision to strike out on my own was a tough one. I knew that I was not meant for the cubicle life before I even started my career.

However, I made it a point to get comfortable with it because I had bills to pay.

Credit cards, student loans and a car payment were all on my mind along with my cell phone bill and living expenses.

So instead of starting a business with savings, I had to get a job to dig myself out the financial hole that I created.

The first year at my new job was great.

The work was new and challenging, I was learning so many new things and it felt good to conform.

You know when someone asks you what you do? I could happily state my job title and then follow up with the explanation.

Most cubicle workers have the same interaction. It goes a bit like this.

Cubicle Worker 1: What do you do?
Cubicle Worker 2: I’m a Database Systems Analyst.
CW 1: Oh. What is that?
CW 2: Well, I blah blah blah….

There’s no point in going into the full job explanation because we all know that’s about where we all stop listening.

Anyway, I actually liked that exchange.

It was better than saying, “Hey I’m unemployed.”

The second year was even better, financially speaking. I had paid off my car loan and I had made a significant dent in my credit card debt.

I had also been contributing to my employer sponsored 401k and receiving the matching bonus.

I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.

That’s when things started to change a bit.

You see, I had been working on my blog in my spare time. I started Young Finances after I graduated college, before I could find a job.

I graduated in May and it took me 11 months to land a position. In the meantime, I was working odd jobs and my blog.

I wanted to use the information that I had learned about finance in school. I planned to teach investing and personal finance; just the basics.

And when I say basics I mean the stuff that I wish I had known pre-recession.

So as I’m working my blog part time, I start making a bit of income and I think to myself how cool it would be if I could do this full time.

I knew I had to show consistent sustainable income before I considered it.

I decided to set a date after reading this post from Paula over at Afford Anything. Paula is a dear friend and I enjoy reading her posts on gaining freedom from the cubicle.

She mentioned setting a ‘damn deadline’ as part of her Four Step Guide to Escaping the Ordinary.

So I gave myself 2 years. 2 years to finish my debt payments and save a solopreneur cushion. I aptly titled my budget, ‘2 Years to Freedom’.

Last Day at Work Farewell for full time blogger

I knew that without debt and with a bit of savings, I could really make the business take off. I also knew that I needed more time to make it happen.

The good and bad of having a great job is the time required. I was working 9 to 10 hour days and sometimes 12 hour days.

In February, I planned to go full speed at the business. I worked on my blog at lunchtime, after work, and each day after work.

I set up a social media schedule, wrote and promoted blog posts and updated old affiliate links.

I knew that if I could make more money focusing my free time, then a full time income that matched my job income was entirely possible.

And you know what?

The experiment worked!

February was one of my best months in terms of income.

Now that I knew what to do, I started to outsource what I did not have the time to do.

And I kept saving.

And I kept paying down debt.

Finally, it was time to make the decision. It happened a bit sooner than I was expecting but I knew the time was right.

On the luckiest day of the year and 5 days before my next birthday, on Friday the 13th, I left my well paying job.

That means I officially retired from the working world at the age of 30.

 

So what’s next?

 

Well now comes the hard stuff. I have to work without a boss checking in on me periodically.

I have to work without the guarantee of a paycheck twice a month. And I have to make it happen on my own, without a full team of co-workers.

And I’m ok with that.

Each day I can wake up and plan my workday. I can decide to start two hours late because I wanted to sleep in before hitting the gym.
Solopreneur Harem Pants
I can stop working at 2 if I want in order to catch a midday movie or go grocery shopping

I can wear what I want. In fact, I bought my first pair of solopreneur pants. They’re super comfy. That’s my new work uniform.

It feels really good and scary at the same time.

I don’t have the benefits of cake day, or other social events that my company had planned for the year.

But what I do have is a location independent career.

If I want to spend two weeks in Costa Rica, I can do that. I can work wherever my iPad and Internet connection takes me.

Having that cake day each month was nice but it just kept me away from what I really wanted to do.

Now I can make my own cake, and once my income surpasses that of my previous job, I’ll feel comfortable enough to eat it too.

Are you ready to make more money as a blogger? I’ve got a special training just for you. Click here to see exactly how I made $10,713 selling courses and how you can create and launch a course in less than 30 days, even if you have a small audience!

Originally posted 2017-07-05 08:00:47.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

4 Tips to Help You Control Finances in 2017

Whew! Another year has come and gone. I always feel a bit sad when I say goodbye to another year, but I get pretty excited to see the new year.

A new year means a fresh start.

You may have made resolutions last year that you promised yourself you would keep but unfortunately you did not keep them. Maybe you committed to a simple saving and spending plan but the budget did not last pass January 3rd.

It’s time to take charge of your finances.

Here are 4 simple ways that you can regain control of your finances this year.

 

1) Eliminate Unnecessary Bills

Cutting out those bills for consumer goods that you know you can live without is one of the easiest ways to save money this year. For example, your cable bill. I know what you’re thinking.

What about the Sports Package?!

Calm down Fred. If you are a fan of your home team, chances are that your local station plays about 90% of the games. The special games that don’t play on a local station are opportunities for you. Meet up with a friend that does pay for cable or head over to your local sports bar. The money that you saved by cutting out cable will more than offset the costs of a few nights out.

What about ____??! (Insert favorite TV show here)

Signing up for Amazon Prime is an easy way to save money. For about $79 you get unlimited access to over 40,000 Prime TV and movies. Most of the shows that you currently watch will be included as well as plenty of great movies. I’ve been a Prime member for more than 2 years now and I love the 2 day free shipping that comes with the membership. Also, I have never missed an episode of Downton Abbey.

Click here to sign up for Amazon Prime and get a 30 day complimentary trial.

Proper insulation is another way to eliminate unnecessary bills this year. Check your heat settings, water heater and central air unit. Then optimize each setting. Keep it cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. A space heater that runs on low kilowatts is a great way to warm the room that you are in.

Close off rooms that you will not be using so there is no energy wasted.

Avoid Friends with Extravagant Tastes

A quick and easy way to save money involves re-evaluating your friend list. I don’t mean the one on Facebook. You know that you have those friends that are always looking for ways to part with their money. Make it a point to plan free outings with those friends.

Dinners, movies and concerts are out of the question. You already know that they are going to choose the most expensive restaurant, opt for the super fancy 3D movie and choose the most pricey concert seats.

Just say no.

Instead, find some frugal friends that enjoy life without putting a price on fun.

Evaluate Your Credit Card Fees

Many Americans have credit card debt and carry a balance from month to month. If you are like the average American and carry a balance, you are getting hit with fees each month. Swapping the balance on your credit card to one with a 0% deal can offer significant interest rate savings over the course of the year.

You can also choose to contact your credit card company and negotiate any late fees or overage fees. Typically, if you ask nicely, they will refund. Use this sentence.

Hi, I notice that I was charged a late fee. I was wondering if I could have this waived as a courtesy?

No need to go into an elaborate story about how you were running to the mailbox to send your payment, but on the way, you got sidetracked because a deer-bra was crashing down the road with a baby.
deer-bra was crashing down the road with a baby

Plan to Win

The final tip to take control of your finances this year involves a bit of planning. Don’t give yourself a way out. Don’t assume that you will not reach your financial goals.

Make a plan and stick to it.

You are the captain of your ship and the master of your future. Take the time to plan out how you are going to save money this year and do it.

Part of your plan should include weekly or monthly check-ins. Keep track of how you are doing and set milestones for yourself along the way. Reaching your goals can be fun and easy when you really want it bad enough.

How are you planning to win in 2017?

Originally posted 2016-12-08 06:00:51.

Categories
Earn Extra Income

15+ Ways to Make Extra Money Today

We’ve all been there… the rent is due soon and you need to make money now. As a young adult, there are many expenses, planned and unplanned. This means sometimes you have to go above and beyond to make extra money.

If you need to make extra cash today, we’ve got just the list to help you do it! Not everything on this list will be quick and easy, and some may require elbow grease, but if you need to make extra money now, this list will help you do it!

Ever wish you could make extra cash during your free time? Turns out, it’s easier than you think! Look around your house or think about the skills you already have, and start making money right now.

These 15 ways to make extra money are a great jump-start to building a side business around your stuff and your skills.
Find! This post did not just have the typical ways to make extra money. And there's one that I can do this weekend! I'm on it ;)

Make Extra Money This Weekend by Selling Items Around Your House

Selling items around your house is one of the easiest ways to make extra money on the weekend. Chances are, you probably have old stuff you’re not using anymore, whether it’s electronics, clothes, or even furniture. By selling items you no longer use around your home, you’ll clear up space around your house and make extra money.

1) Gone

You have probably already heard of (or tried!) Craigslist and eBay. But there are other ways to sell your items beyond these sites. Gone is an app that helps you sell your electronics. Gone is awesome because it sends you all packaging and shipping materials, plus they sell your item for you at the best price. You get paid once your item is sold, and you can receive a check, PayPal transfer, or Amazon gift card.

2) OfferUp

Don’t want to deal with shipping at all? Check out OfferUp, which connects you to other buyers and sellers in your location. OfferUp is an app. All you do is take a picture of the item you want to sell, price it, and wait for someone to contact you. OfferUp is similar to Craigslist in that you’ll be selling your items locally. Meet your buyer in a public location, preferably with a friend to be safe.

3) SwipSwap

SwipSwap is a funny name, but it’s serious about selling your items. If you’re on Facebook, type in “SwipSwap (or Swip Swap) [your city]” and look for groups of people in your area who are buying and selling items. Swip swaps are like Craigslist, but are extremely local and Facebook groups are often private. In many big cities, you have to prove you live in the city before you can be approved.

However, local swip swaps are one of the safest ways to sell your items and make extra money on the weekend. To sell, take a picture of your item, include a brief description and the price, and wait for someone to bid on your item. Some people will try to haggle, whereas others will message you to buy outright. Another bonus to swip swaps are that people live fairly close to you, meaning you won’t have to drive out of your way (or pay for shipping) to sell.

Sell Your Clothes

4) Poshmark

Poshmark is an app that helps you sell your clothes. If you’ve been meaning to sell a pair of Tory Burch flats that never fit right, Poshmark is your chance!

Selling on Poshmark is easy: take a few pictures of your item, add a description and price, and wait for someone to purchase. When someone purchases your item, Poshmark helps with shipping by sending you a prepaid and pre-addressed label.

5) ThredUp

Similar to Poshmark, ThredUp sells designer clothes and so much more. I’ve had the most luck with ThredUp in selling because I typically don’t sell my designer clothes (I wear them until they can’t be worn anymore…). However, I do occasionally sell non-designer items that simply don’t fit me, and they do sell well on ThredUp.

Earnings on ThredUp vary (from 10-80% depending on the price of the item), but ThredUp does all the work of selling your item for you, from processing your item, to putting it online, and sending it on its way. All you do is pack a bag (provided by ThredUp) with gently worn, clean, and preferably in-season items, then drop it off at your local post office. You can even schedule a pick up if you’re super busy! Once received by ThredUp, your items are processed, posted online, and you’re contacted as your items sell. You make money after the items sell.

6) Consignment Stores

If you need money now, raid your closet and your apartment for anything you can sell. If you have some gently worn clothes, especially work-appropriate attire, make some extra money by taking your clothes to a consignment store. Consignment stores will split the profit with you, usually 60-70% to you and 30-40% to the store, but the only work you have to put in is dropping your clothes off!
Is your stuff too big to take to a consignment store? Or do you want to save time and money by not driving? The internet to the rescue! Online consignment stores like Thredup.com will help you sell your gently worn clothing. And don’t forget Craigslist for selling bigger, heavier items. The best part about Craigslist is people will generally text or call you right away for your items, meaning you’ll make cash money fast.

7) Yard Sales

Yard sales might get a bad reputation for being time-consuming or a hassle, but they are quick ways to make extra money. Go through all of your old stuff, even things that are more than gently worn. Kitchen items, furniture, and baby items generally do the best at yard sales, but you’ll be surprised at what sells!

Make Extra Money & Sell Your Skills

Don’t really want to sell anything around your house? That’s okay, there are still ways to make extra money this weekend!

8) Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

For a little extra money, you can use your skills to do a few side tasks on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Tasks vary daily, but can be anything from transcription to basic research. Most tasks can be finished relatively quickly, and once your work has been approved, you get paid.

9) Fiverr

Have an awesome voice? Like to review resumes? Are you great at creating logos? Consider selling your skills online at Fiverr to make extra money. Since your work will be selling for a base price of $5, you’ll want to choose something not terribly time intensive. Need stock photos for your creative designs? Check out this list of 100+ places to find free stock photos online.

Say you’re really great at designing logos: for $5, offer one black and white logo design. For an extra $5, you can offer multiple revisions. For another $5, you can offer logos in color. This way, you’re not wasting your time doing multiple revisions for someone who only wants to pay you $5, and you’re making extra money for your talent.

10) Become a Rideshare Driver

If you have a car, like to drive, and are sociable, you may love being a rideshare driver. You can choose one of the “big three” ridesharing companies, or you can choose all three: Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. The best money-making days are usually the weekends, especially after the bars close, but you don’t have to drive at 2 a.m. just to make extra money. Driving can be very lucrative during the day, especially during rush hour, so give it a try and drive for a few companies to see which one suits you best.

11) Be a Sitter

To make extra money, offer your skills as a babysitter to friends and family. Don’t like kids? Offer to petsit or elder-sit! Ask around and see if anyone needs a sitter, either to watch their children for a night, their pets for a weekend, or to check in on an elderly family member a few days a week. You could make money right now – and in the future, if you like it!

12) Offer Your Skills on TaskRabbit

Similar to Fiverr.com, TaskRabbit markets your time for money, and you set the price. If you can plan an event, move furniture, or decipher Ikea instructions, you could find yourself in demand on TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit tasks come up regularly, which makes it an easy way for you to make some extra cash today and in the future.

13) Make Extra Money Surfing the Web

We’ve covered Swagbucks before, where you can earn money for surfing the web and doing various online tasks. Not only is Swagbucks free to join, but you can earn money throughout the day just by using Swagbucks for regular internet searching and more.
In addition to Swagbucks, you can use Inbox Dollars to make some extra money today. Like Swagbucks, you can take surveys through Inbox Dollars, play games, and even redeem grocery coupons to make extra cash.

Turn your Trash into Treasure

14) Sell Your iPhone Photos

If you love taking pictures and already share them online, consider getting paid for your talent. Foap.com will take your photos and sell them to major media outlets, then split the profit 50/50. The best part about Foap is you can make some serious money from it: you’re paid $5 per photo you sell and, if brands like your photos, they can pay you hundreds to thousands of dollars to take specific photos. This could lead to a full-time job in photography.

15) Rehab Old Furniture

Someone else’s trash can be your treasure – if your talent is reviving the past. Visit yard sales around your neighborhood, or rehab old furniture you already have. You can sell it at your own yard sale, put it up for sale on Craigslist, or take it to a consignment shop to possibly get even more money for it.

Bonus! Sign Up to Work as a Brand Ambassador

While it may not make you money today, consider signing up with a marketing agency to make additional money on the side. If you find yourself consistently needing extra money, or if you work freelance or part-time hours, you may want to look into taking more gigs over the long term. You’ll have the most luck looking for brand ambassador positions if you’re in a larger city. For best results, join a few marketing agencies and grab the jobs as they open. If you want to learn exactly how I made $20 an hour in college as a brand ambassador then grab this extra money video course.

I’ll tell you exactly how to find jobs as a brand ambassador and exactly what you need to know to book them consistently. The extra money course also includes specific steps you can take to earn money online.

Thanks to the internet, there are a lot of opportunities for you to earn extra money today. In fact, you may have some photos on your phone, furniture in your house, or skills in your repertoire you could sell right now! Consider some of the above money making opportunities for making money right now.

With these 15 ways to make extra money, you’re sure to find something quick and fairly profitable. Over time, if you really want to start a regular side hustle, you may want to consider expanding your Fiverr business, help other people sell their items online. Or even start your own blog. This blog post will walk you through the steps to starting a money making blog.

All of these ways to make extra money will take more time, but they can be worthwhile long-term ways to make extra money, too.

Originally posted 2016-11-20 08:00:15.

Categories
Earn Extra Income

How To Start a Blog and Make Your First $100

Want to start a blog? So did I when I graduated college.

When I first started this blog more than 5 years ago, I had no idea that it would grow into what it is now.

Because of the work that I put into this blog, I was able to use the extra side-hustle income to pay of over $32,000 of credit card debt. (You can read my story here.) Then each month my income continued to grow.

First I consistently made $500 a month.

Then, I saw my first $1,000 month and again and again I reached an extra thousand dollars per month.

After that, I looked for ways to increase my income and hit my goal at the time which was to earn $5,000 per month. That would allow me to leave my full time job and work for myself.

That happened after the 4-year mark.

All of that came from the blog and what I learned from it.

I’m going to teach you exactly how to do what I did on this blog. The first step is to create your own blog.

You have to own a home on the web.

Then you can earn in a few ways.

Are you starting a blog for your business website? Do you want to start a blog to start your business? Resources that I use and recommend.

Earn Extra Income The Slow Way

The slow way includes passive income from ads that you place on your site, affiliate income from recommending products and services to your readers, and being a brand ambassador.

Earn Extra Income The Faster Way

The medium speed way includes semi-passive income from promoting like crazy, getting featured in the news, contributing guest posts, getting on podcasts, and working with large brands.

Earn Extra Income The Fastest Way

The fastest way to earn money online is to create a one-page website that describes what you do, then you find your first client. Then you find your next client. And you keep at it.

But each of these ways requires that you own a home on the web.

I made my first $29 online using the slow way, then I ramped up to my first $1,000 online using the medium way.

Finally, I learned the fast way and made five figures offering my skills as a consultant.

I can teach you how to earn using each method. But first you have to have a home on the web. Then I’m going to teach you how to make your first $100.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Choose a Domain Name and Host

The name of your website is the address that your fans will type to get to your site. And your hosting company holds the files that get displayed on your page.

Think of your web address as a home and the host as the land it sits on.

My first domain name was a mess. It was FSYAonline. FSYA stands for Financial Success for Young Adults. A mouthful.

Finally I learned that I needed to choose a domain name that is short, easy to remember, and makes it easy to understand the topic.

When you see Young Finances, you know that we’re talking about money for young people.

How young?

My audience ranges from late college to mid career professionals in their mid-30’s.

So keep that in mind when you’re choosing a domain name.

The Technology You Need to Start a Blog

Once you choose a domain name, you’re going to need a host. Fortunately, you can get your domain and host in one step.

There are many web hosts out there but I’m going to share with you the one that I use.

Hostgator is my recommended option because you can get up and running with WordPress very quickly.

(And if you get started with Hostgator through my partner link, you can get hosting for one penny for the first month!)

Watch this video to get started.

Hostgator has amazing support and they’ve hosted all of my domains since I started. And I haven’t had any issues.

Step 2: Install WordPress and Choose a Theme

If you watched the video above, then you know how to install WordPress already. WordPress is a content management system that makes it easy to create your own website.

And if you download and install Visual Composer, you can also edit your site in a drag and drop fashion.

When you are dreaming up your website, you might feel overwhelmed as if you have to start from scratch.

But there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Begin by choosing a template that you like and then customize.

One of my favorite sites to find theme templates is ThemeForest. This site has WordPress templates that you can upload and easily edit.

A well designed theme is going to cost you between $50 – $80. Then, if you would like to have it customized, you might find someone that can do it for less than $200 if you search for a freelancer on Upwork.com.

Theme Examples:

Once you load these themes into WordPress, you’ll probably need to make some changes.

Each of the themes that I’ve listed above comes with Visual Composer which is a drag and drop editor for WordPress.

(Some people prefer Squarespace because of the drag and drop features. Visual Composer allows you to do the same with WordPress.)

I use the Genesis Framework and a Genesis theme to customize the look of my WordPress site.

The final step is one of the most important steps.

Even if you stopped updating your blog (like I did at at the end of 2015) you could still make money if you have this one tool.

Step 3: Choose an Email Service Provider

That is an email service provider. When someone comes to your site they might look around, then leave.

However, if you capture their email address, you can remind them to come back to your site over and over again.

This is the most important final step of setting up a website. I started out using MailChimp to send emails because it was free. But we’ve already established that free does not work when you are looking to make money from a blog.

I highly recommend ConvertKit as the service to send out your blog emails. Building an email list is the best way to make money with your blog. Let me say that again because I want to make sure you understand this one point.

Building an email list is THE best way to make money with your blog.

I mentioned that there are things I would change if I could go back and the number one thing I would do would be to focus more on my email list than how much content I put out. Cultivating a trusting relationship with your audience should be top of mind.

You can sign up for Convertkit here.

(If you use my partner link I’ll send you my Convertkit training and show you exactly how I make money using email. Just email me a screenshot of your confirmed signup.)

Now you’re probably thinking ok, what’s next?

I could throw everything that I know at you all at once about how to earn passive income with affiliate marketing…

…how to run Facebook ads to make $35 from 50 cents

…how to package your skills into a service and make 5 figures or more

but if I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that you have to have a clear and defined plan.

I’m going to give you that exact plan.

Register below and get on the wait list for my full blog to business course. Join the wait list here. I’ll also send you my three part series showing how I grew my income from the first $29 to $5,000 per month.

Originally posted 2016-08-04 08:00:29.