Categories
Budgeting & Saving

How Much Should I Save?

When starting out in your first job, it can be tough to save. Between rent, transportation costs, student loan debt (and more) you may think saving money is impossible. Luckily, it’s easier to save than you may think! You will need to create a savings plan. Boring, right? But once you’ve identified your goals, you’ll be well on your way to having a fat savings account.
[Tweet “Saving money becomes easier when you realize how it’ll improve your life.”]
Having a strong savings account is more than just a point of pride. It means security. You’ll be secure in your finances and more secure in yourself. Even more than owning things, saving money can bring you great happiness. There’s a deep sense of happiness to obtain when your savings are high. Let’s start building your account:

Identify Your Savings Goals

When deciding how much to save, it’s important to first determine what you’re saving for. Even if you’re simply saving money to give you peace of mind (ie: an emergency fund), it’s still important to set some goals. Let’s say you want $10,000 to feel secure. That’s your goal. Your goal will determine how much and how quickly you will need to save. Here’s a possible list of things you may want to save for:
  • Emergency fund (short-term goal)
  • A wedding (short to medium-term goal)
  • Down payment on a house (medium-term goal)
  • Retirement (long-term goal)
  • Saving for children’s college education (potentially medium- or long-term goal)
Once you have determined your savings goal(s), it’s time to make your budget! It’s a lot easier and less boring than you think. Think of it this way… a budget is about thinking about how you want to use money to improve your life. Creating a better life is one of the most rewarding things we can do with our time. Let’s get to it.

How Much to Save Depends On How Much You Make

Clearly, how much you can save is determined by how much you make. Someone who makes $100,000 should be able to save much more than someone who brings in $30,000. That’s not to say the $30,000 a year person can’t save, it just means they need to be more strategic and ruthless about it.
Even if you have substantial student loan debt, you can still save money. Take the first step to create a monthly budget which will help show you where and how much you can save.
If you realize you need more money to reach your savings goals, read this post we wrote about using your “other 8 hours” to generate more income. You’ll be surprised how much you can make by hustling a little on the side! All that new found money can go towards your savings goal(s)! And new house, car, whatever is less out of reach than you may think.

Can You Sacrifice A Little?

Let’s get real: do you really need that gym membership? Or can you get away with workout videos on YouTube or DVD’s from the local library? How much money can you save by cutting cable or switching to a low cost phone carrier? Hint: A lot.
You can further reduce the amount of money you spend by looking at your food expenses. In stead of going out for lunch, simply bring your lunch to work. Instead of hitting the bars after work, host a happy hour at your place – just make sure it’s a fun BYOB event.
While these life changes may seem like a sacrifice, you’ll get used to the new norm. You may realize bringing your lunch to work is easier than driving to a restaurant during lunch traffic. You may realize you’re more comfortable hosting an event than being a customer at a bar. Sometimes saving money doesn’t really equate to many sacrifices.

Save Half of Your Income – Or More

It sounds crazy, I know. How is it even possible to save half your income or more? Between taxes, health care costs, plus actual living expenses… Depending on your income, savings discipline, and side hustling abilities, you’d be surprised how many people actually do save half their income.
While Will Lipovsky, from First Quarter Finance, has extremely low transportation and living costs, he’s currently saving over 50% of his income. He’s saves 85%, actually. See, saving a large amount of your income is possible.
Kali Hawlk, who quit her job to start her own business, also saves 50% of her income along with her husband. She does this by prioritizing affordable and fun hobbies over material goods and wisely using credit card rewards to fund her travel wanderlust.
You may have heard of the incredible popular, Mr. Money Mustache. He and his wife saved over 50% of their income in order to retire at the age of 30. His story, profiled by Forbes, is incredibly inspiring and informative. I encourage everyone to read it.

Savings Account Vehicles

Depending on your goal, you may need to consider different places to stash your savings. If you need your savings to be liquid, you won’t want to put your savings into stocks. For example:
  • Emergency fund:
    • Since you need this fund to be easily accessible, keep this in a regular savings account, either at your local bank or an online bank.
  • Retirement fund:
    • Since this is likely a long-term goal, consider keeping your savings invested in the stock market. Yes, the stock market gets a bad rap but, over the long-term, you’re likely to realize a significant increase in your initial investment.
If you’re curious about online investment options, check out LaTisha’s review of Betterment. Betterment, and other online investment companies like it, is a very good option for retirement savings. Betterment offers easy investing options with low fees. While Betterment and other long-term investing options may not be the best option for short or medium-term goals, you might want to check out Betterment for your long-term goals.

It’s up to You

I now pass the microphone to you. How do should you save. How do you plan on doing it? What will you do with the money once you have it? Comment below if you have questions. We’re here to help.

And without further ado, let the savings begin!!!

Originally posted 2015-07-22 10:00:24.

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

SwagBucks Review: Earn Money Surfing the Web

Have you ever wondered how you can get something for doing nothing? It’s not too good to be true. Since I’m living on a limited budget so I can reach my financial goals quickly, I’m always looking for unique ways to save money and make extra money too.

Introducing Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an internet search engine alternative, like Google or Bing. But when you use Swagbucks for your internet searches, you can earn points. After you accumulate enough points, you can then redeem them for prizes. They have gift cards to thousands of different retailers, and they have the option of paying in cold hard cash via your PayPal account.

SwagBucks Review: Earn Money Surfing the Web | Young Finances

By using Swagbucks as your primary search engine, you can amass of rewards points and redeem for a gift card to Amazon or Starbucks. These gift cards will allow you to buy things off of your wish list, or things to use as gifts for friends and family members. If you use the gift cards to buy things you would’ve purchased anyhow, or redeem your points for PayPal cash, you’ve just saved yourself some money in your regular monthly budget.

Swagbucks Isn’t a Scam

When people first hear of things like this, they immediately think is Swagbucks a scam? Luckily, Swagbucks isn’t a scam. But you should also be aware that it’s not a way to get rich quickly either. It does take time to build up enough reward points to get good prizes. Here are a few great things about Swagbucks:

  • It’s free to join
  • The company has been around for years, since at least 2005.
  • I have received rewards from them several times, and lots of my friends have too.




How to Use Swagbucks

If you don’t do a lot of internet searching, don’t worry. There are lots of different ways you can use Swagbucks to get rewards. Here are just a few.

  • Internet Searching: As I said before, you can use Swagbucks’ search engine just like you’d use Google or Bing. Each time you search using Swagbucks you have the opportunity to earn points, but you won’t necessarily earn points every single time you search for something.
  • Shopping via their website: Just like ShopatHome.com or FatWallet.com, you can use Swagbucks’ website as your shopping portal to earn rewards points based on how much you are spending. Just be careful to not get too carried away with online shopping and buying things you don’t actually need or you won’t truly be “saving” any money.
  • Printing Grocery Coupons: Swagbucks’ website has a giant coupon database full of grocery coupons you can print out at home and use on your next grocery store trip. This one is a 2-fer as you’ll save money by using the coupons and earn Swagbucks for printing them.
  • Taking Surveys: Taking surveys is one the easiest ways to earn points quickly. Most surveys are worth a few hundred Swagbucks each! If you have time to take just a couple of short surveys each day, you’ll quickly be able to redeem your points for a gift card or PayPal payment.
  • Watching Video Advertisements: You can earn up to 150 Swagbucks each day by watching short videos and advertisements. Most of the videos are about the same length as a TV commercial and you earn about 3 points per video. Sometimes I even turn on the video and let it keep playing, as it will automatically keep going to the next video, while I work on housework.
  • Playing Games: If you have time on your hands and want to play some games, you should do so through Swagbucks so you can earn points while you play. Personally, I don’t use this option much as I just don’t have the time to play games.

Swagbucks is easy to use and everyone can benefit from it, no matter if you have a large budget or not. It’s a great way to earn points for something you’d be doing anyway and then you can redeem the points to help your budget or to “treat yourself” to something special now and then.

Have you ever used Swagbucks?

Click here to sign up.
Get Started

Originally posted 2016-06-03 10:00:16.