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The 10 Best Tools to Help You Save Money

The 10 Best Tools to Help You Save Money

We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees, yet many of us don’t really know how to save money, so we don’t worry about unexpected expenses. Luckily, there are some great apps out there that will help you to learn how to effectively save money so you aren’t always digging for spare change between the sofa cushions on the day before payday. Here are some of those apps.

1. LearnVest

Learnvest

    This is a personal finance company that was started to help young people learn how to manage their money. It is free to use, and you can link it to your bank accounts. Use it to track your spending, create a budget, and create savings goals. Check in daily for a money minute to see what is going on with your finances.

    2. Mint

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    mint

      This is a lot like LearnVest, being a money managing app that will let you link up all of your accounts. You can put all of your expenses into categories, create a budget, check your credit score, get reminders for bill payments, and even receive customized tips for lowering fees and saving money based on how you spend.

      3. Level Money

      Level

        Here is an app that is basically a money meter. It will analyze your spending habits, and we mean all of your spending habits, so you can see where you are wasting money and learn how to save for a rainy day. You may be surprised at how much money you are wasting on little things, and what you can do to change your spending habits.

        4. Digit

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        digit

          If you are one of those people who just can’t seem to save money no matter how hard you try, let someone else do it for you. Digit will keep an eye on your income as well as your spending habits, and then take a little bit of money and hide it in a savings account every few days. You don’t have to pay for this service.

          5. Acorns

          acorns

            This is an app that will help you invest, even if you only have a few dollars to invest. It will round up all of your purchases to the nearest dollar, and invest that difference into a stock portfolio that is diversified. You can transfer the earnings into an Acorn savings account once you have earned $5.

            6. IVA-Advice

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            Iva-advice

              If you have a lot of outstanding bills and it seems like you are never going to be able to start saving money, IVA can help. You simply make one affordable payment to a legal professional, and they take care of paying all of the various bills. After 60 months, any outstanding balances are written off, and you are left debt-free.

              7. Good Budget

              goodb

                This app shows you how much you spend. You can link it to your bank accounts and credit cards and sync transactions. Then, you can see what you have left that is actually spendable, and how much you need to set aside for important expenses.

                8. BillGuard

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                bill

                  This service will tag all transactions that you probably wouldn’t be making, and let you know about it. This is a great way to protect your identity, and to make sure that no one is making unauthorized purchases on your accounts.

                  9. Mint Bills

                  mint bills

                    This is an extension of Mint, and lets you see your balances and bills all in one place. Pay bills directly from the app, make scheduled payments, and even receive alerts about upcoming bills or when your funds are getting low.

                    10. MoneyWiz

                    wiz

                      Not only does this app take care of your bank accounts, budgeting, and bills, it also helps you to get out of debt. You will really learn how your spending and earnings compare, and learn how to make changes so you can save money.

                      Featured photo credit: Panu Tangchalermkul via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on June 20, 2019

                      50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

                      50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

                      Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

                      1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
                      2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
                      3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
                      4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
                      5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
                      6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
                      7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
                      8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
                      9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
                      10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
                      11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
                      12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
                      13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
                      14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
                      15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
                      16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
                      17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
                      18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
                      19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
                      20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
                      21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
                      22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
                      23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
                      24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
                      25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
                      26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
                      27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
                      28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
                      29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
                      30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
                      31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
                      32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
                      33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
                      34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
                      35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
                      36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
                      37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
                      38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
                      39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
                      40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
                      41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
                      42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
                      43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
                      44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
                      45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
                      46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
                      47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
                      48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
                      49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
                      50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

                      There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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                      Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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