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10 Ways To Invest Money While You Have A Full-Time Job

10 Ways To Invest Money While You Have A Full-Time Job

Most of us don’t necessarily love the jobs we have. We all had wonderful plans for ourselves growing up. But our jobs pay, so here we are. But wouldn’t you just want to break away from all this charade? Do the things you’ve always wanted to do? Sure, who wouldn’t? But that requires money, the only source of which right now is your job.

But we do truly live in a golden era where anyone anywhere could make small investments and possibly make money off of it. Even though investing on oneself, one’s education, skills, health etc., would still be the best investment for the long run, most of us are looking to make investments that could actually make us money right now.

So, here are ten ways you could invest money while also maintaining a full-time job.

1. Peer-to-peer lending

This is possibly the easiest investment you could make. Peer-to-peer lending involves you lending some money to a peer in hopes of making a profit out of the interest in the returns. Now of course this peer has to be someone you know or trust, so that alone reduces the pool of potentials. In a way, this method could be deemed as risky as it is simple. However, if you abide to the golden rule of lending anything including money, “Don’t lend something you can’t afford to lose”, the risk is definitely worth the simplicity and potential profit.

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2. Investment in precious metals

Precious metals are a very controversial investment. Some deem them the best investment one could make, others deem them the worst. Truth is, they could be a little bit of both.

The fluctuation in their prices aren’t as predictable as other things since they’re mostly dependent on the rise and fall of the dollar. However on the plus side, if a small investment is what you wish to make, the potential profit usually balances out the potential risk. Besides, precious metals like gold and silver are among the last remaining material investments one can physically hold on to.

3. Trading forex

Forex or the foreign exchange market is the world’s largest financial market. Everyday trillions of dollars are exchanged through forex and that is vital to the economy. Businesses, governments and investors use forex. Businesses use them to facilitate foreign trade, governments to implement policies and investors study the market and predict the rise and fall of the exchange rates and capitalize on this.

For as little as 25$ you could get started on foreign currency trading. The basic idea is that you buy a certain amount of a foreign currency and sell it at a higher price when its valuation is higher than what you originally paid.

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4. Trading options

Options trading is a process that lets you control a stock or an asset without actually owning it, letting you capitalize on its price chances. An options contract allows you the right to buy the shares owned by another person for a certain price known as the strike price before a certain date in exchange for a certain premium.

If the value of the share rises, then you can buy the shares for a price cheaper than the market price and then sell it at the market price to make an overall profit. If instead the value of the share falls, then you may decline from buying the stocks but you lose the premium you initially paid.

Options trading can make a great investment if you understand the market.

5. Trading futures

Futures trading involves investing in a volatile market and capitalizing on the fluctuations while providing stability to the businesses you have contracted with. With the pay of a full a time job, you can possibly afford to contract with small local businesses.

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If the market prices drop and the businesses can manufacture cheaper, then you get the profits. However, if the market prices rise and the manufacturing becomes more expensive, then you lose money. Once again, like options trading, if you are well educated about the market then futures trading make great investments.

6. Investment on real estate

Real estate prices continually rise and fall. And like precious metals, they are assets you can physically hold on to. If your pay can’t afford to invest in real estate around you, there are options around the world.

Many countries allow foreigners to invest in their real estate and if you’ve assessed the risks well enough, they may potentially prove to be a great investment. This is specially true for developing countries where a cheap real estate can be worth a lot more within just a few years. Once again, this requires great research.

7. Crowdfund investments

This could possibly be the best option for someone with a full time job. In crowdfund investment you are only require to invest a small portion of the required amount, and your future returns depend on the amount you have initially invested. This gives you the option to invest on big businesses that could potentially make a lot of profit. Furthermore, since you’re only investing a relatively small amount you could invest in a number of businesses and expect at least some of those to make you a profit.

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8. Buying stocks from established corporations

Stocks of established corporations are usually a safe bet. Let’s say you are willing to invest a thousand dollars a month from your salary. You could buy 20 stocks worth 50 dollars each. Since big corporations are constantly at work to try and increase their profits, stock prices are sooner than later bound to increase too. You could then sale some or all of the stocks you own to make a profit.

For an established corporation, worst case scenario may be the drop in stock prices by 5 or 10 dollars, because they don’t usually go below that. You’ll only be losing a $100 or $200 of your initial investment.

9. Being a silent partner in small businesses

Small businesses don’t usually require a lot of money to operate. The $1000 you agreed to invest in stocks in the previous point could very well help run a small business somewhere else.

Furthermore like real estate, you are not restricted to invest in businesses near you. In a developing nation, the $1000 could mean a lot and could help establish a number of businesses that could in time grow to be profitable. Becoming a silent partner means you don’t have to worry about the operations of the business. But once again, you need to be sharp on your assessment of the business and the person running it before you invest.

10. Buying penny stocks

Penny stocks are common stocks that are valued at less than a dollar. Investing in penny stocks is therefore considered highly speculative. They seldom make a good investment so unless you’ve run out of options, you should stay away from them. However since they are already so cheap, there is no other place for their prices to go but up. If you buy a lot of them (since they are all so cheap), at least some of them are bound to make you some profit. At least, these are the general assumptions surrounding investment in penny stocks.

Featured photo credit: Investing Money via upload.wikimedia.org

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Published on January 17, 2020

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

Have you ever looked at health gurus and wondered how on earth they can afford all that health food? Or maybe you’ve tried multiple times to start eating healthy only to find the $600 monthly budget overwhelming?

If you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely understand the sinking feeling of looking back over a grocery budget and finding you went way over what you intended. And besides that, it can be hard to justify buying a tiny $5 bag of carrot chips while a $1 mound of potato chips is sitting right next door.

My husband and I recently ran into that struggle. We got married this past year and soon found ourselves trying to balance 12 hour work-days with keeping our relationship strong and trying to keep our personal businesses afloat. Granted, our budget was the one thing that took a hit! After we started tracking our spending, we were shocked to see we were spending over $1000 a month just on food! A little planning cleared that right up.

So, how to eat healthy on a budget?

Here’re the top tips I learned that helped us shave over $600 monthly off of our food budget so we could reinvest that in the areas that really mattered to us![1]

1. Meal Plan

You’ve probably heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” right? Well, this saying couldn’t be any more true than in the area of healthy budgeting! The fact is, most healthy foods don’t actually cost that much… the pre-made time saving ones do!

If you go about creating a healthy meal plan within your budget, you could easily cut costs down to around the same price you are paying for junk food.

Meal planning is as simple as working in foods you already have in your fridge/freezer, adding in several meals with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies, and breaking it down into a shopping list.

Often, finding a few meals to make in big batches will save you the most money in the long run, which leads me to my next point.

2. Cook in Bulk

Not only will cooking in bulk save you a whole lot of time, it will save you a whole lot of money too! Believe it or not, if you find meals to make with similar ingredients, you can easily save more money than when you were eating unhealthy.

Don’t believe me? Just look at a $4 frozen pasta dinner. Now, sub that with a veggie pasta dinner. 5 zuchinni ($3), Pasta sauce ($2.50), and chicken ($5) could last you a full 5 meals which adds up to a whopping total of just over $1 per meal!

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That’s not even digging in to all the money you will save from fast-food. Trust me, a little $10 spent here and there add up! You’ll be saving a whopping amount from all the meal prep you will do!

3. Cook all Your Meals in One Day

The science behind this is 2-fold.

Number one, if you have lots of meals to grab and go, you will be far less likely to binge on pricier food when you get hungry. Let’s be real, you’re not going to spend 1 hour cooking when hub-n’-grub is at your bekon-call!

Number 2, meal prepping ahead of time will help you stick to your meal plan better when you’re not in the mood. Let’s face it, we’re all going to have days when protein and veggies doesn’t exactly sound appealing. But, if you have a full meal that’s quick to grab in the fridge, it will be easier for you to fill up on the good stuff rather than spending money on what you don’t really need.

4. Cut Back on Snacks and Specialty Items

I can almost hear you from across the screen. “But, I thought snacks were good for me!” Here’s the deal: Snacks are expensive! And healthy snacks, oh my goodness, say goodbye to your paycheck!

Look, I’m definitely not saying that healthy snacks are bad. Quite frankly, I would much rather you chow down on Halo Top than a triple-butterfinger-fudge sundae. It’s just that… healthy snacks are why eating healthy gets a bad rap for being expensive.

Look at it this way: You could either buy a week’s worth of groceries full of chicken, fish, beans, veggies, and fruits for $30. Or, you can spend that $30 on six snacks that will leave you hungry for more.

What’s more, the ingredients for gluten-free baked goods, sugar free substitutes, or protein powders alone will add up to you eating a full week’s budget in one sitting. By all means, if you want to work some yummy items into your budget, do it! But don’t confuse that extra monthly $300 of delicacies as a necessity. Your body and budget will thank you!

5. Satisfy Yourself with Your Favorite Subs

We all have an emotional tie to food. Maybe pasta reminds you of home! Or maybe a fresh-baked pizza is what gives you a feeling of comfort. Whatever you favorite food, find a way to work it into your budget in the best way.

We’re only human, and depriving ourselves of what we love will never end well. More often than not actually, it ends in take-out or a pricey-premade substitute.

Instead of finding yourself in this situation, find a way to make your favorite foods fit your budget. Zuchinni noodle pasta might just give you that feeling of home without breaking the bank. Or maybe you could google a healthy pizza alternative you would like that you could make at home. Often, something similar to your craving will be enough to give you a sense of satisfaction.

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Or, just buy your cheat meal and save it for a special day. That’s okay too!

6. Stick to the Cheaper Proteins

Okay, I know we all love steak. Unfortunately, buying pre-cooked or expensive cuts of meat are one of the easiest ways to drain a budget.

Instead of purchasing those, try buying frozen chicken or eggs. A 5 lb bag of frozen chicken can be as cheap as $5, and you can buy a whole weeks worth of eggs for just over $1. You could even try going vegetarian for a few meals if you really want to cut down on costs!

7. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

I know, we all love our fresh fruits and veggies! However, sometimes frozen might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs!

Fruits and veggies are easiest to ship when frozen, making them a much cheaper option. Contrary to popular belief, scientists have actually found that frozen might be better for you too![2]

The reason is, frozen produce is picked at its prime and shipped immediately. Fresh fruit tends to be picked much earlier so it will ripen while being shipped. Not only does this make it less nutrient dense, but sometimes the fruits are actually pumped with artificial flavors to make up for the lack of real nutrients.

While I’m all for fresh fruits and veggies, don’t feel guilty if you opt for frozen foods due to a budget.

8. Bump up the Calories with Rice and Beans

The problem some people find when trying to eat healthy is that it can be hard to get the amount of calories you need without relying on expensive “specialty” items. Instead of stocking up on pricey gluten-free breads and pasta, I say stick to simple rice and beans as the bulk of your meals.

Brown Rice is very cheap and easy to use as a base for bowls and dishes. Likewise, beans can add a bit of fiber making you feel full and satisfied without having to spend a lot of money.

If you are trying to cut on body fat, use extra veggies as the bulk of your meal and add in rice and beans as a filler.

9. Try Acai Bowls

Acai Bowls can be a really cheap and satisfying meal as long as you do it right.

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You can find cheap fruits at most stores or just freeze your fresh fruits before it goes bad.

Making your own granola can save you a lot of money as well. The total cost for this delicious meal should only add up to a few dollars compared to triple that price if you were to buy one pre-made.

10. Make Your Own Meal Kits

Do you like your meals freshly cooked? Sending meal kits to your doorstep is an easy way to drain your budget. Instead, try making your meal kit at home! Not only is it fun, you will easily get a delicious taste.

Simply find a few simple meal cards or print some out and fill a ziplock with the ingredients for each specific day. Don’t know what recipe to make? Another option is to order one month of meal kits and recycle the recipe into ingredients for the upcoming months with ingredients you picked up from the store.

11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

A few dollars spent here and there can really add up! Just as with specialty items, healthy drinks can be a blackhole for you. An energy drink and kombucha and coffee each day could easily have you spending and extra $300 each month!

I you really need a special drink fix, try making your favorites at home. Bring a coffee in, make kombucha, or even try making lemonade with stevia or a healthy soda. You’ll be surprised w hat a big difference such a small change can make on your budget!

12. Buy Cheap Online

Just like anything else, it pays to be prepared. Buying foods from online retailers can be a really affordable way to save money as long as you’re prepared.

Plan ahead for those more expensive specialty items you can’t live without. It will save you tons of money compared to having to buy food from a specialty store.

13. Don’t Fret about the Clean Fifteen

One of the huge things that can mess with a person’s budget is eating organic. For the record, I am 110% all for eating organic whenever you can. However, for some people, it can be hard to make organic food fit into a budget.

Instead of scratching healthy eating for a smaller budget, try to buy meat and the dirty dozen organic, and don’t go crazy about the rest. The clean fifteen are the fifteen safest foods to buy that aren’t organic! Meanwhile, the dirty dozen is the most worthwhile avoiding. According to Produce Retailer, these are the dirty dozens:[3]

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

14. Pay Attention to Storage

Keeping the food you have is just as important as how much food is in the first place. Try to stay on top of how much produce you can actually use before it goes bad. It might not be a bad idea to pencil an extra shopping trip in the middle of the week to keep food fresh.

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Investing in good food storage containers could go a long way in saving you in the long run as well.

15. Freeze Food Before it Goes Bad

Instead of getting mad at yourself at the end of the week for all the wilted produce you need to throw out, try freezing it before you get to that point.

Most frozen veggies will taste delicious in stir fries and soups. You can freeze fruits to make sorbet or smoothies. Frozen greens can be chopped up and tossed into just about anything for a nutrient boost!

16. Consider Ditching Most Supplements and Powders

I have nothing against superfood powders and supplements. However, if your budget is tight, it can be hard to fit supplements and powders in.

Instead of adding in powders, add extra nutrients to you food. Add lots of greens and veggies to all your meals to meet your nutrient needs. If you need a specific supplement, you can find great deals online as well!

17. Use Budget App

There are so many great apps you can download for free. One of my current favorite is HoneyDue because you can track your budget easily with your spouse. There are many options available, just find the one that you’re most likely to use. The ones that download your spendings automatically are often the easiest and will give you a more accurate number.

My husband and I use the same app, but have a separate budget for each of our weekly food plan and for our additional snacks. Keeping things separate can often be helpful to know exactly where your money is going. Plus, it can help hold you accountable if you have a significant other you are sharing money with.

18. Use What you Have

Most people have unused protein powders lying around in their cabinets. Instead of letting that go to waste, work them into your meal plan. Protein powders can make amazing doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes!

19. Enjoy the Process!

Finding ways to enjoy your new lifestyle will be helpful in sticking to it long term. Find fun in seeing how much you can save each month. Make a competition with someone to see who can stick to the lowest budget and create something fun to do for the winner with some of the money saved! Blast some music in the kitchen while cooking your new recipes.

Budgeting and health doesn’t have to be a drag. Make it fun and you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle long-term!

Featured photo credit: kevin laminto via unsplash.com

Reference

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