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10 Unusual Ways To Make Money

10 Unusual Ways To Make Money

The median U.S. salary is less than $29,000, and even those who exceed this metric are not likely to make more than $45,000. In other words, individuals who are working a typical 9-to-5 job may not be bringing in enough money to have their version of the American dream. This becomes even more difficult for retirees and those who are not suited to a career in Corporate America. Fortunately, there are several alternative methods you can utilize to either boost your current income or to replace a typical job altogether.

1. Join A Clinical Trial

Not every clinical trial offers cash compensation, and the amount paid in others will vary. However, it may be possible to earn anywhere from a few dollars to almost $2,000 for participating in one clinical trial. The trick is to pay close attention to the qualifying criteria and any applicable payments so that you can choose the right type of trial for you. As an added bonus, some people who choose this route are able to gain access to potentially life-saving medication for a variety of medical issues.

2. Start House Flipping

The housing market is continuously improving, but there are still many foreclosed properties that are available for a discounted price. This gives someone who is handy with tools a good opportunity to get involved in house flipping. In a nutshell, the process of flipping houses involves buying cheap homes with the intention of investing enough time and money to dramatically increase their value. The amount of money that you can make will depend on several factors, but a quick house flip has the potential to bring in several thousand dollars in one month.

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3. Dog Walking And Pet Sitting

Many people who work full-time hire others to walk their dog or even pet sit throughout the day, and this is also a useful alternative to boarding animals during vacation. In the past, this was something that people in the local area could use as a way to make a few dollars, but the rise of websites such as Care.com and Pet Sitters International makes it possible to earn $10 an hour or more offering these services. This is a great way for animal lovers to supplement their income, and some people have even turned it into a career!

4. Tutor Others In Your Top Subjects

YouTube and other online resources can help students get a better grasp on tricky subjects, but there are still many people who need an actual tutor to answer questions and show them more difficult concepts. Tutors for every subject imaginable can be found in-person and on numerous websites. According to Presto Experts, online tutors can earn at least 50 cents per minute for offering their knowledge to others. This may not be a steady source of income, but it is a good way to earn an extra $30 per hour every so often.

5. Sell Your Hair And Plasma

There are many things that you naturally have on and in your body that are worth money to others, including hair, plasma, and sperm. For example, the online hair price calculator indicates that 6 inches of brown undyed hair is valued at $59. Donating plasma can bring in $200 or more per month, and a sperm donation is usually worth at least $35. There are also some much more highly invasive procedures you can go through if you need to make a larger amount of money. Qualified women have the option of selling their eggs, and a completed cycle is typically compensated with an $8,000 payment.

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6. Become A Professional Gamer

Are video games one of your favorite things about life? If your skill level is high enough, you may be able to turn your interest into a viable career. The top professional gamer in the industry earned $454,544 in 2013, but it is important to note that this is not a typical salary. Earning an annual salary of $25,000 as a gamer will require you to win at least one U.S. tournament each year, so you need to be very dedicated and skilled to make a decent living.

7. Turn Your Snapshots Into Stock Photos

Stock photos sites are very common, and almost anyone with a camera can join them in order to make some extra cash. Simply upload any pictures that may be useful for websites or marketers and set your price. Most people will not accrue a lot of money by doing this, and you may end up selling photos for less than 50 cents each. The good news, though, is that this is something that can be done in your spare time, and each picture has the potential to make money after it has been uploaded.

8. Make Your Backyard A Rental Space For Campers

People who do not spend all of their time in one location can turn their house into a rental home, but this is not going to provide any steady source of income unless you have two houses. However, your backyard will always be available, and some resourceful individuals have started renting this space to campers and gardeners. You will need to make sure that you have the proper insurance and that you are not violating any local laws, but most homeowners should have the ability to utilize this unusual revenue source.

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9. Become A Local Tour Guide

Do you live in or near a popular tourist destination? If so, you can turn your localized expertise into an easy way to make extra money! There are multiple websites you can join to advertise your services, and this is also a great way to spend time outside while socializing with new people from around the world. Guides do everything from providing a generalized overview of the city to taking people on specialized routes such as the macabre Jack the Ripper tours that are very popular in London.

10. Flip Items On eBay

House flipping comes with a bigger reward than eBay flipping, but it also requires a larger initial commitment. If this is out of your reach, you can start building some capital by picking up useful and collectible items from yard sales and flea markets. After you clean them up, they can be flipped on eBay for a profit. Make sure that you pay close attention to current trends, and it is also wise to invest in a current toy collectible pricing guide so that you avoid overspending.

Combining these money-making tips with some of the most unusual ways to save money is a great way to boost your bank account! Even if you are only able to utilize one or two of these methods, it should soon be at least a bit easier to pay all of your bills and keep some money in your savings account.

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Featured photo credit: TaxCredits.net via flickr.com

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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