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7 Legitimate Hacks to Have Fun and Make Money Online

7 Legitimate Hacks to Have Fun and Make Money Online

“Make money online.” You might be reading the 100th article on the topic, and you still haven’t found the real answer. Well, that’s not your fault. Most of the online articles focus on selling their products and, in the process, forget to help their readers.

In this article, we will focus on how to earn money online and have fun at the same time. A person’s aim in the 21st-century is to earn money. After all, who doesn’t love economic freedom? Economic freedom is a healthy way to ensure you and your family’s future.

So let’s get started with the legitimate hacks that you can implement to have fun and make money online!

1. Start freelance writing

Writing online is the easiest way to get some money in your pocket. During the initial starting period, you can be paid anywhere from $1 to $3 per word (if you get the right client). Later on, you can focus on improving your portfolio and target writing for different magazines who pay way better than some websites. Many magazines tend to pay up to $1000 for an amazing article. All you need to do is pitch the idea to the magazine editor and write it once it is approved.

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The hack: Get your basics right. If you are not good in writing, take free online English courses and make sure to use the certificates to boost your chances. After initial skill improvement, start pitching different magazines and websites with your ideas. Once approved, write the article and start earning! Rinse and repeat!

2. Love to code and mentor? Sign up for a code mentorship program

If you are a coder by any chance and also enjoy mentoring, you are in for a good opportunity to earn money. Livecoding, a social platform for engineers, aims to provide a code mentorship program for everyone. In the program, anyone can get a code mentor by signing up for a pro account. Right now, the mentor gets half the amount of the pro account fees per month. Overall, the idea is neat and applicable in the real world, as there are tons of beginners who need mentoring.

The hack: If you want to mentor successfully, you need to have sound knowledge of the programming language or technology you aim to mentor in. Before you start, make sure you know your stuff!

3. Start a blog

What if I told you that you could build your identity online? Yes, you can do so, by starting to blog. Blogging is a way to create your identity. But, don’t get too excited too soon. It is not that easy. It requires years of work, and it is a fact that most bloggers start earning good amount after 4-5 years of experience.

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So, what’s the take? You can start your blogging journey right now, and get the most out of it in the long term. You can earn income through multiple media such as advertising, affiliate programs, services, memberships, etc

The hack: There are many websites where you can learn how to blog. Detailed tutorials are easy to find. All you need to do is get into the groove and start experimenting. You can start with what you love, to what sells. Slowly, you will learn the quirks of the trade and excel with time. The key here is patience. Get started by reading the definite guide to blogging here.

4. Tutor

Online tutoring is a common thing now. With many great websites out there for tutoring purpose, you can quickly jump start your teaching career. It doesn’t matter which topic or subject you are an expert in; you can get appropriate audience online through different platforms such as Upwork.com, TutorVista.com, etc.

The hack: An urge to teaching should be there. You should also have good communication skills and the ability to stay on camera while tutoring. You should also be comfortable with the subject in which you are teaching.

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5. Virtual assistant

Being a Virtual assistant is a great profession. It requires a multitude of skills to execute correctly and is highly honored among companies or individual workers who are looking for additional help. Virtual Assistants do a plethora of work, including writing, calling and doing initial research for clients. The wide range of skills required can be challenging at the start, but with continued practice and effort, you can easily hone them.

The hack: Becoming a VA is all about communication skills and how much you understand your client. The first step is to have an online website, read about VA and its intricate ideas, be pro-active, network well with other VAs, and continuously learn.

6. Become a developer

A developer is a person who is skilled in computer technology and can help build apps for clients. There is a huge demand for developers in the current economy. But, it is a hard skill to master. If you already have some development knowledge, you are ready to move forward. If you don’t, then it is a good idea to join Bootcamps or online courses to start learning. Once you feel competent, you can go to Upwork.com or any other freelancing website to find projects.

The hack: If you are new to development, start with basic online courses and then move to Livecoding to get a taste of how real development take place. Once comfortable, use your connections to get new projects and build a portfolio. With the portfolio, you can now pitch online clients with your ideas and get projects to work on!

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7. Sell your stuff online

It is now incredibly easy to sell your stuff online. It doesn’t matter if you are selling brand new stuff or stuff you already own, you will always get a buyer. There are many websites that let you sell things. For example, you can use ebay.com to sell your stuff. Other websites that you can use to sell stuff are Craigslist, Amazon, etc.

The hack: The only way to sell stuff online is to be good at taking pictures, write good product descriptions, and offer great customer service when things go wrong. You also need to open a PayPal account for transaction purposes. You can also opt to create your website for selling stuff, but with so many eCommerce websites out there, making one is highly discouraged, until and unless you have an excellent idea.

Conclusion

It is now upon you on how to utilize them. Not only you will be more financially secure, but you can learn to enjoy your life freely with better work-life balance. Becoming self-sufficient is never a bad thing to do when the cost of living is increasing every single day.

So, considering where you stand now, which channel of earning are you planning to get started with? Go ahead and show the world how you earn money online and have fun at the same time.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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