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7 Best Peer to Peer Commerce Sites for Making & Saving Money

7 Best Peer to Peer Commerce Sites for Making & Saving Money

In the internet age, it’s possible to enjoy an unprecedented variety of luxuries and creature comforts without having to buy from a business.

Just take AirBnB, which allows you to rent other people’s homes when you travel – or Uber, which lets anyone with a mobile phone and a car drive others around for money. Both services have been extremely successful because they’re an affordable – and often better – option than hotels and taxis.

And that’s what “Peer to Peer Commerce” is all about: getting goods and services directly from other people and businesses. What most people don’t know, however, is just how many apps let you participate in Peer to Peer commerce. Below are our favorites for 2016.

A few of these apps and sites are completely new; several became significantly more popular this year; all of them are definitely a fun way to make and save money.

1. Dog Vacay

mother-and-daughter-with-the-pet_1098-2611

    Going on vacation? Wondering where you’re going to leave your dog?

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    You could take your pet to an expensive doggie hotel, where it’ll live with dozens of other dogs…or you can save money by leaving your favorite canine with a caring, loving dog-sitter while you’re away.

    You can schedule to get daily photographs of your dog playing, going outside and getting love from the people it’s staying with. Cool, huh?

    2. Turo

    mother-son-and-great-hat-5-1506490

      Turo – previously Relay Rides – allows users to rent their neighbors’ cars via a convenient online website and mobile app.

      This means you can get a car when you need it, and get access to a large S.U.V., a jeep or even a sports car without having to own one. And if you’re a car owner, you can make money by letting others use your car when you don’t need it for yourself.

      3. TaskRabbit

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      girl-with-a-reflex_1150-2

        TaskRabbit lets you hire people to run small errands, from grocery shopping to fetching coffee to your office from Starbucks.

        Now you can feel like Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada – minus the aggressive demeanor – without having to hire a full-time personal assistant! Even better, you can trust more complex tasks – from cleaning and moving to home repairs and handyman work – to TaskRabbit contractors…

        And, of course, make a side income in your free time while doing chores for other users.

        4. Amazon Marketplace

        amazon-com-market-place

          Surprised to see Amazon on this list? Don’t be!

          Amazon Marketplace allows businesses and individuals to sell their goods to each other. With eBay traffic falling significantly over the last couple of years, Amazon Marketplace is the hot new platform for P2P commerce.

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          And if you do end up enjoying how the platform works, you can easily transition from selling things you no longer need to running your own business with services like Fulfilled by Amazon.

          5. Fon

          woman-with-a-smartphone-in-airport_1163-708

            Have you ever been in an unfamiliar city without an internet connection? Have you ever wished you could use one of the many password-protected WiFi networks around you?

            With Fon, you can!

            Fon is a little different from the other businesses on this list because it’s more about sharing than P2P commerce. It lets you use other people’s WiFis in different cities around the globe in exchange for them using yours.

            Having said that, I love the idea behind Fon – and couldn’t not include it on this list.

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            6. Spinlister

            golf-club-with-a-ball_1160-442

              Doing sports when you’re on vacation is fun. Unfortunately, some kinds of sports equipment – snowboards, high-end mountain bikes, surfboards – can be extremely expensive to buy, and difficult to take with you on vacation.

              Spinlister solves this problem by letting you rent sports equipment from other folks when you’re abroad or at home. With users in 100+ countries, this is a great way to connect with locals and do your favorite sport without overpaying.

              7. JustPark

              beach-town-traditional-street_442-19316813

                Tired of trying to find a parking spot near your home or job? Consider paying your neighbors – or the nice folks who live close to your office – to use theirs instead with JustPark.

                Users report saving 60% on their parking fees on an average – not to mention that, in cities like New York, JustPark spots are often an alternative to circling the same block for hours, trying to find someplace to leave your car.

                Featured photo credit: blog.bazaarvoice.com via blog.bazaarvoice.com

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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!

                More About Personal Finance Management

                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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