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5 Smart Moves For Millennials To Boost Retirement Savings

5 Smart Moves For Millennials To Boost Retirement Savings

Retirement might not be coming your way for quite some time, but if you haven’t started planning for it yet, it’s possible that you’re already a bit behind. As the outlook on retirement looks dimmer and dimmer for our generation, the need to contribute early and often to a retirement savings fund becomes all the more important. Fortunately, there are several ways you can boost your savings now to build your funds faster and secure a more stable future for yourself in your older age.

Here are six smart moves you should be making now to boost your chances of building a sufficient fund for the future.

1. Automate Your Savings

Americans are notorious for neglecting the importance of building a savings account. Nearly seven out of ten Americans have less than $1000 in a savings account. One of the best ways to make sure you’re actually putting money away instead of spending it is to automate regular contributions to your savings accounts. Of course, you’ll want to automate your retirement savings so that a small amount comes out each month, but you’ll want to contribute to a personal savings account as well.

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Set up an automatic funds transfer between your checking and your savings account. Set an amount that is large enough to build funds over time, but small enough that it doesn’t break your bank each month. For your retirement savings, check with your employer to see if the company offers an automatic payroll deduction that contributes to your 401(k).

2. Take Advantage of 401(k) Matching

While you’re discussing your savings options with your employer, be sure to ask if the company offers 401(k) matching. Many companies will offer this to their full-time employees. In its simplest form, 401(k) matching means the company will match a percentage of your monthly contribution to your 401(k) with its own money to help you build funds more quickly.

Not all employers will offer 401(k) matching, but just asking about it can be helpful in putting the idea of implementing a matching program on their radar.

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Before you head in to talk to your employer, it will be helpful to have a little background information on what a matching program entails. Check out this guide for a quick overview of what a typical 401(k) matching program might look like.

3. Refinance Student Loan Debt

Debt from student loans is one of the most common factors affecting the millennial generation’s ability to put money away in a retirement savings account. In fact, about 40 million Americans are currently paying off student loan debt. Although it might seem like you’re stuck with the same monthly installments for the rest of your life, you actually have an option to lower your monthly payments and free up some of your monthly income to put away into your retirement savings account.

Refinancing student loan debt can help you adjust your payments to an amount that makes it easier to have enough money to save each month. The process can even help you identify ways to lower interest rates where possible.

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If you have any type of loan out, chances are you’ve received a letter from at least one company offering to help you refinance your debt. What you should know is that not all companies are equal in terms of their abilities to provide a trusted refinancing service. If you’re a bit new to the idea of refinancing, check out this guide to learn a little more about some of the top companies for refinancing student loan debt.

4. Cut the Cord on Cable

The average cable bill is around $99 a month. When you add on your internet connection, this will likely be an additional $20 to $45 per month for a standard connection. Add this up, and the amount you spend each month for entertainment gets pretty high! If you have a monthly cable subscription and are constantly wondering where your money went at the end of each month, this is likely one of the major culprits contributing to your lack of funds. This is why the trend of cutting the cord on cable is growing among the millennial generation.

Although most of us aren’t quite ready to cut the cord on internet, many of us are willing to nix cable and sacrifice the ability to binge watch marathons on our favorite channels to save about 100 bucks a month. You can sign up for a monthly streaming subscription like Hulu or Netflix for around $15 a month to replace cable and save big on your monthly expenses. All you need is a streaming device like Chromecast or Apple TV to stream content from your computer to your television.

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Cutting the cord will help you save quite a bit of money each month that will be put to better use in your retirement savings account.

5. Stick to the Same Car for Awhile

We all love the idea of cruising around in a beautiful new car, but what we often don’t realize is that we’re throwing a lot of money down the drain when we insist on swapping out cars every couple years or so.

Experts say that when an individual is able to stick to a plan of keeping a car for at least 10 years, they purchase half as many cars in their lifetime. This means you could save a huge amount of your money and be better set for retirement if you commit to owning a car for awhile before you look into a newer option. Not to mention, after the course of a three to five year loan, you’ll have at least another five years of debt-free ownership of your car if you keep it around for at least 10 years. This means more money in your monthly budget to put toward saving for retirement.

So there you have it, five smart ways you can save money now to boost your retirement savings and prepare for a comfortable lifestyle in the future. Hopefully these tips will help you establish a few healthy saving habits to build an effective retirement savings account. If you have any questions or perhaps a tip you’d like to add for other readers, comment below!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Last Updated on August 7, 2018

How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

Not too long ago, you believed that making money with a blog was impossible. But after seeing dozens of income reports from other bloggers, you became hooked. Now you’re left wondering if you could achieve similar results.

In this article, I’ll consolidate the lessons learned from some successful bloggers and get you the advice on how to make money with a blog.

How to monetize your blog the right way

A blog is more than a website with words, it’s a brand that solves a problem. When you’re first starting off it’s difficult to make any money. Why? Because no one trusts your brand.

The solution is simple, provide engaging content to build a large audience. Once your blog’s traffic and subscribers have grown, here are the most effective ways you can monetize your blog.

  1. Affiliate Marketing[1]
  2. Selling Courses[2]
  3. Coaching[3]

“Get rich quick” schemes rarely work

Some believe that bloggers had their success handed to them, but this is far from the truth. Their success required sacrifice, discipline and courage to work. And this is where most people run into trouble because they’re unwilling to put in the work.

Your first step to building income through your blog is to stop believing it will be easy to achieve. The trick is to only listen to a few bloggers who are at the position you’d like to be and take massive action.

It can take months or even years before you start earning income.

And when the going gets tough, keep going. Don’t stop. Learn to love the journey more than the outcome and you’ll build a profitable blog.

Executing the right advice leads to success

You need to learn from bloggers with diverse backgrounds.

What motivates someone to build an online business may not inspire you. But there’re strategies some bloggers will share that you’ll resonate with.

So what’s the next step? To start taking action.

How to make money with a blog: Lessons learned from 23 successful bloggers

Browse the list of some of the most influential and down to earth bloggers in today’s time. Chances are that you’ll resonate with a few of them. Take their practical lessons and apply them to your blog.

These bloggers may spark light bulb moments for you and change your life forever.

1. Gary Vaynerchuck – Down to earth entrepreneur who’ll transform your life

    Gary is a proud “D” student who helped his dad grow his wine liquor store into a 60 million business. He left the wine business to start his own digital agency, which now generates over $100 million.

    Today, he inspires entrepreneurs of all ages through his blog, vlog, and Podcast to take full control of their lives doing what they love.

    Lesson: Have the patience to build a successful business.

    2. Pat Flynn – Online Jedi who’s fearless to try new ideas

      Pat built several sites, is an author of many books and has launched many podcasts. His blog is one of the most popular sites on the web for beginner and experienced entrepreneurs. Despite Pat’s success, he’s still humble and willing to help others.

      Lesson: Don’t let fear stop you from stepping out of your comfort zone.

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      3. John Lee Dumas – Entrepreneur on fire, inspiring others through his voice

        John is the host of EOFire, an award-winning business podcast, interviewing top entrepreneurs. He’s interviewed successful entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins and many more. John is also the author of the #1 ranked book for Podcasting in Amazon. He’s an excellent example of what happens when you chase your dreams and remain committed.

        Lesson: Follow one course until success (FOCUS).

        4. J Money – Rockstar money expert who injects “cool” into finance

          J Money is an award-winning personal finance blogger, company advisor and money rockstar. He injects a “fun” personality in his blog, adding a sense of “coolness” to personal finance. He’s the founder of RockstarFinance, a personal finance directory filled with useful resources.

          The fresh perspectives J shares about money will leave you pondering for days.

          Lesson: Have fun with your blog to stand out and create engaging content.

          5. Mr. Money Mustache – Badass blogger who’ll transform your financial lifestyle

            Mr.MM’s goal is to help you live a “badass” life. He has unique money saving ideas up his sleeve, such as cutting your grocery bill in half, and DIY solar panels. There are no “generic” articles in his blog, only thorough and well-thought ideas.

            Mr.MM is financially independent and willing to share his secrets if you dare to listen.

            Lesson: Focus on your needs and wants to live your dream lifestyle.

            6. Sam – Thoughtful blogger sharing smart insights

              Sam is a blogger and a real estate investor. His blog has received millions of views and featured in Forbes, Lifehacker, CNBC, and many more. Sam dives deep into topics like real estate, retirement planning, and career strategies. Read his blog and discover why it’s “bookmark-worthy”.

              Lesson: Keep investing in yourself to be better prepared for the future.

              7. Joshua Dorkin – The persistent entrepreneur who never lost hope

                Joshua is a well-known entrepreneur and speaker who’s featured in major publications. He’s built the nation’s largest real estate investing blog and co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast.

                He’s the ultimate example of what’s attainable when you pursue your dreams. His blog is one of the only few you’ll need to reach financial independence with real estate.

                Lesson: Keep working towards your goal despite who tries to stop you.

                8. Ramit Sethi – That “cool” teacher who’ll help you reach your next level

                  Ramit is a New York Times Bestselling author. He prides himself on being different, which is why he loves giving away 98% of his material for free. His content is binge-worthy and will bring out the awesome out of you.

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                  If you’re ready to master your inner psychology or finance, then stop by Ramit’s blog.

                  Lesson: There’s always a way to get what you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

                  9. Paula Pant – The entrepreneur who took an enormous risk chasing freedom

                    Paula is a writer, speaker and freedom enthusiast. It didn’t take long after landing her “dream” job to know it wouldn’t offer the freedom she’d craved.

                    Today, Paula has reached financial independence by building many income streams. Her writing style is engaging will leave you questioning your limiting beliefs.

                    Lesson: It’s worth risking the odds to live your desired lifestyle.

                    10. Steve – Early retiree, fearless to take a stance

                      Steve reached financial independence 30 years earlier than the typical American. You can find his work in major sites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and many more.

                      Currently, Steve writes detailed content on his blog helping readers achieve financial independence. If you’re looking to save money, or retire early, you’ll love Steve’s blog.

                      Lesson: Plan ahead to reach your desired goals.

                      11. Robert Farrington – Millennial Sensei for college students

                        Robert is a consultant, and a writer dubbed as America’s Millennial money expert. His passion for managing money at a young age led him to create The College Investor. In his blog, you’ll find great resources to crush student loan debt and invest your money.

                        Lesson: Be open-minded with how you can express your passion.

                        12. Joe Udo – The writer who took the road less taken

                          Taking risks ain’t easy, but there are always a few people who take it anyways. Joe is a blogger, investor and a great example of what risk takers do. He retired before turning 40, after leaving a job he’d been working for over a decade.

                          Joe’s blog shares proven ways to building passive income, and managing your money.

                          Lesson: Taking risks becomes easier when you prepare daily.

                          13. Elle Martinez – The financial superwoman for struggling couples

                            Elle has a passion for money, so much that she’s been writing about personal finance for over a decade. She enjoys helping couples build their finances together, and live on one income.

                            Elle’s blog helps you avoid money fights, boosts your savings, and much more.

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                            Lesson: Find ways to solve the problems you’re obsessed about.

                            14. Len Penzo – Creative blogger who makes personal finance entertaining

                              Len’s blog has received over 9 million visitors. He’s featured in major publications such as the NY Times, Forbes, and many more.

                              Len transforms boring money subjects into engaging content that hook readers for more. If you want to make smarter financial decisions, his blog is a must-read.

                              Lesson: Create engaging content to build a large audience.

                              15. Farnoosh Torabi – Finance expert, inspiring women to unleash their full potential

                                Farnoosh used to borrow clothes and eat $5 Footlongs until she climbed out of debt. Today she’s a journalist, author, TV personality, and financial expert. Farnoosh is the host of SO Money, one of iTunes’s top financial Podcasts. She’s a leader and inspiration to other women.

                                Lesson: View your shortcomings as gifts and use them to stand out.

                                16. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Young entrepreneur achieving success on the road

                                  Michelle started blogging in 2011 with hopes of improving her finances. Today, her blog is one of the most popular personal finance blogs you’ll find. There’s a slim chance you might catch her on the road, as she’s touring around the US with her husband. Her blog contains advice for growing your income and living a better lifestyle.

                                  Lesson: Be transparent about your struggles to build a supportive audience.

                                  17. Phillip Talyor – Money expert who knows how to throw a finance party

                                    Phillip Taylor or “PT” is a blogger, CPA, and a finance enthusiast. At one point, he’d accumulated a ton of debt and was in need of financial wisdom. He created his blog to document his financial wins, and collaborate with others.

                                    Because of Phillip’s passion for finance, he created FinCon. Today, Fincon is the go-to conference where influencers and financial brands meet.

                                    Lesson: Hard work is more important than experience to achieve your goals.

                                    18. Stefanie O’Connell – The financial role model every woman needs

                                      Stefanie started blogging around 2008, at a time when most of America was in a financial crisis. Despite this, she went from living on less than $500 a week to dubbed as a Millennial money expert.

                                      Stefanie spends her time helping ambitious women adopt “rich” habits. Join Stefanie’s tribe and start feeling empowered with your finances.

                                      Lesson: You can be a role model for others if you’re brave enough to face your fears

                                      19. J.D. Roth – Finance enthusiast who’ll leave you thinking smarter

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                                        J.D. was a contributor of the “Your Money” column for Entrepreneur magazine. His blog is one of the best personal finance blogs on the web and has received millions of visitors. You’ll find in-depth articles that will leave you making smarter money decisions.

                                        Lesson: No matter how big your problems are, there’s always a solution.

                                        20. Catherine Alford – Entrepreneur mom, inspiring women to chase their dreams

                                          Catherine is a speaker, writer, and a proud mom of 2 twins. She’s an inspiration for women looking to spend more time with their families. Catherine became best Contributor/Freelancer for personal finance in 2014.

                                          Discover why you don’t need to choose between your career and family at Catherine’s blog.

                                          Lesson: Your story can become the inspiration many are searching for.

                                          21. Natalie Bacon – Life coach and entrepreneur inspiring women to design their dream lives

                                            Natalie is an inspiration for those looking to pursue their passion. She’s featured in major sites like The Huffington Post, Forbes, and many others. Natalie follows her dreams and isn’t afraid of hard work. Her blog contains quality content that will inspire you to take action.

                                            Lesson: Don’t be afraid to change course because you’ll be one step closer to finding your dream life.

                                            22. Crystal Paine – Inspirational entrepreneur who loves to give back

                                              Crystal is a personal finance blogger who’s been writing since 2006. Her site has creative ways to save money on groceries, clothes, toys, and much more. Crystal donates a percentage of her blog’s income towards life-impacting ministries.

                                              Her blog will not only teach you how to save money but also how to live an abundant lifestyle.

                                              Lesson: Focus on helping others first and you’ll build massive wealth.

                                              23. Liz – Frugal expert who’ll transform your bad spending habits

                                                Liz is an author, writer and a frugal expert who enjoys helping others save money. She’s featured in NPR, Forbes, Liz’s blog contains creative ways to save money and reach financial independence.

                                                Lesson: Be bold enough to prioritize your opinion above others’.

                                                Start your blog and achieve jaw-dropping results

                                                Imagine waking in your pajamas and opening your laptop. You notice a few hundred dollars were deposited to your Paypal account. This money didn’t fall from the sky, it came from your blog.

                                                Not too long ago you believed making money from a blog was impossible, but now you’ve finally achieved it. Amazing isn’t it?

                                                This can be your reality if you learn from these successful bloggers. Go through this list and pick your top three bloggers. Take a look at their content (Blog, Podcast, Video), and break your bad habits.

                                                The time has come to transform yourself into the blogger you’d like to become. You’re not someone who only wants to accumulate a ton of cash. You want to live your dream life and impact others doing what you love.

                                                What’s stopping you now?

                                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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