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10 Worst Ways You Probably Have Tried to Earn Extra Money

10 Worst Ways You Probably Have Tried to Earn Extra Money

No matter what the song says “love” does not make the world go around, it’s money.  Certainly, we all want to make extra money.  There are always little emergencies that pop up and more money is always a good thing.  However, at one time or another we have all been suckered into believing in “easy” money.  I hope you’ve managed to stay away from these “money-makers.”  But if you haven’t, you’re not alone.  The following are some of the more common ways that people have tried and ultimately failed to earn

1. Internet Surveys

It certainly sounds very tempting and oh so easy. Simply fill out a few surveys and earn some easy, cold, hard cash. While there are a lucky few who report success in filling out surveys. The person has to be within a very narrow demographic in order to profit big. Also, the surveys may pay a penny or a nickel and a particular limit must be reached before the money can be withdrawn. The result is hours of wasted time filling out very few surveys, all while the cash-out remains illusive.

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2. Investments

Here the old adage holds very true, “you need money in order to make money.” And most of us simply do not have that kind of disposable cash. If we did, we likely would not need to invest in the first place. Besides the stock market has been very unstable since 2009, when interest rates were kept artificially low. Ultimately, day and foreign market investing are little more than dangerous gambles. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “sure” thing when it comes to the stock market.

3. Medical Testing

Not only is medical testing an ultimate waste of time, money, and effort a person is risking their overall good health. The money does sound “easy.” Treatment for certain illnesses is free, plus a small compensation is usually provided. Trouble erupts when one person decides to take more than one experiment at a time. The medication or treatment provided may only make the person sicker. Medical testing only puts the person at unnecessary risk.

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4. Selling Bodily Fluids

Once you get past the “ick” factor and really think about this option, it really is a poor way to make money. The process is very, very time-consuming for what amounts to very low pay. Women can opt to sell their eggs, as well. This practice also takes up time and can be quite painful as fertility shots are often required. Donations simply are not a dependable means of making money and very often the practice is limited to strict time restraints.

5. Holding A Sign For Traffic

These folds are often referred to as “sign spinners.” We’ve all seen them standing on a sidewalk, holding a sign to advertise a particular business. Rain or shine, someone can usually be noticed attempting to attract business. The job is tiring due to the requirement of standing on your feet day in and day out. And the pay is generally very poor. Some dislike the practice because it has the potential to distract drivers.

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6. Renting Your Stuff

This practice has become more popular in the last few years. For example, some may rent out their privately owned vehicle or storage space, while still others may rent out homes. The problem is that the return payment may not fully cover any damages done to the personal property. Another disadvantage is that a renter may simply walk away rather than paying on time. The practice simply doesn’t reap the rich rewards in the end.

7. Illegitimate Work-At-Home Jobs

While it sounds great, unfortunately “envelope-stuffing” is not a thing. There are machines that can do the same thing for far less money than their human counterparts. There are hundreds, if not thousands of sites prepared to take your money and offer absolutely nothing but heartache and empty pockets in return. Some of these sites are designed to sucker good people into laundering money for illegal reasons. The best policy is to stay away from these empty promises.

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8. Treasure Hunting

Who hasn’t dreamed of digging up a Spanish gold piece on some distant beach. Geo-caching is another form of the treasure hunting dream. A prize is hidden somewhere and with the use of longitude and latitude people are encouraged to find the hidden treasure. Instead of a metal detector, a GPS is required to hunt for lost treasure. Great amounts of time are required to invest in something with very low return.

9. World Of Warcraft And Similar Games

What could be better than searching for and then selling virtual treasure? It’d be great save for the fact that the market has become over saturated and many have simply lost interest in the practice. Often the result is extremely time-consuming at very low return. Video game reviews and testimonials end up with the same result, too much time with too little return. Not to mention the fact that companies don’t want negative reviews, only positive ones.

10. Recycling

Here again we see an extremely time-consuming effort for very little return. Not to mention the fact that a lot of recycling has to be done before a profit can be turned. In most cases, you would have to collect recyclables from others. And unless you have the storage space and the means to move and clean substantial amounts of items, the effort simply is not worth it. Collections of old cans doesn’t even generate the minimum wage that the effort involves.

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

Reference

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