Advertising
Advertising

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 Also, the surveys may pay a penny or a nickel and a particular limit must be reached before the money can be withdrawn.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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More by this author

20 Awesome DIY Office Organization Ideas That Boost Efficiency 25 Simple And Creative Ways To Cheer Someone Up 25 Bathroom Hacks You’ll Want to Share With Everyone The Best Answers to the 7 Worst Interview Questions 10 Benefits of Bitter Melon That Makes It Even More Worth Eating

Trending in Money

1 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 2 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 3 10 Recession-Proof Debt Consolidation Tips 4 The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever) 5 25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal 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. 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 to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

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

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal 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’s for. It could be anything, including your child’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 that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals 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 beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as 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.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

Advertising

4. Short Term Vs Long Term

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

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a 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.

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

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-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.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, 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 spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

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

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

Advertising

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 manage all the expenses from the rest.

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

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

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. 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 counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

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.

Advertising

5. 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.

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

6. Maintain a Journal

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

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.

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

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s 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.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

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[2].

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 compared to equity instruments.

Advertising

3. 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.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

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

    4. 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 and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    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

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next