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22 Creative Ways to Make Money (Simple and Effective)

22 Creative Ways to Make Money (Simple and Effective)

Money, you always wish you had a bit more — to buy that fancy dress or a new gadget, to save more for your vacation or a cool dinner date, to pay off your debt faster or just feel more laid back about your whole personal finance situation.

The follow list features some simple, yet effective and creative ways to make money on the side. You can earn a few extra hundreds each month without spending neither much time nor efforts!

1. Recycle your old phone(s)

Bet you got a few ancient Nokia’s or old phones hidden somewhere around the house. You’d be surprised to know that you can actually get some cash if you decide to sell them.

A lot of companies offer compensation for recycling old phones which are shipped somewhere to Asia and getting dismantled there. You can check the list of companies and possible earnings here. Ask your family and friends if they’d like to give away their old phones too for a bigger bucks.

2. Invite people for dinner

If you have relatively impressive cooking skills and some room to host guests, sign up for Eat With – a cool new service connecting travelers with hosts around the world, who invite them to a small dinner party for a fixed fee. As a host, you can set a rate per guest, choose the time and dates when you are available to throw a feast and indicate the max amount of people you are ready to invite (usually less than 6).

To become a host, fill in an application form where you tell about yourself, your cooking talents and your place. Currently, the service is available in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and some major cities in Europe, Middle East and South America. The money you can earn for a small party are more than decent.

3. Become a part-time mover

This option is more suitable for guys, but girls are often accepted too to move around fragile stuff and do some minor cleaning. Moving jobs are typically per request and you can always choose a suitable time for you to do them.

A lot of moving companies allow you to create an account with them for a fee, list your services, rates, working hours etc. and get hired for temporary jobs. Check out this list of moving jobs to get a better idea of how things work and how much you can actually earn for lifting someone’s sofa.

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4. Review music for cash

All music lovers will love this job – all you need to do is listen to and review unsigned bands and artists online at Slicethepie. It may take a while to build up your reputation, but you can earn extra $50+ per month for spending 5-10 min a day listening to some aspiring music talents (or not so talents).

5. Get cash rebates for scanning your receipts

You do buy groceries, cosmetics and other staff monthly, do you? Why don’t you earn some extra bucks for that? Download a free Ibotta app, browse around and see what rebates there are offering if you scan and upload your receipts for a certain product they request.

For instance, they offer 50 cents if you upload a picture of a receipt where you bought milk and offer $10 for a picture of a Best Buy receipt. Of course, it makes no sense going out and purposefully buying products with the highest rebate, yet it won’t take much of your time taking and uploading pictures of things you typically buy and stash some extra cash by the end of the month.

6. Sell your wardrobe

This is a perfect option for women. How many dresses do you have that you wore like 3 times and now they’re hidden somewhere deep in your closet? Clothes you no longer wear shouldn’t pile up around the house when they can be turned into cash asserts.

You can either organize a yard sale yourself (which is kind of a hassle), or better sell the items through ThredUp, which will pay somewhere around $2-$25 for staff from Gap, Banana Republic, H&M, etc. You can browse around to see how much different items are worth. The best thing about ThredUp is that all you need to do is pack your clothes in a box and then just ship it to them (shipping costs are covered by the company).

7. Test websites for money

A lot of big companies look for feedback on the usability of their websites and you can get paid doing that. Expect to earn somewhere from 10 cents for an assignment taking less than a minute, to $10-$15 when it comes to larger questionnaires requesting more of your time.

Here’s a big list of sites where you can create an account and start earning cash. All the payments are typically made via PayPal either at the end of the month or when you have earned a certain sum.

8. Get paid for being someone’s friend

Rent a Friend is an absolutely legit US service where people offer their friendship (and nothing more!) starting from $10 and up to $50 per hour. As Scott Rosenbaum, the creator of the service says: “Just to hang out with, go to a movie or restaurant with or find someone to show you around an unfamiliar town”.

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As current users say you can get invited to be someone’s +1 on a VIP event, wine tasting tour, concert or some other cool activity that will cost you nothing to attend!

If you are easygoing and communicative, this might be the best job for you. Some users claim to do it full-time and earn over $50,000 per year! To become a friend, you’ll need to fill in an application form describing your personality and send it to the community manager.

9. Earn by tweeting

If you have a relatively large following on Twitter, you can get paid somewhere from $0.5 to $20 for tweeting sponsored tweets and content to your audience. The rate depends on the amount of followers you have and some other factors e.g. the age of your account.

You can earn with SponsoredTweetsPaidPerTweet and some other services alike.

10. Try match betting

It’s an absolutely legit, risk free and tax free technique. The system works by taking advantage of free bets vastly offered by online betting sites through ‘matching’ them at a betting exchange. Matched betting eliminates the risk as you are betting both for and against a certain result at the same time!

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get started with this. Don’t forget you have to be over 21 (18) to bet!

11. Get paid $35/hour to drive people around

Yes, that’s exactly how much you can make with Lyft and Uber. Users can just login from their phone and request a drive in all major cities in US. It’s faster and at least twice cheaper than calling the typical cab.

You, as a driver, will get a notification and can take a lift request. You set your own working hours and earn money. Obviously, you’ll need your own car to earn with them and some initial money to pay for the gas.

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12. Do odd jobs at Fiverr

At Fiverr, you can offer any kind of service starting from $5. Register an account, browse around the gigs and offer something similar. Seriously, at this online marketplace you can sell and buy all sort of things from voiceovers to logo design to things like “I’ll pretend to be your girlfriend on Facebook for 2 days”.

Write an attractive gig description clearly outlining what you’ll do for 5 bucks e.g. translate 200 words from French to English; add extras e.g. translated 300 words more for $5; deliver the order in just one day etc; add a payment method – Paypal or Payoneer and start promoting your gig and earning money.

13. Sell your notes

If you are good at writing notes and attended all lectures, you can sell your asserts to less committed students via NoteSale. You can create a listing for free, but the site will take a per cent from each of your sales. Typed notes in PDF/Text format sell best, yet it’s worth trying with scanned handwritten notes too if you have nice clear writing.

14. Sell old books the smart way

Instead of just taking them to the thrift shop and receiving peanuts, try using BooksCounter app. Scan the book barcode, upload it to the app’s system and see which of 20+ different buyback companies offers the highest payout. Once you found the right company, all you have to do is fill in some basic information of how you’d like to get paid, download a free shipping label and pack up all the books to dispatch.

15. Do data entry jobs

This may include mere copy-pasting, minor text editing, data categorisation, translations and staff alike. You can work a few hours a day and earn some hundred bucks by the end of the month. Obviously, the total payout depends on how fast/good you are. Sign up to ClickWorker if you can tolerate handling some routine tasks in exchange for cash injections.

16. Become a mystery shopper

Go undercover to local stores, look around, take notes and sneaky pictures of stuff doing nothing, fill in the questionnaire afterwards and get your cash. You can get mystery shopping assignments via Mobee app (typically the payments are not that big, yet the tasks you need to do are simple too) or get an account with Marketforce – a more established website where you’ll need to carefully fill in an application form and pass a review process. The potential earning are much bigger.

17. Sell out your old CDs, movies and games

Again, you might be surprised to know that some companies pay cash for your old compact discs. Music Magpie will pay you somewhere between a few cents to over ten bucks for all your old staff. It’s a nice way to finally de-clutter your home too!

18. Distribute leaflets

It sounds like a bit of a lame job, but some companies can offer you good money for giving away promotional staff or doing door drops. For say working 4-5 hours on the weekends, you can expect to earn somewhere between $40-$60 per 1.000 distributed leaflets.

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19. Teach classes online

If you are particularly good at somethings, say map design, capable of creating a series of video lessons, you can become a tutor at SkillShare. You’ll be in good company with folks like Seth Godin and James Franco among others. SkillShare tutorials and 30 days teaching challenge will help you create a winning video tutorial. Your earnings will depend on the popularity of your course, but even low attendance will let you earn some decent money.

You don’t need to have prior teaching experience, just skills and passion about what you do.

20. Become a language tutor online

Did you know that English language practice is in high demand in Asia? Sites like Italki.com allows teachers to list their rates and services, schedule classes and provide you with tools to conduct them in real time. You can expect to make $15-20 per hour.

If English isn’t your first language, no worries, italiki also invites French, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and more native speakers to join. You’ll have to fill in a detailed application form, get it approved and afterwards create a professional looking profile, suitable schedule for you and different courses you offer. The service will handle the rest – scheduling, marketing payments and so on.

21. Sell handmade and vintage items on Etsy

Found some retro clothes in your grandma’s chest or made a few cool brooches your friends admire? Become an Etsy seller to earn money for your crafts.

Opening your shop, listing products and prices takes less than 30 minutes. It costs $0.20 to list one item in your shop for 4 month (or till it sales) and Etsy takes 3.5% commission from each sale you make. Mind that fact when setting up the prices. Shipping costs are either to be covered by you or by the buyer (you can set the rates depending on the buyer’s’ location e.g. free shipping around US; $10.99 shipping to Europe).

22. Become a field agent

Sign up for an account with Field Agent and get paid to do small tasks around town for different clients. Those usually involve scanning barcodes with your Phone, checking prices at your local drug store and conducting field surveys. Your earnings vary from assignment to assignment and depend on the area you are based in.

For example, one listing offers $9 for 4 pictures of any products in the toothbrush section of the local Target in Mission Viejo, CA; while taking one picture of $19.99 & under video game display taken in any Toys”R”Us in NYC will earn you $5.50.

This list of effective and creative ways to make money will help you get some extra money fast. Pick one or a few to start getting those extra bucks now!

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.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!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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