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40 Flexible Ways for Stay At Home Moms and Dads to Earn Real Money

40 Flexible Ways for Stay At Home Moms and Dads to Earn Real Money

Being a stay-at-home mom or dad is a full-time job, but it doesn’t pay a full-time paycheck. This makes it difficult for some one-income families to earn enough money to pay for things they need, let alone grow their savings. Good news is, there are ways to earn money without leaving the house or sacrificing your time with the kids. These opportunities enable you to make some cash while your children are at school, asleep, or even while they’re home and wide awake!

Keep in mind that working from home requires self-discipline, organization, and focus (here are my favorite books on getting it all done with less stress). It’ll take a bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for you, and you must be driven to keep going even when you feel like giving up, or if others question your decisions. But the effort is worth it. I know this because I’ve been working for myself since 1996, and it’s rubbed off on my son, who recently started experimenting with ways to earn money from home; without interfering with his school or activities! If you have a teen looking to make some extra cash, check out this list!

So without further ado, I present to you the big list of flexible ways for stay at home moms and dads to earn extra cash on the side… or if you’re really motivated, earn a full time income!

Make money by flexing your creativity:

1. Make Money With Your Blog

Just about everyone’s got a blog now, right? Heck, I have more than I can count with both hands! But for good reason… it’s where I make most of my hands-free income from affiliate commissions, Google AdSense, and sponsored advertisers. You get to choose what your blog is about, when to write, what products to promote, and what types of ads to feature. Have you been curious about starting a food blog? Maybe a parenting blog? How about a marketing blog? Or a fashion blog? The possibilities are endless and getting one set up is easy as one, two, three! Check it out!

2. Affiliate Marketing

Did you know that you don’t even need to have your own products or services to earn a hefty paycheck? This is the beauty of affiliate marketing. You promote other people’s stuff and when someone buys, you collect a cut of the sale price! That’s it. No need to carry an inventory, deliver the product, or provide support to the customers! Where do you promote affiliate products? On your blog, social media, articles you write… pretty much anywhere! Here are some popular networks that offer ad links to earn some cash from:

  • Rakuten Linkshare – My favorite network. You can promote popular brands such as Starbucks, iTunes, and Walmart, as well as products offered by smaller companies
  • Amazon – They’re tied with Linkshare as my favorite network. You can promote books, audio books, video games, clothing, kitchen tools, even car parts! You can earn up to 10% commission on majority of what’s being sold on their website! They pay their associates like clockwork, which I love.
  • Clickbank – Their online marketplace contains tens of thousands of products to choose from, and you can earn commissions as high as 75%!
  • JVZoo – Huge variety of products to promote; from business, cooking, and education, to foreign language, gambling, and travel!
  • Shareasale – These guys have over 3,900 merchants to promote from including: Beachbody, Zazzle, Craftsy, Juleep, and Weebly. They always pay on time too!

3. Sell Custom T-Shirts

Teespring allows you to create & sell custom t-shirts with zero hassle, zero upfront costs, and zero risk! You design and promote it, and they produce and ship it! Great for reunions, sports teams, clubs, and parties!

4. Listen to Music for Cash

If you listen to music all day like I do, you’ll love this program. All you need to do is listen to unsigned bands and artists online and submit a review at Slicethepie. Active users with high reputations are earning an extra $50+ per month for just 5-10 min a day listening to some aspiring music talents. It may not seem much, but stick it in a savings account and that’s $50 more than what you had before!

5. Set Up an Online Store

You can now profit from your own online store from the comfort of your home, and setting it up is extremely easy! Many people make decent part-time and full-time income with online storefronts. Here are a few of my favorites:

6. Get Paid for Freelance Writing Work

Elance has thousands of job listings available for freelance writers. If you love writing and are able to provide unique articles and content, this could be a perfect fit. There’s a husband and wife team who runs their freelance writing business on the site, and they’ve made over $468,000 in the last 12 months. Check it out!

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7. Sell Articles for Cash

If you have a knack for writing articles on various topics, this is for you. All you need are writing skills, unique articles to submit, and a Paypal account to receive payments! Check out ArticleSale.com and Constant-Content.com to get started!

8. Have a Garage/Yard Sale

How about having an good ole fashioned garage sale? Advertise it on Craigslist and make some extra cash clearing out all that clutter!

9. Find and Post Odd Jobs on Craigslist

Local peeps are looking for help with things like walking their dogs, clearing out their email inbox, landscaping, and house painting all the time! Do a search at Craigslist and you’ll surely find a job you can easily earn cash from in your spare time. If you don’t see anything that’s right for you, post a service of your own.

Make money by selling what you have:

10. Sell Your Old Books

Do you have books laying around, collecting dust? BooksCouter.com helps you sell your books for the highest price by comparing prices from 58 book-buying sites so you can quickly find who will pay the most for your books. Once you’ve found the right buyer, you choose how you’d like to get paid, download a free shipping label, and send your books out!

11. Sell Crafts, Trinkets, Graphics, and More

Become an Etsy seller to earn money for your crafts. It takes less than 30 minutes to get setup and going and costs just 20 cents to list each item for 4 months. But open a shop now and your first 40 listings are free!

12. Sell Your Closet

Have like-new clothes you no longer wear? Turn them into cash with thredUP. For items listed under $60, you get paid as soon as they’re processed, and items over $60 are put on consignment and paid once they’re sold. All you need to do is pack up your clothes and ship (they even cover the cost of shipping!).

13. Sell Your Photos

You no longer need to open a studio to make some extra cash as a photographer. There are plenty of sites looking to buy digital photos. Of course, the better you are at it, the more money you will make, but it can be nice passive income. I have friends who have earned a few hundred dollars for a single photograph! Here are some of the more popular photo buying sites to check out:

14. Sell Your Old CDs, Movies, and Games

Declutter will pay you from a few cents to over ten dollars for your old CDs, movies, and games. If you need to clear out your space of old items you no longer use, you might as well get paid doing it!

Make money by doing simple things:

15. Get Paid to Shop Online

You earn cash back just for shopping like you normally would with Ebates.com. Can’t get easier than that! Join free now and receive $5 cash.

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16. View Text Ads on Your Phone for Cash

FreeEats.com pays you $1.00 to register and 25 cents (or more) for most messages. Payments are deposited straight to your Paypal account. Registration is a cinch and you can stop at any time.

17. Offer Any Kind of Service for $5 on Fiverr

You can sell all sorts of things from logo designs and resume writing services to writing breakup letters and pranks calling a friend. You have to check out their marketplace yourself to believe what people buy on there! Create your $5 gig (tack on a few “add ons” and earn even more!) on Fivver, promote it, and start earning some real cash!

18. Get Paid to Try New Products

Companies pay top-dollar to have users try their products and services for free! Simply complete free offers and Cashcrate pays you!

19. Get Cash Back by Scanning Your Receipts

We all buy groceries on a regular basis, so why not get back some extra cash from it? Ibotta makes it simple. Shop for products at your favorite store (Over 146 supported stores including: Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Walgreens!), scan your product barcodes, submit a photo of your receipt, and get cash back within 48 hours! Online rebates are also available from stores including: Macy’s, Sephora, Nordstrom, and The Body Shop.

20. Become a Field Agent

Get paid to do various tasks around town for clients. Assignments at Field Agent usually involve checking prices, scanning barcodes with your mobile phone, and conducting surveys. Your earnings vary and depend on the assignment and locction. For example, one listing offers $9 for 4 pictures of any products in the toothbrush section at your local Target, while another pays $5 for one picture of a $19.99 & under game display from any Toys “R” Us.

21. Get Paid to be a “Looker”

Perform tasks both online and off for WeGoLook clients who need an item verified by taking photos, videos, or other custom tasks. Tasks can pay from $25 to $200, depending on the project. You must have a smartphone to complete each job and pass a criminal background check.

22. Become a Mystery Shopper

As a Market Force mystery shopper, you’ll get paid to eat and shop for free at your favorite brands. Mystery shoppers are independent contractors posing as “shoppers” paid to visit local brands as a regular customer and report back on various aspects of their experience for market research. You set your own schedule and it’s free to sign up!

23. Get Paid For Taking Selfies

It’s true! Stylinity is a new site that pays you to take selfies of your outfits! It’s simple. You sign up, take selfies of your outfits and tag the photo with the product info. When other users click to buy any of the items you’re wearing, you get paid! Signup for free right now and get a $10 bonus!

24. Get Paid to Complete Simple Tasks With Your iPhone or Android

Download the Gigwalk app and start making money right away in your own neighborhood. I registered for an account and the first gig I received paid $8 to take 20 photos of several different bags of Cheetos sold in a local store. That would’ve probably taken me about 10 minutes to do. I’ve read that some others have gotten gigs taking photos of restaurant menus and street signs. The more gigs you complete, the more “Gigwalk Streetcred” you earn. This helps unlock higher paying jobs, which can pay up to $90!

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25. Get Paid to Type

As a SpeakWrite typist, you take one hour shifts where you simply type out spoken audio. You set your own hours and from the comfort of your own home. Fast typists can earn upwards of $15/hour!

Make money by using your knowledge and skills:

26. Get Paid to Host a Dinner

Do you have impressive cooking skills? EatWith gives you a platform to showcase your creativity by connecting you with locals and travelers from around the world! You set your rate per guest, choose the time and dates, and indicate the number of people you are ready to invite. You are the boss!

27. Get Paid to Help People Learn a Language

Teachers on Italki set their own prices, teach only when they’re available, and work from home! And you’re not limited to only English. They’re also looking for people to teach Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish and more. You’re free to focus on teaching because the service handles scheduling, marketing, payments and so on.

28. Teach an Online Course

Transform your knowledge and expertise into an online course and get paid well for it! You can teach anything you like… from computer programming and Photoshop tricks, to creating mobile apps and expert photography! You set the price! Here are my favorite sites that offer online courses:

29. Get Paid to Test Websites

Companies as well as individuals (myself included) routinely look for feedback on the usability of their websites. And now you can make money doing just that! My favorite service, UserTesting pays their testers $10 for every 20 minute session they complete! Click here for a list of sites where you can create an account and start earning cash right away.

30. Write Product Reviews for Cash

Do you always have an opinion about everything? Well, now you can make some extra cash sharing it! Epinions.com and ReviewStream.com are two sites that will pay you to write product reviews.

31. Tutor or Give Lessons

Are you fluent in another language, a math genius, talented chef, a gifted harpist, or a professional skateboarder? Whatever you’re a pro at, there’s always someone out there who could use your help! Advertise your skills on Craigslist and make some extra cash doing what you’re already great at!

32. Get Paid to Share Your Opinion

Earn cash and rewards for taking surveys! It may not make you a millionaire, but that’s extra cash you can earn for just a few minutes of your time! Here are three sites I’ve successfully registered to report back on this article, and have earned a few bucks already:

  • Swagbucks – There is no limit to the amount of Swagbucks you can earn, and they can be redeemed for gift cards to just about anywhere.
  • Opinion Outpost – They offer rewards via Amazon or iTunes Gift Cards or cash deposited into your Paypal account. Plus every entry enters you into a $10,000 quarterly prize draw!
  • Vindale Research – Review products and take simple online surveys. They pay up to $75 per survey/review!

Make money by helping the world:

33. Rent Out Your Car

Make extra cash renting out your car with Turo! Perfect if you have a second car that’s usually sitting in the garage. Even better… get paid for renting out your car while you’re away on vacation! You control the price and availability and you decide who rents your car. Your car is covered by their $1,000,000 liability policy during every rental, covering any damage to or theft from your car, with no out-of-pocket expenses. Each renter is thoroughly screened for your safety.

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34. Rent Out Your Driveway or Garage

I had no idea my driveway could be a source of income! If you have space in your garage or driveway, JustPark might be for you. Listing your parking space is totally free, and you choose the dates your space is available, as well as the amount you would like to receive per day, week, and month.

35. Rent Out a Room in Your Home or Apartment for Cash

Listing your space on Airbnb is free. You set the price, your availability, and reservation requirements for your guests. You can also set custom prices to earn more during popular travel seasons! You can review each potential guest’s profiles and the reviews they’ve received to help you accept a booking only if you’re 100% comfortable. Their support team is available 24 hours a day, and every eligible booking is covered by their Host Guarantee at no additional cost to you.

36. Get Paid for Being a Friend

Whoever said money can’t buy friendship has never heard of Rent a Friend! I’m not even kidding. You go to their website and offer your friendship for $10 to $50 per hour. You set your own price and what types of activities you’re available for! The website clearly states that it is NOT a dating site, but a service offering companionship; someone to show you around an unfamiliar town, for example.

It’s not something you can really do from home, unless what you’re offering is home-based, such as teaching your “new friend” to bake or scrapbook from your home (not something I’d personally recommend). However, earning money to show someone the best local restaurants for a few hours or helping them shop for gifts isn’t such a bad way to make extra cash while the kids are at school! Some users claim to earn over $2000 a week full time, and others who just work on the weekends and make $500.

37. Drive People Around for $35/hour

That’s how much you can make with Lyft, a service that eliminates the need to use taxis. You drive your own car, set your own working hours, and earn $35 per hour.

38. Drop Shipping = No Inventory and No Overhead

This is such a simple and cost effective solution for bringing in some extra cash. I’ve personally tried this in the past, and will probably have my teenage son experiment with this too! Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose a product to sell online, like Ebay (let’s say it’s a computer mouse that costs you $2)
  2. Mark up the price and list it for $15
  3. When it’s sold, you send the drop shipper your buyer’s information, including the $2. You keep the remaining $13!
  4. Drop shipper ships it directly to your customer!
  5. Rinse and repeat!
  6. Here’s a big list of drop shippers for a huge variety of products that you can search through!

39. Babysit

Yes, I know you have kids of your own, but look at it as getting paid to host a playdate! You’re a terrific parent and a wonderful caregiver, so if this is something you think you might enjoy trying, why not get paid for it? Advertise your babysitting services for free on SitterCity and Care.

40. Recycle Your Old Mobile Devices

Did you know that you can actually get cash for your old cell phones? You know you’ve got a couple hidden somewhere. I dug up an old iPhone, a couple of Motorolas, a Nokia, and a Blackberry… let’s see what you can find! Check out how much your ancient phone is worth on Gazelle!

There you have it! This list should be more than enough to keep you busy making money! Happy earning!

More by this author

Carmen Sakurai

Mental Declutter, Stress Management & Burnout Prevention Coach. Feeling Stuck? Overwhelmed & No Energy? Let's Talk!

35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life 40 Flexible Ways for Stay At Home Moms and Dads to Earn Real Money 20 Common Habits Successful People Consciously Reject 24 Signs You’re An Introvert- Not Shy 10 Compassionate Ways to Support Loved Ones Suffering from Depression

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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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