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8 Great Ways To Earn Extra Cash

8 Great Ways To Earn Extra Cash

Budgeting is often viewed as a necessary evil, and a lot of people try to make due with a reasonable salary as best as they can. In a lot of cases, saving up for some luxuries simply isn’t a realistic option, as there just isn’t enough money to go around.

A good way to boost your budget a little bit, if you’ve already got a full-time job, is to find an additional source of income. This should be something that doesn’t require too much of your time, as you still want to have some free time left for yourself in the day, but still pays decently well.

Since people have different skills and sensibilities, we will be looking at a number of effective ways to earn some extra cash.

1. You can take online surveys

Elite Survey Sites

    The gist of this fairly straightforward money-making method is that you log onto a website, complete a survey and get paid a certain amount of money for it. Some websites will have fairly regular surveys for the users to complete, earning you anywhere from $1 to $5 for shorter survey that can be completed quickly, while some can get you up to $10.

    There is also the odd opportunity like reviewing a website or evaluating a book, both of which which can land you up to $30 and $60 respectively.

    Getting paid to take surveys online is an easy and safe way to earn a little extra cash, as long as you focus your attention on the better websites like the ones mentioned here, but it won’t make you a millionaire anytime soon.

    The good thing about them though is that you can bite off as much as you want to chew, and you can combine paid surveys with other options listed in this article without losing too much of your own free time.

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    2. You can write and publish a cheap romance novel

    Smashwords

      While great classical minds like Cicero lamented about the state of the world in which children don’t listen to their parents and everyone is writing a book, the truth is that it’s evidently been like that for centuries now, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this fact.

      You’d think that there is a lot of competition out there, but despite the sea of cheap thrillers, fantasy and romance novels out there, people seem to want more and more.

      If you have even the slightest bit of writing talent, or at least have a decent idea and aren’t completely illiterate, there are user-friendly platforms like Smashwords that can help get your novels out there. The drawbacks here are that the process is time consuming and requires at least some creativity, but it can be a long-term project that you slowly complete over the course of a few months, writing whenever you find the time during the day.

      With time, you’ll get better, and if you can put that into your book, you are looking at a decent amount of additional income.

      3. You can hold online English classes on Skype

      SkypeEnglish

        With the advent of platforms like Skype, it has become very easy to connect with people from around the globe, and even teach classes face-to-face with someone from another continent. Since English is a language spoken in most countries across the world, there is a big demand for English language teachers, especially in Japan.

        There is a $10 yearly fee, it’s simple to sign up for it and the money is decent – $5 for a 25 minute class and $10 for a 50 minute class – but it does require a decent amount of work and good people skills.

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        There also may not be a position available at all times, so you can end up waiting a while for a job opportunity to present itself.

        4. You can provide a unique niche service on Fiverr

        Fiverr

          Fiverr is a great platform where people can offer all sorts of services for a nominal fee, starting from $5. The best thing about it is that you have free reign to choose any type of service you would like to provide – from proofreading and songwriting to drawing cartoon version of people, web development and animation.

          But, as to be expected, there is a lot of competition.

          This is why you need to find a unique niche to cater to, something specialized for which you can quickly become the go to person. Everyone has some interesting talent, a skill set developed over the years or even a hobby that can be monetized, so Fiverr can be a good opportunity to supplement your income.

          5. You can sell your old textbooks

          Amazon sell books

            Higher education is an important thing to have, but going to university will set you back quite a bit in student loans. Textbooks can be costly as well, and over time, you will be left with a whole bunch of textbooks that you no longer need.

            You can make some of that money back by selling your used textbooks online. Selling your old textbooks on Amazon is pretty simple, and you can get a good deal for them, as long as they are in good condition and the ISBN number matches that found on the website.

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            6. You can dabble in stock photography

            Stock photo websites

              There are tons and tons of content being uploaded online every day, and a lot of it features at least one image. Everything from blog posts to homepage backgrounds may feature a quality image, so there is plenty of work to be had as far as stock photos go.

              Most stock photo sites offer about 50-60% of each sale to the artist, and if an image proves popular, it can earn you a nice sum. Of course, you need to invest in good equipment to set up a small studio and need to have some talent and experience, so it is not something that everyone can just pick up as an additional source of income.

              It may also be a while before you see some real profit, and you will have to put in the work. However, if you have already dabbled in amateur photography as a hobby, have some decent equipment and enjoy snapping photos, then you can take the extra step and make some money from it.

              7. You can try to find a gig as a movie extra

              Extras

                If you have a bit of free time on your hands, say on weekends or in the afternoon after your day job, and you’ve dreamed of being part of a movie production, you can try to find a gig as an extra. Unless you are a member of the Screen Actors Guild, you won’t make too much in this line of work, but a few days of shooting a month can provide you with that little extra cash that you need to get your finances in order.

                Now, before you get your hopes up and start planning your Oscar speech, I should mention that this line of work is not for everyone.

                A typical shoot can stretch on for hours on end, and you will be expected to stand around and repeat the same movements over and over again. You are basically adding a number of full workdays, physically demanding ones at that, to your schedule, and the work is not exactly stable – you can go a long time without an offer or get a couple of options during the same week.

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                It’s a bit of a gamble, and it is demanding, but it is also a decent side job overall, especially if you live in a bigger city where a lot of films and TV shows are shot.

                8. You can create a blog and start putting out content

                Wordpress

                  Even if you don’t think that you’d have much to say to the world, there is probably some specialized area that you are skilled in or have spent a good deal of your time learning about. Just as long as you can give some interesting insights, good advice and provide a bit of entertainment to a niche audience, you can create a fairly successful blog.

                  Like some other job opportunities on this list, creating a blog requires you to invest some money – although you don’t really need all that much – and a decent amount of time. It’s also not exactly a quick and easy way to get some cash.

                  You should see it as more of a long-term project that starts out as a fun hobby, and can gradually become a stable stream of extra income. The best thing about it is that it can be your little passion project that takes a couple of hours of your free time, which leaves you enough time to focus on other, more immediate, methods of earning money.

                  Supplementing your income with a less time-consuming and relatively simple side job will allow you to save up some money, get out of debt quicker or afford a few luxuries. These are just some interesting ways to earn a few extra bucks, while still having a bit of free time left.

                  You won’t burn yourself out doing any of these, and can tap into them as little or as much as you want, but they can make a noticeable difference over time.

                  More by this author

                  Ivan Dimitrijevic

                  Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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!

                  More About Personal Finance Management

                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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