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No Debts! Eight Simple Ways to Save for an Emergency

No Debts! Eight Simple Ways to Save for an Emergency

Most people amass huge amounts of debt during their youth, which they are unable to pay off for many years. There are some who manage to keep their debt in check, or even remain debt free, but once a disaster strikes and there are suddenly some hefty unexpected bills to pay, they too can find themselves in a deep financial hole that’s difficult to dig out of. This is why it is important to have some money squared away for rainy days.

An emergency fund can help you deal with things like your car breaking down, you or someone you love getting seriously ill and spending a lot of time in the hospital, or being invited to an out-of-the-bloom wedding. However, once you have paid the bills, made your credit card and other payments, and spent a large chunk of your salary on groceries, there is often not much left for your emergency fund. Well, fear not my friend, there are plenty of ways to get a bit of extra money and build up a decent emergency fund.

1. Sell your junk, and some of your valuables

Yard sale

    A quick rummage through your basement, attic and garage can reveal plenty of fairly useful stuff that just sits collecting dust. Just because you don’t have any use for it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find someone who will. Take all the junk out and organize a yard sale. You can also look at some of your valuable items that don’t have a lot of emotional value for you–things like paintings, home décor, some jewelry, that relatively new tablet that you barely use, and so on. You can use websites, like Ebay or even some forums, to sell virtually anything that you have lying around.

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    2. Make a big shopping run once a week

    The quickest way to burn through your salary is to use your credit card for small purchases throughout the day. It’s very difficult to keep track of how much you’ve spent–hint, it’s a lot more than you think–and you’ll constantly think of something else you need or want. If you only go on a big shopping spree once a week, with a carefully crafted list, and use cash for any minor purchases during the rest of the week you will be able to control your spending much more effectively. Buying things in bulk can often save you some extra money on different items as well.

    3. Avoid overpriced big-name brands

    Stone vs iPhone 3G

      While it’s worth investing in more expensive high-quality models when it comes to shoes, electronics and cars, for example, a lot of the products out there are very easy to manufacture and utilize cheap active ingredients and materials–that which makes them work. Such items include toothpaste, shampoo, soap, a variety of skin care products, simple t-shirts, most drugs and workout supplements.

      In order to find the best deals and the most cost-effective options, you just need to be patient and dedicated when shopping. Take your time and really look around. With a bit of trial and error, you will soon find out which items you can and can’t cut corners on. By sticking with the basics and going for functionality over marketing hype, you can cut your shopping costs in half.

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      4. Look for another job

      An additional source of income can really help make things easier if you want to save for emergency, without sacrificing much in terms of comfort. You can make use of any skills you might have, or just go with a simple job that doesn’t require a lot of skill.

      Even if you don’t have any particular skills, you have plenty of opportunities to get some free training for a bunch of different professions, from web designer to teacher to nurse aid. These are all jobs that can help you earn a decent amount of money on the side. Be sure to contact your friends, family and acquaintances to see if there are any positions open where you would be a good fit–a bit of networking can yield some impressive results.

      5. Do freelance work

      Freelance work

        If you can’t find the time or energy to work two jobs, you can consider doing some freelance work from home. Even after a long day at work, you can find the energy to sit down at the computer and clock in another 3-4 hours at the computer. Most of us end up spending as much time on the computer playing games or updating our social media profiles anyway, so it’s easy to make a shift to doing something a bit more productive.

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        Check out websites like Elance or Freelancer, and you will quickly find tons of available jobs for anything from writing, data entry, editing and translation, to website and app design. If you’ve got a bit of talent and skill, you can make a quick buck. You won’t get enough to support your family with a few work hours a day, but it will be more than enough to quickly build up a respectable emergency fund.

        6. Monetize your hobby

        Another great way to secure some extra income that you can save for an emergency is to find a way to earn money from your hobbies. You may be able to sell all manner of handcrafted décor and jewelry on Etsy, hold martial arts classes in your garage, teach people how to sing or play piano on Skype, sell some unique collector’s items and so on. You can even pick up a new hobby as a means of becoming proficient in a certain area, say woodcarving, with the ultimate goal of earning some extra money out of it. Almost any hobby can be monetized one way or another, particularly if you’ve acquired a good deal of skill over the years.

        7. Start obsessing about your carbon footprint

        Eco conscious

          Even if you aren’t much of a hippie and don’t care about the environment, which you should, there are plenty of hidden benefits to being an eco-warrior, namely cost reduction. You see, the way we get our energy isn’t all that clean or good for the environment. Even electricity is produced in power plants which are responsible for around a third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

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          Our cars pollute the environment, we use up a huge amount of natural resources and create incredible amounts of garbage that gets thrown out. You get the gist of it. Once we start being more eco-conscious we stop leaving the lights on in rooms when we leave, turn off the devices when not in use, never leave the water running longer than it is necessary and use our cars less often.

          A few simple changes around the home can help save a whole lot of money in the long run. Installing and programming a decent thermostat can shave about 25% off your heating bill, while improving your home’s insulation by caulking up windows and doors, using draft stoppers and window insulation film will bring the cost down even more. Invest a bit of time and effort into converting your home into an eco-friendly zone, and try to reduce your carbon footprint as much as you can. This can make a big difference in how much money you spend every month.

          8. Start making good use of piggy banks in your home

          When people say that every penny counts, they are being quite literal, and quite right. Loose change, one dollar bills and a few fives and 20s here and there–you can spend these without even realizing it, or you can put them into your little savings box each chance you get. It is not something that will reduce your quality of life–in fact, you probably won’t even notice it at all–but all this leftover change and a few larger bills will slowly add up.

          Get a big enough container and put a little something in there each day–even just the loose change in your pocket at the end of the day. After several months, when you open it and pour the money out on the table, you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s not uncommon to see people save up a few hundred dollars this way, without any special effort.

          Staying out of debt is a matter of being responsible with your money and being prepared for unforeseen circumstances. A good emergency fund will help you get through tough times. Anyone can save up a decent amount for money for their emergency fund as long as they heed some of this basic advice.

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          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 June 20, 2019

          50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

          50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

          Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

          1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
          2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
          3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
          4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
          5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
          6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
          7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
          8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
          9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
          10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
          11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
          12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
          13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
          14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
          15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
          16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
          17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
          18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
          19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
          20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
          21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
          22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
          23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
          24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
          25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
          26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
          27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
          28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
          29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
          30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
          31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
          32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
          33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
          34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
          35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
          36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
          37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
          38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
          39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
          40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
          41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
          42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
          43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
          44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
          45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
          46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
          47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
          48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
          49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
          50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

          There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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          Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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