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How to Find Your Freakin’ Footing and Start Making Money on Your Own Terms

How to Find Your Freakin’ Footing and Start Making Money on Your Own Terms

    “Riches come, if they come at all, in response to definite demands, based upon the application of definite principles, and not by chance or luck.” – Napoleon Hill

    Making millions of dollars would be great – but right now, you’re more concerned about paying your cable bill so that you don’t have to steal Wi-Fi from Starbucks in order to write your new blog post.

    Landing on the New York Times Bestsellers list would be stupendous—but right now you’re just trying to find an hour to write amidst working to support yourself and doing the damn dishes and all of those other responsibilities that get in your way.

    Yes, having it all – “the babe, the boat, the bucks” as Danielle LaPorte (http://www.daniellelaporte.com) so bluntly puts it—is ideal. But right now, you’re just trying to make ends meet. If only you could make enough money to live off of, you could quit your job and focus. But right now, that seems totally unrealistic. A pipedream.

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    One: Exactly How Much Money Do You Need?

    “Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say ‘I want plenty of money.’ Be definite as to the amount.” – Napoleon Hill

    Want to make enough money to support yourself? Tell me, how much do you need?

    You don’t need to think about how much money you need for the rest of your days on planet Earth. That’s ridiculous. How could you possibly predict what you’ll want in 15 years?

    Instead, reel in your ambitions and make a plan for one year from now. To get crystal clear, ask yourself the following questions:

    1. In one year, what does your life look like? (Write as much detail as possible the place you live, how often you go out to eat, what you do on the weekends).
    2. How much money will it cost for you to live reasonably?

    That’s it.

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    In order to figure out your monthly expenses, try Tim Ferriss’ Monthly Expense Calculator.

    Then, once you have an exact figure…

    Two: Decide what you’ll exchange for the cash.

      If you want the money, you’ll have to exchange something for it.

      To figure out what to exchange for money, ask yourself the following questions:

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      1. What are my strengths + skills?
      2. What types of products + services can I provide?
      3. What will people actually pay for?

      Not sure what you’re good at? Here is a Skills + Strengths worksheet that I created.

      Don’t get bogged down trying to find your one-true-love. Once you’ve come up with 10 ideas, start testing them immediately. You’ll find your passion eventually, but doing so requires action.

      Do your research. Ask people what they’d pay you to do. Test your new service on them for free first.

      Don’t think you have what it takes? Hmm… I think this article titled “How to Really Start a Business” will make you think twice.

      Three: Plan and take Action!

      Once you’ve stumbled on a workable idea? Set some concrete goals, kid. I’ve personally just created my own concrete plan called “Project Moolah”.

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      Break it up into chunks. If your plan is to start earning $1,000 a month by this time next year, you’ll want to figure out how much money you’ll need to rake-in every few months until then.

      When you have a plan, you’ll have motivation on the not-so-inspired days. When you have a plan, you’ll know what steps to take every day. When you have a plan, you reach your goals.

      Making money is hard work, and I guarantee that you’ll have to make some uncomfortable phone calls. But if you want a great life, you have to do great things.

      You can see my Project Moolah breakdown here.

      Does the thought of starting your own business have you feeling totally overwhelmed? You don’t have to use the word business just yet! Think of it this way: you are on a journey to create financial freedom. You’re breaking through the barriers of mediocrity. You’re starting the life that you’re supposed to be living.

      Bombs away!

      (Photo credit: Fresh Leaf Growing on Gold Hill via Shutterstock)

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      Last Updated on June 26, 2020

      25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

      25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

      “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

      If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

      You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

      Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

      As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

      And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

      But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

      • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
        • food
        • rent/mortgage
        • cell phone
        • insurance
        • socializing/entertainment
        • transportation
        • hygiene products
        • household bills
      • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
        • travel
        • clothing
        • medication (*depends)
        • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
        • gifts

      Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

      Save Money on Food

      1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

      Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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      Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

      2. Buy the store-brand version

      Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

      3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

      Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

      4. Have group dinners

      If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

      Save Money in Transport

      5. Get a bicycle

      Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

      6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

      Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

      7. Find the cheapest gas

      Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

      Save Money in General Shopping

      8. Shop online

      Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

      9. Sell your old stuff

      Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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      Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

      10. Bulk buying stores

      For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

      Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

      11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

      You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

      12. Generic brand medication

      More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

      13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

      It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

      Cut Down on Household Expenses

      14. Printing

      Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

      e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

      Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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      15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

      A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

      16. Shop around for insurance

      Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

      Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

      17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

      If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

      18. Don’t get a TV

      Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

      19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

      My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

      Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

      20. Have house parties

      Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

      For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

      21. Open festivals, meetups and events

      It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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      22. Volunteer

      If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

      23. Housesit

      There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

      Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

      24. DIY beauty

      French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

      25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

      If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

      Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

      Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

      • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
      • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
      • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
      • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
      • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
      • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
      • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

      Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

      What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

      Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

      More Tips for Personal Finance Management

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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