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7 Income Streams That Anyone Can Create Easily

7 Income Streams That Anyone Can Create Easily

The days of having one job for 20 or 30 years, retiring and then receiving a pension are long gone. For many years, our parents or grandparents, devoted their lives to one company and were rewarded for their work at a regular retirement age. Unfortunately, that type of devotion no longer pays off. Instead, it’s important to consider you and your family your own personal “company” and to make sure you are being compensated adequately. This might mean taking on extra work, moonlighting or finding other ways to add to your income.

Creating multiple income streams is essential and can be a real boon during a hard time, particularly if you lose your job or have an unexpected expense.

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1. Bank your raise

Do you get a raise each year? If you do, and you are currently able to meet your expenses on what you earn, put the extra away in an emergency fund or savings plan. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save by ignoring the extra.

2. Match your 401k

Most employers offer some sort of match for your 401k plan. If you are not fully vested in your company’s 401k, you should be. Most companies will match your contribution up to a certain percentage or amount. Find out just how much your company is willing to contribute. This is about as close to “free” money as you are ever likely to get and even though it can be difficult, if you need to access that money or borrow from it at some point, you usually can without suffering too much of a penalty.

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3. Credit card points

A lot of credit cards will give you cash back for purchases or points for purchases in various departments — like gas or travel. Find out what your credit card offers. If you have a credit card that offers a good percentage, points or other bonuses, then use your card to pay for all of your purchases in a month and then pay off the balance at the end of the month with your paycheck. This will keep you from incurring interest and still get the benefits of the card.

4. Consulting

Are you an expert in a certain field? No matter what it is from writing to social media to restaurant management, you might be surprised at how much extra money you can make by offering your expertise. Make a list of your skills — things that you do on a regular basis either on your own or in your job. Are you the queen of organization? Do you create social media campaigns that get a lot of followers? Promote those skills and offer them to small businesses, large businesses and individuals. If you’re really good at what you do, start a blog, write a book and create even more income streams from this one area of your life.

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5. Sell it

Whether you have a garage filled with antiques or have a flair for turning someone else’s trash into a treasure, you can make a lot of money by selling things and it doesn’t take a lot of extra time or money to do so. Go through your household items and the stuff in your garage. You might be surprised by how many old toys, small appliances, tools and other items you have and don’t use anymore. Take a little time to take some pics of the stuff and place it for sale. Make sure you post good pictures and are accurate in your description. People are usually fine with something being used, dented or whatever as long as you’re honest about it and you give them a good deal.

6. Fitness benefit reimbursement

Have you recently lost weight or started a fitness program? Your health insurance company might give you some money back for taking care of yourself. Harvard Pilgrim Health, for example, gives up to $150 per family member for belonging to a qualified health and fitness club.

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7. Explore a hobby

Do you love dogs? Do you like to knit? Are you a great baker? Explore these hobbies and see if there are ways you can generate income from them. Even a few hundred dollars a month can contribute a lot to the household. Maybe you could teach knitting at the local fabric store and sell some of your creations at the local farmers market. Or maybe a roadside stand with your vegetables and baked goods could generate some extra income. Whatever your hobby, there is a likely a way to bring home at least enough extra cash to support the habit!

More by this author

Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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