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New Tools for the New Year: Money

New Tools for the New Year: Money

    Money can be a tricky issue for many people, especially in the last few years when we have had record high unemployment rates and difficulty making ends meet. As you get ready for the new year, you can prepare yourself with some new tools that can make 2012 one of the best years for managing your money.

    YNAB

    I started to get serious about my money situation about halfway through 2011 when I stumbled on one of the single best money management / budgeting apps around: You Need a Budget. We have actually had the founder and creator of YNAB featured here at Lifehack in the past.

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    YNAB is a piece of software (that works on Mac or Windows) where you setup your accounts and start to budget the money that you have during the month. It’s sort of like making buckets for things that you have to pay during the month and then sticking to them.

    The whole idea though with YNAB, rather than just following a simple budget, is to build up your “YNAB Buffer” where you will use it to eventually pay next month’s bills with this month’s money. This “Buffer” allows you to not get into the “not-enough-money-at-the-end-of-the-month” phenomena and helps relieve a bunch of tension in your life, especially if you have been struggling with keeping track of your money. It took me about 4 months to get my “YNAB Buffer” setup, and I will tell you, the stress and pain of worrying about where my money for this month’s bills is going to be is gone because they were payed with last month’s money.

    YNAB also has apps for iOS and Android to track what you have spent on the go.

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    Credit Cards with rewards

    I wouldn’t say that I am a credit card connoisseur by any means, as I do believe that credit cards can get you into some serious trouble if you are not responsible with them, but they can be appealing if you pay them off every month and use them appropriately. The three cards that I can recommend from personal experience are:

    The APR on these cards are pretty darn high, but as long as you pay off your balance before you get hit with the rates at the end of your month cycle, you can get some great cash back rewards when purchasing a good amount of gas or even ordering things on Amazon during certain times. Keep a look out for other cards that offer some sort of reward that is applicable to you to help you save a little bit of money here and there on things you already purchase.

    Envelope System

    If YNAB is a little too technical for you, there is also a tried-and-true-system that is a lot like it. I have seen this technique in many different places, and I’m not exactly sure who to credit it too, but the-get-out-of-debt guru Dave Ramsey has surely made it popular on his radio broadcast: The Envelope System.

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    At it’s core, The Envelope System requires you to take your paycheck, figure out how much money need to goes to what category (to food, clothing, rent, cable, etc.), create a separate envelope for each category, put the cash in the envelope, and only spend that cash. Sounds simple, hmm? Think again.

    The Envelope System is truly powerful, but only if you can stick to it which is tough to do because budgeting is tough to do. I much prefer the YNAB system to this one, but if you can only live paycheck to paycheck until you get out of debt or make more money, then The Envelope System is probably your best bet.

    Common sense

    Ahh, yes. A little common sense can go a long way when it comes to money. Here are some things to follow. Some of them were new to me this year while some are things that I need to be aware this coming year:

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    • Don’t spend more than you make
    • Create a budget and stick to it
    • Try to find a way to make more money rather than cut out every last expense that you have
    • Try giving money away to charity or a cause every month
    • Start saving money for the future today
    • Read a good money book like I Will Teach You to Be Rich
    • Don’t use a credit cards unless you can pay off the entire balance by the end of the month

    Conclusion

    Like I said above, managing your money comes down to making smart decisions (saving for the future) and avoiding bad ones (like not paying off your credit cards). If this year you budget your money correctly, save, and make smart decisions with how you spend, hopefully your money will be controlled by you rather than you controlled by it.

    (Photo credit: 3D illustration of dollar from Shutterstock

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    Last Updated on August 7, 2018

    How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

    How to Make Money with a Blog (According to 23 Successful Bloggers)

    Not too long ago, you believed that making money with a blog was impossible. But after seeing dozens of income reports from other bloggers, you became hooked. Now you’re left wondering if you could achieve similar results.

    In this article, I’ll consolidate the lessons learned from some successful bloggers and get you the advice on how to make money with a blog.

    How to monetize your blog the right way

    A blog is more than a website with words, it’s a brand that solves a problem. When you’re first starting off it’s difficult to make any money. Why? Because no one trusts your brand.

    The solution is simple, provide engaging content to build a large audience. Once your blog’s traffic and subscribers have grown, here are the most effective ways you can monetize your blog.

    1. Affiliate Marketing[1]
    2. Selling Courses[2]
    3. Coaching[3]

    “Get rich quick” schemes rarely work

    Some believe that bloggers had their success handed to them, but this is far from the truth. Their success required sacrifice, discipline and courage to work. And this is where most people run into trouble because they’re unwilling to put in the work.

    Your first step to building income through your blog is to stop believing it will be easy to achieve. The trick is to only listen to a few bloggers who are at the position you’d like to be and take massive action.

    It can take months or even years before you start earning income.

    And when the going gets tough, keep going. Don’t stop. Learn to love the journey more than the outcome and you’ll build a profitable blog.

    Executing the right advice leads to success

    You need to learn from bloggers with diverse backgrounds.

    What motivates someone to build an online business may not inspire you. But there’re strategies some bloggers will share that you’ll resonate with.

    So what’s the next step? To start taking action.

    How to make money with a blog: Lessons learned from 23 successful bloggers

    Browse the list of some of the most influential and down to earth bloggers in today’s time. Chances are that you’ll resonate with a few of them. Take their practical lessons and apply them to your blog.

    These bloggers may spark light bulb moments for you and change your life forever.

    1. Gary Vaynerchuck – Down to earth entrepreneur who’ll transform your life

      Gary is a proud “D” student who helped his dad grow his wine liquor store into a 60 million business. He left the wine business to start his own digital agency, which now generates over $100 million.

      Today, he inspires entrepreneurs of all ages through his blog, vlog, and Podcast to take full control of their lives doing what they love.

      Lesson: Have the patience to build a successful business.

      2. Pat Flynn – Online Jedi who’s fearless to try new ideas

        Pat built several sites, is an author of many books and has launched many podcasts. His blog is one of the most popular sites on the web for beginner and experienced entrepreneurs. Despite Pat’s success, he’s still humble and willing to help others.

        Lesson: Don’t let fear stop you from stepping out of your comfort zone.

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        3. John Lee Dumas – Entrepreneur on fire, inspiring others through his voice

          John is the host of EOFire, an award-winning business podcast, interviewing top entrepreneurs. He’s interviewed successful entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins and many more. John is also the author of the #1 ranked book for Podcasting in Amazon. He’s an excellent example of what happens when you chase your dreams and remain committed.

          Lesson: Follow one course until success (FOCUS).

          4. J Money – Rockstar money expert who injects “cool” into finance

            J Money is an award-winning personal finance blogger, company advisor and money rockstar. He injects a “fun” personality in his blog, adding a sense of “coolness” to personal finance. He’s the founder of RockstarFinance, a personal finance directory filled with useful resources.

            The fresh perspectives J shares about money will leave you pondering for days.

            Lesson: Have fun with your blog to stand out and create engaging content.

            5. Mr. Money Mustache – Badass blogger who’ll transform your financial lifestyle

              Mr.MM’s goal is to help you live a “badass” life. He has unique money saving ideas up his sleeve, such as cutting your grocery bill in half, and DIY solar panels. There are no “generic” articles in his blog, only thorough and well-thought ideas.

              Mr.MM is financially independent and willing to share his secrets if you dare to listen.

              Lesson: Focus on your needs and wants to live your dream lifestyle.

              6. Sam – Thoughtful blogger sharing smart insights

                Sam is a blogger and a real estate investor. His blog has received millions of views and featured in Forbes, Lifehacker, CNBC, and many more. Sam dives deep into topics like real estate, retirement planning, and career strategies. Read his blog and discover why it’s “bookmark-worthy”.

                Lesson: Keep investing in yourself to be better prepared for the future.

                7. Joshua Dorkin – The persistent entrepreneur who never lost hope

                  Joshua is a well-known entrepreneur and speaker who’s featured in major publications. He’s built the nation’s largest real estate investing blog and co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast.

                  He’s the ultimate example of what’s attainable when you pursue your dreams. His blog is one of the only few you’ll need to reach financial independence with real estate.

                  Lesson: Keep working towards your goal despite who tries to stop you.

                  8. Ramit Sethi – That “cool” teacher who’ll help you reach your next level

                    Ramit is a New York Times Bestselling author. He prides himself on being different, which is why he loves giving away 98% of his material for free. His content is binge-worthy and will bring out the awesome out of you.

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                    If you’re ready to master your inner psychology or finance, then stop by Ramit’s blog.

                    Lesson: There’s always a way to get what you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

                    9. Paula Pant – The entrepreneur who took an enormous risk chasing freedom

                      Paula is a writer, speaker and freedom enthusiast. It didn’t take long after landing her “dream” job to know it wouldn’t offer the freedom she’d craved.

                      Today, Paula has reached financial independence by building many income streams. Her writing style is engaging will leave you questioning your limiting beliefs.

                      Lesson: It’s worth risking the odds to live your desired lifestyle.

                      10. Steve – Early retiree, fearless to take a stance

                        Steve reached financial independence 30 years earlier than the typical American. You can find his work in major sites such as Forbes, Business Insider, and many more.

                        Currently, Steve writes detailed content on his blog helping readers achieve financial independence. If you’re looking to save money, or retire early, you’ll love Steve’s blog.

                        Lesson: Plan ahead to reach your desired goals.

                        11. Robert Farrington – Millennial Sensei for college students

                          Robert is a consultant, and a writer dubbed as America’s Millennial money expert. His passion for managing money at a young age led him to create The College Investor. In his blog, you’ll find great resources to crush student loan debt and invest your money.

                          Lesson: Be open-minded with how you can express your passion.

                          12. Joe Udo – The writer who took the road less taken

                            Taking risks ain’t easy, but there are always a few people who take it anyways. Joe is a blogger, investor and a great example of what risk takers do. He retired before turning 40, after leaving a job he’d been working for over a decade.

                            Joe’s blog shares proven ways to building passive income, and managing your money.

                            Lesson: Taking risks becomes easier when you prepare daily.

                            13. Elle Martinez – The financial superwoman for struggling couples

                              Elle has a passion for money, so much that she’s been writing about personal finance for over a decade. She enjoys helping couples build their finances together, and live on one income.

                              Elle’s blog helps you avoid money fights, boosts your savings, and much more.

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                              Lesson: Find ways to solve the problems you’re obsessed about.

                              14. Len Penzo – Creative blogger who makes personal finance entertaining

                                Len’s blog has received over 9 million visitors. He’s featured in major publications such as the NY Times, Forbes, and many more.

                                Len transforms boring money subjects into engaging content that hook readers for more. If you want to make smarter financial decisions, his blog is a must-read.

                                Lesson: Create engaging content to build a large audience.

                                15. Farnoosh Torabi – Finance expert, inspiring women to unleash their full potential

                                  Farnoosh used to borrow clothes and eat $5 Footlongs until she climbed out of debt. Today she’s a journalist, author, TV personality, and financial expert. Farnoosh is the host of SO Money, one of iTunes’s top financial Podcasts. She’s a leader and inspiration to other women.

                                  Lesson: View your shortcomings as gifts and use them to stand out.

                                  16. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Young entrepreneur achieving success on the road

                                    Michelle started blogging in 2011 with hopes of improving her finances. Today, her blog is one of the most popular personal finance blogs you’ll find. There’s a slim chance you might catch her on the road, as she’s touring around the US with her husband. Her blog contains advice for growing your income and living a better lifestyle.

                                    Lesson: Be transparent about your struggles to build a supportive audience.

                                    17. Phillip Talyor – Money expert who knows how to throw a finance party

                                      Phillip Taylor or “PT” is a blogger, CPA, and a finance enthusiast. At one point, he’d accumulated a ton of debt and was in need of financial wisdom. He created his blog to document his financial wins, and collaborate with others.

                                      Because of Phillip’s passion for finance, he created FinCon. Today, Fincon is the go-to conference where influencers and financial brands meet.

                                      Lesson: Hard work is more important than experience to achieve your goals.

                                      18. Stefanie O’Connell – The financial role model every woman needs

                                        Stefanie started blogging around 2008, at a time when most of America was in a financial crisis. Despite this, she went from living on less than $500 a week to dubbed as a Millennial money expert.

                                        Stefanie spends her time helping ambitious women adopt “rich” habits. Join Stefanie’s tribe and start feeling empowered with your finances.

                                        Lesson: You can be a role model for others if you’re brave enough to face your fears

                                        19. J.D. Roth – Finance enthusiast who’ll leave you thinking smarter

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                                          J.D. was a contributor of the “Your Money” column for Entrepreneur magazine. His blog is one of the best personal finance blogs on the web and has received millions of visitors. You’ll find in-depth articles that will leave you making smarter money decisions.

                                          Lesson: No matter how big your problems are, there’s always a solution.

                                          20. Catherine Alford – Entrepreneur mom, inspiring women to chase their dreams

                                            Catherine is a speaker, writer, and a proud mom of 2 twins. She’s an inspiration for women looking to spend more time with their families. Catherine became best Contributor/Freelancer for personal finance in 2014.

                                            Discover why you don’t need to choose between your career and family at Catherine’s blog.

                                            Lesson: Your story can become the inspiration many are searching for.

                                            21. Natalie Bacon – Life coach and entrepreneur inspiring women to design their dream lives

                                              Natalie is an inspiration for those looking to pursue their passion. She’s featured in major sites like The Huffington Post, Forbes, and many others. Natalie follows her dreams and isn’t afraid of hard work. Her blog contains quality content that will inspire you to take action.

                                              Lesson: Don’t be afraid to change course because you’ll be one step closer to finding your dream life.

                                              22. Crystal Paine – Inspirational entrepreneur who loves to give back

                                                Crystal is a personal finance blogger who’s been writing since 2006. Her site has creative ways to save money on groceries, clothes, toys, and much more. Crystal donates a percentage of her blog’s income towards life-impacting ministries.

                                                Her blog will not only teach you how to save money but also how to live an abundant lifestyle.

                                                Lesson: Focus on helping others first and you’ll build massive wealth.

                                                23. Liz – Frugal expert who’ll transform your bad spending habits

                                                  Liz is an author, writer and a frugal expert who enjoys helping others save money. She’s featured in NPR, Forbes, Liz’s blog contains creative ways to save money and reach financial independence.

                                                  Lesson: Be bold enough to prioritize your opinion above others’.

                                                  Start your blog and achieve jaw-dropping results

                                                  Imagine waking in your pajamas and opening your laptop. You notice a few hundred dollars were deposited to your Paypal account. This money didn’t fall from the sky, it came from your blog.

                                                  Not too long ago you believed making money from a blog was impossible, but now you’ve finally achieved it. Amazing isn’t it?

                                                  This can be your reality if you learn from these successful bloggers. Go through this list and pick your top three bloggers. Take a look at their content (Blog, Podcast, Video), and break your bad habits.

                                                  The time has come to transform yourself into the blogger you’d like to become. You’re not someone who only wants to accumulate a ton of cash. You want to live your dream life and impact others doing what you love.

                                                  What’s stopping you now?

                                                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                  Reference

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