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Practical Financial Tips From a Successful Investor

Practical Financial Tips From a Successful Investor

Gaining control of your finances might look impossible, especially if you find yourself swimming in debt or without a high paying job. Financial freedom is never attained overnight, however, so keeping things in perspective and sticking to a plan is very important. By learning what successful investors do to maximize each dollar, you can quickly put yourself on the right financial path.

Create a Realistic Budget

There is no point in creating a budget if there is no way that you can stick to it. If you always spend $200 to commute back and forth to work, do not allot only $150 of your budget towards this, as you will never meet your goals. All of your goals should be reasonable and based on what you have spent in the past, as this will give you a better chance of reaching them.

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    Learn About Healthy Spending

    Most consumers have no idea what healthy spending looks like. As a general rule, go by the 50/30/20 plan, which means that 50 percent of your monthly income goes towards needs, 30 percent goes towards wants and 20 percent goes towards your savings. This plan can help you to avoid financial mistakes and will build your savings quite quickly.

    Decide on Needs

    Perhaps the largest financial mistake that people make is classifying wants as needs. Many of the items that you spend money on each month are luxuries, rather than necessities. If you can survive without an item, it should be labeled as a luxury and, therefore, you should not spend money on it unless you have money after you have purchased your necessities.

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    Only Spend Money That You Have

    Some people make the mistake of spending money before it arrives in their back accounts, such as relying on a bonus that is not guaranteed to come. This is always a gamble because a bonus is never a sure thing. Choose your spending based on your current financial state, rather than your projected financial state, as this can prevent some serious problems in the future and leave extra money for investments.

    Use Cash

    Overusing credit cards usually leads to financial problems. If 20 percent or more of your monthly income goes towards paying off your credit cards, it is a sign that you have a problem that could escalate in the future. If you are unable to pay off your entire credit card balance each month, you end up paying more for all of your purchases. This limits the amount of money that goes into your savings and will prevent you from reaching your financial goals.

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    Work Towards Retirement

    Many people do not even think about retirement until it is too late. The main reason to start putting money away for retirement right away is the compounding of your earnings. Basically, the earlier you begin putting money away, the faster this money will grow, since it compounds monthly. Starting earlier also means that you can put less money in your retirement fund each month and still end up with the same payouts once you retire.

    Save Anything

    It might seem pointless to put a few dollars into an account each month, but this money really does add up. It is always a good idea to save something, rather than nothing, as this money will grow over the years. Even if your lifestyle has made it so your bills and loans are high in relation to your salary, if you can invest some money while you are in your 20s, it could grow to something significant by the time you reach your 60s.

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    Avoid Getting Ahead of Yourself

    Countless young people make the mistake of changing their lifestyle too greatly once they start making money. While it is a good idea to reward yourself for working hard, make sure that this money is spent in a short-term manner, rather than one that you could pay for down the line. For example, it is perfectly fine to take a vacation or buy yourself a new computer, but you should avoid buying a fancy car or moving into a new apartment just because you have a little extra income. Purchasing these things commits you to higher spending in the future, which limits your ability to invest.

    Diversify Your Portfolio

    Simply put, investing in a number of different things lessens your risk. While a diverse portfolio is also less likely to outperform the market, it allows your more successful investments to float any investments that do not work out for you. When starting out, this is the best way to prevent yourself from taking a massive hit.

    Look at Bonds

    When looking for investment ideas, United States Treasury bonds are about as risk free as you can get. This is because the government is highly unlikely to ever default and high interest rates are the only thing that can hurt your return. If you are looking for a place to start investing, this is as good as any.

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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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