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Who Needs a Job? Hobbies Make Money Too

Who Needs a Job? Hobbies Make Money Too

Are you unemployed? Even if you don’t have a job, you at least have a hobby. With the internet so ubiquitous in modern society, everyone has a shot at gaining the attention of the masses. Once you have someone’s attention, your intention should be to convince them they need your service or product. Whatever you’re into, there’s an audience for it–all it takes is a little resourcefulness.

Hobbies make money. Here’s how to become a professional at:

Plants have always been green...it's considered bad chloroform otherwise...

    Plants have always been green…it’s considered bad chloroform otherwise…

    1. Blogging

    If you have a flair for writing, building a blog is easy. You can get a free blog domain at blog services, such as WordPress or Blogger. Choose a template design to start out, and begin composing entries. Don’t worry about not having an audience yet; you’ll build one with your content. Focus on writing things you enjoy, and learn the basics of formatting. This way, you’ll build a portfolio you can use to apply for paid blogging gigs.

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    Amazon Affiliates and Google AdSense accounts are easy ways to earn advertising money from your blog. Learn more about how to make money blogging with our Lifehack on 24 Ways to Earn Money on the Internet.

    2. Gardening

    Gardening is more than a hobby for some; it’s a way of life. Selling your harvest is an easy way to make money, although you’ll need a rather large garden to produce enough to make a meaningful profit. Consider incorporating the fresh ingredients you harvest into other products to sell, instead. Food isn’t the only fruit of gardening labor, however, as the legality of growing marijuana is quickly spreading across the US.

    You can also teach DIY-enthusiasts how to garden through blogging about it. You can tend other peoples’ gardens by searching Craigslist, or other classified ad sites. If you have the experience, contact local nurseries and see if anyone’s hiring. You’ll be rolling in the green in no time.

    3. Playing an Instrument

    The music business isn’t tough to break into. All you need is a way to make music and an audience. If you play an instrument, you can make money by giving private lessons. Touring musicians are constantly looking looking for stand-in musicians while on the road (search gigging for backup bands). Also, it never hurts to leave your card at local recording studios and record stores, in case anyone’s looking for a musician with your skills.

    Alternatively, iTunes, Amazon, and Google all have stores to list your music. List yourself on SoundCloud, Pandora, Spotify, and anywhere else you can. Remember that every artist you’ve heard of has a large team and distribution channel behind them. In order to compete with that, you’ll need to work extra hard.

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    4. Sewing

    You can make decent money by hemming clothes, if you’re quick at it. Many people lack this basic skill, and they’re happy to pay $5-$10 to repair clothing that would otherwise cost much more to replace.

    Another way to make money is to sell your handcrafted sewing creations online, with sites like Etsy. You can also sell your homemade sewing patterns online, through your website. In order to get promotion for your patterns, submit them to sewing and craft magazines, for publication. This will introduce your patterns to a large audience and boost sales.

    5. Baking

    If you know how to bake, there’s no limit to the ways you can earn money. Getting a job in a kitchen is so easy. Food blogs are always popular, and there’s never a shortage of people on the lookout for a good recipe. Consider filming yourself or taking pictures while cooking, to expand your audience.

    6. Gaming

    Make money at video games by making wages with friends, like the kids in The Wizard. If you’re particularly leet, it’s even possible to join a professional league. You don’t have to be the most skilled gamer, though.

    Playing video games means you can review or otherwise describe them for any number of publications, if you prefer long-form writing, or retail sites, if short-form is your thing. Plenty of gamers have successful YouTube channels, and Livestream and uCast got a boost from their inclusion in next generation consoles. If you’re especially passionate about video games, working in a retail location, such as Gamestop or EB Games, may be the field of your dreams.

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    7. Dancing

    If you like to move it, you could always get money as a dancer. You don’t need to strip; plenty of dancers make a living off the pole. Casting agents and producers are constantly looking for extras and dancers for projects. Dance teachers make a great living too, as people both young and old love taking classes.

    8. Drawing

    Not all artists are starving; many of them make a decent living. Aside from traditional museum art, you can see art in literally every aspect of business–graphic designers creating logos and other branded merchandise for marketing campaigns worldwide. With such a large variety of digital and analog drawing mediums available these days, the only artist who’s truly starving is the one not looking for work.

    9. Gossiping

    If you love keeping up on all the latest gossip, journalism is the job for you. Depending on the subjects you’re into, getting into journalism is really easy–all you need to do is keep watching and reading the news that relates to you. By doing this, you’ll keep up with the juiciest bits of gossip related to your field. Passing this gossip to other people is what journalism is all about, but I’m one to gossip, so didn’t hear that from me.

    10. Socializing

    Everyone wants a social media presence, and some are willing to pay for it. If you’re savvy enough to learn quick ways to gain followers on all the major social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google+), you can turn your love of socializing into a fruitful career. Start with your own social media account, and contact people to showcase how your skills can help their bottom line.

    11. Photography

    Everyone takes photos these days, and everyone still has an insatiable hunger for more photos. If you have an eye for photography, websites such as Shutterstock allow you to sell your work in image format. Other sites, like Cafepress, sell a variety of goods that bear your photo. Also, consider freelancing, and check job search for any gigs or job openings. Whatever you do, keep your camera with you at all times; you never know when you’ll catch a glimpse of a celebrity or noteworthy event.

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    12. Telling Jokes

    Everybody thinks they’re a comedian, and with the internet, you have an avenue to prove it. Go out to amateur and open mic nights to perform and perfect your craft in front of a live audience. The comedy site Cracked.com has an open forum setup to vet aspiring comedic writers. A properly hilarious video will get tons of exposure on YouTube. Emulate your favorite comedian by making movies, skits, stand-up, cartoons, or whatever else you can come up with.

    13. Collecting

    You can make money collecting practically anything; whether it’s coins, stamps, comic books, or gadgets. Retro is always in, and people always collect things. Whatever you collect, search the term online to connect with communities who collect the same things. Pawn shops can be a great place to sell certain collectibles,. Many used record and book stores have merged into used-merchandise swap meets, and they’re both great places to buy/sell your collectibles. Otherwise, just post them on eBay or Craigslist.

    14. Shopping

    Not only is mystery shopping legitimate, it’s a great way to make money. Basically, you complete a real transaction, rate the quality, and are reimbursed. If you love shopping, scratch that itch while still getting paid. Otherwise, you can get paid to write product and store reviews anywhere online. Start off with building followers on your Yelp and Foursquare accounts and rating the places you already visit. By the time a paying gig pops up, you’ll already have an established following.

    15. Correcting People

    If you love correcting people, you’ll love being an editor. Sites like Freelancer.com, oDesk, and eLance, provide several job opportunities in the editing field. If editing isn’t your style, try something a bit more active, such as management or teaching. No matter what field you choose, be sure to correct everyone to the best of your ability, because everyone loves a know-it-all.

    Regardless of your hobby, it’s possible to make money. Business principles remain the same no matter what product or service you’re offering, and sales is the key to your company’s future. If you’re tired of slaving away for someone else and want to instead make money pursuing your hobby, open yourself up to the career of your dreams and take a leap of faith. You never know where you’ll end up, until you try.

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2019

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

    Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

    Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

    This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

    Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

    What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

    Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

    When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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    How It Leads to Financial Improvement

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

    Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

    Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

    It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

    Types of Personal Finance Software

    When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

    Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

    For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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    Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

    When to Use Personal Finance Software

    So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

    Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

    1. You Have Multiple Accounts

    There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

    If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

    Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

    2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

    Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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    There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

    With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

    3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

    Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

    Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

    Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

    4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

    Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

    You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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    How to Get Started

    From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

    Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

    It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

    When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

    Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

    Final Thoughts

    Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

    In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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