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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 August 20, 2019

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

    Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

    In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

    5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

    Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

    1. Be Clear About the Objectives

    Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

    It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

    Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

    2. Keep Them Realistic

    It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

    It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

    3. Account for Inflation

    Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

    Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

    For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

    4. Short Term vs Long Term

    Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

    As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

    More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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    5. To Each to His Own

    The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

    It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

    By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

    11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

    Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

    • Ensuring healthy savings
    • Making smart investments

    You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

    Ensuring Healthy Savings

    Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

    This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

    1. Track Expenses

    The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

    Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

    2. Pay Yourself First

    Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

    Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

    The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

    Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

    3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

    Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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    Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

    At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

    Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

    You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

    4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

    Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

    If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

    Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

    All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

    5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

    In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

    Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

    Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

    If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

    If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

    So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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    6. Talk About It

    Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

    Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

    7. Maintain a Journal

    For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

    So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

    Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

    When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

    At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

    Making Smart Investments

    Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

    8. Consult a Financial Advisor

    Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

    Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

    9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

    Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

    Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

    Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

    It is here where that classification will help.

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    So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

    10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

    Einstein once remarked about compounding,

    Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

    So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    11. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

    If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

    Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

    As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

    More About Personal Finance Management

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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