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Why Easy Ways to Make Money Won’t Make You Money

Why Easy Ways to Make Money Won’t Make You Money

    Everyone always seems to be looking for an easy way out when it comes to making a living. We would all rather work as little as possible and make our money easily. It’s no wonder why Google searches for “easy ways to make money” yield a ton of get-rich-quick-plans, pyramid schemes, and courses from “marketing gurus” who have finally found the secret to making massive amounts of money online and doing it with as little effort as possible.

    The sad reality is that if you want to make a living online (or even offline), it takes hard work, especially if it is something that you want to do and it isn’t something you should shy away from. Easy ways to make money won’t making you money and won’t fulfill you. Here’s why.

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    Challenges are fun

    Challenging yourself day-in and day-out is extremely important. It’s one of the only ways that you can grow as a human and especially as a worker in your profession. If making money and a living wasn’t challenging, at least to some degree, the chances of you being bored and unhappy would be higher than that of a challenging lifestyle.

    Not only that, it’s also fun to face a challenge and defeat it. There is nothing like planning a project, working through it (sometimes even struggling), and seeing it through to the end.

    Easy money will go away

    Unless you found something that is impossible to duplicate and you live in a world where there is no internet or social networks, your “scheme” to make easy money will be duplicated by others, improved upon, and you will inevitably be weeded out of your market. It’s impossible to stay in an easy-money-making-market forever and think that the money will keep rolling in.

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    You will have to put some work in eventually as your market disappears, so why not just skip the easy ways to make money and challenge yourself to make a living?

    Where’s your legacy?

    Another thing about taking the easy way out; you have very little chance of leaving a legacy, that is, a positive one. Do you think that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, or Sergey and Larry would have a legacy if they were looking for the easy way out?

    These people are exceptions, but the point still stands. If you concentrate too much on easy ways to make money, you will miss the the idea that could define your life’s work, the work that will create your own legacy.

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    “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is, everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.”

    -Steve Jobs

    Okay, everything doesn’t have to be difficult

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that you have to struggle your entire life to make a living so you don’t get bored or forget to create your own legacy. I’m saying that we all need to make sure that the work we do has purpose and that it helps define us as a person. Many people say that “you are not your work”, but I beg to differ. There isn’t anything wrong with your work helping to define who you are in life.

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    There are many great people in the world that I wouldn’t have known were so great if they didn’t work hard to create cool things that I use everyday. While their work doesn’t entirely define who they are, it helps to create a portion of who they are.

    There will inevitably be some easy ways to make money here and there on your journey, but you may want to make sure that these ways of making money are related to, as Merlin Mann like to put it, your platform (basically the culmination of all of your important work). Making easy money related to your life’s work isn’t a bad thing and will definitely come up. But, chasing easy money isn’t something to shoot for.

    Back to practicality

    Taking this back to something practical; rather than concentrating on easy ways to make money, sit down and list the things that you want to do to make money. Think of your dream jobs and write them down. Next, write down the things that you are good at. If you find a correlation between a dream job and something you are good at, then that is the work that you should be chasing, regardless of how difficult it may be.

    It’s much more fulfilling to chase your dreams than chase easy money. If you are aligning your skills with your dream jobs, working hard, then money and a living will come to you.

    (Photo credit: Money falling, isolated on white background via Shutterstock)

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on June 26, 2020

    25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

    25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

    “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

    If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

    You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

    Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

    As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

    And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

    But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

    • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
      • food
      • rent/mortgage
      • cell phone
      • insurance
      • socializing/entertainment
      • transportation
      • hygiene products
      • household bills
    • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
      • travel
      • clothing
      • medication (*depends)
      • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
      • gifts

    Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

    Save Money on Food

    1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

    Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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    Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

    2. Buy the store-brand version

    Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

    3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

    Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

    4. Have group dinners

    If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

    Save Money in Transport

    5. Get a bicycle

    Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

    6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

    Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

    7. Find the cheapest gas

    Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

    Save Money in General Shopping

    8. Shop online

    Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

    9. Sell your old stuff

    Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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    Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

    10. Bulk buying stores

    For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

    Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

    11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

    You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

    12. Generic brand medication

    More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

    13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

    It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

    Cut Down on Household Expenses

    14. Printing

    Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

    e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

    Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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    15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

    A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

    16. Shop around for insurance

    Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

    Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

    17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

    If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

    18. Don’t get a TV

    Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

    19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

    My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

    Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

    20. Have house parties

    Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

    For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

    21. Open festivals, meetups and events

    It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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    22. Volunteer

    If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

    23. Housesit

    There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

    Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

    24. DIY beauty

    French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

    25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

    If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

    Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

    Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

    • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
    • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
    • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
    • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
    • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
    • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
    • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

    Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

    What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

    Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

    More Tips for Personal Finance Management

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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