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It May Be a Hobby, But It Can Save You Money

by Sean Bryant on April 13, 2015


Hobbies may keep us sane during difficult times, but have you considered how yours could also save you money? Take a second look at your skills and interests and see how they can boost your funds.

Cooking From Scratch: A Healthy, Money-Saving Hobby

Do you enjoy weekend cooking? Try extending it to the week; you’ll be amazed at how much more money remains in your pocket when you drop the carryout habit. ABC News reported in 2014 that cooking at home twice a week would save one couple $2,227 over fast food in a year. Cooking, it turns out, takes just a few more minutes than the time it takes to pick up dinner, even from a fast-food restaurant. Once you get in the habit of cooking from scratch, consider making these low-cost and healthy alternatives to carryout:

  • Dried beans, which cost pennies a pound and can be used to make veggie burgers
  • Potatoes to cut up and bake in oven for fries
  • Bulk apples to make homemade applesauce
  • Dried whole herbs, which last longer than ground ones; grind as needed in a food processor or old coffee grinder

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29 Ways to Make Money

by Sean Bryant on April 8, 2015

Ways to Make More Money

So you’re ready to start earning more this year? Whether you want to be more aggressive about paying off student loans, dig yourself out of credit card debt, or save toward a down payment or vacation, making extra money on the side is a smart strategy for working toward your goals.

While you could simply get a part-time job, I’m going to focus on entrepreneurial ventures — side jobs where you control your time and rates. Instead of working the shifts you’re given for a set wage, you’ll be your own boss, deciding what you do, when you do it and how much you make.

Whether you’re thinking of starting a side business that could eventually become your full-time job or you just want to earn a little extra cash on the weekends, I’ve got you covered. How will you earn more money this year?

Freelance With Your Skills

Use the skills you’ve already developed — maybe even those you use at a full-time job — to earn extra cash on the side. While you’ll want to make sure you’re not competing with your employer (you can’t poach your company’s clients; read your contract to make sure you haven’t signed a non-compete agreement), you could earn a significant amount of money by working directly with clients.

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Side Hustle

Most of us know the basic tenets of personal finance. We cut expenses that we hate, like car insurance, cable bills, cell phone bills, and the like. And then we earn more money on the side so that we can spend money without regrets on the things that bring us the most joy. You can only save so much money, but your income potential is unlimited. The problem, however, is that often we try to earn money on the side, and we end up burning out. We lose steam trying to do too much, and we end up being unproductive.

Here are my five tips on how to make sure that you don’t burn out while working your side hustle.

Know Your Limits

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but too many people suffer from pushing their limits. They simply don’t know how to say “no.”

Here’s how to test your limits to make sure that you’re not taking on too much work. First, you will have a good idea of how much work you can do. You know roughly how long each project takes, and roughly how many hours you need to dedicate. So when you’re getting started, take on enough to fill up all the time that you want to work. It will likely be too much. Your second step is the harder one. Second, drop some of your clients. Your business is not going to suffer if you tell a client you can no longer handle their work. Now here’s the catch: they may love your work so much that they’ll be willing to pay more. In this case, keep them, and drop a different client.

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5 Simple Ways to Secure Your Home on a Budget

by Sean Bryant on April 3, 2015

Secure your home on a budget

Your home is the safest place in the world. Or it can be. But many home security systems are expensive and have a monthly subscription that can simply cost more than your budget allows. So how do you keep the most important things safe on a budget? Here are 5 simple and inexpensive ways to make your home more secure.

Deadbolts and Locks

Thieves take what is readily available. They’ll grab something from an unlocked car, an open garage or an unattended house. They usually won’t break anything to get what they want, aside from the occasional window.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’ve just bought a new home, it’s a good idea to replace the locks. A deadbolt is enough a deny an opportunist the chance for an easy scoop and go, whether it’s your smartphone or just some cash you’ve left behind on the counter. It’s also important to remember to lock up any windows, ground floor or not.

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Choosing the Right EMV (Chip) Card for Your Lifestyle

April 1, 2015
EMV Credit Card

This coming October, American retailers will be required to accept EMV (chip) credit cards at their retail registers, or face increased fraud liability. On the credit card issuer side, this means that issuers are rushing to upgrade millions of credit cards to have an EMV chip. Chances are, if your card expired in the past […]

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Self-Employment Tips for European Startup Success

March 30, 2015
Startup Success

There are a number of ways to make ends meet, from lending your services as an employee to striking out on your own as a self-employed earner. Each scenario has its own set of advantages, so your best approach isn’t always crystal clear. If you do decide to go self-employed, however, there are rules you […]

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