I have recently helped two of my friends set up a plan for debt payoff and retirement savings. They both have started telling me to branch out and I try to always follow good advice. I figured this would be the perfect fit – help others get their finances under their own control and build up a little padding too.
If you are trying to come up with a REALISTIC plan to payoff debt, save more, or just to be able to watch closer, please let me know. We can:
- Review Your Numbers (Income and Expenses)
- Make a Plan Together – one that you will not just stick to, but may even enjoy
- And I will send you everything in its Excel sheet by the end of our meeting.
I do not want to hurt your financial efforts and I am just branching out, so I am keeping this to a flat $60. That will include the emails and calls to get all of the numbers together, working out the plan, emailing your Excel budget to you, and a follow up call a month later.
All I ask is that you recommend me to others if you are happy with my help.
Please email me at budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail *dot* com with any questions or to get started.
You can see my own budget here.
The longer Mr. BFS and I work from home, the more efficient we have become with our time. Plus, Google hitting a bunch of my advertising contacts hurt the business a little. My work weeks have gone from 80-100 hours a week before I had help to around 30-40 on average. I am happy and sad at the same time. I am using a few hours a week to volunteer with a hospice organization in the area, but that still leaves more than 30 hours a week that I am usually working…
Turning Time into Cash
Free time is awesome, but we are buying a new home in a few months. And we decided that we would like some more money in the bank before laying out 20% down, closing costs, and basic moving expenses. Or as Mr. BFS put it, “I like money.” So we are looking for ways to make a little more money on the side.
Here are a few methods we are using right now:
- I started commenting for hire (still have 25 spots left).
- We are renting out our spare bedroom.
- I am finally finishing up the “How I Make Money Blogging” ebook I started more than a year ago. Should be released in a couple of months. Woot!!!
- Mr. BFS just jumped at a summer job working at a bowling alley. He fixed bowling machines in college, so he’s returning to a fun side job.
- I am Craigslisting anything we don’t use for the dual benefits – more money and we won’t have to move it in a few months.
Here are a few other things that I have been thinking about:
- Petsitting again. We were receiving $15-$25 a night per dog.
- Babysitting again. About two years ago, I was bringing in about $10 an hour to watch a couple of cute kids every Friday and Saturday night.
- Side job in customer service. Maybe a part-time job as a receptionist or working at the local Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt store.
If you wanted to sock away some cash quickly, what would you do? What sort of hobby job would you like to do?
Google hurt me. Well, technically, Google decided to take a poop on a bunch of bloggers’ and advertisers’ Page Ranks, so now advertisers are gun shy. But since I run a blog advertising business, Google hurt me. April has been our lowest income month since the business took off last year. We aren’t in any danger of failing as of right now, but the next few months may be tight…
So, as I would suggest to anyone, I took a close look at my roots and decided to diversify our income a little again.
Gourmet Commenting Service
Having said all of that, I am now offering my own commenting with Twitter service for $3 per comment. For anyone who hasn’t looked into this type of service before, $3 per comment is high. I am carrying through on the higher cost by adding other value as well. BUT, do not splurge on me if your other priorities aren’t in order – I am fully admitting that I am a higher investment than necessary, but I hope to pay off well for anyone who tries me out.
This $3 covers reading the entire post that I will be commenting on, leaving 2 sentences or more of my take on the post (my normal kind of comments), and emailing the blog owner if I see that my comment gets caught in spam (happens all of the time now). I will also be keeping up a record for you of where the comments are posted AND Tweeting one of your own blog’s posts from my account weekly – that’s a little more than 1300 followers as of April 24, 2012 – you can choose the post you’d like Tweeted each week (as long as it isn’t spammy and I’ll even add a comment about it if I can fit it in).
Every single comment would have Crystal @ YourBlogName, either my email or the one of your choosing (my email would show my logo when avatars are shown), and your blog’s URL. I will email you a weekly/monthly list (your choice) of where the comments were left. You can send me a list of the blogs that you would like me to comment on or I can create a list of my own – again, your choice.
EVERY COMMENT I AM HIRED TO LEAVE WOULD BE FROM ME. This is not an outsourced business venture. 100% Crystal. Not even Mr. BFS will be helping with this.
I can only fit in enough time to leave 100 comments per week total right now, so please email me with the number of comments you have in mind per week (1-100). No minimum order is required. When those 100 spots are claimed, I will still keep a list of anyone else who is interested in case spots open up or I am able to carve out time to fit in more per week. If the waiting list gets crazy long, I will stop advertising my services until it is reasonable again.
Right now, 25 spots are filled.
My aim is to keep this organized and everyone completely happy. So you may see me all around the blogosphere with a ton of blog names right behind mine. Please don’t be confused – it’s still all me. Please check out the sites I’ll be linking to if they interest you at all – I am truly thankful for the bloggers that are investing in me. I am really looking forward to this (in fact, I’ve already started).
For all of my Twitter followers, do not worry. I will not spam you with crappy post announcements. I am only being hired by awesome bloggers, so these would be posts that I would happily promote anyway. :-) You will not be sad.
How do you diversify?
Post from the public.
Do you enjoy going to the casino? Many people do, but quite a high percentage of people come out of the casino as losers. Learn what games have better odds and you will improve your odds of leaving the casino as a winner!
While I certainly don’t promote gambling as an investment or a way to increase your retirement fund, I don’t mind people that head to the casino once in a while. It is a fun atmosphere and there always is the possibility of winning some big money. If you don’t have a casino in your area, even the online gambling sites (OGS) are fun to hit up once in a while. So what are the games that are the most likely to increase your wallet size?
1) Blackjack – If you have ever seen the movie “21”, then you know all about blackjack and how it is played. It is quite a simple game really. You are dealt 2 cards and can keep asking for more in order to get as close to 21 as you can without going over. If played correctly, you have a 49% chance of winning each hand. And, if you are a genius (like the kids in the movie) and can keep track of what cards have been dealt, then you might be able to improve these odds into your favor.
2) Craps – This game in shown on many movies and is very popular with those that like to roll the dice. Really, all you have to do is place a bet based on what you think the dice will read after you throw them. Again, it’s fairly simple with nearly 50-50 odds on winning.
3) Roulette – We have all seen the ball on the spinning wheel before. You can either choose to guess which number the ball will land on, or you can simple guess whether it will be red or black. Chose red or black and your odds of winning are nearly 50-50 again (keep in mind that there is a 00, which is green, so this brings your odds slightly below 50%).
So what is the absolute worst game to play at the casino (or online)? The slots. Sure, you might hit a big jackpot, but instead of the house only taking a 1% advantage (like it does in blackjack), it takes a 10% advantage in the slot machines. Avoid the slot machines and you might exit the casino a winner.
The following was from a guest.
Technology helps people pay for products and services in new and interesting ways. The adaption of internet payment technology created payment services like PayPal, which partnered with Discover Financial Services to adapt in-store mobile applications, at various rates of success.
PayPal and Discover are counting on the popularity of mobile phone technology to make their new products a success across the United States. But the companies are struggling to convince Americans that the new in-store PayPal apps are in their best interests.
People are comfortable paying for items in-store using their credit cards, and are willing to apply for new cards rather than adjust to the PayPal Discover app. Interestingly enough, many Americans are comfortable using technological advancements to acquire new credit cards despite their reluctance to embrace the so-called ‘digital wallet.’
Online credit card comparison sites are relatively new concepts that are made possible through innovations in technology. These sites provide credit card terms, interest rates, potential rewards, and other information from multiple providers all in one convenient location.
This service is valuable for credit card applicants because it eliminates the hassle of traveling to a bank or creditor, and spending an extensive amount of time negotiating with the institution’s salespeople. Instead, you have all the necessary information from some of the country’s leading financial institutions at your fingertips, which allow you to select the best credit card rate and policies without outside influence. By spending a few minutes reviewing all offers from viable competitors, you can make sure you select the most affordable option possible to satisfy your unique needs.
Many people are comfortable using the internet to find affordable credit card offers, but there is still a long bridge to cross before PayPal’s in-store apps and the so-called digital wallet are accepted by the majority of Americans. Until then, make use of the accepted technology, and find new ways to save money on your credit cards.
All tourists that have visited Siam Park Tenerife agree that this water park is the greatest attraction in Tenerife. In fact, Siam Park is more than an ordinary water park: it is the kingdom of all the other parks from all over the world. As a result, visitors will feel like kings from the first moment they step into this amazing place.
The Thai architecture is the major attraction of Siam Park: the winding rivers and the unique slides turn Siam Park into a perfect location for everyone who wants to have a break from the ordinary city life and the everyday problems. If you don’t consider yourself an adventurous person, the outstanding attractions of this water park will certainly prove you wrong. These attractions are designed to suit visitors like you, regardless of their age or career. Therefore, all you have to do is unleash your senses and embark upon the most amazing adventure of your life!
Children will be fascinated by the architecture of Siam Park, as the designers have managed to create an unusual place, meant to make youngsters feel as if they were in another world. Perhaps the most interesting sculpture is Hanuman, the head of a monkey which is the Siam Park’s king. The sculpture keeps an eye on all the activity, as if the king was watching over his kingdom. In fact, if you take into consideration the safety provided by the park’s team, you’ll begin thinking that Hanuman actually plays a major role in Siam Park.
The famous Lost City is incredible for children, as it features a special place where they can enjoy various activities, without getting bored. Besides, Siam Park also provides a special place where babies accompanied by a member of the family can swim in the pool and enjoy countless slides.
Lifeguards are constantly watching over the area, and parents will never have to worry about losing their children in the crowd, since every attraction has only an entrance and an exit point. Siam Park is also known for its pure water that is constantly renewed and filtered, a feature that you won’t find in many water parks. Plus, if you want to send your children in a school trip to this park, you will be pleased to hear that kids who are less than 1 meter in height have access only to slides designed for children.
Not all the people can brag about visiting the largest water park from Europe, so if you want a remarkable journey, find out more at AttractionTix!
Since 2008, when the current economic crisis began, banks and lending institutions have stepped up their practice of effectively handing people umbrellas when it isn’t raining. What this means is that if you don’t need money they will very likely lend you some but when you need it, they won’t.
Almost every week there is some news about well-established companies closing their doors with ensuing redundancies. Unemployment is rife and the world seems a very scary place to be because most of us have never lived through a recession such as this. However amid this chaos there is some hope for those who have the initiative and courage to start our own businesses.
Now is a good time to start a new business
You might imagine that starting a business with so many others closing is folly, but technology has provided a wealth of opportunity which means there has never been a better time to start a new business. But finance is required and since banks are not keen to lend money at present, where can it be found?
If you start an online business, your start-up costs may be very low depending on the type of business you want to go into. You will primarily need a website and apart from the cost of a domain name, it doesn’t cost much to make a start. There are ways that you can get a website and hosting for free, but if you want a more professional look then you will need to find some money. Naturally, if you are going to sell products you will also need money for stock. Here are three novel ways to fund a new start-up.
1) Raise finance with a first order: it may surprise you to learn that Apple Computers started out in a garage. When they had built a prototype, a local store ordered 50 of them. Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, could scarcely afford to produce that amount so he got the store owner to give him a written order and got a loan on the strength of that. Apple is a shining example of how it’s possible to start a business with no money.
2) Pro forma invoice: if you have a product that lots of people want to buy but don’t have the capital to buy stock, issue pro forma invoices to the potential purchasers. This means that they pay you upfront and you promise to deliver the products in a certain time frame. This allows you to buy the products using your customers’ money, remove your profit and deliver the goods to them. As your profits accrue, at some point you’ll be able to buy in your stock using your own money.
3) Sell old clothes for cash: you can raise cash online by selling your old and unwanted clothes, DVDs and CDs, among other items, to Music Magpie at www.musicmagpie.com
This is a fast way to get cash and depending on what you have to sell, it’s almost certain that you’ll be able to raise enough money to get a website up and running.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you beat the recession this year and become one of the thousands of successful online entrepreneurs.
Many businesses cost a bunch up front in order to succeed. I’ve been told several times that a business owner needs at least a year’s worth of expenses set aside in cold, hard cash because it can take that long or longer to start turning a profit. And with brick-and-mortar stores, that can be very true. But online, you really do not need to take a fast loan before launching an income stream.
I make the majority of my money through blogging via blog advertising for my sites and all of my clients’ sites. I started Budgeting in the Fun Stuff for free on Blogger.com, but then saw the error of my ways and moved over to WordPress and self-hosting. Altogether, my startup costs were about $150 and were only that high because I paid to have my site transferred over. The domain name was about $10 for the year and hosting was another $75 for the year thanks to a Black Friday sale at Host Gator. You can start a great blog for less than $100 a year and start making money from it within 6 months if you have the time to grow it quickly via guest posting, commenting, writing your own posts, and networking.
If you rather not jump all in on the blogging bandwagon, you also have a veriety of online freelancing options that don’t cost you anything up front. I personally comment for hire for other bloggers. That is when you read other blogs, make useful comments, and your name would link to the site of the person that hired you. It isn’t the best pay ever, but it is a pretty easy way of making $100 or more a month depending on how much time you have.
I’ve also made money by being a staff writer for other blogs. By writing solid, 400-600 word posts for others, you can bring in $15-$25 per post even when you are just starting out. If you can get word of mouth going, this is a pretty easy way of bringing in $400 or more a month – again, sort of up to you.
Then there are online jobs that pay by the hour or based on what you negotiate. I was a social media manager for a few months at $20 an hour. If you enjoy Facebook, Twitter, etc., this sort of position is meant for you. Many bloggers, like me, do not much care for all of the extra time that social media platforms need from us, so we outsource.
Overall, there are ways of starting a business or making extra money on the side that do not require money up front. So if you are in the market, think about what you enjoy doing and start seeing if anyone else would like to outsource that specific chore.
If you would like to make an offer or have any questions, please email me at budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail.com. Thanks!
I just made it back from the Financial Blogger Conference 2012 and it was AWESOME!!! You can read all about it at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.
BUT, I totally did not forget you either! Whether you forgot to grab something or just couldn’t make it, here is a FinCon Swag Bag just for you! I grabbed extra swag just to give away here and on BFS – feel free to enter both giveaways to double your chances!!! The BFS giveaway will go up over the weekend…
Financial Blogger Conference 2012 Swag Bag for HIMMB
You will be leaving any comment below to win:
- Ally Bank tote bag
- Ally Wireless Mouse (USB just clicks in and out – it is so cool! And they included batteries!)
- “Pocket Your Dollars” by Carrie Rocha – Advance Reading Copy
- USAA small note book and pen set
- Metal business card holder with sea shell theme (sponsored by Crystal, lol)
- RetailMeNot stylus pen
- Power Wallet pen
- Power Wallet screen wipe
- CommissionSoup money clip
- Ally white-chocolate covered Oreos
- Lending Club M&M’s
- How I Make Money Blogging eBook bookmark (has $10 off coupon code)
How to Enter
- Simply leave a comment below. If you need an idea, let me know what your favorite item in the swag bag will be! My fave is the wireless mouse…
The official stuff:
1) SORRY, but ONLY Continental USA entries since shipping is going to be costly.
2) Contest ends September 30, 2012 at 11:59pm CST.
3) ONLY ONE COMMENT/ENTRY PER PERSON.
4) The winner will be selected randomly and notified by email by the third day of October 2012.
5) The prize will be held for 2 calendar days. If it isn’t claimed, a new winner will be randomly picked and contacted.
6) I reserve the right to reject comments that I consider spam or invalid entries.
7) An invalid or incorrect email address automatically disqualifies you from the drawing…it’s hard to contact a fake email…
8) Local laws, rules, and regulations apply.