Tag: Just For Fun

 

Budget-Friendly Labor Day Activities to Try Out in 2019

While summer isn’t over until the last week of September, Labor Day weekend is known as the unofficial end of the summer season. 

This probably means your summer vacations have come to a close and you may already be reminiscing about your outdoor activities with friends, warm evenings out on the town, and weekends away. 

Perhaps you went a bit overboard when it came to spending money. If your summer adventures left your bank account looking a bit slim, no need to fret. We’re here to help you end your summer on a high note, while you save money this Labor Day weekend. 

Here are seven Labor Day activities you can enjoy without blowing your budget. 

 

  1. A Day at the Pool/Beach

Your local community pool is probably one of the first places that will close its facilities after Labor Day weekend. So, make sure you plan one last day at the pool if this is the case. 

Most community pools are free or charge a small fee for all-day access, so it beats shelling out major bucks to splash around at a water park.  

The same goes for the beach – if you’re lucky enough to live close to a lake or ocean. Pack up a few snacks, drinks, towels, and beach balls, and enjoy a day of fun in the sun and chilling at the beach. It’s likely that your only expense will be parking. 

 

  1. Picnic at the Park

If you want to plan a romantic summer date or enjoy time with a group of friends, a park picnic is another great way to close out your summer. Put together a simple but refreshing summer spread (think salad, sandwiches, and fresh fruit), lay out a blanket, and enjoy the atmosphere and good vibes. 

 

  1. Final Get-Together with Friends

Time will fly once summer ends, so it might be a good idea to have one last group pow-wow before everyone’s schedules gets super hectic. 

It’s pretty simple. All you have to do is fire up the grill and invite friends over for good food, games, and laughs. It’s likely that everyone will appreciate those moments once they’re back to the regular hustle and bustle of post-summer life.

 

  1. Attend a Local Sports Event

Whether you’re a sports expert or novice, you can’t help but catch the summer spirit when you’re at a baseball or football game. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax with a cold brew and hot dog, and cheer on your favorite team. Or, if you’re like me, just smile and pretend you understand what’s going on. 

Either way, hearing the chants of excited fans and snapping selfies at the stadium will give you some good memories as you move into the fall season.

 

  1. Take a Road Trip

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to go on road trips. It’s liberating to spend a few hours listening to music while traveling on the open road. 

So, take a page out of my book and spend your holiday weekend traveling to a new place. Use this last summer road trip guide to channel your inner nomad. Even if the drive is just a couple hours away, you can enjoy seeing new things before the long weekend is over.

 

  1. Enjoy a Staycation

On the other hand, if you’ve done quite a bit of traveling over the summer already, you might find it more appealing to have fun close to home. Whether you decide to have a movie night or explore your town, there’s really no wrong way to do a staycation. You’ll get the chance to enjoy some much-needed time off and save money. A win-win!

 

  1. Get Organized

Okay, so this is probably the least exciting of the activities on this list. Still, a long weekend is a great time to catch up on your to-do list. If you’re like me, you’re probably always telling yourself, “If I just had one more day in the week, I’d do (insert task you’ve been putting off).” Well, here’s that extra day!

You don’t have to dedicate your entire weekend to organizing but try to complete at least one or two tasks. For example, take a couple of hours to declutter your inbox, clean out your closet, or update your resume. Just think: That updated resume can lead to a higher-paying gig, and you can bring in some extra cash from selling your unused items. 

Getting organized doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

End on a High Note 

Whatever you choose to do over Labor Day weekend, make sure you spend your last days of summer enjoying yourself and getting a jump on your to-do list for the fall. This way you’ll look back on your summer with fond memories as you get ready to dive into the cooler weather months.

 

Enter the Summer Funds Sweepstakes

Refer Friends to Chime for a Chance to Win $1,000!1

Summer can be an expensive season for splurging, so we’re giving away some fun money to help make your summer dreams come true.

You could win $1,000 when your friends open a new Chime Account by 11:59 pm PT on August 22, 2019! Winners who are Chime members will receive a $1,000 deposit to their Chime Spending Account while winners who are non-members will get a $1,000 Amazon.com virtual gift card.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Share your unique referral link.
  2. Until 11:59pm PT on August 22, 2019, you’ll get an automatic entry into the Summer Funds Sweepstakes each time someone opens a new Chime Spending Account with your link.
  3. Repeat for up to 5 entries!

Automatic entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM PT on August 22, 2019. See below for alternate method of entry.

Share now for a chance to win!* Ten lucky winners will be randomly chosen to win $1,000 each.

You Can Still Earn $50 Per Referral

As always, you and your friend will both get $50 when they open an account with your link and receive a direct deposit of $200 or more within 45 days!2

Mail-In Entry

You may send a postcard with your first and last name, date of birth, home address, email address, and name of sweepstakes (“Summer Funds Sweepstakes”) to Chime as an alternate method of entry. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by August 22, 2019 and received prior to the September 3, 2019 drawing. Limit 5 entries per person regardless of method of entry. See Official Rules for entry and other details. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary to enter or win.

 


 

1Winnings of $600 or more must be reported on tax form 1099-MISC. Confirmed winners who are Chime members will receive a $1,000 deposit to their Chime Spending Account. Winners who are not Chime members will receive a $1,000 Amazon.com virtual gift card.

2In order for both parties (the referred friend and the referring Chime member) to qualify for and receive the $50.00 referral reward, the following conditions must be met: The referred friend must open a new Chime Spending Account using the referring Chime member’s unique referral link after August 1, 2019 and receive a payroll direct deposit of $200.00 or more within 45 days from when the Chime Spending Account was opened. The payroll direct deposit of the referred friend must be made by their employer, payroll provider or payer by an ACH deposit. Bank ACH transfer, Pay Friends transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, transfers from PayPal or Venmo, mobile check deposits, and cash loads or deposits do not qualify as a payroll direct deposit. Referring Chime member must be part of the $50.00 for Payroll Direct Deposit referral reward campaign in order for both parties to be eligible for the $50.00 referral reward. The referral reward is paid to both parties within two business days after qualifying funds are first deposited into the referred friend’s Spending Account. Eligible referring Chime members can earn no more than $1000.00 in referral rewards per calendar year (January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019). Referred friend acknowledges that payment of the referral reward may result in the referring Chime member’s knowledge of you establishing an account with us. Chime reserves the right to cancel or modify the referral reward terms, or terminate the member’s eligibility, at any time with or without prior notice. Credits of $600 or more must be reported on tax form 1099-MISC.

*The Bancorp Bank does not endorse or sponsor, and is not affiliated in any way with this offer.

 

4 Money Lessons I Learned From ‘The Lion King’

Links to external websites are not managed by Chime or The Bancorp Bank.


I’m a product of the ‘90s. This means I’m also a product of the 1994 Walt Disney classic “The Lion King.” I grew up on the film’s songs and characters, did my best to take hakuna matata to heart, and even named my pet lizards Simba and Nala.

I recently learned that Walt Disney Pictures is rolling out a new version of my childhood favorite. After getting a little nostalgic (and watching the trailer on repeat), the news made me reflect on what I learned from the original animated classic. 

As a personal finance writer who covers everything from bank accounts with no unnecessary fees to Roth IRAs, it isn’t surprising that money lessons popped into my mind first. Here are 4 financial lessons you can learn from “The Lion King.”

1. Strive for Balance

One of the most poignant scenes in the entire movie (IMHO) is Mufasa and Simba’s father-son moment overlooking the plain. This is when Mufasa famously tells his son that “Everything the light touches is our kingdom” — and also that “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance.”

While Mufasa was referring to ants and antelopes, and life and death, the truth is: Balance matters when it comes to money, too. 

Take the issue of spending versus saving. It’s easy to swing from one extreme to the other: from becoming a FIRE (financial independence, retire early) fanatic and saving 90% of your income to racking up thousands of dollars of credit card debt to keep your FOMO at bay. I’m willing to bet Mufasa wouldn’t think either of those lifestyles exist in a “delicate balance.” 

Put it into action: When it comes to money, look for a balance between saving for the future and enjoying your life. You can try the 50/30/20 rule, which recommends allocating 50% of your after-tax income toward necessities (like rent and gas), 30% toward wants (like concert tickets and vacations), and 20% toward savings (like your emergency fund and retirement accounts). 

You should also “pay yourself first” by automatically transferring savings from your checking account into an investment account every week or month. This way, you can rest assured your future self is covered, while still being able to grab happy hour after work. That’s the kind of balance that would make Mufasa proud.

2. Don’t Run from Your Problems

After (spoiler alert!) his father dies, Simba tries to escape his guilt, confusion, and grief — both figuratively and literally. He runs far into the savannah and grows up away from his family and his pride. 

Eventually, however, Simba listens to Rafiki, who tells him, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” Those wise words compel Simba to finally face his problems head on. 

Rafiki (which, fun fact, means “friend” in Swahili) would say the same thing to you: Running from your money troubles won’t solve anything. You can’t fix your problems if you never acknowledge them in the first place. 

Put it into action: If you’ve made financial mistakes, don’t stick your head in the Sahara and pretend they’ll get better. 

If you have credit card debt, commit to paying $25 over the minimum, then slowly increasing the amount by five dollars each month. If you’re struggling to cover your student loans, sign up for an extended repayment plan. If you ruined your credit in your 20s, apply for a secured credit card.

No matter the size of the hole you’ve dug, you can get yourself out. It’ll just take patience, commitment, and a willingness to learn from your missteps.  

3. Focus on the Future

While you shouldn’t ignore your money problems, you shouldn’t let them define you either. Once you’ve created a plan to tackle your financial woes, focus on the future. 

As Timon might say: “Look, kid, bad things happen, and you can’t do anything about it.” So stop feeling ashamed about the past — about how you didn’t start saving early enough, about that pair of designer heels you never wear — and consider how you can change your behaviors moving forward.

You know, hakuna matata!

Put it into action: Think about how you can weave a strong financial safety net for yourself in the future. Focus less on skipping your daily latte, and more on the big expenses, like renting an apartment within your budget or buying a used car instead of a new one. 

Then, slowly build an emergency fund that will cover at least three months of expenses. Ask for a raise at work. Open a 401(k). Switch bank accounts to avoid unnecessary fees. And gather a solid support network of friends (think of them like less-furry versions of Timon, Pumba, and Rafiki) to help you stay the course.

4. Confidence Matters

At one point when Simba is doubting his abilities, he hears the echo of his father’s voice. “Look inside yourself,” Mufasa tells him. “You are more than what you have become.” It was true: Simba’s lack of self-confidence had been hindering him from his destiny. 

Although I’m not going to sit here and say you have a personal finance “destiny” like the king of lions, I will say that confidence plays a huge role in money management, too. And if you don’t feel financially confident, realize it’s not your fault. Since most American schools don’t teach personal finance, many people feel confused and anxious when it comes to money. 

Put it into action: To take control of your finances, you need to build the confidence so that “you are more than what you have become.” The key here is education. Find your financial footing by listening to podcasts like Stacking Benjamins and Bad With Money, reading blogs like this one and books like “Get Money,” and watching YouTube channels like Financially Wise Women and The Financial Diet

The Circle of Money

Although you might wish you could live like an animal in the savannah, and trade in budgeting for, you know, surviving in the wild, the reality is: We live in a world that revolves around financial transactions. 

You don’t have to like it, but you do have to accept it. And with the help of “The Lion King,” you can hopefully gain the knowledge and confidence you’ll need to rule over your very own financial kingdom. (Just watch out for the hyenas!)

 

How to Throw an Epic Fourth of July Party for $100

There is nothing more ubiquitous in American culture than a big July 4th party.

In fact, 86% of Americans plan to celebrate Independence Day this year. They also plan to spend a total of $6.7 billion on food items, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The most popular July 4th activity for 61% of those surveyed? Cookouts, barbecues and picnics. And, according to the NRF, the average cost per person for a July 4th BBQ is expected to hit $73.33 in 2019.

What does this mean for you? It means that a typical July 4th celebration can quickly bust your budget if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your quintessential red, white and blue celebration affordable. In fact, you can actually save money and throw an awesome bash for $100. Take a look at 6 ways to do this.

1. Be Selective with Your Guest List

Keep your holiday cookout cozy by inviting a small number of people. This immediately lowers the overall expenses for your event.

Here’s a tip to help keep your party guest list from getting out of hand: Send out same day invitations to some extra folks. Many of your friends may have already said “yes” to another party invitation so if they say “no” to yours, they’ll never know that your goal is to keep your number of attendees low.

2. Host a Potluck

Hold a potluck and ask your party guests to pitch in and bring a dish. This keeps your food expenses low while allowing your friends to do their part.

A couple of tips to make your next holiday potluck fabulous:

·      Create a Google doc and have attendees share what they’re bringing. This way you won’t end up with duplicate dishes.

·      Run a contest to see who brings the most tasty dish. The winner gets bragging rights for the next year.

·      Be clear with your guests about what you’re providing as the host. If you’re providing all of the alcoholic drinks, for example, you can ask your guests to bring seltzer water or lemonade instead.

If you’re still a little nervous about hosting your first potluck party, check out Apartment Guide’s tips.

3. Use a Savings App

Couponing sometimes feels like a hassle. Instead, strategize your savings with your favorite savings apps such as Ibotta or Checkout 51. Then, double up with savings from your favorite grocer’s discounts.

Here’s how this works:

·      Create a list of items that you will provide for your July 4th holiday event.

·      Quickly check each app to see if you can save on that item.

If you’ve earned cash back from your savings app, use that cash towards your party expenses.

4. Borrow a Grill and Other Supplies

No grill? No blender? No worries. Fight the urge to buy new appliances in order to make your event happen.

Instead, ask your neighbors or friends if you can borrow a grill, a blender or BBQ supplies. If you think you’ll continue using these appliances or items, perhaps you can compare costs and purchase them on sale. This way you’ll also have them on hand for future parties.

5. Grocery Shop Your Pantry

Before heading to the grocery store, shop your pantry. Spend some time looking at the ingredients that are already in your home. Make simple dishes with those ingredients. If you’re short on inspiration head over to Pinterest to search for ideas.

6. Watch Fireworks as a Group

According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, Americans spent $885 Billion on fireworks in 2017.

Instead of purchasing fireworks, you can instead spend nothing on pyrotechnics and instead head out as a group to see a local fireworks show. Check the following places for more information on fireworks displays in your area.

·      Your city’s website

·      Professional sports teams websites. An example of this is the Colorado Rockies in Denver, Colorado. The Colorado Rockies typically have a fireworks show if they’re playing in town July 3rd or July 4th. The great thing about this display is that you don’t have to attend the game in order to enjoy it.

Start Saving Now for Next July 4th!

Now that you’re set for this year, it’s time to start saving up for your next July 4th party.

By following the tips above, you now know that you can host a fabulous party on an affordable budget – year after year. Happy 4th of July!

 

 

8 TED Talks About Money You Should Watch Right Now

Finances can be complicated.

Fortunately, there are tons of resources out there to help you understand the world of money From books to classes, and from podcasts to blogs, there are plenty of ways to learn how to manage your finances and save more money.

TED Talks, the infamous videos which feature renowned speakers, are an excellent way to verse yourself on finances. Whether you want to learn about investing, spending less, paying off debt, saving more money, or something else, there’s a TED Talk to fit the bill.

Check out these 8 inspirational TED Talks to help you get a better handle on your finances.

1. How Does the Stock Market Work? – Oliver Elfenbaum

Turn on the news or open a newspaper, and you’re likely to hear about the stock market.

While most people are familiar with the basics of the stock market, not everyone knows how it works. What’s the history of the stock market? How do companies and investors benefit from the stock market?

In his TED Talk, Oliver Elfenbaum explains the history of the stock market (would you believe it started in the late 1600s?), how it works, and how you can benefit. This four-minute TED Talk is jammed-packed with information, so be sure to add it to your list.

2. 3 Psychological Tricks to Help You Save Money – Wendy De La Rosa

“We all know that saving is important and is something that we should be doing,” says Wendy De La Rosa. “And yet, overall, we’re doing less and less of it.”

In her TED Talk, De La Rosa explains that the way you save money has nothing to do with how smart you are or how much willpower you have. She shares her research and gives listeners three easy and practical steps to increase their savings. Whether you’re just starting to save, or you want to increase your savings rate, give this TED Talk a listen.

3. Let’s Get Honest About Our Money Problems – Tammy Lally

After her brother took his own life due to his financial problems, Tammy Lally has made it her mission to remove the shame around money conversations.

She breaks down common barriers that stand in the way of families having honest money discussions. If you are someone who suffers from money-shame, be sure to give this quick TED Talk a listen.

4. Saving for Tomorrow, Tomorrow – Shlomo Benartzi

Economist Shlomo Benartzi partnered with Richard Thaler from the University of Chicago and created a financial program called Save More Tomorrow. He calls the program an example of “behavioral finance on steroids,” and defines behavior finance as how people manage their money.

Benartzi states that only one third of Americans are contributing to a 401(k) plan, and that the remaining two thirds aren’t saving for retirement at all. Yikes.

Benartzi’s TED Talk Saving for Tomorrow, Tomorrow addresses the saving dilemma with a simple solution. Be sure to check it out.

5. How to Buy Happiness – Michael Norton

The phrase “money can’t buy happiness,” isn’t new, but is it true? Michael Norton doesn’t think so.

In his TED Talk, Norton shares his extensive research on how money can buy happiness. The secret is to change how you’re spending it. Norton offers up tactical tips to help you spend in ways that will increase your happiness.

Still don’t think money can actually buy happiness? Let Norton convince you otherwise.

6. What Gives a Dollar Bill its Value? – Doug Levinson

Have you ever thought about how the value of money is determined? Chances are, you haven’t considered what gives a dollar bill its value.

In his insightful TED Talk, Doug Levinson walks listeners through the process the United States Federal Reserve uses to determine how much money to circulate. This, in turn, determines the value of money. This TED Talk is brief, but incredibly informative and will help you appreciate your hard-earned cash.

7. Should You Donate Differently? – Joy Sun

Joy Sun, co-founder of the charity GiveDirectly, is a veteran aid worker with a new idea on how to approach giving.

After providing aid to countries abroad for more than 10 years, Sun had a revelation. Instead of donating material supplies, what if you simply gave families cash?

Sun acknowledges that every family is unique, and she has research to prove that giving is more effective when recipients can decide how to spend their gifts. By using a unique idea and technology, GiveDirectly is revolutionizing the way we donate. This talk challenges traditional charitable contribution ideas, and gives listeners a refreshing perspective on the idea of giving.

8. Less Stuff, More Happiness – Graham Hill

Have boxes of random items lying around that you haven’t opened in years? You’re not alone. In his TED Talk, Hill shares that Americans have about three times the amount of storage space than we had 50 years ago.

Hill argues that the habit of overconsumption has led to an excessive amount of credit card debt and huge environmental footprints. He also believes our happiness levels have flat-lined over the last 50 years.

In this TED Talk, you can hear all about Graham’s experience of living with less in a 420 square foot apartment in Manhattan, and how his happiness has increased with less stuff. He shares practical tips to those who are looking to find happiness with less.

Take a Listen

So there you have it! Take a few minutes and broaden your financial knowledge with some of these educational and fun TED Talks. Once you’ve listened, you’ll be inspired to increase your savings, find happiness with less, and improve your financial future.

 

How to Ball on a Budget When You Go Out

Links to external websites are not managed by Chime or The Bancorp Bank.


Let’s say you get a call from a close friend. She just got a promotion at work, and she’s inviting you to a trendy Thai restaurant to celebrate. You love Thai food and want to go, but there’s one problem: Your budget’s looking pretty tight this month.

Thankfully, you can still go out without compromising your savings. For example, you can decide how much you can spend and then adjust your budget accordingly.

“If you know that in the summer, you tend to go out more and spend more money, then make room for that in your budget and cut back in other areas to accommodate that,” says Jamila Souffrant, certified financial education instructor and founder of the blog and podcast Journey to Launch.

For instance, you can cut the cable cord and ditch your meal box subscription, leaving more wiggle room for nights out, concerts and movies. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some tips for saving money on just about any outing. Take a look.

At a Sporting Event

If you’re dying to see the Chicago Bulls (or your own favorite team), you can make it happen without breaking the bank. Souffrant recommends buying your tickets in-person from the box office to avoid service fees from online ticketers.

You can also pick games that aren’t super expensive. For example, maybe go on a work night when it’s less crowded and you can more easily score cheaper tickets. Typically, games during the week are less costly than Friday, Saturday, or Sunday games.

On the day of the big game, be sure to eat before you leave home to avoid paying the markup at the snack counter. Your belly and your bank account will feel fuller.

At a Movie

Sometimes, it’s good to catch a summer blockbuster on the big screen and swoon over your favorite actors. Just be sure to steer clear of the overpriced movie theater concession stand.

“Definitely do not buy any of the snacks or drinks in the movie theater. I know it’s tempting, but eat before you go and/or bring your own snacks,” says Souffrant.

Souffrant also recommends looking for discounted tickets or deals on sites like Groupon or the theaters’ own website. You can also go to a weekend matinee and head out to dinner afterwards – instead of the other way around.

By planning in advance, you can enjoy buzzworthy movies and save money at the same time.

At a Concert

Hanging out with friends at concerts is part of summer fun. But to save money, it’s important that you try to buy tickets at the box office in advance, says Souffrant.

Why? You’ll typically get the lowest price, she says.

Even if you can’t manage to score inexpensive tickets (some of us are Beyoncé fans), you can find other ways to save when you consider the costs of the whole night. Souffrant suggests carpooling or even taking public transportation to the event.

If your concert-going night involves multiple destinations, you may want to turn on push notifications from your bank. You’ll get an alert each time you use your debit card, which may be the reality check you need to curb your spending.

Lastly, look for free concerts in your city. While you might not be able to attend a Beyonce concert for free, there are plenty of other bands and music festivals that offer free concerts.

At a Restaurant

Back to the friends-at-a-Thai-restaurant example: When you’re going out to eat, it can help to speak up about your financial goals.

“If you’re on a budget or you’re trying to save money, don’t keep it to yourself,” says Souffrant.

When you explain your intentions at the start of a night out or before you arrive at the restaurant, your friends will be more likely to understand when you choose to pay only for what you ate and drank.

“I would avoid splitting (the check) equally. That can get expensive if you’re trying to be conscious but they’re not,” says Souffrant.

If you do decide to split the bill, try using Chime’s Pay Friends feature.

At a Bar or Nightclub

If you can avoid a cover charge by getting to your favorite spot before a certain time, then do it, Souffrant says.

You and your friends can also do research in advance to see which local watering holes have special offers or discount nights. Lastly, consider nursing one drink or sticking to water to save money on the bar tab. This way you can still enjoy a night out with friends without overspending.

At an Exercise Class

If your friends are veteran yogis or distance runners, they may have guest passes to a gym or fitness studio that they can share with you, Souffrant suggests.

“You can also just try out the good old park,” she says.

Besides being healthy, workouts at the park are totally free.

“Go together, take a run, take a walk. Use the environment for your own workouts and outside activities.”

Save Money and Have Fun

The tips above make one thing clear: You can meet your savings goals without becoming a hermit.

One final pro tip: Try automating your savings. If you use a Chime Visa Debit Card, for example, every time you use it to purchase concert or movie tickets, or pay your restaurant bill, your transaction will be rounded up to the nearest dollar. And, that round up amount will be automatically deposited into your Chime Savings Account. This way, you’ll save money while you’re out enjoying yourself!

 

Side Hustles You Can Do in Your Sleep

For our parents’ generation, “moonlighting” might have meant earning extra money by flipping burgers at a fast food joint or working at a department store on the weekends.

But for us? Well, we’re the gig economy generation. Whether you deliver groceries, participate in focus groups, or get rented out to be someone’s wedding guest, you’ve likely got some sort of side hustle. According to a recent Bankrate report, nearly 40 percent of Americans have a side gig. As for millennials, half of us have one.

If you’re still searching for an easy way to rake in money, we’ve got you covered. Here are four passive income strategies that can help you earn money in your sleep. Pretty sweet.

1. Video royalties

You don’t need a gazillion views to monetize your videos.

Yes, even you can make money off your adorable furbaby videos, clips of wild weather, political protests, and unusual street performers, says Peter Koch, founder of Seller at Heart.

Koch spends a few hours a month making short videos and uploading them to video licensing platforms. He rakes in about $150 a month.

Where to start? Video licensing agencies like Newsflare, Rumble, or Jukin Media are just some of the platforms where you can sell your videos. Yet, the ways in which you can earn money vary. For instance, if you use Newsflare and a website wants to use your video for a set amount of time, you can earn a flat rate. You can also make money via ad placements. With Rumble, on the other hand, you can earn money through syndication. And with Jukin you can make money through licensing, brand partnerships, and online monetization.

2. Stack cash back and rewards apps

What about making money by spending money on things you already buy?

With popular cash back apps like Ebates, Drop and Dosh, you can earn points, which can then be redeemed for either gift cards and sometimes cash.

Similar to credit card rewards, you just link your credit card to the app, explains Andrew Herrig, a personal finance blogger at Wealthy Nickel.

“You earn points that you can trade for cash for shopping you would normally do anyway,” says Herrig.

Pro tip: If you put in a little extra effort, you can score good bonuses for some non-cash back offers, explains Herring. And, if you already put some of these purchases on a credit card, you’ll be earning reward points on your credit card, too. Just be careful of making purchases you normally wouldn’t, and carrying too high of a balance on your card.

3. Creating digital products

Online businesses and products are popular ways to earn passive income.

If you already have a platform with a strong following, or it you’ve devised a marketing strategy by way of email funnels and ads, you can potentially rake in some cash selling e-books or courses.

“Online courses make for great digital products, because people are always looking for how to do new things — whether it’s to learn about SEO, or take on another hobby or interest,” says

Mike Pearson, who created an online marketing course for bloggers who want to boost their SEO.

“The best part about selling digital products is that you only have to create the product once, and then you can sell infinite copies over and over again, truly earning money while you sleep,” says Pearson, who is the founder of Stupid Simple SEO.

Pearson makes a killing from his online course — the course costs $300 and he rakes in about $10,000 a month as a side income. As for the upfront investment, he spent 20 hours filming videos, writing text, making a sales page, and coming up with an email sequence to sell the course.

“It was a lot of upfront effort. The good thing is, the costs were minimal as I did all of the work myself,” he says.

4. Sell your stories

A few years ago Jarek G. (FYI: that’s his blogger pseudonym) wrote a dozen short stories and self-published them on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Jarek spent anywhere from six to 10 hours writing, editing, and publishing each story, and paid five dollars to get a cover made. He published each story as a stand-alone for $2.99.
At his peak, Jarek earned about $150 a month.

These days, he still makes $30 to $40 a month in passive income from these same stories.

“It was a bit of upfront work, but after that it’s relatively passive,” says Jarek, who is the founder of Time in the Market.

Understand the ROI

When earning passive income, make sure you save part of the money you earn and put it toward one of your money goals. You can even use a money-saving app to help you keep track of this extra income. (Or, you might want to auto-save a portion on the regular.)

And, to get to the sweet spot of earning money passively, you’ll need to make sure the costs and time upfront are worth it. Keep in mind that all streams of passive income require not only work, but a bit of luck and timing.

“There’s no easy path to wealth or making money,” says Jarek.

“For instance, with self-publishing, you’ll need to be active, and it requires some talent to write things people want to read.”

 

4 Things Daenerys Stormborn Could Teach You About Money

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She walks through fire. She frees entire cities of slaves. She has dragons at her beck and call.

Without a doubt, Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons is the fiercest character on Game of Thrones.

She’s also one of the most complicated, and one of the most admirable. While I don’t agree with her every decision, I do believe she can teach us something about life — and about how to get paid, even when it requires some blood, sweat, and tears.

Here are four ways to rule your money like the Mother of Dragons.

Believe in Yourself

So many of us have self-doubts when it comes to our finances. We think that we’re doomed to be “bad with money.” Or that being “comfortable” — wealthy, even — is for other people, but not for us.

If you’re nodding along in agreement, take a page from Dany’s book. “So many men have tried to kill me, I don’t remember all their names,” she told Jon Snow. “Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods. Not in myths and legends. In myself.”

Unless you believe in yourself and your abilities, you’ll never find financial success. The best way to empower yourself is through education. By devouring podcasts, newsletters, and articles, you’ll eventually develop the financial confidence you need.

To fast-track your knowledge, I recommend the books Get Money and Broke Millennial. Since both were penned by kickass women authors, I’m pretty sure Queen D would approve.

Build a Team

Although Daenerys exudes confidence, she’s also smart enough to know she doesn’t know it all. Along her journey to power, she’s amassed a slew of advisors to help guide her decisions.

As she once said, “It takes courage to admit fear… and to admit a mistake.”

The same goes for your finances. While it’s essential to build confidence, it’s also essential to create a strong financial team as backup. You don’t need to be rich to do so, either. Here are some potential members of a 21st-century financial team:

  • Apps, apps, apps: All of us have a team of financial advisors in our pocket. Between apps for budgeting, paying and trimming bills, and managing money with a partner, embrace the wealth of technology available.
  • A trustworthy bank: Make sure your bank’s got your back. The Breaker of Chains would never stay with a bank that nickeled and dimed her — in fact, she’d probably burn it the ground. So choose banking with no hidden fees that prioritizes you as a customer.
  • A robo- or human financial advisor: This one’s not as vital as the others, but it can certainly help. Get robo-advising for your investments through apps like Wealthfront or Personal Capital, or seek human assistance with a fee-only advisor through the XY Planning Network.

When you surround yourself with high-quality people and products, you’ll find the support you need to achieve financial success. (Even if nobody on your team loves you quite as much as Ser Jorah loves Khaleesi.)

Listen to Your Values

“Our fathers were evil men,” Dany told Yara and Theon Greyjoy. “They left the world worse than they found it. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to leave the world better than we found it.”

Daenerys lets this sense of justice guide all of her decisions — even if it means slaying thousands of slave masters. While I’m not suggesting you follow those specific footsteps, I do think you can consider your values when making financial decisions.

One way is through “sustainable investing,” which encompasses a range of different strategies, including:

  • Divesting: Pulling your investments out of companies you don’t support, such as those in the fossil fuel or firearms industries.
  • ESG monitoring: Investing in companies with high environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores, or in ESG-focused index funds.
  • Impact investing: Funneling your money toward specific causes like renewable energy.

Just like the woman who would become “Mhysa” to many, you can also let your moral compass drive your financial moves.

Don’t Let Anything Stand In Your Way

Throughout Game of Thrones, people have scoffed at Daenerys and her lofty goals. The Dothraki warlords laughed when she said she would rule them all. Then she burned them down. Others said the Dothraki would never cross the sea. Then they did.

Khaleesi never let the haters get to her. “I am not your little princess,” she declared. “I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood I will take it.”

Using that as inspiration, think about your money goals. How can you Mother-of-Dragons them by making dramatic changes?

If you want to retire early, for example, move to a new, more affordable city. If you want to accrue a six-month emergency fund, calculate how much to set aside each week, and set up an automatic savings contribution right now. If you want to earn more money, walk into your boss’ office and ask what you need to do to get a raise.

The bottom line: If you have a financial goal, don’t make any excuses. O.K., maybe don’t burn down an entire city with your dragons (#dracarys), but you know what I mean.

How the Mother of Dragons Can Help Your Finances

While Daenerys’ strategies may be a little, well, unconventional, we can still learn a lot from this powerful character.

By sticking to your values, educating yourself, and creating a solid financial team, you’ll gain the confidence to crush all of your money goals — no dragons required.

 

Money Horoscope: What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Financial Habits

Perhaps you’ve read your daily horoscope hoping to gain insight about your career or personal relationships. But did you know that your zodiac sign can also teach you a lot about money?

Believe it or not, your astrological sign can help you learn a lot about your financial strengths and weaknesses. And this can be helpful if you want to make positives shifts with your money, like save automatically or tackle your debt.

Read on to learn the best and worst traits of each zodiac sign. Plus, get a glimpse into your own personal money horoscope.

Aries

If you were born under the sign of Aries, you have a natural hunter/gather mentality. When it comes to money, this makes you exceptionally well-suited to seeking out deals and bargains. There’s a flip side, however. Your efforts to be thrifty can be detrimental financially if they lead you to overspend just to score perceived savings.

At the same time, you can also approach your savings goals with the same zest and zeal as your desire to bargain hunt. For starters, try redirecting your impulsive tendencies by shopping wisely. For example, you can take advantage of money-saving apps, clip digital or paper coupons, and impose a 24-hour waiting period before making any large purchases. These are just some of the ways to put your thrifty skills to use in a financially healthy way.

Taurus

What does your zodiac sign say about you if you’re Taurus? In a nutshell, you really like to treat yo’ self. But not just any old thing will do. Tauruses lean towards luxury and like to spend money on high-quality items that hold their value. The positive side of the coin is that even though you like to spend, you’re also great at making savings a priority because you understand the need to have a financial cushion to maintain your lifestyle.

The downside? You can be as stubborn as a bull, which can make it harder to commit to making money changes. If you recognize these zodiac sign traits as your own, here’s a mantra you may want to keep in mind: Just because buying something gives you a rush, this doesn’t make it a need. Rather than putting yourself at risk of overspending or buying things needlessly, use your natural persistence in your favor. If you’re going to spend, make getting the best deal your number one priority.

Gemini

Geminis are curious and adventurous by nature. If you’re a Gemini, you probably get a buzz from spending your money on new experiences and unfamiliar things versus just buying “stuff”. Your intellectual side likely shows through when it’s time to make a purchase. For example, you may spend hours researching prices or product features before you buy. And you know how to buckle down and save.

The money trap you need to avoid, however, is spending just because you’re bored. A good way to counter this is by channeling your restless energy into productive hobbies so you’re not spending simply because you have nothing else to do.

The next time you have a free hour to kill, for example, sit down and map out a short-term savings plan for your next vacation or travel adventure. Having a plan to follow can also counter another negative zodiac trait Geminis share: a lack of consistency.

Cancer

Being a Cancer generally means you’re a homebody who prefers being in comfortable surroundings. While your friends may splurge on dinners out or new clothes, you might savor a shopping trip to Target to buy sheets or comfy pillows. The faithful and generous sides of your personality can also lead you to help out your friends financially when they’re stretched thin.

The trouble with this is that you may not be keeping your eyes on your own finances. One way to counter this is to surround yourself with people who are financially stable and don’t need the occasional money bailout. If you don’t want to cut ties with your squad, the next best thing is drawing some firm boundaries.

Let your friends know that you’re not an ATM and that you have your own money goals you’re working towards. And, as you spend money on feathering your nest or meeting other needs, ask yourself if there’s a less expensive way to do it. Both of these tips can help you keep more of your money in your wallet.

Leo

Leos are extremely big-hearted and kind, especially when it comes to showing their generosity to their friends. The downside is that they spend to impress. This can make it easier for Leos to end up in credit card debt if they can’t curb their spending. The silver lining is that Leos are also analytical and skilled at taking in the bigger picture.

If you’re a Leo, you can put these traits to work by coming up with a plan for paying off debt. For example, you might choose the debt snowball method to make a dent in your balance. Or you might decide to consolidate debt with a low interest loan or credit card. You can apply these same critical thinking skills to improving your credit score. For example, if you know that late payments can hurt your score, you can set up automatic bill payments through your online bank account.

Virgo

Virgos have a pretty solid head on their shoulders. They’re practical, analytical, meticulous and intelligent. They’re also organized, diligent and hard workers, with a penchant towards charitable giving. To the typical Virgo, needless or unnecessary spending doesn’t make sense.

This all sounds good except that your one money flaw may be a reluctance to spend on yourself. What your zodiac sign says about you is that you may need to loosen the reins a little with your money. If you can’t justify spending on things you don’t need, consider investing it instead. Investing in a retirement account, a taxable brokerage account or a savings account can make you feel better about letting your hair down financially every once in a while.

Libra

Libras tend to have a desire to please and they have a hard time saying no. This extends to saying no to purchases they don’t really need. The good news is that despite a desire to spend impulsively, Libras are the least likely zodiac sign to use credit. They’re also highly creative, a trait that can come in handy for saving and making smart decisions with money.

For instance, rather than buying something new, you may look for ways to repurpose things you already have. Or, instead of splurging on luxury items, you can bargain hunt or shop second-hand to find the same items for less. These kinds of creative moves can help you grow your savings.

Scorpio

Scorpios tend to be passionate and focused, with a need to control situations and things. Being born a Scorpio can give you an edge with money management, since you may be more inclined to save than spend. You like being a step ahead with your finances and may have a solid emergency fund in place. Unexpected expenses are less likely to throw you off-course.

Your money horoscope is probably pretty good already, but there are still ways you can improve it. For example, you can review your budget and look for room to carve out additional savings for emergencies. This way you’ll feel fully in control if a large (or small) unexpected expense pops up.

Sagittarius

Being a Sagittarius usually means you’re brave, confident and ready to take on any challenges life throws your way. You’re optimistic and always look on the bright side and it seems that the planets regularly align to bring you good luck. Those born under the sign of Sagittarius are more interested in spending on experiences, rather than things.

While you may not be extravagant in your spending, you also tend to buy first and ask questions later. You can rein in that tendency by considering the return on investment before making a purchase. For example, ask yourself if a particular purchase is worth the price. Putting purchases in perspective can help you decide which ones are worthy of your time and money.

Capricorn

Capricorns get high marks for being financially responsible. They’re wise, patient and disciplined. And, this pays off. As a Capricorn, you’re not into trends and you value quality in the things you buy.

The downside? You may be forgetful when it comes to smaller purchases, like getting your oil changed. Taking a broader view of your finances – that includes both needs and wants – can help you be more holistic in your approach. And, knowing where you need to put your money can also help you cut down on spur of the moment spending.

Aquarius

Aquarius’ are practical and they like being financially independent. They’re okay with spending on group activities and they don’t lose sight of what’s going on with their money. They can, however, get taken advantage of when divvying up costs with friends.

If this sounds like you, then you need to get comfortable splitting bills with friends. Using a payment app to split group expenses can make it easier to keep track of this. And if you spend a lot of time (and money) hanging out with friends, consider looking for lower-cost or free activities to do together to save some cash.

Pisces

Those with the Pisces sign tend to be generous and don’t get hung up on material possessions. This means that if you’re a Pisces, you’re probably good at keeping your spending under control.

So, if you have extra money on hand regularly, put it to work in a positive way. Use it to grow your emergency savings for those rainy days when cash may be less abundant. Also, consider how you can use it to invest and build wealth for the long-term or pay off your debts.

What Does Your Zodiac Sign Say About You?

Did you learn anything new about your zodiac sign and what it means for your money? Understanding your sign can reveal some surprising insights about what drives your financial choices. Now that you know what your best (and worst) money traits are, use this to your advantage to improve your financial situation going forward.

 

How to Handle No Spend Sundays Like a Boss

Fun fact: Sunday is my favorite day of the week. Yes, I know it’s dangerously close to Monday. But, I still look forward to it because it’s a chance to treat myself after working for five days and then side hustling on Saturdays.

Yet, while I love Sundays, it’s easy to get caught up in my favorite day off and blow right through my budget. Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario of how quickly spending can add up on a typical Sunday:

Coffee – $5

Brunch – $50

Groceries – $75
Gas for the week – $30

Total: $160

When multiplied by four, this adds up to $640 a month or $7,680 a year. Yikes.

If this type of spending looks familiar to you, then a No Spend Sunday may be just what you need in order to boost your savings goals. If you’ve never tried one of these challenges before, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to navigate a No Spend Sunday in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Separate Wants From Needs

First, it’s important to understand the definition of a No Spend Day.

Think of it like going on a diet but for your finances. It means that you eliminate (or scale back on) anything that’s non-essential to your budget. For me, based on the above hypothetical list, I would cut out coffee, brunch and challenge myself to lower the amount I spend on groceries. Gas would remain on the list as a “need.”

Now it’s your turn: Take a step back and write down all the activities you normally do on a Sunday that cost money. Place a checkmark next to the ones that are essential and an “x” next to the spending you can do without.

Step 2: Get Creative

Kristy Runzer, CFP® and Founder of OnRoute Financial, says that the key to surviving a money challenge like a No Spend Sunday is to get creative and find things to do that will bring you happiness without the price-tag.

“So, for example, let’s say that you typically enjoy going out to eat with girlfriends to fill the need of wanting to spend time with those closest to you and simply have fun. On a (No Spend Sunday), instead of spending money at a restaurant, you could meet up with your girlfriends at the park or hang out at someone’s house. The end result is the same – you fulfill the underlying need to connect, without feeling guilty about your spending,” says Runzer.

Sami Womack, Founder of A Sunny Side Up Life, also agrees that “having fun doesn’t have to cost money.”

Some of Womack’s favorite free activities include:

  • An at-home spa day
  • Hiking
  • Reading a book
  • A movie night at home
  • Subscribing to a new podcast
  • Spring cleaning your closet
  • Doing a pantry/freezer cleanout

Step 3: Get an Accountability Partner

It’s so much easier to stay the course with just about anything when you have extra support.

If you can’t find a friend or family member who wants to hop aboard the no spend train with you, then look no further than social media. Many money coaches and personal finance bloggers host money challenges throughout the year that you can participate in. All you have to do is search #NoSpendDay or #NoSpendWeek, etc.

Step 4: Give Your Savings a Purpose

When saving money, it’s important that you save for a specific purpose. Yet, oftentimes folks miss this when they survive a savings challenge.

So, let’s say you decide not to eat out or go to the mall during your No Spend Sunday. Estimate your savings by looking at how much you would normally spend on each of these activities.

Let’s say the total is $100. At the end of the No Spend Sunday, transfer $100 into a separate savings account until you figure out what to do with it (pay down debt, put it in your summer vacay fund, etc.) This way the money isn’t just floating around in your checking accounting, tempting you to spend it on things you probably don’t need come Monday.

Step 5: Keep Building Those Healthy Money Habits

The benefit of a spending challenge is that it teaches you money mindfulness.

“Every day, but especially on weekends, it’s easy to spend money without thinking twice. You don’t realize (the damage) until the credit card bill comes and you’re left with a spending hangover,” says Runzer.

“Putting even a little bit of thought into what you’re spending or wanting to spend on and why really goes a long way. This is truly empowering because it puts the choice and the control back in your hands. You get to make money decisions from a place of knowing where things are going and what they’re doing for you,” she says.

From here, you can make incremental changes that positively affect your finances over time, rather than trying to make a drastic overnight change. This is exactly what Lauren Tucker, Founder of An Organized Life has done. She started out with a No Spend Friday, then a No Spend Week, until she worked her way up to a No Spend Month.

“It’s definitely been a process,” says Tucker.

“But starting small is the best way to introduce a new habit,” she says.

“Everyone’s definition of a no spend (challenge) can vary, but for me, it means that I refrain from purchasing anything that’s not in the budget or that I have already identified to spend in my miscellaneous spending category.”

Tucker plans out her month using a Google Keep Note where she outlines what she intends to spend with any discretionary income. She also tracks her success each day and shares her monthly results on her social media feed.

Bonus Tip: Pay Yourself First

After my husband and I completed our first no spend challenge, we realized that one of the reasons we would overspend is that we had too much money left-over in our checking account after paying our bills. That money was just hanging out, waiting to be spent.

That’s around the time I learned about the importance of paying yourself first. This means that we save first before doing anything else. By doing this, it reduces the amount of “extra money” we have left in our checking account and forces us to be more conscious of how we spend – especially on the weekends.

We still incorporate no spend challenges every now and again, especially when we have a specific money goal, like saving for a vacation.

We challenge you to try out your own No Spend Sunday for yourself and see how much money you can save!

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