5 Creative Ways to Make Money

Feeling the pinch a little when it comes to your finances? Is your cash flow stagnant? Whether you need a quick cash injection to tide you over until payday or you need some extra help on a permanent basis, this article will offer you five creative ways to make some money.

Play Poker

Believe it or not, there are actually people who play poker for a living. The catch here is that you need to be relatively good at playing cards – this is not a sport suited for beginners. The good news is that, with enough practice, you can become good enough to play poker for a living or make it to the World Series of Poker.

Poker is for you if:

  • You can persevere. You should become better over time but you will need to do a lot of work to get up to professional playing levels. This means reading everything that you can about the game and learning how to read people well enough to be able to beat them.
  • You are flexible. Poker is one game that is constantly changing because the players themselves change. Strategy that worked well in today’s game may not cut it in tomorrow’s. Being flexible allows you to adjust your strategy as required.
  • You are level-headed. You need to be able to ride out the doldrums when losing and also be able to curb the excitement when winning so that you neither quit to early or too late.

Look at Your Insurance

If you have whole life cover or universal life cover, call the insurance company and see whether or not your policy has a cash value – most policies accumulate a cash value over time. Whilst not ideal, if you need money in a hurry, or if you will not be able to continue paying the premiums anyway, you do not have a lot to lose here. (Just remember that the older you are, the harder and more expensive it will be to get a new policy.

Alternatively, you can consider a viatical – essentially all that happens in this case is that you sell your policy to the buyer so that they can collect the pay out when you die. Generally speaking, you will be paid out an amount of around 30% – 80% of the cover value of your policy.

They will pay out a cash lump sum and the take over the paying of the premiums of the policy. They are basically betting that they will make more when the policy pays out than they have paid in terms of the lump sum to you and the premium payments.

Buy and Sell Coins

Here I am not talking about trading in actual rare coins because that does require a fair amount of expertise but rather by looking for coins that have errors or that are from a certain date. Take the half dollar coins minted before 1965, for example. These have a 90% silver content and so could earn you a tidy profit.

What some people do is to order coins in large quantities from their banks. They then go through all these coins looking for coins that are the right age, that have errors on them or that are collectable in some manner. At worst, you have just wasted your time, at best, you could find a collectible coin that could sell well.

Check Out Fiverr

Fiverr is a site that allows you to offer services and charge for them. You can pretty much decide what you want to do. These can range from services that are absolutely wacky to services that are mundane. You could, if you like, offer to sing a birthday message to someone while dressed up as a monkey or you could offer to do some copywriting.

The starting price for services is $5 but you can always offer upsells. Say, for example, you will design a business card for $5, you could upsell a banner for a website or business logo as well.

Become an Online Juror

Jury duty is not necessarily fun but it does open up an opportunity for you. There are companies out there that will pay you to act as a mock juror in a mock trial. This helps them to prepare for cases upfront as they can test different strategies and see what the outcome is before actually going to court.

All you have to do now is to see which of these options suits you best – good luck!

5 Things You Should Do When You Get a Raise

You’ve worked hard, taken on extra responsibilities, and made sure to shine at every aspect of your job. It’s finally paid off and your boss let you know that you’ve been approved for the raise you’ve wanted for months. Your first instinct may be to start dreaming of all the things you can do with your money, but don’t rush out and sign a lease on a brand new car just yet. Naturally you want to enjoy your extra money, but you also don’t want to spend it so fast you hardly notice you ever got a raise. Instead do these things.

Review your tax withholding. Your raise might push you into a new bracket. Use the IRS’s online withholding calculator to see how much should be withheld from your paycheck based on your salary and exemptions. If you need to make changes, complete a new Form W-4 and give it to the right person in payroll or human resources. Otherwise, if you don’t adjust your withholding, you could end up with a tax bill when you file next year’s income tax return.

Don’t count your eggs just yet. A 5% raise might not really look like 5% on your paycheck, especially if you’ve had to adjust your tax withholding. Wait until you get your first paycheck so you can see how your pay really increased post-raise. Once you have a concrete idea of how your raise affects your take-home pay, then it’s safe to start making plans for your money.

Be careful about taking on extra expenses. A few extra hundred dollars in your paychecks makes you feel like you can say yes to anything. Premium cable channels? Go right ahead. Spa subscription? Why not? Another extracurricular for the kids? It will keep them busy. Watch out for lifestyle inflation, which can easily happen as you make more money. If you start taking on new expenses quickly, the extra money from your raise will be gone before you ever really get a chance to just enjoy having more money in your paycheck.

Increase your savings. Rather than spending your salary increase on more “things,” your raise will benefit you much more if you divert it to savings. If you’re comfortably living on your current salary, you won’t miss the extra money if you put it in your savings account. You can build up your emergency fund, maximize your retirement savings, or put money towards a summer vacation. You don’t have to put all the salary increase in your savings – you can split it 50-50 with another goal.

Use the extra money to pay off your debt. Move beyond minimum payments by putting some extra money towards your debt payments. Start by paying as much as you can towards your highest rate credit card and continue until all your cards are paid off. If you don’t have any credit card debt, consider putting extra payments toward your mortgage or car loan to pay these off ahead of time. Make sure you won’t face any prepayment penalties by paying before the scheduled date.

It may be awhile before you get another raise so maintain some financial freedom by avoiding too many new financial obligations.

You Might Know More than You Think About Your Credit Score

When icount surveyed 1000 regular adults in the UK, they didn’t know if these folks would understand much about their own credit scores. And if you asked the people themselves, their answers didn’t exactly inspire confidence. When asked “Do You Think You Understand Your Credit Rating?”, 25.6% responded “No, Not at All”, and 47.6% said “Yes, in Some Ways.” That’s nearly three quarters of those surveyed expressing a somewhat tenuous comprehension of this vital piece of credit knowledge. But, when pressed, a lot of these people seemed to know a little more than they thought they did.

74.8% of people thought that past debts and bankruptcies had more to do with a low credit score than any other factor, which is true. Most (64.1%) understood that reliably paying off credit accounts was another major factor. Again, true. There were some other, more nuanced, criteria which seemed to be a little more confusing,however. These included “Credit Searches” (important to only 47% of people), Usage of Available Credit Limit (33.9%), and Financially Linked Dependents (34.6%). 8.6% panicked like deer in headlights and simply said “I don’t know”, then presumably went and played a credit card operated slot machine.

Understanding credit is important. Having good credit will determine, to a large extent, whether or not you will be able to borrow money for a car or a house. It also determines how much you’ll be charged for the borrowing of this money (fees and interest). While many people don’t have a ground-up knowledge of credit score influencers, this is knowledge that isn’t that hard to acquire or understand. If you count yourself among the 75% (or so) of respondents who don’t know about credit scores or don’t know much, spend a little time learning about the subject today.

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