6 Ways to Diversify Your Income

Relying only on your day job for income is a very dangerous position to be in. What would happen if you lost your job tomorrow? Would you have anywhere to turn? How would you pay the bills?

While you might think your job is safe, the truth is we’re still in a down economy and you never know when then next job cuts will be rolling around.

Instead of being stuck and scared in the event that something would happen to your job it’s better to be proactive and create more sources of income.

Here are six ways you can do it.

A Side Hustle

The number one way to safely diversify your income is to have a side hustle.

A side hustle is simply another way for you to bring in money other than your day job. It’s also generally a lot more fun than having a day job. You get to pick how you want to earn, depending on your hobbies and skills and work your side hustle into your schedule.

If you’ve ever thought about becoming self-employed this is also a great way to test the waters.

You can also use the income you pull in from your side business for one of these other ideas.

Dividend Stocks

Building a portfolio of dividend stocks is another great way to add to your current income streams.

Dividend stocks pay out a dividend (a small percentage of the stock) on a regular basis. In order to pull a significant income from dividend stocks you’ll need to have a lot of money invested. You can grow this a little at a time and make sure you diversify your stock choices.

CDs

Certificates of Deposits, or CDs, used to be a safe way to bring in additional income. Times have changed.

The interest you earn on CDs is now very low but since it’s still higher than what you’d earn in a savings account we decided to add it to the list.

Rental Properties

Rental properties are a tried and true way to build wealth, both long and short term.

There are several things you need to account for when purchasing rental properties. Things like maintenance, vacancies, property taxes, and insurance should be factored into the rent you charge if you want to maintain a positive cash flow.

If you can amass several rental properties with positive cash flow you can build a full time income for now and a retirement income for later.

Royalties

Looking for a semi passive way to diversify your income? Earning money off of royalties could be the solution!

You can sell an eBook, photography, and even music for royalties. The great thing about this option is that you do the work once and can keep pulling income. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no need to promote your work. The more you promote the better your sales will be.

Become a Serial Flipper

In my opinion flipping items is one of the most fun ways to earn extra income. And you can do this for virtually anything!

Just find a product that is undervalued, buy it, and then turn around and sell it for a bigger profit. You can look at yard sales, flea markets, Craigslist, and even the clearance section of retail stores.

Once you find what you’re going to flip sell on a place like Amazon, Facebook Yard Sales, eBay, or Craigslist.

Just be sure to start small and get the hang of it before putting too much money into this option.

What’s Your Favorite?

Diversifying your income, no matter which route you choose to go, will help you solidify your financial plan, provide you more money to put toward your goals, and keep you safe in the event you’d lose another income stream.

Do you diversify your income? If so, how?

The Financial Fallout of Car Accidents

Although accidents are common occurrences on our nation’s roadways, most of us never expect to actually get into an accident. Unfortunately, accidents are unpredictable by nature, and anyone can get rear-ended or side-swiped by a semi while taking a routine drive; and when those accidents occur they can often be devastating.

Look at the case of actor Tracy Morgan, whose limo van was rear-ended by a Wal-Mart truck: one of the passengers in the van died, and the actor himself suffered broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. Car accidents can also have a devastating effect on your finances.

The Impact of Accidents

Reyes Law, a group of Dallas auto accident attorneys, reminds us that the financial impact of an accident can include lost wages, medical bills, and property damage. If you are found at fault, the consequences can be even more devastating.

Lost Wages

Lost wages refers to the time you are unable to work due to an accident or injury. In a minor accident it could mean a few hours; for a major accident it could mean several days, or even indefinitely. For example, Tracy Morgan might not ever be able to work again as a result of his injuries. If you are at fault for the accident, it could also mean jail time that keeps you away from your job, or your employer terminating your employment because of the accident.

Medical Bills

Medical bills include medical services received at the time of the accident as well as on-going and follow-up care after. In the case of a serious injury, it could include rehabilitation, nursing care, and medical supplies and devices like wheelchairs. It could also include the cost of psychiatric care to treat post-traumatic stress and other emotional trauma from the accident. In cases where drugs or alcohol were a factor, it could also mean the cost of court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment.

In an accident that includes multiple vehicles, or in heavy pedestrian areas, the medical costs could include those of everyone involved in the accident, including pedestrians.

Property Damage

Property damage includes damage to the vehicles involved as well as any buildings and structures impacted by the accident, such as telephone poles. It could also include items inside the vehicles, which may have been damaged as a result of the accident.

In an area with a lot of buildings and structures, such as a congested shopping area, the cost of property damage could be catastrophic.

Protecting Yourself

If you are the victim of an accident, there are things like traffic laws and insurance in place to protect you in the event of an accident. You should be able to file a claim with your insurance company, and/or with the insurance company of the responsible party, and get financial compensation for the accident.

However, getting the compensation you deserve is often easier said than done. An insurance company could stall, prolonging the process while you languish with no income and your bills piling up. By the time you do get compensation, it could be too late to avoid a financial crisis.

Insurance companies often respond more quickly to lawyers than they do to private individuals; seeking legal representation shortly after your accident could help make the process of getting compensation run more smoothly.

If you are found at fault things can be more difficult. While your insurance might cover some of your financial responsibility to the victims, it might not cover all of it. Your insurance company might also terminate your coverage, and you might have to pay extra for a high-risk policy from another company. Additionally, your insurance will not cover your court costs or any other fees if you are arrested as a result of the accident.

If you were driving without insurance at the time of the accident, you will be liable for all of the costs to yourself, and to the victims of the accident. If you have any assets, this means the victims or their insurance companies can sue to take those assets.

If you are found at fault, a good lawyer might be able to help you dispute the charges in court, and even remove some or all of your financial liability. For example, if the accident occurred in the winter, your lawyer could argue that weather or road conditions were a mitigating factor.

If you were driving without insurance, a lawyer can also help you negotiate with your insurance company, and the companies of the victims, to reduce your financial liability or make appropriate arrangements.

How to break the vicious cycle of a bad credit rating caused by a payday loan

If you have a bad credit rating, getting back on an even keel can seem like an impossible task. Help is available and there’s no need to resort to high-cost options such as payday loans.

The Money Advice Service offers a range of alternatives to payday loans, listed by category, which makes it easy to see what your alternative options are. The site also has a quick tool to help assess your finances and suggest ways of getting things under control before you need to resort to borrowing.

If you have had a payday loan already and this has led to a bad credit rating, what can you practically do to sort things out?

New rules introduced in early 2014 brought payday lenders under the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A number of operators stopped trading but many continued and the demand for short-term credit hasn’t slowed.

Firstly, understand your rights. Legally, your lender has to treat you fairly and with consideration and they should allow you a reasonable time to repay the debt. They should be able to offer you options, which may include freezing interest and charges and agreeing a more manageable repayment plan.

Don’t be tempted to consolidate your payday loans as this can make matters worse, and very quickly escalate the rates of interest.

The team at moneyfacts.co.uk suggest you consider alternatives such as borrowing from family and friends, using a credit card, speaking to your bank, or talking to your credit union if you belong to one.

Get help. If you are struggling to break the bad credit cycle, there are a number of impartial organisations who can help you. The charity StepChange and the government-funded National Debtline both offer support and practical help to enable you to get your finances back on track. Both websites contain easy, simple information about a range of debt-related subjects, and both offer help via email or phone.

If you’re credit rating has been affected by any type of borrowing, there are a number of things you can immediately do to help things:

  1. Make sure you’re on the electoral register – it makes it easier for your details to be verified
  2. Check all your loans and financial products are registered to the correct address
  3. Get rid of any credit cards you no longer use – cancel them fully even if there’s nothing on them, so they don’t keep showing up on your rating
  4. Speak to your lenders to negotiate a more manageable payment plan. Some lenders may agree to remove default details from your record

Whatever the reason for getting a payday loan, there is likely to be a more cost-effective alternative, so do your research. And if you are already struggling to repay, remember you’re not alone and the organisations already mentioned or your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be able to support you as you get things back on track.