Making Money from Hobbies

All of us have interests in life, be it watching football, stamp collecting, bird watching. Whatever it is, most of us find that it costs us money rather than earning from it. Having a season ticket to follow your football team for example can be an expensive business, taking a big chunk out of your earnings. However some hobbies can earn you money, making cakes being one that perhaps starts off as an interest and turns into something to supplement your income. Here are a few examples of hobbies that can be profit making rather than profit destroying.

Dog walking

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Many who have full time jobs and busy lives no longer have the time to walk their own dog, so have to pass that job onto somebody else. Dog walking is a pleasurable hobby for many so, if you love walking your dog, why not take a few more along with you, charging a reasonable amount and making some money out of it? It isn’t as easy as it sounds and you will need to have had suitable checks and insurance, but, if you love animals, this can be a rewarding and fun way of making a few extra pounds.

Start by walking for friends and neighbors, move onto trying to get in with an agency local to your area and ensure you have the relevant insurance and documentation.

Cake making

cupcakes
Another particular interest which has grown out of all recognition is cake making. It is now a real art and, seemingly, the way a cake looks is just as important as how it tastes. If you enjoy baking cakes, enjoy the challenge of making it look stunning then why not make a little profit out of it too. Enroll in courses in your local area or find classes online. If you are to make a go of it at home there are certain food regulations and preparation rules which you will have to adhere to.

Poker

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Poker is another activity that can turn from hobby to career if you have the required dedication and the skills to make a success of it. Examples like Chris Moneymaker, the amateur player who notoriously won $2.5 Million in the 2003 WSOP and has since been playing professionally, showed the whole world that poker can be much more than a hobby if you are only dedicated enough.

To delve into the world of poker can be a rewarding experience, but poker is a game that requires much more than luck. Real skill is involved and those who excel at it have the necessary strategic thinking and emotional intelligence, which are vital in everyday life too. If you are planning to take things to the next level and want to give professional poker a go, the way you play poker can serve as a reliable indicator into how you will fare in business too. As in business, experience is vitally important, as is learning from your mistakes. If you keep your cool and don’t let your emotions lead you to making any rash decisions there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to turn your hobby into a successful business.

Writing

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Many of us enjoy writing, whether articles, speeches or even books. If writing is a passion of yours, why not consider making some money out of it? Magazines and newspapers often employ freelance writers for particular tasks but, in recent years, with the explosion of the internet, there are now huge numbers of websites which also employ writers, again usually on a freelance basis. Again there are a vast number of courses to take to improve your skills though only go for reputable ones, perhaps through a journalism college if you have one nearby.

Coaching sports

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If you’re good at sports but not quite good enough to turn professional then coaching may be an option. Generally you will need qualifications for this, though if you start off just helping at a local club or association, this may not be necessary. To coach independently however you will need a minimum standard of coaching to lead to a sports-specific coaching qualification.

Save Money Automatically With Browser Add-Ons

I am not a coupon clipper, but I do like to save money before making a purchase. I recently bought tickets for a flight to and from Boston for a wedding. I checked prices regularly until prices dropped to what I was looking for, and bought. I didn’t spend too much time on it, just checked a few times a day for a week. I ended up saving over $200 (a mix of money and points earned from credit card rewards) by waiting for the price to drop, and spend well under an hour total searching, so it was well worth it to keep tabs on the prices.

Before I buy anything online, I always look for a discount. I just search the store name and the word ‘coupon’ to see what’s out there. I spend a minute, and if I can find something, then I just saved some money, and if I don’t see anything available, I go ahead and make the purchase. I’m looking for real savings, not a way to convince myself to buy.

Of course, technology again makes our lives easier. Now, there are two (and I’m sure there are others) browser add-ons that you can use to (nearly) automatically save money when checking out.

Honey

Instead of searching for a coupon code, the add-ons do all the work for you, and probably do it better. Before checking out, just click the honey button (next to where you would normally enter coupon codes) and honey looks at popular coupon code sites and goes through about 25 codes for you, one by one. It takes the one with the biggest savings for you, and voila! You’ve saved money (or not, if there’s nothing available, no harm done).

I did some testing with this and it found the same discounts I found myself, but with none of the effort. While it cycled through the codes, I went to another tab, and when I came back, it had the code entered for me. It was very easy:

Drawbacks: There were no drawbacks, but one time I found a better coupon code than it did. Maybe that was because it only tries 25 options and I had gone to the very bottom of the page to find mine, but the success rate was pretty good, I have no complaints about Honey and I highly recommend it.

Coupons at Checkout

Created by CouponFollow, Coupons at Checkout is similar to honey, but instead of cycling through the codes it can find, it highlights the promo code box and then presents a few codes for you to use. I tried it out at a few sites and it worked perfectly. Again, it didn’t find any special savings that I couldn’t find myself, but it took all of the hassle house of searching online and I had the best price within seconds.

Drawbacks: It takes a few extra moments to try the coupon code, but overall it’s a big time saver. Since there are only a few options, I was worried that maybe there were obscure coupons out there that it didn’t know about, but in my limited testing, it did seem to give the best price available.

Test Them For Yourself

You don’t need to rely solely on these add-ons yet. Just give them a chance and see how they compare to your current system, and if it consistently beats what you can find, make the switch. You’ll save a little time and you’ll know you’re getting the best discount possible, without any of the work. That’s about as automatic as it gets. These add-ons make the great experience of online shopping even better!

Get More from Your Personal Savings Plan

Learning how to put money aside to save for the future can be both challenging and exciting. There are many different savings account options, from high yield savings accounts and money markets to accounts with minimal balance requirements and certificates of deposits. Savings accounts are designed to give you a designated place to deposit money and earn interest each month, but each has distinct differences from the others, depending on your savings needs.

Once you learn to understand the difference and the benefits of each account, you are well on your way to creating a long term savings plan that will help you create financial stability for years to come.

Understand your savings account options

  1. Traditional savings accounts: Traditional savings accounts offer you interest without requiring a large initial investment or a long term commitment of funds.  There are traditional savings account options designed to boost savings for a specific purpose, such as college or home purchases, and there are also general accounts designed to help you manage a budget or create an emergency savings account. While the rate of interest savings may be a bit lower on traditional savings accounts, they offer the greatest level of flexibility and access to cash.  They can be the perfect option for those just beginning to save or who are saving for a specific goal.
  2. High yield savings accounts: If you are looking to earn top dollar on your savings, high yield savings accounts give you the opportunity to earn interest at higher savings rates.  There are high yield savings account options designed for both short and long term savings plans – each offering different benefits to your personal savings plan.
  •  Some of the most well known high yield savings options are certificates of deposit and money market accounts. Certificates of deposit (CDs) can fit well into a short term savings plan, because they are offered at varying commitment levels, and you can also find breakable CDs which allow you to withdraw funds once without a penalty. Many people like to work a CD laddering structure into their long term savings plan as well, investing portions of savings into CDs that mature at different times and offer different savings rates. Money market accounts can provide competitive rates with even more flexible withdrawal options than CDs. Many of them have minimal balance requirements for maintenance fee avoidance, but they often give you access to your funds multiple times every month. Plus, with a money market account you can make regular contributions and watch your savings grow.

To get started with your personal savings plan, take the time to meet with a banking representative and explore your options.  By accumulating a little knowledge and putting together a well thought out savings strategy, you can maximize your money – earning more on every dollar you save.

Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.