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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to make money with your junk mail

You may be getting money every month in your mailbox, and throwing it away without even realizing it!

Now it's not a lot of money, but it is free with only a little bit of time investment. What am I talking about? Coupons. And not just using them, but selling them on eBay.

This is something I have been doing for a while, and I occasionally buy coupons online too. You aren't going to get rich, since the coupons usually only sell for a couple bucks, but it is a great way to make an extra 10 or 20 bucks a month fairly easily. And occasionally you get a rare or useful coupon that sells for a lot more.

The key is to become adept at using eBay and develop systems or templates where it takes less than 5 minutes to list a coupon. This isn't too hard, and since you will usually be selling the same kinds of coupons over and over, so you can use stock images, and saved listing templates. And you can ship by home by simply using a stamped envelope, so you don't have to spend any time going to the post office.

Something to look into for those who are looking for ANY ways to increase their income!

-The Money Monk

Don't go on a financial diet

The lifestyle necessary to attaining financial independence without a huge salary or windfall can be related to trying to lose weight. Think of the way the word "diet' is used. Most times when somebody says 'diet' they mean temporarily restricting themselves to certain types or amounts of food, in the attempt to reach a specific goal, like losing 30 lbs.

The personal finance equivalent of this is for somebody to make a goal of getting to a certain amount of money, like 100k, and make certain cuts to their lifestyle to reach this goal.

The problem with this method is you are putting yourself in a position of continual sacrifice.

Compare it to the real meaning of the word diet, as in "a Koala bear's diet consists of mainly Eucalyptus leaves." The Koala bear isn't going ON a diet, it just has a diet. It's not sacrificing, that is just what it is designed to eat to be healthy.

Same with a person. If instead of going ON a diet, they change their diet to what it is supposed to be, they will be healthier automatically. The main difference is that it is a permanent thing, and realizing that instead of the modern american diet being the stauts quo, and being ON a diet a temporary deviation, the proper diet is instead the status quo, and the junk food is a drug that can be indulged in carefully from time to time.

This is important for a couple reasons:

1. It causes a permanent lifestyle change, instead of just a temporary deviation from the norm to achieve a specific goal.

2. It eliminates the idea that life is a constant sacrifice waiting for a payoff.

3. The process becomes the goal in stead of specific benchmarks.

This works just as well with personal finance. When you realize that most of the spending in your life is the equivalent of 'junk food' and revert back to the proper financial 'diet' of you will automatically accumulate wealth. And you will no longer be feeling that you are constantly sacrificing and waiting until you have enough to get off your 'diet', in stead you will adjust to the new status quo and appreciate the luxuries we have access too, instead of seeing them as necessities you are being forced to do without.

It's not an easy change to make, and it is mostly a perspective thing, but it is important.

-The Money Monk

Monday, November 18, 2013

Build resiliency with diverse income streams

No matter what your financial goals are, they will be served well by creating for yourself diverse sources of income. Most people in America have a normal job as their main source of income, bringing in thousands of dollars a year, even on the lower end of the scale. However these people's next highest source of income may only bring in only $25 or $50 dollars a year.

This means that they are completely dependent on their primary source of income. This is a totally rigid system that leaves no room for variance of any kind. You are basically a slave to the job since you can't continue your lifestyle without it.

Consider two individuals with identical monthly expenses:

A. Guy A makes $2000 a month working 40 hours a week in a cubicle. Other than the occasional gift and similar small windfalls, this is his only source of income.

B. Guy B makes $1000 a month working a part time job at a local business. He also makes $150 a month from online ad revenue and affiliate sales from a blog, $350 reselling on eBay and Craigslist, and $200 a month doing odd jobs.

Guy A makes slightly more money, but he is totally dependent on his single source of income, and can't do anything to jeopardize it. He is a slave to it.

Guy B has income from various sources, so a disruption in any of them is not catastrophic. Even if the biggest source of income (the job) goes away, it is much easier to find another part time job making $1k a month. And he still has some income in the meantime. He may even be able to expand his efforts in the other areas to make up the slack.

Obviously if you can combine Guy A and Guy B, then you are really going to be on the fast track to financial independence. But whatever you are doing, and whatever situation you are in, you should seek additional sources of income. It will make you much more resilient.

-The Money Monk