THE FOUR MONEY BEARS.. DO YOU KNOW WHO THEY ARE?

bears

THE FOUR MONEY BEARS by Mac Gardner, CFP®, CRPS®, CRPC® is a “must have” book to introduce young children to the concept of money and how to use it wisely. Simplistic yet succinct, I highly recommend it. This book would make a great addition to your local school/public libraries. I’ll be speaking with DeSoto School Board Trustees for book approval, even if I have to purchase them myself. Purchase this book for your little ones or anyone you believe can benefit from it. (Available on Amazon.)

~Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs)

Andrea L. Coleman (The Financial Hack) 2016
Helping Hand Financial Counseling Ministries

Advertisements

the TRANSITIONING project

 
I was so honored to be asked by @twoand10 to speak to a wonderful group of teens about Financial Fitness. It is imperative that we educate our youth at an early age so they can have the necessary financial skills as they navigate through life. Be sure to follow @twoand10 on Instagram and for the latest updates and activities, be sure to like their FACEBOOK PAGE. Not only does the organization stress Financial Skills, but more importantly, Life Skills. Remember, if you’re not a part of the solution, there’s a good chance you’re a part of the problem. Make a difference. Our youth need YOU!!!

~The Financial Hack ©2016

SO YOU’VE SAID “I DO”…NOW WHAT?

married-couple

Getting married is a happy joyous time. Whether you planned a large ceremony or a small, intimate gathering, embarking upon your new life can be very exciting.

Now before you jump into your chariot and ride off into the sunset with your knight in white shining armor, I hope you and Mr. Right have already had “the talk” long before your “big day.” You know what talk I’m referring to. The talk about finances. This is one of the most important conversations you will have with your soon to be spouse…. and it is NOT to be taken lightly. It is important that each of you know where the other stands on issues regarding finances.

  1. PUT ALL YOUR FINANCIAL CARDS ON THE TABLE: Never start out your relationship keeping secrets. Your spouse needs to know if you have $30K in credit card debt. Your soon to be spouse also needs to know you accrued $75K in student loans while you were in medical school. It’s important to disclose to the other if you like spending money shopping/traveling and if you don’t budget and/or save. No one wants to find out 30 days after saying “I Do,” they’ve inherited a walking talking credit disaster.
  2. DECIDE WHO WILL HANDLE THE FINANCES: THIS IS NOT ABOUT CONTROLLING THE CHECKBOOK. This is about who is the better organizer or who has the time to sit down and take care of financial obligations. Believe it or not, there are some people (myself included) who still write checks. Even in the age of automatic bill pay, in some instances I am much more at ease when I am in control by writing the check. Another reason why it may be more advantageous that one spouse is favored over the other is time. Suppose your new bride has a demanding work schedule or is heavily involved in community service or the hubster works a part-time job? Decide between the two of you who would be the best fit to take on that responsibility.
  3. BUDGET MONTHLY TOGETHER: I recall when taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University that a couple sitting down going over the monthly budget doesn’t have to be a weekend summit. It is important to establish clear financial goals (savings, investing, retirement, new car, vacation, upsizing as you plan on a family, college funds and the list goes on.) It is important that BOTH parties speak and are heard. This would be the time to voice any concerns. If the wife is going over budget because she’s spending too much on clothes, shoes and handbags, or the hubster is losing his mind at Best Buy, bring it to the table. Not in an accusatory fashion, but in a way where your concern(s) can be heard and received. Monthly budgeting should also be a time to decide how much “pocket change/play money” the other should have. Decide on a reasonable amount and stick to it. Concerning purchases over a certain dollar amount (birthdays, anniversaries and the like, not withstanding,) couples should discuss the purchase in question before it is made.
  4. AS A COUPLE, YOU SHOULD BE AGGRESSIVELY ATTACKING ANY FINANCIAL DEBT: This would include any credit cards, student loans, car loans and the like. There is no such thing as “HIS debt” and “HER debt.” You are ONE FLESH. Therefore, it is YOUR debt as a couple. Just think of how quickly you can annihilate debt when you devise a plan to eliminate it. You’re a team. Teamwork makes the DREAM work. Once all debt is eliminated, you can focus your attention towards your next financial goal.
  5. DECIDE HOW YOUR ACCOUNTS WILL BE DIVIDED: This is always a “slippery slope” for some couples. I remember my Uncle giving my cousin and her husband marriage advice on their wedding day. His advice, “Always have ONE MONEY… PERIOD.” I may get slaughtered for writing this, but I agree in many respects. I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to marriage. If I can’t trust you with “our” money, perhaps we should rethink getting married. I understand many couples marry out of convenience, many marry for companionship and others simply because they need help. Believe it or not, some couples do put their money together with the end result being a Joint Checking/Savings/MMA Account. In essence, everything is done together. What I’ve seen with couples today goes a little something like this: Joint Bank Account, Joint Savings/MMA, Her SEPARATE checking account, His SEPARATE checking account, and in other cases I’ve seen some “secret” accounts that the spouse knew nothing about. Are you really saving for a rainy day or is mistrust lurking in your subconscious? Secret accounts in my opinion indicate there is a lack of trust which can defeat the purpose of marriage to begin with, but I’ll get off my soapbox when it comes to that. Who am I to say how a couple should divvy up their finances? I will say when I was married, my Business Accounts remained my business accounts because I started my business PRIOR to being married however, there was complete transparency regarding them. If at any time my then husband wanted to look at the bank statements, I had no problem showing him. He never asked to see them however, because he trusted me.
  6. STAY GROUNDED IN YOUR FINANCIAL BELIEFS NO MATTER WHAT: The #1 cause of divorce as you know is not infidelity, it’s finances. Arguments can arise from one spouse’s negligent overspending, the loss of income due to a layoff or even an unexpected pregnancy. Whatever hardship may arise, keep a united front. Talk it out. Communicate. Pray about it. Remember. The family that prays together, stays together.  GOOD LUCK AND MUCH SUCCESS TO YOU!!!

~The Financial Hack ©2016

SPRING IS HERE… TOP 5 CLEANUP “MUSTS” IN YOUR LIFE

Can you believe it’s been over ONE MONTH since I actually posted a blog on my website? Not the occasional PSA or motivational posting, but REALLY SAT DOWN AND WROTE A BLOG POSTING? Wow! One month is too long. I do thank all of you that are on the email list and those who religiously visit my website if for nothing else but to check the “Quote of The Day.” Again, I cannot thank you all enough.

So let’s get to the topic at hand…. SPRING CLEANING. This blog won’t be your typical “spring cleaning” blog. Well kinda. It’ll be pretty standard, but I’ve got to put my extra two cents into what spring cleaning also involves most this season (to me anyway) So here we go… The TOP 5 Cleanup MUSTS in your life:

  1. TACKLE LARGER PROJECTS FIRST: If cleaning out your closet is the biggest chore for you, start there first…. AND DON’T STOP UNTIL YOU’RE FINISHED. Survey your closet. Look at every article of clothing and every pair of shoes. If you haven’t worn it within the past year, get rid of it. Donate it to your local charity/thrift store, or have a garage sale (my personal favorite.) Garage sales can be quite lucrative especially if you have items that are in excellent condition, have never been worn and/or still have the tags on them. If you are simply not ready to part with those items just yet, put them into boxes, plastic storage bins, etc. If you don’t come back to those items within the upcoming year, GET RID OF THEM. You don’t need them.
  2. DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE: As I always say, declutter your home, declutter your life. The same holds true for your office, your car or anywhere you spend a great deal of time. It’s ironic I can’t work on a desk riddled with papers strewn about, yet I’m a paper hoarder. Don’t ask me why or how it happened, I just am. I spent three days sorting through letters, receipts and paperwork AT HOME some dating back to 2008, shredding what was unimportant and filing what was. You will find when you’re better organized, completing tasks aren’t such a chore. I haven’t begun to start on the files in the drawers at my office. Never fear, Thursday is the target day. If your car is riddled with papers, trash, toys, empty water bottles, soda cans etc, get rid of it. That is a source of irritation for me. I never ride with trash in my car. A tip to dispose of your trash when you’re driving is to find a small plastic bag (I keep the small bags I get from Barnes & Noble) and I put it on the gear shift of my car. This way, if I finish a cup of Starbucks, a bottle of water, etc., I put it in the bag and empty it when it’s full. If your children travel with toys, try to transport the smallest of toys and find a canvas bin, or even a box to store them in. They’ll make your life much easier.
  3. CLEAN YOUR HOME IN WAVES: I have 4/3.5/2. My suggestion is to clean your home in waves. I wouldn’t dare try to clean the 4500+ square feet I have in one sitting. Forget about it. Not gonna happen. That’s bananas! Again attack the toughest projects FIRST. For me that would be my bedroom, bathroom and closet first, move to the kitchen, the great room, guest bath, study… you get the picture. Perhaps for you, the kitchen is where you’d start. It doesn’t matter in what room you start, start where you spend the bulk of your time. Your level of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment will be much greater.
  4. CHANGE YOUR HABITS/ROUTINE: If you’re usually LATE everywhere you go, LATE meeting deadlines, LATE responding to emails/text messages, change that behavior. Make it a point to arrive 15-20minutes early. Promptly respond to important text messages/emails (or at least acknowledge the message has been received.) You’ll be surprised yourself…. and many others in the process. Don’t do it once or twice, make it a habit. I’ve read it takes 21 days to form a habit. In my opinion, it depends on the habit and the behavior towards the habit that determines the amount of time to change. I firmly believe if the behavior is something you truly wish to change, it shouldn’t take long to adapt. It’s all about your mindset. You may also want to change up your routine. Use this change of season as a time to take up a new hobby. Exercising, running, mentoring, taking an enrichment class, reading more, becoming involved in your child’s school, increasing your community service, you name it… YOU CAN DO IT!!!
  5. EVALUATE FRIENDSHIPS/RELATIONSHIPS: This to me is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT of the five “musts” of spring cleaning. Spring indicates a change of seasons. Just as seasons change, people and relationships change as well. Is it time to let some friends go? Cut ties in some relationships? Only you can answer those questions. My mother always told me to ask myself if the friendships in my life were one-sided. In my opinion, a true friend is concerned about your well-being. A true friend looks out for you, and a true friend always has your back. If the opposite applies, you have to ask yourself if this person is truly a friend. If your relationship is bringing you more misery than joy, perhaps it’s time to have a “sit down” with the one you love. Whether it’s a friend or a significant other, have a conversation, voice your concern(s) and hopefully the end result will be a win/win situation. If not, it may be necessary to plan some funerals, bury some friendships/relationships and begin the healing process.
I hope these five suggestions will help you in your Spring Cleaning process. GOOD LUCK… AND MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
~The Financial Hack (Copyright 2016)

AMERICA SAVES WEEK

In support of America Saves Week, head on over to my Facebook Commmunity Page (The Financial Hack) and post a pic of why you’re saving. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just a piece of paper will do.

Here’s mine:

 
Be sure to “LIKE” the community page to leave comments, ask questions, post pictures and participate in future discussions.

Visit http://www.americasavesweek.org for more information.

~The Financial Hack ©2015

YOU MAY BE BROKE BECAUSE….

stress over debt

Stressing over bills? Is your paycheck already spent before payday? Are you running out of money before the end of the month? Can’t make ends meet even if you had two magnets? Are you robbing Peter to pay Paul? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Debt can be particularly frustrating, especially if you’re drowning in it with no one to throw you a life preserver. Even if you are able to tread water, at some point you’re going to get tired. I know, because I’ve been there. Yep. Back then you could call me the “B” word… BROKE. My secret. No one knew. Broke can take on many meanings, so for all practical purposes, let’s assume “broke” means not having enough money to cover your monthly obligations.

Have you ever stopped to ponder the reason(s) WHY you’re “broke?” If this is you, stop and think about it for a minute. What can you do differently to change your current situation? While you do that, let me list a few behaviors/attitudes contributing to your “brokeness.” Yes, I am aware “brokeness” is not a word, but it should be.

  1. You Don’t Budget: I love it when I hear people say, “Oh I’ve got it all up here” while gently tapping the side of their head. Unless you’re a mathematical genius, how could you possibly have all those numbers and figures inside your head? Yes, you may have a general idea of what comes in and what goes out, but just imagine if you were to transfer “what’s in your mind” onto paper. This way you can see clearly what’s coming in and most importantly where it’s going. After writing it down and seeing it in black and white, you’re easily able to identify “blindspots” you didn’t know existed.
  2. Instant gratification is your “modus operandi:” We live in a society of heavy consumption. We want more more more, and WE WANT IT NOW. It’s too easy to whip out a credit card and purchase the latest iPhone, flat screen plasma television, that expensive pair of heels or those Jordans that just came out yesterday knowing you don’t or won’t have the money to pay the bill in full when the credit card bill comes due. This is where Jesus (and discipline) should take the wheel. You have to be disciplined enough to “walk away” no matter how loud those items are calling your name. I love shopping at discount retailers (Marshalls, TJMaxx, Home Goods, DSW etc.) and when I decided to check myself into “financial rehab,” I literally had to alter my driving route so I wouldn’t pass the strip mall that housed these stores. Out of sight out of mind.
  3. Keeping Up With The Jones: When I look back now over my days of “Keeping Up With The Jonses” it was quite silly because I eventually realized, the Jonses were just as broke as I was. I’m not ashamed to say I went through my phase of believing driving a Mercedes Benz, carrying Gucci and Louis Vuitton handbags, having a closet full of  clothes and shoes and living in a big house complete with swimming pool when it was just me and my two dogs somehow made me feel “important.” At the time I felt having those “material things” somehow validated me. All it did was expose my weakness, and that weakness was a lack of self-esteem. Anyone who is secure within themselves doesn’t need materialistic things for validation. Let me be clear. I still have all of those things mentioned above (minus the Mercedes Benz,) but I realize those things do not define me. There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things, it’s simply nonsensical going deep into debt in order to obtain them.
  4. Financial Literacy Wasn’t Taught In The Home: My father was always good at saving money. He worked hard and sacrificed for his family. He taught me how to write checks and balance a checkbook when I was 11 years old, and even after I got a job at 15 and was buying my own school clothes/paying for school activities and such, he never stressed to me the importance of saving, yet he was a HUGE saver. I’m still puzzled by that. I’d like to think he was proud because I was being responsible. Not every one my age had a job. I didn’t need a job, I just wanted financial independence. Asking for $10 to hang out at the mall with friends turned into a two hour lecture about how money didn’t grow on trees, but I digress.  I also remember my Dad telling me, “If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it.” To some extent, I do agree with him now that I’m older and wiser. He also advised me not to get caught up in credit cards when I went off to college, however, he didn’t explain to me why. I wished he had. It would have saved me a ton of angst and grief. If financial literacy isn’t taught at an early age, it’s easy to fall into the “debt trap.”
  5. You Refuse To Take Responsibility For The Actions Stated Above: This is the most important of all the habits/attitudes/behaviors listed above. If you don’t acknowledge that your spending is out of control, that you don’t budget, that you mismanage your money, or that you seek validation by obtaining material possessions, you will forever remain in a state of “broke.”
Perhaps one or two of these habits apply. Perhaps all of them apply. Either way, you are in control of your financial destiny. It’s never too late to make changes. It took me until age 39 (when I married) to understand how important it was to build a financial future. Living the single life for so long allowed me the freedom (or so I thought) to be reckless with my spending because I only had myself to hold accountable. However I changed my financial mindset, even after divorcing. I adjusted my spending habits. I budgeted my money and I am now able to truly enjoy what I’ve accumulated over the years. So you see, I no longer need that Mercedes Benz for validation. I look better driving this “PAID FOR” Honda Coupe anyway.
~The Financial Hack 2015

When your body talks to you…. LISTEN!!!

I’m dying. At least that’s what I felt like yesterday when I woke up. My throat was swollen, it was difficult to swallow, my nose was running and my head felt as though it would explode at any minute. Of course I wasn’t dying, it just felt like it.

I slug I to the kitchen thinking “Coffee will make everything better.” Who was I fooling? I got dressed, went to the office thinking my allergies, sinuses, and hay fever were going at it for the championship title but here comes the one, two knockout punch from a surprise opponent… the flu? No way!

First I was too hot, then I was too cold. Next I was too cold, then I was too hot. Chills. Back and forth like a tennis match. This can’t be good. After the “hacking” started and my Sister screamed “Get Out!” from her desk outside my office door, I knew I needed to leave, but I closed my eyes instead. Forty-five minutes later I’m awakened by that metallic taste in my mouth, you know, like you’ve been licking pennies. Yep, it’s time to go. My clothes hurt. All over

I got home, ate some soup, downed some orange juice, drank a shot of NyQuil and climbed into bed. That was the best decision I’ve made all week and it was only Tuesday.

I was sick. You get the picture.

I knew this would happen eventually. I stretched myself too thin. I was doing too much and I wasn’t taking care of my body causing additional stress. The result? Immediate shutdown. I should have seen it coming. Last week, I didn’t get to bed before 3am on two consecutive nights doing classwork. And just the night before “the shutdown,” I was up after 3am even though I finished my assignments a little after 1am. I knew this would happen. The question was when.

Being back in school has placed tremendous stress on me as it’s been 14years since I received my MBA. Couple that with working, community service and having a life, I’m not sure what I was expecting. You’ve seen/read these tips before but I can’t stress them enough:

1. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet. My eating habits have been horrible since my classes started last month. I blew my budget for January relying on Panda Express, McDonalds, Jack N The Box and Wingstop for my nutritional needs. I know. Way to go. Claps all around. My multivitamin couldn’t compete with all the “junk” I was eating.

2. Make sure you’re exercising regularly. My exercise regimen has been relatively non-existent since the doctor told me last year I could no longer continue my marathon career. Not only was I running for endurance, but lifting for strength. I used to have six pack abs. Now it looks like an ever so slight kangaroo pouch. (This will never do honey.)

3. Make sure you’re getting adequate rest. I already knew those late nights spending time with textbooks, chapter notes and financial calculators would catch up to me. I’ve said it aloud several times, “If I don’t get enough sleep, I get sick.” Well look at me now.

When your body is already in distress, adding a teaspoon of an unhealthy diet, a pinch of a lack of exercise and a cup of inadequate sleep is a recipe for disaster. 

Listen to your body when it’s talking to you. Yes, you have an empire to build, yes you have goals. Having a “can’t stop, won’t stop attitude” is fine, but stay in tune with your body. It’ll give you small cues when it needs rest. If you fail to yield to those cues, a crash is bound to happen. Don’t ignore those recurring headaches, or that lower back pain. Your body is telling you to slow down. If necessary, take a day off and just “relax.” I’m still learning to do that. After these last couple of days, I’ll try harder. 

This morning after sleeping a good 14hours, I thought about going to the office but thought, “Nah, you’re not 100 percent.” Have I not learned my lesson? This was a no-brainer. So I got my coffee, OJ and soup and am back where I was yesterday… In bed. But now, like this…. 

 
I’m being productive running my empire from the comforts of my bed, yet still resting. And you know something? I feel so much better.

Maybe I’ll move to the couch… Nah!

~The Financial Hack ©2015

Hello My Name Is…. AND I’M A PROCRASTINATOR

procrastination

NOTE: This should have been posted as yesterday’s “Motivation Monday,” but because of my persistent procrastination, I’m posting it today. Read on to find out what the triggered my “call to action.”

It has taken me 15 minutes to get started writing this post. Let me tell you what I’ve done during that time.

  1. Sent a Tweet.
  2. Responded To a Tweet
  3. Sent a couple of Text Messages
  4. Put a clear coat of polish on my nails
  5. Searched Google images
  6. (You get the picture.)

I did everything I could do to avoid this posting. Procrastinating is something I have always done and had yet to master, to my detriment of course. I always work well under pressure, but is it necessary to put undue stress on myself as a result? Of course the answer is a resounding “No!”

Why do some people procrastinate? I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you why I do. I suffer from Type “A” personality. No, I’m not an A-hole, but when I complete tasks, I want them to be perfect. Flawless. Almost effortless. I’m one of those people who gets agitated because of a misspelled a word I catch AFTER posting on my website, posting a tweet, or sending a text message for that matter. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t make these kinds of simple mistakes. In MY world? Forget about it. The result, is wasted time, stress and anxiety. I’m used to it, so I should have adapted by now and should also be able to deal with it right? Yes and No.

Case in point….

As you know (if you don’t, I’m telling you now,) I’m taking classes to become an AFC (Accredited Financial Counselor.) Keep in mind. I received my last degree, an MBA, in 2002. That was 14 years ago this month. Distance/Online courses are NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING like they were over a decade ago. Back then email is what kept everyone connected. No FaceTime, Skype, Lynk, Google Plus or any other methods for face to face communication. Matter of fact, there were no smartphones back then either. Technology has come a mighty long way, but I digress. A couple of days after being registered for my classes, it was important to sign up with a school id and password. I’ll do it tomorrow became the next day and after about 4days (and an email from the Program Coordinator,) I set it up. Now that that “chore” is completed, it’s on to the syllabus for both classes right? Wrong. I’ve got time. I can look at it tomorrow. Oh wait, the weekend is here, I’ll get everything done Sunday. This is the self talk of a “Professed Procrastinator.” HUGE MISTAKE on my part.

Allowing an entire week to pass cost me TWO CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS OF STAYING UP PAST 3am. After reading through the syllabi, I discovered assignments/exams are due by 1pm in the afternoon, NOT the normal midnight that I was accustomed to. OH NO… What have I done? I’ll tell you. I screwed up by procrastinating. Here’s a glimpse of my initial reaction….


Once I saw the work required, I immediately got my ass in gear. One of the professors gave us a “crap ton” of assignments to complete. The practice assignments were even brutal. Word of advice… Never underestimate a professor who is teaching a class and also working on a Doctoral Degree at the same time.

From that moment on, I was OVER IT!!! Over procrastination. Over waiting until the last minute to complete my assignments, blog postings, anything that required time constraints be placed on them. My “struggle glasses” were past over it refusing to stay on my face, somehow punishing me for the sin of procrastination.


At the end of the day, I am pleased to say, I completed ALL the assignments including the extra credit for BOTH classes. It only cost me two nights of decent sleep. Having a Type “A” personality can come in handy especially when it motivates us to excel. And when it comes to exceling, it doesn’t take much for the “Type “A”

So how does procrastination tie in to personal finance? IT DOESN’T. Just felt like sharing. Well, I could tie in a lesson to it, but not on this posting. It’s random. What I will say is procrastination and poor planning IS NOT a habit successful people employ. Successful people create “To Do” Lists and STAY ON TASK. I too create “To Do” Lists. The problem is, the lists would be much shorter if I wasn’t constantly moving tasks I procrastinated doing from the previous day/days to the current day. You get what I’m saying.

Never again will I do this. I have created a schedule where I block off time during the week to complete important tasks whether it’s my class assignments, reading, writing blogs etc. It’s somewhat robotic, but for me it’s a necessity to keep me on task. This schedule allows me to balance school, community service, maintaining my website/social media, my social life, and just life in general. I can now remain consistent, stay on task, and most importantly, keep my weekends. I’ll work hard during the week… The weekend however belongs to me.

Have you found yourself in this situation? I hope this posting helped you understand procrastination and what you can do to avoid it. Does procrastination leave you feeling powerless, stressed and anxious? If so, how did you overcome it? Leave your feedback below. I’d love to hear from you.

~The Financial Hack ©2016

 

MASTERING MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME

multitasking.jpg

Creating multiple streams of income without wearing yourself out can be quite tricky, especially if obligations such as family, school or even your nine to five job take priority. The goal is to find what is easy and convenient… FOR YOU. Here are a few examples of Multiple Streams of Income that I recommend.

  1. Open an eBay Store: Unlike your classic brick and mortar places of business, your eBay store is a virtual brick and mortar store (minus the overhead.) Just think. There are no costs for leasing space. No utilities. No hassle of hiring employees or having  set operating hours. An eBay store allows you the luxury of making money on your own time and on your own terms. If you’re looking for inventory, start by shopping your closet. In my 13 years experience with eBay, I find that new/gently used shoes/handbags/accessories and perfumes are quite popular. Certain books and children’s clothing are popular as well. You can choose to auction your items or sell them outright at a set price (Buy It Now.) Here’s the catch: If you wish to be successful at your eBay store, you must keep inventory in stock at all times (even if it’s just a few items) and a variety of items is preferred. Be mindful of the pricing of your items. Your item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
  2. Find something you enjoy doing, or are good at… AND FIND A WAY TO MAKE MONEY DOING IT: Are you bilingual? Offer private lessons, or consider teaching an ESL class. Good in Math? Consider becoming a Math Tutor. Are you a “techie?” You’d be surprised how many people would rather NOT install Windows on their computer or do the simplest of troubleshooting when it comes to their computers. That’s where you come in. Do you enjoy exercising, working out and eating healthy? Consider becoming a Personal Trainer. Can you play the guitar, piano or other instrument? Same applies. Do you love animals? Consider dog sitting or becoming a dog walker. Babysitting is very popular among teenaged/college females. Signing with an agency would guarantee you hours and if you’re good at it, word of mouth is the best referral.  Catch my drift? These are just a few examples of skills you can tap into to make extra money.
  3. Write a Book: Years ago before the age of the Kindle and e-books, self-publishing was the most cost efficient way to get your book to the masses. Now, all you need is the manuscript, a good editor (or editing software) and VOILA! Your book is available as a Kindle e-book for $5.99. That isn’t so bad if you’ve sold 2000 units and counting! NOTE: Freelance writing isn’t off limits either. It may take a while to find one, but there are some publications who will PAY for your article submissions so keep your writing skills sharp.
  4. Become a Substitute Teacher or a Realtor : If your schedule allows, become a substitute teacher. Subbing one day a week could generate an additional $200-$300 monthly depending on whether you hold a college degree or are certified by the state to teach. Also, with the housing market bouncing-back, real estate can be an effective income producer. I’m a licensed Real Estate Broker and it’s always good to have my license to fall back on if necessary.  NOW IF ALL ELSE FAILS…..
  5. Get a Part-Time Job: As much as I hated working part-time jobs in my life, I did it any way because I had to. In high school I worked for a popular fast food chain, in college I worked at a gas station (not as a mechanic lol,) I’ve worked for a grocery chain, I’ve worked making copies at night for a law firm (through a temp agency) you name it, I’ve probably done it. I can recall working a nine to five, driving home, grabbing a quick bite to eat, then heading to my six to ten (or six to later depending on where I was working.) Retail is ALWAYS available, video stores were once popular (until Redbox and Netflix dominated,) and let’s not forget fast food restaurants. For many, fast food is the absolute last resort, but if there were nothing else and you really needed the income, you’d take it. If you just can’t fathom working in fast food, consider Starbucks which offers its employees (even its part time employees) health insurance. There are many people working there just for the health benefits.
So as you can see, there are many ways to generate multiple streams of income. It all depends on your area of expertise as well as your flexibility. Don’t rely on just one stream of income, if possible, have SEVERAL STREAMS because they all have one common denominator; Getting you one step closer to reaching your financial goals. GOAL AFTER IT!!! They aren’t called “Multiple Streams of Income” for nothing.
~The Financial Hack (copyright 2015)