Personal Finance

6 Ways to Make Money Online in Your Spare Time

So you want to make a little extra money on the side through the internet? Well, you came to the right place.

While billions of dollars are generated online daily, the funny thing is that the “average” internet user really has no idea why or how this is happening, or that they could be making money online as well.

In this article we will provide you with six ways that you can start making money online today!

Let’s get started.

Write Articles

One of the easiest and fastest ways to start making money online is by writing articles through freelance writing sites. The concept is simple: Websites and brands need new site content all the time and they are willing to pay outside writers to get the work done. To make this process easier, sites like textbroker allow anyone to join their site and sign up as a writer or a client. Writers can log in, write articles and get paid for their time, while clients can continually add new projects. Hundreds of dollars are earned daily from writers on this site alone!

Complete Simple $5 Jobs

Micro-job site Fiverr is a marketplace for anyone to create unique, fun and useful jobs that can be completed for $5 and up. You really need to check out the site to see

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Easy Budget App Functions (4 Things You Didn’t Know a Budget App Could Do)

Budgeting is simpler with a mobile app.

Budget apps make managing finances a lot easier. Where budget software for your home computer took away the burden of keeping track of everything on paper, budget apps make the software portable. Now you don’t have to be at home to see your monthly budget and all of your accounts at a glance.

There are many features that make Mint.com’s mobile budget app handy, but here are four of the most beneficial.

Mint’s Apps Work with Smartphones and Tablets at the Same Time

Know what’s great about a budget app on your smartphone or tablet? Portability. Never let your money out of your sight with Mint.com’s mobile budget app, and you’ll find there are fewer surprises every month. Better still, how about an app on one phone and another on a tablet? They all work together.

You don’t have to be on the go for the mobile app to come in handy. Personal finance is important on a shopping trip, of course, but you might also want to keep tabs on you accounts from the comfort of a hammock in the backyard. Wherever your mobile device can go, so can your budget.

Alerts Let You Know What’s Happening with Your Money

Bill coming due? You’ll never have to worry about missing a payment,

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10 Ways to Fine Tune Your Personal Budget Before Buying a House

For most people, buying a house is the largest purchase they will make in their lives- so it goes without saying that this is not an impulse buy but one in which preparation and research is key. Before you even begin considering signing your name on that dotted line, you need to ensure that your personal budget is in check. By fine-tuning your finances and looking at a home purchase as a lifelong investment, you can buy your new home with minimal monetary concerns and a happy outlook for the future. These ten tips will help you get your personal budget in shape, get the best mortgage for your money, and finally buy that new home you have been dreaming of.

1. Figure Out Your Household Income After Tax

How much money do you actually have? Check your pay stub or use an online income calculator and find out how much money you are left with each month after taxes.

2. Make a List of All Monthly Household Expenses

Next you need to write out all your monthly expenses like bills, utilities, insurance, as well as groceries and any extras such as tuition. The number you have left is your expendable income. Mint.com offers a free online budget plan that organizes your spending and tracks outgoing expenses.

A personal budget

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Holiday Spending Statistics for 2020

Rather than shopping in department stores and visiting Santa at the mall, this year’s holiday season is going to look a little different. You’ll likely be spending more time with your closest loved ones and exchanging gifts you ordered online. With the events of 2020, many have experienced unexpected changes in employment, income, and even health so the holiday budget is top of mind. To figure out what gifting budgets may look like this year, we ran our own holiday survey and collected 26 holiday spending statistics.

In 2019, roughly 729 billion dollars was spent during the holidays. This topped the charts, making it the biggest holiday season. This number may come as no surprise when you account for everyone on your shopping list. From your coworkers to family, holiday budgets can stretch thin to accommodate for everyone.

Wondering what others are spending on holiday gifts? Keep reading for our holiday spending statistics roundup, or jump to our infographic for our budget-friendly gifting etiquette for the workplace.

Average Christmas Spending

  • The average American planned to spend $942 on holiday gifts in 2019. (Gallup)
  • Last year, Americans spent $227.26 on non-holiday gift purchases such as decorations. (Alliant Credit Union)
  • Americans decide their holiday gift spending based on how close they are to the gift recipient (58 percent)
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Can We Afford to Retire on Just $65K a Year?

Dear Penny,

I am disabled and my husband is our wage earner. We are both near age 70. We receive Social Security and some monthly pension payments that aren’t terribly large. 

With his current income, we bring in about $99,000 before taxes. Without his income, we would bring in about $65,000 a year. We have a mortgage of $1,310 per month, plus a lease car payment and one credit card we are working to pay off. We need to account for monthly living expenses as well. 

We do have some retirement funds we will need to start taking in the next few years, but we are trying to hold off on that if possible. Those funds are not substantial — maybe around $160,000. We are not in a position to move, and I just don’t see a way for us to have my husband retire. 

I am so anxious about this and need some guidance. Can you help?

-P.

Dear P.,

I get that it’s scary when you think about your income falling by a third. But with retirement, there’s only so much control you have. Sure, you can plan to work forever, but few of us will actually be able to do so.

You need to accept that your husband’s retirement is inevitable, though hopefully you’ll have some flexibility

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How a Profit and Loss Exercise Got My Freelance Business on Track

A woman takes a selfie in front of a lake with mountains in the background. Davis


Lindsey Davis participated in a profit and loss exercise to look at her business expenses, and she found that she was spending more than she was paying herself. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Danis

“You don’t have any more deductions?” the accountant asked me.

I’d always done my own taxes, working through my self-employment income with help from TurboTax, but I agreed to see him when my wife wanted an independent check on our finances. We weren’t paying a ton in taxes, but we also suspected we were paying more than we needed to.

The accountant’s advice? “You need to spend more on your business if you want to lower what you owe.”

Encouraged by the accountant, I spent more on my freelance writing career. Each week, I tracked my business expenses on a spreadsheet. I wrote down household expenses like utilities or internet, which I’d claim proportionally for my home office deduction. I listed software, magazine subscriptions, conferences and webinars, books, supplies and more.

I congratulated myself for making all of these investments in my business. And it was money well spent, creating new opportunities for my career.

Recently, a simple budgeting exercise showed me how these seemingly smart decisions may not have been the right ones for me. Sure, I’d been acting on good faith to nurture my

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