Category Archives: Saving Money

Why Saving For Retirement is Essential ?

I love my grandparents. They are amazing people who have experienced a lot in life. They have a huge amount of knowledge and they are always willing to share their thoughts and wisdom with me. What it challenging for me to understand though is why they live the way they do. They live on social security alone and have no other source of income other than assistance from the likes of me and my parents. They have no retirement saved, no pension, and no income generating investments. For people so seemingly wise it is hard to understand how they got to this point in their lives.

Social Security Really ?

They do come from a generation that expected social security to cover their retirement needs. When they were young saving for retirement wasn’t the most obvious thing to do. Not only that but their jobs didn’t provide pension benefits or any kind of retirement allocation. They were basically contract employees for the duration of their careers. They were truck drivers who operated as a team under one paycheck so nto only do they have no retirement savings or income but their social security checks are smaller than what you might expect.

Although this set of circumstances is not necessarily typical for working people today it does illustrate the importance of putting some financial responsibility on your own shoulders. You may think that you will be taken care of in your later life but you never really know what’s going to happen.

These days there are new hindrances to retirement savings. Many people in their early working years don’t believe that they ever will retire. They love their work and don’t see any reason why they would ever stop working. To some extent these people are on to something. If you love what you do then why would you ever need a huge portfolio for the day you stop working; why not just keep doing what you love until the day you die.

The problem with this logic however is that you never know when a set of life circumstances will keep you from doing the work you love. Any person is vulnerable to accidents and we are all susceptible to disease and health ailments. You can be doing the one thing in the world that you would never want to stop doing but if something happens to force you out of your profession and you have no retirement savings then you are going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. You will have highly advanced skills that are no longer usable and you will have no experience in any field that remains available to you.

In the case of health problems you may not be able to o any work at all. What then? With no savings and little to no ability to work how will you survive?

In some ways retirement savings can be a lot like an insurance policy that can be cashed out at any time for any reason. You may not have disability insurance but if you can’t work for some reason other than disability then you still have money to draw from; your income source does not go away.

Imagine a scenario where you are beyond retirement age and your parents suddenly need full time care. Can you really continue working if you need to tend to them? Sure there are assisted living facilities but a retirement nest egg gives you the freedom and flexibility to chart your own path. You may not feel like you’ll ever want to stop working but when you are 70 you will want to have the option to stop working in case you need it. It’s like having a get-out-of-jail-free card in your pocket. It’s unlikely that you’ll need it but having it is more than worth it. It gives you peace of mind.

My grandparents are amazing people and I love them to death but I wish they had saved for retirement throughout their lifetimes. Their retirement years would be so much more enjoyable for them. As it stands now they don’t get out much, they mostly stay at home, and barely experience life. Their waning years are not being spent enjoying the world they live in – they are simply living each day in the most basic way possible and waiting to do the same the next day.

Start Saving Now !

Retirement savings is a bit like insurance and a bit like freedom. It opens doors of opportunity. Whether you take advantage of those open doors is another point all together but when you get old enough to retire you will want to decide for yourself if it’s actually worth it rather than let circumstances dictate what you can and can’t do with the rest of your life.

Top Five Side Hustles That Will Help You Survive Lay-Offs

You’ve just been laid off. That sucks! Now what? Unemployment will only go so far and will eventually go away. So, you need to make money until you get rehired or start your own business. Here are my top five hustles that will help you through.

The First Hustle

This first hustle is not going to make you money, but it is key to your long term success. You need to start networking. Contacting family members and friends is where you start. Ask them who they know so you can contact their acquaintances. Then follow up with your former co-workers and see if you can get contacts from them. You need to expand your network and make sure people are aware of your availability.

An interesting fact is most jobs are found by someone referring someone else. Word of mouth is the most powerful way to find jobs and to get hired. This is especially true if you are involved in a specific industry or trade. People will know about you and can help you out. Never underestimate the power of networking.

The Second Hustle

Review your assets and see if you can sell some stuff. Having a garage sale will get you started, but having your stuff on the driveway week after week will get old. The next step is to graduate to flea markets. It can be a pain transporting your stuff every weekend, but it can be very profitable.

If you have a talent for spotting bargains, you can often purchase items and resale them for a profit. Many people do this for a living, so if you find you enjoy doing this type of business, it could develop into a side project even after you get a job.

Use Craigslist to list some of the larger items and appliances you have to sell. If there is a unique or collectible item, Craigslist may be the best place to sell it. You can screen people by providing a good description and setting a realistic price. You can also purchase items to sell if you see available bargains.

The Third Hustle

Using the internet. If you are not already comfortable with the internet, then start educating yourself now!

In the second hustle, you were selling items directly. By using the internet, you can start selling items on Ebay. I know several people who make good incomes by selling items on Ebay. You do need to invest in a camera to take pictures of the items you sell. You will also need to spend some time going through the Ebay tutorials. They have extensive training. The training will aid in marketing and selling your items.

The Fourth Hustle

Get online and go to your nearest Craigslist site. You can search for odd jobs that fit your specialized skill set. There are also job postings that you can review and see if you are interested in applying.

You can also list your skills and see if anyone wants to hire you on a temporary basis. On the listing from my area, services offered ranged from beauty to writing/editing and included household, skilled/move and automotive.

There is also a category for “Gigs”. Some of the listings included the need for a c++ programmer, a virtual assistant, TV show study. These are short term projects that can get you some money fast.

The Fifth Hustle

Start a business/ find work online. There are many types of businesses you can start online and be able to make some cash. If you have any computer skills or writing skills, you can develop a “Fiverr” gig. There are several websites that you can post something you can do for $5.00. The website takes a commission when you complete the project, but you can make some quick cash if you services are in demand.

The types of “gigs’ range from the Fun and Bizarre – “I will write any message on my lips and take a high res photo for $5”, “I will put your message on my tum tum for $5”. To Graphics & Design – “I will design logo for your website or company for $5”. Other categories include Gifts, Video & Animation, Online Marketing, Writing & Translation, Advertising, Business, Programming & Tech, Music & Audio, Lifestyle and Other.

All you need is some imagination, a computer and a simple skill.

Getting laid off can be devastating. Unfortunately, in this economy, it happens all too often. What is key during this transition period of your life is action and attitude. Taking action, no matter how painful will always have positive results. By taking action you will keep your attitude positive. When looking for employment, having a positive and upbeat attitude is critical.

Remember, the best hustle is taking action, no matter what it is.

Where to Sell Your Stuff Collecting Dust

With Spring comes Spring cleaning. It is an opportunity to sort through your belongings and declutter your living space. It can seem like a daunting task, but when you have the incentive to make a little extra cash and simplify your life, it should come easily. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, and in the online world there is a place to sell everything.

Craigslist and Ebay have forever been the go-to websites when it comes time to sell your extra items. If you are looking for something new, there are plenty of other places to sell your stuff online.

If you are low on time and want to start selling immediately, the website Tinypay prides itself on ease and quickness. You do not even need to sign up for an account. All you need to do is post each listing with your PayPal account and you receive cash and e-mails through the e-mail account that you already use. It also allows for easy embedding of your listings into your social media sites, so advertising is a breeze.

If you are feeling a little more ambitious, there is a site for that too. Shopify is an entire store front devoted to your goods only. You can even accept credit cards and arrange for shipping through your store’s website.

If you want to deal with local people only, Craigslist is not your only option anymore. Zaarly allows you to sell to people in your area. It has a lot of cool features that eases the process of selling and coordinating exchanges. YardSellr is similar in that it allows you to deal with local people. However, it deals in niche products that you may not find on Zaarly. Through YardSellr you can customize searches as well as set up RSS feeds if someone in your area is looking for the rare Beatles portrait that you are looking to sell.

If you want to go the charitable route, KarmaGoat is your solution. It allows you to pick charities that the proceeds of your sales go to.

There is a solution specific to parents as well. ThredUP will send you a prepaid shipping bag to use to fill up with children’s clothes. They do the hard work for you and sell your items. You can either pocket the cash or spend it at their store for the next size up.o

If you have a collectible that you can’t see yourself parting with, the website called Keepio has a solution for you. Keepio will connect you will like minded people that share the same passion for comic books or other collectibles. Letting go of items with sentimental value is much easier when you know the new owner shares the same passions and interests. On the flip side, if you have an item that you can’t wait to get rid of and you need to vent before selling it, the Internet has you covered. Never Liked It Anyway allows you to post the story behind why you are selling your item, for example an engagement ring. There is definitely something therapeutic about venting while making extra cash in the process.

Now you have no excuse but to go out and sell all of the items you previously did not think you could. If it’s collecting dust and you haven’t used it in years, it is probably time to part ways. Once you get started making money off of your old junk it can become addictive. Living simply and recouping cash spent on old items is rewarding in itself but it also makes you think twice next time you are faced with buying an item.