When someone asks what you do for a living, what is your reply? Do you give your main job title? Or do you give a list of a variety of ways you are currently earning income?
Here at iMoneyCoach we often encourage people to seek multiple sources of income. The idea is that you are not having to rely solely on one source of income in case it disappears, and that you are maximizing your income so that you can reach your financial dreams, whatever they may be.
Let’s say that you have a dream of paying cash for your next car, but you and your family have a pretty tight budget already and do not know where you would get the money to put into a car savings fund. If you started a side job and put your paychecks into that car fund, you would be able to save up a lot faster without making drastic changes to your budget. This holds true for eliminating debt as well. Perhaps you could pick up a part-time job or a paper route where you can put the income straight towards your debt and get it paid off faster.
Sometimes we get stuck wondering what is out there that would make a good source of more income. If you already work 40 hours a week, you might not want to pick up a 20-hour a week part-time job. OK, you most probably will not want to do that. But is there something you could spend 5 or 6 hours on each week instead? If you cut out an hour of TV watching a night, is there something else you could do for that time? A good way to figure out which direction to take is to start talking with people to see what needs they have that you might be able to fill.
For example, my husband is a teacher at a high school that is now offering online courses. Since I built and maintain the iMoneyCoach University of online courses, he gave my information to the director of the school’s online courses who had some questions about the same system we use. This started as a project to give advice and help out a little, but as the time needed to really make things work grew, they needed to have me fill out an application so I could receive a paycheck. My husband suggested adding in the “other areas I can work in” section that I could teach some of the online classes since I have experience with online courses already and with certain subject areas. After conversations with the director, I started teaching some of those online courses. While the pay is not a huge amount, it is something I can do from home that does not take an excessive amount of time each week, and I get a paycheck at the end of each semester that I can put directly towards an expense or into a savings account.
To be honest, it is nice to have extra income when you need it. It can help you stay on top of your budget and reach your financial goals. So, if you have questions about ways to earn extra, or if you have some ideas and ways you have earned extra income that you want to share with others, please leave a comment below.
If you’ve read the iMoneyCoach blog before, you may have noticed a theme. We believe that your finances and every area of your life are connected. Everything you do affects and is affected by your finances.
This includes your personal life and wellbeing. You may already know that you can reap numerous benefits from getting in shape and being healthy. You can live longer and feel better. You can enjoy more time with your kids and friends. But have you thought about how it might impact your finances?
Getting in shape can save you a ton of money. First, it can keep you out of the doctor’s office and save you money on copays and prescriptions. If you are healthy, chances are you will feel better and have fewer sick days away from the office, both boosting your performance and chances of a raise or promotion.
While healthier food may seem more expensive, you actually can save money avoiding soda and skipping fast food. Water with lemon or grapefruit juice is a refreshing alternative to the sugar-laden sodas, and after a while, you may even find you prefer it. If you have the time and space to do some gardening, you can save money on healthier food while getting to enjoy the fresh taste straight out of the garden (doesn’t get better than that!).
Here are some apps and free workout music that you may find useful on the journey to getting in shape. I have personally been using Nexercise to keep myself motivated to work out daily. There are reward points you can redeem for gift cards, and although it takes a while to get there, it is a little bit of added motivation. There are over 150 activities that you can get points for, but one of my favorites is taking a long walk with the kids. Gets me in shape while spending time with my kids..
60-minute workout music – FREE workout music you can download. Choose from 3 intensity levels that match your workout (i.e. slower for walking or the elliptical, moderate for jogging or cycling, or high for running or cardio).
Fooducate Nutrition Scanner helps you learn about the foods you are eating. You can scan the barcode and get a list of information about that product, like if it says it is a good source of whole grains but is really high in sugar which would make it less healthy. It also gives you better options. So if you are looking for a healthy new cereal and are not sure which one is best for you, this would be a great way to find out.
Zombies, Run! (available for Apple or Android devices) – This app has over 300,000 players worldwide and makes running a little better. You can run with your own music and hear the zombie apocalypse story unfold between tracks. According to BBC News “the only way to save yourself is to run for real.” There is also a new 5k training Zombies app that is designed by running experts and helps you build up your endurance over 8 weeks of structured training. While the apps are not free, they are fairly inexpensive and could help you avoid a costly gym membership fee.
- If you are not thrilled about the idea of running from zombies, you could also try the Nexercise app (also available for both Apple or Android). This is a FREE app that helps you track your activity and gives you medals as motivation and real rewards like FREE Amazon MP3s or gift cards. You can also connect with friends to help keep each other going.
For a little more integration of exercise and calorie-watching, MyFitnessPal is another FREE app, and it is available on a variety of mobile devices. You can keep track of what you eat in a food diary or track your exercises and see how many calories you have burned.
Spring cleaning is an age-old tradition that inspires some people, and drives other people crazy with the cleaning and the trying to find time to get it all done. To encourage you in your spring cleaning this spring, we have found a few cleaning ideas that can save you money (and who doesn’t want to save money?!):
Plant your own garden. If you want your family to eat healthier but dread the always-rising grocery bill, a great solution is a garden. Try some fruits and veggies you know you like and that are fairly easy to grow (i.e. strawberries and raspberries or zucchini), and work up from there. You can consider growing a salsa garden to make your own salsa all summer long. The upside is that you know where these fruits and veggies come from and that they are organic with no harmful chemicals.
Change your air conditioner filter. Before you need the air conditioner in the heat of summer, go ahead and change the filter now to cut down on your cooling costs later. Towards the end of spring it is also a good idea to make sure the area around your air conditioner is clear of debris so it can run at its best.
Clean your refrigerator coils to keep the fridge running smoothly and efficiently. Pull the fridge away from the wall and be sure to unplug it. Then find the coils and dust them… or use a vacuum if they are pretty dusty, and use a damp soapy cloth if they really need it, but be sure that they are dry before you plug it back in and push the refrigerator back into place.
While you’re in the cleaning mode, clear out the storage unit. If you are storing your stuff somewhere and paying for it, you could be saving money. You store things that you do not use consistently, and there is a good chance you could part with it (or sell it on eBay or craigslist and make some extra cash).
Do some green cleaning. Check out my article on the benefits of green cleaning (read: SAVE MONEY and stay healthy!), and discover some great uses for the basics like vinegar, baking soda, and rubbing alcohol that get your house cleaner in a safer way and cost considerably less.
Before heading out shopping for a new spring wardrobe, be sure you get out the clothes you packed away when winter hit so you can inventory what you already have and buy things that can go with them (i.e. maybe you can buy those cute red capris to go with your navy blue and white polka dot blouse, but don’t buy the capris if you have nothing to go with them!). And shop the clearance racks. Some stores have old stock from last summer they want to get rid of, and you can find them in the clearance. You may have to look between the sweaters that are clearanced out this year too, but it can be worth it to do a little extra looking.
These are easy things that you can do to save some money during springtime. Not only are they good for your wallet, but they can make you feel happier and healthier so you can enjoy spring!
Now, while you are in the mode of spring and new beginnings, you should also check out the iMoneyCoach Financial Life Training System - our online courses that in approximately 10 hours (you can go at your own pace and view them when it is convenient for you) will completely change your finances AND your life!
As someone who looks out for ways to save money practically (read: not just being cheap, but finding ways to do the same things for less), I have spent some time on Pinterest. I love the creative ideas there, but most of all, I have found some great ideas for ways to save money and make life easier. All of the items on Pinterest link back to some great blogs that can help with any variety of ideas and money-saving tips.
For example, I have heard a lot of talk lately about using good old household products instead of chemical-laden cleaners because they are safer and cheaper, but I did not really think that it would save that much time or money, and especially not work better. But I happened across a few pins that turned the light on for me, not to mention an article about the dangers of household chemicals. I am not overly health-conscious or someone who will push ideas about going green on others, but I found some things that made sense, and once I tried them I was sold. So I wanted to pass a few ideas along:
- DIY Grocery Bag Holder – this took a little time up front but cleaned out a closet over-flowing with grocery bags, and they are convenient to take on the go as well as easy to refill. You just use one of those old bottles left over from cleaning wipes, roll up some grocery bags, and voila! (There are more detailed instructions on the blog in the link, but it is very easy to do).
- Instead of anti-slip mats for rugs, you can easily line the back of the rug with caulk every 6 inches or so for much less (and when the kids pull up the rugs, they will not move the liners to another part of the house and cause you to have to hunt them down and replace them). This site has several other good, easy tips.
- How to clean high chair straps – with just bleach, baking soda, and dish soap you can transform those disgusting, smelly high chair straps back to looking new and free from the old, moldy, caked-on food smell.
We sent out an iMoneyMinute email not too long ago about household cleaners and how to make your own laundry soap. If you are not getting our iMoneyMinute emails and want great tips every 3 weeks that in a minute or less will save you time or money or show you how to make money or reduce your financial risk, be sure to sign up here. All of the links from that email can be found on Pinterest too. Here they are with their original links:
- 45 Uses for Vinegar – who knew this very inexpensive product could do so much? I ended up following this recipe for making naturally scented vinegar using orange peels so it would smell a little better.
- And here are 31 Uses for Baking Soda – my new BFF. Baking soda is also very inexpensive, and I have found it works much better than many of my old chemical cleaners.
- Another good friend is rubbing alcohol. Here are 25 Alternative Uses for Rubbing Alcohol that are sure to help you save money and time (i.e. easy ice pack, relieve mosquito bite itch, jewelry cleaner, etc.).
- Homemade Laundry Soap – I tried this recipe about 6 months ago and still have plenty of laundry soap left. For only $26 at Walmart I found all of the ingredients. PLUS, I have a laundry sink where all of the water from the washing machine drains, and it has been much darker and dirtier since I started using the homemade laundry soap. This is a good sign! I wonder now how much of that dirt was getting left on my clothes before.
While Pinterest can be a time-stealer, if you are already on there you can make it productive by looking for more money-saving ideas that will also save you time and make life better (yes, having a clean showerhead does make my life better!). And thanks to the creative blog authors who came up with these fantastic ideas!
The truth for every person on this planet is that we have a limited amount of time here. We have only a certain (unknown to us) amount of years, months, weeks, days, and minutes.
So how do you spend those precious minutes? When you get home in the evening, do you spend your time glued to the TV? What are you gaining from that? I’m not saying that watching TV is a bad thing, and there are several shows I enjoy. But it is important to realize that it is eating away at your share of time, and that there may be other things you could or should be doing instead to maximize your time.
It’s not just your time after work either. We’re actually talking about all of your time in a day, even those sleeping hours. Should you be going to bed earlier to get more sleep so you can function better during the day? Or are you spending a little too long sleeping in and missing out on time where you could take a walk in the morning and get in shape?
The key to maximizing the use of your time is to know how you are spending it. Once you know this, then you can decide whether there are things eating up your time that you can cut out or if you need to make time for things you are missing out on.
Want to know how to track your time? Here’s an idea to get you going:
1. Get out a good old-fashioned kitchen timer. Or, if you have a Smartphone, you can find a timer app that rings at set intervals.
2. Depending on what time you are tracking, either pull out a notebook specifically for your time tracking or make a spreadsheet. I tend to use a Google docs spreadsheet so I can keep track of time both at the office and at home on the same sheet. Typing is faster for me, although it means I have to be at the computer to record things. If your day involves being in several places, or if you are not near the computer and it would take a lot of time to open it up, you’d be better off with a good old pen and paper.
3. Set your timer for a specific interval, and at the end record what you just did. Depending on what and why you are tracking, you may want to try different intervals. But 10 minutes is a good place to start because it is not so long that you forgot what you did during the whole time, and if you get in the habit of it, it helps you see exactly how you are spending the little bits of time that add up to your day. So start with 10 minutes. If it is too short and you feel like all you are doing is writing down what you just did, try expanding the interval. But you will have to be careful to remember just what happened (like if you get interrupted with a phone call or have to take care of another task really quick or have to make a call yourself – all of these things add up).
4. Try this for a few days or even a couple weeks to see where your precious time is spent. Then come back and let us know what you have found and what you are doing to make changes! Did you find ways that you can be more productive or even ways that you can cut out time on tasks that are keeping you from doing what is more important to you? Leave a comment below to let us know.
Tags: save time