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How to Make Money While You Sleep

make money while you sleepWarren Buffett once said “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”  I don’t know about you, but I plan to enjoy my retirement and not work until I die.  So it’s time to figure out how to make money while I sleep.

Now, I’m sure there are some research studies out there from time to time that are looking for paid research subjects to be monitored while they sleep.  That’s not what we’re talking about here.  (Though that sounds like a good gig – grab it if you can.) No, what we’re focusing on here are some forms of passive income – money coming in without too much added work on your part, or at least not much work after initial setup.

1.  Invest

That’s right, the good old stock market.  It’s the easiest way to earn money while you sleep.  (Well, technically, you would have to invest in international stocks to earn money in the overnight hours, but let’s not get into semantics.)  While the stock market has its ups and downs, in general, it’s been going up, and if you pick the right stocks, you can make good money investing.  Just ask Warren Buffett.

But how do you pick the right stocks?  Research!  Historical data about a company can tell you a lot.  You can also choose to buy stock in companies you love and respect and who you think are doing good business.

It doesn’t take a lot to get started investing.  There are plenty of online brokers who offer low cost trades.  I’m not going to recommend any in particular.  Just take a look around and see what brokers offer the services that you need at the price you want.

2. Save

That’s right.  Save your money.  Put it into an account that earns interest.  Sure, interest rates aren’t particularly high right now, but every penny counts.  Consider putting your money into a CD.  A CD (Certificate of Deposit) is a way to get a slightly higher interest rate by agreeing to keep your money in the CD for a set amount of time – anywhere from 3 months to 60 months (and some places may offer longer CDs).  Given that interest rates have been rising, I can’t say that I would recommend a 5 year CD, but 12 months might be reasonable.  (And you can always get your money out early – you just pay a penalty of some of the interest already earned.)

3.  Rent a Room

Do you have an extra bedroom in your house?  Are you open to the idea of roommates?  Consider renting out a room in your home. I live in the DC area, and with the summer coming, there are lots of interns coming to the city looking for inexpensive housing, and the idea of having a limited-time roommate is appealing.

You can also look into Airbnb, depending on where you live.

Maybe you don’t have a room to rent, but you have storage space in your home.  Know someone who is willing to pay to have some of their stuff stored?  Definitely easy money!

How about parking?  In some cities, people pay extra for parking spaces. Maybe you have parking you’re not using in your driveway.

Think about the space you have and what you might be able to monetize.  It’s next to no work and easy way to make money while you sleep.

4. License Your Creativity

Do you like taking photographs?  Consider putting your photos up for use on a stock photography website.  People who want to use your photos will pay a licensing fee.  Sure, some of that will go to the website itself, but some will end up in your pocket.  This does require some work up front to get your photos loaded, but why let those photos languish on your hard drive when they could be out making you some money while you sleep!

Maybe you’re an artist of another sort.  Consider making digital downloads of your work available online.

Perhaps you’ve made yourself a fabulous printable planner or home organizing binder. Those things are big sellers on sites like Etsy.  Consider what you’ve already done and think about how you could use it to make money.

5. Start a blog!

Okay, so this one will require a bit of work before you start to earn money in your sleep.  But if you have something to say, why not write it down and share it with the world?  You obviously like to read blogs, as you’re reading this.  So why not create one of your own?  By placing ads on your site and creating content that people want to read, your articles can continue to make you money long after you’ve shut down your computer and gone to bed.

Making money while you sleep is an easy and appealing way to increase your bottom line.  It’s just about figuring out the methods that will work best for you.  How do you plan to make money while you sleep?

 

 

60 Day Money Challenge

60 day money challengeThere are a lot of savings challenges out there, and I have written about a number of them.  But a lot of these are fairly long term challenges.  Let’s look at a short term money challenge, a 60 day money challenge

No, I’m not telling you to put away a dollar a day for 60 days.  That would require a lot of extra cash, and if you have that kind of money, you probably don’t need a short term challenge.  Instead, I’m going to talk about some ways to go extremely frugal for 60 days and save money.

1. Stop Eating Out

You may not think you eat out very often, but can you actually say that every single thing you’ve eaten over the past two months has been something you made at home?  No coffee, no lunch out, no quick snack grabbed from a convenience store?  I certainly can’t say that.  Maybe you go out to lunch once a week.  60 days is just over 8 weeks, so that’s 8 lunches out.  Let’s say you’re spending $10 a lunch.  That’s $80 you could easily keep in your pocket!  My office has a coffee room where coffee is 50 cents a cup.  Pretty cheap.  But if you skip that cup of coffee and bring some from home, you’re saving over $20 in that 60 days.  Yes, you have to buy coffee to make at home, but I’m betting you already have some in the cabinet.

2. Clean Out the Pantry and Freezer

I like a good sale.  So I stock up on food items that I regularly use, things that won’t go bad quickly.  But I’m not always good about using them at any rapid pace.  So for 60 days, I can try to eat from my pantry and freezer as much as possible.  I’ll still have to hit the grocery store for perishables, but I can probably save quite a bit of money by eating from what I already have.  And let’s be honest, I’ve probably stocked up a bit too much on certain items, so getting them cleaned out of the pantry is a good task.  

3. Drive Less

I love my car.  In fact, I’m writing this from the service station while I get my oil changed and tires rotated.  But every time I drive my car, I’m using gas, and even though I get some pretty sweet mileage, it’s still an expense.  While I’m not suggesting that you stop driving your car for an entire month, see how you can cut back on your drives.  Try to group trips together.  Consider carpooling.  Maybe you can walk or ride your bike on some of your errands.  I live close enough to work that I could technically bike, and yet I have yet to do it.  While I’m probably not going to try it within the next 60 days of writing this (mainly because I would prefer to be bike commuting in daylight, so I need to wait til the days are longer), it’s certainly something I should consider.  

4. Adjust your thermostat

I have a programmable thermostat that keeps my house at reasonable temperatures.  This winter, I decided to see if I could be comfortable by dropping the temperature just one degree while I was home.  Not surprisingly, I barely noticed the difference.  I’m planning to do the same in the summer, just in the opposite direction.  Can I be comfortable in my house with things just slightly warmer?  So to save a bit of money in the short term, drop your thermostat a few degrees.  

5. Cancel Monthly Subscriptions

Right now, subscription boxes are all the rage.  It’s amazing what you can subscribe to – beauty products, books, clothing, craft supplies, home decor, the list goes on and on.  Some of these boxes are on the more expensive side, others might just be $10 a month.  And I think those cheaper boxes are where you can find the most savings in your budget.  After all, when you subscribe, you think “Oh, it’s only $10.  It’s totally worth it.”  And it definitely might be.  But when you’re trying to save, putting a hold on those subscriptions is a way to keep money in your bank account.  Maybe you also have a Netflix account that you could cancel for the next two months.  You might just find you don’t need it after all.  
At the end of the 60 days, you should have saved quite a bit of money, but more importantly, you may have discovered that some expenses you thought were necessary weren’t so needed after all.  You might realize that you like biking to work, that you don’t need all those subscription boxes, and that you really don’t mind the change in the thermostat.  You might decide that instead of eating out for lunch every week, you’re going to treat yourself every other week.  It’s the little things that add up.  

How Do I Buy LuLaRoe?

How do I buy LuLaRoeSo all you’ve been hearing from your friends lately is how amazing the LuLaRoe leggings are. They’re even called “butter leggings” because they’re so incredibly soft. You decide “I had better get some of these leggings! But how in the world do I buy LuLaRoe?”
You can’t just go online and order from the LuLaRoe website. LuLaRoe works only through distributors, women (and sometimes men) who buy the items from LuLaRoe and then re-sell them to customers

These people are called stylists.

“Great, does that mean I somehow have to find a LuLaRoe seller who lives near me? Come on, how do I buy LuLaRoe?”
You don’t necessarily need to find someone who lives near you, but that is an option. Let’s start with the in home sales. LuLaRoe stylists will book parties with hostesses, who invite their friends to come, try on the clothing, and buy their favorites. So ask your friends who are raving about their butter leggings. Did they buy from a local stylist? If so, get in touch with her and find out when her next show is and if you can come.

But let’s be honest, that’s easier said than done. And it’s a lot of work.

The easier way to buy LuLaRoe is through online parties. Facebook is your friend here.

Just about every LuLaRoe stylist has a Facebook group that you can join. And in that group, she will schedule parties. Now, these parties can get a bit crazy, because what you have to remember is that each stylist has a limited number of items. If two people want the same pair of leggings, only one of them is going to get it. And some of these patterns are COVETED.
But let’s go back to your original question. How do I buy LuLaRoe?

Go onto Facebook. Search in groups for LuLaRoe. Join a shopping group. (I also recommend posting on Facebook “Hey Friends! Who is in a LLR group? Add me!” It’s a great way to find good groups that your friends like.)

In the group, you should find the date of the stylist’s next online show. You should also find the stylist’s particular rules regarding how the shows work, but I’ll discuss how the shows work in general.

Let’s say that a show is scheduled to run from 8pm on Thursday until 8pm on Friday. That means that at 8pm on Thursday, the stylist will upload photos of all the items she has to sell. And if you’re a serious buyer, you probably want to be online right when the show starts. To find the photos, click on “Photos” at the top of the group and then click “Albums.” From there, you can select the items you want to look at.

When you see a piece of clothing that you absolutely HAVE to have, type SOLD in the comments. Now, here’s where reading the stylist’s rules comes in. Some stylists require you to also include your email address. Others have other particular things they need you to do. Sometimes, if you want a particular piece and someone else has already typed SOLD, you can type SOLD NEXT, so if that person changes their mind or doesn’t pay, you get the next grab at it.

Once you’ve finished your shopping, some stylists will have you fill out a form, indicating what all you’ve claimed. Again, READ THE RULES for the show.
In the next day or so, the stylist will send you an invoice from the LuLaRoe system (known as Audrey), where you can enter your payment information. Note – if the stylist doesn’t use the LLR system and asks you to just PayPal them, I would be wary. For now, stick to the official LLR system for purchases.

Once you’ve paid, the stylist will ship off your package and your leggings will be on your doorstep in no time!

You can join multiple Facebook groups to shop, and you can also sometimes find multi-consultant shopping events, where a bunch of different stylists will post their wares together. Once you’ve figured it out, it’s pretty easy to search and buy. And be ready – LLR has some special seasonal stuff that comes out, and the consultants don’t always get very much. So be on the lookout for Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween, and Christmas leggings!

And that’s is how you buy LuLaRoe.

For more on this, check out my articles on LuLaRoe start up costs and making money with LuLaRoe.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of saving money?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of saving money?Money. It’s what makes the world go ’round, right?  And those of us in the personal finance world talk a lot about ways to save money, ways to make more money, and how to make that money go farther.  But what are the real advantages and disadvantages of saving money?

Disadvantages of Saving Money

Let’s start with the disadvantages.

First off, saving money means you aren’t spending it.  And it is possible to be too frugal.  Are you doing things like skipping dentist appointments not because you can’t afford them but because you want to save money?  That is too frugal.  Sure, you save now, but if you end up needing a root canal, that’s going to cost you much more.  Preventative care is worth it.

If you focus too much on saving money, you might make poor decisions when it comes to expenses.  You might save money by hiring the cheapest contractor to build your fence, then get stuck with a fence that falls down the following year during a storm.  Sure, you saved money up front, but was it worth it?

You can also miss out on experiences because you’re saving money.  Friends all going to a concert you want to go to, but you decide you need to save money?  That can be a definite bummer.  And if you’re always saving, you’re probably never traveling, and I think everyone should take the opportunity to travel, either within your own country or internationally.  Even if it’s just a weekend at a Bed and Breakfast a town over.  Take the time to take a break.  Being stuck saving home is one of the disadvantages of saving money.

You definitely don’t want to find in your 90’s that you’re that weird old guy who never leaves his house, who looks like he has no money, who never travels, who never buys anything nice and lives like a pauper, but when he dies, it turns out he’s got millions in the bank.  There’s got to be some sort of balance.

In general, I think that everyone should have a bit of fun money in their budget.  Even if you’re trying to make a savings goal, you need to have a little bit of money you can spend on something you want, be it movie tickets or some downloadable music or a night out on the town.

Advantages of Saving Money

Of course, for every disadvantage of saving money, there’s an advantage out there.

The big advantage to saving money is that you’re prepared when you need to spend it.  Let’s say that after your cheap fence falls down, you decide to spend the money to have it repaired properly.  Definite win.

By putting money away, even small amounts at a time, you might be able to someday make a big purchase without having to finance it.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to buy a car with cash and not have to pay a car loan?  Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to buy a house with cash and not have to pay a mortgage?  (Okay, so this one is less likely, but depending on where you live, it’s certainly possible.)

If you are saving your money in a bank account or in CDs, you will also be making money by saving money.  All of that interest adds up.  And you can invest some of that money and help it continue to grow.

To me, the key is to balance the advantages and disadvantages of saving money.  Save, but not too much.  Don’t let that dream of early retirement mean that you’re living in a falling down shack.  Find the balance between your savings goals and your spending needs and wants.

26 Week Savings Plan

26 weekWith the new year, there’s a lot of talk about savings plans, and one popular year long plan is to save a dollar the first week, two dollars the second week and so on.  That’s great, but all too frequently, people give up by the end because they have to save $45 this week and $46 the next and not everyone has that kind of extra money in their budget.  I know I would definitely struggle with that kind of plan.

But don’t despair, my friends.  There is a plan for you.  Try the 26 Week Savings Plan!  The plan starts the same way, but ends at week 26.  You will still manage to save $351 using this plan.  That’s no chump change.

This plan works exceptionally well if you get paid bi-weekly.  Instead of saving the required amount every week, save the required amount every paycheck.  Pulling $1 or $2 or $3 from your paycheck is pretty easy, and because you’re only increasing the amount by $1 every week, by the time you get to week $26, it might not be so hard.

If you’re the sort of person who struggles to put money into your savings account every paycheck, this might be a good way to ease into it.  You start with just a dollar, which is pretty easy.  By week 26, you might find that you can very easily put an extra $26 every week into a savings account.  Or maybe $26 is too much and you find that your budget is just a little too tight with that missing $26.  Think back to when it was less painful.  Maybe $20 is the magic amount for you.  Maybe it’s just $5 or $10.  Every little bit counts.

This is also a great plan to use as you’re counting down to big events where you might like to have a bit of extra spending money.  Maybe you like to start your Christmas shopping on Black Friday.  So start your savings plan so that you have $351 to spend on Black Friday!  Maybe you’re saving up for a big vacation or a new phone or a new piece of furniture for your house.  Turn it into a game and challenge yourself to save every week.  You might be surprised to find that you were spending money on things you don’t really miss once they’re gone.

You can also get your kids involved in saving this way.  Okay, so maybe they don’t have $26 to save.  (And if they do, can you pay my allowance too?)  But reduce the amount.  Maybe they increment ten cents at a time and end up with a little over $35 by the end.  To a kid, that’s a magical number!

To help you out in your quest, I’ve made you a printable chart.  Print it out and put a big ole checkmark next to each amount that you save.  Hang it somewhere where you will see it.  Maybe that’s on your fridge or near your desk.  Maybe you want to keep it in your wallet to remind you to save and not spend.  I don’t know what it is, but being able to physically check off your goals always seems to make them easier to accomplish.

Download my printable chart