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Tips and tricks to DIY a green lawn

8 Tips How to Grow a Green Lawn, DIY and save money!

My first home came with 2,600sq/ft about 1 acre of land, and all the crabgrass in New Jersey.  Tight on budget from my new home, I had to teach myself how to grow a green lawn and I think the results speak for themselves.

Here are the steps I took to remove all the crabgrass and get the nicest lawn on the block without breaking the bank paying someone else to do it for me.

 

  1. Buy a Sprayer
    I started by purchasing a 4 gallon backpack sprayer.  If you have a smaller yard you could probably get away with a 1 gallon, but my front lawn is about 1/3 an acre.  Here’s a sprayer similar to what I purchased on Amazon.  AMAZON SPRAYER
  2. Kill all the Crabgrass
    My yard was 90% crabgrass so the whole yard ended up pretty much dead.  I used Lawn Weed & Crabgrass Killer by BioAdvanced.  It worked extremely well and didn’t break the bank at only $12.
  3. Rent/Buy a Dethatcher
    This is an especially important part.  You need to pull up all that dead crabgrass or the grass won’t be able to take root or wont get enough sunlight as the dead crabgrass will block them.  You can rent one of these machines or if your yard is small enough the little electric ones on Amazon seem to get great reviews and only around $125, probably a good investment.  Check the electric Dethatcher HERE.
  4. Clean up all the Thatched Crabgrass
    Once you thatch, you’ll have bundles of uprooted dead crabgrass.  You can rake these up, run over them with a riding mower with a bagger (what I did), suck them up with a yard vacuum or use a yard sweeper.  Make sure all the thatch is nice and dry making it easier to collect.  If you’re mowing or raking it up I strongly suggest a face mask from all the dirt and dust that’ll kick up.   A yard sweeper is a great option, and only cost $100 off Amazon.  This is a great machine to have when the leaves start falling as well.  You can find a Yard Sweeper Here.

    Cleaning up thatched lawn with mower
  5. Put down Seed
    I am all about saving a buck, but when planting an all new fresh lawn I suggest spending the extra money on a quality grass seed.  Here in the North East it’s hard to beat a Turf Type Tall Fescue and one of the best is Titan RX.
    It has advantages over your standard grass seed.  Better growth rate, less weed seeds in the bag, deep green.  Once you’ve established a strong lawn you can overseed with less expensive options if you like, but getting a quality seed down at the start will be your best option.
  6. Starter Fertilizer
    Putting down fertilizer with your new seed is never a bad idea.  Honestly, I just use a very basic 10 10 10 fertilizer and have never really had an issue.  You can get this at your local Walmart, Home Depot or Tractor supply for ridiculously cheap.  What you will need for both he seed and fertilizer is a quality spreader.  You can find one HERE on Amazon for less then $40.

    growing a green lawn and killing crabgrass
    Grass growing after 3 weeks
  7. Water
    New grass seed needs A LOT of water.  Some even recommend watering twice a day.  The seeds need to stay wet to germinate.  These watering sessions can be short as you don’t need to penetrate deep into the soil.  This is another benefit to the Titan RX grass seed as it hold water better than most other seeds.
  8. Wait
    New lawns take a while to grow.  I’d give it 2 weeks before you really start to notice anything and 3-4 weeks before it actually starts to look like a lawn again.  There’s not much you can do other than make sure people stay off the growing grass and water, water and water some more.

    Lawn a year later, green and beautiful

Maintain your new lawn

Maintaining a healthy green lawn really isn’t all that hard.  You just need to make sure you keep track.  I feel like a lot of suggestions online come from fertilizer companies.  Of course those companies are going to recommend using their products 10 times a year, that’s called sales.  I recommend just 3-4 treatments a year. One, in the spring putting down crabgrass pre emergent.  Another just before the heat of summer makes the lawn want to go dormmate.  For this time of year I suggest Milorganite as it wont burn the lawn and will help it stay healthy through the heat of summer.  And finally, fertilize in the fall with overseeding.

If your lawn was hit in the summer and you have weeds popping through you can always go with a weed and feed.  Otherwise the basic 10 10 10 has always worked fine for me.

If you do put down a weed and feed don’t overseed for at least 5 weeks or the seeds risk not germinating.

If you don't follow these steps you'll be back on Google searching for "How to grow a green lawn" all over again!

 

Cost Breakdown

Having a professional come out, rip up your lawn, plant new seed and treat it could cost thousands.  The first quote I received was $300 per session with 6 sessions needed!  So what will it cost to DIY your lawn?

For the initial rip up and planting I’d estimate about $350 between the tools, seed and fertilizer needed.

To continue to maintain the yard might be another $90.  Again, this will totally depend on the size of your yard.  But as a home owner few things are more rewarding than having the nicest lawn on the block!

Good luck!

 

 

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First month of blogging tips

12 Tips To Stay Positive in the First Month of Blogging

The first month of blogging kinda sucks, I’m not going to lie.  There is a ton of work with pretty much zero reward in your first month of blogging unless you call $0.51 from AdSense a reward.

Here’s a few tips I’ve learned firsthand to get you through that first month, and hopefully into months 3-6 when you finally get out of the Google Sandbox hell.

 

  1. Don’t focus too much on your site’s aesthetics

    Everyone wants a great looking website, but what good is a beautiful website if nobody ever sees it?  A rookie mistake is spending most of your time on the website looks when you should just be writing A LOT.  Build content and try to get some backlinks.  Then you can make some tweaks to the appearance along the way.

  2. Consider keeping a blogging journal

    This has worked very well to keep me motivated.  At times if feels like you’re just spinning tires and wasting time.  But if you keep a little journal or log of your progress it can help keep you going.  Write down what you’ve accomplished, and set some goals for yourself.

  3. Stop trying to be perfect

    Not every post needs to be life changing.  You are just trying to build content at this point, the more the better.  If you have an idea run with it, plug in a keyword and build your post.  You’ll want to be able to add some type of value to your niche, but don’t die with a post.  Make your points, proof read it, then move on to the next one.

  4. Don’t expect much in the first month

    We’ve all seen the “How I made $3,500 my first month blogging!”… I’m telling you that’s like hitting the lottery.  Don’t be discouraged when you don’t make money month one if that’s your goal.  Celebrate small victories like your 25th post, your first organic traffic, your first AdSense click.

  5. Get on Social Media out the gate

    Pick maybe 2 social platforms that work best for your niche and hammer them hard.  For this blog I’ve decided to focus on Twitter and Instagram.  If your blog is more visual, like how to build gift baskets you’d likely do better on Pinterest.  These are easy to get on, hash tag and build followers.

  6. Write down blog ideas

    Your first 2-3 weeks you’ll prob have tons of ideas for blog posts and you’ll be able to blog every day.  Eventually those ideas will run out and you’ll need fresh topics.  I like to keep a running list on my phone.  Whenever an idea for a topic pops in my head I write it down.  Writers block is very real.

  7. Join HARO (Help A Reporter Out)

    HARO is typically used for generating back links.  Reporters looking for people they can quote in their stories and build top quality back links if you are selected.  Even if you are never selected HARO is still worth joining as it helps get the creative juices flowing.  HARO sends emails 3 times a day of dozens of reporters looking for content.  This is a fantastic way to come up with great topics to blog about that might fit your niche.

  8. Practice good SEO

    Content is nothing if you’re not focusing on SEO.  I use WordPress and have downloaded Yoast for my SEO and find it extremely easy to use.  You’ll need to do Keyword research as well as random keyword phrases are of no benefit.  Semrush is a little pricey when starting out, so a good trick is simply going to Google and start typing a keyword phrase, if it pre-populates see how many pages come up in the search.  The lower the search results, typically the lower the competition, so go for it.

  9. Make sure you’re using a top-quality host

    I’ve used a few different hosts in the past.  HostGator has amazing customer but my sites always seemed to run too slow with them.  I switched over to Siteground and haven’t looked back.  The site is very fast, I can host multiple sites off 1 package for cheap, and their backend interface is super user friendly.

    CLICK HERE TO CHECKOUT WHAT SITEGROUND HAS TO OFFER!

  10. Join some affiliates

    If your goal is to monetize your website you should really have some affiliate connections early on.  Traffic alone isn’t going to be significant enough to drive any real earnings, probably not for the first year.  So you need affiliates to try to convert the traffic you do get into sales and $.  The reality is you wont be approved for much in your first month of blogging.  You can try CJ.com but expect a lot of rejection with a new site.  Still, you can usually become an Amazon Associate, or an affiliate for a hosting platform like I have above.  Your affiliates should be a win-win-win, generating you income, helping your reader, and giving your affiliate a sale.

  11. Don’t compare yourself to other blogs

    There are over 2 billion articles on Google about how to make money blogging.  Don’t fall into this trap and doubt yourself.  Just because someone says they made $500 in their first month of blogging it doesn’t mean anything.  They could have 3 other blogs they’ve been working on for 10 years and linked to their new blog to generate those sales and traffic.  Don’t allow this to be a demotivator, if anything use it as motivation to keep going!

  12. Never forget why you’re blogging

    You started your blog for a reason, never forget that reason.  Perhaps you dream of quitting your job.  Maybe you want the freedom to travel and blog anywhere.  You could have a strong passion for the topic and don’t care about money.  Maybe you’re trying to change the world.  Whatever your reason never forget it.

Blogging takes time to see results, there is simply no way around this.  Do a search for “Google Sandbox” and you’ll see that getting traffic in your first 3-6 months is borderline impossible.

You need to have a long-term outlook and just stick with it.  If the goal is to monetize your blog just imagine how different your life would be if you eventually got to the point where just 1 blog post a week was generating $500 a month, or maybe $1,000, or $2,500…

Every successful blog started at zero.  Keep going, even the stupidest niches generate thousands every month, so long as you believe in your topics, keep posting, do SEO and don’t stop you’ll get there!

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Tips to get started investing in real estate

15 Tips to Get Started Investing in Real Estate

Two years ago my wife and I purchased our first investment property, and it’s been the best financial decision of our lives!  With just $18,000 down we now have a property that brings in an extra $700 every month!

There are many advantages to owning real estate as a long-term investment vehicle.  For one, it can provide additional cash flow every month which could lead to an early retirement much faster and easier than traditional investments.  Your tenants will pay down your mortgage, you’ll get TONS of tax advantages, and real estate almost always appreciates in value making it a great hedge against inflation.

Our rental property costs us about $1,000 every month here in NJ where property taxes are very high, but it rents for $1,700 to wonderful military tenants.  Our rental is also right next to a little stream, so we have flood insurance of $700 a year, but that stream makes the property that much more desirable.

If you’re just starting out and wondering were to begin here are some tips I wish I could've told my younger self.  Just follow these tips to get started investing in real estate.

 

  1. Do Your Research
    There are a ton of wonderful websites out there to learn about real estate investing.  I highly recommend Biggerpockets.com, a wonderful online investment community focused on real estate.  It’s important to learn as much as you can because investing in real estate is not as simple as buying a home off Zillow and renting it every month.
  2. Don't Suffer From Analysis Paralysis
    If there’s anything I’m guilty of it’s analysis paralysis. I researched long term real estate investing for probably 2 years before we finally pulled the trigger.  You will get to the point where you know everything you need to get started.  I would keep reviewing the same things over and over and over.  I ran hypothetical numbers hundreds of times.  In the end I suppose it all worked out, but at some point you need to get off the internet and start making things happen.
  3. The 1% Rule (buy right and never lose) 
    The 1% rule is very simple, but a great way to judge an opportunity at a glance. Essentially it just says that you need to get 1% of the purchase price in rent each month in order to make the purchase worth considering.  Now this will depend on your location, as property tax will play a huge roll in this.  For example here in NJ you should really shoot for 1.15%.  So if you're looking at a $150,000 house you should be able to get $1,500 a month in rent, or $1,725 here in NJ.
  4. Know Your True Expenses (Cap ex, property manager, vacancies, damages)
    This comes with doing your research, but there’s more costs to owning an investment property then just the mortgage, taxes and insurance.  You’ll have to put money aside for vacancies, damages, property management and capital expenditures.  This will vary depending on your location, the property, and your skill level.  For example, we self manage the property so we don’t need to worry about 10% for a property manager.  We have military tenants who are very respectful so damages are minimal and vacancies are typically short.  And for capital expenditures the property has newer HVAC, roof, oven and Dryer, so we’re limited on what major items will need to be replaced.  These are all things you’ll need to consider depending on the property and your skill level.
  5. Reach Out To The Township and Ask Questions
    There are plenty of things I didn’t know when I started, but I learned along the way. If you call the township housing division and let them know you plan on buying a rental property and just want to know what forms or inspections you need to do they’ll let you know.  We needed a fire inspection, a landlord form, a sale inspection, and HVAC inspection.  It sounds like a lot but it really wasn’t bad and we just took care of everything along the way.
  6. Let Everyone Know You’re In The Market (look for off market deals)
    Our first property ended up being an off market purchase from a friend of the family. I let everyone know I wanted to buy an investment property.  This person caught word and let me know they were getting ready to retire and move out of state.  The home was in great shape but just needed some little updates.  Because it’s off market the seller saves on realtor fees and doesn’t need to worry about trying to sell.  The home appraised for $140,000 but because we were willing to work around the sellers schedule, buy as-is and save them on real estate agent fees we got it for $97,500.
  7. Avoid a Fixer Upper at First
    Fixer uppers are high risk high reward. They can open a whole new can of worms that you might not be ready for.  They can be very tempting but until you really learn the ropes it’s best to avoid them at first or it might end up being your first and last real estate investment.
  8. Know How To Turn a Wrench
    Real estate investing is not for everyone. For those of us that know how to turn a wrench and do a little DIY work it’s almost a no brainier.  In 2 years I’ve had to replace 1 toilet flapper, unclog 1 drain, and clean 1 dryer vent.  Before we rented the place out I also refinished the hardwood floors on the top floor, painted everything, fixed a whole in the wall, and power washed the patio.  This was a little sweat equity that could have cost a pretty penny if I had to hire someone.
  9. Treat it Like a Business and Build a Team 
    Find a plumber, and electrician, a handy man, a mortgage broker, an accountant. Save this info, have these people on file and treat them almost like employees.  You need a go to team you can trust.
  10. A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned
    We removed carpet on the third floor and refinished the hardwood, this left a noticeable gap between the trim and the floor. Instead of going to the hardware store for all new trim we went to a local habit for humanity and were lucky enough to score trim for pennies on the dollar.  Every penny you save is a penny you earn.  Look for auctions in the area, jump on sales, use coupons.  Fun Fact, you can buy coupons for Lowes Home Improvement off email and get them delivered via email in seconds.  You spend $2 for the coupon but could save $100 on your purchase!
  11. Don’t Fall In Love With the Property
    This is tricky, you want to love the property but not be IN LOVE with the property.  You need to remember it’s an investment. If you’re going to put money into it you need to be getting money out of it.  Don’t do something because you love the home and think it’ll be nice.  If it’s not going to add value you shouldn’t do it.
  12. Put As Little Down As Possible (Maximize your ROI)
    The trick with long term real estate investing is leverage. The less you can put down the greater your return on investment to your initial down payment.  Most lenders are going to want 20-25% down but you can find some that’ll give you 15% with a slightly higher rate (don’t worry you’re going to get rid of that higher rate anyway).
  13. Buy a Place With Equity, Refinance and Repeat
    There is a strategy called BRRRR which stands for Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refi, Repeat. You should look for a place that isn’t a fixer upper, but maybe needs some little touch-ups.  You want to get it for less then market value, and low enough that when you fix it up a little you’ve added enough value that you can hopefully do a cash out refi that will eliminate PMI if you put down less then 20%.  This will also give you back your down payment to roll into the next property, and let you get the lowest interest rate possible.
  14. Get a Good Accountant
    My real estate accountant cost me $1,000 this year, but he saved me probably $3,500 worth of taxes. Did you know that your investment property can be depreciated over 27 years, but everything inside of it can be depreciated in the first 5 years (oven, fridge, sink, toilets, etc.) yea neither did I… hence the good accountant.
  15. GO FOR IT!
    I often read online the hardest part is just getting the courage to go for it.  You’d be amazed how true this is.  If you’ve done your research, looked at all the numbers and it makes sense, you’ll just need to go for it at some point.  Was I scared?  You bet!  Was it stressful at times?  Not as much as you’d think.  Would I do it again?  I plan on buying 1 every year for the next 10 years and retiring in my mid 40's.  You could too if you follow these tips to get started investing in real estate
  16. Bonus: Military tenants are the BEST!Not everyone lives near a military base, but if you do, consider targeting these renters.  The pros outweigh the cons by a huge margin.  They have good jobs that you don't have to worry about them losing.  They are respectful of the property.  You can get their CO's information and if they don't pay or are being disrespectful, you let the CO know and they'll handle it (never an issue).  They get a housing stipend to pay rent.  And there's always military personal looking for off base housing.  The only real con is that they can get orders and leave with very little notice.  This is hardly an issue as there's likely a new military family ready to take their place in your home ASAP.  Consider partly furnishing your home for the military tenants, it gives you a leg up so they don't have to worry about buying a big couch or dining table

I always recommend starting with a single family home.  They are easy to rent, easiest to get loans for, and easiest to work on.  Get your feet wet, treat it as a business and grow.  Before you know it you could be buying a small 12 unit apartment building, quitting your job, hiring a property manager, retiring and traveling the world living of your real estate investments.

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My Blogging Journey

My Blogging Journey, Blog Journal Starting Month One

Originally, I was planning on doing a “My Blogging Journey” post at months 3, 6 and 12, but decided where is the fun in that?

Instead, I’ll be  sharing as I go along.  Let people know what I’m doing, my ideas, plans, goals, milestones and if I’m lucky maybe people will comment with some tips!

First, I should probably start by letting you know this is not my first blog, I’ve had a few others all of which have failed, or I should say, I abandoned before they could succeed.

So what’s different this time?  Quite a few things, but I’d say the most important difference is with this blog I can really just blog about my opinions.  On all the other blogs I tried to be too matter of fact, to experienced based, an expert in the field, and it just became boring.  I’d make maybe $30 in AdSense and give up after 6 months.  On this blog I can vent, shoot out my opinions, write self-helps, and that will just never get old.

 

August 24th, I purchase my domain.

I wanted a domain name that was catchy, not too niched, something that would allow me to blog about anything.  I am very opinionated and happen to be reading Common Sense and The Federalist Papers when I came up with the name.  While watching the news I said to my self “I’m really fed up with all of this” and so “The Fed Up With This Papers” was born.

For hosting I went with SiteGround and could not be happier.  I’ve tried Bluehost and Hostgator in the past, and though they had strengths I’m much happier with SiteGround, and find my site to be fastest through them.  They also have the most user friendly backend Dashboard panel I’ve ever come across.

Here’s my affiliate link for SiteGround, check them out! 

I’m familiar with WordPress and love SiteOrigin for free templates and site builder.  Very drag and drop user friendly.  By August 29th the overall framework of the website is complete and now it’s just time to start rolling out content and fine tuning.

 

September 1st, 5 post and 5 pages.

There are a lot of behind the scenes things happening that take up HOURS every day, building pages, categories, researching plugins, tweaking the website layout, etc.  I downloaded the Yoast SEO plugin and started optimizing everything.  Added Google analytics to the site.  Started applying for some basic affiliate programs and applied for Google Adsense.

 

September 10th, lots happening in 10 days.

While I continue to fine tune the site I’m also researching about backlinks, utilizing social media, and just different tips and tricks.

I started writing an eBook that I’ll eventually look to sell through my self-help section, about how to make money buying at auctions and selling online (what I used to blog about).

Learned about google’s “sandbox” period where I can expect pretty much zero ranking and traffic in the first 3-6 months.

Submitted my sitemap to Google and added a subscription box to the site with Convertful.

It’s also during this week that I learned about HARO (Help A Reporter Out) which is supposed to be a great way to build backlinks.  It looks a little hit or miss, but I can definitely see the potential there.

 

  • My Blog goals in first 3 months

I’ve structured my blog around 3 main talking points.  Posts, Short Rants, and Self-help.  Posts are content heavy, between 2,000-3,000 words.  Short Rants are usually 400-1,000 words, and Self Help are at a minimum 2,000 words.

I figure with this structure I can stick to 1 “Short Rant” a day, this is just my random opinion piece about anything happening in the world that grinds my gears.  For posts I’m trying to stick to 1 a week minimum, and Self Help I want to do one every other week at a minimum.

My thought here is somewhere in the 3-6 month period when I’m out of the sandbox I’ll have 100+ posts with plenty of content to help me ramp up traffic fast.

 

September 14th, Google Adsense and Analytics

It's been 2 weeks since I applied to Google Adsense and unfortunately still no update on their end.  It says "this could take up to 2 weeks" but I've seen online people waiting for over a month.  I'm not all that worried about it at this stage, but in the next 2 months if still nothing I'm going to get a little worried as I'll really be counting on that to help monetize the site.

Traffic is still pretty much non-existent at this stage, to be expected.

 

September 17th, Adsense approved!

I believe it took about 17 days but my Google Adsense request was approved.  I decided to go with automatic placement of ads for now.  I removed most from the main page and I don't like the ones that take over the whole screen so I removed those as well.  I still have a solid 2 months of being stuck in the sandbox for now, but it's nice to know once traffic starts up I'll have what I need to start making some money on my blog.

 

September 21st, HARO

Today I submitted one of my blog posts to HARO (Help A Reporter Out).  They are looking for someone who has experience in Real Estate investing, and what they would have told their younger self.  I did a blog about my experience with real estate and 15 tips to get started.  The whole process is super easy.  You join, get emails, when something lines up you email the reporter your pitch.  This is a great way to drive traffic, build back links and really just come up with fresh outside the box blogging ideas.  I don't expect anything to come out of my first submission, but you never know.  Now that I have a groove of posting about once a day I really need to build some quality back links or nobody is going to be able to read about my blogging journey.  Well, expect for you, because you're clearly reading this right now.

 

September 23rd, Google Search Console and First Organic Search yay!

I received the following email from Google today "Google systems confirm that on Sep 21, 2020 we started collecting Google Search impressions for your website in Search Console. This means that pages from your website are now appearing in Google search results for some queries."  I'm guessing this means my site has the potential to start showing up in search results, which I guess makes sense since according to Google Analytics, I got my first traffic from an organic search.

So 1 month in after buying my domain, with full on SEO work, submitting sitemaps to Google, writing 20 blog posts, fully optimizing all my photos and working on the site every day... I had 1 visitor!  If you're starting out you may want to start your own "my blogging journey" because the reality is, this is a lot of up front work with no instant gratification.  You have to keep at it, and I find this little ongoing blog post of mine is really helping!

 

October 1st, Every Day Blog Posts are Hard!

I really thought I could post a blog every day.  Turns out that is waaaay harder than I thought.  I suppose if you literally have nothing better to do with your time you can sit around writing blogs, but not this guy.  I'm still trying to post as frequently as possible especially in the first 3 months.  But I'm finding it to be much more difficult than I originally thought.  So my advice from this week is, try to post as often as you can.  If you can't do every single day, don't be hard on yourself.  I missed 2 days of writing and didn't even realize it because I was so busy with life getting in they way.

Ultimately,  I don't want this blog to become a new full time job.  I want it to get to the point where I can do maybe 2 blog posts a week to keep it active.  This is just 1 part of my "Retire early" plan.

 

October 12th, Vacation made me lazy

My family decided to do a last minute vacation at the Jersey Shore, enjoying the final warm days.  It's very difficult to blog in a small beach house with 10 family members making all types of noise, so I decided to just enjoy the time and ignore the blog for a few days.  Though I didn't post anything for almost 2 weeks I did realize someone.  I'm awesome at saving money.  I come from a frugal family and it's something I could easily post about in my self-help section.

Ultimately this blog is going to transition into mostly a self improvement type blog with tips on how to break away from the 9-5 norm, when you're finally "fed up with this".  I figure a frugal/diy section could fit in perfectly!

It's funny how when you take a step back you can sometimes find what you're looking for without even realizing you were looking for it.

 

November 17th, ....I suck at this...

I fell well short of my plan to blog every single day.  I started out strong, but I was also out of work when I started this blog.  I since started a new job, and in the age of Covid, it requires 100% of your attention.  The onboarding process has been awesome, and the training is going surprisingly well considering I haven't met a single co-worker in person, but still, it's a lot.

I'm mad at myself that I wasn't putting out at least one blog post a week.  I'm coming up on 3 months already and I'm hoping traffic will grow at some point, I really need to try to keep this blog more active.  As I settle into my new role at work (commercial finance sales) I'm hoping I can take a couple breaks during the day and pump out blogs.

I've also decided to get away from politics, especially now that the election is over.  My focus needs to be more on being "Fed up" with the day in day out grind.  I'm good at side hustles, and saving money, I'm well on my way to an early retirement without being a trust fund baby or software genius.  Time to start switching my focus to that.

 

December 5th,... This is way harder than I thought

Anyone starting a blog probably imagines that even with the littlest bit of work that the traffic will start rolling in.  News flash.. it doesn't.  Its been a little over 3 months and I next to zero traffic.  So, I'm changing the entire website, focusing on new key words and just moving on.

I've been keeping busy outside of the internet word, but need to stay true to the idea that I'm "fed up with this" and looking for my own personal freedom.

 

December 13th, I'm back baby!  

I spent a nice chunk of the day redoing the format of the blog.  Getting everything laid out how I want it and adding a couple blog posts I had written over the week.  I'm really happy with the new lay out.  I know I shouldn't be too focused on the layout this early on, but the better you feel about your blog the more time you'll put into it.  I probably ended up putting 20 hours into the blog this week without even realizing it, which feels nice.  To my surprise I had a few organic clicks come through this week and have made $0.55 so far woooo!  (sarcasm).  I have 3 more blog posts ready to go that I plan on putting out over the next couple of days.  I think my new strategy is going to be sitting down on an early weekend morning and just start typing.  I find it's much easier to sit down and write 2-3 blog posts in one shot then it is to try and consistently write them every week.  then I'll just stager the posts.

 

December 28th, Analytics improving and Pinterest

I'm approaching 4 full months of my blogging journey, I honestly have no idea how bloggers can put out posts "How I made $60,000 my first year of blogging".  It seems impossible.  With that said, my analytics are starting to turn around.  I'm consistently getting daily visitors now.  The first few months I'd go a week with maybe 3 visitors all directed from my Instagram posts.  Now I am getting a little organic traffic, and it seems someone visits the site every day.

Part of the reason for the improved traffic is jumping on Pinterest.  I've never really understood Pinterest, but if you look at it as a visual search engine it starts to make sense.  I still think I'm not using it 100% correctly, but my pins are getting some clicks.  I've made boards that mirror the topics of my blog and post each pin the the correct board, I think that's pretty much it.  As I fill this site up with more content I'll eventually try promoting my pins on pinterest to see what type of traffic it drives.  I don't want to promote just any post, I want something I'm really proud of, a cornerstone piece with perfectly placed affiliate links.

 

 

 

 

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Early retirement is easier than you think

Early Retirement is Easier Than You Think

I’m going to do my best to not make this another FIRE blog post.  But the reality is, in most cases, early retirement is easier than you think.  You don’t need to come up with 1 giant success to retire early, just come up with 3-4 ways that are each semi-successful that you enjoy.

 

Here are the avenues I’m using to retire within 10 years, in my mid-40s.

  • Long term real estate investing
  • Side hustle through auction buying and online selling with a little drop shipping mixed in
  • Blogging so I have something I can continue to grow
  • Finding a part time gig I genuinely enjoy

 

Just because it’s easier than you think doesn’t mean it won’t involve risk, and a little bit of work.

If you think you can just work your safe 9-5 job putting 15% of your pay away and have enough to retire early, keep dreaming.  Even if you’re 30 years old and want to retire at 50, and you’re making $100k a year.  After 20 years of putting $15,000 away, you’d still have only $900,000.  Hardly enough for an early retirement.

I currently work full time in finance sales, there are worse things you can do for a living and it pays well enough, but the thought of doing it for the next 30 years makes me want to cry… hard… like a hard ugly cry.  So it’s time to make some moves and do what all the other early retirees are doing.

 

Long Term Real Estate Investing

This is going to be my number 1 earner for early retirement.  I’ve only just jumped into the world of real estate but so far so good.  I was able to purchase a nice little single-family home for $100,000 with $20,000 down.  I put another $10,000 into it doing a lot of the work myself.  It costs me about $1,000 all in every month, but rents for $1,700!  Now I put money aside for things like vacancies, damages, capital expenditures, but still its cash flowing a solid $500 a month even after that.

My first rental was a real home run, I don’t expect the next ones to be like that.  I figure if I can buy 1 property a year for the next 10 years and cashflow even $350 a month from each one I’ll still have an income of $4,000 just from my rentals.

One property a year really isn’t hard, there’s risk and you have to be smart, but I promise it’s easier than you think.  The other bonus is real estate income pays almost nothing in taxes, the tenants are paying down your mortgage and the house is appreciating, so your net worth grows every month.

If you’re new to real estate investing, I suggest doing research over at biggerpockets.com that’s where I learned pretty much everything I needed to know and ran into very few surprises when I finally pulled the trigger.

 

Side Hustles

I have a side hustle that I LOVE, I go to auctions, win random stuff and I sell it online.  Because I love it so much, I’m not using it just to come up with a large lump some to live off in retirement, but this is something I can do during my early retirement.

If I’m able to make $1,000 a month now working maybe 10 hours a month on this side hustle, imagine what I could make without a full-time job putting in 10 hours a week.

I’ve also recently started doing a little eBay drop shipping. I just take a listing from Aliexpress, copy and paste all the info into eBay and that’s it.

When an item sells, I place the order on Aliexpress and have it shipped directly to the buyer from eBay.  I just sold a children’s desk for $195 that I get off Aliexpress for $115.  There are some fees, but I should profit about $50.  Took me maybe 5 mins and did not cost a dime up front.  This is another avenue that is also expandable, but as it stands now should be worth an extra $250-$500 a moth with very little effort.

 

Blogging

At this phase in my blog this is the Hail Mary.  I’ve owned blogs before, had some traffic made a little money, but the same thing always happens.  I lose interest.  My last blog was all about my adventures while auctioning.  But it was too mater of fact.  I couldn’t blog about my opinions, or idea’s, it seemed it only made sense to blog about the auctions I’ve been to and the stuff I sold.  It made it too hard to keep up, and I lost interest in the blog.

This blog is only a few weeks old but I have high hopes.  I’m pretty good with SEO, I’m passionate about my blog topics, I’ve broken it down into “Self-help” like this post, “Long posts” that are involved opinion pieces with lots of SEO, and “short rants” that are just me hitting quick little hot topics for extra content.

I’m blogging 3 times a week no problem, with short and long term goals.

I don’t expect that this blog will start making $10k a month in it’s first year.  But I do have a goal of seeing $1,000 a month by year 1, and even if I only reach half of that, I’m cool with it.

Eventually, so long as I stick with it, this blog will be an outlet for my opinions that will also give me some extra spending cash.

If you’re interested in starting your own blog I HIGHLY recommend going with SiteGround.com.  I’ve used Hostgator for hosting but it was soooo slow.  SiteGround has been awesome.  CLICK HERE to get started with Siteground.

Part-time Gig I love

We’ve all sat in our car or on the train fantasizing about how we’d tell off our boss if we hit the lottery.  Or daydreamed about what our perfect job would be if money wasn’t a factor.

When I “retire” I’m not going to travel the world, if I retire at 45 and have nothing to really do I’m going to get bored real quick.  So I’m going to find something to keep me busy, something I love, that doesn’t get in the way of my other activities.

I like to fish, so maybe I’ll work at a trout hatchery part-time or a kayak shop.  Or I could work as security at a state park because I love being outside.  I once heard of a guy who goes out at night shooting muskrat with a bb gun for the township because they block up storm drains.  When money is no longer an issue you can do whatever the hell you want.

If I can get a part-time job that pays even $2,000 a month, that’s $2,000 less I don’t need to make via real estate, or pray that this blog actually takes off.  I’ll enjoy what I do, and will do it part-time so it wont get in the way of my life.

 

Forget the old school way of thinking

It used to just be “You need X in the bank to be able to retire with Y”, that sucks.  Really take a step back and think about it, retirement is easier than you think and doesn’t have to be a large end number.

If you make $10,000 a month, do you really need to replace $10,000?  After taxes what are you really bringing home?  $7,0000?

So how do we replace a take home of $7,000 a month.

Well for one, you’re no longer putting 15% into an IRA so now we only need to get to $5,950.  Do you have student loans or credit card bills you can pay off that are costing you $950 a month?  Now we’re down to $5,000 every month.

So you get a few rental properties cash flowing $3,000 a month maybe that takes 7 years.

You get a little side hustle and make $1,000 a month.

You start a blog and stick with it an earn $750 a month

You get a part time job you love that pays $2,000 a month.

Your taxes a very low thanks to the massive real estate write offs you get, so when the dust settles, you’re now making $6,000 a month.  You have $1,000 more in disposable income then if you just kept following the status quo.

It only took you 7 years to get there.

If you really wanted to, you can take that extra money and continue to buy rental property to increase your income even more.  Your net worth is only growing, and you’ve ensured that you’ll never run out of money.

 

Decide what retiring means to you

Retirement has always been considered not working any more.  To me that’s not retirement.  To me retirement is having the financial freedom to do whatever makes you happy.  Isn’t that really the point of retirement, “no longer working” so you can be happy.

Get a few side hustles, find a way to earn passive income while you sleep, then doing something part-time or even full time that you love.  Allow yourself to take that pay cut to follow your dream.  If your boss ever gives you a hard time you can tell them all the things you’ve already dreamed about saying to past bosses, then just move on to your next part time adventure.

Time to start thinking outside the box and you’ll realize Retirement is easier than you think.

A great way to get there, is by making small positive changes every day, by improving just 1%.  Read more about how you can make small changes and build great habits HERE.

 

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improve by 1 percent everyday

Improve by 1 Percent for Huge Changes in Your Life

The first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one.  The next step is figuring out what the hell to do about it.  The change required to improve can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  Instead, try to just improve by 1 percent everyday. 

We could be talking about trying to drop a few pounds, or finally start saving for retirement.  You don’t need to make a major change that impacts 10% of your life, instead, you can make 10 small changes that each impact 1% of your life that you’ll never even really notice.

There is a fantastic book called Atomic Habits that talks about making small changes, for massive results.  It gives great examples and really lets a lightbulb go off to realize positive change does not need to be difficult.

 

How do small changes lead to huge results?

Everyone wishes they could be in better shape so let’s start there.  Now you could join a gym and go 4 days a week every week, but you would have to find the time and really put in the effort.  I am not saying that is in any way a bad idea, but that might take 10% effort.  So instead, let’s see if we can make 10 small 1% changes.

  1. You could park in the back of parking lots, forcing you to walk a little more.
  2. You could skip elevators and escalators if you are only going up 4 stories or less, use the stairs.
  3. Make lunch your “healthy” meal of the day.
  4. Do not eat anything after 8pm.
  5. Always leave 1 or 2 bites on your plate.
  6. Get a FitBit to help keep you motivated.
  7. Eliminate soda and sugary drinks from your diet.
  8. Get a stimulant free fat burner like Nobi Nutrition Night Time Fat Burner.
  9. Use an under desk pedal exerciser like the Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser.
  10. Make a point to get up from your desk 2-3 times a day and just walk around your house, the office, yard for a bit.

Once you do these small changes and start seeing results you can step it up with a gym membership or a strict diet, but you could build those little habits into your day to day routine and really never notice a change.

 

How to save for retirement with 1%

The best part about this concept is it can be applied to just about everything in your life.  So lets try with money, which is probably the next thing people would like to see change the most in their lives.

  1. You could download the Acorns app which automatically invests your spare change when using a debit card. Click this link to sign up and get $5!
  2. Shop through Rakuten, were you get money back when you make purchases you would have made anyway, from the stores you always buy from.
  3. You could open a 0% interest credit card and do a balance transfer to eliminate any credit card debt you may have.
  4. Consolidate and refinance your student loans, SoFi is one of the more popular options.
  5. Eliminate cable and get a FireStick and Disney Plus
  6. 867-5309… did you know if you go to a store with a “buyer’s club” you can just use your local area code and 8675309 from the hit 80’s song “Jenny”.  99% of the time it’ll work.
  7. Boost your credit score with Experian BOOST.
  8. Shop for insurance, car, home, renters.  If you haven’t changed your car insurance in 5 years you’re absolutely over paying for your car which is now 5 years older and worth less money then it was 5 years ago when you opened the new insurance.
  9. Ask for a raise, here’s a helpful book that can teach you how to negotiate
  10. Download the Robinhood app so you can easily invest all the money you’ve saved, use this ROBINHOOD LINK to sign up and get a free stock!

Lets just put together a ballpark figure of what the above might save you and what it might mean for your retirement.

  1. $1 a day contributed
  2. $30 a month is cash back
  3. $40 in interest savings
  4. $50 a month in interest savings
  5. $125 a month savings
  6. $10 a month savings
  7. Depends if you’re making a large purchase where you’d need a loan so we’ll skip this
  8. $40 a month savings
  9. $150 a month increase which is basically the same as a savings
  10. $0 just a vehicle to invest

So in total, you’ve saved/made $475 a MONTH!  Now, take that $475 a month and invest it.  An aggressive investment strategy could earn you 12% a year, but just for argument sake, let’s say you average a 9% return every year on your investment of $475 a month for the next 35 years.

After 35 years, investing the $475 a month that you basically will not even notice, and earning just a 9% return, you would have a total of just over $1,450,000.  No, that is not a mistake.  $1,450,000!!!  From money that you did not even notice was leaving your bank account.

Now here is the really amazing thing, if you make wise investments and early a 12% return (which is absolutely doable, considering TSLA is up almost 1,000% in just 5 years) your total profit would be over $3 MILLION DOLLARS!!!

This is why I get so frustrated when people say they “can’t save for retirement”.. Did you even call a competitive insurance company to see if you could lower your home, car, or renter’s insurance?  Did you take out a 0% interest credit card to get rid of your high interest credit card debt?  Did you ditch cable for better alternatives???  Even if all you could save was $200 a month for 35 years at a 11% return that is still over $1 million!  Enough with the excuses.  It’s time to change your future with little microscopic 1% moves.

 

What’s stopping you?

Try it for yourself, figure out where you would like to improve.  Perhaps it’s in your relationship, or maybe your work performance.  Figure out where you want to be better and improve by 1 percent each and after 10 days you’ll be 10% better.

I highly recommend Atomic Habits, build better habits with small changes and be a better person effortlessly!

 

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Covid-19 unemployment payment amount is too high

Covid-19 Unemployment Payment Amount Equals $168,000 a year

The Covid-19 unemployment payment amount was absolute insanity.  A couple living in New Jersey with no children making under $150,000 annually would have received a one-time payment of $2,400 and a combined $11,600 per month.  They would each receive $713 from the state of NJ and an additional $600 each in federal unemployment.  This would be a total payout of $14,000 in the first month.  This is 7 times the poverty rate in New Jersey, SEVEN TIMES!  How can two, out of work adults, bring home 7 times the poverty level while not working?

At $14,000 a month that is the equivalent to $168,000 a year… all from UNEMPLOYMENT.  This is why the freeze on evictions is so infuriating.

Unemployment is supposed to be difficult.  You are supposed to make sacrifices and be scared.  It motivates you to get back up on your feet and find work.  You are not supposed to go shopping, eat out, order needless things on amazon, or make more money than when you are working.

My position was eliminated at my w2 job thanks to Covid-19.  I have other forms of income, from blogging, real estate, investing, and auction flipping, but all the profits form these activities go into separate accounts that I don’t really touch.  My W2 account is what I use for all my day in day out bills and expenses.  My Covid-19 unemployment payment amount in New Jersey was so high my bank account actually continued to grow each month.

I received the $713 NJ unemployment along with the $600 Federal and a $1,000 grant for being an S-prop because of my rental property.  Bank accounts should not grow when you are unemployed, quite the opposite.

Still, people demanded free rent, student loans be frozen, and when the $600 a week federal ran out they still demanded more.

We live in a world of such entitlement that even the unemployed believe they should not have to make sacrifices.

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Student loan forgiveness is unfair

Student Loan Forgiveness is Unfair – A Moral Argument Against It

As someone who has been paying student loans for nearly a decade there are few things I’d like more then to have them eradicated on my behalf.  With that said, I understand that these loans would have to be paid with tax dollars, essentially paid by others, and there is simply no reason or justifiable argument for someone else to pay my debts from a moral standpoint.  In short, student loan forgiveness is unfair, not just for the tax payers but for future generations who wont have their loans forgiven and past generations who have already paid them.

 Do not use the word “Fair”…

If we did our absolute best to make student loan forgiveness fair what would that look like?  I find it difficult to continue writing with out asking additional questions as that’s all this promotes, more and more questions.  Simply wiping all debts clean would be astronomically more unfair then simply having those who took out the loans, of their own accord, pay them back.  Why should the decisions and debts of a generation fall on the shoulders of other tax payers who may have already paid back student loans of their own?

 

REFINANCE YOUR STUDENT LOANS THROUGH COMMONBOND AND SAVE, CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

 

Doctors vs ditch diggers

The first issue I see with loan forgiveness is the value of the education itself.  A doctor may walk out of school with $300,000 worth of student loans, but in just a few years, they could be making over $400,000 a year.  This is not a person who is struggling financially, it is part of becoming a doctor.  Those who understand economics understand that the medical school debt is just part of doing business and a small hurdle in the grand scheme of things.

Is it fair to forgive $300,000 of medical school debt for the person making $400,000 a year while a ditch digger gets nothing because they lacked the confidence to even attempt higher education in fear of the debt that may be associated with it?  Or perhaps the ditch digger did go to school to be the best ditch digger they could be, but their student loan debt is a mere $3,000.  Why should the doctor be given $297,000 more in debt forgiveness then the ditch digger?  Perhaps instead of education the ditch digger took on debt to start their own business, learning not from books but from experience.  If we’re willing to pay off the doctors debt shouldn’t we be willing to pay the ditch digger’s business loans in the interest of being fair?

 

Savers vs spenders

Just because someone does not have student loans does not make them or their family, rich.  To the contrary just because someone has student loans does not mean they are not rich and could not have simply paid them off.  This comes down to priorities and choices, savers vs spenders.

For example, a mechanic could be contributing 10% of his pay every year to a 529 plan for his child’s education.  As a result, he is forced to drive a beat-up old car and cannot afford a vacation, he makes the sacrifices knowing his child will get an education.  Now, assume his brother is a hedge fund manager who does not even bother with a 529 plan, he drives a new BMW and goes on lavish vacations.  The mechanic’s child goes to a cheap school to save money, the hedge fund manager’s child goes to a top school as they have never really been taught the meaning of a dollar.  The mechanic’s child has no student loans because of the sacrifices of the father.  The hedge fund manager’s child does have student loans which they could have paid in full 10x over, the hedge fund father just pays them each month for the child.  Suddenly congress approves student loan forgiveness and the hedge fund manager’s child’s debt is wiped clean.  The mechanic gets nothing for his years of sacrifice, his child is worse off because they do not have as “good an education” as their cousin because they were being responsible.

Shouldn’t the mechanic be entitled to those educational costs back?  The hedge fund manager could have easily saved, but simply chose not to.  The result, the rich hedge fund manager is rewarded for being irresponsible, their child has learned nothing and has a great education.  The mechanic was punished, his taxes in part paid for the hedge fund manager’s child’s loan forgiveness.  This is why student loan forgiveness is unfair, in what world does this make sense?

 

Today’s forgiven and tomorrows forgotten

How would you feel if today, congress decided to forgive all student loans, but you were not graduating until next year?  What happens to the graduating classes of 2021, 2022, 2023?  Did they just miss the cutoff?  This creates a paradox and a never ending cycle of “forgiveness”.  You can’t forgive this years graduating class and not next years.  You would then end up with “free college” which nothing is free.  Someone is going to have to pay for the facilities, the utilities, the insurance, the upkeep, teacher salaries, etc.

Simply not charging tuition is not possible, so this would have to be funded by tax payers, I’ll tell you right now there aren’t enough tax payers alive to fund every college education and please don’t think the rich are the answer, the numbers don’t add up.  $1.5 trillion, the number of outstanding student loan debt, is a number you cannot even begin to wrap your head around, but I digress this is supposed to be a moral argument.

 

What have you learned

College is supposed to educate.  If loans are forgiven it teaches a horrible lesson in terms of responsibility.  There was no one forcing a student to go to a particular school.  There is nothing wrong with a community college for 2 years and transferring to a state school.  We must be realistic here, who’s fault is it if you have $100,000 in debt for an art major?  Why should the poor choice of a student fall on anyone but the student?  If you are in a hole you cannot get out of it’s time to stop digging and look for a ladder.  Change your career, work extra, sacrifice, and figure it out.  This is YOUR debt.  The irony here is that college graduates with worthless degrees are demanding that student loans are unfair.  What about paying back a loan that you took out on your own accord is unfair?  Student loan forgiveness is unfair, not paying back YOUR loan.

Instead of marching around holding up signs why don't you use that time to build a blog, get a certification to advance your career, or simply go to an auction to flip some items for large profits and actually pay off the student loan.  You can learn how to do auction flipping and other ways to earn extra cash without getting a part-time job HERE.

 

There are better options

A clean slate of forgiveness across the board is a pipe dream, it is not realistic and will never happen.  So, what are some other options to help the debt burdened get out of student loan debt and on with their lives?

  • Lower the interest rate. Interest rates are associated with risk.  There is almost no risk when it comes to student loans so why are they 6% when mortgages are 3%?  During the Covid-19 pandemic all student loans were lowered to 0%.  I propose they never go back above 1%.  There is no risk to justify a higher rate.  It is the educated who will ensure our country continues to be prosperous.  Reward them with inexpensive loans.
  • Allow all payments toward student loans to be tax deductible instead of forgiving. Currently, only paid interest is tax deductible and it is capped.  Reward those who actually pay off the loan, let the full payment be a tax write off.  If you are on income-based repayment and only pay back $2,000 this year you only get a $2,000 tax write-off.  If you had a great year and a big bonus and decide to pay down $20,000 you’ll get a great big tax write off.  It motivates people to not only pay down their debt but to get out of this income-based repayment plan.
  • Cap the total amount repaid. No one should pay $60,000 on a $20,000 student loan because they fell into the “income based” repayment plan.  There should be a maximum cap in what you pay for your education.  If you need a $20,000 student loan and 15 years from now you’ve paid $35,000 in monthly payments you should be done, regardless of your balance.

 

At 18 years of age you are old enough to make the decision to enlist in the armed forces, willing to fight and potentially die for your country.  If you are old enough to make a decision like that you are old enough to make the decision to take on student loan debt and be held to that debt.

Student loan forgiveness is a fairy-tale politicians tell to try to earn trust and ultimately votes.  In the interest of being fair, student loan forgiveness is about as unfair as it comes.

 

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Living paycheck to paycheck is a choice

Living Paycheck to Paycheck is a choice

For those who argue the cost of living is too high to put any money away for retirement, and that's why people are living paycheck to paycheck, then why is it that....

Those who make $30,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck,

Those who make $40,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck,

Those who make $50,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck,

Those who make $60,000 a year are living paycheck to paycheck,

There are even those who make six figures who live paycheck to paycheck and for some reason they all seem to blame the “cost of living”.  Why doesn’t the person making $60,000 live like the person making $50,000 and put the other $10,000 away?  They could use that extra money start a business or perhaps purchase an investment property to better their situation, or just max out their 401k with company match and guarantee an early retirement as millionaires.

Humans have an almost innate tendency to spend every cent we make, then we blame everyone but ourselves for our inability to save.

 

$3 a day = $1 million

Investing even $3 a day from the age of 22, into a 401k with a company match earning a 9% return will net the contributor a total of just over $1,000,000 by the age of 65.  Perhaps people cannot save an extra $3 a day, fact is, majority of the population isn't even putting away $1 a day.  Roughly 42% of people close to retirement age have less then $10,000 they are not even putting $1 a day away.  It simply is not a priority (for the record, $1 a day in a company match 401k will still return $350,000 come retirement).

 

Smoking a pack a day is costing you $2.2 million

About 25% of smokers smoke a full pack a day.  The national average for a pack of cigarettes is $6.28 but can be over $12 in places like New York.  By investing that $6.28 into a 401k with a company match you would earn over $2,200,000 come retirement, not even factoring in the health benefits and savings associated.  The point being, there are things we spend money on that we simply do not need, removing these things could make us millionaires.  Make your future self-rich, you will thank yourself.

 

It is an unwillingness to sacrifice or to do more

The reality is most people are living paycheck to paycheck because they simply are not willing not to.  It could be that they are not willing to make a few sacrifices or they are not willing to work harder to earn more.  That does not mean they should go get a second job (I am actually very against getting a second part time job), it simply means they are too comfortable in their discomfort.

If all it takes is $3 a day to be a millionaire come retirement how hard is it really to save an extra $3 a day?  Drive a cheaper car, cancel cable and get a fire stick, do not eat out, quit smoking or drinking, pack lunches, rent a cheaper apartment, don’t worry what other people think.

Making an extra $3 a day is even easier than trying sacrifice and save an extra $3.  Get up early on Saturday morning and head to a garage sale, even if you have kids this can be a fun family activity.  Go with $20 or $10 or all the coins you can find in your couch and the floor of your car.  People at garage sales are looking to get rid of stuff for cheap.  Buy something for $1 and sell it on eBay for $15.  Purchase a larger item for $15 and sell it for $50 on Facebook marketplace.  Point is, making an extra $100 a month is so easy it is borderline infuriating that everyone is not out there doing it, especially those who complain that they can’t get ahead then don’t even try.

Check out our Self-Help page for more suggestions on how to make extra money or get out of debt faster.

 

Try automatically saving with Acorns

Have you ever heard the saying "Pay yourself first"?  Acorns lets you pay yourself without even realizing it.  When you purchase something with your debit card the total is rounded up to the next dollar and that "change" is invested for you.  So if you purchase something for $3.55 Acorns will automatically put $0.45 into your investment account for you.  It doesn't sound like much, but in a year you'd be amazed at how much it has grown, I know people who check their account and are shocked to see $1,000 and the best part is they didn't even notice the money being saved.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN ACORNS, YOU'LL GET $5 WHEN YOU OPEN THE ACCOUNT THROUGH THIS LINK!

 

I get that it is not always easy, but things that are truly worth doing rarely are.  What bothers me most is the excuses.  Instead of blaming “the cost of living” the non-savers should try saying “it’s simply not a priority to me” and see how that rolls of their tongue.

 

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