April 23, 2011

Mutual Funds

To help you set yourself for retirement, or to have a million dollars by age 35 or so, I'm going to give you a quick education of mutual funds!

Mutual Funds are a wonderful way to prepare for your future, whatever that may be. If you want to have your house paid off, a nice car, and early retirement then a mutual fund is a legitimate and low risk way to do so. If you want to have save a million bucks, simply putting your savings into a bank savings account earning 0.02% interest isn't going to get you there fast enough.

A mutual fund uses compounding interest to help you earn money. I've made a simple video explaining compounding interest:

Now that you know how compounding interest works, it should be fairly easy to decide you want to invest in a mutual fund! As a disclaimer, mutual funds do carry risk and there are several types always do more research before investing.

I'm going to give you guys a glimpse into my fund which I've held since July of 2009:

My first investment was for $1,000 and I originally planned to re-invest $1,000+ every year but it hasn't been good for on the job market lately. However, as you can see even after 3 years I've earned nearly $400 all thanks to compounding interest (and the market recovering!)

There are several ways to invest in mutual funds through financial advisors and online. What I have learned since opening my mutual fund that there is one mutual fund that is constantly returning high % returns and outperforming the other funds, the Vanguard 500. Personally, when I get my next $1,000 I will be investing in that one.

April 18, 2011

Having a "Side Hustle"

I realized that to earn extra money is hard. As a college student, looking to earn cash on the side, I've tried just about everything. Gaining fame on youtube is hard, mowing yards in the summer is tough when your mower is broken, and there are a LOT of scams online offering quick cash (so don't do them!)

So, what is a Side Hustle? A side hustle is anything that you do in your spare time to earn money, on the side. It's a hustle because it generally comes with an increased amount of energy and time expenditure. The key is finding one that is worth the effort you are willing to put forth on top of a current job or situation.

For instance, some Side Hustlers, like my former Football and Wrestling coach, do several things. His taxable job and the job he listed on IRS documents was probably just as I mentioned High School Football Coach or Head Wrestling Supervisor. However, he also operated a lawn business with the catch phrase "You grow it, we freshly mow it!" and he would offer several of the football players or wrestling players summer positions (smart cross exchange there, huh?) He was also the numbers guy for his wife's wedding planning and photography business. Together, they also bred pure bred Bulldog's. I even have one of his Business cards "J.J. Bulldogs 'Pure American Born and Bred'"

These several sources of income allowed him to live in a fancy area of town in a nice house (Ive been there) and drive a cobalt Blue Rouche Mustang. While he may not have a lot of free time between coaching in the Fall and Winter, cutting grass in the summer, and raising bulldogs he sure did have a lot of nice stuff and generally seemed to be a happy guy.

For me however, as a college student, it is too much! In my free time, I like to learn ways to make money, invest, and be a smarter person financially. Coupled with long hours spent in the library with my nose crammed in the books I find it more fulfilling to manage this website and blog if a creative idea strikes. Or, if I'm feeling repetitive or need a short 5 minute break from researching for my next Financial Statement Analysis or doing another practice run of Bond Refunding Analysis for the umpteenth time I'll take a few quick surveys on CashCrate.

Now, it's easy to go on and on about what to do as you constantly learn new ways to budget and allocate your assets and free time but having a "Side Hustle" is a wonderful way to earn some extra cash on the side. A google search will reveal several ways to start one and different ideas, but the easiest in my book are eBay and CashCrate. However, there are several other options that I will discuss throughout Frugalson.com as I discover new an innovative ways to make money on the side (legally, of course!)

CashCrate is probably the only website that ACTUALLY pays you to take surveys. No sketchy point system, no empty promises. After a long day of studying (and soon to be working) or if I'm stuck at school (soon to be the office!) I'll hop onto CashCrate and do some surveys really quick. I'll do it for about an hour each day, if that, and earn anywhere from $2-$10.

eBay is definitely my preferred side hustle as it takes on more of a small business feel. I also love to use craigslist to sell items from around the house that are too costly ship such as older cars, stove tops, or furniture.

Just a few things before you go sign up, at CashCrate, you will get A LOT of spam mail- so use your spam email account or make one. Also, a few of the offers require actual payments to get the reward, but they will be indicated by a small red $ symbol. Most of the surveys take 30 seconds to a minute to fill out and reward anywhere from 25 to 50 cents. Surveys that reward a full $1 are few and far between, but it's the easiest buck you'll earn for legit "work" which it isn't.

Not only does it pay actual cash, CashCrate has a members section with a highly active forum and has dedicated support staff, so you're never left in the dark.

So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up at CashCrate now! Just remember to use your own discretion and earn some extra cash!

Starting a Side hustle, like blogging or getting your online used goods store on eBay can be time consuming and it will take time before you start seeing the profits. I've been operating this website for several years now, and while the content is minimal I manage to earn a couple extra bucks a month. I also published an eBook on my other website that adds to those earnings.

I can say that with consistency and dedication along with a passion for being active, you'll make money at your side hustle and may even be able to quit your 9 to 5!

Have you had success blogging? How much have you earned using cashcrate? Do you know any other good survey sites that are just as legitimate as cashcrate? What about some success stories selling on ebay?