Budget Bootcamp

Budget Bootcamp Day 30: Grand Finale And Review

budget bootcamp day 30 grande finale and review
Grand Finale

Welcome to day 30! We have reached the end of the 30 day budget bootcamp. I am so glad that you have joined me. Your life will never be the same once you implement a budget. You are on your way to financial freedom!

This is a different kind of review. I want you to comment below and let me know how this bootcamp benefited you and what you have learned.

Thanks again for participating!


Budget Bootcamp Day 29: Multiple Streams Of Income

budget bootcamp day 29 multiple streams of income
Multiple Streams of Income

For most people, their job is their only source of income; their only method of earning money. We have been trained to go to school, get good grades, go to college, get a degree and then spend the next upteen years making someone else’s dream come true by working at a traditional job. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking a 9-5, as a matter of fact, I work. But, my job is not my only source of income and hasn’t been for many years. I believe in multiple streams of income.

I started earning extra money to pay off my student loans, but even I after I paid them off, earning extra income became a part of my life. Having one source of income is just like having an investment portfolio where all of your money is invested in that one stock. If the only source of income is your job, what happens if you lose that job? You and your family may endure financial ruin.

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket; create more sources of revenue, even if they aren’t as much as your full time job, so if something happens it won’t be nearly as disastrous. Here are a few way’s that you too can create multiple streams of income.

1. Take paid survey’s

Companies desperately want your opinion, and they are willing to pay for it. The trick, of course, is knowing where to find the paid surveys that pay the best. One of the most popular and legitimate survey sites is Swagbucks.  Not only can you make money taking surveys, but you can also make money by watching videos and even surfing the net. They also offer significant cash back for online shopping. This is something you can do from the comfort of your own home at your own leisure.

2. Ebay

It’s now easier than ever to run an online Ebay store. You can of course acquire products to resell on Ebay. But you can also create an online store to market products that others are selling on Ebay and share in the commissions generated by the sales.

3. Start and online business

Making money online requires very little cash investment and can be done on your schedule from home. There are two approaches to getting started. First, you can build a blog. Setting up a blog takes just minutes and costs very little. Second, you can set up a website. It’s much easier than you think.  Setting up a website a snap.

4. Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants today can do just about anything for you that doesn’t require their physical presence. Many virtual assistants from places like India are working full time for people in the U.S. The best VAs can earn $30 to $50 per hour. The starting place if you are interested is Elance.

5. Home based business

The ideas and potential for a home based business are limitless. In fact, since I already have a camera, lighting equipment and editing software, I am thinking of adding video and photography as another stream of income. That added to my make-up business, my blog and my full-time job, will give me four streams of income. One of the great benefits about running a home based business is that it greatly reduces your initial investment.

Generating income (along with minimizing expenses) is the foundation of smarter money management. While earning extra income does take work, its payoff can be huge. If you are interested to taking the leap, I would love to hear your ideas. Comment below and let me know what you can do to create multiple streams of income.


Budget Bootcamp Day 28: Consider A Cash Only Lifestyle

budget bootcamp day 28 cash only lifestyle
Cash Only

Credit cards have become essential in the world we live in, but data breaches in the news have raised privacy concerns regarding credit card security. Many people are transitioning back to a cash only lifestyle, and it is worth considering. In response to recent data breaches from credit card accounts at Target and Michael’s, many shoppers are embracing a new payment method that guarantees personal privacy: cash. According to an Associated Press poll cited in The New York Times, 37 percent of respondents said they started buying more often with cash than card after the aforementioned data breaches. If you find yourself interested in a cash lifestyle but don’t want to close your bank accounts and live off the grid, you might find an increased sense of security and control over your spending. Here are a few practical tips for managing your cash-based personal economy:

1. Use the “Envelope System”

Paying for daily expenses with cash can either make budgeting a snap or a swamp — it all depends on how you manage your supply. You don’t have to literally use envelopes, but if you separate cash for different purposes, then you’ll be able to avoid over-spending on one category. You’ll know when your lunch-money budget has been used and realize you need to pack leftovers from home, all while leaving your gasoline fund untouched. I used this system for many years and it was a Godsend for me at that time.

2.  Money Orders

Money orders are a versatile payment tool that is often overlooked in today’s digital banking universe. You can use them to pay for rent and utilities without showing off your bank account information. They’re available at the post office, bank or retail outlet. No account numbers are needed and your recipient can cash it at any bank. While money orders are readily negotiable because — unlike checks — they have already been paid for, they can also be replaced if lost or stolen.

3. Know Your Daily ATM Limit

Most banks limit the amount of cash you’re allowed to withdraw on any given day from an ATM. Being aware of this limit means that you’ll be able to plan ahead if you want to make a large purchase spontaneously, or if going into a branch of your bank isn’t feasible. Memorize your credit card PIN, so that in a bind you can withdraw a cash advance through an ATM. Credit cards charge high interest rates on cash advances, so keep this type of card use for emergencies and reimburse your account as soon as possible.

4. Ask for Smaller Bills

If you withdraw money at the bank, it might be tempting to request bills in fifty or one hundred dollar denominations for the pleasure of holding big bills, but these are inconvenient to spend. If you need a bottle of aspirin at the drug store and you only have a $50 bill in your wallet, you might be wary to split such a large bill. Putting your funds into $20 bills is wiser, as they’re universally accepted and don’t draw unwanted attention.

5. Choose a Creative Stash in Your Home

Obviously you shouldn’t keep your life savings stuffed into your purple mattress, but keeping enough money for a week or two at your home is useful. It’s important to exercise some basic self-protection against break-ins, and keep the cash in a non-obvious location. Small built-in wall safes are excellent, as are cleverly re-purposed food containers and books in a large bookshelf.

6. Save Up Pocket Change for Your Bank

Using cash for daily purchases means you’ll have pocketfuls of coins at the end of each day. These coins pile up rapidly, and, if you’ve accumulated a five-pound jar of quarters, you may be tempted to just dump it into a grocery store coin machine. Bring your trove of loose coins into your bank instead, where they won’t take a cut of your change. Once you put these simple tips into practice, you’ll relish the sense of personal privacy that a cash-based personal finance system provides.

So, do you think that a cash only lifestyle is for you? Let me know in the comments below


Budget Bootcamp Day 27:Passive Income

budget bootcamp day 27 passive income
Passive Income

Passive income is income received on a regular basis, with little to no effort required to maintain it. It is money that flows into your pocket while you go on about life doing whatever it is you do. You are probably wondering what passive income has to do with budgeting. All types of income have to do with budgeting, because you budget off of the income you receive. When you are collecting passive income, the money you are earning is grossly disproportionate to the hours you actually have to work to earn it. Your income loses correlation to your hours.

Passive income is not receiving something for nothing and it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It does require some work on your part in the beginning. You will be planting seeds today, so you can harvest freedom for the rest of your life. Creating passive income involves changing your mindset from what you have been taught, which was grow up, go to school and get a good education, get a job and work the rest of your life for a pittance every week or every two weeks.

Passive income can help you get out of debt, without trading time for dollars. It can help with your overall financial situation and change the trajectory of your financial life. Still not on board with passive income? Here are a few ideas to help you with earning some extra cash with passive income.

1.Real Estate Investing

This probably falls more in the category of semi-passive income, since an investment in real estate is always at least a little bit of an active venture. Still, once you have a property that is established and fully rented, it’s mostly a matter of managing the property and keeping it performing well.

Additionally, there are professional property managers who can manage your property for you, usually for around 10% of the monthly rent. This professional management can make the investment much more passive, but will take a bite out of your cash flow.

2. Invest in real estate investment trusts (RIET’s)

In #1, we talked about investing in real estate. But let’s say that you want to invest in real estate, but do it in a truly passive way. You can do that through a real estate investment trust. This is something like a mutual fund holding various real estate projects. The fund is managed by professionals, so you never have to get involved.

One of the big benefits of investing in REITs is that they typically pay higher dividends than stocks, bonds, or bank investments. You can also sell your interest in a REIT anytime you like, which makes it more liquid than owning real estate outright.

3. Dividend yielding stocks

Shareholders of dividend-yielding stocks receive a payment at regular intervals from the company’s profits or reserves. Since the income received from the stocks isn’t related to any activity other than the initial financial investment, owning dividend-yielding stocks can be one of the most passive forms of making money.

4. Car Wash

There is a self service car wash on just about every corner near my house. They have both the “quarter machine” style car wash ports as well as a more sophisticated automatic washer that does all the work for you.  I’ve never seen one worker at these car washes.  But  I’ve used at lease one of those car washes countless times.  Whoever owns these places, is probably making off like a bandit collecting passive income everyday from people visiting their property and pumping money into their machines.

5. Laundromat

Go to any college town and you’ll find a self service laundromat on just about every street corner.  Why?  Because they know that college kids aren’t going to have laundry services available in their cheap apartments, and so this serves a need that they have.  Just like the car wash, I rarely ever seeing anyone working at a laundromat.  So that means that everything you make above your operational costs becomes passively earned income.

So now you see how passive income can be made and how it can help you have extra income in your budget.



Budget Bootcamp Day 26: Retirement

budget bootcamp day 26 retirement

A secure, comfortable retirement is every worker’s dream. And now because we’re living longer, healthier lives, we can expect to spend more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did. Achieving the dream of a secure, comfortable retirement is much easier when you plan your finances. That is why you need to include retirement as a category in your budget. Financial security in retirement doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and commitment and, yes, money. Putting money away for retirement is a habit we can all live with. Remember…Saving Matters! Below are a few facts about retirement and 10 ways you can start preparing for retirement today.

Retirement Facts

  • Fewer than half of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement.
  • In 2012, 30 percent of private industry workers with access to a defined contribution plan (such as a 401(k) plan) did not participate.
  • The average American spends 20 years in retirement.

1. Start saving, keep saving, and stick to your goals

If you are already saving, whether for retirement or another goal, keep going! You know that saving is a rewarding habit. If you’re not saving, it’s time to get started. Start small if you have to and try to increase the amount you save each month. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Make saving for retirement a priority. Devise a plan, stick to it, and set goals. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start saving.

2. Know your retirement needs

Retirement is expensive. Experts estimate that you will need at least 70 percent of your preretirement income – lower earners, 90 percent or more – to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. You might need additional things such as some curved or straight stairlifts installed to support you in your older age. Take charge of your financial future. The key to a secure retirement is to plan ahead. Start by requesting Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future and, for those near retirement, Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning.

3. Contribute to your employers retirement plan

If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) plan, sign up and contribute all you can. Your taxes will be lower, your company may kick in more, and automatic deductions make it easy. Over time, compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you will accumulate. Find out about your plan. For example, how much would you need to contribute to get the full employer contribution and how long would you need to stay in the plan to get that money.

4. Learn about your employers pension plan

If your employer has a traditional pension plan, check to see if you are covered by the plan and understand how it works. Ask for an individual benefit statement to see what your benefit is worth. Before you change jobs, find out what will happen to your pension benefit. Learn what benefits you may have from a previous employer. Find out if you will be entitled to benefits from your spouse’s plan. For more information, request What You Should Know about Your Retirement Plan.

5. Consider basic investment principles

How you save can be as important as how much you save. Inflation and the type of investments you make play important roles in how much you’ll have saved at retirement. Know how your savings or pension plan is invested. Learn about your plan’s investment options and ask questions. Put your savings in different types of investments. By diversifying this way, you are more likely to reduce risk and improve return. Your investment mix may change over time depending on a number of factors such as your age, goals, and financial circumstances. Financial security and knowledge go hand in hand.

6. Don’t touch your retirement savings

If you withdraw your retirement savings now, you’ll lose principal and interest and you may lose tax benefits or have to pay withdrawal penalties. If you change jobs, leave your savings invested in your current retirement plan, or roll them over to an IRA or your new employer’s plan.

7. If your employer doesn’t have a retirement plan ask them to start one

budget bootcamp day 26 retirement
Save for Retirement

If your employer doesn’t offer a retirement plan, suggest that it start one. There are a number of retirement saving plan options available. Your employer may be able to set up a simplified plan that can help both you and your employer. For more information, request a copy of Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business

8. Start an IRA

You can put up to $5,500 a year into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA); you can contribute even more if you are 50 or older. You can also start with much less. IRAs also provide tax advantages. When you open an IRA, you have two options – a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. The tax treatment of your contributions and withdrawals will depend on which option you select. Also, the after-tax value of your withdrawal will depend on inflation and the type of IRA you choose. IRAs can provide an easy way to save. You can set it up so that an amount is automatically deducted from your checking or savings account and deposited in the IRA.

9. Check your social security benefits

Social Security pays benefits that are on average equal to about 40 percent of what you earned before retirement. You may be able to estimate your benefit by using the retirement estimator on the Social Security Administration’s Website. For more information, visit their Website or call 1-800-772-1213.

10. Ask questions

While these tips are meant to point you in the right direction, you’ll need more information. Talk to your employer, your bank, your union, or a financial adviser. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Get practical advice and act now.

The following websites can also be helpful:


Budget Bootcamp Day 25: Long Term Financial Goals

budget bootcamp day 25 long term financal goals
Long Term Financial Goals

Yesterday we discussed short-term financial goals. Just as you have short-term financial goals, you should have long-term financial goals as well. The distinction between the categories is usually related to the amount of time it takes to accomplish the goal and the financial commitment to achieve them. Short-term goals are achievable in the more immediate future and, long-term goals usually take more than five years to accomplish and require a disciplined saving and investing strategy over a long time period. The most important long-term financial goal for everyone is to save for retirement. For most people, this is the first priority over saving for any other goal.

The first step is to develop good savings and investing habits and establish a financial plan when you’re young. If you start contributing to an employer’s 401(k) plan or an IRA or Roth IRA as soon as you begin working, and consistently put money in those retirement accounts, you’ll be on the right track to accumulate enough money for your retirement years.

There are a few ways to become a disciplined saver and investor.

  • Set up automatic investments to your retirement plans and investment portfolio to help you avoid spending your hard-earned money when you get a paycheck. When you don’t see money in your bank account, you won’t spend it. Instead, you’ll be saving for your goals and your investment account will grow in value over time.
  • Try not to be emotional about your investments and don’t jump in and out of your holdings when the market is volatile.
  • Monitor your investments and risk regularly, and make adjustments to your portfolio when needed.

Even the most disciplined investor can expect some bumps in the road like the loss of a job or a family member who becomes ill and requires care. Likewise, events that might seem far away initially can somehow sneak up on you.

Below are a few long-term goal examples

1.College education

One of your long-term goals may be saving for your childs college education, which is six years away. However, more recently your child decided he/she wants to attend a private high school, resulting in you tapping into your higher education savings. As long as you started saving when your child was young, you may have enough to cover both private high school and college — or you could increase your savings now to pay for college.

2. Time value of money

The time value of money – a key concept in finance – is simply the increase in the amount of money as a result of interest earned over a period of time. Essentially, the earlier a person starts to invest, the greater the power of compounded interest over time.

3. Retirement

With as little as $50 from each paycheck ($100 a month or $1,200 a year), you have contributed $48,000 after 40 years. Assuming a seven percent annualized rate of return, you would have more than $260,000. Use the Time Value Calculator to see how the time value of money works.

The bottom line is: Start investing as young as you can – even if it’s a small amount – to get the most bang for your buck. Reinvesting any earned dividends and interest from investments over time purchases additional shares in your account which can help increase the value of portfolios – especially for long-term goals like retirement.

Monitor your investments

It’s important to check your investments regularly. I recommend personally reviewing your portfolio on a quarterly basis and meeting with your investment advisor at least twice a year. Manage your risks by making sure your chosen asset allocations are still in line with your overall goals. Make adjustments to your investments only when needed. One of the benefits of having an investment advisor is he or she can monitor your funds for you and recommend different investments when it’s necessary. Also, remember to revise your financial plan accordingly if your goals change or you identify new goals.

Withdrawing money from your retirement funds

When you stop working and have reached your goal of retirement, you’ll need to figure out how much and when to withdraw money from your retirement accounts. There are some tax rules you need to follow as well. When you turn 59½ years old, you’re allowed to withdraw money from a tax-deferred retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA without a penalty. When you turn 70 ½, there are required minimum distributions (RMD), which is a certain amount of money that’s determined by your age and value of your investments that must be withdrawn each year from your IRA or 401(k). If you don’t take the RMD on time, you’ll get hit with a 50 percent tax penalty of the amount you’re required to withdraw. Your first RMD can be taken by April 1st following the year you turn 70 ½ years of age. Subsequent RMDs must be taken by December 31st.

Aside from the RMD, you don’t want to take out too much money from your retirement accounts and deplete your savings too quickly. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends annual withdrawals of three to six percent of the value of your investments in the first year of retirement, with adjustments for inflation in later years.


Budget Bootcamp Day 24: Short Term Financial Goals

budget bootcamp day 24 short term financial goals
Financial Goals

Most people want financial stability, but very few have it. Sometimes, we get caught up in poor money management practices, take on too much debt, or experience a crisis that is outside of our control. Thankfully, the damage from these issues is preventable. In fact, safeguarding against these issues is one of the first steps to creating financial stability. The key is to establish short-term financial goals that will put you on a path to financial health. Remember, short-term financial goals can be achieved pretty quickly, but they are also not as significant as long-term goals like retirement savings. The important thing about short-term financial goals is that they make long-term goals possible. The key thing to remember here is that goals are more substantial than wishes and dreams. They can start with dreams or wishes, but they have an action plan behind them– something that spells out how we convert a desire into something real.That’s especially important when it comes to financial goals. Since they require regular investments of money and effort over a long period of time, you need to have workable plan to bring them to reality.Let’s take a look at the short-term financial goals that you may want to work toward.

1. Short term for long term

Sometimes it may take a short-term goal to kick-start a longer-term financial dream or goal. For example, the mutual fund you want to invest in has a $3,000 minimum initial investment. Once you have saved the $3,000 and opened an account you can add to it in $100 increments, building wealth for the long term. Other short- to long-term goals could be saving enough to open a stock brokerage or futures trading account.

2. Pay off debt

Pick one of your credit card balances and make a plan to pay it off in a year or less. If you are in the habit of making the minimum payment, you will end up paying for years, including a lot of interest to the credit card company. This is a goal to break that habit. If you run balances on several cards, use the smallest balance as a short-term goal, pay it off as quickly as possible and then on to the next. The medium-to-longer term goal could be to pay off all of your debt except for car and house payments.

3. Plan early for early retirement

Reaching your retirement goals may take longer than you think. Poor health may make retiring early a necessity. If you have planned to retire early, then you will be ready. Family circumstances, such as, an aging ailing parent or spouse may require more of your time, thus making early retirement an option. You may not want to completely retire, but desire to work part-time, it is better to be able to retire early and not have to, than to have to retire early and not be prepared to. Making sure to set something aside for early retirement is a short term financial goal that just makes sense.

There’s one other advantage to planning to retire early, and it’s a big one. By working toward early retirement, you will be front-loading your retirement investment portfolio. That will give you a larger portfolio early, which will mean that you won’t have to work so hard saving for retirement later in life when doing so may be more complicated.

4. Create multiple streams of income

budget bootcamp day 24 short term financial goals
Don’t Put All Of Your Eggs In One Basket, Create Multiple Streams Of Income

Even if you love your job, creating multiple streams of income is a form of income insurance. With recent major corporations downsizing, having another stream or two of income wouldn’t hurt. Aside from main income loss, another stream of income could help you with early retirement. One way to create another stream of income is to start your own business. Multiple streams of income can provide you with an income portfolio, meaning you don’t have to depend on one stream of income ever. This goal is worth considering, even if you have never thought of it before, it may be just the thing you need to open the door to other financial goals.




The important thing is to simply get started and determine your short-term goals. When you achieve your short-term goals, you’ll be able to move on to accumulating money for your intermediate and long-term goals.


Budget Bootcamp Day 23:Let’s Start Saving

budget bootcamp day 23 let's start saving

Saving can help you achieve any of your financial goals. Whether it is a down payment on your dream home, a comfortable retirement or a fabulous vacation, saving can surely get you where you want to go. The great part about saving, it helps to keep you from going deeply into debt. Most Americans spend more than what they earn, save little to nothing, and are deeply in debt. Consider the fact that the national savings average has dipped to it’s lowest point since the Great Depression. If there has ever been a time to save, that time is now. With a little effort and forethought, saving is not only possible, but it is also easy. What are you waiting for? Let’s start saving.

1. Make saving a priority

Saving is another category that should be on your budget. I suggest monthly savings goals as well as a yearly saving goal. First, figure out what you would like to save for–a house, car, retirement, college or a dream vacation– and how much it will cost. Then make your plan.

  • Set a timeframe for when you would like to reach your goal.
  • Set a schedule by dividing the total goal amount by the number of weeks, months or pay periods between now and your goal date.
  • Be consistent by treating your savings contribution just like any other must-pay expense, such as rent or groceries.

2. Find money to save

I know that it may seem hard to make ends meet sometimes, chances are you have extra money that you didn’t know about. Here’s how to find it

  • Keep track of everything that you spend. You would be surprised at what you’re buy and what you could do without.
  • Make purchases with cash. This helps you stick to a budget and avoid impulse and frivolous spending. Decide ahead of time how much you want to spend and then set aside that amount, in cash, before you go shopping.
    budget bootcamp day 23 let's start saving
    Feed The Pig
  • Try lowering your bills. Many creditors will give borrowers a lower interest rate if they’re asked. Also, conserving electricity and gas can make a big difference.
  • Rank your nonessential spending. Keep the ones you like best and ditch the rest.
  • Take a lunch to work instead of eating out, and cook more dinners at home. Eating out can take up tons of money that you could be saving instead

Always pay yourself

In the book, The Richest Man In Babylon, by George Samuel Clason, he states that a part of all you earn is yours to keep. We are so inclined to pay our bills first and save ourselves for last, if there is anything left. After I pay my tithes and offerings, I make sure that I put a set amount in my savings account. It is of the utmost importance that you begin the habit of saving at least 10% of your paycheck each pay period. I save 10% of my gross. Once you have made a contribution to your financial longevity, then you can divide and pay everything else. I’m sure that there will be plenty left over to cover everything you need. One thing that makes it easy for me to save is having my savings portion directly deposited in my savings account. As my grandmother used to say, “Out of sight out of mind, put that money in your savings account and don’t touch it unless you need it.” Those words are a part of my DNA. Make saving a part of your DNA.


Budget Bootcamp Day 22: Debt Elimination

budget bootcamp day 22 debt elimination
Debt Elimination

I know you are probably wondering what debt elimination has to do with budgeting. It has everything to do with budgeting. This is a category that should be included in both your yearly and monthly budget, if you have debt that you want to eliminate. If you are deeply in debt like I was, then you will want to tackle that debt and eliminate it to free up your finances. If you are not taking the necessary steps to repay your debts, I am here to tell you that you are making a huge mistake. Debt in itself is a force to be reckoned with, but when you choose to ignore it or have no solid plan to eliminate it, it can become an even bigger force. With all of the fees and interest that debt collectors assess on your debt, leaving it unpaid can cause it to become extremely ugly in a short period of time. Creating a debt elimination plan is essential to your budget and your financial health. Below you will find an effective and workable plan.

1. List all of your debt

No matter how great or small, list every debt that you owe, even that $100 you borrowed from your mom. Although mom may not say anything, nor will she list it on your credit, you still want to pay her back, because the Bible says, “Owe no man nothing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 KJV. Write down what you pay on monthly as well as any debts that are behind.

2. Rank your debt

Now that you have your list of debts, rank them in the order of how you want to repay them. Some may choose the snowball effect, which just means that you pay down the smallest debt first and move in succession to the largest. Some may chose to pay off debts that have the highest interest rate first, so that, they won’t keep accruing more interest while they are working on other debts. Either strategy is okay, so choose the one that is best for you. The only debt my husband and I had, after I filed bankruptcy, was my student loans; so this was the debt that all of our extra income went to.

3. Debt as a budget category

When creating your budget, make sure that a debt repayment plan is considered. Figure out how much you can reasonably invest each month in your debt repayment. Even if you are not deeply in debt, you can still whittle them down by making sure you pay something toward them every month. The important thing is to make sure that you are realistic about how much you have to spend. Do not take money from other obligations to pay down your debt, just use money that you have outside of your normal obligations. If you find that you have no money to spare, then you may need to look into earning extra income.

4. Savings account

If you don’t have a savings account, this would be a great time to get one. Before you start paying down debt, you should have at least 3-6 months worth of savings, so you will have money to fall back on in the event of a financial disaster. When you neglect having a savings account, getting back into debt is unavoidable.

5. Start your debt elimination

Once you have your savings account, you are ready to start at the top of your debt repayment list and work down. Focus on one debt at a time, rather than spreading your budget money over numerous debts at once. You want to do it like this, because you can wipe out one debt after another and maintain your focus and momentum.

6. Extra money

If you receive a windfall, such as, your income tax or bonus from work, consider putting half into your savings account and the other half towards the whatever debt you are working on. If you have extra money left over in your budget at the end of the month, consider doing the same.

Your own personal experience will vary depending on your debt and how much money you have to work with. This is just a guideline, so design a plan that works for your own unique situation. One last bit of advice, be consistent! You will be out of debt before you know it!



Budget Bootcamp Day 21: Earning Extra Income

budget bootcamp day 21 earning extra income
Earning Extra Income

Even after we have set our budget and have done all we can to maintain it, we sometimes fall short on cash. Sometimes it’s not that we need earn extra income to make our budget; but we need it to help us come out of debt faster. No matter what the reason is, sometimes extra cash is something that we all can use.

I have heard some people say that they won’t work a second job. Let me tell you, when I was paying off 50k in student loan debt and my husband was paying over $1000 a month in child support, we did what we had to do to earn extra cash. He did body and mechanic work on cars and I sold make-up. I also did make-up for special occasions and taught make-up classes. Till this day, my husband and I keep a side hustle going. Not because we need to, but because it is ingrained in our DNA. It is a part of who we are.
If you find yourself looking to earn some extra cash, here are 10 out of countless ways you can do it.


Freelancing is the next best thing to being paid more for your full-time work, because professional work always pays more than unskilled. To find opportunities, let former colleagues or other personal connections know that you’re available for freelance gigs. Post on marketplaces relevant to your niche or particular to your field. For instance, Mediabistro, a journalism site, allows freelancers to post profiles of their experience and services. Though these are more up to chance, designers can bid on jobs at 99Designs.com or submit a design at Threadless, to see if it will be crowdfunded. Elance-Odesk also lists many freelance opportunities, and you can also post your own services on Fiverr.


Get hired to shop and then report back on your experience. Find out how it works and then, to avoid mystery shopping scams, find legitimate opportunities at the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.


If you own a car, you could be making money with it. As the concept of the sharing economy grows, more people are looking to rent other people’s cars rather than purchase their own. Sites like Relay Rides and GetAround can connect you with people who may be interested in renting your vehicle by the hour, day, week, or month. If you’d rather keep your own keys, consider offering rides to others for a fee. Drivers for Lyft earn up to $35 per hour and set their own hours, according to the company’s website.


We’ve all been annoyed by an acquaintance who couldn’t stop themselves from contacting you about their direct selling opportunity du jour. But that doesn’t mean you should be turned off by the entire industry. Plenty of people make an enviable side (or full-time) income through direct sales for established companies, and these sales opportunities come with the resources and support of a large organization.

For instance, Dr.Gloria Mayfield Banks, left a corporate job with IBM 20 years ago to sell Mary Kay. She quickly rose to the ranks of Elite Executive National Sales Director, earning millions in network marketing. So you don’t want to sell cosmetics? Direct selling isn’t just about cosmetics. You can also work from home and set your own hours selling health and wellness products (such as Advocare), pet products (Pawtree), and accessories (Thirty-One Gifts).


Companies interested in improving their marketing efforts often conduct focus groups of potential customers. And if you’re willing to spend the time participating, you can earn extra money. Companies are willing to pay you for your insight as a consumer and sometimes they’ll even arrange to come to your home. For instance, a few months ago, a company paid my sister $250 for spending two hours talking with three people about snack foods and tasting some cookies. Not bad for making money from 6 to 8 pm her own home when the only thing she would normally be doing is eating dinner.To find companies looking for focus group participants, check out FindFocusGroups.com or do a Google search with keywords such as “market research,” “paid study,” or “surveys.”


Trial attorneys are frequently looking for people to weigh in on real cases that may not have gone to court yet. They rely upon online jurors to help them determine what an average group of people might think about the merits of the case or how they might respond to their tactics or concepts.To help them prepare cases, attorneys may hire one of several companies that offer access to regular people who can serve as online jurors. Those companies, such as Online Verdict, will pay you for your review or consideration of the attorney’s case. On average, if you meet their criteria to qualify, most people earn between $10 and $60 for their time.


If you have a special skill — whether it’s the ability to play an instrument well, paint like Picasso or explain calculus in a way anyone can understand — you may be able to make money sharing it with others. For example, you could earn $15 to $60 an hour tutoring individual kids or college students if you speak a second language or have great math, science or writing skills. Advertise your services on school, campus and community bulletin boards, or tutoring web sites such as Wyzant and Tutor.com. And take advantage of social media sites, such as Facebook, to let people know about the lessons you’re able to teach.


If you have credit cards, you could be sitting on an untapped source of cash if you haven’t bothered to redeem your credit card rewards points lately. One-third of all rewards — everything from airline miles to cash back — worth a total of $16 billion go unredeemed each year, according to a study by marketing research firm Colloquy. Per household, that averages out to $205 worth of rewards a year that aren’t redeemed. The next-best thing to getting cash-for-points is a general-purpose gift card. At American Express, for example, 5,000 Membership Rewards points earns you a $25 AmEx gift card that’s good in more than a million places. You can get more bang for your points by selecting a retailer-specific gift card — often $50 for 5,000 points.


If you have a knack for creating anything from baked goods to intricate art designs, you can profit from your talent. You also can find clients for your baked goods by volunteering to provide treats for your children’s school functions or for church or other religious gatherings, or by selling them at a farmer’s market, flea market or local festivals.

If art and design are more your speed, consider selling your creations on Etsy, DeviantArt or Zazzle. Etsy and Zazzle feature products like jewelry, quote posters, vintage clothing and even pet supplies. DeviantArt, which has a large following associated with its popular Tumblr, mainly sells art prints.


If you like to write, or think it would be fun to share your knowledge about a particular subject, start a blog. WordPress.org and Blogger.com offer free blogging platforms. You’ll need to pay a small amount (as little as $4 per month) to have your blog hosted. Try GoDaddy.com for domain name registration, as well as website building, hosting and security. Turn to Google AdSense for a free way to display ads on your site to earn money.

So there you have it, 10 way’s to earn extra income. Do you know of any other way’s people can earn extra income? If so, comment below.



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