Will You Accept The Extra Income Challenge? I Did!

Will You Accept The Extra Income ChallengeToday I’m officially issuing the extra income challenge to every single person reading this. Why?

Earning more money is awesome. It has unlimited potential. You could make an extra $5 a day or you could grow your extra money to $10,000 a month or more.

It doesn’t matter how much extra cash you want to make or how you want to make your extra money.

All that matters is you have an extra income goal and you’re working towards that goal.

So, today I’m issuing this challenge to get you moving.

The Extra Income Challenge

I challenge every single person reading this to make extra money this month. Simply fill in the blanks in the below statement for your first month’s challenge.

You earn bonus points if you leave your challenge in the comments at the end of this post.

I, YOUR NAME HERE, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $(INSERT AMOUNT HERE) of income this month. I plan to make this income through INSERT HOW YOU PLAN ON MAKING THE MONEY. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

This challenge is meant to be 100% fun and no one will make fun of you if you don’t hit your targets. I won’t allow it. In fact, everyone will be cheering you on to hit your targets.

Look at this challenge as an inspiration to begin growing a small income to have some fun with, to pay off debt or the push you need to start your side business. No one will hit 100% of their targets all the time, but we should all be working toward our targets every month.

Define What Extra Income Is To You

First, you must define what “extra” is to you. In my mind, it is any money my wife and I make outside of our day jobs.

To a freelancer, it might be any money they make outside of their normal freelancing business or outside of their normal client base. To an hourly worker, it may be any income earned above their normal 35 hour week.

Whatever you decide “extra” is to you, the next step is figuring out how to earn it.

Ideas On How To Earn Extra Income

Now that you know what you personally consider “extra”, here are a few ideas to get you kick started on how to earn it.

  • Sell stuff you no longer use
  • Start up a service business in your neighborhood (dog walking, lawn mowing, etc)
  • Sell something or a service on Fiverr
  • Drive for Lyft or Uber (only if you follow all laws and insurance requirements)
  • Work extra hours or overtime at work
  • Get a second job or temp work in your free time

This is just a small list of ways you can make more money. If you have a favorite way to make more money, please share it with us all in the comments. Others will be grateful thanks to your helpful suggestions.

Ideas On Extra Income Targets

If you’ve never earned any money beyond your normal sources before, it might be a good idea to start small with your first target. You could aim to earn an extra $50 this month to pay for a dinner and a movie date. You could even simply aim to cover your weekly coffee trip at $20 a month.

Others like to go big with their targets. You could aim to cover your car payment this month or even aim to cover the mortgage! If you’ve already been earning extra money, you might be aiming to make $5,000 this month to cover all of your household expenses.

No matter how much you decide your extra cash target is going to be, make sure you have a target to aim for. Bonus points if you have a reason behind your target to keep you motivated.

Note: Points don’t count for anything, but they’re fun to accumulate in your head.

My Personal Acceptance Of The Extra Income Challenge

I, Lance Cothern, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $500 of income this month. I plan to make this income through freelance writing. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

Well, what are you waiting for? Accept the extra income challenge today. You can accept in the comments below or in any other way you wish. If you don’t want to be public about it, you can personally email me your acceptance. Or, if you have a larger platform such as your own blog or your Facebook page, feel free to accept it there as well. Bonus points if you mention you found it here or share it with your friends.

P.S. Be sure to check back the same time next month when I’ll update how I’m doing on my personal extra income challenge. I’ll also share more detailed information about ways to earn more money. If you have a story about how you make extra money, please send me an email if you’re willing to share about how you make extra money.

Photo by: Tom_Bullock Text added by: Lance Cothern

The Horror! You Might Have To Spend Money To Make More Money

Want to earn extra money? Ideas of businesses to make extra money range from needing no up front investment to needing a boatload of cash. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. This applies whether you want to make money at home, make money online or even if you want to make money on the side. I explain what I mean and how it works in the article.It’s easy to get lost in the never ending struggle to save money. Most people cut back their spending until they can cut back no more. At that point, they feel like they’ve lost the battle.

They can no longer reduce their expenses, but they still want to be able to save more or balance their budget.

Don’t worry! There is still a way to save more. You just have to increase your income. Despite what some may think, that may actually involve spending money in order to make more money.

I’m here to tell you that’s okay!

Spend Money On Yourself To Make More Money

It may sound horrific and a bit backwards, but at certain times, you must actually spend money on yourself to increase your potential.

So how can you do this and actually make more money? There are a few ways you can spend money on or invest in yourself!

The first way is to get a certification, license or degree that will allow you to increase your income. These items may allow you to get a promotion you’ve been waiting for or get a new job that is the next step up the ladder.

Regardless of what you choose, just make sure that the license, certification or degree that you go after will actually increase your income and chances of better employment.

There is no worse feeling than spending money obtaining a certification to find out it is essentially worthless.

Another way to invest in yourself is to spend money learning a new skill. You don’t have to get a certification to learn a new skill. One example is learning to speak Spanish. Try to find a skill that you want to obtain that will increase your income.

Take a look at those who make more than you in your profession and see what skill those successful people have mastered that you haven’t. Aim to learn how to master that skill and you could be well on your way to making more money.

The third way to invest in yourself to make more money is to invest in your image. Whether we like it or not, many people judge based on looks. This is more predominate in certain professions, but it does happen.

You may need to invest in nicer clothing or a new look. Just don’t confuse investing in your image with getting things you want. Take a look at what is actually needed to improve your image and look for cost effective solutions rather than the pricier looks that you may just happen to want.

Spend Money On Equipment To Make More Money

You don’t always have to invest in yourself to make more money. You can spend money on other things, such as equipment, to help your income grow. This is especially true if you run a business that requires equipment.

So what are some ways to thoughtfully spend money on equipment? If you’re a photographer, you might make more money by buying a more updated digital camera. The better pictures the camera takes, the less time you’ll have to spend editing them!

Another thing to consider updating is your computer. If you spend precious minutes waiting for your computer to load programs or perform tasks, it might be time to upgrade. If you just shave a few minutes off each day and you value your time at a decent rate, chances are you’ll save time with a new computer. Then, spend that wasted time making more money!

Finally, consider updating anything that could be holding you back in your business. Same thing goes for those missing pieces of equipment that could vastly increase your capacity or potential income.

Just make sure to do an analysis to ensure that your new fancy piece of equipment will pay for itself. Don’t stop there though. Make sure it gives you your necessary return on your money, too.

Spend Money On Your Business To Make More Money

Spending more money in your business doesn’t have to just be done by spending money on yourself or equipment. You can spend money on many other factors of your business to help you make more money!

If you’re selling a product or a service, getting more customers is a great way to make more money. You might have to spend some money to advertise your business to obtain those customers.

Spending money to make more money in your business isn’t a problem, as long as you get a decent return on that money. Remember, you need to earn more profit than the money you spent on your advertising, not just revenue.

Software is another great way to make more money in your business, assuming it will increase productivity or sales. Some software will give you more time which you can then use to go make more sales. Other software can help you improve your relationship with your customers for increased sales.

Whatever software you buy, make sure you’re not just buying it for fun. Make sure it has a real business purpose.

If you don’t want to spend money on software or advertising, you might want to spend your money by outsourcing or hiring a new employee. By hiring someone that can get the same job done at a lower price than the person currently doing the job, you’re increasing your margins.

Money Isn’t Just For Saving

Your time is valuable. If you can outsource your easier tasks to someone that you can pay less than the amount you value your time at, it’s a win win for you and your new contractor or employee.

Spending money directly clashes with the thought process of cutting back on your expenses, but sometimes increasing your expenses is actually a good thing. Don’t shriek in horror the next time someone suggest you spend money on yourself, equipment or your business to increase your income.

It’s a viable solution and it can pay off tremendously, often making back several times the amount of money you spent!

What’s your favorite way to spend money to make more money? Do you like to invest in yourself, equipment, your business, or something else altogether? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo by: 401(k)calculator Text added by: Lance Cothern

Three Ways to Earn Income Online

Grow Your Income OnlineThere are two sides to the normal budget issues many people run into. People either don’t make enough money or spend too much money. Today I’d like to focus on ways to grow your income. In fact, I’m going to focus on a specific subset of growing your income. Let’s look into three ways to grow your income online.

Start a Website

Starting a website is a great way to earn some extra income online. Make sure you have realistic expectations though. While websites can be a very profitable way to earn some extra income it doesn’t come easy or without hard work.

Starting a website is a lot easier today than it ever has been in the past. You could start a blog, an e-commerce website, or a website that solves a problem for a certain group of people. You can earn extra income online by selling advertising or by selling your own products.

Regardless of which route you take, make sure you have a plan. Just remember, making the website is just the beginning. If you end up with a successful online business all of the hard work will be worth it in the end.

Sell on eBay or Craigslist

Another great way to earn income online is selling on eBay or Craigslist. The best thing about this method to earning extra income is you can likely get started with what you already have in your house!

Haven’t had a garage sale lately? Great news! I bet there is a ton of stuff in your house that you never use that could easily be sold to earn some extra income. Before you get started though make sure to keep the following in mind.

In order for something to sell on eBay or Craigslist there needs to be a market for it. Search for similar items that have sold recently to get an idea of whether or not it is worth it to try to sell (and if you’d get enough money to part with your item).

The other thing to keep in mind is that you must ship whatever you sell on eBay. That means that you’re probably better of selling smaller and items that can be easily shipped on eBay and keeping the larger items that can’t be shipped as easily for future garage sales. You won’t have the same problem if you decide to sell on Craigslist since you’ll likely meet your buyer locally to complete the transaction.

Freelance or Write for Blogs

The last method I’m going to mention to earn income online is freelancing or writing for blogs online. Freelancing encompasses a large range of of tasks and writing for blogs online is just one very small subset of the category.

Freelancing could be providing any type of service or product that you have an expertise in. You can freelance with your accounting skills by providing bookkeeping for online businesses or you could freelance with your graphic designing skills by creating logos for websites.

The other method of freelancing that I previously mentioned was writing for blogs online. These days there are many blogs that hire staff writers or even ghost writers to provide content on a regular basis. I freelance write and am always looking for more work. If you’re looking for a freelance writer, make sure to check out my hire me page.

While writing for blogs may not be the best paying way to earn income online in the beginning, you can start charging more as your writing portfolio gets larger and your skills become more honed. If you get lucky, you may even get picked up by a larger publication like a magazine or larger online news website.

There are a ton of ways to make money online. Just be careful what you get yourself into. There are scammers out there so you have to be careful and thoroughly investigate any and all opportunities.

What ways do you earn income online?

Photo by: Ray_from_LA Enhanced by: Lance Cothern

How To Manage Your Time With Your Side Hustles

Catching up on e-mail...Side hustling is becoming more and more popular now that people are realizing a little extra money every month can truly go a long way in meeting financial goals. I’ve been side hustling for well over two years now and loved it so much that I turned it into my full time job.

If you want to do the same or just want to be better about managing your time, here are some of my tips:

1. Only Choose Clients You Really Love

Anyone who is a full time freelancer will tell you that they do their best work when they actually enjoy what they are doing. Sometimes, the work that is the least amount of fun produces the most money, so it can be hard to turn down those types of jobs.

I personally get so much more done when I am excited about a project and really enjoy working with the client. From time to time, this means accepting less pay, but I chose to work for myself to enjoy my life, not to do projects or write about topics that I’m not passionate about.

2. Identify Your Best Working Hours

If you are really groggy in the morning like I am, there’s really no point in trying to side hustle and get tons of work done during those early waking hours. It might take a few months, but over time you will slowly start to identify when you work best.

For me, this is between 7pm-1am. It sounds crazy, but when the world gets tired and starts winding down to go to bed, I get really amped up. I tried to resist this for the longest time, promising myself that I could run an errand or spend time working on my nursery if I got work done.

Eventually, after lots of days of feeling unproductive, I realized that I need to spend my time during the day running errands and doing chores around the house and the nighttime working. It’s not the most ideal scenario, especially when parents or friends want to invite us out to a last minute dinner out and I have to work. However, I’ve realized this is the best for me. You just need to find out what works best for you.

3. Don’t Overextend Yourself

In order to truly manage your time with your side hustles, you cannot over extend yourself. As much as you want to make more money, you don’t have to say “yes” to every single opportunity. In my early days of freelancing and side hustling, I would accept every offer and say yes to every opportunity. I was trying to pay down my credit card debt and didn’t want to miss the change to earn extra cash.

Now, two years into my side hustles and fully self-employed, I have to be very careful not to overextend myself. The more work I do and the more clients I take on, the more stretched I get. Instead of taking on extra work, I try to only work with quality people who respect my rates and give me consistent work.

Overall, side hustling is a great way to make money, and I really believe that more people should do it. All that time that people spend watching TV or playing online could be spent doing something productive that could pay down their debt or help them save for retirement. Sure, you have to rest sometimes, but that’s the beauty about managing your time well. If you can figure out how to fit in a side hustle without disrupting your routine too much, you’ve absolutely hit gold.

Do you have a side hustle? How much time does it require?

Is It Worth The Effort To Work Two Full Time Jobs?

Two-Full-Time-JobsFor about a year, I had two full time jobs. It wasn’t intentional, if I’m being completely honest. It’s just what happened as my blog and writing business grew over time.

Every day I’d get up and go to my 9-5 job. I enjoyed my job very much. I was an instructor for a pre-med writing course, and I had a really interesting and diverse group of talented students. It was stressful at times when there was lots of grading, but ultimately I could see myself doing a similar job for a very long time.

The challenge came in because I really liked freelance writing too. On a typical day, I would come home and make dinner and then spend a few more hours working online. It was not unusual for me to go to bed at midnight or 1 in the morning. Sometimes people at work would comment on how tired I looked, and sometimes I felt like I was way in over my head.

At times, I wondered if it was even worth it. Lots of my friends spend their weekends at the beach, while I spend a lot of weekends doing laundry, cleaning my house, and trying to squeeze in an extra blog post or two to get the week started off right.

I estimate that I probably worked about 80 hours a week on both jobs together with very little breaks. The blogging didn’t really feel like work at the time though because it was enjoyable, and it filled my time. With a medical school student for a husband who had 15-18 hour days himself, it was a productive thing for me to do while he sat at the kitchen table and studied.

So, if you are interested in doing something similar whether you want to try out a new career field or to try to build a side business, I would think very carefully about the time commitment and the dedication required to make it happen.

Here are some things you want to think about:

1. Your Other Half

If you don’t have a significant other, then the sky is the limit in terms of how much time you can devote to a second full time job. If you do have one, you have to consider their schedule and their feelings. Many, many people feel neglected when their spouses start to work crazy hours, and nothing is more important than your relationship so be sure to cherish it.

2. Your Kids

If you have kids, choosing to work 80 hours a week might not be the wisest choice or at least, it won’t be sustainable for long. With that type of schedule, you are bound to miss activities and important moments, which no parent wants to do.

3. Your Health

I worked like crazy for about a year, and I knew towards the end that there was no way I could keep it up forever. There just comes a time where you have to choose one or the other, and hopefully you are happy with your decision. If you have two full time jobs, there is very little time to exercise and you are constantly eating on the go, so health-wise it’s not sustainable for the long term.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey, and I’m happy that all of that hard work did eventually lead to something. I wouldn’t want to do it again anytime soon, but it was definitely a way to transition to self-employment without too much financial strife.

Have you ever worked two jobs? Do you currently have a side hustle?