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Complete Guide to Set Up a WordPress Blog and Make Money

How to set up WordPress Blog and Make Money

How to set up a WordPress Blog and Make Money

image byMike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Are you a writer? Would you like to make some good money writing about topics that interest you? Then starting a blog is something that I highly recommend. Because of my experience and success, I’ve had a couple friends and family members ask me how to set this up. I thought I would share it with everyone here for free. This is a Complete guide to starting a WordPress Blog and earning money from it. And as a bonus you can download a free checklist to keep you on track. Here are the topics that will be covered: Continue Reading →

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When Money Talks, Listen!

Money!

photo by materials boy

Do you find yourself constantly frustrated about money? Do you find that no matter how much money you have, you always seem to just be making ends meet? If you can relate to these statements then you may benefit from reading the book called “When Money Talks, Listen!” by Rich Ezzo.

What follows is an interview with the author about his inspiration for writing this book and why he thinks he can help YOU and your money issues. Continue Reading →

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What If….

What If…

…You had all the money you wanted?Happy

  • How would your life be different?
  • Where would you live?
  • What would you do?
  • What would be the same?

…You already have all the money you need?

  • How can you live the life you want with what you have right now?
  • What is inside of you that is keeping you from being happy right now? How can you release that?

…You had all the love that you wanted?

  • How would you feel?
  • What would be different in your life?

…You already have all the love you need?

  • Who already loves you?
  • Who loves you that you take for granted?
  • Who do you love?
  • How can you relish the love that is already in your life more?

…You had meaning in your life?

  • What would that look like?
  • How would you be living your life?
  • How would that feel?

…You already have meaning in your life?

  • What is meaningful in your life right now?
  • How do you make a difference to others in your life today?
  • How could you make your life more meaningful today?
  • How would that feel?

Please Share!

Care to share any of your answers? We’d love to learn what you discovered! All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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9

Ultimate Yard Sale Guide for Buyers and Sellers!



It’s That Time of Year

I’m a little late in posting this article, but we’ve still got at least 2 more months of yard sale season left, if not more. This comprehensive guide will give sellers everything you need to know to put on a successful yard sale, and for buyers, everything you need to know to make the most of yard sale shopping.

Buyer Yard Sale Tips: Smart Bargain Shopping

1. Bring ample change. Bring lots of small bills and coins.
2. Go Early if you are looking for antiques or you just want to get the best stuff available.
3. Know what you are looking for. If you will be hitting several yard sales in one day, this can help ensure you get to all of them in a timely manner.
4. Parents of young children: yard sales are a GREAT place to find books, toys, and clothes for kids. Clothing is usually in good condition, and young children really don’t care if a toy is a little worn looking.
5. Call the day before to find out what they have if you are looking for something specific.
6. Plan your route. Map out all the yard sales you’ll attend and pick the most efficient route to save time and gas!
7. Always bargain. You’ve got nothing to lose. You can always pay the full price if they don’t want to come down in price, and who knows you may just get it for less!
8. If you really want something, don’t leave it over a small difference in price because it will probably sell.
9. Go Late. There won’t be as much selection, but you’ll be sure to get a real bargain or even some freebies!

Seller Yard Sale Tips: Hosting a Mega Successful Yard Sale

  1. Spread the word. Tell friends, coworkers and family and invite them to spread the word. Email is good for this.
  2. List your yard sale in as many places as possible: newspaper, craigslist, penny saver local papers, and posters at community centers such as the Post Office, supermarket, etc.
  3. Get Permission. Check to see if you need a license from your town and if you live in a community or condo association, check to see if you need to follow any rules. Ask about where and how you are permitted to put up signs. Ask about rules about parking.
  4. Make good posters. Make them ahead of time. Don’t just do a rush job. Make them big and clear. Use poster paint or large markers if you can. Some ideas for posting: nails that can be removed later, wire to hang over fences, wrapping or duct tape, or attach to wooden spike to place in the ground.
  5. Set up your sale the night before. Have as much set up as possible so you’ll be ready to go in the morning. Don’t underestimate how long it takes to set up. Depending on how much stuff you have it can take a while.
  6. Label prices the day before. Large items should have large labels. Really small things can be sold in groups (i.e. 4 for $1). Make it easy for you and for your buyers.
  7. Consider offering an Early Bird time for dealers. Have your collectibles and antiques ready. Research ahead of time to ensure you get a good price for valuable things. If something is really valuable, you can always sell it later. Don’t give things away. Your big ticket items will provide the bulk of your earnings.
  8. Have Furniture to sell. Furniture draws a crowd. If you don’t have a lot of furniture to sell, consider asking your friends if they have any that they would like to sell at your yard sale.
  9. Merchandise your stuff. Organize items into categories. Display them like you would see in a store. Dust them off. Tidy up your yard. The nicer your stuff looks, the more likely you will be to sell it.
  10. Join forces with friends or neighbors. A bigger yard sale will draw more people. If you don’t have a lot of stuff, consider a joint yard sale with others. If you do this make sure you work out ahead of time how you will handle money issues.
  11. Parking. As noted above find out ahead of time from the police where people are allowed to park.Be sure to put up signage advising buyers where they can park.
  12. Money & Security. It’s best if everyone involved with the money can have a fanny pack with a few different pockets. Don’t leave money out in a money box. Be aware of the security of your home and children. Yard sales are a nice homesy tradition, but don’t let that give you false comfort that everyone who visits is neighborly. Just use common sense. When making change for a large bill, have the buyer hold onto their large bill and then exchange the bill for the change at the same time so there can’t be any dispute over how much they gave you.
  13. Weather. Listen to weather forecasts. Try to choose a weekend with good weather, but be prepared for what you will do if it rains. And with the sun don’t forget sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. It’s a long day!
  14. Thoroughly search your basement, attack, garage and other storage areas for stuff to sell. You should prepare at least a week or two ahead of time, if not more. At my home, we have a place designated for yard sale stuff. We put things there all year and every year we have a big yard sale.
  15. What to charge? Price clothing cheap, especially adult clothing. (i.e. $2 for grocery bag full of clothes) If something is in good shape, you can apply the general rule of 1/3 of the original cost. Another rule of thumb, is to ask yourself “How much would I pay for this?” It the item is valuable, then do some research online on Ebay and Craigslist.org to determine pricing. If it’s very unusual you might want to contact an auction house for advice.
  16. In general regular weekends do better than holiday weekends, unless you live in a holiday area.
  17. Keep pets in the house. Some people are afraid of dogs.
  18. Keep a very close eye on small children. It can’t hurt to repeat this.
  19. Have a measuring tape handy so people can measure furniture to see if it will fit in their house.
  20. Have an extension cord ready to plug in items if buyers want to see if an item works.
  21. Have plastic grocery bags and larger garbage bags for people who purchase many things.
  22. Wheel and deal. The goal is to make money, but the other goal is to rid your home of stuff you don’t want or need anymore. Negotiate around the item’s value. Don’t let pride keep you from parting with something you really don’t want to hold onto.
  23. Take signs down when it’s all over.
  24. Donate clothing and low ticket items. Throw out broken stuff. Hold onto large ticket items that are worth over a certain dollar amount to sell at your next yard sale or to sell online separately via Ebay or Craigslist.
  25. Collapse on a nice soft chair, count your money, rest, and enjoy fun memories with friends and family.

Please Share!

What are your best yard sale tips? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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Working Parents Survival Tips – Part 2


Working Parents Survival Tips – Part 2

Part Two of an article I wrote featuring time management tips for working parents, has just been posted at emomsathome.com.

In Part Two of this two part series, we cover Weekends, Non-Routine Events, and General Tips for saving time and money. If you are a working parent (or know one) that is struggling with balancing work and home time, I think you will these tips unique and useful.

Please check it out today! Don’t forget to share your time management tips for working parents too!

emomsathome.com: Working Parents Survival Tips – Part 2


Please Share!

What are your best working parent time management tips? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to vote for this with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark over at emomsathome. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

 

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6

Give Yourself a Raise Today!


Give Yourself a Raise Today!

Cash Is King

Here’s something you can do today to put more money in your pocket. Get a better rate on your cash. Kelli Grant at SmartMoney.com says, “If you’re earning less than 4% on your cash, well, you’re just not trying.” Why do we leave money on the table? Because it takes too long to research it. This article does the research for you. Now it’s easy for you to earn more on your cash. All you have to do is pick one and in most cases open your account online.

Got Good Rates?

Here are some leading rates as of June 20, 2007. These rates are subject to change over time.

Financial Institution Savings Account Rate (APY) Account Min Monthly Fee Notes
HSBCdirect.com 5.05% 0 0 doesn’t require a checking account. You can transfer to your existing one online. Online Payment account pays 2.5%
Citibank  5.00% 0 0 $50 for new clients. Must have 2 billpays in month for the higher rate otherwise 4.5% rate applies. Free billpay.
WashingtonMutual 5.00% 300 4 requires companion checking account for 5% rate, otherwise 0.25% rate. $4 monthly fee waived if balance > $300.
E-Trade 5.05% 0 0  
INGdirect.com checking 4.00% 0 0 up to 5.25% for balances over $50,000
INGdirect.com savings account 4.50% 0 0  
FNBO 6.00% 0 0 rate guarenteed until 9/28/07
SchwabBank Interest Checking Plus Account 4.25% 0 $10 monthly fee waived if $1000 balance or $1000 monthly direct deposit. $1,000 minimum balance is waived for Schwab One brokerage accounts when you open both an Investor Checking account and a brokerage account.


And, Finally, Why You Should Take Action

Let’s say you have $5000 in cash. If you are getting the average rate of 0.47% then you are earning a measly $23/year. If you switch to a 5.05% rate you will earn $258/year. Let’s put it another way. What if I told you you could have 2 coffees per week free or $258 worth of gas free or 2 lunches per month free, would you take that offer? Well if you fall into this category that’s what it could mean for you.

Here is a compound interest rate calculator where you can calculate how much more money you could earn by switching to a higher rate. Good luck and if you find any deals better than the ones listed above, please share them with us in the comments!

Please Share!


If you found this post valuable, please SHARE THIS below with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or make a purchase at Amazon through one of my links. Thank you!

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How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?



How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?

Everyone knows that they need to save for retirement, but most of us don’t really know which magic number to shoot for. Our goal should be to meet our financial needs in retirement and not run out of money. When you don’t know what your target is, your saving efforts will probably be wishy washy. This article presents a simple process to figure out how much you will need. There are 3 easy steps. You can choose to get complicated with this, but simple is best. This should only take you about 15-30 minutes.

1) Annual Expenses

The first step is to calculate your annual expenses for your first year of retirement. I will present the most conservative way to do this. You can use this budget calculator to determine that. Here’s another budget calculator. Calculate what you expect your expenses to be using today’s costs. Don’t get too caught up in detailed estimates. Quick estimates will suffice. Once you have your expenses calculated, then you go to an inflation calculator or this one and estimate how much inflation will increase that amount.

So if you would need $40,000 in today’s dollars, then in 20 years with 3% average annual inflation, you would need roughly $72,000. Using 3% for inflation is pretty standard. You can always use a higher number if you feel that inflation will be higher in the future. Remember to calculate in any income you think you may have such as investment income, pensions, and social security. This will lower the amount you will need.

2) What Size Portfolio Will I Need? Try The 4 Percent Solution.

“The 4 Percent Solution” is the answer to “How do I ensure I won’t run out of money in retirement?” Based on a Monte Carlo analysis, “The 4 Percent Solution” states that there is a high probability (90% confidence level) that you can maintain your lifestyle during a 30 year retirement with a portfolio that is 25 times the size of your first withdrawal. Don’t worry if you don’t understand that. All you need to know is that this is a standard way to determine your target retirement portfolio amount.

So here’s how you use this. Take the annual expenses you calculated, $72,000 in our example, and multiple by 25. So in our example your retirement portfolio needs to be at $1,800,000. Conversely, if you are close to retirement already and you know how much you have, you can determine the maximum amount that is prudent to withdraw in the first year.

If you have a $1,000,000 portfolio upon retirement, then the maximum you should withdraw in the first year would be $1,000,000 X 0.04 = $40,000. The amount you withdraw each year after that can be increased according to inflation.

If you want a higher confidence level of not running out of money during retirement, you can:

  • spend less (best method)
  • save more (good method but difficult)
  • increase income by working part time during retirement (good method, a chance to try another field of work)
  • and/or increase your income by having a more aggressive investment portfolio (risky and not recommended for retirees or those close to retirement.)

3) Create Your Savings Plan to Hit Your Target Retirement Portfolio

Use an investment calculator to determine how much you need to save monthly. In our example, you need a portfolio of $1,800,000 upon retirement. Sounds pretty daunting, huh? Let’s take a look at how doable this is.

Let’s say you start out with a portfolio of $50,000 and that you invest that money in a moderately aggressive portfolio (80% stocks/20% bonds) of index mutual funds for 30 years. (See my Guide to Investing for help with setting up your portfolio ) Let’s assume an annual rate of return of 9%. You would need to contribute $581/month to reach your goal.

Now $580 is quite a bit of money, but somehow many people are able to spend that amount of money and not even realize it. Or how about your car payment, if you have one. For many people, that is a hefty number. But notice how when you really want something, you usually find a way to pay for it. It should be no different with your retirement savings.

Even if meeting your monthly savings target is a struggle, at least you now know what to shoot for. You can slowly begin to take steps to cut back on expenses. Take a look at my post on ways to improve your financial situation for some ideas. You can also play around and tweak any of the numbers in your calculations to make it easier to meet your goal. Save what you can for now and work towards saving the amount you need. You Can Do It!

Please Share!

Please share your comments on Retirement Saving. All comments big and small are very welcomed!

If you found this post valuable, please SHARE THIS below with a Stumble or Delicious bookmark. Votes are always appreciated!

If you want to Support Life Learning Today, you can visit one of my sponsors, make a donation, or visit Amazon through my “Books� page at the top of this page. Thank you!

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