Crowdfunding for Charity

How to Set Up Crowdfunding for Charity

Christmas is always a special time of year for my family, but probably not for the reasons you would expect. Sure, we get together and celebrate with all our usual traditions. However, the holidays are also a time to reflect on and share our blessings with others. So, every year my family chooses a charitable cause that holds special meaning for us and finds some way to support them. It is a good reminder of what the Christmas spirit is all about as well as the importance of giving back to the community. The birth of crowdfunding sites has opened up new possibilities and ways to help. If you are looking for ways you can contribute, here’s how to set up crowdfunding for charity.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a simple concept that has helped people raise millions of dollars for different causes. Instead of trying to get a single large donation, it takes a more grassroots approach of asking for smaller donations from a large group of people.

The platforms provide a secure online portal where you can make monetary contributions. Several charities, social justice causes, startups, and individuals seeking assistance through hardships utilize crowdfunding to raise money. If you are looking for a way to give back, you can donate to existing non-profits or charitable organizations that support national and international relief efforts. Or, you can find an individual cause to directly help people you know.

How Do You Set Up Crowdfunding for Charity?

Although it is easy to fill out the required fields and launch your crowdfunding cause, it takes more to lead a successful campaign. You must implement a good strategy and get ready to put in a good amount of work to see results. You can’t just set it and forget it, then expect the donations to come rolling in.

When you take the role of organizer, you will need to set the goals for the crowdfunding campaign, share important details of the cause you are raising money for, and find a way to reach the maximum amount of people possible. One of the easiest methods of gaining support is to post links, pictures, and updates through your social media. The more platforms you use, the more people you can reach.

However, one thing you must remember is to pay attention to the fine print. There are rules and fees associated with each platform. And, they all operate differently. Some will charge a small percentage to use their platform and also regulate how and when the funds are disbursed. Make sure to read them carefully so they aren’t any surprises later on.

What Are the Best Crowdfunding Platforms to Use for Charity?

So, the big question is how do you choose which site is best when you are crowdfunding for charity? There are dozens of platforms to choose from, and more popping up every day. However, every crowdfunding site is not created equal.

The top crowdfunding sites provide easy setup and maintenance, but they will charge you for it. Platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter are among the largest and most popular because they are user-friendly. In only a few minutes, you can have it completed and ready to start spreading the word. And, organizers can quickly access the funds when they are ready to use them. But, they require a 5% fee to use their services. While GoFundMe has no platform fee, it charges transaction fees for debit and credit cards.

Sites like Mightycause are much better suited for nonprofits and charitable causes. They have some of the lowest fees, charging only 1.2% for processing fees. And although they don’t require you to meet specific goals, they will give you access to free tools to help achieve them.

The Best Crowdfunding Platform for Our Christmas Cause

The Cause

This year, my family decided to think a little bigger. We are rallying support for a group of people who are often overlooked. Although society considers them adults, 20% of children who “age out” of foster care become instantly homeless. As they formally enter adulthood, they lose access to every form of support they had as minors.

To put it lightly, these kids are often unprepared and ill-equipped to take care of themselves as adults. They face greater obstacles and have a higher risk of dropping out, unemployment, teen pregnancy, abuse, and imprisonment. So, youth centers, such as the Flite Center, provide support to local teens as they transition into adulthood. In addition to providing basic living necessities, they also offer career counseling, resource navigation, and assistance to find housing and education.

Unfortunately, these centers are severely underfunded and are always in need of support. Therefore, my friend, her community, and now all our social media contacts are banding together to put together gift baskets with Christmas stockings stuffed full of toiletries, gift cards, warm clothing, and other necessities to make their lives a little easier. To help us with this task, we chose SignUpGenius.

The Crowdfunding Platform

Although any one of the crowdfunding platforms can help you achieve your goals, it is important to find the one the best suits your needs. The primary benefit of this crowdfunding platform for charity is that it allows you to itemize your list and assign slots for volunteers to sign up. It gives more flexibility to those who are contributing and makes it easier for the organizer to meet the donation goals.

Instead of just sending money, the platform’s design allows you to choose what you want to contribute. After creating a list of items to include, we provided the link to purchase them in bulk. There are also options to purchase gift cards or pay for an entire basket. For those who find it difficult to make monetary contributions, there is also a request for handwritten Christmas cards that can be included with the baskets.

However, SignUpGenius has another huge advantage: the cost. While they do charge a set monthly fee, they will not require a percentage of the money you raise. The lowest package starts at $8.99 a month, but they do offer a free trial for their premium plans.

In addition to the financial savings, their site will also help us save a ton of time and energy in preparation. Now, we can focus our efforts on community outreach and informing everyone of how they can help. This Christmas, we want people to understand that family isn’t always the people that you are related to. Everyone in your community is part of your family. And as a community, we can support each other and make it even stronger.

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How to Sell and Recycle Old Electronics

How to Sell and Recycle Old Electronics

My family loves tech and gadgets. While my dad is the original collector with stereo equipment and early green-screen computers dating back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, we have built quite the collection of antiquated electronics. Although some of it is valuable, most of it is junk which is difficult to dispose of. And as I’ve come to find out, throwing them away is basically tossing money out the window. While the operating systems are completely obsolete, they are still in good shape. After doing a little research, I have discovered seven ways you can sell and recycle old electronics so they don’t end up at the local landfill.

7 Ways to Sell and Recycle Old Electronics

1. Trade-in Programs

One of the most convenient ways to get compensation for your old electronics is through trade-in programs. A quick online search will pull up several retailers who will give you cash, credit, or gift cards. While there may be a few local options, there are several national companies that offer to pay you for them.

  • Target offers gift cards when you turn in old laptops, phones, video games, and other electronics.
  • Best Buy allows you to trade them in for in-store credit. Or, if you want to trade up or use the credit for future purchases, you can mail them in for gift cards.
  • Amazon will pay you for your outdated devices.
  • Apple’s Recycling Program also offers gift cards. However, it is limited to Apple products only.

2. Sell Them Online

Another way to earn cash for your electronics is to sell them yourself. If your devices are still functioning well, you could try to advertise them online or through local marketplaces. You are more likely to get the maximum value if you sell it yourself, but it could take a while to find a buyer.

The best sites and marketplaces to post your items are Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Amazon. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are more local, so they require face-to-face transactions. These are usually cash only and won’t have shipping fees unless you offer the option. On the other hand, eBay and Amazon help you reach a wider market and improve the chances of finding a buyer. But, they also take a percentage for using their platform.

If you decide to go this route, you should cross-list items in several places to cast the widest net possible.

3. Use a Direct-Buy Used Electronic Sites

Unfortunately, most people don’t have the time or patience to deal with private sales. So, if you don’t want the hassle of advertising and meeting with potential buyers in person, you should check out direct-buy sites for used electronics.

Amazon, Gazelle, and Decluttr give you access to trusted buy-back programs for your electronics. All you have to do is send them your old electronics. Once they receive them, then they will evaluate the value and send you compensation.

4, Check with Local Repair Shops

Sometimes local repair shops will buy used laptops and phones for parts, or repair them and sell them for a profit. So, even if your devices are old and well-worn, they still hold value.

Check with repair shops in your area to see if they can scavenge parts that are still valuable and compatible with other devices. They may offer you cash or trade-in credit, depending on what components they can get from your old electronics. Even if they don’t, repair shops are usually willing to dispose of them for free.

5. Pass Them on to a Friend or Family Member

Perhaps you know someone who needs a laptop or phone upgrade. Accidents happen all the time, and electronics are expensive to replace. Try asking around to see if anyone is looking for a temporary fix until they can afford something else.

Many people insist on giving you something, but you may have the opportunity to help someone you care about who is facing a tough financial situation. This is a good option if it is the first cell phone or laptop for a student as well. If they have a used or older device, there is less fear of damaging or losing it since it isn’t the latest and most expensive one available.

6. Donate Them to a Good Cause

In some instances, helping the less fortunate is more important than getting a good price. If you want to donate your outdated electronics to a good cause, you can look into local chapters of these organizations.

Many shelters and programs that assist veterans and victims of domestic violence gladly accepted older phones. There are also non-profits and charitable organizations that always need electronic upgrades. You can also call around to schools, shelters, churches, and other charities that may have a use for them. Donating them is a great way to give back to your community, instead of trying to sell or recycle your old electronics.

7. Safe Disposal and Recycling

However, if the devices are too far gone, it may be best to just scrap them. You can save yourself time and trouble by finding a place to safely dispose of them.

Many electronic retailers and recycling services will accept old electronics and get rid of them for you, free of charge. All you have to do is find designated kiosks inside stores like Best Buy where you can drop them in. Or, you can usually drop them off at the customer service desk, and they will make sure the devices are properly handled.

Before You Sell and Recycle Old Electronics…

Before you hand over any of your personal devices, make sure you wipe or destroy the hard drive. Many recycling centers do this for you, but it’s always safer to do it yourself. You don’t want your personal information floating around, or give anyone access to important documents that could leave you vulnerable to fraud or identity theft. So, if the hard drive has nothing on it or has been destroyed, you know your information is secure when you sell or recycle your old electronics.

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How to Protect Your Portfolio Before a Recession

How to Protect Your Portfolio Before a Recession

 

Every type of investment comes with risks. However, there are many steps you can take to insulate your investments against market volatility. Here are seven ways you can protect your retirement savings and portfolio before a recession.

7 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Portfolio Before a Recession

1. Accept the fact that recessions happen.

No matter how well you plan, you can never escape risk. Market volatility is an inherent part of investing. So, periodic crashes are just the nature of the beast. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, there has been a market recession every ten years (sometimes more frequently) since 1858.

It can be tough to ride out the highs and the lows of the stock market. However, you have to accept that every few years, the market will inevitably dive. These are natural, self-correcting mechanisms that counteract long periods of market gains. But, the ebb and flow of the market mean it will stabilize eventually. Although you can’t predict when it will happen, you can monitor signs and prepare for it.

2. Know your risk tolerance.

Before you even make your first investment, you must know what level your risk tolerance is. This varies for every investor based on their financial goals, job security, timeline, and general attitude towards money. Therefore, every brokerage and financial advisor will ask you to complete a questionnaire to help you determine what type of strategy works best for you.

The type of investments you choose depends on your risk tolerance. People tend to become more conservative as they near retirement age since they have less time to recover from losses. However, if you already have a conservative approach or find it difficult to stomach drastic market fluctuations, it may be better to go with investments like bonds, real estate, and large-cap stocks that are less volatile.

3. Keep an eye on the bigger picture.

One of the most common mistakes amateur investors make is trying to time the market. Don’t waste your energy or capital trying to time different sectors. Instead, keep an eye on the bigger picture and stay with your long-term strategy. It can be hard to ignore the daily rises and falls, but don’t get distracted by the latest trends. Remind yourself why you chose your specific investments.

When you see large fluctuations, you must regulate your emotions. The last thing you should do is panic and make impulsive decisions about your portfolio. The more practical solution is to create a strategy to scale back your risk. If you try to micromanage your portfolio, it could cost you even more.

Most financial advisors will tell you to ride it out so you don’t lock in the losses. Then you will have the chance to recover. History has shown that people who hold their investments through a recession have portfolios that almost always recuperate their losses. Trying to outrun a bear market usually results in people selling their shares and then rebuying them later at much higher prices

4. Diversification is key to surviving a recession.

Although diversification is a common strategy, it shouldn’t be overlooked or undervalued. It is one of the most important methods to protect your investments on the brink of a recession. When you put your eggs in many different baskets, the gains in thriving markets will offset any losses other industries are experiencing.

When you diversify your portfolio, not only should you maintain different kinds of investments, but also investments in various industries, companies of different sizes, and multiple geographic locations. Time and again, it has proven to be a good way to ensure your portfolio stays balanced and profitable, even during a recession. You may need to do this yourself, or you can choose funds that automatically diversify your investments for you.

5. Evaluate and rebalance your portfolio.

While it is wise to evaluate and rebalance your portfolio regularly, it is even more important before an economic downturn. Look at the composition of your portfolio and decide if you need to reallocate funds to protect your portfolio before a recession.

The traditional model of 70/30 where 70% is invested in stocks, 30% in bonds works for most investors. However, other investors opt for a different strategy of 50/20/30 where they invest 50% in stocks, 20% in bonds, and the remaining 30% in real estate. It offers greater diversification and security when the market dips.

You can also limit your exposure by selling riskier assets. At the first signs of a recession, herd instincts are to get out of the equities market completely. But, if you do this, you will miss some valuable opportunities. Therefore, fixed-income investments are usually a better option for more risk-averse investors. U.S. treasury bonds, utilities, consumer staples, commodities, and companies with a long, established history are more likely to weather a recession. Dividend-paying stocks will also guarantee steady cash flow and offer more stability through economic downturns.

6. Invest your money in uncorrelated markets.

Another way to protect your portfolio before a recession is to invest in uncorrelated markets. Look for commodities or assets that don’t fluctuate in tandem with the stock market. This is a great way to hedge your bets and help your portfolio remain profitable even during a recession. Uncorrelated markets, such as real estate, hold their value over time. So, you will be able to maintain consistent returns even when several sectors are suffering losses.

7. Be open to new opportunities.

Although your instincts may tell you not to invest during a recession, making regular contributions will help you continue to build towards your retirement goals. Just because your portfolio is less profitable doesn’t mean you should stop investing.

The silver lining of a bear market is that market crashes can also bring new investment opportunities. Even if share prices drop, they will likely recover over time. If you are in a stable position, buying on the dip could turn you a huge profit. If you choose the right stock options, you are setting yourself up for success when the market rebounds.

There is no way to time it perfectly, and prices could continue to drop. Therefore, you should set an investing threshold so you know your limits and how much capital you are willing to gamble with.

Sticking with Your Strategy

Ultimately, nothing is recession-proof. Even when people claim to have the market beat, ignore the hype and do your research. Most importantly, resist the urge to try to time your investments to beat the market. There is no magic, crystal ball. Focus on the long-term and stick to your investment strategy. If you have any questions about how to limit your exposure to minimize risks, discuss your options with your financial advisor.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Insure Your Body Parts

3 Reasons Why You Should Insure Your Body Parts

Purchasing policies for specific body parts is not a typical topic of conversation in the insurance world. Although in most cases it is celebrities who want this kind of coverage, there are also instances in which other people could benefit from it. For example, if your income depends on the use of a particular appendage or body part, it could affect your livelihood. Therefore, here are a few reasons why you should insure your body parts if you fall into this category.

3 Reasons You Should Insure Your Body Parts

While it might seem like a strange notion to you, many people have insured their body parts in the past. Certain careers, such as athletes, entertainers, and artists depend on their skills or appearance to earn an income. Here are some of the most common reasons why people have decided they should insure their body parts.

1. You want to protect your assets.

Without a doubt, entertainment companies are willing to shell out big bucks to insure their cash cows. This is even more important if the celebrity is known for a trademark feature or aspect of their appearance. Whether it is Julia Roberts’ smile or Tom Jones’ chest hair, these entertainers are instantly recognizable because of them. So, it makes sense to protect your source of income. As former playmate Holly Madison said after insuring her breasts for $1 million, they are important “assets.” If anything would happen to them, it would affect their ability to work and bring in income.

Looking at it from the professional sports franchises’ perspective, each athlete is vital for their business to make money as well. If their all-star athletes aren’t able to play, they lose money in ticket and merchandise sales. Therefore, sports teams often have a general disability policy if their stars have an accident that keeps them from playing. These types of policies are available from most standard insurers. However, you will need to find more specialized insurance companies if you want to insure a body part. Athletes like David Beckham and Cristiano Renaldo did exactly this, insuring their legs with multi-million dollar policies to protect the assets that helped make them famous.

2. You will have disability insurance should you have a career-ending injury.

One of the most important reasons why you should insure your body parts is because the policies provide coverage in case of death, damage, or dismemberment. Not only do people want to protect their assets, but also make sure they have a source of income if they have an accident or career-ending injury. Taking out disability insurance for specific body parts would supplement their income if they are no longer able to perform their craft or skill that they depend on to earn money. Actors and models purchase policies to protect their appearance while athletes insure the body parts they rely on to play at the professional level.

However, they aren’t the only occupations that can benefit from customized insurance policies. Musicians and artists sometimes insure their hands or vocal cords in case they can no longer perform or create. Chefs and wine tasters have also been known to insure their taste buds as well. If they were to lose their sense of taste or smell, it could cost them their entire livelihood.

3. It could generate more business with free publicity.

Another reason some people suspect that celebrities insure their body parts is to generate publicity. As ridiculous as this may sound, stories like this grab headlines and get people talking. If the story stirs up enough buzz, it creates a lot of free publicity.

In fact, a supermarket in the UK used this publicity stunt to generate more income. They insured the taste buds of their senior wine buyer for 10 million pounds (about $17.3 million). What seemed like a crazy idea turned into a huge profit for them. The story was picked up by three magazines and six national newspapers. Then, following the story, the supermarket’s wine sales increased by 19%.

Some have suggested that celebrities do this as well. While the rumor has never been confirmed, there was gossip that Mariah Carey insured her legs for $1 billion. However, the timing happened to coincide perfectly with the beginning of her “Adventures of MiMi” tour. Whether the rumor is true or not, Carey still made $27.9 million in box office sales that tour.

How Do You Insure Your Body Parts?

Although these insurance policies aren’t exclusively available to celebrities, they do cost more than the average person can afford. These are not your standard insurance policy. They will personalize it to each client’s specific needs. So, you should expect to pay a high price for their attention to detail.

If you decide to insure your body parts, options are limited. Most people who want to insure their body parts must consult with one company that has become internationally known for selling specialized insurance. Lloyd’s of London has provided some of the most famous insurance policies for celebrities for over 100 years. One of the first celebrities to seek such a policy was silent film star, Ben Turpin, who bought $25,000 of coverage to insure his crossed eyes. However, they continue to sell specialized policies today to many celebrities worth millions of dollars.

The Most Expensive Body Parts Ever Insured (Reportedly)

Even though it is possible, it is still not common practice to insure body parts. However, several celebrities have gone to great lengths to protect their assets. Here is a list of the ten most expensive insurance policies (reported but not confirmed) ever purchased.

  1. Mariah Carey’s legs – $1 billion
  2. J-Lo’s butt – $300 million
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s legs – $144 million
  4. David Beckham’s legs – $70 million
  5. Michael Flatley’s legs – $40 million
  6. Julia Robert’s smile – $30 million
  7. America Ferrera’s smile – $10 million
  8. Daniel Craig’s body – $9.5 million
  9. Tom Jones’ chest hair – $7 million
  10. Bruce Springsteen’s voice – $6 million

The celebrities have made headlines with their unusual insurance policies. However, this list is likely to expand and change as more people decide to view their bodies as assets worth insuring.

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Buy Once Cry Once Mentality in Budgeting

 

Buy Once Cry Once Mentality in Budgeting

Most people know that the purpose of budgeting is to help you take control of your finances. The first step in doing this is creating a monthly budget. First,  you figure out how much you make each month. From that, you monitor what you spend and deduct it from your total income. Many people look for ways to reduce their expenses as much as possible. But, is that the best approach to budgeting? Some say buying quality over quantity is more cost-effective. The ‘Buy Once, Cry Once’ mentality in budgeting may cost more upfront but can save you a ton in the long run.

What is the ‘Buy Once, Cry Once’ Mentality?

Buy Once, Cry Once is the idea that you value quality over price. It means that you can purchase something one time for a higher price, and it will withstand the test of time. Believe me, I understand the importance of cutting corners here and there to save a buck. I used to be the type of person who never paid full price for anything. But after seeing the bottom line of buying multiple cheap items, the ‘Buy Once, Cry Once’ mentality is now ingrained in me.

Invest in Quality Clothing

For example, I used to buy cheaply made clothing from the large box stores to save money. My closet was full of items from the bargain bins and discount racks. However, within a year, the new items started to look worn or would fall apart and need repairs. Instead of buying a cheap, poorly made winter jacket for $20, look at purchasing something from a quality brand.  Yes, it might cost five times as much. But, you get what you pay for. So, chances are it will last you five times longer than the more economical option. And honestly, you’ll be happier with it in the end.

Don’t Settle for Cheap Knock-Offs

Another example would be buying an expensive appliance. Many high-end appliances like air-fryers and insta-pots have flooded the market, but the appeal comes from their longevity. I use both these appliances several times a week, and they are still working as well as the day I bought them. Sure, you could spend less on a knock-off, generic product. But spending more on a quality appliance will save you money in repairs and replacement costs. You buy the appliance once (and cry because of the high price), but then you have a well-made product that will last you for years to come.

Cheap Vehicles Often Lead to Costly Repairs

However, the most obvious application of the Buy Once, Cry Once approach to budgeting was when I bought a used vehicle. Several years ago, I was looking for a new car. However, there was no way I could afford high monthly payments. So, I found a used vehicle from a private seller. On the surface, everything looked clean and functioned well. But, within a few months, I experienced one costly repair after another. In total, I spent nearly as much on repairs as I did on the vehicle. Had I increased my initial budget, I could have bought a more reliable car that didn’t require so much maintenance.

Buy Once, Cry Once Mentality in Budgeting

So now that we have wrapped our heads around the ‘Buy once, Cry once’ mentality, how does it fit into budgeting?

If you ascribe to this mantra, then you know your budget is going to take a substantial hit upfront. After all, paying for quality is not a new idea. In terms of budgeting, you should look at the expense as a one-time expenditure. When you plan for a large purchase, you can adjust your budget so you don’t overextend yourself. Going back to the example of buying a new winter coat, you would put aside extra money in the budget around November/December to accommodate the extra expense.

Think of it this way; a one-time expense for a quality item usually turns out to be a better value over time. Rather than having to budget to purchase lesser quality items more frequently, you invest in better-made items that you only have to buy once.

However, if you are making a larger purchase like a car that is bigger than your entire budget, it will probably require a loan. But the Buy Once, Cry Once theory still applies. Although you have larger monthly payments, buying a better quality vehicle will save you money in labor and repairs.

How to Get Quality at a Lower Cost

Even though you are going to spend more upfront with this approach, you can still find quality at a decent cost. Just because you want to buy quality products does not mean you have to buy the most expensive option. You can save a lot of money by doing some research before you spend anything. Compare product reviews and shop around for the best deals. Depending on what you are shopping for, you can likely find excellent deals with seasonal offers.

 

Another way you can stretch your budget is to find second-hand items. With online marketplaces and sales becoming more active than ever, there is a good chance you can find used products for a great price. If possible, take some time to explore used options before you blow your monthly budget.

Conclusion

Shifting your mindset to purchase something based on quality over price will reap many financial benefits over time.  The ‘Buy Once, Cry Once’ mentality in budgeting may be hard to grasp at first. But once you embrace it, I can assure you that you’ll ultimately be more satisfied.  By creating a free monthly budget, you too can be on your way to financial independence.  

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

If reading this blog post makes you want to try your hand at blogging, we have good news for you; you can do exactly that on Saving Advice. Just click here to get started.

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5 Financial Benefits of Deleting Social Media Apps

5 Financial Benefits of Deleting Social Media Apps

Without question, social media has changed how humans communicate. While we now have access to a global network of people and information, constant communication also subjects us to a constant bombardment of advertisements, notifications, and promotional offers as well. For these reasons and more, many people announce that they are taking social media cleanses to detox from its negative side effects. Even if you don’t feel the need to declare it to the world, taking a break from social media for even 24 hours could be good for you. In addition to its mental health benefits, people are discovering that there are many financial benefits of deleting your social media apps as well.

What Are Some of the Financial Benefits of Deleting Social Media Apps?

1. It Removes the Temptation to Spend.

When I began clearing my home screen of social media apps, I didn’t realize how it would affect my spending habits. With so many embedded advertisements, I was frequently diverted to sites I never intended to visit. And, although I hate to admit it, also spend money I never intended to part with. My increased monthly savings was the most unexpected financial benefit of deleting my social media apps.

Deleting these and other mobile shopping apps I frequently use took away the temptation to spend. It’s as simple as the press of the button to have things delivered to your front door. When I saw the apps every time I opened my phone, it was harder to resist impulse buying.

Once I became aware of this bad habit, I also realized I was making unnecessary in-game purchases with some of my mobile gaming apps as well. Removing all of these has saved me a significant amount of money each month.

2. You Have Less Exposure to Targeted Advertising.

Speaking of embedded advertisements, social media apps are littered with them. The banner and pop-up ads are hard to ignore. And, if you spend hours each day scrolling, they become ingrained into your subconscious when you see them over and over again. This marketing strategy has proven so successful that 76% of people say they have bought something they saw in a social media post. Furthermore, many of the respondents said they didn’t even intend to buy anything before they made the purchase.

It has become even more effective since social media uses your search history to target items you have shown an interest in. If you have looked it up multiple times, they will continue to show you more ads. The more you see something, the more likely it becomes that you will buy it. So, reducing your exposure to marketing and advertisements can help you avoid spending money. This is good news for your wallet and your monthly budget.

3. It Makes You More Productive at Work.

Facts are facts. Most of us spend hours every day scrolling through social media. If you don’t believe me, check your screen time tracker. Not only will it show you have much time you spend on your phone every day, but it will also tell you which ones are your biggest time-suckers.

If you are constantly getting notifications or checking your phone at work, it can become a huge distraction. And, it could be affecting your overall job performance. By deleting the apps from your phone, you can greatly improve your productivity. Who knows…maybe if you aren’t so distracted, you’ll finally feel motivated to go after a raise or a promotion.

4. The Extra Time Can Help You Increase Your Income.

I can’t speak for others, but I was shocked to see that I was spending upwards of 4-5 hours every day on social media. Although I always complained that I never had enough hours in the day, now I had evidence why. The time we spend looking at the latest posts could be put towards more productive pursuits.

Instead of wasting this time on social media, I wanted to use it to improve my financial situation. I started by taking advantage of new opportunities and became more serious about investing. As I looked at ways to earn passive income, I finally found the courage to start my own business. Although this is how I chose to use my reclaimed time, you could use it to learn a new skill or earn a specialized degree that will increase your income.

5. It Becomes Easier to Focus on Your Goals.

Possibly the most impactful financial benefit of deleting social media apps was that it become easier to focus on my goals. Sure, there were times I felt I was missing out as my friends posted updates of their vacations and new purchases. However, reducing my exposure to other people’s irresponsible spending habits also reduced comparisons and envy.

Not having those incessant reminders allows you to reset your priorities and focus on what and who is most important. For me, removing the temptations to use social media made it is easier to achieve my financial goals.

Don’t Forget About the Health Benefits of Deleting Your Social Media Apps Either!

In addition to all the financial benefits, we can’t forget to mention the mental health benefits as well. Once I deleted the worst offenders from my phone, my sleeping habits immediately improved. I felt more energized when I woke up and less drained at the end of the day.

Psychologists have also noted that it can reduce your anxiety levels. By removing the obligation you feel to stay in constant communication, you eliminate the stress it creates. This allows you to relax and truly live in the moment. And, when we spend less time looking at our phones, we are able to focus on other, more personal modes of communication.

Although it may not be necessary to do a social media detox, taking a step back from our daily routines can give you a new perspective and appreciation. Going forward, I know that I can take a step back and then ease back into whenever I feel the need. However, once you begin noticing the financial benefits of deleting your social media apps, you may decide to take a permanent hiatus.

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The Biggest Lies About Growing Wealth

 

The Biggest Lies About Growing Wealth

From an early age, there are several myths and lies about growing wealth that are drilled into our memory. It can be difficult to break free from this way of thinking. However, some of these misconceptions are based on outdated ideas and limited perspectives. Here is a look at some of the most common lies still being circulated.

5 Common Lies About Growing Wealth

1. Businesses Break Even in the First Year.

There is a common misconception among new business owners that you will be an instant success. However, in reality, plans get delayed, unexpected expenses arise, and it takes time to create a market presence.  According to Forbes, the timeline to achieve profitability is closer to 18-24 months. Furthermore, 25% of new business ventures fail in their first year.

The truth is that instant success is very rare. While entrepreneurs are waiting for their breakthrough moment, you must be willing to wait it out, lose money, or even walk away from a failed venture. Many successful businessmen will tell you that had several failures before they finally prospered.

2. All You Need Is a Good Idea.

This mantra lies at the heart of the American Dream that anyone can get rich with the right idea. This is one of those lies about growing wealth that perpetuates itself because there is some truth in it. Unfortunately, not every great idea meets a market need or consumer demand. Not only must the idea be feasible and practical, but most importantly it must be profitable. If no one wants to buy your product, then it will never be successful.

The execution and timing of your business’s launch are also crucial. When you are first finding your legs, expect to invest a ton of man-hours to get it off the ground. You should also make sure you have enough savings to cover your bills and give yourself a cushion. This will allow you to breathe a little as you wait to gain a foothold and break even.

3. You Need High Returns and Savings to Grow Money.

Another myth about growing wealth is that you need high returns and savings to grow your wealth. However, most financial planners will tell you that making steady contributions is a more efficient strategy. Consistent savings is more important than stumbling upon a good investment opportunity. But, don’t ignore a good opportunity when it comes around.

This is also a great lesson to pass on to the next generation. Remember, it is never too early to begin saving and investing. Time is a valuable asset; the sooner you begin, the more money you earn from compounding interest. Even if you start small, you can let your money begin working for you.

4. You Need a Loan to Start a Business.

One of the greatest pitfalls for potential business ideas is the idea that you need a loan to start a business. While some entrepreneurs have a significant amount of startup capital, most just start where they are at and build from there. Instead of quitting your job and focusing solely on the new business, perhaps it is wiser to keep your day job. This will provide a safety net while you establish yourself. Once your business can sustain itself, then it may be time to consider making it your sole source of income.

5. You Can’t Get Rich Off Your Salary.

Another lie about growing wealth is that you will never get rich just off your salary. Although it may be difficult to build enough savings for retirement on your salary alone, you can begin using it for steady investments from an early age. If you invest small portions of your salary, over time it will grow exponentially. The key is to make consistent contributions at regular intervals to ensure steady, continued growth. Diversification will also protect your nest egg and mitigate long-term risks.

The Secret to Growing Wealth

The truth about growing wealth is that there are many roads that can lead you to the same goal. There is no carefully guarded secret among the wealthy about how to get rich. Yet, increasing your wealth begins with the same fundamental lessons. Unfortunately, most people are not willing to take the necessary steps to get there. Instead, they choose to ignore their finances and bad habits rather than take control of them. Growing your personal net worth doesn’t need to be complicated. But, it does require you to take action.

The first step is to determine what your financial situation is. Once you know where you are at, it makes it easier to determine where you want to go. You can start by tracking your spending and sticking to a budget. This basic exercise can help you identify areas for improvement. If you aren’t living below your means, you will never add to your net worth.

Although this is the first step in building wealth, it is not enough to merely break even. Once you learn to live below your means, the next step is to start saving and investing your money. Every extra dollar you have at the end of the month should be put to work for you. Budgeting apps and tools can help you determine how much you need to set aside each to achieve your financial goals.

The final and most critical key to financial success is consistency. It’s started by creating healthy spending and savings habits. Then, it requires you to continue prioritizing them over large, unnecessary expenditures. Making regular contributions to your savings account and investment portfolio will ensure steady and long-term financial growth.

Final Thought About Growing Wealth

When you are making important decisions about your finances, consider your sources. Advice is freely offered with the best of intentions. However, you should take time to do your research and learn to decipher fact from fiction. Identifying lies about growing wealth is a good place to start. And remember, when in doubt you can always seek out professional advice to find the best ways to grow your personal wealth.

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The Cost of Passenger Tickets to Space

The Cost of Passenger Tickets to Space

Ever since we put the first man on the moon, humans have been dreaming about the future of space travel. However, the difficulty of coordinating these missions in addition to the high costs meant it was only viable when funded as a government program. But, it seems as if all that is about to change. Many of the leading companies in space technology are focusing on reusable rockets and equipment to reduce costs to launch, and ultimately the cost of passenger tickets to space. And, it could be even cheaper for those staying within the Earth’s atmosphere. Just this summer, several private citizens paid to reach the “edge of space” then return to Earth. With even more suborbital flights on the horizon, space travel may soon become more accessible to private citizens.

The Cost of the First Passenger Tickets to Space

Russia pioneered space tourism sending seven passengers to space between 2001 and 2009. For $20-25 million per ticket, they sent passengers to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. Space Adventures brokered the deal for the individuals with Roscosmos and RSC Energia. However, Russia halted sales on passenger tickets since the ISS crew size grew and they no longer had extra seats to sell.

The first space tourist was Dennis Tito, an American entrepreneur and engineer who had once worked for NASA. After being turned down by NASA, Tito paid $20 million for the honor of being the first Russian passenger in space. The flight carrying Tito and fellow cosmonauts launched on April 28, 2001. The Soyuz spacecraft shuttled him to the ISS where he spent eight days in orbit.

Recent Passengers to Space

The future has finally arrived for the rest of us as well. Several private companies including Space Adventures, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX have successfully launched flights with private passengers. They hope these initial space expeditions will demonstrate the reliability and safety of space travel as they facilitate human expansion into space.

Space Adventures

Space Adventures has been brokering private space flights using Russian spacecraft to the ISS since 1998. And, they have sold several more passenger tickets and spaceflight experiences. They have been an integral part in helping private citizens, including the first passenger to space, achieve orbit.

SpaceX

Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 in fear that one day the Earth will become uninhabitable. SpaceX is the only company that is NASA-certified to send people into orbit. It is already working with NASA, using SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to shuttle its astronauts to the ISS. It has also sold passenger tickets on future Crew Dragon flights brokered through other companies. SpaceX is also working with Axiom to send more crewed flights to the space station. However, the ultimate goal is to send passengers to Mars.

Virgin Galactic

British billionaire Richard Branson bought SpaceShipOne which built the first reusable spaceship. He then founded Virgin Galactic with intentions to carry up to six passengers into suborbital space. Although he intended to begin taking passengers in 2009, Virgin Galactic experienced many setbacks including a design flaw that caused a crash and the death of one of its pilots in 2014. However, on July 11, Branson and five other passengers took flight, reaching a final altitude of 85 km above the Earth.

Blue Origin

Founder of both Amazon and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos launched into space alongside his brother Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemon on July 20, 2021. Blue Origin achieved a momentous milestone when it made its first passenger flight to space aboard the New Shepard rocket. Bezos held a public auction for the passenger seat which sold for $28 million. The flight lasted a total of 10 minutes and reached 106 km

The Future of Space Tourism

Depending on how much you have in your budget for spaceflight, there will be options for orbital, suborbital, and lunar trips.

SpaceX and Associates

SpaceX has kept its finger in several pies as it advances its mission of human space flight. In association with Space Adventures, they are set to launch another flight to the space station this year with two private passengers on board. They signed a deal with SpaceX to use their capsule to send people into orbit. Passengers will circle the Earth several times at the same altitude as the ISS. Unfortunately, they have not publicized the cost of these trips.

Setting an ambitious schedule, SpaceX has planned several launches over the next few years. In conjunction with Axiom, it is sending four private astronauts to space in January 2022 on the Crew Dragon spacecraft. With a price tag of $55 million, each passenger will then spend 10 days on the International Space Station.

However, the most anticipated trip will be its first manned lunar expedition. Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, is the first confirmed passenger for its lunar flight to launch in 2023. He will be taking eight more people with him, to be chosen from the millions of applications people have submitted to join him.

Blue Origin

Blue Origin has begun selling passenger tickets to “the edge of space.” Completing its maiden voyage in July, the New Shepard has two more trips planned for this year. And, more are expected in 2022. Jeff Bezos said his company has already sold tickets totaling $100 million for future flights as well. Since the first successful flight, he told the press that the demand for space travel has gone up. He hasn’t announced what the cost will be. But, you can expect that it will be significantly less than the auction bids to be the first passenger.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic has already more than 600 passenger tickets to space ranging between $200,000 and $500,000 for its future flights. Unfortunately, future tickets are likely to cost more. Now, you must pay a deposit of $1,000 just to reserve a spot on the waiting list. However, you can try your luck and register here to be a passenger on one of their flights.

Space Perspective

For those of us who will never be on the Forbes list of billionaires, Space Perspective is the most affordable option at $125,000 per ticket. Instead of the turbulent rocket launch, it provides space flight in a pressurized capsule which is propelled by a space balloon. The first launch is scheduled in 2024, followed by a six-hour tour in suborbital space.

Although space travel has become a reality, passenger tickets to space still come with a steep price.

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How to Get Paid for Getting a Tattoo

How to Get Paid for Getting a Tattoo

With the advent of e-commerce and online marketplaces, there are thousands of unconventional ways you can make money. From starting an online business to hosting your own YouTube channel, thousands of people have found creative ways to make a living. For example, one trend that is gaining popularity is skinvertising, the idea that you sell your skin as ad space. That’s right…you can get paid for getting a tattoo. And, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a permanent one either. For those looking for some easy income and who don’t mind using their body as a canvas for advertisements, there are some unique employment opportunities for you.

The Trend of Skinvertising

Good advertising teams are always looking for new, trendy ways to get their brand name out there. Controversial campaigns and unique marketing techniques attract attention and make headlines. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that people earn money for using their bodies as walking billboards. Although it isn’t a new concept, it has been receiving more lip service recently with the introduction of social media.

Skin advertising, or skinvertising, was first introduced into mainstream media in the early 2000s. However, the practice of selling ad space on visible parts of your body has gained more traction in recent years. Goodyear was among the first companies to offer compensation in the form of free tires to anyone who got a tattoo of their logo. But, many more have jumped on the skinvertising bandwagon.

In fact, several people have made international headlines to get paid for getting a tattoo. Back in 2005, GoldenPalace.com paid Kari Smith $10,000 to get a permanent tattoo on her forehead. Others have made significantly more since then. For example, adult film star Anna Morgan received $500,000 for tattooing MyMMOShop.com across her breasts. While tattoo models can earn good money, your online presence and appeal as a skin model will have a huge impact on how much you can earn.

Get Paid to Get a Temporary Tattoo

If you are uncomfortable with the permanency of traditional ink, there are other ways to get paid for getting a tattoo. A quick search will lead you to companies that are also willing to pay you for temporary tattoos as well. Although you won’t earn as much as permanently tattooed advertisements, you people are still advertising their services for as much as $5,000. So, if you are interested to see what jobs are out there, here are some of the most lucrative places to offer your services.

1. Join an online marketplace.

Some sites cater specifically to companies seeking skinvertising and models who are offering their services. Although it has been inactive recently, LeaseYourBody.com was the first online marketplace to bring companies and skin models together in a common forum. To join, you simply need to create a profile and upload photos to open yourself up to offers. You could also try your luck with ads on Craigslist. Although, local marketplaces are unlikely to bring big-name advertisers and larger offers.

Once you create a profile, you should include detailed descriptions of what space on your body you are willing to advertise on and also indicate how much you hope to earn. Typically, people start at $100 an hour, but some models have earned up to $69,000 a year. If a company is interested in hiring you, they will contact you directly with a contract. Should they make a counteroffer, it will be up to you to decide whether you accept or decline their terms.

After you accept an offer and fulfill the contract, the company will then send you a check for the agreed-upon amount. How much you earn depends on several factors such as the size, location, and company you represent. Your appeal and social media following will also play a deciding factor in your final offers. The more exposure you have, the better it will be.

2. List yourself on an auction site.

Back in 2005, Andrew Fischer started a bidding frenzy when he auctioned advertising space on his forehead on eBay. In the end, Green Pharmaceuticals had the winning bid with $37,375 to advertise their product, SnoreStop. For 30 days, Fischer donned a temporary tattoo in exchange for the large cash payment. While most bids never reach these heights, you can find several current adverts seeking payment ranging from a few hundred dollars up to $5,000.

3. Approach the company to offer your services.

Another option is to find a company you want to approach with your services. This could net you some good offers with the right sales pitch. And, it also gives you more control over your bodily autonomy and who you work with. Other avenues leave you at the mercy of the highest bidder. However, if you approach a company with an offer, you have a better chance to advertise for one that you feel comfortable supporting.

To Ink or Not To Ink…

Over the years, many people have been willing to earn cash and use their bodies for advertising. While it may seem controversial and extreme to some, it has become a way to earn an income for others. Skinvertising isn’t a new idea, but it has gained popularity as body art becomes more mainstream.

Some opposition feels that these companies are exploiting people who need money. But, models are willing to advertise a brand or company because they are well compensated for it. In fact, many volunteer and consent to do it because of the exposure it brings them.

If there is any hesitation about tattoos, you probably shouldn’t get any permanent ink. Temporary tattoos can still bring in a healthy income, and you are less likely to regret it since you won’t have a permanent reminder. Although it doesn’t appeal to everyone, people get paid good money for getting a tattoo. It just goes to show that if you use a little creative thinking and ingenuity, you can create new opportunities capitalizing on your unique skills and talents.

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The Richest Children in the World in 2021

The Richest Children in the World

People are fascinated by the lives of the world’s elite. Many of us have wondered what it would be like to be as rich as any of the uber-wealthy who make Forbes magazine’s annual list of billionaires. If we were to widen the age standards of this list, there are also several children who should be included in the count. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more difficult to calculate the exact net worth since minors can’t own their own assets. However, based on expert analysis here are the 10 richest children in the world in 2021.

The 10 Richest Children in the World

10. Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead – $10 million

The daughter of the late Anna Nicole Smith came into her fortune following her untimely death. However, the tragic loss of her mother wasn’t the only newsworthy event in her young life. After her birth on September 7, 2006, there was also controversy over her parentage. But, a DNA test proved she is the daughter of Larry Birkhead.

Because of the national interest in her life, Dannielynn has already made several TV appearances and became the face of Guess Girl in 2013. There is no doubt that this young heiress’ fortune will only continue to grow as she stays in the limelight.

9. Valentina Paloma Pinault – $12 million

Born on September 21, 2007, Valentina Pinault is the only daughter of actress Salma Hayek and French billionaire François-Henri Pinault. And, she is the sole heir to a massive fortune as well. While her net worth currently stands at $12 million, she will also inherit the total wealth from her mother’s successful career and her father’s company Kering which is one of the highest-grossing luxury brands.

8. Ryan Kaji – $30 million

Ryan Kaji sets himself apart from the other ultra-rich kids on this list since he is the only self-made millionaire here. Born October 6, 2011, this 9-year-old wasted little time getting to work. He was named the highest-grossing YouTube star in 2020, earning $30 million from his channel, Ryan ToysReview. He now has a huge following with over 29 million subscribers. While he has a net worth of $30 million, financial experts speculate he holds over $100 million in total assets.

7. The West Family – $62 million

No list of Hollywood’s celebrity elite would be complete without mention of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. In this case, their children North (7), Saint (5), Chicago (3), and Psalm (2) are the ones grabbing headlines as some of the richest children in the world. Although the Kimye relationship may be ending, their kids will still receive a substantial amount of wealth. Upon their deaths, the $62 million fortune will be divided amongst them. But, given the family business, the children will likely earn more due to their fame and the family tradition of launching their own brands.

6. Taimur Ali Khan – $100 million

While many of the children on this list come from Hollywood, we can’t forget to include the Bollywood royalty as well. Kareena Ali Khan and Saif Ali Khan are one of the most affluent couples, if not the most affluent celebrity couple, in India. They are on par in fame and fortune with any Hollywood power couple. And, their son, Taimur Ali Khan, is also among one of the wealthiest young millionaires in the world. Born on December 20, 2016, this youngster has already stirred up a media frenzy. He is set to inherit their combined wealth of $100 million. Although, he will have to share it with his newborn brother.

5. Max and Emme Maribel Muniz – $200 million

Although the marriage didn’t last, Jenifer Lopez and Marc Antony have two children together. Both performers have a healthy net worth meaning their 13-year-old twins, Max and Emme Muniz, are among the richest children in the world. Currently, their estimated net worth is about $200 million. However, the public eye has been upon them since their birth on February 22, 2008. And, it continues to follow their development and achievements. Depending on what careers they pursue, this could help them grow their net worth even more in the future.

4. The Jolie-Pitt Clan – $390 million

With the star power of two A-list celebrities for parents, the children of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have plenty of wealth and acting talent to go around. The former couple has six kids together; Maddox (19), Pax (17), Zahara (16), Shiloh (15), Vivienne, and Knox (12); who will inherit approximately $390 million from their parents.

However, the youngest siblings, Vivienne and Knox, seem to have a slightly higher net worth. Although they were born July 12, 2008, it was nearly a year before the public got their first glimpse of them. The first publicized baby photo of the twins sold for $14 million making it the most expensive photo ever.

3. The Carter Kids – $1 billion

The Carter kids have become famous in their own right. However, Blue Ivy, Sir, and Rumi are the richest kids in America in large part to their parents’ success. The offspring of hip-hop royalty, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, would inherit an impressive amount since they have a combined net worth totaling nearly $1 billion.

Additionally, Blue Ivy seems to have a promising music career ahead of her as well. Born January 7, 2012, her rise to fame has already begun. In fact, she won a BET Award when she was only 8-years-old. Given the talent pool she comes from, Blue Ivy could move up the ranks as her career takes off.

2. Prince George – $3.6 billion

It shouldn’t come as much of a shock to see the British royal family’s progeny on the list of the richest children in the world. As the oldest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George is speculated to inherit over $40 million from his father. Immediately following his birth on July 22, 2013, he was also confirmed as third in line to the royal throne after his grandfather, Prince Charles, and his father, Prince William. However, there is one more royal whose net worth outranks the eldest heir to the Windsor fortune.

1. Princess Charlotte – $5 billion

Although she is the second child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte tops the list of the richest children in the world for 2021. Born May 2, 2015, this young royal is set to inherit a fortune many of us could never fathom. While her brother stands ahead of her in succession to the throne, she has a greater net worth due to her affluence in the fashion industry.

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