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  • Amazon will pay you for your outdated devices.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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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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5 Things to Do to Make Money with Cryptocurrency

It seems that everyone is making money through cryptocurrency at the moment, and you probably have thought about investing. Before venturing into this world of mining and trading, you have to understand that cryptocurrency carries the same risks as any investment and if you don’t know what you are doing, you are running the risk of losing any money you put into it. Understanding it is vital and, when you do, here’s what else you need to do to maximize your potential for making a return.

Get a Degree

Some cryptocurrency advocates will cite the currency as a middle finger to the mainstream. However, making money from it still uses many skills you would need in any other investment area. This is why getting skills from a business degree will give you an advantage. As much as they may say it is unlike any other investment, there are still fundamentals you must learn. That’s why you should start planning for college and get the relevant skills and knowledge. If you’re worried about the cost of education, you can take out a student loan from a private lender and you can use a student loan calculator to work out what you can expect to pay back. Any money you invest in your education is never a waste so even if you don’t become a crypto millionaire with what you learn, you’ll have knowledge and skills that will make you more employable.

Understand It

This needs to be reiterated. Make sure you understand what you are investing in. Cryptocurrency is relatively new and there are people out there taking advantage of people’s lack of knowledge. If a return on investment seems to be too good to be true, then it likely is. Like any investment, when you put money into a certain cryptocurrency, do your research on it. What will its usage be and is it viable in the long term? Don’t be hypnotized by promises of becoming rich overnight, it’s unlikely, if not impossible.

Invest

So, you’ve done your research and you are ready to put your money into a cryptocurrency. This is how you will make your money, but be patient. Bitcoin didn’t suddenly reach its current price in a few weeks. It took years but that gradual increase shows that it was an initial good investment. Use your money wisely, but also understand the risk that you could lose money. That is part of investment and if you are not prepared for that, cryptocurrency is not for you.

Check this Asset Directory for Supported crypto.

Mining

Cryptocurrency is created through mining. However, to make money from mining it, you need to have a powerful setup. Computers that mine cryptocurrency effectively are expensive and you will need to consider the cost of electricity you will use while mining. However, if you are patient, in the long term you can make a large profit. Research the best computer setup to use and if it is affordable, then get to work.

Learn From Experts

As with anything, the experts are called experts because they know what they are doing. With cryptocurrency being a relatively new phenomenon, there are not too many high-profile experts but, that said, there are some lesser-known people that know what they’re talking about. These are the people you need to learn from and heed advice from. They can help you understand which crypto to buy as well as why to buy it. If they say something is risky or not worth investing in, listen to them. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies that are worthless and will remain worthless, and the experts will have a good sense of whether they have a use.

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. Unfortnately, 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 taking 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 you 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 starts 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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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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Online Surveys for Cash in 2021

Where to Take Online Surveys for Cash in 2021

Did you know that you can actually get paid to give your opinion? No…seriously! There are companies and websites out there actively recruiting people to take surveys and do other online activities. So, if you are looking for an easy way to earn some extra money, here’s how you can take online surveys for cash in 2021.

The Best Online Surveys for Cash in 2021

There are dozens of sites that will pay you in cash and other rewards for completing their online surveys. However, it can be difficult to know where to start and which ones pay the most money. While you won’t make millions, these sites can help you earn extra cash in your spare time.

Branded Surveys

Many professional surveyors chose Branded Surveys as their favorite site for online surveys. As one of the top global market research companies, they work with many Fortune 500 companies to gather consumer opinions of various products and services. Branded Surveys has an excellent reputation among its members and has already paid out more than $18 million in cash and rewards.

Since it’s free to join, all you need to do is create a profile. Then, you can begin earning points for completing surveys. And, new members get 100 points just for signing up. As your point balance grows, you can redeem them for either cash or gift cards to popular restaurants and retailers. If you prefer cash, payments are made through PayPal and completed within 48 hours. They make it simple for you to start earning cash and don’t make you wait around to reap the benefits.

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is another good choice for those wanting to get paid for their opinions. Already boasting more than 3 million members and an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau, the site offers free membership to anyone wanting to join. The registration process is fast and simple. Then, you can begin earning money as soon as you complete your profile.

Similar to other sites, you accrue points that you can later convert to cash or gift cards. However, Survey Junkie remains one of the most popular and highest paying sites, paying an average of $1-$3 per survey. And, they offer cash payments through both PayPal and bank transfer. So, as long as you have an internet connection, you can use their app from any device and start taking online surveys for cash in 2021.

InboxDollars

While other websites may be more established, InboxDollars has set itself apart in several ways. First, you automatically earn $5 just for signing up. Second, you earn cash for a variety of online activities. Not only do they pay you for taking surveys, but also for playing games, watching videos, shopping online, and more. However, its most distinguishing feature is that there isn’t a point system. With InboxDollars, you only deal in cash.

Payouts are on par with other sites. They range from $0.50 to $5 for each activity, depending on how long they are. And, InboxDollars offers several options to redeem your cash. They can send you a check, prepaid card, or gift card based on your preferences. Furthermore, they also allow you to donate your balance to charities if you want to give back to your community. Since it is accessible from any device, you can get started today.

Things You Should Know When Taking Online Surveys for Cash

There are plenty of companies recruiting people to complete online surveys for cash and other rewards. As you get started, here are a few things you should know.

1. Be wary of scams and fake surveys.

While many survey sites are legitimate, there are also many fake ones that try to scam you or never pay. If they are making promises or offering incentives that sound too good to be true, then it probably is. All the sites mentioned here are free to join. So, if they require you to pay for a subscription to sign up, then it is most likely a scam.

2. Sign up for multiple online survey sites to maximize your earnings.

Online surveys typically pay $0.50 to $3 for each one you complete. Needless to say, you aren’t going to make a livable income by doing them. However, you can earn a good chunk of pocket change by diversifying your source of income. If you want to make significant money, then you will need to sign up for as many survey sites as possible. You will have more opportunities sent directly to you, meaning that you spend less time looking for the best prospects. And, if the emails become too much, you can unsubscribe anytime.

3. Create a separate email specifically for surveys.

By creating a dedicated email account, you can keep your online surveys separate from your work and personal emails. It also makes it faster to sort through offers and locate online surveys that will pay you cash.

4. Payment takes time.

Although some sites will payout in less than a week, others usually take more time to process payment. And, if you are working on the points system, it may take longer to accrue the necessary amount than you might expect. Earning extra cash can be fun. But, if completing surveys is taking up too much time with too little payout, it may be time to explore other ways to generate extra income.

5. Cash in your rewards.

You might be tempted to hoard your points and hold out for the top rewards or big payouts. However, most surveyors will tell you that it is better to cash out early. If you let it sit too long, you may forget what you have accumulated and never get your rewards. So, it’s better to cash in early and often for smaller amounts to ensure you get your money.

If taking online surveys for cash sounds like something you would benefit from, check out these free sites and start getting paid for your opinions!

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Why Rich People Stay Rich and Poor People Stay Poor

Why Rich People Stay Rich and Poor People Stay Poor

The American dream has been exported across the globe and passed down from one generation to the next. It is the belief that anyone who works hard enough, stays dedicated to achieving their goals, and has the right mindset can have it all. However, many people continue to work themselves to the bone with little to show for it. Year after year, it seems that rich people stay rich and poor people stay poor. So, what are the keys to success and economic mobility? Is it simply changing the way you think, or is it more complicated than that?

Best-Selling Books Suggest It Is Your Financial Outlook

In an attempt to answer this very question, many best-selling books offer psychological reasons and personal testimony as to why rich people stay rich and poor people stay poor. The common thread through all these publications boils down to your attitude towards money and your outlook on personal prosperity.

Simply stated, rich people think and act differently with their finances. According to several authors, changing the way you view money and realigning your goals according to your new mindset can help you gain wealth. So, what are some of the differences between a rich mindset and a poor one?

1. Rich people control their money instead of letting it control them.

Rather than let things happen to them, rich people identify the behaviors that contribute to their circumstances and take control of them. They take an active role instead of passively watching and accepting things because “that’s the way it is.”

2. Rich people are more willing to risks.

Rich people understand that risk is an inherent part of investing, and sometimes you have to ride out the lows before you see gains. So, rich people are more willing to take risks rather than playing it safe. In other words, when it comes to investing, they play to win rather than playing with the hopes of not losing.

3. Rich people commit to the goal of being rich.

Although most people imagine what it would be like to be rich, those who are wealthy commit to the goal. While some only dream about it, rich people commit and work towards building and maintaining wealth.

4. Rich people think big.

Some people impair themselves by limiting the scope of their thinking. When you move beyond the small mindset and start thinking bigger, new opportunities present themselves.

5. Rich people look at the big picture.

In the same line of thinking, rich people also look at the big picture. They focus on long-term goals instead of the setbacks along the way. Rich people realize they are bigger than any of their problems and have the confidence to overcome them.

Economic Research Shows Increased Income Equality

Although your personal drive and motivation play crucial roles in economic mobility, research suggests the problem is much more complicated than changing the way you think. There are institutional factors that help rich people stay rich and poor people stay poor.

Reduced Employee Benefits

One of the most significant reasons that economic mobility has become more limited is due to the huge reductions in employee benefits. People have a diminished savings capacity since they are now paying for benefits that previous generations enjoyed as a perk of their employment.

Although workers once relied on pensions and retirement benefits in return for company loyalty, expectations are changing. Where workers used to be automatically enrolled in companies’ pension plans, they must now participate and contribute to receive benefits. Unfortunately, the rise of employee-sponsored 401(k) plans has led to unequal participation across income levels. Those who earn less are at a greater disadvantage for several reasons. First, they have less disposable income and may not be able to afford to contribute. Therefore, they receive lower matching contributions, if any, from their employer.

Another drastic change has been in employee-sponsored health insurance plans. While many companies once offered comprehensive plans for medical, dental, and vision, you will be hard-pressed to find comparable benefits packages today. Many employers are now opting for watered-down plans to save money. However, this always means workers are forced to pay more out-of-pocket expenses which undermines their ability to build wealth.

Increased Costs of Living

Speaking of increased expenses, we cannot overlook the government’s failure to keep up with the rate of inflation.  Although the federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009, inflation has increased drastically.

In fact, it has risen by 23.94%. To put this in context, if you had $100 in 2009, you would now need $123.94 to purchase the same items or products. This undermines people’s savings goals and deteriorates their purchasing power. Unless people receive matching wage increases, it will be impossible to keep up with the rising cost of living and cause the wealth gap to widen.

Burdened by Debt

Finally, we cannot overlook how increasing debt is negatively impacting people’s ability to build wealth. In 2021, the U.S. set a new record when we reached $14.6 trillion in household debt. According to CNBC, the average American carries $90,460 of debt. Even if some of this is considered “good debt” that will increase your net worth or generate income over time, it is still a staggering figure.

Whether you are trying to pay down student loans, credit cards, a mortgage, car loans, medical bills, or other personal loans, it is difficult to build wealth or get ahead when you are starting in the negative. If the majority of your income goes towards your debt, that leaves very little for other financial pursuits.

Find Ways to Facilitate Economic Mobility

Despite all the outside factors affecting wealth, the environment you are raised in has the greatest impact. The family and social class you are born into determine how easy it will be for you to become rich. If you are born into a wealthy family, you already have a huge advantage. Not only do you have greater access to education and opportunities, but you also have more security with the passing of generational wealth.

However, if you were not fortunate to have these advantages in life, you must create opportunities for yourself. Even if the system is stacked against you, adopting a rich mindset can help you rise above it and achieve your financial goals.

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Grow Your Coin Collection: How To Determine Valuable Coins

Coins represent history and the exceptional ones increase value over time. That’s why many people want to collect old coins, which are treasures if you know how to determine their value. If you have a couple of inherited coins or you want to grow your coin collection, then it’s crucial to know how to determine coins that are worth adding to your collection or investing in. Being able to do so can bring you great future monetary value and self-fulfillment.

In this post, you’ll learn the best ways to determine valuable coins. Read on to know more.

  • Seek Professional Coin Appraisal Services

Get your coins appraised by real experts in grading. If you’re planning to sell your coin collection, it’s important to have all coins appraised. By doing so, you’ll know the best value of all the coins in your collection. In addition, you’ll be more confident in buying and selling them.

But how do you choose a professional coin appraiser? Here are some tips:

  • Great Experience: Find a coin appraiser with experience collecting and grading the best rare coins. The best coin appraisers have handled ancient coins, certified coins, gold coins, and even low-value coins such as old nickels, dimes, and cent pieces.
  • Reputable Coin Shop: You can find the best appraisers in coin shops; where coin testing and appraising are part of their everyday tasks. Choose a well-respected appraisal expert in the industry by visiting the likes of https://www.infinitycoins.com/coins.
  • Determine The Demand Or Popularity Of Coins

The law of supply and demand also applies in coin collection. In demand coins are often rare old coins with great historical significance and intrinsic value. Of course, if many people are searching for a particular coin, the higher the demand will be.

If there are only a few pieces of a certain old coin that are circulating in the market, then it is considered a rare one. The rarer a coin is, the more popular it gets, and such factors will significantly increase its value. In other words, the market value of a coin reflects its availability and popularity.

The popularity and demand for coins are also in the hands of coin numismatists, who are essentially coin dealers and collectors. Most coin dealers have their own website, wherein they share their insights, expertise, and opinions about any coin-related topic, including the rarity and pricing of rare old coins.

  • Check The Coin Quality 

If you want to grow your collection, then buy good quality coins. A major impact on the coin’s quality is the degree of its circulation and care. Therefore, the mint condition is a major determinant of a coin’s highest value. For example, if you have an old coin that looks worn and altered, then the coin’s worth is lesser than another coin of the same kind that still looks good as new. However, if the coin is very rare; it can be valuable even if it is in poor condition.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the best ways to preserve your coin collection. In the same way, when you’re buying old coins, you need to know how the seller takes care and preserves their coins. The quality of coins can be determined through grading, such as the Sheldon coin grading scale, a system made by Dr. William Herbert Sheldon, a renowned numismatist.

Here are the following criteria appraisers use in coin grading:

  • Strike: Coins are created by pressing an image (such as a face of a hero, eagle, or symbol) into a blank metal disc. Before the onset of advanced technology, coins were stuck to deform the metal. Many collectors believe that first strike coins, or coins made from new dies, are higher in value because they have sharper details.
  • Preservation: As mentioned earlier, coin collectors and dealers need to preserve coins to preserve their value. That’s why it’s important to use coin flips, coin holders, precision handling tools, and other materials to ensure the longevity of coins.
  • Luster: Coins with desirable aesthetics are higher in value than old, worn-out coins. Hence, it’s vital to consider their luster. Luster refers to how shiny the surface of the coin is, which is also called the cartwheel effect, mint bloom, frost, or mint luster. Does the coin reflect light well or does it look sheen? If you want to buy valuable coins to grow your collection, you should check if the coin looks shiny or flashy.
  • Color: Grading coins also includes determining the color. A coin’s color may change due to weather conditions, rusting, or corrosion due to water exposure and stains caused by chemicals. Grading coins involves determining if the coin still retains its original color or if the color changed.
  • Attractiveness: One crucial aspect in buying or selling coins is their general attractiveness. The more attractive the coin, the more well-preserved it is. Hence, the value of the coin is higher.
  • Learn More About Coin Mintage 

Minting is the process of making coins. On the other hand, mintage refers to the number of copies made of a specific coin when it was introduced and used in circulation. The fewer the copies, the higher the price of the coin will be. But of course, this isn’t always the case.

The main factor when determining the rarity of a coin isn’t the numbers, but collectors’ interest. For instance, some rare ancient coins aren’t as valuable as U.S. pieces, which sometimes have more pieces available.

  • Determine The Intrinsic Value Of Coins 

The intrinsic value of a coin is also called melt value, which is the value of the coin’s precious metal. For instance, if the gold market price is US$1,806.59 per troy ounce, then the intrinsic value of a minted coin is US$1,806.59.

If the intrinsic value of a coin becomes higher than its face value, then more people will keep the coins. The face value of a coin refers to its value relative to other currencies. For instance, in the 1970s, the price of copper increased significantly, which eventually forced the US to change the metal composition of their one-cent coins. 

  • Learn The History Of The Coin

It is fun and inspiring to learn about the history of coins, especially because each coin has a story to tell. Coins were born in various eras, and each represents rich information, such as the legacy of the person behind the face, or the story and reason behind the symbol used in the coin.

A coin with remarkable historical significance tends to have higher market and face value. US coins tend to have greater value than unknown ancient coins because of their history and popularity.

In the United States, the Philadelphia Mint was established by the government in 1792 based on legislation passed by Congress, which is known as the Coinage Act. Half and large cents were produced in 1793. Silver half dimes, silver dollars, and half dollars were made in 1794. A year later, Gold US$5- and US$10-coin pieces came out in the market. In 1986, Silver Eagle Dollars appeared but weren’t intended for circulation.

But of course, there are also ancient coins with good stories to tell. For instance, the Athenian coin which was made of bronze from 120 to 140 A.D., show the great victory of Themistocles, a Greek naval strategist and politician over the Persians in 480 B.C. at the battle of Salamis.

  • Know The Most Valuable Coins Worldwide 

It’s important to know the most valuable coins so that if you’ll see one posted on social media, you can make an offer and might get a good deal. In return, you can sell those valuable coins at a tremendously higher price.

Below are some of the most valuable coins worldwide:

  • The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

Many experts believe that this coin was the first silver dollar produced by the US Mint. One of the coins was sold for over US$10 million at an auction in 2013.

  • The 1787 Brasher Doubloon

Ephraim Brasher made this coin. He was a silversmith and goldsmith in New York. The coin displays a steel seal and the American eagle. In 2011, this coin was sold for nearly US$7.4 million and US$5 million in 2018.

  • The 1787 Fugio Cent

This coin is also known as the Franklin cent, coined after Benjamin Franklin. Furio cents in good condition range from a few thousand dollars up to US$10,000.

  •  The 723 Umayyad Gold Dinar

This coin is a highly prized Islamic coin struck from a gold mine owned by the caliph. This is the first Islamic coin that mentioned a place in Saudi Arabia. An Umayyad Gold Dinar was sold for US$6 million in 2011 and US$4.8 million in 2019.

  • $1 Million Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

This novelty coin weighs 100 kilograms (220 pounds), which was sold for US$4 million in 2010.

  • Morgan Silver Dollars 

These coins aren’t rare. However, rarer vintages have higher prices. This coin has a solid feel and is made of 90% silver. In mint condition, Morgan Silver Dollars can range from US$100,000 to US$500,000.

Conclusion

If you want to keep and grow a coin collection, you know how to determine valuable coins. Keeping yourself abreast with relevant information will make you more confident as a coin collector or dealer because you know what you’re talking about when it comes to coinage, including their pricing, history, and best ways of preservation.

Healthy Costco Foods on a Budget

healthy costco food

Many people questioned renewing their Costco membership when they announced that they were raising their membership fees.  Although it was only a 9% hike, Executive members now pay $120 a year, while Gold Star members pay $60 a year.  Despite the minimal increase in the annual fee,  Costco shoppers reap huge savings when they buy items in bulk.  It is great for large families and those looking to stretch their grocery budget.  While the savings are attractive, quality produce and products provide another significant benefit. Healthy Costco foods are good for both your well-being and your wallet.

Buying Costco Foods in Bulk

Getting  healthy Costco foods in bulk can help stretch your grocery budget when things get tight.  For example, I usually set aside $350 per month to spend on food.  This includes eating out in addition to weekly groceries from Costco and other supermarkets.  A family of four will likely have a monthly food budget closer to $1000.  The great part about buying food in bulk is that you get a better price than when you buy the same item individually.

Products with Long Shelf Lives

Many who purchase items in bulk from Costco stock up on paper products and food items with a long shelf life.  For example, paper products, dry goods, and condiments are a few items where you can receive huge savings by buying in bulk.  Even if you don’t use these items right away, they can always be used down the road when you need them.

Healthy Foods that Can Be Stored

Shopping for lean healthy meats at Costco can provide huge savings to a family of four as well.  Purchasing healthy Costco foods such as lean chicken breasts, ground beef, beans, and brown rice in bulk can provide healthy nutrition and savings.

Purchasing many pounds of meat at once can net you huge savings. Although they come in large packages, you can divide the meat into smaller Ziploc bags, and simply freeze them until a later date.  Even when shopping at grocery stores, one of the tricks I do is purchase items when they are on sale.  One week, chicken might be on sale for $1.99/lb while the next week it is $2.99/lb.  Organizing purchases so you take advantage of them during sales is the best way to optimize your monthly grocery budget.

Costco’s Reputation with Its Customers

Costco has a good reputation among shoppers. This is partly because of the quality of their products, but it is also due to their excellent customer service and robust returns policy.  So, if you’re shopping for organic food at Costco, there aren’t many downsides. Even if you come across a bad apple, chances are good they’ll accept returns.

While I’m raving about Costco, they also have good prices on tires and are open on most major holidays, so you can get your car serviced while you’re picking up your groceries.

Buying healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive, and buying healthy Costco foods doesn’t have to cost a lot either.  When shopping for groceries, the keys are to buy in bulk when available and stock up during sales.  Finally, by planning your purchases ahead of time with a list, you can avoid unneeded items.  Eating healthy and sticking to your budget doesn’t have to be hard.

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