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Link Love 04/18/14

Photo Credit: Jesadaphorn

Photo Credit: Jesadaphorn

It’s Friday once again! Good Friday to be exact. We’re supposed to have our hottest day of the year so far tomorrow so I’m excited to get my butt outside!

If you’re in need of some weekend reading here are some of my favorite posts from the week.

Have a good weekend and a Happy Easter!

Earning More Money vs. Spending More Money: Which is Better?

earning money vs saving money

Photo Credit: Ratch0013

If your financial life isn’t panning out like you’d hoped you have two choices: earn more money or save more money. While both of these options will help improve your finances the key is using them together.

In some situations, though, it’s clear that one method will be far more beneficial than the other. Let’s take a look.

Is it more important to earn more money or save more money?

Saving More Money

I’m all for saving money – by making smart purchases and stashing away as much as cash as possible. But I’ve got to admit that the trendier being frugal becomes the more it starts to get on my nerves.

I’ve always been cheap, not necessarily frugal. There are a ton of things that I’d rather not spend any money on. So, I definitely value saving money.

Developing strong financial habits like making smart purchases and saving a percentage of your income are crucial to financial progress. But at the end of the day being frugal is only going to get you so far.

Take extreme couponing for example. Many extreme couponers were spending an excess of thirty hours per week finding coupons and hunting down deals for products that they probably didn’t need in the first place.

If they “saved” $200 a week on their purchases they earned about $6.67 per hour. In this case is spending so much time trying to save money really worth it? I don’t think so.

BUT if you’re currently a high income earner and can’t make ends meet this is the area you need to concentrate on. If you have poor financial habits earning more money isn’t going to help out your situation.

Earning More Money

When you earn more money you can save and invest more money. Plus, earning more money is limitless.

There are a plethora of opportunities in the US for anyone to increase their income if they’re willing to do so. When you earn more money you also don’t have to worry about stretching your frugality to the core. You can enjoy more of life’s little luxuries without feeling as much guilt.

If you’re currently having trouble making ends meet but you’re already ultra-frugal the answer is clear: you need to work on your earning power.

Which is Better?

Since every situation is different so is the solution. Once thing is certain though: you have to conquer your spending and saving habits before earning more money will benefit you. Once you have your budget under control and have made financial goals then earning more money will be beneficial.

Which do you think is better; earning more money or saving more money?

Is Technology Making You Poor?

is technology making you poorTechnology is constantly changing. As soon as you get used to the latest phone/tablet/device something newer and better comes out.

While technology can make your life a little bit easier, it could also be making you poor. Here’s why.

# 1 – Keeping Up with the Joneses (Social Media)

Social media can be the gateway to ultimate envy if you let it be.

Facebook has become the place for people to air every little detail of their life. When you browse your Facebook feed you see pictures of people you barely even know in their new cars, clothes, homes, and of course, on vacation.

This can stir up jealousy in just about anyone. The next thing you know you’re on your way to making a big purchase so that you can keep up. You want to post that picture showing how happy you are with your shiny new possession.

Just remember it’s easy to look at the good parts of someone’s life without thinking of what they did to get there. For example, the person you’re jealous of may have taken out a lot of debt to purchase a new car. Or the person posting pics of vacation may have saved for over a year.

And if Facebook is making you spend too much money, delete your account. I did this months ago and I do not miss it one little bit!

# 2 – Instant Gratification (Online Shopping)

How often do you shop online? Is your credit card info stored with your favorite retailers? Are you really saving money by shopping online?

I hate to admit this – but I think shopping online can actually make you spend more money. And the reason why is simple: instant gratification.

I used to go to the library a lot. I would check out a handful of new books just about every week. Then I got a Kindle. All of my payment information is stored with Amazon. So, now every time I want a new book I head to Amazon and with one click I instantly have something new to read.

With today’s technology you can get anything you want with a click of a button. You don’t have to drive to a store and carefully select your purchases. You can easily get your hands on anything without ever having to leave your house.

# 3 – Poor Work Performance (Constant Distractions)

Technology is definitely a problem when it comes to work.

My Dad owns a retail business and has had major problems with employees constantly texting when they’re supposed to be working. It sends a horrible signal to customers and prevents people from being present in their jobs.

The same goes for me now that I’m working from home. I have to close out all of my browser windows before I begin writing or I’ll constantly be clicking back and forth, causing myself to take twice as long to finish a project.

The constant distractions today’s technology promotes could be costing you’re a raise, promotion, and your time.

Of course technology isn’t all bad. It’s great. Technology saves lives, helps people stay connected, and if used in moderation, makes life just a little bit easier.

What do you think? Has technology had a good or bad impact on your finances?

Making Your Pay Stretch Until Payday

home officeLet’s face it; we’re all feeling the pinch at the moment. It feels as though our money never quite stretches as far as it used to and, as a result, the last few weeks before the end of the month can feel like a real slog to the finishing line. As prices continue to outstrip wages in most areas, most of us continue to struggle to make our way through life.

However, having said this, there is no reason why this has to be the case, and there are ways to make sure that your income lasts. Here are just three:

1) Make Your Money Work For You, Not The Other Way Around

Yes, of course it is always true that you’ll have to work to earn money, but you should focus on making your money work for you once you own it. Just leaving your money stagnating in a bank account will mean that there’s little you can do but spend it, but there are other options. If you consider yourself to be a bit of a risk taker, then you should seriously consider investing your money.

If you invest it wisely then you can expect huge rewards but, on the flipside, if you’re lacking the knowledge, or your trade is incorrect, then you might also lose money. It’s a high risk-high reward strategy, and it certainly isn’t for the faint hearted.

Trading is popular because you need very little to get started. All you’ll need is an online trading account and a few hundred dollars. Just be aware of the risks before you start. Things may not always go your way.

2) Condense and Control: Know Where Your Money Is

If your money is in the wrong type of bank account then it will just sit and stagnate. If you organise your accounts well, however, you can restructure your earnings, meaning that they’re gaining the maximum possible rate of interest. Most people do not do this because they feel as though the change won’t make a big difference, but the reverse is true and swapping your savings around can earn you hundreds of pounds extra per year. Maybe now is the perfect time to meet with an advisor to discuss your options?

3) Run a Home Business on the Side

If you’re still struggling with your income, then it may be time to take on some additional work. Now, running a business from home is commonplace, and there’s no reason why it should have to dominate your life. You don’t have to be the next Donald Trump-style entrepreneur to succeed either, and there’s no set skill required. Start by selling all of your old, unwanted items on eBay to earn a few hundred dollars. By doing this, you’ll learn about having an online business and you can think about specialising in something you want to do. This could be anything from a document proofing business to somewhere that sells ladies scarves. The world is your oyster.

So, there we have it, three ways you can make your money stretch until payday. Consider restructuring your bank accounts, starting a home business and trading.

Graphic courtesy of nikcname

Link Love 4/11/14

Photo Credit: Jesadaphorn

Photo Credit: Jesadaphorn

Happy Friday!

Here are some of my favorite articles from the week. Enjoy!

Have a good weekend