Tag: Lifestyle

7 Cheap or Free Meditation Apps to Foster Mindfulness

Stress is something we all deal with in varying forms. The past 12 months have tested everyone’s ability to cope with unprecedented stressors, and well, it’s tiring having to adapt to a constantly changing landscape. Meditation is scientifically proven to lower stress levels and help soothe the hamster wheel of thoughts racing through our minds.

Best of all, thanks to modern technology, meditation has never been so accessible. You need no equipment, and there are hundreds of free meditation apps and mindfulness apps to assist you in finding your zen.

1. MyLife Meditation: Mindfulness

Selected as the Apple App Store’s “App of the Day” in 2020, MyLife Meditation: Mindfulness is a free meditation app that is personalized to how you feel and only asks for a few minutes of your day.

According to the app, users were 82% more likely to be less anxious with consistent use of MyLife Meditation: Mindfulness. Sign us up! This free meditation app also offers breathing exercises to catalyze calm and groundedness, tracking mental health with a daily feelings log, and guided meditations recommended just for you.

For those who are ready to kick things up a notch, the meditation app has a premium membership for $9.99/month or $58.99/year that unlocks 400+ activities, guided journaling prompts, yoga and soundscapes.

2. Simple Habit Sleep, Meditation

With 71,000 ratings totalling 4.8/5 stars on the Apple App Store, Simple Habit Sleep, Meditation is one of the top free mindfulness apps available today.

Simple Habit’s goal is in its name — make daily meditation a simple, easy habit. This free app offers five-minute meditations, progress trackers and downloadable meditations for situations like air travel or remote adventures.

It has programs guided by top mindfulness experts from Google, former monks and leading mental health experts. Whether you need a quick decompression before heading into work or a longer, pre-sleep session, Simple Habit makes meditation easy.

To access even more mindfulness content, Simple Habit has a premium subscription for $11.99/month.

3. Ten Percent Happier

The Ten Percent Happier app was Apple’s best of 2018 award winner and was the top app in the Wirecutter’s list of “Best Meditation Apps” .

This easy-to-use app is led by Emmy-award winning journalist Dan Harris, who works with some of the best meditation teachers in the world to bring you sessions focused on meditation practices like self-compassion, emotional balance and navigating crises.

Ten Percent Happier opens by asking users a series of questions about their life and lifestyle, then curating a plan specific to each person. You can select goals such as fostering daily calm, lowering anxiety levels and more. You are also invited to choose the way you learn best, whether that’s through audio, reading, videos or hands-on experiences.

Here’s the catch: the Ten Percent Happier program isn’t free , though you can start with a 14-day free trial before paying $99.99 for a one-year subscription.

4. Headspace

Headspace is one of the best-known mental health apps. Its nearly five-star rating and 65 million downloadsshow Headspace is on it for meditation practice.

One of Headspace’s more unique offerings is its Weathering the Storm collection, a series of guided meditations, prompts, body scans and stories geared toward helping folks navigate the challenges presented by the past year.

Headspace is changing the meditation app space by offering mindful workouts, too. Led by Olympians Kim Glass and Leon Taylor, Headspace workouts combine mental grounding with body-pumping training sessions to promote holistic wellness.

This affordable (but not free) meditation app has a free 14-day trial before charging $12.99/month or $69.99/year (which brings the monthly total down to $5.99/month).

5. Insight Timer

Another heavy hitter in the free meditation app space is Insight Timer, which was named App of the Year by TIME Magazine and Women’s Health.

Insight Timer is a must-have for those who want a wide variety of meditation practices, as the app offers thousands of guided meditations and is constantly adding more. It also has no-cost music and ambient soundtracks to promote better sleep and focus.

This free meditation app promotes community by offering numerous discussion groups and ways to connect with other Insight Timer users.

Whether you’re looking to sleep better, move through an addiction, improve leadership at work, or work on your meditation practice, Insight Timer has a guided meditation for you.

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6. Calm

Calm is one of the original mindfulness programs for smart devices. It boasts 40 million downloads worldwide and 1.1 million reviews on the Apple App Store.

With its free version, users get access to loads of guided meditations, sleep stories, ambient sounds and breath timers that all seek to promote a more tranquil, fulfilling life.

Calm offers a wide variety of meditations, from flight anxiety to SOS panic sessions designed to ground users in the present. Some of its meditations and bedtime stories are led by famous voices like Bindi Irwin, Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Fry, to name a few.

This app lets you track the number of days you’ve meditated, helping to make using Calm a rewarding habit.

If the free version of Calm isn’t enough, users can upgrade to a premium subscription for $69.99/year and get access to even more mindful content.

7. Breethe: Meditation & Sleep

With more than 10 million downloads, Breethe: Meditation & Sleep is one of the best meditation apps in the mindfulness market.

Breethe has over 1,000 tracks of nature sounds, guided meditations, bedtime stories, five-minute and three-minute meditations and more.

Wellness experts like mindfulness coach Lynne Goldberg walk you through practices to help you achieve a smiling mind and a calm body. Breethe seeks to help all users find peace with their emotions, physical sensations and current events through deliberate mental health practices.

The app is free to download. But to access its features, you can join the Breethe membership community for $12.99/month or $89.99/year.

Kristin Jenny is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

We Earn $200,000 and Can’t Save. Help!

Mia, 35 and her husband Luke, 36, earn a combined $200,000 per year. But after paying their mortgage and rental property loan, as well as car and student loans, child care, and other living expenses, the Los Angeles couple has a difficult time socking away money in savings.

They do have about $10,000 in a rainy day account, which could cover their expenses for about one month. But adding to the account has been proving difficult.

Luke feels confident that if they ever run into a serious financial bind, they could always take advantage of their low-interest home equity line of credit. But Mia isn’t comfortable with that route. She’d prefer to have more cash on hand.

A bit more background on the couple and where they stand financially:

Luke recently transitioned to a new job as a government attorney, which he loves, but it also meant taking a 50% pay cut. That’s impacted their ability to spend and save as comfortably in recent months. It was an unexpected opportunity for which the couple wasn’t financially prepared.

Mia and Luke would like an objective look at their finances to discover ways to reduce spending, increase saving and possibly find new revenue streams. “I’d love to figure out a side-hustle, so that I can eventually leave my job and spend more time with the kiddos,” says Mia, who works in marketing. Other goals including affording a new car in a couple of years and remodeling their primary residence.

Here’s a closer look at their finances:

Income:

  • Combined salaries: $200,000 per year
  • Net rental income: $6,000 per year

Debt:

  • Car and student loan debt. $13,000 combined at 2%
  • Mortgage at primary residence $845,000 at 3.625%
  • Mortgage at rental property $537,000 at 3.5%
  • HELOC on primary residence: $200,000 (have not used any of this credit)

Retirement:

  • Mia: contributes about $1,000 total each month, including a company match
  • Luke: contributes about $1,000 total each month, including a company match

Emergency Savings: $10,000

College Savings: The couple has 529 college savings funds for both of their children. They allocate their cash back rewards from credit cards towards these accounts. Currently they have about $10,000 saved for their 4-year old and $5,000 saved for their 1-year old child.

Top Monthly Spending Categories:

  • Primary residence mortgage: $4,000
  • Primary residence property tax: $1,100
  • Childcare: $1,900 (daycare for both children, 3 days per week. Grandmother watches other 2 days per week)
  • Food (Groceries/Eating Out): $800
  • Car and student loan payments: $450

From my point of view, I think the biggest hole in Mia and Luke’s finances is their rainy day savings bucket. Relying on a HELOC to cover an unexpected cost is not really an ideal plan. In theory, the money can be used to cover expenses and the interest rate would probably be far lower than the rate on a credit card. But in reality, tapping a HELOC means falling further into debt. They do have $10,000 saved, which is good. But it’s not great.

If not for an emergency, the savings can allow them to achieve other goals. The couple mentioned wanting to buy a car in a couple years. This will probably require a down payment. Having cash can also assist with renovating their home.

Here are my top three recommendations:

Transfer Rental Income Towards Savings

Their previous residence is now a rental property. It nets them about $500 per month. The couple is using this money to pad their living expenses. Can they, instead, move this into their savings account for the next few years? The way I see it, they should have a proper six month cushion in savings to tide them over in an emergency and/or if they need money to address their goals. This rental income isn’t going to get them to this 6-month reserve too quickly, but it’s a start.

Carve Out Another $500 for Savings

While I don’t have a detailed breakdown of all of the family’s monthly expenses, I can bet that they can pare their expenses to save an additional $300 to $500. A few dinners out, some unplanned purchases at the grocery store (because you took the kids) and a couple monthly subscription plans can easily add up to $500 in one month. Whenever I want to save more, I schedule money to transfer out of my checking and into savings at the top of the month. I do this automatically and only spend whatever money I have left. I’d suggest doing this for the first month and seeing how it feels. Do you really notice the money is gone? If yes, revisit some of your recurring costs and decide on trade-offs. If Luke’s salary has decreased by 50% then the couple needs to make some modifications to their spending. The math, otherwise, won’t add up.

Can Mia Adjust Her Work Structure?

Mia is interested in a side hustle, too, to bring in extra income (which I highly recommend). Sites like tutor.com, care.com, taskrabbit.com and others can help you find quick work within her preferred time frame. In the meantime, can she and her husband find ways to adjust their work hours or commute, which saves gas, time and money?

Mia’s commute to work is one hour each way. That’s ten hours per week stuck in a car. And my guess is that while Mia’s driving, she’s paying for daycare, for at least some of those hours. Could she work from home one or two days per week to reduce her time in traffic, as well as her child care costs?

Bottom line: When Luke’s income dropped by 50%, the couple didn’t adjust spending. It may help to take pen to paper and imagine they were building their budget for the first time. Take all of their expenses off the table and rebuild the budget and lifestyle to better align with their adjusted income. Start with the absolute needs first: housing, insurance, food. And really scrutinize all other expenditures. Unless it’s an absolute need that they can easily afford it, consider shutting it off until they’ve reached a 6-month savings pad.

The post We Earn $200,000 and Can’t Save. Help! appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

How To Retire At 50: 10 Easy Steps To Consider

Can you retire at 50? On average, people usually retire at 65. But what if you want to retire 15 years earlier than that like  at 50? Is it doable? Below are 10 easy steps to take to retire at 50.  Retiring early can be challenging. Therefore, SmartAsset’s free tool can match you with  a financial advisor who can help to work out and implement a retirement income strategy for you to maximize your money.

10 Easy & Simple Steps to Retire at 50:

1. How much you will need in retirement.

The first thing to consider is to determine how much you will need to retire at 50. This will vary depending on the lifestyle you want to have during retirement. If you desire a lavish one, you will certainly need a lot.

But according to a study by SmartAsset, 500k was found to be enough money to retire comfortably. But again that will depends on several factor.

For example, you will need to take into account where you want to live, the cost of living, how long you expect to live, etc.

Read: Can I Retire at 60 With 500k? Is It Enough?

A good way to know if 500k is possible to retire on is to consider the 4% rule. This rule is used to figure out how much a retiree should withdraw from his or her retirement account.

The 4% rule states that the money in your retirement savings account should last you through 30 years of retirement if you take out 4% of your retirement portfolio annually and then adjust each year thereafter for inflation.

So, if you plan on retiring at 50 with 500k for 30 years, using the 4% rule you will need to live on $20,000 a year. 

Again, this is just an estimation out there. You may need less or more depending on the factors mentioned above. For example, if you’re in good health and expect to live 40+ years after retiring at 50, $500,000 may not be enough to retire on. That’s why it’s crucial to work with a financial advisor.

Get Matched With 3 Fiduciary Financial Advisors
Managing your finances can be overwhelming. We recommend speaking with a financial advisor. The SmartAsset’s free matching tool will pair you with up to 3 financial advisors in your area.

Here’s how it works:

1. Answer these few easy questions about your current financial situation

2. In just under one minute, the tool will match you with up to three financial advisors based on your need.

3. Review the financial advisors profiles, interview them either by phone or in person, and choose the one that suits your’ needs.

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2. Maximize your tax-advantaged retirement accounts.

Once you have an idea of how much you need in order to retire at 50, your next step is to save as much as possible at a faster rate. If you are employed and you have a 401k plan available to you, you should definitely participate in it. Nothing can grow your retirement savings account faster than a 401k account.

See: How to Become a 401k Millionaire.

That means, you will need to maximize your 401k contributions, for example. In 2020, and for people under 50, the 401k contribution limit is $19,500.  Also, take advantage of your company match if your employee offers a match.

In addition to the maximum contribution of $19,500, your employer also contributes. Sometimes, they match dollar for dollar or 50 cents for each dollar the worker pays in.

In addition to a 401k plan, open or maximize your Roth or traditional IRA. For an IRA, it is $6,000. So, by maximizing your retirement accounts every year, your money will grow faster.

3. Invest in mutual or index funds. Apart from your retirement accounts (401k, Roth or Traditional IRA, SEP IRA, etc), you should invest in individual stocks or preferably in mutual funds. 

4. Cut out unnecessary expenses.

Someone with the goal of retiring at 50 needs to keep an eye on their spending and keep them as low as possible. We all know the phrase, “the best way to save money is to spend less.”

Well, this is true when it comes to retiring 15 years early than the average.  So, if you don’t watch TV, cancel Netflix or cable TV. If your cell phone bill is high, change plans or switch to another carrier. Don’t go to lavish vacations.

5. Keep an eye on taxes.

Taxes can eat away your profit. The more you can save from taxes, the more money you will have. Retirement accounts are a good way to save on taxes. Besides your company 401k plan, open a Roth or Traditional IRA.

6. Make more money.

Spending less is a great way to save money. But increasing your income is even better. If you need to retire at 50, you’ll need to be more aggressive. And the more money you earn, the more you will be able to save. And the faster you can reach your early retirement goal.

7. Speak with a financial advisor

Consulting with a financial advisor can help you create a plan to. More specifically, a financial advisor specializing in retirement planning can help you achieve your goals of retiring at 50. They can help put in a place an investment strategy to put you in the right track to retire at 50. You can easily find one in your local area by using SmartAsset’s free tool. It matches users with financial advisors in just under 5 minutes.  

8. Decide how you will spend your time in retirement.

If you will spend a lot of time travelling during retirement, then make sure you do research. Some countries like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, and so many others are good places to travel to in retirement because the cost of living is relatively cheap.

While other countries in Europe can be very expensive to travel to, which can eat away your retirement money.  If you decide to downsize or sell your home, you can free up more money to spend.

9. Financing the first 10 years.

There is a penalty of 10% if you cash out your retirement accounts before you reach the age of 59 1/2. Therefore, if you retire at 50, you’ll need to use money in other accounts like traditional savings or brokerage accounts. 

10. Put your Bonus, Raise, & Tax Refunds towards your retirement savings. 

If retiring at 50 years old is really your goal, then you should put all extra money towards your retirement savings. That means, if you receive a raise at work, put some of it towards your savings account.

If you get a tax refund or a bonus, use some of that money towards your retirement savings account. They can add up quickly and make retiring at 50 more of a reality than a dream.

Retiring at 50: The Bottom Line: 

So can I retire at 50? Retiring at 50 is possible. However, it’s not easy. After all, you’re trying to grow more money in less time. So, it will be challenging and will involve years of sacrifices, years living below your means and making tough financial decisions. However, it will be worth it in the long run. 

Read More:

  • How Much Is Enough For Retirement
  • How to Grow Your 401k Account
  • People Who Retire Comfortably Avoid These Financial Advisor Mistakes
  • 5 Simple Warning Signs You’re Definitely Not Ready for Retirement

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning to retire at 50, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

The post How To Retire At 50: 10 Easy Steps To Consider appeared first on GrowthRapidly.

Source: growthrapidly.com

80+ Best Side Job Ideas To Make Extra Money in 2021

Do you want to know, “What can I do as a side job?” 

Today, I have a list of over 80 possible side hustle ideas for 2021. With these side jobs, you can make extra money in 2021.

So, what is a side job? I say side job meaning something that you do on the side of your regular job.side job ideas for 2021

Side jobs are sometimes called side hustles, and the idea is that you put some of your extra time towards making more money. 

You can find side jobs online, side jobs from home, side jobs outside your home, and pretty much wherever else. There are many different options when it comes to finding side jobs for extra money.

Over the years, I have spent a lot of time making extra money through side hustle jobs.

In fact, I paid off my $38,000 student loan debt in just 7 months by side hustling. I did several of the things on the list that you are about to read through.

Learning how to find a side job changed my life in a crazy way — it helped me to stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay off my debt, and leave my day job to pursue my job as a full-time blogger.

And, this is why I talk about making extra money through a side job so much — because I believe that it can change your life for the better.

What I like so much about the ideas on this list is that there is something for everyone. There are really so many different options. While I have included over 80 different side job ideas, there are many, many more out there. You can find something to fit your lifestyle, interests, and the amount of time you have to dedicate towards earning more money.

Whether your goal is to pay off your debt, stop living paycheck to paycheck, start saving for retirement, plan an amazing vacation, or something else, finding a side hustle idea in 2021 can make that a reality.

Making extra money through a side job can help you:

  • Save up for a big purchase, such as for a down payment on a house
  • Pay off your student loan debt, credit card debt, or medical debt
  • Save for retirement and even retire early
  • Leave a job you don’t love to pursue something else
  • Diversify your income sources
  • Save for emergencies
  • And more!

What some people don’t realize about making extra money is that it doesn’t have to take all of your time. You can dedicate as much or as little time to it as you want. I started this blog on the side of my full-time job. It took a lot of work, but I was in control of when I worked. 

That’s one of the reasons I love blogging and many of these other side jobs. Many of them are very flexible and let you pick your schedule. Below you’ll find great options if you work full time, are a parent, are in school, etc.

Besides starting a successful side hustle, there are some great small ways to earn extra money. The point is, there are so many ways to make money on the side with a full-time job that there is no reason not to start now.

Related content on how to make extra money:

  • How To Start and Launch A Successful Money Making Blog FREE Course
  • 12 Work From Home Jobs That Can Earn You $1,000+ Each Month

Below are over 80 different side job ideas.

 

Find an online side job.

There are so many side jobs that can be found online these days. The internet has introduced more possibilities, many of which have extremely flexible schedules.

Working an online side job allows you to create your own business in your spare time or work remotely for a company. These are some of the flexible options for 2021.

For me, I love being able to work online as it allows me to have a flexible schedule, there is no commute, and I simply enjoy working from home more than working in an office.

Below are ways to work an online side job:

  • Create a money making blog – This is the first thing I recommend to anyone interested in learning how to make money with an online side job, and this is because it’s exactly what I did! I have a Free How To Start and Launch A Money-Making Blog Course that you can join, and it will help you start and launch a successful blog! 
  • Answer questions online – Course Hero is a website that helps high school and college students with course-specific questions. Please read How To Make $300+ Weekly Answering Questions With Course Hero to learn more.
  • Get paid to answer surveys – Answering surveys online won’t make you rich, but it is one of the easiest ways to earn extra money online. Even though it’s a small amount of money, you can put it towards your debt payoff or savings goals. Survey companies I recommend include American Consumer Opinion, Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, Branded Surveys, and Pinecone Research. These survey companies are free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. To receive the most survey opportunities, it’s best to sign up for as many survey sites as you can.
  • Join a focus group – You can get paid $50 to $100 per hour by joining a focus group with User Interviews.
  • Write an ebook – Writing your own eBook is a great way to earn extra money online, and there is probably something super helpful that you could write about (even if you think otherwise!). In fact, my friend Alyssa self-published her first book and has sold more than 13,000 copies. She is now earning a great passive income of over $200 a day from her book ($6,500 in one month alone!). Learn more at How Alyssa is making $200 a DAY in book sales passively.
  • Run Facebook advertising for local businesses – Bobby Hoyt, a former band teacher who now runs the successful website Millennial Money Man, started running Facebook ads for local businesses to help him pay off $40,000 in student loan debt in only 18 months. In our interview you can learn about how Bobby got started, why businesses want to run Facebook ads, and how easy it is to start this flexible side job.  Also, Bobby has free training on this too. His free email course (you can sign up here) will teach you how to start this business even if you’re brand new, how to find paying clients, and more. Read the full interview at How To Make $1,000 Extra In Your Spare Time With Facebook.
  • Edit content for others – Websites, books, courses, and more all need editors to help them improve the quality of their content. No matter how many times a person reads a piece of content, something will usually slip through. If you’re a grammar-nut, then this can be one of the best side jobs from home ideas.
  • Sell printables online – Creating printables on Etsy can be a great side hustle. Because you are creating PDF files, you can create and sell them an unlimited number of times. You can learn more at How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy.
  • Manage social media accounts for businesses – Being a social media manager can be a fun job for the right person. If you have social media skills and don’t mind spending more time on social media sites, then it might be something to look into. Learn more about How I Started a Pinterest Consulting Side Hustle and why it’s more than just sharing random content online.
  • Get paid to search onlineSwagbucks allows me to earn Amazon gift cards with very little work. Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded with points called SB for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough points called SB, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. You’ll receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up through my link!
  • Proofread for a living – In just one year, Caitlin made slightly over $43,000 as a freelance proofreader, while also going on several fun vacations. If you are looking for a new job, or just a new way to earn extra money on the side, this may be something to look into. Learn more at Make Money Proofreading By Becoming A Freelance Proofreader.
  • Help job seekers improve their resume – A few years ago, I interviewed a reader who ran a resume business. She showed me how others can earn money by helping people create the kind of resumes they need to land their next job. Because having a good resume is an important part of getting the job you want, this is an in-demand option. If you are constantly reviewing resumes for your friends because you’re so good at creating them, then you may want to turn your skills into a paying job!
  • Post on social media – If you have social media accounts, even just a personal Facebook account, it’s possible to earn extra money by posting small ads on your account. One popular company that I recommend is Izea.
  • Become a freelance writer – A freelance writer is someone who writes for a number of different clients, such as websites, blogs, magazines, and more. These writers don’t work for one specific company, rather they work for themselves and contract out their writing. Learn more at How I Earn $200,000+ Writing Online Content.
  • Moderate forums – Some online forums will pay you to moderate their message boards. If there is a forum you visit often, you might want to see if they are hiring.
  • Become a transcriptionist – Do you know what a transcriptionist does? They take audio files and turn them into a text format. You can learn more about what this side job takes and how it’s possible to earn extra money on the side as a transcriptionist at Make Money At Home By Becoming A Transcriptionist.
  • Become a scopist – A scopist is someone who works from home and edits legal documents. Yes, this is a skill that you can learn. You can find a free course to learn more about how to become a scopist by clicking here.
  • Become a virtual assistant – Virtual assistant tasks may include social media management, formatting and editing blog posts, scheduling appointments or travel, email management, and more. Basically, you get paid to do any task that needs to be done for someone’s business but doesn’t need to be done by them. You can read more about how Kayla is earning $10K per month working from home as a virtual assistant
  • Become a bookkeeper – Ben, founder of Bookkeeper Business Academy, explains how becoming a bookkeeper may be a possibility for you. Ben helps people start and grow their own online bookkeeping business with his online bookkeeping course. And, guess what? You don’t have to be an accountant or have any previous experience! You can read more about how becoming a bookkeeper at Make Money At Home By Becoming A Bookkeeper.
  • Create an online store – Did you know that you can create your own online store to earn extra money? Jenn, a reader of mine, started her online business a little over four years ago and since then she has developed and grown three successful online ecommerce stores earning an average of $19,000 per month. Learn more at How Jenn Makes Over $10,000 A Month With Her Online Store In Less Than 10 Hours Per Week.
  • Become a Google Rater This is when you help Google improve the quality of their search engine results. You can learn more about this at Help Google Better The Internet And Make $1,000+ A Month From Home.
  • Build a course and teach others what you know – Before you think that you have nothing to teach, I want to tell you that you most likely do! Online courses are extremely popular right now, and you don’t need to have a blog in order to be successful with an online course. I use Teachable for my online course platform, and I highly recommend it. Here’s How I’ve Made Over $1,000,000 From My First Course Without a Big Launch.
  • Podcast editing – Podcasting has grown a lot in the past few years, and it’s estimated that there are now over 850,000 podcasts. Podcasters need help editing their audio and adding music, so if you have audio editing skills, this could be a fun side job. Listing your service on Fiverr could be a great way to find clients who need your service. Learn more at How I Make $1,500 A Month As A Podcast Virtual Assistant.
  • Teach English online to kids – Did you know that you may be able to make money from home by teaching English online to children? VIPKID is a company that allows you to work from home, create your own schedule, and earn $18-21 per hour (many teachers are earning over $1,000 per month) all while teaching English online. You don’t need a teaching degree, but you do need to have a four year degree in something. This is a great option for anyone who has a passion for teaching and looking for ways to earn extra money online. I recommend VIPKID and Education First.

 

What can I do as a side job?

Build a side business (or even a full-time business!).

If you’re looking for a side job, one possibility is to create a side business for yourself.

The ones you just read about above are online side jobs, but many of the ones in this section require in-person work. Not everyone wants to work online, and these side jobs will get you outside of the house and earning money. 

For me, my side business of creating a blog actually turned into a full-time business for myself. And, I am so happy that I made that choice!

Here are some side business ideas:

  • Pick up garbage – This might not be the most exciting way to make extra income, but did you know that you can get paid $30- $50 an hour to pick up trash in your local area? Please read Get Paid $30 – $50 Per Hour To Pick Up Trash to hear more about this side hustle idea.
  • Sell on Amazon – If you want to learn one of the many real ways to make money from home, then you may want to start an Amazon FBA business! Jessica Larrew, of The Selling Family, explains how selling on Amazon may be a possibility for you. She is a friend of mine, and I am blown away by her success! In the first year that Jessica’s family ran their Amazon FBA business together, working less than 20 hours a week total, they made over six figures profit! If you are looking for a new job, or even just a side hustle, this may be something that you want to look into. Learn more at How To Work From Home Selling On Amazon FBA.
  • Maintain and clean yards – You can make money by mowing lawns, killing/removing weeds, cleaning gutters, raking leaves, and so on. Because every season offers the opportunity for some type of yard maintenance, this can turn into a year round job.
  • House sit for others – House sitting is becoming more and more popular these days, and there are many websites out there for house sitting. You may be paid to watch someone’s house, take in the mail, water plants, and so on. House sitting doesn’t just have to be in your own town either. It can be something you do while taking amazing vacations. You can read more about it at How We Became Professional House Sitters In Europe & Saved Over $5,000.
  • Rent out your RV – Many RVs sit unused in storage lots, driveways, and backyards, so why not try to make a little extra money while you’re not using your RV? Learn more at How To Make Extra Money By Renting Out Your RV.
  • Share your car – Did you know that you can share your car with travelers on a daily, weekly, or even on a long-term basis and make extra money? I’m talking about listing your car and making money on Turo, which is like Airbnb for cars. It takes as little as 10 minutes to list your car, and you can earn up to 90% of the trip price.
  • Walk dogs and/or pet sit for extra money – If you love animals, then this is one of the best ways to make money on the side! Walking dogs and pet sitting can be a lot of fun because who doesn’t love animals!? With this side hustle, you may be going over to your client’s home to check in a few times a day, you may be staying at their house, or the animals may be staying with you. Rover is a great company to sign up for if you’re interested in becoming a dog walker and pet sitter. 
  • Groom pets – This is yet another animal related side business, and it could be a good one for you. With a mobile pet grooming business you will go directly to the pets rather than needing to find and set up a permanent business location. 
  • Become a local tour guide – Do you love showing off your city to friends and out-of-town guests? If so, you can earn extra money as a tour guide in your city. You can create any kind of tour you like — touring restaurants or bars, historical tours, bike tours, and more. Tours By Locals is a great site to connect with if you’re interested in learning more.
  • Become a landlord – Whether you rent out a room in your home or start buying up properties to invest in and then rent out, this could be one of the more lucrative ways to earn extra money on the side. Check out my blog post to learn more: How This 34 Year Old Owns 7 Rental Homes.
  • Shovel snow – We no longer need to have our snow shoveled, but it was definitely something we didn’t enjoy doing while we were living in St. Louis. If you get snow where you live, then you may be able to knock on your neighbors’ doors to see if they would like their driveways and sidewalks shoveled. If you want to go a little further, you could even invest in a plow and market your services.
  • Become a TaskerTaskRabbit is an online platform where people list odd jobs that they need done, like assembling furniture, running errands, or cleaning. You can find one-off jobs in your area using TaskRabbit to earn extra money.
  • Babysit and/or nanny children – When I was just 14, I was making $10 an hour babysitting for a neighbor. I babysat 40 hours a week and it was a great way to make extra money! If you have any special skills or can provide extra work, such as cleaning up around the house, teaching the child how to speak another language, picking up the child after activities, and so on, you will most likely be able to charge more than $10 an hour.
  • Become an Uber or Lyft driver – Spending your spare time driving others around can be a great money maker, and many rideshare drivers earn $15-$20/hour. Read more about this in my post How To Become An Uber Or Lyft Driver.
  • Help people fix things around their home – If you are a handy person, this could be a great option for you. Word of mouth is big when it comes to finding clients, but you can also post your services on Craigslist, post flyers to bulletin boards around your town, and more.
  • Clean homes – Cleaning is something that many people dread. If you are good at cleaning and enjoy it, then you may be able to find clients who want you to come to their home to clean. This can pay around $20 an hour or more in some areas. Because cleaning for others is such a personal job, you will often find loyal customers who want you to come back over and over again.
  • Help people move – Moving is another task that many people dislike. Movers can earn a broad range when it comes to hourly pay, but it’s usually somewhere around $25-$50 an hour if you run your own business.
  • Become a photographer – Do you love photography? Then this is a great way to earn extra money while doing something you love to do. Learn more at How To Make $25,000 – $45,000 A Year As A New Photographer.
  • Write and self-publish romance novels – This definitely isn’t something that most people will think about, but it is a growing and profitable industry. You can learn how Yuwanda Black, a freelance writer, started writing and self-publishing short romance novels in this interview. She earned over $3,000 in one month alone!

 

Find a part-time job.

Online side jobs are becoming more and more popular, but you can still make good money with more traditional part-time jobs.

I know many people who have part-time side jobs, and they love that they are low-commitment ways to make extra money. 

You can find a part-time side job on sites such as Snagajob, Craigslist (yes, I’ve found a legitimate job through there before), and so on.

  • Deliver items through Postmate – Postmates is a service that lets people use their phones to order food, drinks, and groceries. Delivering those items is where you come in! Because the holidays are a busy time, many people are looking to make their life easier with delivery services like Postmates. And, you can deliver for Postmates with your car, scooter, motorcycle, or bicycle. How much can you make with Postmates? Postmates says that you can earn up to $25 an hour with their platform. Click here to check out Postmates and sign up.
  • Deliver RVs to dealerships – RVs are huge, and the majority of the time they can’t be transported by semi-trucks because of their size. Due to that, someone has to drive them from the manufacturer to the RV dealership. We met a couple who did this for a living, and they both loved what they did. They were able to travel a lot, earn a living, and got to see new RVs all the time. To make extra income doing this, you can contact transport companies in your area, RV manufacturers, RV dealerships, and more.
  • Find a part-time seasonal job – If you have a job that gives you the summers off (or whatever season), then finding a part-time seasonal job could be a good way to earn extra money during your time off. Employers like Starbucks, REI, and Costco even offer part-time jobs with benefits, which adds even more value to these side jobs. 
  • Bartend – With bartending experience, you may be able to find a bartending job at a bar, restaurant, catering company, and more. Since the hours for this are usually later at night and on the weekends, it could easily fit with your regular 9-5 job schedule.
  • Work at a restaurant – You could be a host, wait tables, bus tables, and so on. You may even get to eat delicious food and receive a discount when dining out at the restaurant you work for.
  • Substitute teach – I know quite a few people who substitute teach both part-time and full-time and love it. Sometimes the schedule can be tricky as you may be called at the last moment, but other times you may secure a long-term position. In some places, substitute teaching can pay around $100 per day.
  • Teach during summer school – If you are a teacher, then spending part of your summer teaching summer school is a great way to make extra money. My brother-in-law is a teacher and he earns around $3,000 for three 4-day weeks of work, and they aren’t even full days. He and his wife use that money to fund their summer vacations.  
  • Work at a hotel, motel, hostel, resort, etc. – There are many jobs in the hospitality industry. If you love meeting new people who are visiting your area, this can be a great way to earn extra money. When we were RVing, we met several RVers who make money at RV parks and campgrounds while they are full-time RVers.
  • Work at a retail storeI worked in retail for over five years and made lifelong friends in the process. The income is okay, but you usually receive a good discount when working in retail.
  • Deliver pizza – Pizza delivery drivers make $15/hour or more delivering pizza in their spare time. It might not be the most glamorous side job, but it’s a good way to make extra money.
  • Lifeguard – You could be a lifeguard at a community pool, a private pool, a water park, and so on. You don’t have to be a teenager to be a lifeguard either!
  • Work as a referee – Did you know that soccer refs for local community centers can make around $25/hour or more? You’ll have to know the rules to work as a referee, and you can learn more by contacting the community or sports center in your area.
  • Deliver newspapers – Delivering newspapers can be a good way to make some side money. You may have to wake up early, but maybe those are the hours you are looking for.
  • Run errands for others – Being someone’s assistant can be an interesting way to earn extra money. You may get paid to do someone else’s laundry, clean their home, pick up their food, answer phone calls, and more.

 

Sell items to make extra money.

There are so many different types of items that you can sell to make extra money.

You may be able to find things around your home that you can sell, or you may even search for items online or in-person to buy and resell for a profit.

  • Flip items – Melissa’s family was able to make $42,875 in one year through buying and flipping items for sale, and they were only working about 10-20 hours per week. Learn more in How Melissa Made $40,000 In One Year Flipping Items.
  • Sell/donate eggs and sperm – Yup, both of these can be sold for a price, and you can definitely earn extra money by doing so. Depending on your characteristics, women can earn anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more for their eggs. Egg donors are typically under the age of 30 and healthy. African American women and Asian American women usually make the most money as there is a larger need for their eggs. This is not easy money, though. There are a number of doctor visits, and extracting the eggs requires a medical procedure. For sperm, the average donation pays anywhere from $50 to $100, and some men donate as often as 2-3 times each week.
  • Sell items on eBay – Whether it’s clothes, a car, electronics, and so on, eBay is a great place to sell all sorts of things online. eBay also has a worldwide reach, which can be great if the market in your area isn’t large enough for what you specialize in. I know many people who earn extra money selling on eBay, and it’s very easy to get started.
  • Sell items on Craigslist – Craigslist has gotten a bad rap in the past, but I have always had great success when I have bought or sold things through this platform. Craigslist can be a great way to sell your items, while often earning a higher value for them too. However, be safe, because you will have to meet with strangers to complete the transactions.
  • Sell things on Facebook Marketplace – Facebook is a great place to sell your items to earn extra money. You can find buyers in your area, but for larger items, like cars and furniture, buyers are often willing to travel. Plus, because you are probably already on Facebook, this is one of the easiest ways to sell your stuff, and it’s free.
  • Sell on Poshmark – Poshmark is one of the most popular places online for people to buy and sell gently used clothing, shoes, and more. You should always be honest in your listings, take great photos, and ship items out as soon as they sell.
  • Sell to second hand stores – There are many second hand stores out there that will take your clothing and shoes. Stores like Plato’s Closet, Hut No. 8, and Buffalo Exchange will pay you upfront for on-trend young adult clothing, and they take all of the legwork out of selling items, which is really helpful. There are also second hand stores for designer items, women’s clothing, children’s items, and more. Some pay upfront, whereas others may not pay you until after the item has sold.
  • Sell your gently used sports gear – Play It Again Sports is one of several second hand stores that buys and resells sports equipment and workout gear. These kinds of items also sell well on eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.
  • Sell on Etsy – Etsy is a great place to sell handmade items, vintage finds, and craft supplies. If you are a crafty person, definitely check out this website if you are looking for ways to earn extra money.
  • Sell your gift cards – If you have gift cards that you aren’t going to use, why not sell them to earn extra money? There are many, many websites out there that will pay you cash for your gift cards. Gift Card Granny, Cardpool, and Raise are just a few. 
  • Sell items through a garage sale – A garage sale can be an easy way to make extra money because people come straight to your house. The only downside is that you usually don’t make as much for your items as you would if you were to sell them on sites such as eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace.
  • Sell your old books – Back when I was in college, I sold my textbooks as soon as the class was over. This helped me regain the amount that I originally paid for the book. You can sell your books online, and most university bookstores have a buyback option.
  • Flip cars, mopeds, or scooters – In addition to teaching summer school, one of the ways my brother-in-law makes extra money is from buying vintage moped and scooters, fixing them up, and selling them for a profit on online marketplaces, like Facebook or Craigslist. In one flip, he made more than $900 profit. This is a very specific skill, but worth looking into if you know what you’re doing. 

 

 

Make extra income at the day job you already have.

If you’re already employed and not interested in starting a side hustle, by starting an online business, or taking on a part-time job, you can still learn how to earn more at your current job.

  • Work overtime – One way to earn extra money at your job is to see if your company will allow you to work overtime. In many cases, overtime is welcomed, and you can earn a decent amount of money by doing so. Plus, what’s an extra hour or two when you’re already there?
  • Ask for a raise – Asking for a raise may be the best way to earn extra money at your current job, as the work is the same and you most likely won’t be adding additional hours to your work week. Many people never ask for a raise, which means you might be leaving money on the table. Over numerous years, this can add up to a significant amount of income! If you’ve just successfully completed a big project or taken on new responsibilities, then it might be time to ask for a raise.
  • Get a promotion – If a raise is not possible, then you may want to try for a promotion that comes with a pay bump. Sometimes companies can only pay you so much for the job you currently have, but perhaps a promotion with different and/or additional job duties, a possible move, etc. may result in an increase in pay.
  • Earn bonuses – Depending on the industry and the company you work at, you may be able to earn bonuses. Bonuses often come in large chunks which makes them ideal for paying off large amounts of credit card or student loan debt. Or, you could even invest your bonus to earn even more in the long run. 

 

Miscellaneous ways to make extra money in 2021.

Of course, I can’t include every single side job in this blog post, as there are way too many options to list in one place. But, here are some more that didn’t fit one of the categories above.

  • Cuddle with strangers – Did you know that you can get paid to cuddle with people that you don’t even know? Surprisingly, there are many cuddling companies out there, and this option seems to be growing more and more each year. Some people even make a few hundred dollars a day by cuddling with others. 
  • Scoop poop – Okay, like picking up trash, this isn’t going to be the most glamorous job, but someone has to do it. 
  • Place advertisements on your car, home, or even on your body – Yes, there are companies out there that will pay you to place an advertisement on your car, home, or even your body (such as a tattoo on your forehead). If there’s space on your car or fence that you don’t mind placing an ad on, then look into this! Carvertise is one company I recommend checking out if you’re interested in advertising on your car — they pay around $100/month.
  • Help crew a sailboat delivery – Because you need sailing experience to do this, this won’t be for everyone. But, if you know your way around a boat, then you may be able to earn extra money delivering sailboats. Wes actually helped out on a couple of sailboat deliveries in the past few years, and he traveled to many amazing places along the way, such as visiting several European countries. 
  • Be an extra in a movie or TV show – If there’s a movie or TV show that is being filmed near you, you can apply to be an extra to make some money on the side. You won’t have to do much, and it could be a lot of fun, especially if you are able to meet someone famous!
  • Start investing with spare change Investing through platforms like Acorns makes investing even more approachable. You simply link your bank or credit cards and Acorns rounds every transaction up to the next dollar. Read more at How To Start Investing With Little Money.
  • Sell breast milk – Only recently did I realize that some women do this as a side job. If you are breastfeeding, then you may be able to sell your breast milk to make extra money. Breast milk often goes for $1 to $2.50 per ounce, and sometimes it sells for as much as $4 per ounce. There are many people who are looking to buy breast milk, not just mothers. 
  • Receive bonuses and rewards for using a credit card – There are many credit cards out there that will give you cash back just for using them. If you are good with credit cards (please skip this if you are not), this is something to look into as you can make money without having to do much. Read more at How To Take A 10 Day Trip To Hawaii For $22.40 – Flights & Accommodations Included.
  • Take part in medical research studies – Medical studies allow you to help with the research and study of diseases, medicines, treatments, and more. To find paid medical research studies, I recommend checking out your local Craigslist, contacting universities in your area, and seeing if there are any medical testing companies around you. Most cities have these options, and you just have to look for them.
  • Enter contests and giveaways – There’s no guarantee that you will win anything when entering contests, but if you get lucky, this would be a really fun way to earn extra money. You may win cash, gift cards, vacations, electronics, and more. The key here is to enter as many as you can. And, many stores and restaurants post drawings and giveaways at the bottom of your receipt.
  • Mystery shop – Yes, you can actually get paid to shop at stores and eat at restaurants. A few years ago, I mystery shopped a lot to earn extra money. I made anywhere from $150 to $200 a month mystery shopping and received free meals, makeup, and more as a mystery shopper. I used Bestmark for mystery shopping, so I know that they are a 100% legitimate company. Learn more at Want To Make An Extra $100 A Month? Learn How To Become A Mystery Shopper.
  • Use InboxDollars – InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend if you want to find ways to earn extra money on the side. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free!
  • Travel the world and be an au pair – In 2016, my sister was an au pair in Italy. It was an interesting experience, and she shares how you can become an au pair and travel the world in her blog post How To Become An Au Pair And Travel The World.
  • Open a high yield savings account. Savings accounts at brick and mortar banks are known for having really low interest rates. That’s because they have a much higher overhead — paying for the building, paying the tellers, etc. Betterment Everyday is an online option, which means they have lower costs, then passing the savings on to you. Simply click here and sign up.

 

How do I make an extra $1000 a month?

How do I make an extra $1000 a month?

If earning $1,000 a month or more is your financial goal, there are lots of different approaches. 

You can run Facebook ads for small businesses, deliver food for Postmates, start a freelancing side job, and more. Or, you can combine several smaller side jobs.

If you are willing to put in the work, starting a blog is something that can help you earn $1,000 a month or more. It takes time to grow your blog, but with time and effort, you can well exceed $1,000/month in blogging income.

 

How can I make money on the side?

There are so many different ways to make money on the side in 2021, and I just gave over 80 different ideas. 

Look through the options above and make a list of the ones that interest you. Think about what skills you have, how much time you want to dedicate to your side job, and how to get started with each option.

There are honestly options for anyone, no matter how much time you have to spare. And remember, even just a $100 extra a month can begin to make a dent in your debt, can be invested for your future, or help you stop living paycheck to paycheck.

 

Have questions about finding a side job?

If you have any questions about finding a side job, I recommend heading to 10 Of The Most Common Questions About Having A Side Job.

Some of the questions I answer in that blog post include:

  • How do you find a side hustle?
  • How much money can I make from a side job?
  • How do you get paid with a side job?
  • How can I find time for my side job idea?
  • How can I balance my day job, side job, and life?!
  • How can I grow my side income? How can I find clients?
  • What is a good side job?
  • Should I tell my boss about my side hustle?
  • Do I have to pay taxes on a side job?
  • How do I avoid side job scams?

Out of the side jobs listed above, which one interests you the most? Which side job would you like to learn more about?

The post 80+ Best Side Job Ideas To Make Extra Money in 2021 appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

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Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House?

So you’re at the point in your life where buying a home is not a question of if, but when. You’re scrimping. You’re saving. You’re dreaming of walking through the front door of your very own home.

But as the decision draws near, you start questioning everything. Is now a good time to buy a house? Or is this the worst time? Is it more financially responsible to buy a house right now or wait? And what if you mistime the market, buying too soon or too late, and miss out on lower home prices?

Ultimately, the experts say the answer is less about economies, markets and pandemics and more about you.

So, how do you think through this decision? You’ll want to take time to thoroughly review your personal financial situation and life goals. At the same time, you’ll need to gain some understanding of the market dynamics that impact home costs.

External factors can make buying a house right now intimidating, but your personal finances are an important factor.

This process will take some time, but it’s well worth the effort. With a firm grasp on your personal situation and some context on the housing market, you’ll be able to confidently go forth knowing you’re making a fiscally informed decision about whether to buy a house right now.

Honestly assess these aspects of your finances

Financial security is always important if you’re trying to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. To decide if now is a good time to buy a house, ask yourself the following questions about your finances:

How secure is your income?

Job or income stability is an important factor if you are buying a home in a rocky economy, such as the one triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, says real estate economist Gay Cororaton. Even in a robust economy, your income security should be top of mind when you’re thinking of buying a house right now.

If you have any inkling that your position may be eliminated or that you’ll be making a career change, you may want to delay buying a home. Even a recent break in employment that caused you to draw down some of your savings may raise a red flag with lenders, says Kate Ziegler, a real estate agent with Arborview Realty in the Boston area.

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If you’re considering buying a house right now, you should avoid opening any new lines of credit right before purchasing a home.

– Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow

Do you have enough money saved?

After income stability, savings is the next-most-important financial factor you’ll want to consider to determine if now is a good time to buy a house, Ziegler says. The old rule of thumb was to save 20% of the price of the home for your down payment. While that is ideal, it’s not necessary—far from it, Ziegler says. In fact, it has become more common for first-time buyers to put down much less than 20%.

How much house can you afford?

The down payment is one side of the affordability coin. Your monthly mortgage payment is the other side. You need to know how much you can spend on both to determine if you can afford to buy a house right now, says Jeff Tucker, a senior economist at Zillow. Aim for a monthly mortgage payment that doesn’t stretch you too thin—experts typically put this at around 28% of your monthly gross income, according to Bankrate.

With those guidelines, you can determine what you can afford. For example, if you make $4,000 a month, you should typically spend no more than $1,120 on your monthly mortgage payment in total.

How much house that buys you depends on multiple factors: mortgage rates, property tax rates, homeowners insurance and—if you don’t have the savings to put down 20%—primary mortgage insurance, or PMI. To get a rough estimate, plug your income details into an online calculator. For a more specific figure, talk to a local lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage, Ziegler says.

If you're buying a house right now, aim for mortgage payments around 28% of your monthly gross income.

Once you know your price range, you can determine how much savings you need in the bank to buy a house right now. You’ll also need to have money saved for closing costs, which vary but typically run 2% to 5% of the loan amount, according to Bankrate.

Again, Ziegler recommends talking to a lender to really understand what your individual down payment and closing costs would be. Finally, be sure to add a line item in your budget for home maintenance that will inevitably pop up after you move in. Whether it’s a dishwasher on the fritz or a leaky roof, you don’t want to be caught off guard, so be sure to save money for emergency home repairs.

How is your credit?

Your credit profile is also important to lenders, and it will likely be a factor in what interest rate you’re offered. Given that, you should be checking your credit report and know your credit score before investing in a home. If you’re considering buying a house right now, you should avoid opening any new lines of credit right before purchasing a home, Tucker says.

What is your debt-to-income ratio?

Another factor lenders check is your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI, Tucker says. This is the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes to paying monthly debt payments, plus your new mortgage. Lenders typically require this ratio to be 45% or less but prefer it even lower—in the 33% to 36% range.

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Have you considered the opportunity cost?

Another financial consideration when deciding if now is a good time to buy a house is the opportunity cost of delaying a home purchase, Ziegler says. If you’re renting in a market where the rent is higher than your would-be monthly mortgage payment, you may be spending a lot more money each month than if you were to purchase a home. And of course, with a mortgage, your monthly payment increases your equity.

After taking a clear-eyed look at your income, savings and these other financial factors, you will have a better sense of when you’re ready to buy a home and whether now’s the time for you to dip into the market.

Consider key market factors

Next, take a look at factors that are outside of your control, but still influence your purchase: prices, interest rates and national employment trends.

Where are housing prices?

As you’re looking at the market, one of the biggest considerations when you are ready to buy a home will be housing prices and availability. Research your local market by talking to real estate agents who work specifically in the area where you want to buy and asking them about market trends, Ziegler says.

Track current listings and recently sold prices to get a sense of how prices look today. Generally, the tighter the inventory—meaning the fewer houses available—the higher prices will be, Tucker says.

If you're trying to determine when you are ready to buy a home, track current listings to get a sense of how prices look today.

What’s going on with interest rates?

When you’re ready to buy a home could also depend on another major economic factor: interest rates. When interest rates are low, your housing budget is effectively supercharged, Tucker says, and you can afford a more expensive house because you’re spending less on interest. When they are high, the opposite is true.

This is what compels people to buy when interest rates are low—you get more for your money. If you get a 30- or 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, you lock in that rate for the entire life of the loan, which could save you money now and into the future, Tucker says.

How does employment look nationally?

Finally, if you want to get a general idea of where the housing market may be headed—if prices will drop or rise soon—check out the national employment trends, Cororaton says. Low unemployment means prices will generally trend upward because more people can afford houses, boosting competition and prices, she says.

But if unemployment is inching up, then people are losing jobs and will be more likely to remain in their current homes. As a result, there tends to be less competition for them, lowering prices.

You don’t need to be an expert in the market to determine if now is a good time to buy a house, but a baseline understanding of these big-picture forces can give you the confidence you need to embark on your home-buying journey.

So when are you ready to buy a home? Paying attention to big-picture economic forces can help you decide.

Think about your future plans

After reviewing your savings and income and assessing the market conditions, take a step back and think about your life plans over the next few years. Your lifestyle and goals will help determine whether now is a good time to buy a house.

“For buyers who are not certain whether they will still be living in the same place in three or five years, I would caution against locking themselves into a certain location,” Ziegler says. “If they’re just not sure what the future holds, it may be better to have that flexibility.”

It’s unlikely in many markets that you will see substantial financial gain from homeownership if you move within five years, Ziegler says. Your equity gains will likely be offset by the transaction costs of buying and selling your home.

That goes for remote workers, too. Are you working from a home office these days? While widespread remote work may allow buyers to consider homes farther from their offices, ask yourself: Is my company going to permanently allow employees to work from home? Do I think there will be other remote opportunities in the future?

Is now a good time to buy a house? That depends on your lifestyle and long-term goals.

While you’re thinking about the next three to five years of your career, also consider the next three to five years of your personal life. Will you have a family? Will that family grow?

These can be weighty topics, so be sure to think them through on your own schedule. Buying a house is a big decision, and it’s not one to be rushed. By taking the time to assess your life, from your job security to your financial health to your lifestyle, and considering the impact of market factors, you’ll have a clearer sense of when you are ready to buy a home.

If you’ve decided that buying a house right now is the best decision for you, it’s time to learn more about how it will impact your budget. Get started by reading up on these eight unexpected expenses when buying a home.

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Source: discover.com