Need a Simple Budget? Try Using Envelopes

Need a Simple Budget? Try Using Envelopes

(MoneyHippo.com) – Setting up a budget is essential to getting finances in order and keeping them there — as long as you stick to the plan. Using a spreadsheet to outline line-by-line expenditures might work for some people, but there’s a simpler way to keep track of inflows and outflows. The envelope method is an effective way to track physical cash.

The first step is to gather envelopes. Write an expense category on each one with the monthly amount you’ll need. When you get paid, withdraw money to cover the total and divide it between the corresponding sections. As debts come due, only use the cash from designated envelopes to cover them. Once you run out of funds for a category, you must wait until the next payday.

If you run out too quickly, it’s time to make some budgeting changes. This method is effective because you can see where you stand with each expense. You might feel tempted to take money from other envelopes to cover obligations when your funds run short, but that will only leave you struggling in other areas. Instead, make spending adjustments and address the shortfalls in the following month.

While this system might be a significant change from dealing with finances online, it could be the best way to get a firm handle on your budget.


Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com

6 Legit Ways to Earn From The Comfort of Your Home

working from home
Photo by Jason Strull on Unsplash

The Internet has made the world a much smaller place. With the availability of information and knowledge at our fingertips, we can work from anywhere in the world.

Teaching Online Courses

Udemy and Skillshare are the two popular sites that offer courses on a wide range of topics. You can create your own course with Udemy or Skillshare and teach what you know from the comfort of your home.

Start A Blog

Many people who blog, do it as their full-time job and earn a living from it. Some bloggers have even been able to quit their jobs because they were earning enough money through their blogs.

Become A Virtual Assistant

If you have good communication skills and know-how to use basic office software, you can become a virtual assistant. You’ll work for clients who need help with administrative tasks like booking appointments or managing their social media accounts.

Transcriptionist

You don’t need any qualifications for this job as long as you have a computer and internet access. All you do is listen to audio recordings and type them as it is.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a great way to start an online business as you don’t need to carry any inventory. You just need to order your products from a wholesaler and then sell them on the internet.

Online Surveys

One of the easiest ways to earn money online is by taking surveys that companies want to conduct their research on. These surveys usually don’t take more than 10 minutes and they pay out anywhere from $5-$50 per survey.

Freelancing

This is one of the most popular ways to earn money from home. It is also very flexible as you can work as much or as little as you want. You can work at your own pace and schedule. The only thing you need is a computer and an internet connection, and you are ready to go!

How To Find Money You Didn’t Even Know Was Lost

How To Find Money You Didn't Even Know Was Lost

(MoneyHippo.com) – No matter what’s happening in the nation’s economy, most people would be happy to find some extra money hidden way back in a dresser drawer or inside the pocket of last year’s winter jacket. What if you had cash or property somewhere and didn’t even know it was missing? The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators reported that 1 out of every 10 people in America has “unclaimed property or money.” Here’s how to find out if that’s you.

To start searching for yet-to-be-claimed funds or assets, visit unclaimed.org — a site that gathers data from everywhere across the US. When you access the page, scroll down and choose the states you want to search. The site will direct you to another page, where you can enter your information for free. If you’ve lived in multiple areas, you’ll probably want to check missingmoney.com to scan them all simultaneously.

Other places to search include:

During your quest, remember all the banks you’ve used and your previous employers. Contacting them directly might help you find assets you may have left behind. Happy hunting!


Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com

What Is a Sinking Fund and Why Have One?

What Is a Sinking Fund and Why Have One?

(MoneyHippo.com) – A sinking fund is a tool to save money over time for a big purchase in the future. You create a line item in your budget for the expense, like a vacation, car, or down payment on a house. You “sink” a bit of cash into the fund when you get paid. Eventually, the money accumulates, and before you know it, you’ll have the means to afford the planned item without experiencing a massive impact on your monthly financial obligations.

The first step in setting up a sinking fund is establishing a budget. Write down all income sources and total them. Then, record every expense you have, but don’t total them yet. Instead, consider and prioritize what significant future purchase you want to save for and include it as an expense. Figure out how much you want to save and break that number into small, manageable chunks. Commit to setting aside the amount each time you bring in a paycheck. That’s your sinking fund.

Sometimes, people set up a separate savings account for the purchase to prevent accidental spending from this line item which might undo all their progress. If you pursue this option, ask the bank if they can automatically move the dollar amount from your primary checking account to the sinking fund account to remove the possibility of spending accidents and temptations. You can let cash accumulate out of sight, if not out of mind, so it’ll be ready to help you make that big purchase when the time comes.


Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com

How and Why To Calculate Your Personal Net Worth

How and Why To Calculate Your Personal Net Worth

(MoneyHippo.com) – Checking your net worth regularly is one way to monitor your overall financial health. The calculation goes far beyond the balance in your bank account, incorporating your assets and any debts you owe. Thankfully, the process is simple: capital minus liabilities.

First, write down all your assets, like checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts, real estate, jewelry, cars, and other investments. Next, figure out their value and add them together. Repeat the process for your liabilities, including student, auto, personal, and mortgage loans, credit cards, and any other debts you carry.

Subtract the liability total from the asset total to determine your net worth. You might want to consider charting the value over time to help you understand when you might be increasing liabilities without necessarily increasing assets proportionally.

Armed with the knowledge, you can take steps to improve your stance through planning. If you want to grow your bottom line, you either have to increase your assets, lower your debts, or both. Once you make adjustments, giving them time to impact you financially, recalculate your net worth and compare. Did your net worth increase or decrease? If you’re happy with your financial direction, keep going on that path. If not, make some additional adjustments and try again.

You might become more aware of your spending, choosier about the assets you accumulate, and encourage yourself to be more strategic with your money if you maintain a growth goal. Having a plan is essential, but calculating and charting your net worth might give you a tool to quantify your accomplishments or setbacks.


Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com

How To Avoid Disastrous NFT Scams

(MoneyHippo.com) – NFTs offer an exciting new way to collect, trade, invest, and store digital information. Non-fungibles on a blockchain offer a decentralized outlet for collecting and investing, with transparent receipts and genuine ownership. Like all things digital, however, there’s always the risk of scams. Blockchains hold a slew of records for worthless NFTs, raided crypto wallets, and transfers for tokens that never existed at all.

NFT scams come masked in an assortment of disguises. One of the most common is social media hacking. Scammers have several methods of reaching NFT collectors on big tech platforms, particularly through private messaging. These scammers are after collectors’ NFT wallets, and whether they impersonate an influencer or hack friends’ accounts to reach their targets makes little difference to them. The best method to avoid these criminals is never to click a link sent to you privately or answer any personal questions from someone you don’t know.

Phishing is another popular scam. Thieves will send replicas of NFT Marketplaces that look authentic to victims’ emails or social media inboxes. After a series of clicks, victims unwittingly connect their NFT wallets… and criminals swiftly drain them. Once again, never open any link about cryptocurrency or NFTs that someone sends to you unsolicited.

“Rug-pulls” happen when someone creates a project and solicits investors, then they disappear. Remember the popular show “Squid Game?” Scammers created a token that rose in value to over $2,800,” then simply vanished. The website and social media accounts went dark, and the token became worthless.

The scammers walked away with over $3 million. While that might seem like an unavoidable consequence of playing in a risky world, there were plenty of signs and warnings from experts along the way. Those who stayed informed got out, while scammers took those playing and investing blindly for much more.

NFT scams are out there, and they’re numerous. To stay safe in the crypto world, keep yourself up to date with what’s in your wallet, be careful who you talk to, and research the tokens you mint and games you play.


Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com

3 Ways To Save on Your Grocery Budget

3 Ways To Save on Your Grocery Budget

(MoneyHippo.com) – Everyone’s budget contains two types of expenses: fixed and variable. While you might have little control over bills set in stone, the others are a bit more flexible. Groceries provide a great example of an expense with considerable wiggle room. Here are several ways you can get the most out of your shopping trip while saving money on food.

  1. Plan: The number-one way to save at the grocery store is to make a list. Decide what meals and snacks your family will eat for the week based on sales, and look through the pantry and fridge to figure out the ingredients you’ll need to make it happen. Then, take the list with you and only buy those items. Having a strategy eliminates impulse buying, and sticking to a plan will result in less food waste.
  1. Start at home: While looking through your inventory and preparing to shop, take note of the foods you already have. You might find enough items in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to put meals together without adding anything from the store. Maybe you could turn leftovers into another family dinner entirely. Instead of shopping for seven dinners for the week, perhaps you only need to plan for four or five.
  2. Coupons and sales: Sunday papers don’t have an exclusive on coupons anymore. Digital discounts and loyalty programs can save you big bucks at the checkout stand. Consider visiting the store’s website before shopping to check for sales and coupons. There are also cashback apps that could save you even more money. Fetch Rewards is a good example.

As a mini bonus tip, remember that store brands are typically just as good as big-name items but cheaper. Reducing food expenses is probably one of the most effective ways to save money and contain a variable expense.



Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com

Could NFTs Be as Big as Bitcoin or Other Digital Currencies?

coin

(MoneyHippo.com) – While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been around a while, non-fungible tokens are relatively new. The question of whether or not NFTs will be as big as the most popular digital currencies is answering itself every day. As more people and businesses begin to understand exactly what these wonders of the digital age entail, the more likely it seems the answer will be “yes.”

It’s not fair to compare NFTs with any other cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies operate as currency and have no other function. An NFT, by its very definition, is a unique method of ownership that steps far outside the world of dollars and cents.

Non-fungibles aren’t about currency, specifically, but they exist on a cryptocurrency blockchain. However, while you can trade one bitcoin for another and have the same value, the same can’t be said of NFTs. They don’t store simple monetary value; they digitally store anything in the world, from art to music to programs to video games. 

Creators and owners hold the properties within the decentralized transparency of a blockchain. Like tangible art that hangs in museums, NFTs can accumulate value. So, could there come a time when you can use that expensive CryptoPunk you’ve been hanging onto for a few years to buy a condo on South Beach? The possibilities are truly endless.

It doesn’t stop there. Because of the versatility of a non-fungible token, the future may hold some exciting new frontiers. NFTs could be used to store complex contracts like real estate sales and land deeds on the blockchain, allowing ownership to transfer from a seller’s wallet to a buyer’s wallet instantly. NFTs could also enable individuals to establish ownership of practically anything without the need for a central authority and could become indispensable for international real estate transactions.

With a steady flow of trading and a $27 billion stake in the crypto game, it stands to reason that it may be worth keeping an eye on NFTs.


Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com

4 Reasons You Need To Try a Spending Freeze

4 Reasons You Need To Try a Spending Freeze

(MoneyHippo.com) – Working to get your finances in order can be a challenge. Building a budget, accounting for savings, retirement, emergencies, and increasing prices might overwhelm even the most financially savvy individual. A spending freeze could be just the thing to get you back on track, but how? 

Incorporating this method of eliminating all spending except for essentials has benefits beyond the obvious goal of ending the challenge with more money in the bank than you would have otherwise. Here are some reasons to try a freeze yourself.

  1. Savings: Setting a period when you don’t spend money will net you cash to apply to a savings account — quickly.
  2. Re-Training: We can all fall victim to impulse shopping, creating a habit of purchasing items indiscriminately in the moment and regretting the decision later. A freeze in cash outlays could make you more mindful about spending, allowing you to allocate the funds elsewhere.
  1. Highlights: Consciously stopping extraneous cash outlays will force you to focus on needs versus wants. After finishing the challenge, you might find that what you thought was a requirement for living wasn’t after all. That realization could help you restructure your budget, moving you closer to financial goals.
  2. Resources: Before and during the spending freeze, austerity might force you to use what you already have around the house. Could you repurpose items sitting in your garage? Would it be possible to forage through the pantry and create a new meal for the family?

Resetting your budget and mindset by trying a spending freeze a few times a year could help create new habits that will benefit you in the short and long term.


Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com

4 Ways To Make Money Quickly

4 Ways To Make Money Quickly

(MoneyHippo.com) – Need to make cash quickly, or do you just love the idea of bringing in more money each month? You can add to your bottom line faster without taking on a full-time job by flexing the skills and resources you already have on hand. These four options will give you a solid place to start.

  1. Freelance: If you have a particular skill, such as writing, design, programming, or editing, you could promote and offer services to clients. Use websites like Freelancer.com, Fiverr, and ProBlogger to network with people in need of your help. Or, reach out to local companies that would benefit from your services.
  2. Take Surveys: Answering questions can also net you some extra money quickly. Sites like Swagbucks and YouGov typically offer cash or gift cards in exchange for the time you spend filling out questionnaires. Rewards vary, but it’s flexible enough that you don’t need to commit long-term. 
  1. Drive Your Car: Have a vehicle? Delivering food for places like Uber Eats and Door Dash can be lucrative if you don’t mind some time behind the wheel. Best of all, you can set your own schedule, making it easier to fit this side hustle into a busy life. 
  2. Walk Dogs: If you love animals, walking dogs or pet sitting might be the right option for you. Offer your services to friends and neighbors first. Then, expand out to others in the area, or find new clients on sites like Rover, until you have as much or as little work as you want. Take this side gig to the next level by turning it into a small business.

Whether you sew, bake, have a green thumb, or are a meal-planning expert, just about every skill that provides value to others can help you make money quickly. Remember that your time is valuable, and you deserve compensation for what you do. Be cautious about opportunities that ask you to pay just for the privilege of doing the work — they may be a scam. If anyone asks you to fork over cash for the privilege of working, consider it a red flag.



Copyright 2022, MoneyHippo.com