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Showing posts with label money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label money. Show all posts

best ideas to budget your money during your birthday month

 


I always tend to find the month of August a really long one.   August, and January being the second longest month in the year.  I feel like this has been a really good thing for me to explore this avenue, as I have this month not long celebrated my 37th Birthday.    Not quite sure if everyone feels the same way about this, but does anyone else find that your spending increases quite a bit during your Birthday month?  

Why is that?



Here's what I think.   Most people for their Birthday's nowadays generally seem to get money, or more accurately, gift vouchers.   Buying a gift for someone, particularly if they are no longer a child, is getting increasingly difficult.    I mean, that Butterfly Face Painting Kit I got when I was ten was great...but now..not so much.   I am finding I have to really think about what I am going to get people, specifically my two best friends who just happen to share my Birthday month with me.   To be truthful, I was lucky this year because I found a couple of really nice gifts for my two best friends, I bought them the same things, from Amazon (see link below) and I spent round about £25 on the gifts for the two of them, which I didn't think was too bad.  But everyone knows how easy it can be to keep spending, even if you don't mean to.  That is why it is such a good idea to set yourself a separate budget for your weekly/monthly spending money, so basically the money you have left over after you have paid for all your bills, and paid out for all your food and petrol.  




The True Friend Tatty Teddy mug is so cute, I just love anything in the Tatty Teddy range, they always do lovely gifts.   I am the type of person who would use the box as well, for storing jewellery or something. They cost £8.00.   The elephant candles as well are so unbelievably cute and actually quite detailed, and smelled really lovely.   For £4.88 I thought they were an absolute bargain.  I was well chuffed with both of these.


So anyhoo, here are a few ideas to keep track of your pennies during your Birthday month.


Have a rough idea in your head of what your budget could be.   So for example, you don't want to spend say more that £100.    Always a good thing to have the round ball park figure in your head as a starting point.

Compile a list of things that you know you need to buy, want to buy, or do, and do them in that order, so you know what your spending goals are.  A good thing would be to carry it round with you for the month when you are out and about then you can refer to it whenever you want.   Just remember to do the 'need to buy' part of the list first.   You don't want to run out of money buying the things you want then leave nothing to be able to spend on your best friend for their Birthday.

Keep a note of what you spend each day for the entire month.   Use a notebook to write down what you have bought, what you have spent, and what you have left.   Remember to keep it separate from your usual banking book if you already do that too.   You can always add it in later or at the end of the month.

Download yourself a spending app on your phone, if you haven't done already.  I have the Money Manager Expense & Budget app on my smartphone and I am finding it's working pretty well for me so far.

Turn to Pinterest for inspiration.  Pinterest is so huge at the moment, you will probably be having ideas coming out of your ears after looking on there for an hour.

Don't defer from your list.   I know that can be easily said than done, but you could at least try.

What is also a really good idea is to have your bank send you an alert when you start to get close to overdraft.   I know you might think, oh I'll never that happen, but you will be surprised at how easily it can be done if you do happen to lose track of your spending.  I know because I have done it myself on more than one occasion in the past.


Another thing that is such a good idea to consider, is using places like Boots, or Accessorize or even Tescos and there is actually quite a few others out there too.  Because you get points when you shop there and if do think ahead, you could save some of your money off vouchers you get to knock a few pounds off your bill.   You can get some really nice gift ideas in these places for people and if you have saved up enough points, you can save a bit of money on them too.   I do have to also mention one of my personal favourite shops at the moment which is The Range.   I absolutely love The Range and they have some amazing, really tasteful gifts in there all the time, and they are not too badly priced either.  I love looking round The Range.  I don't really need an excuse to shop there really!

If in doubt, I have found that you cannot go too wrong with finding a few bargains on Amazon.  Always check the Daily Deals section first because you might just find exactly what you are looking for there.  And just a final little tip, use your 'Sort By Price' feature on there too.  Even if you don't manage to find what you want, you can just use it to at least give you a few ideas ;)



Thank you for reading x

Sarah x





5 fun facts about money I never knew




When I was a kid I used to have loads of those 'FunFax's which were fun facts on little cards you could collect.   It was like your own personal Encyclopedia.   You would buy them in WHSmiths, or Woolworths (now there's a name from the past) in little packets and then you could file them away in this little A5 folder to keep.  I used to love doing that. I reckon if they were still around today I would probably still collect them.  https://amzn.to/33VfRZq





I still very much enjoy reading up about different facts, mostly ones connected to History, so I decided to have a little search on the internet and of course, found a list of facts about Money, that I would like to share with you.



The First Coins Were Created By The Massachusetts Bay Colony

This original colony of people (before they were split into 13 different colonies some time later)  was an English settlement that began in 1628.   In 1630 they had migrated to New England, America where their governance consisted of leaders influenced by Puritan teachings (English protestants who were unhappy with the Roman Catholic practices in the Church of England, apparently). Soon after the Pequot war of 1638, the colony began to engage in trade with England and the West Indies, and due to the lack of hard currency at that time, they went on to develop the first coins of monetary value in 1652.   That is is interesting as I do know the Romans had already developed coins centuries before this, but these were the first coins to have a significant value in terms of currency.   


Queen Elizabeth II Holds The Record For Appearing On Currency Than Any Other Person

That I can believe, but it was something I didn't know.   Our Queen is very popular, long may she still reign, but for some reason I thought it could have been maybe Queen Victoria, but I am glad it is our Queen Elizabeth instead.  There are five images on coins of her that I know of.   Obviously the earlier coins are no longer in circulation, but they would be very good collectors pieces if you could get hold of them.  I bet they are worth a fortune now.   Interestingly as well, the runner up is in fact Abraham Lincoln.   I have seen a fair few pictures of coins with him on them too, so I think that makes sense too.





The Medieval Credit Card Actually Existed

As a stick.   I think this is by far my favourite fact I have found about money.   When I first read this I genuinely thought it was a joke, but it's all true.   In Medieval Europe they used to use a stick when someone wanted to 'borrow' money off of someone else.  It says they would split a stick in half, one for the borrower and one for the creditor.  After a payment had been made they would put the sticks together side by side and make a mark to say they had paid and how many payments they had left to make.   Simple really.   I wish it were still that simple now.   Fascinating fact though I think.


There Are Secret Designs On The $1 Bill

Now this is really cool.  I have a few one dollar bills floating about somewhere as I have visited America myself, most recently last year when I went to Florida.   Save me rummaging around looking for one, I have found a picture that depicts all the information.  I think it's truly fascinating what all those little images mean.




You should do a search to see what else there is connected to the one dollar bill.  Genuinely makes me wonder why the number 13 is considered 'unlucky' because in my opinion according to this fact, the number 13 seems to be one of the luckiest numbers ever.   I love this fact.  This is by far my favourite that I have found so far.


More Monopoly Money Is Printed Every Year Than Real Money

Well this is just bizarre! Never mind interesting, this is just weird.  I know that in the game of Monopoly there is a fair amount of paper notes involved in the game, but seriously how can you compare Monopoly money to our own?  Is the game really that popular?   It seems as though it is.   I don't mind a game of Monopoly myself, but I never imagined that Monopoly money was printed more than our own.   They must sell an awful lot of Monopoly sets then.   I bet it's simply because it's a good way of learning how to manage your money, when all you would have to pay out is the money for the game itself.  I do know you can get extra money too, because I guess after a while it can easily get torn or lost.   I definitely found that very interesting I must say.




Like I said, I do enjoy reading up about facts in general, they don't have to be about money.   Although I do see them personally as historic, I do also consider these to be fun facts, and I find them so intriguing.  I just thought I would share them with everyone as well.   

Out of all of them, the secret designs on the dollar bills is most definitely my favourite.  That is simply because, yes they are 'secret' and also because of their intricate detailed design.   I think that is really something I would like to explore a bit more of.  

I always wonder if they do one of those Fun Fax files for adults.  They do still exist because I have checked.   I know you might be thinking, why would you need one, we have the internet now....Well as the name suggests, just for fun!



Thank you for reading!

Take care 


Sarah x


















best useful money finds I have discovered this week




I always find it good to keep an eye on how money in general is performing in the UK.   By this I mean bank rates, wage increases, savings accounts percentage increases (we all hope), and most importantly the cost of living, rising food prices that kind of thing.   How much do we actually get for that one pound coin?  These are things that are very important to us all, not just to me.  In the last couple of months, and even before I started this blog, I had begun to read articles for my own personal interest on how money is beginning to affect MY day to day life.    For example, we had the annual minimal wage increase in April, and then the rise in petrol prices came two months later in June which seemed to completely wipe that wage increase out.   I guess it's just the way things are, but that doesn't make it any less irritating.   Despite that it is still good to know these things because then I can adapt and make sure I spend my money more wisely.


There are a number of money saving websites I have visited over the last few years.  The first site being https://www.comparethemarket.com/ and this is for my car.   I use it every year to get cheaper car insurance and nothing else.  Of course there are plenty more of these comparison sites out there but personally this is one of my favourites.   It's not the only site I use, and it's good to explore other sites out there too.   





https://www.moneysupermarket.com/ is the second site.   What I love about this site is how it will take a product, for example the smart watch, and then link it to their life insurance comparison section which is actually really clever.   Another product advertised on their site is a general smartphone app that calculates how many steps you take per day which again is then linked to life insurance, or critical illness cover.   What I am trying to say is, with this site it makes you stop and think about products that can improve the quality of your life.   That's what I do love about it.   It gives me ideas and possibilities for me personally to consider for my day to day life, and for the future.


The third site on my list is the one I use the most, and because I find the most useful personally for me on a number of levels, and it probably comes to no surprise that this is  https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ Perhaps it is because the site itself is what I would call a very good all-rounder.  It gives ideas on how to save on pretty much anything, which is why Martin Lewis is practically a genius.  Yes it does all the usual stuff like banking and credit cards and insurance, but what I find most helpful for me are the 'Deals and Shopping' section, and the 'Income and Budgeting' section.   A piece of advice I would like to give everyone is if you get the chance you should look at this site everyday, because it might just give you some ideas, deals or coupons to help you save money on some things you really need, or maybe want.   I always like compare different sites when I am buying somethings online.  I generally use Amazon and eBay and I am forever flitting between the two.  But that doesn't mean to say I won't still check the Boots store, or The Works store in town to see if they have what I want there at a cheaper price, particularly if I have points to spend.   There are always a few things to consider and it's worth just taking the time to find out where is the best place to buy the thing you want.





There are a couple of other things I have found out today whilst browsing the internet, and I think they are also useful money finds if you want to save a bit.

1) Coffee has had a VAT cut, which means you now save on average around 13p on your Starbucks latte.  As a coffee drinker myself that's great.   Definitely chuffed about that one.


2) The tax credit deadline is 31st of July.  Only 4 days left so get in quick if you want to make a saving on that one.  Of course now, Tax credits have been replaced with Universal credit, as I still live at home with my parents, Tax or Universal credit is not something I have looked into in any great detail, but it is something that I may have to consider in the future depending on my circumstances.


3) Also, if you need a decent smartphone for your business the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G is now £50 a month.  Not sure at this point what else it does but if it is classed as a business smartphone I am sure that will be a pretty good deal.


4) This is particularly interesting for me as I generally buy on Amazon quite regularly.  Google has now eradicated it's shopping fees for customers because their rivalry with Amazon appears to have gone up a notch or two.  I find that quite intriguing, and I might have to have a little gander on Google, and eBay myself  after finding that out.


5) And last but not least, if you like Cherry Pepsi Max, in Tesco they have 24 cans on offer for £7.00 which I think is a really good deal.  Definitely worth it if you like them because 24 cans do usually last a fair while.  I must admit I only started drinking them more regularly this year, and they are certainly better for you than the full sugar Pepsi that's for sure.   I just really love my cherry cokes at the moment. and they are definitely even better when they are on offer.




Thank you all for reading my post, I hope you have enjoyed it and maybe taken some tips from it.  I feel they are all really great websites that you can always take away something useful from if you are looking to save a little bit of cash.


Take care everyone x


Sarah x






 


5 money saving goals you should implement this year





When I look back over the years, there have only been a handful of times I have truly managed to save a substantial amount of money.   In fact it was only four times, I have managed to save a decent amount of money, because for each of those time I was on my way to Florida for a holiday.   I don't know about anyone else, but saving for a holiday always seems a lot easier to do than 'most' other things.   I think a few people out there would agree with me on that one.    But what if you want to save for something bigger than that?  Like an expensive camera? Or a new car? Or a house of your own?   At this point, I will now admit to everyone that I do have a car, which I purchased about four years ago.   How did I afford that do you ask, well it's that wonderful little piece of plastic called a credit card.   I know we would all like to believe that we are one day going to pick that winning lottery ticket, but realistically the chances of that ever happening are next to none.   On a more positive outlook following on from this, as of last year I now no longer have a credit card.   

Saving money in the last ten years have really not been easy for me, and I am sure there are countless others out there that will agree that it is so hard to save, particularly as the majority of wages out there are still very low, prices are going up all the time on everything, and on top of all that, savings accounts are soon going to become extinct if that interest rate gets any bloody lower.   I have found that the only decent savings accounts out there now are the ones that have a 'risk' attached to them, and personally I don't do risks.   Right now if I want to save some money for anything, I put maybe a tenner (or more depending on what I am saving for) a week in a tin for about a month.   Ok so it doesn't make any money, but it doesn't decrease in value either.  Plus, the only person who knows about it and where it is is you, and Mr. Taxman can't get his hands on it.  

The money saving goals I have set for myself are pretty basic, but there is nothing wrong with that.  Basic is good....complicated is bad.  Keeping it simple in my mind is a great way forward. The key ingredient to making great goals is to make them achievable.   Most importantly this also means that your goals are realistic and are going to make a difference to you.


Goal 1

Always Eat Before You Go Shopping

I can't decide if this is an obvious goal or not.   For a start, the majority of takeaway food is bad for you anyway, unless you buy your lunch from Boots where I feel their meals are a bit healthier, though I have just read that even they have gone up to £3.99 or something, depending on what you have.  I'm sure I didn't pay that the last time I got one.  The meal I also really like is the Tescos meal deal, which luckily is still £3 because I've just checked.  But even so, £3 is still a fair bit.  Particularly as you could make your own at home for probably less than £1. The other thing about buying food from Tescos or Boots when you're out shopping is you then have to find somewhere to sit and eat it.  That in itself can be really annoying, which is probably why I have sometimes found it easier to dip into McDonalds or a coffee shop instead.  A really good tip is to eat a bowl of porridge before you go shopping.  Porridge is good because it is slow release energy.  You can have it with fruit or honey or jam, or my personal favourite, Nutella.  I feel must eat more of that.   Keeps you going for so much longer and you may not need to pay out for a meal whilst you are out shopping at all.





Goal 2

Utilize The Pound Shop

There is a lot that can be said for the Pound Shop.   Not only does it have really great snacks, healthy or otherwise, but it also sells stationary, and gifts, DVDs, gardening stuff, crockery and utensils for the home....all sorts of things.   At this point I will just mention obviously that the shop itself has started to bring in several 'special purchases' every now and again that are more than a pound, but they generally are things that you will pay more for if you get it from say Tescos instead.   For example, the Pound Shop has a 1 Metre USB cable for a pound obviously.  You can get the same thing in Tescos for £6.  Where do you think I'm going to buy my next USB cable when I need one?  The bottom line is you can't really go wrong with the Pound Shop if you are after every day snacks, cheap stationary for your work place, or an odd little gift you can buy for someone just like the little 'Car Bin' I bought my dad for Father's Day this year.  You should check your nearest £1 shop out, you will be amazed at what you can find in there.






Goal 3

Stop Impulse Buying

I should re-write this heading, it should read 'Stop Going Into Primark'.   To be truthful I have gotten a lot better at not buying loads of stuff from Primark lately, and I think it's because after I have been paid, which is on the 30th of every month or there about, I have started to write out a little list of things I NEED to buy for the new month first, such as food, toiletries, any medication and vitamins etc all the important things, most of which I can't actually get in Primark anyway.   Primark is a good example of how easy it is to spend more money than you mean to when you go in there.  Especially if you have just gone in for a browse on your lunch break.   You go in for a browse and before you know it you have come out with £30 quid's worth of stuff.   Another shop I was quite bad for spending a bit of money in was Accessorize.   Sadly that's not on my High Street in Lincoln anymore.  Not entirely sure if we will get it back on our High Street so I will be keeping a check on that, but I know I can buy online of course which is better than nothing.  But like I have said previously I do prefer to buy in a physical store now if I can.   Personally the one thing I have come to recognize is that impulse buying is what  really starts to put a dent in my bank balance.  So that is why it is on my list of goals.



Goal 4

Selling Things On eBay For Profit

eBay is a wonderful thing.   Sometimes I wish I had started selling things on eBay a lot sooner than I have, like when I was in my twenties instead of in my thirties.   In my experience eBay has become so much easier to sell your unwanted items on than it was ten years ago.   I reckon it's just the way eBay has adapted it's website over the years.  There are two main areas that I focus on when I sell on eBay.   1) Always provide a quality description of the item you are selling  2) Always leave constructive feedback, and that is to be done regardless of whether someone has purchased from you or you have purchased something from them.   The thing is, if you take the time to write a little bit of feedback from that one person who bought the little black dress you bought from Dorothy Perkins in 2012 for example, that person might come back to your eBay and buy the black boots you wore with it, which you have only worn twice and have also been in your wardrobe gathering dust.   It really is that simple to sell on eBay and it may just put a few extra pounds in your pocket.  A little bit of quality feedback does genuinely go a long way.


Goal 5

Set Up An Emergency Fund

Everybody should do this.   Seriously.   And before we go any further, I would like to point out that NO your overdraft should not solely be your emergency fund.   Been there, done that and it didn't end well.  Thankfully I don't have an overdraft anymore.    Again, there are a few ways I use to combat this.  These are 1) I check my bank weekly to ensure I am aware of how much I have left till the end of the month.  2) I take £50 cash out at the start of the week and see if I can make it last me for 7 days, which it usually does I am proud to say.   3) I make sure all my direct debits etc are paid for at the start of every month.   4) And like I said previously in this post, I make sure anything I need to buy for the month I put some money aside for it, so that comes out of the £50 I take out every week.   I have two ways I use to manage my emergency fund.   1) I keep £10 from that £50 I have already taken out aside, and only use that tenner at the end of the week if I absolutely have to.   If I don't use it, it goes in a box and rolls onto the next week where I repeat the process.  Ok so it doesn't always work every single week, but it has worked that's the main thing  2)  The second thing I do is very basic really but I think everyone should really think about doing it and that is I have an alert on my bank account that sends me a message on my mobile if I start getting too close to my monetary limit, which I have personally set up myself, and when my account reaches £100 it gives me a little buzz to say you are not allowed to spend any more money.   If you haven't done it already, I would seriously consider doing that.  Most banks I know of have that feature, which is free so you may as well use it and then you know where you stand.



I hope you find these tips can helpful to you too.   As I have mentioned in my previous posts on this blog, I am always on the look out for more money saving and money making tips.   If you have any thoughts or comments to share with me on this post please feel free to post a comment.   

And as always, thank you for reading x

Take care


Sarah x



discovering the best steps to saving money



Over the years I have found it increasingly challenging to save a substantial amount of money.  I have tried out several ideas to make extra money, and I am still doing so even now every day.   I enjoy reading blogs and searching social media for new ideas if only to try them out.   It's a great idea to experiment, because let's face it, if you are not willing to give things a go, you are never going to know if they are going to work for you or not.

For a rather long time now, I have tried and failed on numerous occasions to save money.   I don't just mean saving money by putting it aside for a rainy day.   I also mean, saving money every day on things I buy, and those dreaded monthly bills.   Saving money in this day and age is very hard.   In fact it is ridiculously hard, particularly because now interest rates at banks get you next to nothing for your savings nowadays, which is really rubbish.   Personally I think I would be better off taking a certain amount of money out of my bank every month, week or whenever I feel like it, and sticking it in a suitcase and stash it under my bed.   I get the impression most people today are not just in search of new ways to make money, but to more importantly make their money work for them.  I know that in itself is not an easy thing to accomplish either talking from experience.   I have always had ISAs.  Say no more.

I am always looking for new ways to save myself money.  About a year ago I started to specifically search for blog posts more related to frugality, rather than just general 'how to save money', or 'best tips to save money' posts.   I personally have found that frugality posts are a bit more in depth and I much prefer that, especially if they include an easy step by step list of suggestions.  I love a good list.   It is also a good thing to decide what it is you are working for.   Set yourself some little goals to begin with, little and often can be good you know, and then start working on the larger goals.  




My dream has always been to have my own place.  It is most certainly near the top of my wish list.  That and having a dog and a rose bush in my own garden.   Yet here I am, nearly 37 year old, still living at home and not saving much money.   This is what I am hoping to change around, and I am perfectly happy to try out new things, ideas, new apps etc to make that happen.   Like I have said already, it's mostly all down having a positive mindset.   A plan is a pretty good thing to have also.   I haven't got one of those yet.   This is something I need to work on.   It's good to start thinking about how you want to better your future, at any stage of your life.  Just think of it as the three 'Ps' Positive, Plan, Payout.   I reckon that has a pretty cool ring to it.  Stay Positive.  Have A Plan.  Get A Payout.  I wish at this stage I could say that was an easy thing to do but honestly, it's not. It is most definitely not easy at all.  Not at this stage anyway.  But I am working on it.

A great app I have just downloaded for myself is Shopmium.  This is one of those apps you always see advertised on TV over and over again, and you think to yourself that sounds really good I must look into that and see what it's like, but three months later you still don't have the app!   Well I have just got it on my phone now so I shall start testing it out this week and see how I get on.   I already have a similar app on my phone which is Receipt Hog, although, that free app is more of a general receipts one.  It basically does all receipts which is what I love about it.  Receipt Hog is very easy to use.  You scan your receipts you get on your phone every week and you get points for that, and you get entered into their sweepstakes to earn a gift card from Amazon - which is always very handy for little treats for yourself like books, stationary, or if you are like me I like to put the vouchers towards new colouring pages or books.  Or you can get your money loaded onto a pre-paid Mastercard loaded digitally onto your phone, or your can put your money into a Paypal account too.  I love all of those options, Paypal is my favourite, not surprisingly I suppose.  Because with Paypal you can leave the money you get in there and then transfer it too your bank so easily.   That way you can spend it as you wish.

I do have several different apps on my phone that allow me to get gift cards or Paypal cash for playing games or doing free scratchcards.   I will be honest in the beginning I was a bit dubious about this sort of thing, I have tried a few different apps over the years and they say you will get something for all the points you have accumulated and then nothing happens.  But that doesn't go for all of them and some of these apps are really, really good.  I have an app on my phone called Lucky Day which is a free scratchcard app.  You collect points and cash when you scratch your cards every day (you get about 16 a day roughly) you build your points up and you can redeem them for either a £5 Starbucks gift card or an Amazon gift card.   I was over the moon when I reached enough points for a £5 gift card.  I chose Starbucks, and today I had the treat of a free Cafe Mocha and a free chunky chocolate chip cookie.   It was fabulous.   I was really chuffed with that.   It just proves these free scratch card apps do work.   You might have to be a bit patient with them, some rewards do come through quicker than others depending on the app, but they do definitely work.

Here is a list of my favorite mobile apps that can earn you a little spare cash:

Lucky Day
Lucky Night
MoneyGo
Lucky Maker
Lucky Spin
Lucky Dollar
Spin Royale

Check them out and see how you get on with them.  They are fun, and yes they do waste a bit of time if you are bored on your lunch break.   They are completely free to play, and you could make a bit extra cash for buying your takeaway coffee, or lunch, whatever it is you decide to spend it on.  




The one app I use quite a lot of, and I highly recommend it is Qmee.   I try to do at least a survey or two a day on Qmee if I can.   The really great thing about Qmee is you can cash out any amount at any time to Paypal, free of charge.   So if you only manage to do one survey and you get say 34p for it, you can cash that 34p immediately to Paypal.   I have earned £5 from Qmee in just over a week.  It might not sound a lot, but it's a fiver extra that you didn't have before.  You can spend it or save it.  There is only one thing I would say against Qmee, and that is sometimes you get a survey that will take say 20 minutes to complete, and you only get 15p for it, which is not a lot at all.   So I will be honest and say I have started to be a bit more selective when it comes to Qmee recently.   It usually depends on how much time I have to do the survey, remembering that you never really know when they will come through anyway.  Basically, don't try and complete a 20 minute survey when you only have 10 minutes left on your lunch break.   Because the thing is, if you rush it, they will not take your answers seriously and they might shut you down.   Apart from that it really is a brilliant app, and a nice little money earner.   You will be amazed at how quickly those little bits of cash can build up.

So there you have it, for now anyway.   Thank you all for reading my post.   Hope you all have a great day.


Take care.


Sarah x


P.S Just a little update.  I was exploring Pinterest this morning and I have just read this really great little article about money making apps with a few more suggestions.   Well worth a little gander.  



how blogging can help you make money




Over the years I have tried out many different topics to some degree, to base my blogs around.  One of the main reasons I begun blogging in the first place is purely because I love to write.  Like most people, I love to share my thoughts and opinions, and a blog is always the perfect way to express that.  What comes next is down to how I ensure that the advertising and marketing side of my blog is always constant and consistent.

 I do love to read too, and I am always searching the web for movie news, money news, music news, and anything to do with sports as well, particularly football, and golf as I also play golf myself.    So you see any one of these things I could write about in my blog.   But....  I have always wanted to focus on a particular niche, which is why I decided to explore and write about the subject of money, for the second time.

   






I have had several different blog sites, and tried out quite a few different blogging platforms.  Years ago I created a blog called Making Money, which I did on a site called https://www.webs.com/.  The only thing was I never bought the domain name and that was possibly down to the fact the name was so popular, I couldn't. That was very early on in my blogging days so it would have been about 10 years ago, and I was still testing the waters back then.   The blog never took off anyway, and to be honest, for me it's a project that has been left too far in the past now for me to pick it up again.


First and foremost, I am in no way implying that earning money through a blog is easy.   Because I can tell you from experience, it's not.   To be completely truthful it's bloody hard.   Regardless of what you choose to base your blog around, you cannot expect to start writing and expect Google Adsense to go, hey there you go, there's some ads now you will make lots of money!   It doesn't work like that.   I have only ever managed to cash out from Adsense ONCE.  That was roughly about seven years ago, and even now I think that was a fluke.


DO YOUR RESEARCH

Read, read, and then read some more.  Read everything, books, blogs, news, magazine articles, social media sites, Pinterest, anything and everything you can find.   Make a list (or if you are like me, make several lists) prioritize it, come up with some theories and then test them out, no matter how wild they may seem at first.


NICHE

Choosing a niche can be something that takes a little time to decide on.   The best thing I can suggest is to always choose a strong niche that you are passionate about.   This can be anything from movies to lifestyle, fashion, books, sport whatever, but the important thing is is to make sure you know how and why this topic is important to you, and how you can project your opinions to your audience.  


SET YOUR GOALS

Whenever you start an new blog post always have a think and decide exactly on what you want your end goal to be.  Visualize it, make notes, draw up a list of things you want to include that you feel is important to what you want to say to your audience.


MINDSET

This is probably the most important aspect of finding and learning ways on how to make money.  You do not want to start a big, potentially life-changing project when you are in the wrong mindset.   A positive mindset will provide strength.  Another easier way to put it is to 'be in the right frame of mind' when you start your blog post journey.


FOCUS ON YOUR AUDIENCE

This is an interesting one for me because my first instinct is to say that in general this blog is more targeted to a younger audience.   If I had begun writing this blog say 10 years ago, then perhaps yes, it would be just aimed at a much younger audience.  But to be completely truthful, I don't believe I can specifically put an age to which I am truly aiming for.   This is because you can earn money at any age, whether that be a tiny amount or a lot.   And the great thing is, is there are loads of different ways to do it.


FIND OUT WHAT'S TRENDING

I love the What's Trending website, and I have used it for a number of years now.  I really enjoy discovering all the amazing, and sometimes weird things that are going on in the world that others are talking about.   Although I don't immediately go to it for every blog post I write, it is still on my list of favourite sites to check out if I am looking for some extra links to add to a post that is specific and related to my article.  It's always worth a little gander every now and then, even if it's just for fun.


CHOOSE A MONETARY SYSTEM

The most obvious one for any blogger is Google Adsense.   Although it can sometimes take time to get accepted, it is one of the easiest blogging monetary systems out there.    In the past I have had three blogs that were accepted for Google Adsense because of the content that I had written.   As great as that sounds I  still struggle to make a lot of money one Google Adsense at the moment.  But there are others you can choose from, for example Affiliate Marketing is another way of money with a blog that I am currently exploring.  The Amazon Associates is another popular money making opportunity you can use with your blog.   You promote products on your blog in a link, and if one of your readers clicks on that link, and then buys the product you are promoting, you get a commission.   It's that simple.


There are many money making opportunities you can use with a blog.   You can even sell items on your blog if you have stuff you want to get rid of.   Ebay and ETSY are the top two places to do this.  Personally, I haven't used ETSY yet to sell anything, but I have purchased from there and it was so easy to do.   Ebay on the other hand I use very frequently to sell clothes and shoes, or the odd handbag the way you do.  Ebay is really easy to use.   I think it's all about the wording you use to sell your items and not just the photos.   And like Amazon Associates, you can easily post a link on your blog and write about what you are selling to gain some real interest.   If someone then clicks on one of your links whilst reading your blog, there is a chance it could lead to a sale.


One of the best things that you could do, if you want to start earning money with your blog, is to perhaps test a few of these theories out.   From experience, Amazon Associates was very easy and free to set up, and it is known that Amazon Associates is one of the best affiliate marketing sites there is. Whether it will convert many sales for me I am yet to see, but it is always possible that it will, you just have to have patience and a little faith.  That goes the same for Google Adsense.   It is free to set up a Google Adsense account, but you do have to be accepted by them.   The best way to do that is to include keywords into your blog posts.   Now this is something else I am investigating myself over the last couple of weeks since I started my dreamcashe blog.   As it stands as the moment, I feel as though I have not even begun to scratch the surface on what I am doing with 'keywords' so I shall leave that particular subject for a later date.


Anyhoo.  Let me know any thoughts you might have.  Thank you for reading.  

Until next time, take care.


Sarah