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5 Tips for Saving More and Worrying Less

 

Money, or a lack thereof, is often the source of much stress and trepidation. There are so many things that you want to do, but they all require the one thing you don't have in abundance: money. Many of us often find ourselves living from pay cheque to pay cheque. Fans of the hit AMC show, Breaking Bad, know the conundrum that the show's leading character, Walter White, found himself in. As a humble Chemistry teacher with a disabled son, his funds were very limited. So, when he discovered that he had cancer, desperation struck. Eventually, he became the leading producer of high quality crystal meth. As the story unfolds, Walter becomes obsessed with money and power and eventually meets his demise.

I'm not saying that we should all aspire to enter the illegal drug trade and dominate the world like Walter. Instead, I am suggesting that there is more that you can do so that you can better manage your money and find other legal income generating opportunities. The following tips center on developing shrewd money management skills and reducing your worrisome nature.

Tip #1: Always Pay Yourself First

This is a principle that I learnt almost 12 years ago when I read Robert Kiyosaki's best selling book "Rich Dad Poor Dad". Regardless of your income and financial obligations, always ensure that the first thing that you do when you get paid is save. Ideally, your savings each month should be about 20% of your net income. This may be difficult for some people, but this percentage should never fall to less than 10%. 

A strategy that I use to ensure that I save is to transfer that 20% to a USD account as soon as I get paid. That account is dubbed the "untouchable account". Other people I know have asked their banks to create a standing order. So, the bank would take the amount stipulated and place it in another account on the client's behalf. If you are not an extremely disciplined person, creating a standing order may be the best option for you.

Tip #2: Save Those Coins

This is one of the areas that I tend to falter on. Most times when you shop you will get a few coins as change. Instead of using them to make another purchase, place them in a savings jar at home. One of my coworkers has two coin jars: one for $10 coins and the other for $20 (we live in Jamaica). He has disciplined himself to avoid using the money in those jars. In less than 6 months, when he took the jars to the bank, he had saved 200USD (25000JMD). So, this small saving plan made a huge difference.

Tip #3: Ask Yourself the Important Question

Each of us has our weak spot when it comes to spending. There are certain things that we won't think twice about splurging on. For some women it may be a gorgeous handbag. For some men it may be the latest technological gadget. Whatever your weak spot is, think before you buy. Do you really need that new hand bag when you have 10 more in your closet? Do you really need the new Samsung Galaxy S7 when your S5 is working perfectly well? Always ask if you really need the item before buying it.

Tip #4: Stop Worrying About Things You Can't Control

Although not directly related to money management, this is an important point. Instead of beating yourself up about a situation and wallowing in self-pity, take action and find a solution. If there is no solution, leave it be. Things have a funny way of working out in ways we least expect them to.

Tip #5: Start Freelancing

The internet offers a plethora of income generating opportunities. It's quite intriguing that with just a few clicks of a button, you are able to interact with clients from all over the world in the comfort of your home. There are several freelancing websites available. Before you set up a freelancing account, however, think about the skills you bring to the table. I realized that I have a passion for content writing. So, I offer content writing services through Upwork, Fiverr and my website cemwritingservices.com. I find Fiverr to be the best site in terms of finding work. Do some research and find a freelancing website that fits your skills. Feel free to contact me for free advice if you're a bit unsure or just need a bit more guidance.

 

Becoming a shrewd manager of your income is something within your reach. Follow these tips and you would be surprised by the positive direction your life takes.

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4 Tips for Surviving as an Indie Author

Signature You have always dreamt about crafting your own novel. The ideas have been running around in your head for years, but you just haven't mustered up the courage to put pen to paper. Time and fear are the only two factors standing in the way of your dream. As time progresses, you overcome your fear and find the time to put your piece together. Excitement courses through your veins as you go through the final stages of getting the book ready for publishing. What you do next will determine your success or failure as an indie author.

Every man, woman and child is now an author. Just go on the Amazon.com website and look at the thousands of books available. Surviving as an indie author in this competitive marketplace can be a very daunting task. What makes it even worse is the fact that there are people out there who promise to market your book and increase your sales for a fee, but really can't fulfill their promises. You end up spending hundreds of dollars to get your book noticed to no avail.

Over the past year and a half I have learnt a lot about the self-publishing industry. Simply put, it can be a real pain in the ass. However, I have discovered four tips that can help you keep your focus and see gradual success as an indie author.

Tip #1: Turn Your Discouragement into Motivation

There are days when you will look at your stats and wonder why you even bothered to publish your book in the first place. The countless hours that you spent writing and marketing the book will seem meaningless. Don't give up. Let those stats be your motivation to try harder. Remember the few reviews that you've gotten from people who really love your work. Continue to push. The early days of your writing career are spent paying your dues. One day you will master the art of book marketing. Keep writing and promoting.

Tip #2: Effectively Utilize Social Media

It is one thing to create a Facebook author page and Twitter account. It's another to keep these social media accounts active and engaging for your followers. Post consistently on your social media pages. Find content that is relevant to your genre and talk about it. On Twitter, it is a good idea to post three times a day (morning, afternoon, and evening). It is also a good idea to post on Facebook at least once per day. Use attention grabbing headlines and discuss ideas that you know people would want to talk about. Feel free to even share your experiences.

Tip #3: Encourage People to Review Your Work

It has been said that only about 1 in every 100 persons will write a review of a book they've purchased. However, you can tip the scales a bit by actively seeking reviewers. Do a general Google search for reviewers in your genre and offer them free samples of your book. Join book reviewer groups on Goodreads. Connect with other authors. Use as many media as possible to connect with people who will read and review your book. The more positive reviews you get is the higher your ranking will be. This increases your book's visibility.

Tip #4: Offer Your Book for Free

It is true that you didn't create your book only because you love to write. You also wanted to earn a little extra money. However, if you aren't an established author the best way for you to get you name out there is to offer your book for free. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) offers Kindle Countdown Deals every three months for your book. It's best for you to choose their option to sell the book for free for five days. You can choose when those five days would be. Once you've chosen those days, PROMOTE them heavily.  Find reputable websites that allow you to promote countdown deals for a small fee. Write posts on Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook. Get the word out there. Increased downloads will eventually equate to more reviews for your book.

 

Never forget your passion for writing. Let it feed your desire to succeed as an indie author. Follow these tips and you'll start seeing greater success within a few months. Let me know any other tips you have for succeeding as an indie author by commenting below.  Don't forget to get a copy of my novella at this link :) Click here.

the art of deception-04

 

 

 

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