Monday, March 10, 2008

Easy Money (aka A Myth)

Recently, my blog has been getting a lot of hits looking for "easy money." The search terms vary a bit, but the idea is the same: people want to know how to find/earn easy money.

The truth is: finding money isn't easy.

Of course, maybe you get a winning lottery ticket, or some unknown relative dies and leaves you a great portfolio of dividend investments. Odds are, you're more likely to be struck by lightning than to get a financial windfall.

Now, I named this blog Smart Easy Money because I don't think it takes a lot of specialized knowledge to manage your money. Do the smart thing, and the rest can become easy. Once someone takes charge of their money, it falls into place and isn't the hassle it was when it was out-of-control.

This may sound simplistic, but it's true. Even when there are weeks or months when it feels like our personal finances are shot to h*ll...those times are just a blip. We all have bad weeks/months. Life happens. Mistakes happen (e.g. I neglected to prepay my taxes last year, which I know is stupid, and I will probably have to pay an underpayment penalty). If you find your budget isn't working, then you look at it and figure out why -- and then make adjustments so that it does work.

Personal finance isn't that hard: pay down debt, build an emergency fund, save for the future, make a budget for everything important to you, live within your means. That's it. Really. The specific strategies to achieve these things is a personal choice. While these principles are smart and easy, they are not necessarily easy to faithfully follow.

This is a bit tangential, though. I think the easiest way to make money is to do what you love. For me, I decided to pursue what I've been most passionate about since I was in grade school and make it into my career. I love what I do. I love my hourly rate. I'm infinitely happier than when I was working for a corporation. I've taken other passions and turned them into revenue (e.g. petsitting). I'm currently in the midst of designing and creating a bunch of necklaces, which I'm selling on etsy. I'm not expecting to get rich doing this, yet it's something I enjoy (I get to design and make pretty things and be creative), it's something I can do in my spare time, and it's something I'm pretty sure I'll make some money with (otherwise, I'm going to end up with a lot of pretty, sparkly necklaces). I started this blog because after reading (and enjoying) other personal finance blogs, I realized I wanted to write about the topic, too (and I have a lot to say about, well, a lot of things...). Yes, one of my goals is to earn some money from this site, and that's slowly starting to happen.

The point of my experiences above is this: do what you love. If you can't, find something you're good at and get someone else to pay you well for that. Then in your spare time, find ways to make more money doing things you enjoy. I also recommend reading my article How Do I Get Out of Debt? Make More Money for some ideas.

Know that unless you are staggeringly brilliant or brilliantly lucky (see above reference to being struck by lightning), you won't be able to lift a finger and magically have your debt disappear or suddenly find your wallet filled with five hundred euro notes (if you don't know, there really is a 500 euro note).

Earning money takes work...regardless of what anyone else (ahem...MLM schemes) tells you.


Vasilikana said...

You can make easy money on the internet but we can only talk about a few dollars.For much more money you have to work harder.

Docus bani pe said...

Making a budget for everything matters for the pockets.This way you can manage your savings much better.