Saving for EBA 2019
As a newbie blogger it is important to start off on the right foot. Many people seek out training and education through ebooks, and online courses. One such course that is particularly popular is the Elite Blog academy course by Ruth Soukup. This isn’t a review for this course, or in fact any type of endorsement. I have never sat the course, however through following the launch of the 2018 version 3.0 it has become evident that many who would sit the course cannot find the prohibitive cost to getting involved.
Therefore, this post is all about ways you can create some more money, over the next 12 months to put towards the EBA membership in 2019. Please note these are not hands free, easy ways to make cash. This is going to mean some work, but you will make some money if you embrace the ideas.
We are going to look at 2 strategies. Firstly, we will look at ways to raise additional funds, and then we will look at ways to reduce your current outgoings, enabling you to increase disposable income you can save.
Declutter and Cash in
If you have lived in your current property for a few years there is no doubt you have collected many items that you currently don’t use and are highly unlikely to do so in the near future or ever again. A full spring clean of your house may uncover some items which you can sell to create some income. There are plenty of ways to go about selling these items including facebook, gumtree, craigslist and ebay. If you wanted to do this offline, then garage sales, and car boot sales are ideal places. I estimate most families could raise in the region of £/$100-250 from just decluttering and selling things you have but no longer use.
Be very clever when doing this- especially offline. You need to be aware of the value of these items you no longer require so that you do not under sell yourself.
The above works especially well if you have children, and can sell on toys, and games that they have now grown out of. Other families will always be looking for things that have been looked after and they can obtain at a price lower than buying new.
Collect free items and flip them
Facebook, Gumtree, and Craigslist are filled with people who need to be rid of items quickly. They may be moving house, or just need the space. Therefore, rather than wait for a buyer, they decide to give them away for free. Typically, these items are jumped on quickly if they are of any decent value. If you are able to obtain some of these items, and have the space to hold them, you can then flip them on facebook, or ebay and make a profit. If the cost of acquisition is zero, anything you are able to sell the items for is a profit. There are people actively doing this as a full time business, and earning good money from it, so you need to be active and on the ball to acquire products to flip.
Exchange services for money
Not like that!
If I was a teenager again, and looking to raise some money I would do exactly what I did then- but leverage with the power of the internet.
I would cut lawns, and wash cars. I would do general tidying jobs or cleaning- helping the older generations [They have the money and need the help potentially]. I would basically use my spare time to help others for an hourly fee.
There are many things you can do in this category. If you are looking for extra cash to save, this is a harder work way of doing things, but possibly one of the easier ones to get started with- especially if you are younger without family commitments.
To leverage this, you can then get the customers you attract- to share on Facebook, Instagram etc, what you have done for them. You can of course also utilise these social networks to advertise in groups locally to you the services you are able to provide, and the fees you are charging.
Reducing your outgoings
As the owner of a finance broker I constantly get the joys of reviewing clients finances and seeing their spending habits. I am yet to find a client who could not cut something out of their monthly expenditure, as it is luxury expenditure.
When we talk about non-essential expenditure we are talking about things sometimes which we have now come to take for granted. Our mobile phones would be one of these items. I mean, surely an Iphone X is an essential?
I highly recommend everyone sit down with their bank statements, and complete a full budget for their oncome and expenditure. Fully assess where you are spending your money, and look at where savings can be made. To achieve the goal of saving for EBA, you will need to cut approx. $100 per month from your outgoings. Below, are some guidance on where I see the easiest savings for most people. Of course your own situation will be different, and that is why some self analysis is required.
Lunches at work/Eating out
If you don’t already make your lunch and take it to work, you need to start doing this. A typical lunch here in the UK will cost £5, including a sandwich, drink and snack. Obviously, there is still some cost in making your own, and taking it to work from home, but this I estimate could save you alone £75 a month here in the UK. Probably $75 a month in the US?
Many of our social lives revolve around drinks and dinner out. A review of your social spending will no doubt result in potential savings. Whilst I would no advocate becoming a hermit, and not leaving the house other than to work [Significant savings here I am sure] if you are looking at achieving a financial goal, then you need to make some sacrifices. They will be giving things up you enjoy, as well as time.
Our culture has moved across to a starbucks and costa coffee culture. The amount of money I see people spending on coffee, typically £2.50-3.50 a go, and probably a lot more if you are buying it for your colleagues in a round, can be saved by taking your own in from home, or making it using the work facilities.
Weekly shopping bills
There is definitely ground here for savings. If you plan your meals ahead, and by only what you need you can reduce your shopping bill significantly. You’ll have an understanding of the essentials on your shopping lists, but we can all recuce the bill with some frugal and prudent shopping in the supermarket.
Mobile phone contracts
These are one of the larger outgoings we have nowadays. We constantly upgrade to the newest phone, when the reality is that there are marginal differences between an Iphone 6s and an Iphone 8 for example. Once your contract expires, keep your current phone, and contact the service provider. There may be a monthly fee reduction available for you to go over to a sim only contract. This definitely applies to those in the UK, and everyone who is no longer in a contract period needs to be talking to their provider asap.
If you have credit card debt you should be investigating the cheapest way possible for you to pay this down. This might be via a balance transfer on to a card which has a zero interest deal for a period of time. Fees are likely to apply.
Typically, when you do this the credit card company will likely reduce your committed payment each month against the balance. The tactic here is to hope you only ever make the minimum payment. Now if you utilise a balance transfer and put in t force some of the suggestions above for raising more funds, you can actually pay the balance down quicker, and put yourself in a much more stable financial position.
Overall if you are looking to get into blogging, then my advice is to just start. Keep your start up costs to a minimum. Shop around for domain name and hosting costs. Be aware that many course who are recommending a certain provider will in fact be affiliates of that provider, and may well be making a recommendation on commission received prioritised against any other factors like cost, service or ease of use.
Once you have your blog up and running, just get writing. Build your profile, and readership. You may find that once you have the attention of an audience monetisation possibilities present themselves, which could help you to earn the money needed for the EBA course.
In summary I would suggest looking for quick wins on ways to raise funds. Small amounts, and regularly will all add up- Both with extra income, and cutting the expenditure. It is most important you keep a budget, and a record of your spending.
Finally, I would note that although this has been aimed at saving for a specific course, the ideas outlined above are prudent for most people. If you operate by first asking yourself the question “Do I really need this?” You will find significant savings within your own spending.
This is a discussion article, and not financial advice. Local tax regulations need to be investigated and observed.