The Humble Penny https://thehumblepenny.com Create Financial Joy Tue, 30 Jun 2020 09:36:37 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 142929514 YouTube vs Blogging: Which Should You Start To Make Money? https://thehumblepenny.com/youtube-vs-blogging-blog-vs-vlog?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=youtube-vs-blogging-blog-vs-vlog https://thehumblepenny.com/youtube-vs-blogging-blog-vs-vlog#respond Sun, 28 Jun 2020 22:30:18 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=7402 Youtube vs Blogging (blog vs vlog): Which Should You Start and Make Money? We talk a great deal about side hustles and how they play a role in helping you get to financial independence a lot quicker. I often recommend people start a blog and I've often also recommended that people start YouTube channels (here... Read more

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Youtube vs Blogging (blog vs vlog): Which Should You Start and Make Money?

youtube vs blogging blog vs vlog

We talk a great deal about side hustles and how they play a role in helping you get to financial independence a lot quicker.

I often recommend people start a blog and I've often also recommended that people start YouTube channels (here is ours).

I am constantly asked the same question, which one would you go for?

Would you start a blog today if you had to start all over?

Or would you start a YouTube channel?

So for a bit of background, I run both a blog and a YouTube channel.

The blog we started about two and a half years ago and the YouTube channel a year ago, and I've got completely different views about both of them.

So I'll be sharing with you, the pro and cons of blogging vs the pros and cons of starting a YouTube channel.

I will also share with you a number of questions that I think that you should be asking yourself if you are considering starting either a blog or a YouTube channel as a side hustle.

So, the first thing to start off with saying is that if you are thinking about starting a blog or YouTube channel, I would say start either one.

You can't start both at the same time.

Because that's just not going to work. You've got to choose one to start with.

I'm going to share with you all the information I know about both of these side hustles.

And hopefully, you can take the information away and personalise it and turn it into something that will help you take action to get started today.

YouTube vs Blogging: Which Should You Start and Make Money?

Let's dive straight in now and talk about some of the positives.

Advantages of Blogging

We're going to focus on blogging first and talk about the positives and why I think you should go ahead and start a blog:

1. Creative Outlet

It's a great platform for you to set up as a creative outlet.

When I started out, I was never somebody who would ever stand in front of a camera, film or do anything like that.

So, for me, blogging was the low hanging fruit, something I could get started with.

It was cheap and affordable (~£2.35 p/m), I could get started and have something I could call my own.

So that would  be the same thing for you, you could explore blogging as an affordable platform to get you started on something creative.

2.You Own Your Blog

The second important advantage and this is absolutely critical is that you actually own your blog.

If you've got a self hosted blog, one that's actually your own or you host it somewhere else.

The entire content on that blog is yours forever.

Whereas when we talk about YouTube later you'll hear me say that everything on your YouTube channel, itself is actually not yours.

Google can shut you down or YouTube can decide that they want to turn the lights out and shut down your YouTube channel.

That's one really critical distinction.

One that really gives the blog a bit of an advantage is that you have ownership.

And you can take that ownership and turn it into a bit of a business. 

One day, you can actually go and sell that blog.

In fact, there is a market out there for buying and selling blogs, i.e. blog flipping.

If you've created a blog that has monthly recurring revenues. 

3. Monetise Your Blog

The third positive for blogging is that you can monetise your blog.

This is one of the biggest reasons why most people started their blogs, it's because they want to make some extra money to help them pay their debt off or whatever they need.

So you can monetise your blog through many different ways.

Advertising through sponsorships, or through affiliate income, i.e. by selling products or services created by other people.

You can also sell your own products, which is what's really exciting about starting a blog and then you can do quite a lot to monetise it.

In our step by step tutorial, I show you how to create a money making blog.

I went into a ton of detail about how you can go about monetising your blog, specifically for people in the UK.

Although people outside of UK can use that information and create a money making blog themselves.

4. Great If You Love to Write

The next positive is that it's great if you love writing.

I was never good at writing anything. I got a C in my English GCSE.

But then I thought, you know what, I'm going to use this as a way to develop personally.

To write things that I'm interested in and kind of see if anybody likes it. As things would go, my blog took off.

And has done really well, in two and a half years been featured on many platforms.

It has appeared on many media sites like the BBC, Channel 5, lots of newspapers like The Sunday Times, Metro, and lots of platforms, which has been fantastic.

So it's had a lot of exposure. But that exposure has come from a lot of work.

But the key point I'm making here is that if you like writing, or you want to get better at writing, remember, you don't have to be good at it.

You might just want to be better at doing it, you might want to improve your communication, then blogging is something to start.

It's also a good way to understand human nature.

Understand how people think, because people tend to spend a lot of time writing responses and comments for you on the various blog posts create through your blog.

5. You Can Create a Brand

The final positive about blogging is that it can actually become a highly recognised brand.

Unlike a YouTube channel, where lots of channels become really well known.

A blog is essentially a website full of lots content, it can become really well known and referenced by many other websites.

The blog will then create a lot of future value because the more websites linking into your own blog, the more that blog will do well for Search Engine Optimisation on Google.

And the more likely it will be found when people search for certain keywords.

youtube vs blogging blog vs vlog

 

Disadvantages of Blogging

Ok, let's keep it really real!

Everything's not all good with blogging, there are things that you must do, which is such a pain.

1. You Have to Generate Traffic

All the work to generate all your traffic is yours to do. You will see, when I talk about YouTube, it's completely different.

With blogging, you've got to always self generate your entire traffic, whether it's coming from Google through search engine optimisation, or whether it's coming through social media, Pinterest and places like that.

A ton of work goes into creating content that will rank.

So you have to do lots of keyword research and lots of competitor research to find the right type of keywords to target.

When you create content around a particular set of keywords, they need rank well for Search Engine Optimisation.

So that will be the first negative because you're doing all the work, which leads me straight into negative number two.

2. Time Consuming

There's no getting away from the time consumption that's required for you to create a really good blog post because there's so many elements to it.

I mean, think about it.

  1. When you start the blog, you've got to set the thing up, which is fine, because you're learning a really important skill set, you're learning digital skills.
  2. Then you got to spend some time to make it look pleasant to the eye.
  3. So you've got to spend some time to research and create content.
  4. Then, you have to spend some time to promote that content and further spend more time collaborating with other people.

But yeah, it works because I have done it. But the point still remains, it is time consuming.

3. Highly Competitive

The third negative is that blogging is highly competitive. There are millions and millions of blogs out there.

But what I found is that the more you niche down into a particular area, and your blog is fairly authentic and speaks with a particular voice, your blog can stand out and can become a success.

So I applied this when I started two and a half years ago.

And the blog is doing really well in our own assessment and assessment of other people.

I've created a free course for how to create an impactful blog if you want to check it out.

It's had really, really good ratings and people who said to me:

“wow, I never thought about blogging from this perspective of storytelling”

If you're interested, feel free to sign up below and explore potentially creating a blog for yourself as well:

FREE How to Start an Impactful Blog Course

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In this 7 day email course I will teach you exactly How to start your own Successful and Impactful blog, sort the techy bits, attract followers, build a tribe and even begin Making Passive Income from it!

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5. Not Very Personal

The next negative is a really important one, which is blogs are not very personal.

You have to do a lot of work to make your blogs personal using images (see below), using colours, using so many things to make somebody know you, like you and trust you.

Lots of people will visit your blog, take your stuff and disappear.

They never stop to think – “Hang on, wait, somebody actually owns this blog”

It's like they're visiting my home, and they've knocked on a door and they've come inside.

But they don't stay to check you out.

That's the key thing about blogging – it's not always very personal.

There are some blogs that make the effort to become really, really personal.

You find that it's those blogs that are personal, they end up standing out from the crowd because people are interested in knowing who they are, what they're about and what their story is.

Blogging is about storytelling.

6. Ads Do Not Pay As Well

The final negative with blogging is that although you can make money from advertising on blogs, the advertisers don't pay as well as you might see on YouTube.

For example, advertisers pay you by CPM, Cost Per Mille or cost per thousand impressions.

These tend to be a lot lower on the blog compared to say on YouTube.

But again, this depends on what type of niche you're in, what type of content you're creating and also what time of year you are creating these bits of content.

youtube vs blogging blog vs vlog

 

Advantages of YouTube

Let's move on to YouTube now and look at the positives and negatives.

I am new and barely been doing this believe it or not, for the last 12 months.

Before that I was sitting back in my house thinking to myself, what if I get judged?

What if people comment and say really mean things?

Boy, I had to find out for myself, right?

So I started the YouTube channel with my wife, Mary.

So this has been going on now for about a year and it's been a ton of fun.

Do you know why?

Because you communicate very differently on video.

So on a blog post, I have to think about my grammar and think about emotion and think about layers.

But on YouTube, I'm just myself, right?

It's either you like it or you don't, which is fantastic.

1. YouTube is a Lot of Fun.

The first positive I'd say is that YouTube is a lot of fun.

You can just enjoy it and enjoy the process of learning about video, learning about cameras, learning about lights, stuff like that, which are skillsets I never had before.

And you also learn about the skillset of communication, which is hugely powerful for becoming a success pretty much in all aspects of life.

2. YouTube is a Marketing Machine

The second massive positive is YouTube is a massive search engine, essentially.

So the algorithm on YouTube does the job of promoting all our videos.

I don't spend any time promoting my videos at all. All I do is create the videos.

Then I say to my wife “Hi Babe, the video's are ready, can you please edit them?”

Mary edits them on Adobe Premiere Pro. Once they are edited, we go through a process of uploading them.

And then YouTube takes that content and goes completely nuts promoting it.

So you would never get this with a blog because the blog self hosted you've got to promote your content.

But on YouTube, you have a machine on your side working for you all the time.

3. Great For Audience Building

It's an amazing way to build an audience and to build that trust, like, know feeling towards you.

People get to know you because they can hear you speak.

They can see your quirkiness, they can judge your emotions, they know if you're just faking it or being real.

And that's why I love this platform, you can be yourself and people can see it.

I've had some weird things happen to me.

Like walking down the street and I hear some one calling my name out of a bus.

Just some really strange things… like walking down Oxford street, then a random guy who stops me and shakes my hand.

Another example of odd things happening, coming back from Cambridge, a guy at the WH Smiths shop inside Kings Cross train station suddenly comes up to me and says

“Ken, I've been watching all your videos, you're so inspiring.”

I'm like, “WOW!”

So you can basically have a huge impact… a HUGE IMPACT on people's lives because they can hear you, can feel you and they can gauge your authenticity.

And they can get to like you and trust you a lot quicker on YouTube, compared to if you're doing a blog.

But remember they both carry their strengths and their weaknesses. So this is definitely a positive for YouTube.

4. You Can Get Paid Well

The other positive is that you can get paid really well on YouTube.

So YouTube obviously pays through the adverts displayed on your videos.

And the ads on YouTube pay a lot higher compared to say, the adverts that you might generate by running a blog.

So that's the other difference. The CPM rates on YouTubes are higher.

Our YouTube channel, last time I checked was around £14, on average per thousand impressions.

Which was a lot higher than I might have generated, on my blog.

The CPM is actually usually stated in dollars, but on my phone it shows up in pounds.

So you can get paid a lot more in terms of adverts.

But the other positive, which I should talk about now is that you can also make money in different ways on YouTube beyond just advertising.

You can sell other people's products as an affiliate or you can sell your own digital products – whether it's an online course or whether it's an E-book.

Whether it's an event even, you can sell a lot and lots of things through YouTube because people know you, they like you and they trust you.

There are a lot more likely to buy from you because they've seen you on YouTube.

youtube vs blogging blog vs vlog

Disadvantages of YouTube

Alright, let's move on to the negatives of YouTube because there are many of them as well.

I mentioned to you that the process was, I would create a video and hand it over to my lovely wife and say, “Hi, babe, please edit the video?”

1. Editing is Time Consuming

And that's the really important bit, the editing takes a ton of time.

That mortgage video we did, which seems to have just gone… like nuts, our audience love that video about how we paid off our mortgage.

That video took, I reckon, probably took 12 to 24 hours of editing, because Mary was learning how to edit.

Even now where she's really good at editing, it still takes a lot of time.

So editing is an important part because when you are YouTubing

  1. You have to plan your idea
  2. Then you go and research the idea to figure out why you believe the video would do well.
  3. You've got to get data for why this idea would do well
  4. Then you create the content.
  5. Send the content onto someone to edit, it just happens to be my wife in this instance, she then edits
  6. You then do a bit of admin to upload the content onto YouTube
  7. Add tags and all kinds of other things.

So that all takes quite a while. But luckily, once it's done, YouTube then promotes content on your behalf.

2. You Don't Own Your Channel

The next negative is a major one.

And I mentioned this briefly before, you do not own your YouTube channel.

Yes, it's yours and your name is on it and you got your pretty pictures on it.

But it's ultimately not yours when you read the small print.

You own the content on it, i.e. your videos and things which you can download and take to another platform.

But YouTube or Google, they can stop your channel.

They can delete it if they wanted, so it's not like the blog which you actually own, and you're in complete control.

You own your blog, you control it, ownership and control are two massive pillars for generating wealth.

On a YouTube platform, you don't own it, but you do control it most of the time.

But that control you have could disappear because that ownership is not within your grip.

That's really important to understand.

3. YouTube is Competitive

The final negative is YouTube is competitive, but not as competitive as blogging.

So I'd probably say that YouTube is about a 10th the level of competition that you might have for a blog.

So for example, I create videos in the personal finance (financial independence) niche in the UK, and there aren't that many people doing it.

But there are a ton of blogs, talking about money and personal finance in the UK.

Now, what's the difference?

Well the difference is that not many people are willing to take the leap, to stand in front of the camera, grow in their personal development and share their message.

I took the leap! 

Yup! I challenged myself, put myself in front of the camera and faced the potential judgment of whoever comes across my content.

For taking that leap, we have been rewarded as YouTubers on this platform.

Although YouTube is competitive, you can do certain things to really stand out.

Instead of spending a lot of time as you might do on a blog, you spend all that time on the YouTube, focusing on quality, focusing on value, focusing on being authentic, focusing on being consistent.

All those four elements, together with the key elements of storytelling and creating interesting content means that you stand out from the crowd on YouTube.

People find your stuff, they love it, they trust you and they subscribe.

YouTube vs Blogging: Which Wins?

So if you have to make that decision today, should I start a blog or should I start a YouTube channel?

Here are the important questions that I think you should really be asking yourself in order to decide.

The very first question you should be asking yourself is,

  • Which platform would you really enjoy?
  • Which is fun for you to do?

I'd tell you right now, I really enjoy making YouTube videos.

Because, you know, it's just fun, I set my camera up and I talk about subjects in my own voice.

And I know based on people's comments that they really enjoy our content, they express their enjoyment, the feedback I get, gives me more motivation to create even more content.

So I'd say choose one based on which one you think you're going to enjoy doing.

First, choose that one.

youtube vs blogging blog vs vlog

Choose a Platform that Aligns with Your Goals

The next thing to consider is which one aligns with your goals that you're trying to achieve.

I'll give you an example.

When we started the blog, my goal was really was to create something that I owned, and something that was like my creative canvas and area where I just share information I wanted.

When we started a YouTube channel.

My goal was to challenge myself to come in front of the camera, I kind of feared, the whole idea of filming and being judged.

So for me, it was a personal development journey. But parallel to that, I also wanted to expose The Humble Penny blog to a whole new audience on YouTube.

So my question to you is:

What is your goal for wanting to start either a blog or YouTube channel?

Which of these two platforms better aligns with helping you achieve that goal a lot quicker?

If you can get the answer to that you will know which one to choose.

Speed of Audience Growth

The third question is how quickly do you want to grow an audience?

And this is really important.

If you want to grow an audience super quickly, then I'd say start a YouTube channel without a doubt.

Again, because of the know, like and trust factor. It helps you build an audience a lot quicker.

Then the final consideration is on how you might be using your time with blogging.

You will be spending a lot of your time initially understanding the technicalities of how to create your blog and how to start to write, that in itself has a lot of value.

How to create blog posts, how to use WordPress platforms, SquareSpace or whatever platform you're using.

Then how to then start to market your content.

I feel our growing success on YouTube has come about because we learnt certain skills on the blog first.

You have to think about your time allocation.

Do I want to spend more time doing tasks on the blog or focus my time on trying to create quality content that delivers value authentically and consistently?

So if you can decide on how you want to use your time, it's also another way for you to decide which of these two platforms you want to pursue.

In Conclusion,

If you choose to start a blog, it doesn't mean you can't start a YouTube channel later, and vice versa. Pick one and get started.

The real thing is being consistent because if you can build that muscle of consistency, you will succeed no matter what platform you're on.

And my ideal scenario is one where we are running a blog and running a YouTube channel. And both of them feed each other.

Because what you find is they tend to have different audiences across both platforms.

We'll end up using the skills that we've learnt from both platforms to create our own podcast.

Many people have been telling me – “Ken you must start a podcast” and I'm like, “Hmm, maybe I should start a podcast”.

So we will most likely start a podcast in the future.

Let me know in the comments, if you would love for us to start a podcast in the near future.

I'd also love to hear from you in the comments if you're someone who's been considering starting a blog or YouTube channel.

What To Read Next>>

What To Watch Next>>

How to Start a Blog That Makes Money (step-by-step):

 

How to Start a YouTube Channel (step-by-step):

Have you started one? Which one did you choose? And why did you choose the blog or YouTube channel? Please comment below.

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

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5 TOP Money Mistakes to AVOID in Your 20s, 30s and Adulting https://thehumblepenny.com/money-mistakes-to-avoid-in-your-20s-30s?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=money-mistakes-to-avoid-in-your-20s-30s https://thehumblepenny.com/money-mistakes-to-avoid-in-your-20s-30s#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2020 21:53:25 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=7350 5 top money mistakes to avoid in your 20s, 30s and adulting One of the things I enjoy about running our YouTube channel, as well as our blog, are the many emails I get from people who are from all over the world. Most write to us to say “thank you” as well as to... Read more

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5 top money mistakes to avoid in your 20s, 30s and adulting

5 top money mistakes to avoid in your 20s, 30s and adulting

One of the things I enjoy about running our YouTube channel, as well as our blog, are the many emails I get from people who are from all over the world.

Most write to us to say “thank you” as well as to share with me their life challenges and problems. 

In my position, I've been able to have visibility over what the challenges people have in their day to day when it comes to money.

I've also had the opportunity of coaching many people in my own personal capacity. 

And what you notice over time, as you read these emails, is that you start to spot specific patterns across the various people of different income levels and different locations, but the common problems are the same. 

So today I'm going to share with you five of the most common mistakes that people make with money so that you can reflect on these and consider whether you are also facing these challenges today.

I'm even going to share with you some of the mistakes that I've made, as well as the mistakes I've seen some of my friends make, which should hopefully give you a lot of insights and principles that you can start to apply to your own life today. 

If you are facing a money problem today, it's super likely that you are probably facing one of these five money mistakes to avoid

Let's dive straight in and look at these five most common mistakes that people make with their money, on a day to day basis.

Mistakes that are stopping them from working towards achieving their dream goals of becoming financially independent. 

Money Mistakes To Avoid In Your 20s, 30s and Adulting

Below are 5 top money mistakes to avoid in your 20s, 30s and on your adulting journey:

1. Lifestyle Inflation

About two and a half years ago, a really good friend of mine came to me in private, he doesn't mind me sharing this story, by the way.

He said to me:

“look, I want you to do a case study on me, assess our lives. I'll give you all my numbers for you to tell us where we are going wrong.”

Here's the really interesting part, this friend of mine, he and his wife make £10,000 net income per month, which I bet you're probably thinking, 

“oh man, that's the number I want to achieve in my life”

In fact, pretty much everybody I asked “how much you want to make”, always says I want £10,000 net. 

So this guy is living the dream, right, making that money and laughing all the way to the bank.

Now here's where it gets really interesting. On a very good month, he spends £9,000 of the £10,000!

So you're probably thinking –

“wait, so you're making £10,000 a month, but the most that you can manage to save each month is £1000” i.e. which is 10% of that seriously large amount of net income.

The reason why this happens, of course, is because of lifestyle creep where people make money but as they make money, their lifestyle creeps up with the money they're making.

So they don't say, for example, I think I've got a good life at £2000 per month so that if I'm making £10,000, I’ll put away £8000.

What happens is that £2000 suddenly becomes, “we could have something else in our life, we could have a brand new car, we could maybe live somewhere nicer than this three-bedroom house we've got.” 

So they move to a bigger house, take on more debt, and they creep up.

In that example, my friend opened up to me, and I was able to offer him some really good recommendations.

If you're interested in that case study, read it here. We go super deep into how he should get out of that problem. 

The principle behind the lifestyle creep that you should consider applying to your own life is this:

If you can manage the little that you're making, let's say you are making £2000 or £3000 per month and put away savings of 20%, 30% or 40% of that money.

Then, because you've gotten used to a particular lifestyle, you should then be able to manage much more money. 

When much more money flows into your life, if you're able to remember that principle, it will lead you to a place of true riches as time passes. 

2. Borrowing and Lending to Friends and Family

I've got confession here. A few years ago, this particular mistake happened to me.

My mum, my dad, sisters and I, at the time we're looking to buy a commercial property. 

We were buying a building for one of our businesses at the time, which was a childcare business and we wanted to own our first building. 

One challenge we had was trying to raise some money.

To be more specific, we were trying to raise between £250,000 and £300,000 in cash. The way we've always operated as a family is that we just split that money up between ourselves.

Each member would be allocated an amount of money to contribute. I had my amount that I had to find but at the time I had money locked up in other assets. 

One of my friends at the time had some cash available to him.

In fact, he was doing very well.

So I said to him “I'm doing this deal with my family. We are buying a commercial building, it’s a really interesting opportunity. Could you lend me £20,000? I'll give you a 12% return after one year.”

I did not know this, but I started to go wrong from the very beginning. 

In our normal day to day lives, there are two worlds that we live in. I learned this after I started studying the idea of money and psychology. 

In fact, one of the books that really helped me with this is called Predictably Irrational, a fantastic book, if you want to go look into this idea of understanding money and psychology.

The two worlds we live in are called social norms and market norms. I'll explain what I mean. 

Social Norms

Let's say that you and I are friends, and I came to you and said…

“Hey, how are you doing? How are your kids? Girlfriend, boyfriend,  husband or whoever you've got? How are your parents?

When I'm asking you those questions we are operating in the dimensions of the social norms. 

We're just talking about things that are relational. 

Market Norms

But the minute I start to say to you, “I will give you a 12% return for £20,000 investment”, we're now operating in the world of market norms.

That's because here we're talking about returns, price, quantity and things like that. 

So when I was asking my friend and said, “Hey, give me £20,000 and I give you a 12% return in one year,” I made a critical mistake between friends.

What you should never, EVER do, is get into the scenario where you are always talking economics and transaction deals with somebody who's meant to be your friend.

The minute I started to communicate in that type of language, he also being a finance guy, started to communicate and speak in that language. 

So to him, he was saying things like, “I can but I need a contract in place.”

And I'm thinking “hold on wait, we are friends, like why are you asking me for a contract?”

But he was right in asking me for a contract. 

We ended up butting heads.

I ended up not having to borrow that money for that deal from him but sourced it and sold down some investments instead.

The moral to this story was that I left a really good relationship we had operated well in the social dimension and moved that relationship to the market norms. 

You also see this, for example, when people give gifts.

If you give a friend a present that you handmade at home, that gift would come across as special because you're operating in that social norm and dimension. 

However, what do you think would happen if you decided to give, say, £50 or $100 in an envelope?

When your friend receives that money they will immediately begin to think from a market norm perspective.

Your friend may begin to look down on that sum and even compare it to their hourly wage.

Or they'll start to compare that money to something else, which would mean that the quality of relationship you have with that person will potentially get fractured. 

Extending this story further because it’s a really important topic.

Let’s say for example your hourly rate is, for example, £40 per hour. 

I came to you and said, “Hey, look, there's a charity that I want to help out. Together, you and I can help this charity by moving a sofa off the floor to another building elsewhere”.

Because it's a charitable endeavour, you say “Okay, I would do it and move that sofa with you to that other building for the charity.”

Bear in mind you're doing the task because you are operating in the social dimension.

Now imagine that I came to you and said, “can I pay you £5 for one hour for helping me move that sofa?” 

You will immediately start to operate in the market dimension.

You'd say “well actually no, my hourly rate is £40. You can't be paying me £5 for an hour.”

So you're more likely to say no and find it disrespectful. 

I hope you're getting this point.

When you're thinking about money and relationships, do not, where possible borrow or lend to friends and family.

The moral I've taken away from this is that if a friend or family member asked me for money, I would rather gift them the money and then say to them, “here's the money as a loan, pay me back.”

Lending in these circumstance can lead to problems and people might not be able to pay that money back.

And that leads to relationships potentially been fractured and damaged over time. 

3. Not Investing Enough Money

There is in existence a silent assassin amongst all our lives, something that affects everybody at the same time, but something that a lot of us do not think about.

That silent assassin is inflation.

Essentially inflation refers to price increases that you might experience over time when you buy goods and services. 

In this particular country and in a lot of the Western countries, the powers that be aim for an inflation rate of around 2%.

The unofficial inflation rate is a lot more than 2%. 

Now, here's what happens when you make money and you don't invest.

Over time your money erodes in value because the purchasing power that your money has reduces.

For example, you might have a particular amount of money now, as time passes, you find that money enables you to buy fewer and fewer things. 

And the reason for that is because as time passes, inflation essentially erodes the value of money.

One of the big goals for investing, beyond just achieving your financial goals over time is for you to achieve a return that far exceeds the inflation rate that your money might be suffering as time passes. 

This is one of the biggest mistakes that people do not consider.

They think that their money is safe in a bank account, but what they don't realise is that that money is losing value as time passes. 

So the big principle to take away from here is to focus on having an ROI mindset, a Return On Investment mindset. 

When you make money, you will be asking yourself, how can I use this money to potentially generate an above inflation return for myself?

4. Only Living For Today

When I was around the age of 16, I remember seeing a lot of my uncles in their mid-30s.

I remember thinking to myself, “Oh my gosh, these guys are so old. I cannot imagine even being in my mid-30s.” 

Guess what? 

I'm in my mid-30s right now, and although I still feel young, that period of 20 years came so rapidly.

Luckily for me, I spent the last decade thinking of my future and looking after my finances. 

But believe it or not, a lot of people live today and believe that there is no future ahead of them.

They live purely for today. And that means that all the money they make is essentially there to help them only live for today. 

It's no wonder that when things start to happen in the future, inevitably, a lot of people aren't prepared.

They have no shelter, no security and no way to get out of these problems as they crop up. 

I've met such people even in their 40s and their 50s.

So many people who write me emails are going through challenges right now as a result of not thinking ahead or planning into their future.

I want you to think about a version of the future that will inevitably come into your life. My question to you is, 

What version do you want to show up when it shows up?

Do you want the current life you've got? 

Or do you want a radically different life to the life you've got at the moment? 

There's probably no answer to that right now. But I know what I would say if that was me answering that question. You want to try and focus on that question today. 

Come up with your answer to that question.

If you want a different life to what you're seeing right now, then you've got to begin to make radically different choices and take radically different actions to begin to create that life that you desire in the future. 

5. Relying Too Much On Debt

So one of the things that really gets to me, is this culture we have in this country.

You also have this in America, Canada, etc, where we are made to believe through our culture, that being in debt is a normal thing. 

It's normal to have hundreds of thousands of pounds in mortgage debt and tens of thousands of credit card debt.

Look at what's happening right now. The powers that be have been encouraging people to take on more debt. 

They talk about debt as though it's free money. It's so casually spoken about, you know, “things are uncertain, here, take on some more debt.” 

Most people don't think from this perspective, ordinarily.

Taking on debt means you are a prisoner to a lender. You cannot get away from that.

So what you then see is that around many people's lives and lots of their personal freedoms are taken away day to day, as a result of the choices they make driven by the culture around them.

Here's my questions to you. And I want you to ponder upon this one. 

What is your strategy for getting back your personal freedoms? 

Do you enjoy waking up and living perpetually in debt? 

I hope the answer is an absolute no! Because if the answer's no, what are you doing to get out of that circumstance today and in the very near future?

Think about it. I want you to just ponder upon that. 

And remember me asking you that question. What is your freedom strategy?

How are you plotting your escape from the financial ordinary life that a lot of us sadly find ourselves in and see as the norm because everybody else is doing it?

It's the culture of today, please don't see living in debt as the norm.

Please don't see this as the way it has to be. You can break free from that, we've done it, so can you. 

What To Read Next>>

Which of these  5 money mistakes to avoid are you making right now? Or have you been making recently in your life? Please share by commenting below.

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

The post 5 TOP Money Mistakes to AVOID in Your 20s, 30s and Adulting appeared first on The Humble Penny.

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5 Unusual Ways To Accelerate Your Financial Independence https://thehumblepenny.com/accelerate-your-financial-independence?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=accelerate-your-financial-independence https://thehumblepenny.com/accelerate-your-financial-independence#comments Sat, 23 May 2020 22:08:56 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=7335 5 unusual ways to accelerate your financial independence I was having a chat with my wife, Mary, recently and we were talking about the things we've done on this journey to financial independence that has worked for us.  We carried on that conversation and explored what we would do differently, had we started this journey... Read more

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5 unusual ways to accelerate your financial independence

I was having a chat with my wife, Mary, recently and we were talking about the things we've done on this journey to financial independence that has worked for us. 

We carried on that conversation and explored what we would do differently, had we started this journey again. 

I'm going to share with you five unusual tips for accelerating your progress towards financial independence.

One thing I know for sure is that the journey to financial independence requires boldness.

It requires you to do things in an unusual way to the way that most people would do it. 

Especially at this very time when most of the world face a time of uncertainty.

So, I would encourage you wherever possible in your life, to begin applying some of these ideas and taking bold steps in helping you work towards that journey of financial independence. 

Although most people right now are focusing on protecting what they have, the people who will forge ahead will be making radically different decisions now.

Let's dive straight in and explore these unusual tips.

We've kept these pretty varied by the way. 

5 Unusual Ways To Accelerate Your Financial Independence

1. Choose Where You Live Carefully

The first one is that you should choose where you live carefully, that's the first step. 

Have you seen our video on how we paid off our mortgage in seven years ?

Part of the reason why that was even a possibility was that we chose to live in an area that was a lot cheaper relative to a major city like London, for example. 

I worked in London and made money in London, but then I used that money made in London to pay off a cheaper house in a cheaper area. 

We had an arbitrage there in effect.

The other point about choosing a place you live very carefully is that this dictates how much you take on from a debt perspective. 

A lot of us get carried away with buying a house, we get so emotional.

We're like, “Oh, my dream house, I want this dream thing”. 

And then you buy the house that is far too expensive for you. 

Then you live in it, shackled to the debt and unable to pay it off.

I know people who at this very moment have given up on trying to pay off their mortgage.

They've become accustomed to having a mortgage as a part of their lives pretty much forever! 

I can tell you, choosing a place that's cheaper relative to where you make your income makes a huge difference because paying off that mortgage becomes a practical reality.

You should note down some of the ideas I shared in that video, explore it, and begin applying them.

Paying off your mortgage is, of course, important because the minute that mortgage is out of the way, your costs drop massively such that, the income you generate from your assets would then exceed, the cost you have left, and you become financially independent. 

So, paying off your mortgage, especially in this climate is a top tip, one that I recommend, and I've always recommended even due low interest rates.

It's one that's counter-cultural because the usual advice is typically to invest only through the stock market.

Whereas we have always seen the benefit in overpaying and getting rid of that mortgage over time. 

2. Create Your Own Audience

We have an audience on YouTube (over 20,000 subscribers) and this audience started back in June of 2019.

It has just grown and grown.

Thank you, by the way if you have subscribed to our channel, watched and liked our videos. 

Now, aside from that audience, we also have an audience on this blog (30,000+ per month), and we have an email list of more than 10,000 people.

All in 2.5 years and with a commitment of 2 hours per day, 7 days per week. 

I now do this full time, having taken a leap from my 6-figure job recently to have more fun doing what I love 😊.

The beauty of creating an audience is that you can over time by delivering value, start getting paid by that audience, either directly or indirectly. 

The metric for an email list is that you should be looking to generate on average, about $2 per subscriber per month.

I'm just putting that out there just so you can have an idea.

Now I'm mentioning building an audience because I know it's something that absolutely everyone can work towards doing in their own lives as well.

It might sound complicated, but it's quite easy. 

The minute you realise that the way you build an audience is by 

  • being yourself
  • sharing really useful information
  • being consistent

If you do all those things over a period of time, you gradually build trust, likability and an audience. 

Now from a monetary perspective, building an audience can massively accelerate your journey towards financial independence, because you'll find different ways to get paid by that audience. 

A practical example with our email list of more than 10,000 people is this…

Without even making money from any of our subscribers, we could approach brands who might pay for a slot within our emails that we send out in our newsletters every week. 

You could do exactly the same thing too.

Brands can pay anything between £200 to £300 per email that you send out to your email list because brands want access to a particular type of audience. 

Provided you like that brand and support their products, you can see a way in which you can start to generate some really good passive income simply through your email list without actually doing anything. 

We find ourselves generating hundreds from this idea of email marketing.

That's just one way. There are so many other ways. 

Another example, every single month, we receive an income from YouTube because we deliver value.

And by doing that when people watch our videos, we get paid an income. 

The other thing I wanted to mention, is that we launched a product not too long ago and we had one of our best days from an income perspective. 

This would not have been possible at all without actually having an audience that loves what you do and delivering value to them.

They, therefore, pay you over a period of time, almost like crowdfund

Think of it that way.

You're essentially getting crowdfunded efforts from lots of different places by you delivering specific value to people in different ways.

You know, I've never really talked about this, but I've just put it out there, that launch generated in a day, actually, less than a day, a really good five-figure income. 

So you can imagine, you know, waking up one day, launching a product and ending the day

“Wow, I've just just made a five-figure sum” 

The only reason that's possible is because we've employed creativity, we've delivered value and over time by building an audience, we get paid by that audience.

So you can see that is definitely a huge incentive for exploring building an audience as a way to accelerate your journey towards financial independence. 

3. Invest in Unconventional Assets

So typically, we will talk about investing through the stock market.

And yes, you should invest in the stock market. Potentially, you might want to invest in property too, although it's not for everyone. 

But what I love are unconventional asset classes, things that really can completely blow your mind if you get it right. 

Especially if you surround yourself with the right type of people to offer you the correct type of advice on how to do this. 

An example is I talk about blogging, and a lot of people don't understand the power that it carries and the potential it has for really changing your financial life. 

I mentioned earlier, that we've generated a decent amount of money from launching a product.

The one thing I know for certain is that the product would not have happened had we not actually started a blog

So I recommend massively that everybody explores this idea of unconventional assets.

It doesn't even have to be blogging and could be anything else.

For example, you could explore starting a YouTube channel, selling on eBay and things like that. 

Ideas that could essentially generate you money beyond what you might conventionally generate through your day job. 

The reason why these unconventional assets, particularly the ones online, is that you can leverage the power of the internet.

One that does not have a maximum upside.

You do have to put in a lot of work and I want to stress that particular point. But I did it with 2 hours per day everyday!

Note also that you might not make anything in six months or even make anything in one year. 

But the key is to just remain at it, stay patient.

Keep sowing those seeds and over time, you find this compounding machine taking off and the thing that you've been working on for so long, suddenly starting to generate you an income.

You should look into a way in which you can explore investing some of your time, and maybe a couple of pounds, £5, £10 a month, or whatever amount is financially suitable, into starting your own blog.

Check that out as a possible way in which you can take this unconventional step towards generating some extra money for yourself on the side. 

4. Choose Your Life Partner Carefully

So the next one's slightly unusual, and it's that you should marry wisely.

I appreciate that there are many people in our audience are single, not married or who are still to get married and divorced.

I completely get that. 

But my point here really should hopefully appeal to some people, which is that it's very important to have the right partner together on that journey with you. 

Because if you choose the wrong partner on this journey, life could get very, very difficult and frustrating.

Your partner might not be interested in this idea of becoming financially independent. 

Now, I mentioned this because, I've got my life partner, Mary and this journey for us in the last 10 years has been absolutely amazing because we've been on the same page. 

Ken Okoroafor and Mary Okoroafor

This is a picture of us in the park somewhere about nine years ago.

Planning our lives and working towards this idea of designing a life that works for us. 

The results you see today began a decade ago!

So I'm throwing this out there as a way to accelerate your journey to financial independence.

If you're somebody who perhaps hasn't gotten married or if you're somebody who's still in a relationship and working towards having a life partner. 

It's very important you have these conversations now because if you get it right at the very beginning and set off on that journey with the right person, you will most certainly accelerate that journey towards financial independence.

There will be no frustrations and you will know exactly what you're trying to achieve.

And you will achieve it even faster by being on the same page. 

5. Turn Your Home Into An Asset

If you own a home now or renting somewhere, chances are that house or that flat is costing you a lot more money than it is making you money. 

Now, a good way to accelerate your journey towards financial independence is to ask yourself –

How can I use this current space I've got, to turn it into something that can generate me money on an ongoing basis. 

It might be that you have a spare room and you might want to bring in a lodger and generate an income. 

At the back of my house where we have a small garden building where I used to dump things we had collected over time.

And we just thought, we're going to turn this into a really valuable space, we cleared everything out through a process of decluttering. 

And we've turned it into this nice, airy space where I can come in without my kids screaming or anything like that. I can just film and generate an income by doing things I'm passionate about. 

Here is our big reveal of our studio space:

View this post on Instagram

𝐁𝐈𝐆 𝐑𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐀𝐋 😲⁣ ⁣ Guys we've been *massively* decluttering some space at the back of the house and converting it into a mini studio for YouTube recordings etc! ⁣ ⁣ It has been quite the transformation and we've really had fun doing the work as a family and seeing it become a more habitable space 😊. Decorating is still ongoing but thought we'd show you how it looks so far. ⁣ ⁣ 𝐒𝐞𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐨𝐬. ⁣ ⁣ You like? ⁣ ⁣ #teamwork #newyoutuber #thehumblepenny #transformation #newstudio #newbeginning #financialfreedom #financialindependence #creativity #fun #cocreation #lifedesign #faithandfinances #christianyoutuber #UKYouTubers #inspiration #familyfun #goals #familygoals #sidehustle #vision

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You might not have a space like mine and might just have a corner in your room.

I'd say use that space, find a way to utilise that little corner.

When I film my YouTube videos, I'm usually using just a corner of the above room.

I have got enough space to look at the camera.

Here I create all kinds of content – I do Facebook Lives, write blog posts, I offer coaching and I speak to brands all from this space in our garden building.

So you can see the idea is using what you have in your hands and using it to your advantage.

And before you know it, you find that your home is making you a ton more money than you pay out towards your rent or your mortgage. 

In conclusion,

This is all a bit of a mindset shift, but there are many options that you can get involved with today.

I hope you've enjoyed these various steps to accelerate your journey towards financial independence. 

I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

How are you finding your journey towards financial independence? Are you seeing some progress on your way forward rather than backwards? 

What To Read Next>>

What is the challenge you're having right now, in making a goal like financial independence, a real one in your life? Please comment below.

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

The post 5 Unusual Ways To Accelerate Your Financial Independence appeared first on The Humble Penny.

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How to Make Money From Freelance Writing https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-make-money-from-freelance-writing?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-make-money-from-freelance-writing https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-make-money-from-freelance-writing#comments Fri, 08 May 2020 21:50:45 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=7310 How to make money from freelance writing I'm always keen to explore new and practical ideas for making extra money especially if they appeal to our often busy lives. As a family man, I know how challenging it is to carve out precious time, and so where possible, I want it invested in the right... Read more

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How to make money from freelance writing

how to make money from freelance writing

I'm always keen to explore new and practical ideas for making extra money especially if they appeal to our often busy lives.

As a family man, I know how challenging it is to carve out precious time, and so where possible, I want it invested in the right type of ideas.

Making money from freelance writing – Is this even a thing? Sounds good, right?

As with all ideas that we explore on this blog, I'd like us to explore this one as though you know nothing about it.

We then want you to walk away with enough information to do further research but more importantly, gain confidence and take action.

We are going to look at the various ways that you get jobs for your freelance writing work and how to get your very first client.

To help us bring expertise to this, I've invited a friend of ours, Francesca from The Money Fox, to share her real life day to day experiences.

She make an income as a full-time freelance writer and used what she shares with us below to get her first client on her first attempt.

In a typical week, she works on her freelance writing what would add up to about 2 days per week.

Ready? Let’s get started:

What Is a Freelance Writer?

To start with, we should look at what a freelance writer is, so that you know if it’s for you.

A freelance writer is someone who gets paid for their writing work (e.g. content for sites) and does this on a freelance basis.

You can, of course, get hired as an employee to be a writer if this is something that you would rather do. But for this article, we are going to focus on freelancing.

You don’t have to be the best writer in the world to be a freelance writer as this is something that you improve on, but it does help!

There are a lot of other freelance writers out there, but think about how many websites are out there. They always need content, and this is where you come in.

How Much Can Freelance Writers Make?

The million-dollar question! The amount that you’re able to make as a freelance writer varies depending on what niche you are writing for, your experience, your skills and so on.

‘Indeed' say that the average job postings on their site come to £98.13 per day. That is, however, mainly for employees.

You can make a part-time income from freelance writing work on the side, and scale it up to full-time if you wish.

How Much Should I Charge For Freelance Writing?

There is no rule for how much you should charge, but it is always worth looking at how you want your pricing structure to look.

For example:

  • Hourly
  • Per word
  • Monthly retainer

Hourly

I’d usually advise against charging hourly because it depends on how fast you are. 

You may not be that fast a typist but an excellent writer, and this wouldn’t make this way very fair. It’s also hard to scale up.

Think about how much you’d like to earn per hour. A good rate to start with would be £50 per hour, but if you aren’t comfortable with that as a newbie then you could start at around £25 per hour and work up.

Per Word

I like to charge per word because I feel as though it is a fair way of doing things for both sides.

A good rate per word to start with is around £1 per word for a beginner.

However, this may not work for you if you have to do a lot of research on the topic.

Monthly Retainer

This is where your client will pay you a monthly amount to do a lot of articles for them.

This will vary depending on the client and project, but you could always look at this from an hourly rate and give them a discount for the large volume.

I found these articles helpful for looking into rates:

Where Can I Find Freelance Writing Work?

This is usually the number one question when it comes to freelance writing!

Luckily, there’s a huge amount of places that you can find freelance writing work.

The usual sort of places to find freelance writing work include:

  • Content mills e.g. Textbroker
  • Job boards e.g. Problogger, Contently
  • Paid job boards e.g. Paid to Blog
  • Sites that pay for guest posts e.g. Work Online Blog
  • Facebook groups (any in your niche)

I found my work through Facebook groups. I reached out to companies that I knew were looking for a writer or who I thought would be interested in it.

On my first attempt, I was successful! I was so nervous before emailing them as well – so it proves that you should just go for it.

How To Pitch Yourself as a Freelance Writer

As a budding freelance writer, you’re going to have to do a lot of outreach for jobs, which is referred to as ‘pitching’.

These are some tips that you can use for successful pitching:

  • Pitch often. Even if you feel as though you are the perfect fit for a certain role, volume of pitching will be on your site
  • Don’t pitch for work that you don’t think you would be good at or able to complete in time
  • Try to pitch for work that you are the ideal fit for. For example, if you are a mum in London and the publication writes for mums in London, you are the perfect person to write for this
  • Don’t let them know in your pitches that you are brand new. That doesn’t mean that you lie about it, but try to avoid saying this
  • Send links of your work if you have it, to prove that you are a writer
  • Be confident and friendly. A lot of people choose to work with others because they like them!
  • Let them know where you saw the advert for work, or why you feel you would be a good benefit to the team. Keep it short and sweet.

Getting Started

There are some things that you will need to do before you start emailing everyone asking if they want a writer.

Let’s take a look at some of them:

Choose a Niche

A niche is a particular area that you will be writing in. It’s tempting to say that you will write about everything and anything, but don’t do this.

Pick an area to write about that you have a lot of knowledge in and/or are passionate about.

There are some niches which pay better than others, such as B2B.

Create a Portfolio

You will need to put together some samples of your work for potential clients to look at.

If you are a complete beginner then you will have to write some articles on your chosen subject ready to go.

Start Looking For Work

The reason that I include this is because when it comes to starting something new, our brain likes to fight us on it.

The way that we can get around this is to have a plan. So write out a checklist of all of the things that you have to do and pop them on your calendar.

Remember, you aren’t going to get any work if nobody knows that you are looking!

This could look like:

  • Decide on a niche
  • Write some articles for your portfolio (if you can’t think of topic ideas, have a look at finance sites/Google for ideas)
  • Join some Facebook groups where your ideal customer would hang out
  • Decide how much you are going to charge
  • Practice writing as much as possible
  • Read some articles on how to outline an article and copywriting techniques
  • Join some of the sites to find work
  • Pitch for some jobs
  • Get a Paypal account for this side business for getting paid

What To Read Next>>

What To Watch Next>>

Do you do freelance writing as a side hustle or as your job? Do you want to? Drop a comment below!

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

The post How to Make Money From Freelance Writing appeared first on The Humble Penny.

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How to Avoid a Pension Scam Through Fun Gaming https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-avoid-a-pension-scam?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-avoid-a-pension-scam https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-avoid-a-pension-scam#respond Sun, 03 May 2020 22:16:15 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=7288 How to avoid a pension scam through fun gaming – Ad | This is a paid partnership with PensionBee As with most things pensions related, a lot of people begin thinking about them when it is too late to get started. One specific aspect of having a pension that is not considered sexy to talk... Read more

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How to avoid a pension scam through fun gaming – Ad | This is a paid partnership with PensionBee

how to avoid a pension scam

As with most things pensions related, a lot of people begin thinking about them when it is too late to get started.

One specific aspect of having a pension that is not considered sexy to talk about is how you protect that pension from pension scams.

The current economic situation that we are all facing means that many face huge pressures financially and also risk making wrong financial decisions.

In fact, reports have shown that fraudsters are taking advantage of people in this time when people need financial and emotional help the most.

Reports of frauds related to this current financial situation are up 400%!

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also released research showing that 42% of pension savers (circa 5 million people) could be at risk of a pension scam.

I’m writing about this today because it’s critical that you and I and others in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and much older, start to become aware of these issues early.

This can help us not only protect our wealth, but that of our parents and other family members.

I learnt recently about a game, which can help you become pension scam aware in a fun way.

PensionBee and three other leading digital platform providers came together to create a game called Scam Man & Robbin’, which Mary and I made time out to explore.

The game gets you involved as the hero “Scam Man”, a cloaked vigilante on a mission to protect people’s pensions from scams. 

Your aim is that:

“You must correctly identify six of the most common pension scams and zap them with your torch to destroy them. 

If you fall victim to too many scams the pension pot balance will drop to zero and you’ll have to start all over again.”

As you play the game, each level gets harder progressively with scams and bonuses dropping left, right and centre for you to zap and gain respectively.

Your side kick, Robbin’, will be on hand to help you spot oncoming scams and bonuses as they fall past him in the sky. 

You’ll need to stay alert and in fun game mode in order to make it all the way to the end and bag all the bonuses.

Here is what the game looks like:

how to avoid a pension scam - scam man and robbin - pensionbee - the humble penny

 

THE MOST COMMON PENSION SCAMS

The 6 most common pension scams that the game is trying to help us become aware of are:

1. Cold Calls About Your Pension

These calls could come by phone, email, post, social media or even in person.

It is illegal to receive cold calls about your pension.

Action To Take:

If you receive such a call from a stranger or a company you don’t know, the safe thing to do is to hang-up!

You can protect yourself further by refusing to discuss your pension with strangers on the phone, by email, in writing or in person.

2. Offers Of ‘Free’ Financial Advice

This usually takes the form of a ‘free’ pension review or advice.

Financial advice from a regulated professional is never free. So don’t discuss your pension with anyone who makes you this offer.

Action To Take:

If you can’t afford financial advice, seek out other impartial resources such as Pension Wise or The Pensions Advisory Service.

3. Pretending To Be Authorised

Scammers can come across legit and claim to be authorised.

They’ll come across knowledgeable about pension products and investments.

Action To Take:

Before you take the leap to change your current pension arrangements, you should check with the FCA to see if they’re properly authorised. Simply search the FCA register.

4. Pressure To Make An Immediate Decision

Scammers use urgency as a tactic to make you make investment decisions quickly. 

They might offer a discount or a bonus for a limited time only if you invest quickly.

Action To Take:

Investing is done properly if you’ve had time to consider it and then take the steps to invest. 

If you feel pressured to make a decision before a deadline, it’s best to walk away.

5. Offer a Safe Haven During the Current Economic Uncertainty 

We are going through an unusual time in history with the economy and stock markets at historic lows.

Scammers will promise you safe haven opportunities for your pension savings, in order to protect it from ‘market turbulence’.

They’ll even go as far as offering you the opportunity of ‘guaranteed returns’.

Action To Take:

Where an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is and can prove to be very expensive and irreversible. 

Think long term about your investing and avoid actions based on short term movements of the markets.

6. Early Access To Your Pension

Scammers also take advantage of pension savers by offering them a way to access their money before the required age of 55.

This will prove to be costly as HMRC will impose on you a 55% tax penalty on any amounts you withdraw.

Action To Take:

Don’t take money out of your pension before the age of 55 (if you’re UK based). 

This should only be done in seriously unusual circumstances such as poor health or serious medical condition.

Even with the above, seek professional advice and be comfortable with what it might mean for you personally.

DEMO OF THE SCAM MAN & ROBBIN’ GAME 

Now onto all the fun! 😎

This game has been created to:

  • Give you and I the awareness of pension scams to avoid,
  • Reward players who become properly scam aware,
  • Make learning fun and entertaining.

With all boxes ticked, we were super excited to give this a go!

Mary demo’d the game and could not stop playing it. Watch her review it:

Our kids even had a go at playing this game and really enjoyed it! 

As a family interested in making financial education practical and accessible for our children and others, this is perfect! 

I see this appealing to pension savers of all ages and those whose parents have not even started saving for yet.

We hope you enjoy the adventures of Scam Man and Robbin’ like we have! 😀

Check it out for yourself and see what your best score will be as you play and learn to avoid a pension scam. Enjoy!

What To Read Next>>

What To Watch Next>>

Have you or anyone you know been affected by a Pension Scam? Which of those 6 common Pension Scams have you come across ordinarily? 

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

The post How to Avoid a Pension Scam Through Fun Gaming appeared first on The Humble Penny.

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How to Declutter Your Mind For Peace and Progress In 7 Steps https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-declutter-your-mind?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-declutter-your-mind https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-declutter-your-mind#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2020 06:30:23 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=7266 How to Declutter Your Mind In 7 Steps “Stop giving other people the power to control your happiness, your mind, and your life. If you don't take control of yourself and your own life, someone else is bound to try.” ― Roy T. Bennett As much as I agree with this quote, it is also... Read more

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How to Declutter Your Mind In 7 Steps

how to declutter your mind

“Stop giving other people the power to control your happiness, your mind, and your life. If you don't take control of yourself and your own life, someone else is bound to try.” ― Roy T. Bennett

As much as I agree with this quote, it is also quite easy to do exactly the opposite especially in times of uncertainty.

Let me explain with an example from my own life situation.

A couple of weeks ago, I struggled to make sense of how I felt about things.

Even though it has been sunny and I’ve been out a few times exercising, there was still something not quite right with my state of mind.

On one particular day, I took a break from doing some work and walked upstairs to our son’s bedroom to check up on them playing.

Our routine has been a work in progress during this unusual time and we find ourselves playing catch-up and trying to stay sane cool in every way possible.

This has meant that our kids have had a bit more time to themselves than ever before and usually, they build lego models, etc.

This time around when I got to my son’s room, things were different. The room was in such an utter state, that I froze and could do nothing but stare.

Literally every corner of the room was filled with toys, to the extent that I could barely find a place to stand.

Our boys stared at me as I stared at them, and at that moment it dawned on me…

The overall state of that room was a metaphor for my state of my mind.

You see, the week before had been pretty stressful and I hadn’t spent enough time with myself to process it all.

I’d neglected some of my usual routines and I needed to go back to basics to figure out where things fell apart and begin the journey of decluttering my mind.

Have you felt like I’ve felt lately?

Like you’ve got so much that you’re thinking about and sometimes you just want silence to process your thoughts.

Below I share 7 steps that you can take to declutter your mind and enjoy more peace, productivity and progress in your life.

Before I jump into these points, it’s worth mentioning that this post is the third in a series of four posts this month on getting your house in order.

Getting your mind in order is by far the most important of these as it enables everything else to fall into place.

Catch up on the other posts below:

#1: 3 Important Ways to Secure Your Family’s Financial Future

#2: The Importance of a Deliberate Morning Routine

HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR MIND

Below are 7 things you can start doing today to declutter your mind:

1. Say No More Often

I’ve been guilty of sometimes overcommitting myself to things, and not leaving enough margin for things to go wrong.

Inevitably things go wrong and I end up playing catch-up and this piles on pressure and sets my mind on overdrive.

To counter this, I’ve started saying NO more often. 

Typically, I’m exposed to a lot of noise on WhatsApp groups, Email, and other Social Media platforms.

You probably have the same issue. 

What I find is that it’s rare to get a message where someone is purely writing to say, hey, and check up on you.

I’m either being spammed with stuff or being asked to get involved with stuff.

So what I do now is that I ignore at least 50% of my emails and at least 80% of WhatApp messages. 

I have also ejected myself from certain groups and I now only answer the phone to numbers I know.

In addition to this, I have turned off 90% of all notifications on my phone and I have a designated time to check social media and emails.

Together, these have worked wonders for my mind and I have a lot more clarity about important things to focus on.

2. Focus On Cleaner Spaces

Do you find that you’re able to work and think better if your environment is clean and accessible?

This is certainly the case for me. Not only am I able to think better, I also feel a lot more positive in cleaner spaces.

In addition, I feel a sense of progress especially when I can look around the house and see a collective effort to keep our home clean.

Yesterday, we spent about 5 hours decluttering my son’s bedroom – Sorting clothes and toys that they no longer use into bags for another family to use.

This was a pretty long process but one that brought the whole family together for a few hours.

Our current process at home is for everyone to clean their allotted spaces on Saturday mornings. 

We have a cleaner who helps with a deep clean on Wednesdays, and then we manage to keep things tidy in between.

For example, kids now have to clear up all their toys before moving on to play with another group of toys or in the garden.

We’re also practicing a clear sink policy, where all dishes must be washed before going to bed. 

This has helped a lot, especially with waking up with the right state of mind for our new morning routine.

declutter your mind

An easy way to declutter your mind is to start with clean spaces. This is harder with children but is certainly achievable a few days per week. Get them involved and make it fun!

3. Start Your Day Early

We’ve been waking up between 4.30a.m. and 5a.m. on weekdays, partly as a way of forcing us to go to bed earlier.

We’ve also been doing it as part of a 5 A.M. Club Challenge with our tribe of Dream Makers to keep each other accountable.

More here on Insta:

View this post on Instagram

★★ 5AM CLUB ★★⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ What a week! We just celebrated our Small Wins as a community as usual on Fridays, and it has been insightful to see many people ticking things off their lists and progressing weekly💃🏽🕺🏾 😊⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ A big factor has been our 𝟓𝐀𝐌 𝐂𝐋𝐔𝐁.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Put simply, at 5AM Daily, Our Dream Makers show up on Zoom, say a quick hello and get to work!⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ This level of 𝐀𝐜𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 leads to high Productivity and weekly Progress. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ In fact, in my own personal life, I've seen a big uptick in my Results this week! ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐀𝐜𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐚𝐥𝐬?⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ The easy path is to say that "we live in uncertain times" and ignore your dreams. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ I can assure you that there has never been a better time to do the opposite and truly make things happen 😎⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Building Accountability into your life is one guaranteed way of doing this. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ You can ask a friend, join a Mastermind or a TRULY SUPPORTIVE Community of like-minded peeps. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ We help you do that and MUCH MORE at FJA 😊. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐛𝐢𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐪𝐮𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐲 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐃𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐫𝐬 – 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐉𝐨𝐲 𝐀𝐜𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐲 (𝐅𝐉𝐀)⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ P.s. Check out a First on our YouTube channel as Mary reads a investing book to help beginners see how easy it to learn investing ideas from reading books 💛⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ #goals #dreammakers #keepmoving #managingmoney #progress #financialindependence #financialfreedom #financialjoy #familyfinances #families #family #personalfinance #money #financialeducation #missionled #faithandfinances #christianyoutuber #believe #faith #intentionalliving #lifedesign #purpose #freedom #FJA #financialjoyacademy #thehumblepenny

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What I find with waking up early is that it gives me time to reflect, read and meditate, and pray.

This sets my mind up in the right frame for the day ahead.

I also feel a sense of accomplishment and actually tick important things off my list as I usually have specific things to work on at that time of the morning.

This removes some of the panic and pressure that I used to face when I’d wake up later than usual and feel like I’m not being as effective as I could be.

4. Decide On Your Priorities

A very neat way to keep your mind clear of noise is to hone in on your priorities each day.

What works for me is to focus on my DB3 – Daily Big 3. These are the 3 most important things that I must get done in a day.

These are usually work/business related, although sometimes, I have a DB3 for my personal life e.g. catching up on important admin.

To get started, you can either write these down on a small notepad daily or your phone’s note app.

Keep it to a maximum of 3 as that forces you to hone in on what matters.

5. Switch Off and Switch On

A pretty effective way to declutter your mind is to switch off most things and only switch on what matters most to you.

So for example, if I feel it is all getting too much, I switch off my phone and laptop and only switch on my iPad.

I use that device purely for fun as I have access to music, movies and creative tools and no access to social media and so on.

This is a liberating thing to do as it gives me a sense of ownership of my time and life activities.

It also allows me to get into a state of deep work, and I often do this with music playing in the background.

Here is one if you’re interested:

6. Seek Silence

I often seek complete silence usually when I want to take stock of my life or when I just want to better gather my thoughts by writing.

Writing is liberating for me as it gives me the opportunity to visibly see my thoughts in words and colour. 

My preferred tool for this is the Apple Pencil, which I use for most note taking, writing and drawing these days.

In our current distraction prone world, 15 minutes of silence can seem like an hour if done properly.

When was the last time you had 15 minutes of complete silence to yourself?

If you currently don’t know what that feels like, take a break now and give it a go.

7. Focus On Meaningful Activities

Lately, I’ve been asking myself some pretty deep questions.

Questions that challenge what I’m letting occupy my mind and therefore my life’s energy.

Such questions as:

  • Is my job currently giving me fulfillment?
  • Am I doing work that is in complete alignment with my core life values?
  • Is the practical reality of my life lining up with what I preach?
  • Am I seeking and living the purpose for which I believe I’ve been called?
  • How am I living a life of compassion daily?
  • Is there a conflict between my life dreams and my core life values?
  • How have I grown as a father, husband and son in the last year?

Although these questions might seem unconnected, what I’ve found on a personal level is that answers to each of these questions gives me laser focus on what matters.

The more I focus my life’s energy on what has meaning, the less I spend it on what doesn’t.

You’ll likely have important life questions that you’ve never brought yourself to answer.

Perhaps because you have not made the time or even because you can not bring yourself to face such questions.

It might even be because you’ve never considered such questions that will help you prioritise meaningful activities in your life.

If you’re in this position, you can start today after reading this post.

You could even begin by trying to answer the questions I’ve asked above.

These types of questions help to give your life more clarity, starting with helping you prioritise what your mind should be focused on.

To Conclude,

The majority of life’s battles are a battle of the mind. It takes a great deal of self-awareness to understand and make this a priority in your life.

What I’ve learned on my journey so far is that this battle has no end per se. 

However, if you actively take steps to declutter, protect and defend your mind, you’ll gradually begin to win the important battles of your life.

Spend some time after reading this post to reflect upon what practical things you need to do this week to declutter your mind.

What To Read Next>>

What To Watch Next>>

7 Essential Money Mindset Shifts For Wealth Creation:

What practical steps could you take today to declutter your mind?

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

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The Importance of a Deliberate Morning Routine https://thehumblepenny.com/the-importance-of-a-deliberate-morning-routine?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-importance-of-a-deliberate-morning-routine https://thehumblepenny.com/the-importance-of-a-deliberate-morning-routine#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2020 05:00:47 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=1939 The importance of a deliberate morning routine This is the second post in a series this month on ‘Getting your house in order'. You can read the first one here on how to secure your family's financial future. It's 4 months into the new decade and the whole world is literally under lock down. I... Read more

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The importance of a deliberate morning routine

the importance of a deliberate morning routine

This is the second post in a series this month on ‘Getting your house in order'.

You can read the first one here on how to secure your family's financial future.

It's 4 months into the new decade and the whole world is literally under lock down.

I thought this was an important series as we all have a rare opportunity – More time than ever before.

Today I did a Facebook Live to share one of my top personal success secrets – Waking up early.

I have been doing 4.30 a.m. starts since my days at University and it is one of my secret sauces for productivity.

This is an important topic to consider getting in order now.

In fact, see it as prepaying your time, talent and skills for when life starts to return to a new normal.

It is one thing you can control in this very uncertain time.

Why not take up the challenge of getting your house in order in this area?

The Importance of a Deliberate Morning Routine

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

I totally agree with this quote.

Do you have good intentions to get certain things done in the day but never quite manage to?

Before I discovered the secret to waking up early, my day would typically start like this:

I'd just about wake up from my sleep in the morning at 6.45 am.

Snooze my multiple alarms a few times, cuddle up in my duvet and begrudgingly go and have a shower.

Then I would race through ironing; miss train 1 and 2 and usually on the verge of missing train 3.

I'd catch train 3 usually hot and bothered and then I'd have another little nap.

On a good day, I might plan my day on that train journey.

Day after day, this was the norm and seemed like the thing to do.

After all, there were usually other people running for train 3 just like me.

Although life has improved somewhat since the above, I have to admit it isn't perfect just yet.

I now have a routine with a trick up its sleeves, which has been doing something magical for my life.

My (almost) Daily Routine 

It goes like this on a normal day and I fine tune it daily:

4.30 am: Arise with a prayer 🙏🏽

I've written previously that this is as important as oxygen to us.

We're deliberate about making sure that this is the first thing we do. It forms a part of our ‘sacred hour'.

4.40 am: Read curated devotional content with a cuppa ☕️

This helps us clear our minds and reminds us of why the day exists and its significance.

5.30 am: We power up our computers.

Usually before this, I review my scribbled notes on my iPad and make a note of any early morning thoughts from my reading. 

We get to work and not a word is spoken between us as we power through 2 sessions (45 mins each). Then at the interval, we have a brief chat.

We like to listen to music when we work.

Usually film compositions. This offers a good balance of diverse styles and good energy. Sometimes, we do Gospel music by Hillsong.

7.00 a.m: Freshen up, etc. Pre-crisis, I'd be leaving home at this time. Our boys would also have been up already.

However, with working from home, they now get more time in bed. Life really feels heck of a lot more relaxed. 

7.30 a.m: Exercise 🤸🏽‍♂️. I've been running a few times a week and also cycling. 

8.00 a.m: Our little boys' alarm goes off.

In the pre-crisis world, they'd typically wake up grumpy.

Now, they wake up happier and typically start by building lego.

We talk to them about the day ahead and what to expect. Mary usually does a schedule on the kitchen whiteboard.

It's usually a combo of homeschooling, play in the garden, bike riding, reading and drawing, etc.

In this slot, we all have breakfast and get ready for what is usually a pretty full on day!

9.30 a.m: The day begins officially. No email or Social Media happens before this time.

We then take turns to manage our kids whilst we work in between. No small challenge 😅

With the above routine, I am pumped up and set to take on the world and any challenges it presents. 

Now here's the really interesting bit about all this and why it works:

To succeed tomorrow, you have to begin by winning tomorrow today.

Although our routine is unique to our family situation, this next bit could be helpful to your life too.

What you don't see in the above is that at 9.45 p.m. every night, we sit and write down our expected morning routine.

And I mean the actual activity that will happen in the morning.

So that when we wake up we are not planning but instead executing.

This is so important because I work with my wife as a team.

I rely on her for many things and vice versa. This planning helps us row in the same direction and in sync.

Some of you who are married might relate to this especially if you have children. There is hardly ever time left to spend together.

This window early in the morning when we hang out and hustle together actually brings us closer and builds our relationship 😊.

The things we write down are:

  • The DB3 aka Daily Big 3 – These are usually super specific e.g. “finish blog post on productivity” or “complete questionnaire for new Dream Makers”, etc
  • The desired start and end time of the morning routine. Then when we later compare that to the actual start time and end time.
  • One thing we are grateful for.

If you're interested in doing this for yourself, check out The Productivity Planner.

Importance of a Deliberate Morning Routine

Having covered quite a few of the points above, below is a summary of other reasons why it's important to have a deliberate morning routine:

1. You're winning before most are awake

Nothing beats knowing that you have put in a ton of work potentially even before most people you know are awake.

I'd recommend not just having a morning routine but actually starting the day earlier.

This forces you to go to bed in time and keeps you efficient with your time.

Related post: The Secret Sauce for Winning

2. A routine helps you focus and master productivity

You get to decide every night what your morning routine will be, and this is a way of keeping yourself accountable and giving you laser-like focus.

The more you repeat this process daily, the more you start to aim for peak performance in each of your morning sessions.

Speaking of accountability, here are some of the Dream Makers of Our Membership Programme keeping each other accountable during our 5 a.m. daily challenge today.

We started a virtual co-working space:

the importance of a deliberate morning routine

I'm super proud of this bunch. There is something super spiritual about doing something together 😊

3. Build on something you're passionate about daily

So many people want to start a business or a side hustle but usually, don't have the time.

The early morning is an amazing time to do this as the world is quiet.

This way even if your day job turns out to be a disaster, then you have already invested some time in your own stuff.

Related posts:

4. It is another way of paying yourself first

Would you rather check your work emails when you wake up or commit that time to other things that matter to you?

Your mornings are precious and your brain is at peak performance.

Therefore, I'd definitely recommend using this time to do your best work.

2 hours each day for a year adds up very quickly. In fact, it works out to be 730 hours in a year or the equivalent of 30 (24 hour days) of work.

What I've found is that those daily hours then start to compound over time as they build on top of each other.

In addition to this, you'll have a developed a powerful habit, which becomes a part of your internal culture.

In conclusion,

Getting your time management right is an important part of getting your house in order.

Like a domino effect, it has important knock on effects that help you feel and see progress daily. 

Choose to own your morning and see your productivity sky-rocket!

Video to Watch Next>>

See how I use Calendar Blocking to schedule the week and improve productivity further:

What does your morning routine look like now in this current time?

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

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3 Important Ways to Secure Your Family’s Financial Future https://thehumblepenny.com/secure-your-financial-future?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=secure-your-financial-future https://thehumblepenny.com/secure-your-financial-future#comments Sun, 05 Apr 2020 22:48:53 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=7185 3 Important Ways to Secure Your Family’s Financial Future It’s 8.30pm on a Sunday and my day has been filled with a combination of playing in the garden, doing some admin and reflecting. Whilst I was doing some thinking, I recalled my 5k run yesterday and how strange it felt to be out. As at... Read more

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3 Important Ways to Secure Your Family’s Financial Future

3 ways to secure your family's financial future

It’s 8.30pm on a Sunday and my day has been filled with a combination of playing in the garden, doing some admin and reflecting.

Whilst I was doing some thinking, I recalled my 5k run yesterday and how strange it felt to be out.

As at the time of writing, we’re all pretty much locked in during an unusual time in the world due to the global pandemic.

During my run, I barely came across others on my route, but each time I did, I sensed the fear and uncertainty from their body language.

Such are the deeply uncertain times that we are currently living through.

Social media is not helping with everyone sharing almost everything that they come across.

This period of uncertainty is unique because it is affecting everyone in exactly the same way.

For some though, things have been taken to a whole new level and sadly lives continue to be lost.

In my attempt to keep my peace and seek the positives in this current situation, I did some reading and listening.

Something I came across gave me a lot of perspective about life. It hit me like a lightning bolt!

Often when I struggle to explain or make sense of often simple ideas, I prefer to draw them and see them to understand.

It helps me to reflect deeper on that new thought or idea. So here is what I drew to represent my deeper understanding of life:

3 ways to secure your family's financial future

My previous thought process when it came to life was that we had periods of battles and blessings.

A bit like the seasons of life – You have Winter, then Spring, the Summer, then Autumn.

Everything happened in a sequence. What I have come to understand about life is that at all times in life, there are Battles and Blessings happening at the same time.

Like two parallel train tracks that run side by side to each other as above.

This perspective has helped me to make sense of a lot of the things I’m seeing unfolding in our lives today.

In these times of deep uncertainty, what it also says to me is that these are times of opportunity.

In particular, I see the opportunity of getting our homes and financial lives in order.

Can you think of things that you’ve always wanted to get done but never been able to find the time to get it done?

Neither you nor me can think of a time as unusual as the time we’re in. 

Most people are grounded at home and with more time in their lives than ever before.

Opportunity knocks now, but truth be told, only a small percentage of people will open the door.

I’m writing this post so that you first of all recognise the opportunity but beyond that, take the steps to do something about it.

Beyond just talking to you about the opportunities to make more money, today I want to focus on the opportunities to protect it.

This blog post will form one of a four part series focused on getting various areas of our lives in order.

I’ll write about money, relationships, our physical spaces and family life in this series.

Protecting Your Money and Financial Future

Chances are, you look at yourself in the mirror and think you’ve still got it – You’re young.

We work so hard through our lives acquiring wealth that we don’t spend as much time asking ourselves how we protect it.

Today I’m going to speak to you about three fairly boring topics.

Something that your Chief Admin Officer and Home CFO should be thinking about and acting on super fast! 

Topics so seriously boring that when they’re uttered, most people automatically switch off.

They’d instead prefer to scroll through WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram posts.

Guessed it already? Yup! You’re probably right.

You see, these three things I’m about to speak to you about have the power to:

  1. Change the game financially forever for your children and their children to come.
  2. Keep the taxman far away from your family’s hard earned wealth for generations
  3. Give you serious peace of mind and ultimate Financial Joy when you know you’ve done them.

Oh yes! And I kid not.

The only problem is, most people aren’t even willing to engage in talking about these topics let alone acting on them.

Sad truth is, every death we read about in the papers or hear about in the news will have an untold story tied to one of these 3 things below.

To act on these, you must first begin a conversation in your mind and then in your home and then back it with action.

Let’s dive straight in and tackle them one at a time:

1. Buy Life Insurance

It took me a long time to finally take the step to sort out Life Insurance for me and Mary.

Even though I knew it was something that I needed to do, I just couldn’t fight the resistance of life enough to carve out the time to do it.

Keeping things simple, what you need to hurry up and organise immediately is term life insurance.

Essentially, this is insurance for a period of time in the future e.g. over the next 30, 40 years, etc.

This gives you protection in the event of the death of you or your partner. 

Grim subject but an inevitable reality that is happening right now for some.

Will it knock on your door someday – Yes, sadly. 

What do you want to happen when it happens? 

Well, that’s the conversation to begin having right now. Not tomorrow or next week!

The number one advice I can give you about life insurance is to do it as early as possible.

This is important for 2 key reasons:

i) The younger you are, the cheaper it is. I only pay £29 per month for a lot of cover.

ii) Your youth also means that you’re likely to be healthier and get cover without issues.

I cannot stress enough how important these two points are.

I’m writing this blog post for you like I was writing a letter to my brother and sisters. This is important stuff.

To tell you all you need to know about Life Insurance and to help you take immediate action, here is a video we made on our YouTube Channel:

I have also done a detailed case study on whether life insurance is worth it or not.

Once you have got yourself and your partner some cover (you can do individual covers), have a gentle chat with your siblings.

2. Write a Will

This is a difficult one because it involves difficult and uncomfortable discussions.

Again, this is where The Home CFO takes leadership and begins creating the meeting to have the difficult conversations.

Even if you cannot meet your family members face to face, arrange video calls to make these happen.

In addition to the challenge of having difficult conversations, most people don’t know where to begin with writing a win.

They think they have to find a lawyer and go through an expensive process before having a will created.

The good news is, you don’t.

Beyond Life is UK’s #1 will writing service, which you can use to create a legally binding will in 15 – 30 minutes.

You can do this from the comfort of your home and even have the option to change your will whenever you want.

Everything is checked by an in-house legal expert and they can store your will for you in a safe place.

It costs a fraction of typical lawyer fees at only £90 for a Single Will or £135 for Partner Wills.

Why not make today the day? Take a break and write your will.

3. Plan For Inheritance Tax

There is nothing more painful during a time of family bereavement than to learn that there is a 40% inheritance tax bill due.

Yup! Inheritance Tax is payable within 6 months of someone moving on from this world.

This ofcourse assumes that they have enough for Inheritance Tax to apply.

For most people, it will not apply as there is a decent tax free amount.

However, there is a misconception that inheritance tax only applies to property.

It, in fact, applies to the full value of your Estate. I.e. the sum of ALL your assets (property, cash, shares, savings, etc) less all liabilities.

Essentially, it applies to your Net Worth.

Have your parents sorted this out? This could be a huge part of your future wealth, which could go to the tax man.

Do you need to sort out inheritance tax in your own life in addition to your parents?

Again, this begins with thinking about it, then having many conversations.

Key is to start early. Like today! 

To begin, read our detailed guide to inheritance tax.

You can begin to take simple non-costly steps today to secure your future financial life.

Simple things such as gifting the right assets and ensuring you have the documents to prove such events.

To Conclude,

There has never been a better time than now to begin getting your act together and your house financially in shape.

As I write this post, I’m taking steps myself to get various areas of my financial life in shape and ensuring all members of my family are doing the same.

This is a heads up for you too to join in and do what you know is necessary. Cease the opportunity today.

What To Read Next>>

What is currently stopping you from doing the 3 things I recommended above? Share honestly below.

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

 

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5 Reasons Why Self-care Is a Necessity and Not a Luxury https://thehumblepenny.com/5-reasons-why-self-care-is-a-necessity-and-not-a-luxury?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-reasons-why-self-care-is-a-necessity-and-not-a-luxury https://thehumblepenny.com/5-reasons-why-self-care-is-a-necessity-and-not-a-luxury#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2020 22:15:23 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=3535 5 Reasons Why Self-care Is Necessary & Not A Luxury March 2020 update: A quick update to this post re the importance of self-care in the current global crisis. I wrote the below post before the current crisis, and I thought I'd add this additional section as an intro for the current period. This week... Read more

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5 Reasons Why Self-care Is Necessary & Not A Luxury

5 Reasons Why Self-care Is A Necessity And Not A Luxury

March 2020 update: A quick update to this post re the importance of self-care in the current global crisis.

I wrote the below post before the current crisis, and I thought I'd add this additional section as an intro for the current period.

This week has been a brutal one for most people including me, as pretty much everyone is self-isolating globally in some capacity.

Times are challenging but I believe strongly that life is made of seasons, and we have what it takes to emerge from this better than we were.

Just this week alone, I have lost someone and I have another family member in hospital fighting for his life.

These times are real and it has shown me that there has never been a more important time for community.

The other important revelation in these times is that there has never been a better time for self-care.

I learned about the Oxygen Mask Principle this week from a mentor of mine.

Taken from the instructions we see when we board planes…

It states that in order for us to lead in times of uncertainty, we must first look after ourselves.

i.e. we must first give priority to our physical, emotional and mental needs.

Only then will be equipped enough to rise up and serve others as leaders. 

I whole heartedly agree with this and have been applying this to my life for some time and more so during these times.

The below post shares tips for how I do this in my life practically…

Here is the original and highly relevant post:

Do you want big success in your career/business? Or do you want it instead in your private/family life?

I have read about so many “successful” people who have built great businesses etc but also on their second or third marriages.

It would seem that you have to choose a path – X or Y – not – X and Y.

Most employers reinforce this need to choose a path by pushing their employees to work every hour that exists.

Saying you’ve worked a 70 or 80 hour week has become a badge of honour.

What if there is another way?

A way that guarantees that you enjoy both outcomes of X and Y e.g. Successful career/business and a happy family life.

I believe that other way begins the day we start prioritising self-care.

I remember once watching a talk by Warren Buffett (88 years old) as he spoke to some young people.

He asked them to consider the scenario where they each get to choose one car for the rest of their lives. It can be any car (any colour) but it can only be one.

In this scenario, what would you do if you knew that you would only ever get one car for the rest of your life?

You will absolutely show that car love! You’d take care of it like you’d never believe. You would do everything possible to make sure that it serves you well for life.

The chances are, you will most likely get more than one car in your lifetime. However, you only get one body and one mind. That’s all you’re going to get.

That body and mind you have probably feels terrific now. But it has to last you a lifetime.

With this in mind, how should we start to rethink success and the opportunities we might be creating (or not) to enjoy it?

What's Self-Care?

Self-care is simply the act of being loving and generous to ourselves.

It's easy to prioritise everything else from bosses we want favours from, to friends who don't really care for us.

It is also easy to prioritise a side hustle or projects that we want to take off the ground.

But what good is all this activity if we aren't there to enjoy them? Or if our family lives and relationships break down?

As I write this, I am also speaking directly to myself. I can certainly attest to having experienced burnout and days when I have maxed out my reserves.

Time in a day is finite and with 24 hours in a day, we need to be more deliberate about what portion of it is solely for our personal wellbeing.

With every choice we make to do one thing instead of another, there is always a real trade-off.

A true opportunity cost from not doing something else. A lot of the time, that true cost is lost time with loved ones or even with just ourselves.

Examples of this can be seen in choices we make every day to either sleep for 5 hours because we watched one more episode of our favourite show.

Or even the choice to work 12 hour days because it looks good as we approach bonus time.

The true cost of these activities can play out in higher divorce rates, poor relationships with children or even reduced productivity.

It's time for a rethink.

Benefits of Self-care

Below are important benefits of self-care:

1. Sustainable Life

Winning in life requires life to be sustainable in the face of the variety of activities you could be getting up to.

Prioritising self-care doesn’t ofcourse guarantee a smooth sailing life, however, it certainly leads to a more sustainable way of living.

Keeping it simple, you’re more likely to be around to reap the benefits of your hard work and more likely to endure into the future.

2. Creativity and Productivity

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that I have the best ideas in the mornings. Especially when I have slept well and wake up excited by the day ahead.

Although creativity is inherent in us all, it is also a muscle that needs to be worked.

Focusing on yourself more not only has the effect of reducing stress and anxiety but also increases the quality of your creative output.

In terms of work, research also shows that beyond 50 hours of work a week, productivity falls off a cliff on average.

Therefore, overworking ourselves, often driven by a misunderstanding of the need to “hustle”, results in diminishing returns.

3. Better Relationships

A life of self-care presents a better offer from us to our loved ones, and who doesn’t love a great offer!

They get a better version of us, and nothing beats being present at the moment with friends and family.

It’s interesting that each day when I sit down to write down 5 things I am grateful for, my family always ranks high in those 5 things without fail.

So without prioritising self-care in my life, I may as well be failing my family and the quality of the relationship I have with each one.

Same goes for good friends and all the other great people we’re fortunate to have in our lives.

4. Higher Confidence

With better self-care comes a higher level of self-efficacy i.e. one’s belief in their ability to succeed in a particular situation or to accomplish a task.

A high self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to have control over one’s behaviour, motivations, and social environment.

Creating margin in your life makes you better prepared, which in turn also leads to greater confidence as you face life’s challenges.

5. Increased Energy

Although it’s important to be efficient and manage your time better, there is a big misconception of time management out there.

The time you have per day is fixed! As such, a better way to look at it is through the lens of energy level management.

Increased levels of self-care lead to a higher level of energy, usually through better eating and exercise.

6. Wealth Creation

Better creativity, productivity, confidence, energy, and relationships most certainly point to more wealth creation.

Wealth has a wider definition beyond just financial wealth, however, it also follows that financial wealth flows out of getting the balance right in the above areas of our lives.

Related: The Wealth Health Relationship & How It Affects Us All

What Can We Start Doing Today?

The really fortunate thing about being able to wake up everyday (so far) is that we have the grand opportunity of making our lives better.

When I woke up this morning, I felt extremely grateful as I stared at my wife and my younger son who had crept into our bed.

I was yet again reminded about the importance of balance in life and the fact that we are running a marathon and not a sprint. Even with the marathon, it’s important to stop once in a while for a walk.

Below are some thoughts on how we can start to prioritise self-care going forwards –

Sleep More

This is at the top of my list and is easier said than done!

There are huge benefits to sleeping more, not least because it actually improves our brains and the quality of its output.

I typically sleep for 6 hours a day on average and I don't think this is good enough.

At the bottom end of the scale, I've had days when I've only slept for 3 – 5 hours.

Cheating myself out of sleep has consequences and it will be the same for you too.

My goal now is for 7 hours+ of sleep. To achieve that, something about our current process at home has to change.

This might even have something to do with #2 below.

Create Sacred Hours

One of the leaders I follow protects his first and last hour of the day.

In his words, it's a way of not giving up his sovereignty and power to the world.

How many times have you woken up and the very first thing you do is to check your phone for emails or WhatsApp or even Facebook?

If you think about it, there is something not quite right about doing this.

Making the first and last hour of your day sacred is an effective control for making sure that you spend it on you.

May I suggest running a bath or even reading a book in one of those hours?

I personally say a prayer as the very first thing I do daily. It has been a phenomenal year of prayer for me. You might find this all abit strange but for me, it's on par with my need for oxygen!

Whatever works for you, do it! But do it consistently. This could be meditation or even journaling (which I do too). There is so much to explore!

Exercise

Exercise not only helps us develop physically, but it is also beneficial mentally.

There are so many inexpensive ways of exercising that can be enjoyable too.

I like walking, running and cycling, although walking is one that I explore deliberately every day without fail.

It’s an opportunity for me to have me time to think and to observe some of the often remarkable things we overlook daily as we rush around.

Seek True Community

There has never been a better time to seek or create positive communities.

I've drawn strength from having regular video calls with friends and family members, and seen the critical importance of intentional communities from one we created ourself online.

We happen to have created one such intentional community with a deliberate focus on learning, motivation, inspiration and fun, and I have to say, I've wholeheartedly never seen anything like it.

If you seek such communities in your life right now, seek them out and you'll find them. Alternatively, create one that serves your personal needs.

It is amazing how connected people can be even as strangers provided everyone is of a similar mindset and determined to help others stay positive and move forward. It works! 😊

To conclude, self-care is extremely important for your mental, physical and emotional health.

Although it sounds very self-focused, it’s very important because the need for us to live sustainable lives is also important to other people.

Each of our lives plays a unique role (whether we realise it or not) in society and the more we look after ourselves as the key asset, the more beneficial we are to others too.

Remember as Warren Buffett said, you only get one body and one mind, and that’s all you’re going to get. So make it count!

Related: 

How Are You Prioritising Self-Care In Your Life Today? Please share by commenting below.

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

 

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How to Manage Your Finances and Thrive During A Crisis https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-manage-your-finances?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-manage-your-finances https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-manage-your-finances#respond Sat, 21 Mar 2020 16:59:56 +0000 https://thehumblepenny.com/?p=7164 How to Manage Your Finances and Thrive During A Crisis We are facing some of the biggest challenges we've faced for quite some time during the current crisis. Many people are worried about their health situations, but parallel to worrying about health, many people are silently worrying about their financial lives. Of course tied to... Read more

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How to Manage Your Finances and Thrive During A Crisis

how to manage your finances during a financial crisis

We are facing some of the biggest challenges we've faced for quite some time during the current crisis.

Many people are worried about their health situations, but parallel to worrying about health, many people are silently worrying about their financial lives.

Of course tied to our financial lives are our relationships. 

Health, wealth and relationships are all interlinked. 

Many face the triple threat of having to spend money now to stockpile, but at the same time lacking in savings and at the same time worrying about their jobs or businesses. 

So many people are facing a huge constraint from all sides.

Today I'm going to share with you a 7-step process for how you can manage your finances during a time of pandemics, stock market crashes or just during recessions. 

I want to share with you how we're looking at our finances in this time period at a practical level.

It’s my hope that these tips can help to give you some peace of mind and a bit of structure in your household so you can start to take charge of your finances 😊. 

You’ll find this useful If you're self-employed (~4.8 million people in the UK) or if you’re employed but have limited savings. 

Let's dive in now and start to look at these various steps that I think you should put in place in order to get your finances in shape, survive and thrive in this challenging period. 

7 Steps To Managing Your Finances During A Financial Crisis

Let's dive in now and start to look at these various steps that I think you should put in place in order to get your finances in shape, survive and thrive in this challenging period. 

Step 1: Appoint a Home CFO

First thing I'd say is to appoint a Home CFO.

I work day to day as a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) as one of the hats I wear ordinarily. 

For your household, this is somebody who will take on the responsibility for driving the family's finances in this challenging time. 

During times of fear most people panic and couples struggle to get to grips with how to manage their finances. 

Your Home CFO could be you or your partner. It’s that person’s job to implement everything that I’m sharing here today.

It is also their job to  remind everybody else in your household that you have certain goals ahead.

The challenges you're facing now are a part of the journey towards helping you achieve your future goals. 

Deciding who that person is starts by having a simple conversation about it. 

It should ideally be someone who is able to eject themselves from the emotional concerns about the family finances.

That person will have to give strength to everybody else if they're worried about money and things like that ✊🏽. 

Related post: How To Become Your Home CFO

Step 2: Understand Where You Are Financially

Once you've appointed your home CFO, the next step is to understand where you are. 

In times of crises and panic, people forget to assess exactly where they are.

The key thing before you even start to do anything else is to assess exactly where you are financially. 

By that I mean your current financial position. 

The way you do that is to grab an A4 sheet of paper and write down a list of all your assets. 

This could be your savings, investments, property, whatever you've got.

Write them on one side of an A4 sheet, and on the right hand side, write down all your liabilities.

I.e. people you owe money to – credit cards, mortgage, student loans, etc.

The beauty of the one sheet is that on a single sheet of paper you can see what your financial life looks like. 

Through that, you can then start to connect dots and say, well actually I could use these assets to potentially offset these liabilities if I have to.

The difference between the total assets and the total liabilities is your current financial position or your Net Worth

The other key thing from doing this exercise is that it keeps you laser focused on a very important aspect of your asset column, which is your cash

Cashflow will become the most important thing you need to keep complete handle on during this difficult time. 

The key thing I'd like you to establish at this stage is to figure out how much cash you have at the moment and how many months it would last if you carried on at your current lifestyle. 

What you ultimately want to do is to then start to execute the next steps of this plan such that you can start to boost that cash pot you've got and build up a bit of a runway.

i.e. a bit of a lifeline for you and your family such that you are protected in the event of things getting a lot worse than they might be at the moment. 

The other thing you're also establishing at this stage is assessing things such as what bits of insurance do you have in your life at the moment? 

Do you have health insurance? Critical illness insurance? 

Write these down on the other side of the A4 sheet.

Related post: How to Calculate and Grow Your Net Worth

Step 3: Create a Crisis Budget

A typical budget analyses how you're going to distribute the income you generate regularly across the different expenses in your life. 

Those expenses cover your essential expenses and your lifestyle expenses usually.

A crisis budget on the other hand assumes certain scenarios and assesses things such as:

What if you do not receive an income for the next three months? Or six months? 

If that happens, how will you survive?

Essentially, that's what that budget's about. 

It allows you to look at the key essential and non-essential expenses in your life in order to make a call around those non essential expenses in your life.

At this stage, you want to be having a candid conversation with your partner if you've got one in order to decide what is really an essential expense in your life.

The more realistic your assessment of essential expenses in your life, the more likely you'll be able to make cost reductions on the non-essential elements of expenses.

Other resources: The Budget For Life

Step 4:   Decide On What Expenses Need To Go

Here you are identifying what exactly expenses now need to go in order for you to create an additional buffer in your finances. 

That bit of a buffer then flows into the bit of cash that you might have to act as a reserve for you and your family over the next coming months. 

If you've got expenses in there that are helping you achieve your medium term to longer term goals, it's very important to make sure that those remain.

What you don't want to do during the period of crisis is to completely fall off the cliff when it comes to thinking about those longer term goals. 

This usually comes at a bigger cost as those who don’t keep up the momentum of achieving their goals might never actually stay motivated to achieve them.

What we hope is that the current challenges that you might be facing during a time of a pandemic, stock market crash or a recession is something that will not last for a very long time. 

So you want to make sure that those expenses that are helping you achieve those medium term to long term goals are protected and seen as investments.

Provided you've got a complete case for why they're helping you achieve your future goals. 

Step 5: Negotiate Terms Where Possible

This is the time to negotiate with your creditors. So if you've got a mortgage, utility bills, other loans, etc, you want to start to give them a phone call. 

Call your bank and negotiate a payment holiday on your mortgage and other loans, for example.

You want to be seen to be having the important conversations as early as possible and having them on record.

Payment holidays simply mean that your debts are deferred for a few months but you still ultimately have to pay your debts back.

The effect of doing this is that it helps you further reduce your outgoings whilst building up your cash buffer for the months ahead.

Step 6:  Simplify Your Life By Selling Things to Raise Cash

In this step, you start to look around your life, your home, etc and consider what you can sell in order to raise some cash.

This has the double Impact of helping you to declutter and simplify your life but it also helps you to the raise some extra cash. 

this could be anything from a second car that you have always considered selling to even some jewellery that you might have around the house and not wear as often.

There are always people seeking bargains during a time of financial crisis. 

So you might have to sell things at a bit of a discount but the key is to raise the cash that's necessary to support you and your family.

Doing this exercise alone could potentially raise you 1 to 2 months worth of expenses in cash.

Related resource: How To Simplify Your Life

Step 7: Audit and Reallocate Your Time

So far we've been auditing your money and looking at where it’s going and where it's coming from. 

But what's very key to managing your finances is also to manage your time. 

At stage 7  you want to consider reallocating some of your time from certain activities that may not be generating value in your life towards other activities that might help you to generate more income. 

So you might want to explore work from home ideas to generate a few hundred to thousand pounds or more per month.

Note that such ideas take some time to start to generate an income so you might not see a return straight away from pursuing a side hustle.

However, if you focus on it and commit your time to it consistently over time, you potentially will start to see some results over a few months. 

We've done quite a lot of videos on side hustles and work from home ideas. See a couple below:

Feel free to check out more Side Hustle Ideas here.

To Conclude,

During these challenging times, it's very important to keep your morale as high as possible. 

The best way to do that is to encourage a culture in your home of ongoing communication and conversation.

Nothing beats just talking about your challenges and the various things you're working towards solving in your life. 

Simply talk about them. 

If you've got money problems, just have a dialogue and talk about them and the beginnings of finding a solution to your problems usually begins by having a conversation. 

Don't be afraid to actually have a chat about the challenges you're having even with people outside of your home. 

You'd be surprised, lots of people probably face the same challenges as you and would appreciate the perspective.

Feel free to also get in touch with me via email.

I’m usually on the move but can have a 5-minute conversation here and there if need be.

Do this especially If you are somebody who is struggling at this very time and not quite sure how to deal with the challenges of managing your finances in these times.

Please comment below if you're someone who's currently being challenged at the moment financially due to the current state of the economy.

I’d also welcome comments if you've been affected negatively in your job, relationships and you're feeling challenged in your mental health.

Let me know in the comments and I'd be more than happy to jump in and offer some encouragement and ways you can move forward.

What To Read Next>>

What To Watch Next>>

How is the current economic crisis affecting your life financially, emotionally and mentally?

Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.

 

 

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