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Setting Goals To Achieve Success

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This is a common refrain that I’ve heard many times in my life. Another example is the statement that those who aim for nothing will hit it every time. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to fail to hit anything. This is why I’ve decided to start setting goals. The beginning of a new year is a good time to set up new goals.

Consider How To Get There

The most important step in setting goals is knowing where you want to go in life. Perhaps you want to become an engineer. This would require going to school for an engineering degree. The same goes for becoming a teacher, a lawyer, or a doctor. If you’d rather become an entrepreneur, schooling might not be quite so necessary. There are many successful entrepreneurs who haven’t completed a degree, among them are such billionaires and Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. However, these innovators had big ideas and the technical know-how to achieve their goals.

Set Up Checkpoints To Measure Success

It’s a good idea to break up major goals into smaller chunks. This is where short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals come into play. In the example of getting an engineering degree, the long-term goal is getting the degree and getting licensed. A good short-term goal might be passing Calculus 1. After getting through the short-term goals, the medium-term goals will become the new short-term goals. Evaluating goals is a constant necessity.

Here are some goals that I’ve been interested in.

Setting Goals for Passive Income Can Lead to Financial Success

I recently read the book Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin. Questioning some of the purchases that we frequently make can help us cut expenses that require life energy to pay for. When we make more money than we spend, what’s left over is capital that we can use toward an emergency fund or toward building passive income. I’ve decided after reading up on blogs like Dividend Growth Investor that trying to build up a portfolio of dividend growth stocks like Omega Healthcare Investors and Coca-Cola can provide a growing stream of passive income through growth in the annual dividend payments and through the deployment of additional capital. My long-term goal is building up enough passive income to pay for living expenses. My short-term goal might be to get to $1,000 in forward dividend income by the end of the year.

Setting Goals Can Lead to Passive Income
B&O Stock Certificate, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Online Earning Could Be A Smart Goal

While it’s possible to build up passive income with many jobs, many people will have a problem having enough excess capital to grow much passive income on their main salary. This is where earning a bit of money on the side can help. This excess money can then go toward savings if it’s not required for paying ordinary living expenses. It’s also possible to earn quite a nice sum from making money online. There are many lists online that offer ways to make money, some without spending a penny. I’ve used these methods to earn thousands over the past few years.

Paying Off Debt

Debt can really be a drag. The more you have, the closer you might be to financial ruin. It’s hard to grow a strong stream of passive income and a solid net worth with massive amounts of debt. Setting goals for paying down debt over time can lead to a great achievement that can definitely aid in your overall financial success.

Achieving Travel Goals

I love to travel. Therefore, some of my goals have to do with visiting some cool places around the US and the world. I had a goal of taking my family to Europe on the cheap, and I was able to do so. However, before I could, I had to figure out a way to pay for most of the trip’s possible expenses with frequent  flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. I achieved this goal with some well-timed credit card signup bonuses like the ones offered on these five credit cards that you could get in 2017.  I’m already strategizing two trips ahead with the credit cards I’m using.

The process of setting and achieving goals can be a great process that can help you gain the success that you’re looking for.  Setting up mileposts along the way can help you gauge how you’re doing in the process. If you don’t set any goals, one thing is certain. You won’t accomplish them.

Have you set any goals this year? Let us know in the comments.

Also, if you’d like to keep up with new posts and ideas for maximizing your resources in life (including time), be sure to sign up for email updates in the box at the top of the page and via our Twitter account @moneyinpajamas.

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Taking the Long View of Personal Finance

Do you want the bad news first, or would you rather have the good news? I’ll start with the bad news. Most people in the United States live for today. The average American is deep in debt, and this debt can really lead to many difficulties in life.  A person’s savings rate is the leading indicator for future wealth. This indicator reached an all-time high of 17 percent of income back in 1975, but by July 2005, the rate was at an all-time low of less than 2 percent. Today, the savings rate for the average American has reached 5.7 percent, which is three times what it was just a decade ago.  The good news is that there are some pretty easy steps to take to improve your personal savings rate and shore up your finances.

The reason for this increase is probably related to what happened between 2005 and today–the Great Recession.  People were shaken by the sudden crash of the economy. While a savings rate of between 5 and 10 percent might seem impressive given where it’s come from just a few years ago, it’s still not all that great. The popular site Mr. Money Mustache has a pretty amazing article on “The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement” that looks at how the savings rate can determine how long a person has to work.  A person who saves 5 percent a year will have to work about 66 years to be able to retire comfortably. Fewer teenagers are working today, so this means that a 20-something who starts to work today will need to work until about age 90 before they can let someone else take over their job.

This math presupposes that there is no pension waiting on a worker and that the doomsday scenarios of Social Security that claim it will pay nothing at sometime in the not-too-distant future will come frighteningly to fruition.  This means that the savings rate of American workers is woefully short of what it needs to be. Even the record savings rate in the post-1959 world that was noted above will require quite a bit of work. A 17 percent savings rate means that a worker can retire right around the “traditional” retirement age after working approximately 40 years, again assuming that there is no pension or Social Security payment coming. Needless to say, this is not a terribly comforting situation.

These numbers are why it’s important to take a long view when it comes to personal finance.  Those who fail to plan actually plan to fail, so getting some goals together is a good idea. I don’t know about you, but having to work until 90 would mean that I’d probably be dead before I can afford to quit working on a full-time basis.  That does not seem like a terribly enjoyable path to take. The time to start planning for retirement was 10 years ago. However, if you didn’t put in the effort to plan 10 years ago, the second best time is now.

This is where earning money in pajamas proves to be a great idea. If your main gig barely pays the bills, there are exactly two ways to save money (outside of having a long, lost extremely rich uncle give you a massive inheritance or hitting the lottery, which is a losing proposition because the house always has to win). These first of these two realistic methods is cutting expenses. With the number of high-paying jobs not being what most Americans might wish, keeping expenses down is definitely an important step to take to ensure that you can build wealth over time.

The second option for saving more money involves finding other avenues to make money. With the advent of the Interwebs, the opportunities for making more money are quite extensive. Here are 11 such options that I’ve shared before for making extra moolah online .  Few jobs require employees to work every waking hour, so most workers will have several hours each week to earn more money. The best part about utilizing the Internet means of making money is that you don’t have to leave the house. You can literally sit around in your pajamas on a Saturday afternoon and make a bit of money while watching football. If you have a connection to the Internet, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t attempt to make more money. The link above has some great ways that I’ve been able to make money. I’ve used a few to make more than $1,000.

It’s important to take the long view of personal finance when thinking about making money online because it’s easy to get discouraged. A few hundred dollars a year might not seem like much, but your future self will appreciate that your current self decided to save some money for the future. I’ve noted before that saving just a dollar a day between the ages of 16 and the “normal” retirement age of 65 will yield an account of around $286,000 if an 8 percent return can be realized.  The power of a simple dollar can be quite amazing.  If you can raise this amount to $2 a day in additional income that you can save, you’ll have around half a million by retirement. Only $4 a day will lead to a cool million by 65 if you can start at 16. Discipline is important through all of this, and it’s important to stay in the market.

Those who are able to engage in both of the strategies listed above can super-charge their trek toward retirement. Cutting $4 in spending each day and then making just $4 extra per day and then saving the $8 would lead to nearly $3000 in savings after just a year and nearly $2 million over a 50-year period if you were able to earn an 8-percent return. Those who do not have 50 years to play with can still make some major progress with just a few small tweaks. Even if you’re only looking at 20 years until needing the money, you’ll still be way ahead of what you would have should you never have started to begin with. The time to start making some money in pajamas is now. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start saving and taking advantage of the compounding process.  Thinking of the long terms is the only way to make this happen, however, so be sure to get started today.

Disclaimer: I can receive compensation if you sign up for some of the programs that I’ve reviewed using one of my referral links. I definitely appreciate the support, but in the interest of full disclosure, you can still get the the same benefits without using my link. 

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Final 2014 Online Earnings Report

I’ve spent the past couple of years writing this blog, with the first post coming nearly two years to the day prior to this one. In these two years, I’ve set online earnings goals. The first year, I came up short of my $5,000 goal. I set a goal of $450 per month in 2014. That was a total of $5,400 for the year. I came very close to meeting this goal during the year.

I started out the month of December with $4,777.11 in online earnings for the year. This is money that I’ve won while sitting in my recliner, while I’ve been in a foreign country doing short-term mission work, and while I’ve been sitting in a hotel room on vacation. This is over and above my regular paid work. I continued earning money in December. I earned through a few income streams. Here is the money I earned in pajamas during December:

Freelance writing: $466.62

Swagbucks: $50.00

Treasure Trooper: $20.27

This brought my total earnings for December up to $536.89, which was over my monthly earning goal by just over $86.  When I combine this money with the more than $4700 I’d earned through November, my final earnings for 2014 were exactly $5,314. This was just $86 less than my goal for the entire year, which was not terribly shabby, if you ask me. If I am able to keep this up for the next 15 to 20 years, it will definitely add to my retirement funds.

I am not planning to keep a diary of my online earnings after this point, but I think that I’ve at least partially been able to show that, yes, it is quite possible to make some money on the Internet without leaving home. While few people would be able to live on what I’ve made as a main income, this money definitely provides a nice supplement to my main job. I will continue to post other ideas for making money in the future.

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My October Earnings Report Earning Money Online

We’ve now made it into November, the month with all of the turkeys and stuffing. There’s quite a bit to be thankful for. I’ve been able to successfully earn quite a bit of money online this year. I started the month of October with over $4,100 in online income through a variety of sources. As I have in all of the other months this year, I was able to make some more money in October. So, without further ado, here are my online earnings for the month of October 2014. Some was passive, but most was active. My goal is to increase passive income over time.

Freelance writing: $339.73

CashCrate: $34.01

Swagbucks: $25.00

MTurk: $4.90

TOTAL earnings for October: $403.64. My new total for the year is $4,452.14. I’ve already got some money in the hopper for November, so this total is going to increase. How much is still up in the air, but it should sail over the $5,000 level by the end of the year. My goal is to prove that making money online from home is possible, and I think I’ve done it. I’ve even gone over $1,000 in CashCrate earnings in just over two years.

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July and August Earnings Report

I’ve been tracking my online earnings for the past two years. Last year, I came up a bit short in terms of my goal. This year, I sat an ambitious goal that was higher than it was last year. My goal included $450 per month in online earnings. That equals out to $5,400 for the year. Through the first half of the year 2014, I was able to earn $2,904.95. I continued to work on earning money in July and August. Here are the combined earnings that I was able to bring in through online activities during these two months:

Freelance Writing: $756.08

Swagbucks: $50.00

CashCrate: $26.84

Qmee: $0.66

The total amount that I earned over these two months was $833.58, and this, when added to my earnings from the first half of the year, equals a year-to-date online earnings total of $3,738.53. That puts me at 69.2% of my online earnings goal with 1/3 of the year left. My goal has not changed, and I think it’s really looking as if it’s in reach.

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May and June Earnings Report

I’ve been keeping up with monthly earnings reports for the past year and a half on this site, but alas, I have dropped the ball over the past month. Last month, I was away from home more than I was home, and my busyness kept me from posting a monthly report. Therefore, I’ve decided to combine the past two months into a single report that covers May and June. In case you haven’t read my previous updates, I’d earned $2,201.51 over the first four months of the year as I worked toward my ultimate goal of $450 a month ($5,400 for the year.)

So, here are my earnings from the past two months combined:

Swagbucks: $50.00

Cashcrate: $86.85

Hubpages: $54.30

Qmee: $1.62

Bubblews: $50.07

Freelance Writing: $460.60

TOTAL from May and June: $703.44

Total earnings for the first half of 2014: $2,904.95. I am nearly 54% of the way toward my goal of $5,400 in online earnings over the course of this year. I would point out that I’ve written about Bing Rewards on this site before. I continue to use this site, earning around 26 points per day through easy searches. I’ve been using the earnings for Swagbucks that can be transferred into PayPal cash and frequent flyer miles to keep my accounts current so that I don’t lose any miles. You won’t get rich on Bing Rewards or Swagbucks quickly, but they can definitely add a few bucks to your monthly income.  My hope is to make a few more bucks on here for July than the past few months to get ever closer to proving that I could fully fund an IRA on side Internet work. Summer is still in full swing, so find out how to earn some money on the side during summer here.

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January 2014 Earning Money in Pajamas

Last year, I kept track of my progress monthly to show how close I was getting to my annual goal of $5,000 in online earnings. I was short of this total, and I was only able to earn a little over $4,300. I was not frustrated, though, because that was $4,300 I would not have earned had I not started out with a goal to make money online.

This year, I decided to up the ante, and set a goal of $450 per month for 2014, which comes out to $5,400 for the year. I’m using many of the same income streams that I had before, but I’ll also try to bring in a few more over the course of the year to see how other options work. Without further ado, here is my first earnings report for 2014. In January, I earned from the following sources:

CashCrate: $22.40

Swagbucks: $125.00

Amazon’s MTurk: $5.32

Freelance Writing: $444.61

Total for January 2014: $597.33

Total for 2014: $597.33

Amount remaining before reaching 2014 goal: $4,802.67

This was a much better start to my year than last January, in which I only brought in $187.31. If I can keep up my current rate, I should be able to meet my goal of earning money in pajamas this year.

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Setting Online Earning Goals–2014 Edition

Last January, I posted that it was important to set goals in any venture. The world of online earning is no different. My post on setting online earning goals was not my most popular post, but I was able to share my goal with the world (or at least those who wanted to know what my goals were). My goal for last year was to earn $5,000 online for 2013. I fell a bit short at just over $4,300, as noted in my final monthly earning report for 2013.

This year, I decided to be a bit more ambitious. Some people might wonder why I would not scale back after failing to meet my ultimate goal. I would argue that it is important to attempt to exceed previous goals. Therefore, I decided that a good number for this year would be $450 per month. Should I be able to keep up that pace over the course of the year, I would earn $5400 for 2014. That’s almost enough to max out a Roth IRA for the year for those who have their finances in order.

I’ll detail how I did this in another post later this month, but it appears that I exceeded $500 in earnings in January. If I could keep this amount up, I would be able to post more than $6,000 in online earnings for the year, and this would greatly exceed my goal. I’m still convinced that the way to achieve great things in any venture is to set achievable goals that can incrementally go higher and higher. That’s the reason for my higher goal this year. If I don’t make it, I can at least say that I went down swinging.

What are your online earning goals for 2014? Failing to set one will probably mean that you won’t make as much as you might hope. It’s a good idea to break the annual goal into monthly, or even weekly goals. My yearly goal of $5,400 will be just over $100 per week. Good luck as you try to build your wealth through online earning this year.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Making Money Online

Tomorrow is January 1. This is the day that many people decide to start New Years’ resolutions. Most of these are pretty good ideas that include losing weight, quitting smoking, or some other health or relationship-related resolution.

Losing weight is not the only type of resolution that people should think about, though. Last year, I decided to take the plunge and go for a blog on a paid platform after a couple of years on a free site (I still have a couple of blogs up on free sites). My resolution was to really try and earn some money from the site. Earnmoneyinpajamas.com, the site that you are now reading was the site that I decided to set up.

I was able to post on a weekly basis for the first few months before a move and a new full-time job after three years as a full-time grad student. I was hoping to earn a few bucks a month from my efforts to help my with my monthly bills and living expenses. While this site did not make me rich by any stretch of the imagination, I was able to earn a few hundred bucks with it over the course of the year. One post brought in a large percentage of the traffic and the income, so much of the income was actually the best kind–passive income.

One of my first ever posts discussed how it is important to have goals. The online earning game (or, more like online earning job) requires planning. I set a goal of earning $5,000 through various online efforts during 2013. With just a day left in the year, I’m looking like I’ll be just over $500 short of the goal. While this is a bit disappointing, I can’t say that it’s devastating.

My efforts paid off in around over $80 per week on average. There were some weeks where I earned in the hundreds. There were some where I earned about $20. Regardless, I earned every week, and my total earnings added up to over $4,000 for the year. That’s the equivalent of working about 12 hours per week at the local WalMart at minimum wage with a fraction of the headache. It’s also $4,000 more than I would have made had I not started to look into making money online a few years ago.

My New Years’ Resolution for this year will be to update this blog with more information on earning money online. I hope to learn about more ways to earn money while sitting at home in my pajamas to help myself, as well as my readers. I also hope to raise the goal for online earnings above my previous goal. My hope is to gain a bit more in passive income each year to the point where I can save up some serious money.

Do you have any New Years’ resolutions related to earning money via differing means?

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Earning Money Online–May Earnings

The first post of the month, as always deals with my monthly earnings. I’ve set a goal of earning $5,000 online via various methods this year. I think the goal is achievable with a little hard work. Through April, I had earned a total of $913.13, which was an average of over $200 per month. May was a better month in terms of online earnings.

In May, I had the following earnings via online methods:

Freelance Writing: $387.19

Hubpages: $77.41

CashCrate: $81.93

MTurk: $4.80

Total online earnings for May 2013: $551.33

After adding the $913.13 that I’ve earned prior to this month, my total earnings for the year are up to $1,464.46, just over $3,500 short of the ultimate goal.

This was a record for online earnings for a month. I am hoping to eclipse it over the next few months. The goal is to start out with small numbers and then have them snowball over time into some really serious money. The best way to make real money is through passive income. These sources would be sources that continue to pay out over time with minimal work. Of course, there is some hard work necessary in the initial days and months of earning money online.

The next monthly earning results will be posted in the first half of next month. Hopefully, these earnings can inspire others to earn some extra money on the web.