How to Make Money With Online Stock Trading

This post is sponsored by Blue Anchor, but all opinions are my own.

Most of us have heard of online stock trading, but to many, including myself, it seems too intimidating to even begin learning about. Well, my friends, it is time to change that.

Online trading is nothing to be afraid of. Like any investment, it has some risk, but it also offers a lot of opportunity to make money.

If you are at the point in your financial journey where you are ready to begin investing in the stock market, online trading can be a great option for you. Whether you’re looking to just cushion your monthly budget, save heavily for retirement, become a full-time trader, or enjoy a little bit of extra liquidity, online trading is something to consider.

In order to avoid any costly mistakes, you need to be sure to do adequate research to ensure you will walk out profitable. Here are a few things to consider when diving into the world of online trading.

Part or Full Time?

First, it’s important to decide whether you want to trade in your spare time or if you are looking for a full-time position. In most cases, it is better to begin slowly. Don’t forget that it will take a considerable amount of time to learn the nuances of the markets. Rushing into things too quickly increases the chance of a costly mistake. Have a game plan and stick to it. If you do choose to trade full-time, be sure that you are prepared for losses which will inevitably occur periodically.

Know Your Sector

Online trading encompasses a wide range of underlying assets to choose from. A handful of examples here will include:

  • Currencies
  • Commodities
  • Indexes
  • Treasuries
  • Stocks

Specific sectors may be slated to perform better than others during a certain time period. For instance, some claim that the dollar is set to rise while the euro and the pound will remain sluggish. Once a specific asset is adopted, it is best to focus upon both its technical and fundamental aspects in order to appreciate the mechanics behind any movement. This is one of the best ways to sneak your foot in the door without taking unnecessary risks.

Learn About Margins

Many online articles which claim that they offer the secret to sustainable wealth will often mention leverages and margins. The appeal to the average investor is that only a small percentage of a trade needs to be allocated into a position in order to enjoy massive profits. Always remember that the reverse is just as true. Leveraged trades can result in significant losses that could far outweigh the initial investment. Those who are beginners should avoid these strategies until they become more experienced and can spare excess capital.

Choosing the Right Platform

Modern technology has provided investors with countless different online trading platforms to choose from. Some are naturally better than others. It is critical that each provider is examined in detail so that you can make the best choice for you. A reputable provider should include:

  • An intuitive and user-friendly design.
  • Access to a host of underlying assets.
  • The ability to employ cutting-edge analytical tools.
  • Live news feeds and accurate pricing data.
  • A mobile-friendly design.

That’s why I recommend CMC Markets. It is functional, yet easy to use and understand. Thanks to modern systems, traders can be assured that they are receiving only the most relevant information when the time is right.

More Than Meets the Eye

Successful trading involves much more than predicting the movements of a holding based off of charts alone. Many other factors need to be taken into account. Politics, the economy of a region and interest rates set by central banks are three key areas to keep in mind. This is another reason why being able to access a wealth of resources will dramatically increase the chances of walking away a winner.

Never forget that making money through online trading will take time. Patience, education, and understanding are all virtues needed to do well in online trading.

Want to make money in the comfort of your own home and on your own time? A blog is the honest-to-goodness best way to start making money on your own terms. Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to start your own blog today!

How to Start a Profitable Blog

When people find out that I make money through blogging, it never fails that they ask how to start a blog themselves. So today I will explain exactly how I set up my blog with Bluehost and give you step-by-step instructions.

If you start a blog using my link, you will receive a very low price on Bluehost hosting, AND you will receive a FREE domain name. It’s super easy to do, so let’s get started.

I’ve been blogging consistently for less than a year, and in that time, my blog has earned me significant money as well as given me the opportunity to earn even more money with freelance writing on the side. Never did I expect anyone to actually read this blog, and I definitely never thought I could actually make money.

I could go on and on (and on) about how much blogging has benefited me and why you should start one. But I will try to be brief! Blogging has allowed me to earn extra income on top of my 9-5 job. I’ve used that money to pay down my student loans and save for my wedding. I’ve had the opportunity to work with incredible brands, improve my writing skills, and meet some really incredible fellow bloggers.

It’s a lot of work, but so worth it to me. I love feeling like I have control over my income, and blogging has provided me extra security if either my fiance or I lost our jobs. Plus, the extra money is always nice to have (and all the freebies I get from blogging is a major perk, tbh!)

Big bloggers earn hundreds of thousands of dollars every MONTH. Yes, you read that right…many bloggers are making over a million dollars a year from working online.

Many people tell me they have thought about starting a blog, but feel like they should educate themselves and prepare before they start a blog. My biggest piece of advice is to just start a blog right now. You can try to prepare and understand, but blogging is one of those things you really just have to dive right in to learn. You cannot start making money until you start a blog, and blogs don’t have to be perfect to make money.

Many people start a blog through free blogging services like Wix, Blogger, or the free WordPress. Starting a blog on one of these free providers is a mistake. You soon will find that having a free blog will hinder you from working with sponsors and advertisers. You have little control over the free blogs, and you DO NOT own your actual website!

I know a ton of bloggers who started out on these free services, only to realize they soon needed to self-host. They had to go through a major mess of trying to transition everything from their old blog to their new, self-hosted blog. It cost a lot of time and money for them, so I hope you do not make the same mistake!

The good news is that starting a professional blog with Bluehost is easy and VERY affordable. My fiance jokes that my blog was the cheapest hobby to start and the most (or only?) hobby that proves to be profitable!

I chose to start my blog with Bluehost because, after doing a lot of research, I found that most bloggers I knew used them and recommended them. I continue to use Bluehost and have had a great experience with them. They are easy to work with, cheap, and efficient.

And they were easy! I’m not a technical person at all. My fiance is an IT guy, but I set up my blog (and continue to run it) all by myself. Please don’t be intimidated by the term “self-hosted.” If I can do it, I promise you can.

When you register through my link, you get a reduced plan rate at just $3.95 per month (!) and a FREE domain name!

Other advantages to Bluehost is the 24/7 tech support, the ability to have a professional self-hosted blog, and a 30-day money back guarantee. So if you have even been thinking about starting a blog, I would suggest starting one today.

Click here to get the discounted price for Bluehost and your free domain name, and then continue reading the rest of the tutorial for how to set up your very own website.

Once you’ve signed up for your very own website here, follow the simple instructions below.

  1. Choose Your Hosting Plan

Once you’ve signed up for your discounted Bluehost account, you’ll be shown a few different hosting packages and options. Save your money and go with the cheapest “basic” package (shown on the far left). When you’re just starting out blogging, you won’t need anything fancy or huge. Even with thousands of visitors a month, I’m still on the starter package with Bluehost and have had no complaints, plus you can always upgrade at any point.

Bluehost

Remember that Bluehost is very affordable, but it also comes with a money-back guarantee. If you start blogging and decide it isn’t for you, you can always cancel and get a prorated refund for any months you have left on your plan.

2. Choose Your Blog and Domain Name

A domain is just the name of your blog or website, which you get for free when you sign up with Bluehost!

Think about what you want your blog name to be. You want it to be clear, easy to read and understand, and not confusing to spell or type out. You also want it to relate to whatever you’re blogging about.

I named my blog The Latte Budget because I knew the idea of “the latte factor,” or the idea that coffee or other small, convenient purchases ruin budgets, gets Googled frequently.

You can really name your blog whatever you want! I would, however, highly suggest that you make sure your blog name ends in “.com” and not “.me,” “.net,” or any other suffix. In the world today, “.com” is most popular and it causes confusion for those trying to find your website if it isn’t a .com!

Once you choose your domain name, type it in the “new domain” box in Bluehost. This will tell you if it is already taken or not.

A lot of times, your domain name, plus the .com, will already be taken. Don’t get too frustrated! Just get creative with what you want to name your blog. Your blog name is important, but whats even more important is content. No matter what you name your blog, if you have good content, it will be read!

Once you enter in your free domain name, continue to follow through to register your new website. The last screen will list a bunch of extras you can add on, as shown below. Honestly, you don’t really need at this point. I don’t pay for any extras, so I suggest saving your money!

And then, congrats, you officially have your own blog! 🙂

3. Install WordPress into Your Blog

Now you’re not quite done, but you’re getting so close! The next step is to install WordPress onto your blog. WordPress is the actual platform your blog runs on.

Once you’ve completed the prior steps, log into your new Bluehost account. You will see a blue bar at the top of the page. Press “hosting” and then look at the white bar underneath that. You will see the option of “cpanel,” so click that.

When you’re on this page, go under website (not shown in the picture, but it is another box like where it says “marketing,” or “email.” Just keep scrolling down.) Once you’re in the website box, you will see a button that says “Install WordPress.” Click that.

After clicking the “InstallWordPress” icon, follow the directions and click install. You will install WordPress to the new domain you just created. Then go through and create your login info.

Now you are completely set! You can officially enter into your website by opening a new tab. Type in your website, plus /login to the end of the domain. (for example…www.thelattebudget.com/login). Now enter in your username and password and viola! You’re all done!

Really, if you have any questions about how to start your own blog with Bluehost, please let me know! Blogging has honestly provided me with so many opportunities and I want you to see for yourself what a blog can do for you. Please email me with any questions you may have (thelattebudget[at]gmail.com). I am so happy to help!

 

How to make 2017 your best year yet

How to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

Did you set a ton of resolutions at the beginning of 2016, only to find another year flew by without achieving all of your goals?

It happens to all of us. Our resolutions slip through the cracks and we give up when we lose motivation.

And you know what? It’s okay. We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes that the moment we mess up, we give up entirely.

Stand with me and promise to make 2017 your best year ever. Here is how I am planning to make the new year count.

Have financial goals

If you haven’t already made financial goals this year, now is the time to start.

There is so much you can do to improve your finances this year. You can start a budget, pay off debt, and start saving for an emergency. Decide what your goals are and go for it!

Find a way to progress at work

Ever wonder how some people work the same job for years and years and never move up?

Those people never pushed themselves at a young age. They never did more than what was asked, and they never took advantage of the opportunity in front of them.

We all know those people! I know I do not want to be one of them!

Being stagnant at work is a dangerous place to be. You lose motivation to get anything done and you lose passion for the job. And your boss probably will notice.

Find a way to keep your career moving forward, whether it means asking for more responsibility at your current job, going for a promotion, taking advantage of educational and training opportunities, or looking for a new job.

The people at work who you admire are constantly learning and keeping their skills fresh. They refuse to become stagnant and content. Keep pushing yourself. Find opportunity, even if it doesn’t look like there is any.

Start making money on the side

Making money on the side is an excellent way to help you achieve both your financial goals and your professional goals.

Think about what you would do with an extra $500 a month. You could pay off an extra $6,000 in debt in 2017 with that! You could build a $6,000 savings account, or travel the world….twice.

And making extra money every month is not difficult. You could get a second job, start a blog, build a freelance writing career from home, dog sit, nanny, or shovel snow. The possibilities are endless!

Another bonus of working on the side is that it keeps you motivated to do more. Think about what you currently spend your time outside of work doing. Are you fulfilled with that?

For me, freelance writing and blogging on the side has taught me so much about running my own business and how to build a website. These are skills that look good in my professional life, too!

Make time for your hobbies

Working a full-time job and a side hustle can be stressful. No matter where you are in life, it’s important to make time for your hobbies and spend time doing what you truly enjoy!

No matter what your hobby is, it’s important to invest time in it. If it makes you feel at peace, it is worth it. By spending time on your hobbies, you’ll be able to focus more on your professional and business life.

Workout

Working out. Ugh. It isn’t always fun but it is so worth it!

If you’re like me, you might find yourself sitting all day long. When I don’t workout, I feel so terrible and weak. My energy is at a low point and I feel terrible.

No matter how busy you are, make time for working out and eating healthy. It pays off. You’ll have more energy throughout the day as well as have a better attention span.

And those are just the immediate benefits of working out! You are setting yourself up for a long, healthy, and successful life when you workout.

Wake up earlier

You start your year with big goals. But you often find that you don’t have time to do them all. Especially those personal goals.

Waking up is exactly how to accomplish all your goals. Think about all the early risers you know. Would you consider them mostly to be very productive people?

I personally started waking up earlier last year. Some days, I get up 2 hours than earlier and some mornings, it is only 15 minutes earlier. But, no matter what, I am able to accomplish way more in the morning than I  could accomplish at night.

Get involved in the community

This year, make it a goal to find a way to get more involved with the community. You’ll be surprised how much you gain from further involvement!

Not only will you benefit those in your community, but you’ll gain professional skills and have a ton of opportunity to network.


The new year is the perfect time to implement some new, tangible goals. Push yourself and strive for balance to make 2017 the best year ever!

The Best (and Affordable) Christmas Gifts for Your Best Friends

This post may contain affiliate links.
Last-Minute Holiday Gifts for your BFF

 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Since the holidays are right around the corner (!!!!!), I thought I’d share a few fun products for your bff!
Even though I am doing a no-gift Christmas, for those of you who chose to buy gifts, I wanted to include some options.
Not ready for a no-gift Christmas? Here are some alternative, money-saving ideas instead! 
The watch is a little more expensive, but quality, and would be such a great gift for someone close to you or a splurge for a secret Santa!

Happy shopping!

What to Do When You’re Broke, Indebted, and Scared

Have you ever looked at your finances and actually become terrified? Wondering how you’re going to pay your next bill? Not sure how you can pay off bills and debt?

You are not alone.

 

If you’re in a bad situation, it’s okay to freak out. But after you freak out, take one minute to remind yourself that you CAN take control of your finances.

Don’t do anything drastic.

Being in a tough or disastrous situation is depressing. Utterly depressing, and I don’t blame you. But I assure you – there is help and you are not alone.

Talk to someone. It doesn’t matter who, but talk to a trusted source. Let them know you’re in a sticky situation financially. Let them know you’re sad, angry, scared, anxious, suicidal or whatever emotion you may be feeling.

People do care about you. If you think they don’t, you are lying to yourself. Someone will listen and help you, or get you the help you need.

What would your life be like without financial burden?

Now that you’ve talked to someone, really take some time to imagine what your life would be like if you weren’t in a financial hole. Write down some realistic goals. Create a vision for yourself. Examples could be:

  • I want to find a job to make $5,000 more a year by this time next year.
  • I want to start a side hustle to earn money to supplement my income.
  • In one year, I want to be free from the burden of credit card debt.
  • In three months, I want to have $1,000 in my emergency fund.

Writing down attainable goals shows you the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s okay to sit in misery for awhile, but then you gotta get moving towards the goal.

You can get out of this hole. You can meet your financial goals, and have so much more. But it’s up to you to realize that.

Make a plan.

No matter where you are financially, you can get out of debt. Getting out of debt has two parts:

  1. Cut your spending.
  2. Increase your income.

You can do one without the other, but to get out of debt the fastest, you’ll want to look at how you can do both.

Look at your expenses. What can you cut? Can you cut out any subscriptions, like Hulu, Netflix, or gym memberships? How can you cut your budget to the minimum?

Next, look at increasing your income. Can you take a second job, start blogging or freelance writing, or start another side hustle?

Commit.

In order to get out of debt, you have to commit to changing your habits. You can’t keep living like you have been in the past – that’s how you got into debt in the first place. You have to commit to change.

I have so many friends who are in a huge hole financially, and they know they need to get out of debt. They might even know what they should do, but they refuse. They think they’re above taking another job, or too lazy to cut their spending habits or even create a budget. End of the story is they never get out of debt.

If you’re in deep debt, you have to swallow your pride. If you’re serious about taking control of your financial situation, you have to consider some big moves. Would moving back in with your parents save you money and allow you to focus on debt repayment? Should you take a second job to pay off debt faster?

The answer is likely yes. You aren’t “above” any of this.

Getting into debt is easy, but getting out of debt is difficult. You’ll want to give up, but keep going. You can’t just quit on your debt.

Surround yourself with a support system. Keep yourself busy so you are less likely to spend money. Educate yourself by reading books and blogs.

______________________________

You have the power to get out of this situation. It will take time and hard work but you can do it.

What advice do you have for someone getting out of deep debt? How did you personally do it? 

4 Reasons Why You Need an Emergency Fund (Even if You Have Debt)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link.

Did you know that 62% of Americans can’t pay for unexpected expenses?

Think of all the times a surprise expense came up in your life. Maybe you had a medical bill, car repair, lost your job, or some other emergency expense that came up. How would you pay for it?

Just this weekend, I took my car to the shop – $650 in repairs. No, I didn’t panic. I paid it in full. Because I have an emergency fund for situations just like this.

When I quit my terrible job without another one lined up, I knew I would be okay because of my ample savings in my emergency fund.

If I get a surprise wedding bill (hopefully not!), I will write a check from my emergency fund.

Needless to say, I rely on my emergency fund for security. As much as I try to anticipate expenses, sometimes things are out of my control.

Here are 4 reasons why you need to start an emergency fund today, even if you have debt.

  1. You can’t simply hope for the best

I have a friend who has been in financial despair. Her only plan of action was to cross her fingers and hope her electricity doesn’t get shut off. Insert face palm.

Remember that phrase, “hope for the best, plan for the worst”? You can hope all you want that you won’t have any major expenses come up, but wouldn’t it give you more peace of mind knowing that you could handle any emergency that came your way?

With finances, you have to remember that you have control. In general, you can’t just hope for the best. You need a plan of action. And you’ve got to change some habits.

  1. A credit card is not a substitute for an emergency fund

I hear this a lot – “I’ll just put it on my credit card and pay it off later.” Double face palm.

Credit cards are dangerous if you allow yourself to do things like this. How would you actually pay off your credit card without busting your regular budget? It could take months, if not years to pay off, plus you’re paying a ton extra in interest.

If this is a large amount that you aren’t able to afford, this could wreak havoc on your credit score. With credit, you should never purchase anything you can’t actually afford, and that includes emergency spending.

  1. You can’t get out of debt by taking on more debt

Many people with debt assume that every cent they have extra should go towards debt. While it’s good to focus on paying off debt, you still need to have some savings.

Just as credit cards aren’t a substitute for an emergency fund, having to take on credit card debt from an emergency doesn’t get you any further in your debt repayment.

  1. Security and peace of mind is worth more than anything

Different financial gurus will give you different advice (like I’m about to…) but I highly recommend saving enough that is comfortable for you.

Many personal finance guys, like Dave Ramsey, recommend only keeping $1,000 in an emergency fund until you pay off debt. While I see where he is coming from, $1,000 isn’t all that comforting to me. Even though I know it would make more sense mathematically to put extra money towards my student loans, I feel more comfortable with a larger emergency fund.

How I built my emergency fund

When I graduated, my brother-in-law (a finance guy) suggested an online Capital One 360 Savings account to me. I started one and I still use it and love it. In fact, I just added my fiancé to the account so we can start saving together.

An online savings account might sound weird but let me explain. You can do all the same things with an online account (like deposit checks using an app, withdraw from ATMs, etc). They give you a better interest rate than physical banks because they have no brick and mortar store to maintain.

I actually enjoy the fact that it’s online because it is convenient, but not too convenient. I don’t have a debit card attached, so unless I need it, that money is untouchable, but accessible. If you tend to spend whatever is in your bank checking account, I highly recommend looking into an online account.

I have multiple bank accounts, but honestly, CapitalO ne is my favorite because it lets me set savings goals. I link it to my regular bank account and have money automatically sent to my emergency fund. It’s so easy and it keeps me on track and organized with my goals.

Capital One is doing an awesome deal right now that if you sign up here with my referral, you will receive a $25 bonus if you open an account with at least $250 in it. Yay for free money!

How much money do you need in an emergency fund?

Look at your expenses. If you don’t have a car, maybe you don’t need such a big emergency fund. If you are debt-free, I would encourage you to build an emergency fund worth 3-6 months of expenses.

If you have a lot of debt, saving money might be a challenge for you. I would encourage to aim for at least a $1,000 emergency fund for an individual.

An emergency fund is important, but it isn’t easy to fund it if you’re struggling with debt. Eliminate as many expenses as possible and pay yourself instead via your emergency fund. Set a realistic, but ambitious goal of when you can achieve a fully stocked e-fund.

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In short, an emergency fund might seem daunting to fund, but ultimately, it has been my hero more than once. In order to get any finances in order, having an emergency fund is one of the first things you need to do.

How do you manage your emergency fund? How many times have you had to use it?