Monday Night Finance- Volume 26

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15 Proven, Powerful Ways to Increase Your Income

The gig economy has created thousands of ways to make more money in your free time. There are countless articles on the internet devoted to making money by driving Uber or delivering food via DoorDash. If those things aren’t your speed, you can find whole books about making money selling items on Ebay or turning your spare room into an AirBnB. With so many different options, it can be hard to determine which side-hustles you should focus on. In this article the Financial Wolves help you navigate the sea of options for making more money.

This isn’t your regular ‘make more money’ article. I compiled 15 of the most powerful ways to increase income in this definitive list, complete with actionable insights and tips on how to start. ~Financial Wolves

The article’s #1 tip for making money is starting a blog. Financial Wolves has a lot of great content about starting a blog and monetizing blog content. Right behind starting a blog is developing a budget so you can put your income to the best use possible. CountAbout is an excellent budgeting platform that can help you track your spending and find ways to save extra money. The remainder of the article mixes more traditional ways to side-hustle (like Poshmark) and self improvement techniques like keeping a time-journal to maximize your efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

The Ultimate Guide to ESPPs and RSUs

Does your company offer stock benefits in either an ESPP or an RSU? An ESPP stands for “Employee Stock Purchase Plan” and is a method by which you can purchase your company’s stock at a discount. An RSU, or “Restricted Stock Unit” is a form of company stock which can be granted as a bonus or incentive. These benefits can be incredibly lucrative to employees but many employees do not take full advantage of these benefits because they don’t understand how they work. In this guide, Chrissy of Eat, Sleep, Breathe, FI breaks down how to use these benefits and what pitfalls may exist.

They were so confusing and overwhelming and we couldn’t muster the time, interest, or know-how to deal with them. For more than ten years, the stocks just sat there. Even worse, we opted out of the ESPP for a few years in the middle. This was a very bad move. ~Chrissy from Eat, Sleep, Breathe, FI

ESPPs allow you to purchase company stock at a discount (typically 10-15%), the stock can be sold shortly afterward for an instant 15% gain. Much of the article focuses on the tax implications of ESPPs. The stock is purchased with after-tax dollars and you have to pay tax on the capital gain accrued by the immediate sale of the stock. While not as tax-efficient as contributing to an IRA, buying stocks below market price can be a great opportunity. Similar to ESPPs, RSUs are a way to acquire company stock below market value (“free” in this case as it is a bonus). The RSUs may have a vesting period, where you need to stay with the company for a certain length of time before you receive the stock, and in some cases, the company may need to hit a target before you receive the bonus. These shares can then be sold immediately to lock in the full value of the RSU bonus. While it may be tempting to keep the shares in the company stock, this can create a large risk if the company files for bankruptcy as you could lose your job and your savings at the same time (think Enron).

How the 30 Day Rule Saves You Money

Are you trying to get a better grip on your finances? Perhaps you feel like you’re hemorrhaging money everywhere and can’t quite figure out how to make your budget work. If you’re having problems staying within your budget each month, you can try the “30 day rule” as described in this post by Jo Anna of

The 30 day rule gives you 30 days to think about whether you should buy something. This rule is most important when considering a costly item such as a car, PC, or phone. ~More Money Tips

The 30 day rule is quite simple. If you have a discretionary purchase, you force yourself to wait 30 days before making the purchase. (Obviously this doesn’t work for all purchases- if your car is out of gas, you can’t wait 30 days to fill it up!) However, if you’re trying to consider if you should upgrade your phone, this technique might work well for you. The first step is when you feel an impulse to buy something, don’t buy it! Instead, write down the date and the item you want to buy on a sheet of paper. If you continue to feel you need the item, use that time to do research: is there another item that might work instead? what do the reviews say? are there cheaper options? In some cases, you will end up buying the same item you wanted to buy in the beginning. However, in other cases, you may find that you don’t need the item or could buy a cheaper substitute.