31 Ideas for Doing Thanksgiving Inexpensively

If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner, you likely know how easy it is for costs to spiral. Between appetizers, drinks, the turkey, sides, and pies, you can easily rack up (multiple!) large tabs at the grocery store.

Even if you’re just traveling to have Thanksgiving with family or friends, you can end up putting a big dent in your spending account. Airlines and hotels often charge a premium during high-demand times like Thanksgiving weekend.

To avoid overspending just a few weeks before gift-giving season, read on. We’ve got 31 ways to keep your Thanksgiving costs under control.

Thanksgiving on a Budget: How to Save

Here are some simple strategies for doing Thanksgiving inexpensively this year. Bonus: They can also help you save time — and stress.

1. Stocking Up as Stuff Goes on Sale

Throughout November, stores typically have different Thanksgiving dinner items on sale. Grabbing nonperishables whenever you see them on discount can save a bundle, and also help spread out the cost of the meal.

2. Making It a Potluck

Whether you’re celebrating with family or friends, you can make Thanksgiving inexpensive by asking your guests to each contribute a dish. You can coordinate who is bringing what in advance to make sure there are no overlaps or gaps.

3. Checking Coupon Sites

Before heading out to the grocery store, you may want to check out coupon websites like Coupons.com , LOZO , and CouponMom to find deals on the items on your shopping list.

4. Going to Manufacturers’ Websites

A few major brands likely produce many of the items on your Thanksgiving shopping list. It can be worth checking websites like Butterball and General Mills for coupons and seasonal promos.

5. Getting Your Grocery Store’s App

Many supermarkets have apps that offer coupons and deals. Sometimes you can get a reward just for signing up.

6. Hitting More Than One Store

Going to just one supermarket is obviously more convenient. But if you check the circulars, you may see different items on sale at different stores. Going to a few different grocery stores could lead to significant savings.

7. Buying a Store-Brand Frozen Turkey

Typically, a turkey makes up about 40% of the cost of the Thanksgiving meal. Opting for a store-brand frozen bird, rather than a fresh one, can significantly lower your total outlay for the meal.

8. Splitting the Costs

You may want to consider teaming up with a sibling or other family member to co-host this year’s gathering. That way you can spit all of the costs, rather than foot the entire bill.

9. Buying Basics in Bulk

Buying staples like flour, potatoes, eggs, cream, and butter from a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club can help you spend a lot less on food, as long as you’re not buying more than you need or will use up after Thanksgiving.

Recommended: How to Buy in Bulk: Beginners Guide

10. Going Generic

Many times, generic or store-brand products are just as good as the brand name version, and the only real difference is price.

11. Asking Guests to BYOB

Wine, beer, and other alcohol can add up quickly. One easy way to save money is to ask your guests to bring their favorite beverage. That way, everyone will get to sip something they love, and you won’t have to shell out all that extra money.

12. Sticking With Seasonal Produce

Vegetables that are in season in November, such as sweet potatoes, squash, Brussels sprouts, and white potatoes, will typically cost a lot less than out-of-season picks, such as corn, asparagus, and green beans.

13. Going With Frozen Veggies

If you want to use veggies that aren’t in season, you may want to choose the frozen versions, which are generally much cheaper than fresh.

14. Baking Your Own Bread

Baking bread can be fun, and typically involves spending a lot less than buying rolls or loaves at a bakery. You can also make bread ahead of time and stick it in the freezer until the big day.

15. Going Simple with Sides

It can be tempting to try a new gourmet recipe you saw online or in your favorite food magazine, but fancy recipes often require specialty ingredients — and can end up costing a lot to make.

16. Not Going Overboard

You may love the idea of giving your guests a cornucopia of options, especially when it comes to appetizers and sides. But making a lot of different dishes can lead to a much longer and costlier grocery bill. And, much of that food may end up going to waste.

17. Getting a Bigger Turkey Than You Need

Yes, this sounds like a way to increase costs. Going with a larger bird, however, can pay off by giving you several additional meals, like turkey sandwiches and turkey pot pies, you can make later without going back to the store, or spending another dime.

18. Considering Pre-Made Dishes

Sometimes store-made dishes and desserts can actually be cheaper than buying all of the ingredients and making these things yourself. It can be worth doing some quick math at the store. This move can also save you time, as well as stress.

19. Shopping Your Pantry

You may already have quite a few shelf-stable items in your pantry (maybe even from last Thanksgiving) that you need this year. It can be well worth the time and effort to give your cabinets a once-over before you head to the market.

20. Watching a Movie at Home

Though many people have a tradition of going out to the movies on Thanksgiving, theater tickets and concessions can be pricey. Instead, you may want to consider renting a movie from a streaming service (or finding a free one) that everyone can watch together on Thanksgiving night.

21. Not Going to the Mall

The average American dropped about $312 going shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation . If you don’t want to be tempted by Black Friday bargains, your best bet may be to avoid stores and stay off-line.

Recommended: How to Cut Back on Spending

22. Using Up Airline Points

If you need to travel by plane over Thanksgiving, you may want to consider using any points you’ve racked up with the airlines or on your credit card to score a free or discounted ticket.

23. Going on a Staycation

While taking a vacation over the Thanksgiving holiday can be fun, it could add up to thousands of dollars between the flights, hotels, and rental car, depending on where you go. You may want to consider staying home and planning a series of local adventures instead.

24. Staying in an Airbnb

If you normally stay in a hotel when you visit family or friends over Thanksgiving, you may be able to save by going with an Airbnb instead, especially if you can share it with other people who are coming in from out of town.

25. Checking Warehouse Clubs for Travel Deals

Before you book any Thanksgiving travel, you may want to check for deals offered by your local warehouse club. If you are a member, you may be able to access discounts on hotels, rental cars, vacation packages, and more.

26. Asking for Travel Discounts

Whether you’re renting a car or staying in a hotel over Thanksgiving, it can be a good idea to ask if you are eligible for any discounts when you book. You may be able to score a lower price if you’re a AAA member, a student, a resident of the state, a member of the military, or over age 55.

Recommended: 27 Tips For Finding The Top Travel Deals

27. Making a Budget

Whether you’re hosting or heading out of town, it can be a wise idea to come up with a total amount you can afford to spend on Thanksgiving. You can then make a list of expected expenses, and determine how much you can realistically spend on each item.

Recommended: Building a Line Item Budget

28. Going DIY with Decor

A fun way to save money on Thanksgiving is to recruit the kids in the family to create your decorations. They could collect and paint pine cones, create cut-out turkeys (using their hands to trace them), or make a craft paper tablecloth where everyone can write or draw what they are thankful for.

29. Handing the Reins to Someone Else

Hosting can be fun and rewarding, but if you need a reprieve from the work — and expense — you may want to see if someone else wants to step up this year. You can offer to bring your famous balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts and garlic mashed potatoes to make the host’s job easier.

30. Going Out to Eat

Local restaurants may be offering Thanksgiving specials to bring in customers. You could save big if you go out to eat (and split the tab) rather than host everyone at your home.

31. Volunteering for the Holiday

Helping out at a local soup kitchen can be a great way to get into the holiday spirit and have a chance to focus on giving back, rather than spending.

TheTakeaway

You can enjoy Thanksgiving (and the upcoming December holidays) without running up expensive credit card debt that you may struggle to pay back.

One great way to keep your holiday costs under control is to set up a simple budget and then make sure you stick to it by keeping track of your expenses as you go.

With a SoFi Money® cash management account, you can easily track and categorize your weekly spending right in the dashboard of the SoFi Money app.

Learn how SoFi Money can help you keep tabs on spending this holiday season.

Photo credit: iStock/GMVozd


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Source: sofi.com

How I Made $2,000 in 1 Week by Writing an eBook

Hey everyone! Today, my fellow female finance blogger, Fiona Smith, is going to show you how she made $2,000 in 1 week by self-publishing an ebook on Gumroad. Fiona is the creator of The Millennial Money Woman, she’s been featured on Forbes, she’s a speaker at the national FinCon 2021 conference, and she’s a co-founder of a local non-profit charity, promoting financial literacy to underprivileged minorities. Today, Fiona will teach you how to potentially make a few extra $1,000 a month by writing an ebook. Take it away Fiona!

Hey guys and gals! How I Made $2,000 in 1 Week by Self-Publishing an eBook

How I Made $2,000 in 1 Week by Self-Publishing an eBook

My name is Fiona aka The Millennial Money Woman. I run my own personal finance blog and love helping others make more money and build long-term wealth.

If you had told me in early 2020 that I would soon make $2,000 in 1 week by self-publishing an ebook, I would have probably looked at you like you’re crazy!

I’ve always had an inner author and always thought about writing a book. I just never got around to it because, you know, life.

And for whatever reason, in the middle of the pandemic, I had the urge to write, publish, and sell an ebook about personal finance!

Here’s a bit of my personal story:

When I was young, I saw my grandparents lose everything they ever put into their small family business due to poor financial planning. 

From that day forward, I swore to myself that I would never go through the financial difficulties that my grandparents faced. 

I also swore to myself that I would try to help everyone I could to avoid making the same financial mistakes my grandparents once made. 

That’s why I committed myself to the path of learning about personal finance (I earned my Master’s Degree in Personal Financial Planning) to give others the tools that I wish I had growing up.

…And that’s ultimately how I came up with my ebook topic: How to Get Rich from Nothing.

My ebook doesn’t necessarily define “rich” as just having money.

In my ebook, “rich” also means:

  • Building a rich mindset
  • Developing rich relationships
  • Maintaining a rich outlook on life

…You get the point. 

And you know what?

Although I was admittedly a bit scared to write the book (because I was afraid that it would be a total flop), I decided to sit down one morning and put pen to paper. It was time I show the world what The Millennial Money Woman was made of. 

Now, 2 months after my first ever ebook release, I can happily tell you that in my first week of selling my ebook, I’ve made more than $2,000!

And in this article, I’m going to show you exactly how I did it.

Related content:

How to Make Money by Writing an eBook

The cool thing about writing ebooks is that there’s no secret code or formula to making money.

You can write an ebook that’s 5,000 words long or 100,000 words long. It could be a fiction novel or it could be an educational resource (like mine). It could be about the different types of dirt used on a golf course or it could be about how to start a blog.

Like I said, there’s no secret sauce.

The only key ingredient that holds true for any profitable passive income is to start! You won’t know your potential if you don’t give it a shot. 

As Wayne Gretzky famously once said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

So, here are some things you may want to keep in mind as you start writing your ebook:

  • Start with a topic where you have “expert” knowledge
  • Set mini-goals so that you finish the book on time
  • Write in simple, plain-English text
  • Proofread & re-edit often

This is the key to writing a successful ebook:

Write something that you’re passionate about – because you will spend a lot of time on your ebook (I took about 100+ hours from start to finish!). 

Imagine spending 100+ hours writing something that you don’t enjoy talking about!

That’s tragic – and such a waste of time. 

Set Mini-Goals

I would not have completed my ebook in 1 month if I had not set mini-goals.

Typically, it takes about 4 to 8 months for the average author to complete a book.

Because I’m trying to promote myself, my work, and my ebook in the shortest amount of time possible, I knew that time is of the essence, which is why I pushed to finish my ebook in just 1 month.

Imagine hearing yourself say, “I want to publish and sell my ebook in exactly 1 month from today.”

How would that make you feel?

Would you get heart palpitations? Would you feel anxious? Would you feel so overwhelmed that you wouldn’t know where to start?

Yep, that was me.

Here’s how I got over my paralysis and anxiety:

I broke my big goal (finishing a book in 1 month) into much smaller, more achievable goals. 

And, guess what? It worked.

Here’s what I did:

  • First, I figured out how many chapters my book would have (turns out I wanted 14 chapters)
  • Second, I determined what each chapter would cover
  • Third, I determined roughly how many words each chapter would have (turns out between 1,500 to 2,500)
  • Fourth, I determined how long it would take me to write each chapter (between 1 day to 2 days)
  • Fifth, I arranged for someone else to proofread my book once I finished the first draft
  • Sixth, I figured out a basic marketing strategy to promote my ebook on my Twitter account

After exactly 2 weeks (14 days for 14 chapters), I had someone re-read my first draft after which I [heavily] edited my ebook and re-read my book again for more edits. 

After exactly 3 weeks, I had a preliminary draft completed with a cover image that I created using Canva (see below).

After exactly 4 weeks, I had finalized my ebook, written 3 drafts, and had accomplished my pre-marketing strategy. 

Was I successful?

My goal, at the official launch, was to sell exactly 1 ebook (I set my sights low). 

By the end of week 1, I had made over $2,000 on ebook sales. I honestly couldn’t believe it – I was literally earning money in my sleep. 

All of this was made possible because I decided to break down this 1 huge goal of selling my ebook in 1 month into tiny little mini-goals.

After each mini-goal was accomplished, I moved on to the next step.

I created a structure for myself (and I work very well with a structure) so that I could stay in line with my overarching goal while not overwhelming myself without knowing where to start.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

I’ve published over 100 blog posts in the past 12 months on my website.

My blog posts are typically 3,000 to 6,000 words each, so they’re lengthy, they’re well-researched, and they offer lots of visual graphics about finance.

So, as I started writing my ebook, which is about finance, I had an idea…

If you already run a blog or have content written about the same or similar topic you’re planning to write about in your ebook – consider repurposing your old text!

Why reinvent the wheel if you already took the time previously to write about the same/similar topic?

Believe it or not (and I’m living proof), people who value your content and thoughts will pay money for an ebook with similar information that they can find on your blog, website, etc. for free. 

Why?

Because an ebook is typically a thoughtful curation of your finest work – carefully selected in an order that is often easier to read than on a blog or website, for example. 

Of course, you wouldn’t want to have your ebook be exactly the same as your previous content – your audience will notice that you didn’t put effort into the ebook.

And if your audience notices you didn’t put in effort, they can leave their remarks via ebook reviews or lower-star ratings (which will hurt your sales and your reputation). 

Put in the work, edit the text, and make sure that the content you provide makes sense, adds value, and flows.

Your eBook Marketing Strategy

Guys and gals – I cannot say it enough: Your network is key.

How do you expect to sell your ebook if you don’t have anyone to sell it to?

Here are some things you’ll probably want:

  • A social media following
  • A website following (potentially)
  • Ambassadors to help promote your book
  • An email or e-newsletter with a wide reach

I’m not saying you need 10,000’s of followers on social media to make a profit on your ebook. In fact, you can see profitable numbers if you “just” have a few hundred followers. 

That’s because the quality of your audience matters – not the quantity.

Would you rather have 10,000 unengaged followers or 1,000 high-quality, engaged followers – who would buy your book if you push a marketing campaign their way?

I know which option I’d take.

A good marketing strategy honestly should start before you start selling your ebook. 

I started promoting my ebook the day I started writing my ebook!

Why?

Because I wanted to see if my audience was even interested in buying my ebook – I didn’t want to spend 100+ hours on my ebook if I was only going to generate $100 in sales.

Here’s what I did:

I made sure I slipped into the inboxes of all of the important “influencers” in my niche (finance) – both on and off of Twitter – and asked them their candid, honest opinion:

Would they be willing to spend $15 on another finance book?

The only caveat is that this finance book was structured as a 14-week program, with actionable advice, written in simple English without technical jargon, and offered advice from a Millennial for Millennials.

And you know what?

I had a lot of positive feedback and a lot of constructive feedback. I used that constructive feedback to improve the overall format and outline of my ebook. 

Don’t ever shy away from constructive feedback. It will make you better.

Here’s how I started my ebook marketing strategy:

  • Market ebook before it is officially published to garner interest
  • Promote your ebook 1x to 2x times per day on your social media account
  • Send invitations to your niche influencers to read & review your ebook for free
  • Ask the top influencers of your niche to share your ebook link on its official launch day

And this is what my launch tweet looked like:

Another marketing strategy is to offer your book on a pre-order basis.

You’re basically selling a product that doesn’t exist yet – and you’re still making money!

If you receive 0 interest, you can cancel your project, save yourself some time, and give everyone a refund that has purchased your pre-order. 

If your pre-orders come in hot, then you better make sure you can deliver what you promised your audience. 

Your Earning Potential

I get a lot of questions about how much money you could expect to earn with an ebook.

And the answer is this: It completely depends.

Honestly, it depends on a lot of things like:

  • Your niche
  • Your expertise
  • Your audience
  • Your popularity

When I wrote my first ebook, I was honestly a nobody – and I was writing about a topic that has been talked about so many times before.

In other words, my niche was pretty saturated.

But here’s how I differentiated myself: 

My value proposition was that I would write my personal finance book in an easy-to-read, visually effective, and story-like manner. 

I also didn’t just talk about money in the form of numbers.

I included many anecdotes, stories, and my past experiences (with my millionaire mentor) in the hopes that my readers would pick up the same valuable information that I did from my mentor.

Once my book was ready to publish, I used the publishing and sales platform known as Gumroad.

Gumroad is an online platform that offers either free accounts or premium accounts for new users (if you’re serious about making sales on Gumroad, then the premium account – although more expensive initially – is worth the price). 

I’ve published my book using the premium Gumroad account, and haven’t looked back since.

So how much can you earn by selling an ebook?

You can earn between $50 to $5,000+ per month.

How much you earn is completely up to you. 

It also largely depends on how often you market your ebook (marketing it too many times is spammy and marketing it too little won’t give you the sales). 

I promoted my ebook between 1x to 2x per day. 

That’s it. 

Just make sure that whichever platform you use to promote your new ebook (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, your website, your newsletter, etc.), you are authentic and genuine.

You don’t want to come across as pushy or aggressive, because that could cost you your followers (and likely reputation). 

You should also be aware of this:

Typically speaking, your ebook will earn you the most money at the beginning of your launch – that’s because you’ve [hopefully] promoted the ebook in the weeks and days coming up to its official launch. 

As the weeks turn into months after your ebook launch, chances are the demand (aka your profits) of your ebook will wane.

That’s totally normal and expected.

You can always bring back the original hype about your ebook by doing things like this:

  • Go on a podcast and promote your ebook
  • Add a new section or chapter to your ebook
  • Give away something for free with your ebook
  • Promote a notice that your ebook prices will increase soon

There are savvy ways to reignite the hype of your ebook. 

Or – you could simply write a new ebook!

Why Writing Ebooks is an Awesome Side Hustle

Writing (and selling!) ebooks is honestly one of the best side hustles. 

Why?

Because you can literally make money while you sleep. 

I’ve never earned money in my sleep before (aside from maybe my stock market investments), and I’ll never forget the first time I awoke to a Gumroad email on my phone that gave off a loud “ping!,” notifying me that I had just made a sale. 

I wasn’t even working!

And I made money. 

Ok, so I made $15, which in the grand scheme of things, isn’t a lot of money.

But for me, passively earning $15 from my first sale shattered a glass ceiling. 

I finally realized the power of earning passive income – and how passive income could literally change your life forever.

How?

Earning money passively – like by selling an ebook – is one of the very few ways (aside from maybe being a business owner) that can help you escape the daily grind of the 9 to 5 job. 

If your goal is to have the freedom to choose whether you want to work or spend time with your family on any given day, then passive income from ebooks could be a great start.

Your side hustle income could literally help you earn your way to early retirement.

The money that you make with passive income can help you:

  • Save more
  • Invest more
  • Pay off debt
  • Build wealth

The possibilities are endless. 

You just have to recognize the opportunity.

Closing Thoughts

If you want to earn some side income, but don’t know how, then you should seriously consider writing and selling an ebook. 

Speaking from personal experience, an ebook is one of the best side hustle incomes you can earn. I mean, who doesn’t want to earn an extra $2,000 per week?

I sure could use an extra $2,000!

The beauty of ebooks is that the process can be 100% free – you don’t have to hire an editor, an advertising agency to promote your ebook, or a publishing company. 

So aside from the opportunity cost of spending your time writing the book, you’re basically looking at a 100% profit!

Hopefully you’re not like me, where I took 4+ years to realize my vision and pursue what I love (writing and helping Millennials understand personal finance). Instead, if you are an expert in a certain area – I don’t care if it’s dog training or cookie baking – you should consider writing an ebook and using your network to promote your work. 

Don’t wait for tomorrow if you can do it today.

Your bank accounts will thank me later. 

For those of you who are wondering which ebook I wrote, mine is called How to Get Rich from Nothing. The book is designed to help you “get rich” not just financially but also “get rich” through your network, your mindset, your spirit, and your future goals.

Are you interested in writing a book? What questions do you have for Fiona on this topic?

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Source: makingsenseofcents.com

11 Side Hustles That Can Make You Money

We could all use a little extra money, and a good side hustle is one way to get it. A side hustle could help you save enough for a down payment on a car or house, fund that vacation you’ve always wanted, boost your investment portfolio, help you pay down debt or whatever you need some spare cash for.

In an ideal world, you could put your money to work and enjoy a truly passive income, or your side hustle would be so lucrative that it could finally become your main gig. But even if you have to keep your day job, a side hustle can make you money in an area you’re passionate about.

A side hustle is something you do in addition to your main job, so the best ones don’t require a lot of time, give you flexibility in when you work and can help you earn a decent amount of cash. The ideas below include a mix of low or flexible time commitment and good value for the amount of effort likely needed.

Top side hustles ideas to help you earn more

1. Walking dogs

Walking dogs sounds so old school, but it can offer a better payout than you might think. Plus, you can scale the business at least a little. Pet owners are likely to be wealthier than average (according to at least one study), and a busy pet owner in a city might not have time to walk their pooch. So they may be willing to pay you to do the job regularly — and if you coordinate things right, you may be able to walk a few dogs at a time, doubling or tripling the money you make in the same period.

If pets aren’t your thing, you could take a turn as a house sitter. While some homeowners may pay in cash, others may be away for months and offer you a place to stay, helping you save on what is probably your biggest expense.

2. Selling in an online marketplace

People are familiar with third-party selling sites such as eBay, Etsy or Amazon, but you can take it upscale by selling on a site such as Poshmark, which offers new and used fashion items. An advantage of going higher end is that you may be able to earn more for the same amount of work.

You could sell items from others who don’t have the time or ability to do it themselves. But when you develop a deeper knowledge of the market, you could take it a step further by buying the top items directly from clients and then earning that profit margin yourself.

3. Speaking engagements

Are you a master of motivation, a doyen of design or a ninja of cybersecurity? Take your expert skills and knowledge to an audience that’s willing to pay for your time. You’ll need to establish authority (through social media, blogs, books, videos or something else) and likely grow your audience first, but then you may be able to monetize that. Find a conference that’s willing to pay you to talk about what you love and then repeat the gig at new venues and for new audiences.

4. Tutoring

Everyone wants to ace the SAT or ACT or even just their next exam. Take your knowledge of the subject area and teach someone how to achieve success there. Nowadays you may even be able to do it from the safety and comfort of your own home through Zoom or other video conferencing software. If you have skills for standardized entrance exam tests for professional schools such as the GMAT or LSAT, you might be able to take things upmarket and turn an even greater profit on your time and skills.

5. Freelance writing

Freelance writing can be an attractive side hustle if you’re looking to fit in some work when you have time. It’s an even better setup if it’s in a specialized field with few competitors so that wages remain higher. Find a niche to write about, establish a reputation for turning in clean copy that needs few changes and then scale up as much as you want. You could turn that side hustle into writing about something you love or even a full-time position when you’re a known authority.

Is writing not your thing? Do the equivalent in media as a freelance video editor. Establish your credentials and then specialize in a subject area or two that you love.

6. Open a mobile business

Consider opening a mobile business for services that a user might not be able to travel to get. For example, consider a mobile service for replacing broken glass for windows in houses or cars. Schedule an appointment ahead of time and show up to fix the issue. You could focus on business outside of normal hours to establish a competitive edge and still keep your main gig.

Another option on the mobile theme could be a car detailing service. Bring your gear and get someone’s ride ready to roll in style.

7. Ride-sharing

Ride-sharing has become popular in recent years, though COVID-19 has helped put a damper on it, at least for the moment. But one benefit is the flexible hours. You may be able to work around your schedule, limiting your availability to nights or weekends, for example. Many people opt for a major ride-sharing player such as Uber or Lyft, or you may also be able to set up with a regional player.

8. Moving stuff

In a growing economy people are moving all the time, even if it’s only across town. Set yourself up as someone who can show up at any time and move that heavy item around the block or to the other side of town in your unused truck. You could expand into storing things for people while they’re in the process of moving from one residence to another.

9. Set up an online store

It’s never been easier to set up an online store through a service such as Shopify, and when you get things rolling, you really can make money while you sleep. It’s tough to beat that flexibility. Of course, the hard part is finding the products that consumers can’t live without and getting that community of people to your site. But building an online store is the kind of thing you could work on in your spare time and build out incrementally as you learn the ropes.

Bottom line

The best side hustles let you earn good money on your own terms, but it can take time to build up your side gig into something worthwhile. You’ll need to inform people of what you offer and show that you reliably deliver whatever you promise. From there you can see how big you can build your side hustle and whether it can become something even more lucrative.

Learn more:

Source: thesimpledollar.com

Buy the Dip Meaning – Pros and Cons of Stock Purchases After a Market Drop

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The expression “time is money” is true in most senses, but nowhere more so than in the stock market. 

The amount of money you make or lose when you actively trade often depends on your market-timing skills. If you time things right, you’ll buy low and sell high, making a profit. If you time your investments wrong, you’ll buy high and be forced to sell low, reaping losses. 

So, when is the best time to buy? Often, the answer is when a dip takes place. 

What Does “Buy the Dip” Mean?

The equities market is a self-balancing system based on the law of supply and demand. When there are more buyers who want a stock than sellers who want to sell it, its price increases, enticing more sellers to get involved. On the other hand, when there are more sellers than buyers, the price of the stock must fall to get buyers excited. 

In the market, you see quite a few peaks and valleys as the supply and demand equation works to find fair values of equities. 

A dip means that the price of a stock is down, but likely for a short period of time. Buying the dip is a short-term trading strategy that gives day traders the ability to exploit these short-term price drops for a profit. 

Essentially, traders buy stocks at lower prices when dips take place in hopes of turning around and selling their shares shortly after the purchase, when the price of the stock normalizes back to higher levels. The difference between the purchase price and the later sale price becomes the profit (or loss) for the trader. 


Why Are Dips Seen as Buying Opportunities?

“Buy low, sell high.” The expression is the basic premise of investing — the idea that when you buy a stock, your goal is to buy in at a low price and sell when the price increases to make a profit. 

Dip buying is a faster-paced version of doing just that. Many dips usually only last for a portion of a trading session — sometimes only a few minutes — making them perfect opportunities for quick profits from day trading. 

When a dip happens, investors who buy in enjoy a discount to the general price the stock should be trading for. It’s like finding a coupon for a product you wanted to buy anyway. And while coupons limit the amount of the product you can buy using the offer, when you find a discounted stock, you can buy as many shares as you’d like and enjoy the discount. 


Pros & Cons of Buying the Dip

At first glance, buying the dip seems like a great way to go for any investor, but you should never judge a book by its cover. As with any other investment strategy, there are potential upsides and potential downsides to consider. Here are some of the most significant pros and cons to think about before diving into dips in the market.

Pros of Buying the Dip 

Buying the dip has become a popular idea for several good reasons. Some of the most exciting benefits to taking part in the strategy include:

1. High Potential Profitability

Long-term investors don’t tend to worry about peaks and valleys in the market. Instead, they buy equities they intend to hold for a while, no matter the short-term ebbs and flows seen in its price. 

However, technical analysis pros who have the ability to time dips in the market have the potential to beat the returns of long-term investors by wide margins. After all, if you can get in at a discount, you stand to make compelling gains when the uptrend in the value of the stock commences. 

2. Dips Happen All the Time

Dips happen regardless of whether Wall Street is in the midst of a bull market or bear market. While the market is seen as a balanced system, it’s actually a constant battle between the bulls and the bears that’s always using supply and demand to work out inefficiencies. 

As a result, short-lived peaks and valleys are far more common than most newcomers to the investing community think. That means there are always opportunities somewhere.

3. Excitement

There’s a bit of excitement that comes along with a discount. After all, you work hard for your money, and if you can spend less than you expected, the transaction is going to make you feel good. The same is true whether you’re buying a new pair of jeans or shares of Apple stock. 

Cons of Buying the Dip 

At this point, you’re probably pretty excited about trying your hand at dip buying, but don’t let the allure of big profits fool you — it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Before you decide to take part in the strategy, consider the following pitfalls:

1. Volatility

The market is filled with volatile price movements, and even pros at technical analysis get it wrong from time to time. Attempting to make a quick profit in just about any space can end in a headache, and the market is no different. 

Finding the right time to jump into a stock that’s experiencing volatility is a challenge for even the most experienced traders. Beginners hoping to score a quick profit just because a stock’s price is down could be in for a bumpy ride. 

2. History Isn’t Always an Indicator of the Future

It’s a widespread saying that history repeats itself, but it’s not always true, especially when you’re talking about the market. 

The idea of buying the dip is based on the premise that a stock’s past performance is indicative of what you can expect in the future, but that’s not always the case either. 

Unfortunately, this false premise is why even the best of the best traders often make losing trades. When a dip appears, you may think it’s a good time to buy, but there’s no telling when or if the dip will correct itself. Sometimes a stock’s price goes down and stays down — or goes even lower.

3. There Could Be a Reason for the Dip

Unwarranted declines are commonplace in the market, but that doesn’t mean every dip you see is unwarranted. Sometimes, there are serious underlying issues in the business represented by the stock that causes investors to abandon ship, leading to a dip on the chart. 

Unfortunately, with buying the dip being such a fast-paced process, traders don’t always have the time to do adequate fundamental research before executing their trades. Instead, they may dive in on stocks that have fallen due to issues that aren’t likely to resolve themselves in the near term, leading to losses. 


Who Should Buy the Dip?

Buying dips in the market may seem like an exciting way to turn a profit, but most investors shouldn’t be chasing fast-paced gains in the market. For the right trader, though, buying the dip can be a good trading strategy. You may be a prime candidate for buying dips if:

1. You Are Risk-Tolerant

As mentioned above, there are significant risks that come with attempting to make meaningful profits in the market over a short period of time. The prime candidate for the strategy would be someone who isn’t afraid to lose a few bucks here and there in search of the treasure trove. 

2. You’re Skilled in Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is the process of analyzing trends in a stock chart to determine where the value of a stock is likely headed. Swing traders use indicators like support and resistance to create a theoretical range in which the value of the stock should stay, and they take advantage of various other indicators to tell them where in this range the stock is and the direction it’s likely headed next. 

The best candidate for this strategy is one who has a deep understanding of technical analysis and is able to use it to make fast-paced decisions in the market. 

3. You Don’t Care About Income From Investing

Because buying the dip is a fast-paced process, investors and traders who take advantage of the strategy will rarely hold a stock long enough to collect dividends. If you’re a long-term investor who depends on income from your investments, this strategy simply won’t fit the bill. 


Take Part in Dollar-Cost Averaging When Buying a Dip

When using the buy-the-dip investment strategy, one of the best ways to protect yourself from significant losses is to employ dollar-cost averaging. 

The reality is that when you buy a dip, you’re buying a stock that’s trending downward, and there’s no 100% accurate way to tell where the bottom is. As a result, if you’re making a large purchase into a dip, it’s best to spread your purchase over time by making multiple smaller purchases. 

For example, say you notice a stock is on a downtrend and you believe the trend will last no more than a couple of trading sessions. Instead of buying 100 shares of the stock right now, you might decide that you’ll buy five blocks of 20 shares, with each purchase taking place an hour apart. 

In doing so, if the price of the stock continues to fall after the first purchase, the later purchases at lower prices bring the average price you pay for all the shares down, increasing your overall earnings potential when the dip subsides and the stock makes its way back up. 


Can Long-Term Investors Benefit From Buying the Dip?

While most dips in the market tend to be incredibly short term, making them best for traders rather than long-term investors, there are some instances when long-term focused investors can benefit from buying the dip and using dollar-cost averaging in the process. 

One of the best recent examples of this was during the coronavirus pandemic. When the pandemic set in, the overall market experienced painful declines as the global economy took a major hit. During this time, countless individual stocks quickly became undervalued. 

The declines during the pandemic started in late February and found the bottom by late March. Even long-term investors who weren’t trading stocks daily had time to put extra money to work in the market. After the month-long market bloodbath, stocks began to recover. Investors with a long-term outlook who took the opportunity to buy new shares as prices were falling started to benefit greatly. 

So, while the buy-the-dip concept is generally seen as a trading strategy, in some cases, it makes for a great investing strategy as well. 


Final Word

Buying the dip is an exciting concept. After all, who doesn’t want a discount on a product they’re purchasing, be it a toy for their kids or a share of stock? 

However, the concept can also be dangerous. After all, when stocks fall, there are often reasons for the declines, and the dips seen in the stock chart could become long-term headaches. 

Nonetheless, with a little research, you’ll be able to tell whether there’s a serious reason for the declines or if the dip is likely to be short lived. So, when taking advantage of the buy-the-dip strategy, as is the case when making any other investment decision, it’s important to do your research and get an understanding of what you’re buying before you make the purchase. 

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Source: moneycrashers.com