Category Archives for Save Money

19 Best Time-Saving Tools & Resources

In the spirit of full transparency, know that this time-saving tools and resources post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. In fact, you may receive a discount or some money for free! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

You probably know there are thousands of time-saving tools and resources. But knowing which ones to use can sometimes waste more time than anything.

Time saving recommended resources
Pin me!

Most people think that it’s super hard to do all the extra things they want each day. However, by using these time-saving tools and resources it’s possible to be way more efficient with your time and money.

This resource page is a list of the recommended services, products and companies that I use or have used that I KNOW are valuable. They can save you hours of time each week, which can make a huge difference in your productivity and sanity!

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money but you cannot get more time. Jim Rohn 

Recommended Blogging Resources


Hosting

Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate

Are you interested in making money online to free up your time?

Maybe you’ve started a blog or maybe you have an existing business that isn’t being well promoted online. Or maybe you would just like to know where to start…

Wealthy Affiliate literally holds your hand into getting an online business set up and driving FREE traffic to your website.

This is my TOP recommended blogging resource!

The reason for this is because it’s not only a hosting platform for up to 50 websites. It also comes with:

  • Affiliate marketing training (120 lessons with video and text, that is constantly updated, plus weekly live webinars)
  • Keyword research tool (Jaaxy costs $49/ Month by itself)
  • The support and community are second to none (there is always someone on live chat with over 1.5 million members)
  • & too much more to put in this time-saving tools and resources post

It’s completely free to start and costs $359 a year for the pro membership (there are many courses that cost more than this alone and come with none of the added benefits or support groups). If you’d like to learn more, check out my review here

Bluehost

Bluehost

Maybe you already know what you’re doing with blogging and you just need to get your hosting (essential for monetising your blog and getting it ranked on search engines).

I used to use Bluehost as it’s super easy and affordable to use and you can start from $3.95 per month through this link

If you are new to blogging I’d recommend getting the one-year hosting plan which will cost you just under $72.

Build Email Lists

MailChimp

Mailchimp

Autoresponders are crucial blogging resources. 

It’s how you build a real relationship with your readers.

If you’re just starting out and you have 0 email subscribers, you’ll likely want to join a FREE autoresponder such as MailChimp

However, I wish I knew this from the start…

I started with MailChimp and found it very frustrating to have to manually change all of my opt-in forms on EVERY post when I finally did upgrade to a superior autoresponder… plus it’s just clunky and awkward (but you don’t know what you don’t know!)

ConvertKit

ConvertKit

Wow, this is so much easier!

You can create as many sequences, automations and opt-in forms as you like.

Combine that with the awesome analytics to see what your readers open and click it becomes very easy to provide personalised and specific information that suits your readers.

It does cost $29 a month but if you’re serious about making money online an autoresponder cannot be overlooked. Try ConverKit out for 14 days for free here.

I actually tried a lot of different autoresponders for the free tirals when I made the switch (GetResponse, Aweber, MailerLite, SendLane).

But none of these compared with the ease of use, analytics and quality layout of ConvertKit in my opinion

For Traffic

Tailwind

Tailwind

Pinterest is THE best way to get traffic for free quickly to a new blog.

Fact.

The main reason for this is because it acts in a similar way as Google (sending users to content). But it’s possible to create viral pins and get traffic much quicker than it takes for Google to recognise your website. Read more about this in “5 Secret Pinterest Hacks to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Tailwind’s now the only legitimate partner to Pinterest and is a way that you can automate your pins (rather than sitting on Pinterest all day or waking up at silly O’Clock to pin at the best time for your audience).

You can give it a try with 100 pins for free here. It will cost $9.99 a month after that to continue but it’s one of the things I wish I purchased much sooner than I did as it saves soooo much time and brings in sooo much traffic!

Create Pins/ Design Logo’s

PowerPoint

Now, I can almost hear your mind saying… SERIOUSLY???

Well… yes

For 3 main reasons:

  1. You probably already know how to use it (thank you ICT @ school!)
  2. It’s easier to create designs that STAND OUT on Pinterest (everyone else uses Canva!)
  3. You have more control over the details and design (i.e. using shadows to make words “pop” out)
Do you notice the difference between my old pins (left) and new ones (right)?

I didn’t want to believe this either until I tried out BTOP’s $9 “Create the perfect pin” course. This was a HUGE game changer in seeing some awesome traffic from Pinterest and it walks you through how Jeff and Ben have designed their pins to help them grow their websites to over $240k/ month business.

The Perfect Pin course
Click the picture to see more about this insanely cost-effective course

True story- I didn’t try this course for a few months because I thought it couldn’t be much good for $9… I kicked myself hard when I tried it!

Canva

Canva

An amazing FREE graphic designer website. You can design some amazing pins (for Pinterest) blog cover pics and logos here. 

Graphic designers are highly recommended for blogging resources but I’ve already mentioned how you can use programs such as Powerpoint to get the same if not better results.

I have also used Snappa in the past but I don’t recommend it as it costs around $10 a month… I would highly recommend using a free tool and getting Tailwind for this money.

For Writing

Grammarly

Grammarly

I’m not sure how I ever used to live without this one!

Grammarly fixes spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes online so you can write freely knowing a big red line will show up whenever you misspell something simple!

Another great free extension. It has a paid version but the free one is great for the basics.

A massive tip is to use a hypnotic writing cheatsheet and analogy book so you can go edit your writing with words that scientifically proven to increase reader engagement. Get yours for free here…

Podcast Resources


Podbean

Podbean

You also need hosting (somewhere to store it) to put a podcast out there into the world.

Podbean is user-friendly, has no limits to how much you can produce in a month (great for long formats/ interviews) whilst also the most friendly way to do this on your pocket ($9 a month)

Audacity

Audacity

This is another free resource and is fricking awesome!

It’s easy enough to learn how to use with a couple of YouTube videos or just playing around and it can help to produce a professional-sounding podcast quickly. Did I mention Audacity it’s free?

Levelator

Levelator

Have you ever listened to a podcast where someone is being interviewed and one voice is WAY louder than the other?

Problem solved with Levelator… another free resource!

Ecamm recorder

Ecamm Recorder

If you intend on interviewing people you will need a way to record your voice… and their voice!

Ecamm call recorder for Skype is so simple to use and only costs $39.95 for life.

Recommended Time Saving Resources


For Learning

Audible

Audible

Easily one of the best apps EVER! 

If you find it hard to find the time to read, check out Audible. It’s an amazing use of time (check out the NETIME life hack). 

Listen to some of the best advice from the worlds most successful people on your phone, laptop, iPad, Alexa anywhere ANYTIME!

I pay £69.99 for 12 books over a year. There are alternative memberships such as 3 books a month for a free 30-day trial then $14.95 after. 

If you don’t know what books to start with check out the Best Self Development Books of all Time.

Podcasts

Overcast

Fits in nicely with the above and you can find some amazing information for FREE using this app.

Overcast massively improves your podcast listening. It’s great for customising playlists and has a cool “smart speed” feature that speeds up in silences and plays at a comfortable listening speed. 

Apple Podcast works well for iPhone users too obviously!

Blinkist

Blinkist

Blinkist is NETime on crack!

Would you like to be able to read 4 books a day? With this app, you genuinely can get the best information from some of the world’s most productive people in 15 minutes. 

Honest!

There is written and audio format so if you have a spare 15 minutes on the way to work you can get some amazing little gems of information here. 

I pay $89.99 for an annual membership for unlimited summarised books. 

For Productivity

Trello

Trello

Don’t you hate it when you get interrupted? Isn’t it impossible to remember the things you had to do from the day before?

This is one of the top time-saving tools and resources.

This app how I plan my weeks, days and effectively my life… and Trello is FREE!

Asana

Asana

Like Trello but better if you like lists.

You can be as glamorous as you like with Asana, but I keep it simple. 

I have a project for each quarter of the year. I then have a “to do” list, a “to do this week” list, “started” and “done”.

Time-Saving Tools and Resources

It’s amazing because you can move the tasks along as you go and it helps to remember to do all those pesky things that you usually forget like pay a bill, do a tax return or call your Mum (jokes… I always remember that Mum!)

It’s a great tool to use if you are delegating tasks in a small team or to a VA and it’s again a free tool!

Evernote

Evernote

Ahhhhh my digital brain.

If you don’t use this I literally do not understand how you can cope!! One of the best time-saving tools and resources around.

Have you ever been out and about for someone ask you what your date of birth is and you had a complete brain fart?! 

Evernote doesn’t EVER fart with its brain… EVER!

It remembers your passport details, your tax number, your companies address, that great article that you read on your phone when you were on the loo… it remembers everything and more.

Some awesome benefits… 

  1. You can search for anything and it finds it (including handwritten notes!!) 
  2. It works offline and then stores it when you get the Internet again
  3. It’s FREE!

Recommended Money Saving/ Making Resources


For Investing

Vanguard

Vanguard

If you live in Australia, the UK or the USA then investing in index funds through Vanguard is the best way to earn passive income. 

On average you will receive a conservative 7% a year on average (some years it may be much higher and some years it can be negative)

There really is NO better way to earn passive income than through the ultimate strategy for index funds. Read more about the ultimate strategy to earn passive income and retire early here.

Saxo

Saxo Bank

If you are an expat or live somewhere else, then you can invest in index funds through ETF’s. Be sure to check out the 3 part podcast series to see why, how and the best strategy to invest in index funds here.

You can still invest in index funds through ETF’s from Saxo bank.

Bullion Vault

BullionVault

I’m not going to go in too much detail here about why to invest in gold and silver as I find people tend to fall asleep but if you want more information about this check out this post!

BullionVault stands out to other ways to invest in precious metals because:

  • It has low storage fees (0.12% a year for gold and 0.48% for silver/ platinum)
  • The best prices you’ll find to buy gold or silver (it’s peer to peer trading)
  • You own contracts for physical metals

To Track Money

Toshl

Toshl

Toshl is another FREE app to track your expenses. 

It’s such a pain trawling through bank statements to see what you’ve spent each month, which is a big reason why people don’t do it!

If you put in your expenses each time you spend money on something toshly will put all of them into categories and neatly organise it for you!

Surveys

Legit Survey Sites That Pay You Money

Would you like to get paid for filling out surveys online?

Here are Make Time Online’s top 5 survey site recommendations:

It’s the easiest and quickest way to make a bit of cash online and you can save loads of time by doing these 3 things:

  1. Set up a separate email address for emails
  2. Join as many good sites as possible
  3. Cash-out as soon as possible

Find out more in the best 15 survey sites to get paid real money here.

Travel Resources

BA Amex Card

Amex

Would you like to receive a business class flight from London to New York each year?

By spending on this Amex and working with your partner you can easily get enough points to do this.

Click here to get a bonus 6,000 points when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months!

Plus it’s a FREE card… an absolute no-brainer!

Uber 

Uber

Imagine how would you feel if you could take your own personal driver anywhere in the world?

Well with Uber you pretty much can!

Plus it’s cheaper than a normal taxi

Plus it’s often quicker than to call a taxi

And you can often get in a NICER taxi

If you don’t already have it get Uber now… plus get a FREE ride with this link!


So there you have the best time-saving tools and resources I have personally found. Did you find anything new here? Want to add anything else? Drop a comment below…

Keep changing for the better,

Mike

P.S. Are you looking to get more traffic to your website? Find out the #1 way that new sites get thousands of views a month quickly by clicking here.

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    How to Boost Avios Points to Fly Business Class

    There may be affiliate links in this article on how to boost Avios points, read the full disclaimer here.

     

    Imagine if you could get a business class flight every year for less than the cost of an economy flight from London to New York.

    As you scan every word of this web page you will begin to discover new ways of how to boost Avios points to travel in style.

    You don’t know it yet but, at the end of this page, you will feel amazed at just how simple this is!

     

     

    Visualise yourself arriving at the airport to be escorted through the check-in process and security without having to queue up. 

    See yourself entering the luxurious business lounge without having to cram into a packed Weatherspoons.

    Just think about how easy travelling like this will be and how good that all you can eat buffet will taste.

    And when you finally get on the plane you will sink deeper and deeper into the comfortable business class seats.

     

     

    What are Avios Points? 


    Have you ever heard of those jet-setters that seem to get a load of stuff for free? 

    Yeah like they fly business class or stay in UBER nice hotels?

    Chances are they collect some form of loyalty points!

    Well, Avios just happens to be a type of loyalty point that ANYONE can collect by spending money on certain credit cards. 

    The beauty is that you can carry on spending like normal. 

    Here’s how you earn points using certain credit:

    • Earn 1 point per £1 spent
    • Earn 1.5 points per £1 spent with certain credit cards
    • You can earn 3 points per £1 spent on BA flights
    • Earn reward points when you spend a certain amount within your first few months of Cardmembership

    Do you see that you don’t have to keep flying with the same airline for 10 years to get enough points for a flight to Paris? 

    Chances are that you may be wasting a return business class flight EVERY year from London to New York by not using Avios points! 

    The more you keep reading this document the more you feel excited about being able to travel like this!

    Read on to find out how to boost Avios points…

     

    how to boost avios points

     

    Important note- Avios travel rewards program UK are now closed. But don’t worry your Avios points will just move to the British Airways Executive account (which still provides great options on flights, hotels, experiences and more…)

     

    Who is This Information for? 


    In a few short minutes, you will see how to boost your Avios points. 

    This page is for people that:

    • Live in the UK
    • Want to fly medium to long haul distance business class flights to or from the UK
    • Spend at least £25,000 a year
    • Would like to enjoy a holiday or trip in style without having to pay a small fortune
    • Are interested in staying in top class hotels when travelling
    • Want a simple strategy to follow to accumulate the points to receive a business class flight (an equivalent distance of London to New York)

    So, read on to see how you can use the “how to boost Avios points for FREE” section. 

     

    how to boost avios points

     

    Don’t Waste Your Avios Points on Certain Flights


    It’s important to note here that the flights you can get from your Avios points are NOT FREE!! 

    You will still have to pay tax and fees.

    Therefore, it is almost pointless to use your points on short-haul flights around Europe. Budget airlines will nearly always be a similar (if not better!) price to the fees you will pay through your Avios points. 

    For example:

    Comparing an off-peak London to Barcelona return flight in February 2019 between what you can get for your Avios points and what you find on Skyscanner (real flight cost)…

    Remember, 1 point equates to roughly £1, so to waste 13,000 points on a short flight to save £50 would be more silly than a clown at a 4-year-old’s birthday partay!

     

    Related Articles:

     

    Fly Like Royalty for Peanuts


    Now, let me ask you this…

    If you were able to fly business class for the price of economy or less would you be interested?

    The more you keep reading this document the more you realise how this is possible.

    But you will have to use your points wisely to make the most of this strategy!

     

    For example: 

    • Off-peak London to New York return in April 2019.

     

     

    Are you beginning to notice that it’s not always worth using your points for certain flights? 

    This is because the difference for an economy flight would only save you £30 but cost a heap of points. 

    Alternatively, you could save over 5 times the amount to fly like a prince or princess if you accumulate the points.

    Don’t worry! Read on to see how to boost Avios points to achieve these numbers for us “normal people”!

     

    Here’s another real-life example: 

    • Doha to London return flight June to August 2019 (outbound to London is off-peak but the return is a peak flight).

    The real flight cost has two numbers showing the direct flight and the cheapest flight (found on Skyscanner). 

     

     

    An option like this would be personal preference and depend on how much travelling you do in a year. 

    Taking the economy option here could leave extra points for additional flights in the year.

    But you would make almost 13 times the savings on a business class direct flight if you had the points!!

    Speaking of getting enough points, here is the juicy section on how to boost Avios points…

     

    How to Boost Avios Points for FREE!


    Now, I can almost hear your mind saying

    But I don’t spend £100,000 on credit cards each year!

    Well, my clever amigo, these little tricks are the best thing since sliced bananas!

     

    Warning!! This is only an option for people who are debt free and financially savvy. If you have a load of credit card debt and do not have control of your finances (sign up below to get control!) then DO NOT use this technique!!

     

     

     

     

    3 ways to get EYE-POPPING results & how to boost Avios points:

    1. Become a POWERHOUSE with your spouse (hey that rhymes!)
    2. Cancel Avios cards, wait six months are you’re eligible to receive the “up-to-20k” bonus!
    3. Use the old “Refer a friend” trick!

     

    If you’re still thinking “what the heck are you chatting about Willis” let me use an example to explain:

     

    How to boost Avios points to earn 84,000 points a year without paying fees 

    Here’s an example of what you can do as a couple if you spend £25,000 a year on credit cards (obviously you’ve downloaded the budget sheet above to calculate how much you spend already!)

    • Mike takes out a BA Amex card and spends £1,000 within the first 3 months to receive a bonus 5,000 points (6,000 for you if you use this link!)
    • Mike adds Sarah (his wife) as a secondary card owner of the BA Amex card
    • Sarah takes out the Amex Gold and spends £2,000 within the first 3 months to earn 20,000 points (22,000 for you if you use this link!)
    • Sarah refers Mike to the Amex Gold card for an additional 9,000 points
    • Mike spends £2,000 in the first 3 months on the Gold card to get 22,000 bonus points
    • They both cancel their Gold card as soon as this is done (they pay no fee as the first year is free!)
    • They focus on mainly spending on the BA Amex card to reach £20,000 by the end of the year to receive the companion voucher (buy one get one free plane ticket… Yes, ANY ticket… Even First Class!)
    • So after one year of spending £25,000, they will also accumulate 25,000 points.

    And here is the maths:

    • 5,000
    • 20,000
    • 9,000
    • 22,000
    • 25,000

    = 81,000 points!! (use the above links and yours would be 84,000 points!)

     

    Therefore, this can get you AND your partner a return flight to Sydney on an economy or premium economy to Dubai for the price of fees and taxes!

     

    how to boost avios points

     

     

    The Ultimate Strategy- How to Boost Avios Points to Recieve 113,500 Points


    Ok pumpkin, are you ready to see how you can stand out like an honest man in the White House?

    The same principles apply as above. 

    Spend £25,000 a year on credit cards as a couple… but chuck in one £195 fee 

    Is £195 worth 30,000 points to you?… 

    You decide…

    • Mike takes out a BA Amex Premium Plus card and spends £3,000 within the first 3 months to receive a bonus 25,000 points. Plus he pays £195 fee.
    • Mike adds Sarah as a secondary card owner of the BA Amex Premium Plus card
    • Sarah (his wife) takes out the Amex Gold and spends £2,000 within the first 3 months to earn 20,000 points (22,000 for you if you use this link!)
    • Sarah refers Mike to the Amex Gold card for an additional 9,000 points
    • Mike spends £2,000 in the first 3 months on the Gold card to get 22,000 bonus points
    • They both cancel their Gold card as soon as this is done (they pay no fee as the first year is free!)
    • They focus on mainly spending on the BA Amex Premium Plus card to reach £10,000 by the end of the year to receive the companion voucher (buy one get one free plane ticket… Yes, ANY ticket… Even First Class!)
    • So after one year of spending £25,000 (£4,000 on the Gold card), they will also accumulate 35,500 points (the Premium card is 1.5 points per £1 spent).

    Therefore, the maths is:

    • 25,000
    • 20,000
    • 9,000
    • 22,000
    • 35,500

    = 111,500 (113,500 for you if you use the above link)

    This can take you AND your partner to Dubai on a business class return flight!

     

    STOP

    It doesn’t end there!

    Because only one of you is the main cardholder, the other one can become the main cardholder NEXT YEAR.

    Plus the Gold cards will have been cancelled for over six months soooo…

    Get on it like shit on velcro

     

    Can You Transfer These Points Onto One Account?

    Does Pamela Anderson have trouble seeing her belly button?

    Once both your spouse and your own points are into your BA Executive accounts (use the Amex app!) it’s super easy to get all of these points into one account.

    So this allows you to make the most of that companion voucher (you only get one a year).

    Then log into your BA Executive Club, click “manage my account”, click “my household account” and fill in the details. 

    Jobs a goodun!

     

    how to boost avios points

     

    Have you noticed yet how simple this is to do?

    Once you have your cards all you have to do it follow this plan!

     

    Make sure you pin this post so you can come back to it in the future as a reminder…

     

     

    Where Can Avios Points Take You? 


    The closer and closer you get to the end of this article the more excited you start to feel about how to boost Avios points to fly business class.

    Here are two tables showing how many points it costs to fly to different zones for all different flight classes…

     

    how to boost avios points

    how to boost avios points

     

    Plus, this is pretty much the zone areas for where you can fly to from the UK…

    how to boost avios points

     

    How to Boost Avios Points Summary


    Are you beginning to see how simple it is to boost those Avios points?

    Little by little you have found out how to use these points to travel like royalty.

    Using the companion ticket really does make flying in business class or even first class an excellent use of the points. 

    However, some people will use these points to upgrade to an awesome 5-star hotel when they are on the trip.

    Your points.

    You decide.

    YOLO (sorry to finish with that I just felt it was fitting)

     

    Keep changing for the better,

    Mike

     

    p.s. If you are interested in making money online to free up your time, have a look at my #1 recommended program here, which I am currently using.

     

    p.p.s. If you have any questions or thoughts about how to boost Avios points please feel free to drop a comment below… or send me a message on WA here

    How we Save £30,000 a Year and Travel as Teachers

    There may be affiliate links in this article on how to save money and travel, read the full disclaimer here.

    Imagine what it would be like if you could save £30,000 a year and travel…

     

    how to save money and travel

     

    You probably know that £30,000 a year may seem like a ridiculous amount to some people, and like peanuts to others. But for teachers in the UK this is literally impossible… literally.

    So how do we do it? 

    As you read this web page you’ll see it’s beacuse of two things:

    1. We are international teachers
    2. We set ourselves possibly the most boring & cringy sounding word in the world… a budget

    So grab a cuppa and read on to find out how to save money and travel.

    What is Monthly Budgeting?


    Planning what you are going to spend money on for the next month.

    Some people hear the word budget and associate a stingy prick that is tighter than Tom Cruise’s T-shirt on Dwayne Johnson.

    Now, let me ask you this, “Do you like to eat out? Or do you like to drink Chateaux Neuf De Pape? Or do you like to travel?”

    Wouldn’t it be amazing to do more of the things that you love?… Well, that’s what a budget can allow you to do…

     

    “The first step is acceptance.”

     

    But it Sounds Sooooooo Boring

    I’m not gunna lie, it ain’t all rainbow and butterflies!

    But it can actually be quite enjoyable or at worst relatively painless. Here’s why:

    You get to plan fun things that you want to do!

    Scientific FACT:

    Planning fun things helps to improve happiness levels… Not only do you get a “buzz” when you plan it, you also get a buzz when you do it. 

    2 for the price of 1 amigo!

    As you absorb this information, you’ll discover how to save money and travel.

    Who Should Use a Monthly Household Budget?


    Everyone!

    The right question should be… “Do you want to live your entire life working paycheck to paycheck?”

    If you answered yes to that, then by all means never set a budget and wave your hard earned cash goodbye. You will quickly find there’s not enough month at the end of the money.

     

    Here is a short list of people that should set a budget:

    • Anyone that wants to retire before 82 years old
    • Someone receiving benefits each month
    • A city banker earning 7 figures a year
    • Football players that have earnt more £’s than seconds that have walked the planet. 

    I think you get the point… 

     Use this template to find out how to save money and travel.

     

    How to Save Money and Travel- Organise the Budget


    Here is the very advanced process we use to set a budget:

    1. Think about what we are going to do next month
    2. Write down how much this will cost (roughly)

     

    It is obviously going to be personal preference on what your outgoings will be. But most people will have these main categories:

    • Accomodation
    • Food
    • Entertainment
    • Transport/ Travel
    • Other

     

    It doesn’t have to be hard!

    KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid

     

    Top Tips:

    • If you want to save a certain amount of money put this aside FIRST!! 
    • Work out how much money you have to spend and decide what your main priorities are (it’s important to understand your own values and life vision… click here to find out more about this)
    • Ask yourself “How can I afford this?” instead of saying “I can’t afford that”. Your mind will find ways to change spending habits if you actually want something instead of switching your brain off.
    • Start thinking about how you will use the money you save. This will give you a reason WHY and if you’ve ever spoken to a 3-year-old you will know explaining “why” is important to human beings.

     

    how to save money and travel
    3 weeks in Bali – One of the 17 countries we have travelled to since 2016

    Personal Financial Statement Template


    Are you beginning to see how to save money and travel?

    Setting a budget can really help right?

    As you are about to find out…budget setting is NOTHING compared to working out you personal financial statement.

    Drift back to a time when you didn’t have to worry about finances… If you are like 99% of the world you were thinking about your childhood (or maybe babyhood!) 

    Doing this step can help you experience these feelings again.

    I’m not going to pretend like completing this is super easy but I GUARANTEE, if you do this you will learn everything that you need to know about your current financial situation. 

     

    You can’t really know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.

     

    You probably know that successful people are not just born successful. They do things that “normal people” aren’t prepared to do. 

    If there is only one thing you do today then let it be this…

    Get this template and fill it in! Like right now… if you wait until tomorrow it will never come

      

     

    Start With a Simple Monthly Budget Worksheet

    The further on you read the more you’ll begin to understand how much you can learn about yourself from doing this task properly. 

    The idea came to me from reading Rich Dad Poor Dad in 2014 (Yes, I was 25 years old before I even thought about setting a budget).

    Since completing this it has made me more aware of every financial decision I make.

    Therefore, it’s crucial for how to save money and travel.

    And it is incredible to see how much our financial statement has changed since then (the first statement is June 2014, the second is December 2018)

    Look at your past month’s bank statements and work out where last months expenses went right now. You can thank me later…

     

    If you aim for nothing you will hit it every time.

    Zig Ziglar

    Track Previous Months Expenses


    “Why do you keep telling me to do boring things?!”

    I’m not telling you to do it I’m just showing you what I do.

    Like you read earlier… I like to keep the monthly budget as simple as possible.

    This means I can do it when sitting at the pool on my phone or in a notebook. The more complicated it is the less likely I will do it!

     

     

    Sarah and I sit down every 3 months to reflect on our goals and to set the next 3 months goals.

    So this time is crucial to think about how to save money and travel.

    I use this time to check our income and expenses over the past 3 months and compare this to our budgets. 

    The first time I did this I was really slack and just guestimated figures. 

    I eventually got around to checking bank statements and going into more detail.

    It has been EYE POPPINGLY opening to say the least!

    We were spending over £650 PER month on alcohol… That’s around £8,000 a year on feeling like s***!

    Money well spent?… I don’t think so.

    We were able to cut down on things that weren’t bringing us happiness (even though we thought they were), which meant we had more money to spend on doing things we love (i.e. travelling!)

    What Does Our Statement Look Like?


    Can you recall a time when someone has told you about budgeting?

    If you are like me you probably just want to see an example.

    So here is what our package is as international teachers in Qatar.

    • £3,000 a month (with stipend positions)
    • Accomodation is provided
    • We get our phone bill & laptop included
    • 1 Return flight home a year
    • Tax-free earnings (the biggie in the Middle East)

    = £6,000 a month income roughly

    Expenses (on average)

    • House expenses (bills, furniture, repairs, cleaning etc.)- £500
    • Transport- £500
    • Travel- £800
    • Food/ drink/ health- £1,000
    • Entertainment- £200

    =£3,000 a month expenses

    Travel and our health is important to us. It means we often have months where we spend less money to allow for trips to places that we want to go during the breaks. 

     

    How can I afford this? Helps your brain find a solution

     

    Make Time Online Summary


    Budgets are NOT sexy.

    But they do NOT have to be boring. 

    Now, I would like to help you experience what it’s like to get your finances in check. 

    Have you noticed yet that budgeting not only does this but is also a way to plan exciting things in the upcoming month?

    Making a budget each month is more important than ketchup is to a bacon butty.

    When you try this free financial statement you will discover why we continue to use it, years after we started. 

     

    If you fail to plan… you are planning to fail.

     

    Keep changing for the better,

    Mike

    Note- we do not just have our money sitting in a bank account. We set up a plan for what we wanted to use the money for and our goals have helped to hold us accountable. Without this plan, we probably would have spent this money on “stuff” because that is human nature! That’s the key for how to save money and travel

    p.s. If you are interested in making money online to free up your time, have a look at my #1 recommended program here, which I am currently using.

    p.p.s. If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to drop a comment below… or send me a message on WA here

    how to save money and travel

    How Our Wealth is Being Stolen


    Sarah’s Grandparents bought their family home in London in the 1960’s for about £4,000. It is now worth around £450,000! It has increased by 11,250% in under 60 years! Or the annual growth has been 8.48% on average!

    I know what you’re thinking… Property in the UK (especially London) is an amazing asset… NO, NO, NO and NO!!

    If this is the case, everything is an amazing asset… because of inflation, our wealth is being stolen!

    The average annual growth of 5 common assets since 1960.

    You may be wondering if it’s even worth reading this drudge! But if I do this properly I hope you can understand the current world monetary system a bit better. I promise to try to keep it as simple to understand as possible (please note I don’t claim to know everything about it and I would highly recommend doing your own research to back this up)…

    I am not a financial advisor but this may affect every future financial decision you make.

     

    What is inflation?


    First of all, it’s important to understand what inflation should not be. It should not be the price of things going up.

    The definition of inflation should be the expansion of the currency supply from money being printed (the government call this the monetary base). If there is more money available to buy the same things, it is natural for the price of goods and services to go up.

    The price of things going up is really a SYMPTOM of inflation. The reason we can tell this is by looking at some history.

    The US dollar came into existence around 1775. Prices of goods were only 20% higher in 1913, and were actually 40% lower than they were during the war of 1812. So it’s fair to say that prices went up AND down in this time frame.

     

    REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 1775-1913:

    • Term: 138 years
    • Amount to save initially: $1,000
    • Amount to add each year: $100
    • Interest paid annually: 3%
    • Total amount in 1913: $252,736
    • Amount of inflation since start date: 20%
    • Total paid in: $14,800
    • Inflation-adjusted amount (1775 purchasing power): $210,630

    There are 2 things to note from this example:

    1. Interest rates were consistently higher than 3% for this period- so the final amount could have been much higher
    2. It used to make sense to save money because inflation didn’t really exist.

     

    However, in 1913 the federal reserve was created. This is a PRIVATE organisation, with a balance of ZERO in its bank account who have managed to control the world monetary system as we know it today. This PRIVATE organisation decides when to “print money”.

    They have played a huge role in removing the dollar from the gold standard. Currencies used to be pegged to gold i.e. $20 US would buy 1 ounce of gold. This means that it is easy for governments to print money as it doesn’t really matter how much money exists as it is not backed to anything (this is called a fiat currency).

    Since 1933 (when currency started to get removed from the gold standard) inflation has rocketed. See the graph below:

    It’s important to understand the difference in definitions of inflation. Not only has inflation been recorded as rocketing from 1933 but the world’s monetary supply is currently increasing MUCH faster than the price of goods and services (so the graph above should actually look a lot worse!)

    This begs us to ask the question… why are the prices of “things” not increasing at the same rate as inflation?

     

    How does the government measure inflation?


    Most people know that the government doesn’t want to look bad… Well, inflation is one way the guy in charge can look bad! If prices of things go up a lot in a short space of time, the public would question this and could potentially revolt against the system.

    The CPI (Consumer Price Index) is how the government reports inflation. However, they should probably call this the CP-Lie (see what I did there!!)

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) takes a selection of goods and services and tracks their prices throughout the years. This is a perfectly logical way of checking inflation… Apart from they don’t use the ACTUAL price and they don’t always use the SAME items each year!!

     

    The sneaky buggers can use 3 ways to make inflation seem more “acceptable”:

     

    1. Deletion (Governments rational- just bin that one lads, it’s gone up 10%!! Food and energy are too volatile and seasonal. It’s OK though because no one actually needs food or petrol anyway?!?)
    2. Substitution (Erm… lets also just compare that Sainsbury’s finest beef to this Tesco Value chicken… Hey it’s now 10% cheaper for that comparison… BONUS!!)
    3. Hedonic adjustment (knock the price down because the quality has gone up e.g. because cars now have reverse cameras (or better technology) in them lets just say this £10,000 Kia is only £9,000. That sounds fair doesn’t it fellas!?”)

     

     

    From 2000 to 2008 inflation was reported at 22% using the “CP-Lie”. Inflation has never been over 4% since 1992 and was often below 2% according to the “CP-Lie”.

    Using data from ShadowStats.com the CPI has actually been over 6% annually from 1992-2008 and the latter years has been over 10%. So a more accurate CPI would be a 64% increase from 2000-2008

    This means that if you have money sitting in a bank it is LOSING purchasing power all the time… and not just by a little bit but as much as a 10% decrease in purchasing power in one year!

     

    REAL LIFE EXAMPLE 1913-2041:

    • Term: 138 years (to make it comparable to the first example)
    • Amount to save initially: $1,000
    • Amount to add each year: $100
    • Interest paid annually: 3%
    • Total amount in 2018:$252,736
    • Amount of inflation since 1913: 2446% (this is up to 2018… the inflation will be MUCH higher by 2041)
    • Total paid in: $14,800
    • Inflation-adjusted amount (1913 purchasing power): $9,927

    There are 2 things to note from this example:

    1. Banks do not currently pay anywhere near 3% and there will be more inflation- so the final amount will be much lower!
    2. Our wealth is being stolen by inflation. The numbers may be going up, but is our purchasing power?

     

    The table on the right shows the CPI (more accurately the CP-Lie!) and monetary base since 1960.

    As you can see in the highlighted cell, the monetary base (real inflation) has increased at 10.6% per year on average since 1960 (which makes investing in property in London not look as amazing as we first thought!)

    Looking at this more closely you can see that CPI pretty much kept up with inflation until the 1990’s e.g. in 1978 the monetary base increased by 11.4% and in 1981 the CPI was 10.3%, which makes perfect sense!

    However, in 2008 the monetary base increased by 99% (So it had taken about 220 years to expand the US monetary base and in one year they doubled it! Yes you are reading that right!!) but the CPI only increased by 3.2% in 2011. If this is not enough proof that the CPI is being manipulated then I’m not sure what is!

    Note all this information is hidden in plain sight. Have a look at statista.com and please do your own research to back this up!

     

    What should we do?


    I am very aware that this is not interesting to most people and graphs and numbers can seem very confusing. So I want to try and explain what this means for us in day to day life.

    If you like the vast majority of people interested in saving for your future and are working hard for your money and living frugally, then here are my top tips:

    Tip #1 – Do NOT stick your money in a bank and leave it there!! You obviously want some sort of buffer in a bank account that you can access instantly in emergencies. Some people recommend 3-6 month worth of expenses but I think if you have some more liquid assets (easily accessible such as stocks or gold) then you don’t even need this much depending on your lifestyle or job.

    Tip #2 – Educate yourself more about different investments and asset classes that interest you. There are 4 main asset classes: Property (or real estate if you’re not from the UK), business (read more here about business CENTS), commodities (gold, silver, oil, wheat etc.) and paper assets (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or index funds).

    Tip #3 – Do NOT just invest for the long haul. Due to the current financial system and inflation, you will not actually be improving your purchasing power even if you make 8% return every year. It is possible to make a much better return in every asset class listed above but to do this you need to invest in yourself and educate yourself!

    Tip #4 – Build your network- Start talking to new people who know what they’re doing. This has never been easier! With social media, you can literally join a group on Facebook, become active on there each day and after a month you will know who knows what they’re talking about and who doesn’t. Just send them a private message and ask them some questions.

    The real relationships start building when you make phone/ skype calls with these people. Since I moved to Qatar I have made more meaningful connections to people living in England that are dealing with millions of pounds worth of investments, all because of Skype and social networks and me becoming brave enough to chat to new people.

    Tip #5 – Expand your means. Have you ever heard of these financial gurus telling you to live below your means and live frugally? This is absolute trash!! This advice would have worked before 1913 as inflation didn’t really exist. Obviously, don’t go spending more than what you earn, but rather than focus on reducing your spending what about focusing on increasing your income?

    I know, I know, you received a 2% pay rise since last year in your job. What your employer doesn’t tell you (or probably doesn’t even know) is that it is actually an 8% pay cut compared to it’s purchasing power due to inflation. Find ways to increase your income! Click here to see how I am doing this.

    Tip #6 – Start doing! The best way to learn is by doing the real thing. If you don’t want to lose money, most things have a trial period or a “fake money” account to start with. If you have an idea, just Nike it!

     

    Doing the real thing is by far the best way to really learn and remember. There are other ways to learn along the way!

    The Make Time Online Summary


    If you look up the definition of inflation it will be the rate of goods and services rising. In actual fact, this is really the symptom of inflation. Inflation is really the increase in the monetary base. Before 1933 inflation didn’t really exist as money wasn’t printed until the federal reserve came to exist in 1913.

    Inflation is currently reported by the CPI (or CP-Lie), but this figure has been manipulated to be much lower than what it actually is.

    This means living frugally and investing for the long haul no longer works. We need to find ways to increase our income if we want to be financially secure in life.

    I know this can be a hard pill to swallow but all of this information is out there. It only takes a quick google search to back up what I’m saying here.

    The question is, do you want to be ignorantly bliss (and get a rude awakening in the future) or are you going to do something to make sure you are prepared?

    Keep changing for the better,

    Mike

     

    Please leave your thoughts and comments below, I really believe this is vitally important for people to learn about and I always want to hear others opinions on the matter.

    If you are interested in making money online to free up your time, have a look at my #1 recommended program here, which I am currently using.

     

     

     

     

    Some useful books to read if you want to learn more about this:

    The Crash Course- Chris Martenson

    Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver- Mike Maloney 

     

    Websites to help research:

    • www.businessinsider.com
    • statista.com
    • ShadowStats.com