The Ultimate Guide to Bali
Located in Indonesia, Bali is the country’s most popular tourist destination; tourism accounts for 80% of its revenue. It is easy to see why Bali, the fabled Island of the Gods, is sometimes referred to as the “Paradise on Earth” because of its stunning natural scenery, which includes rolling hills and volcanoes, lush rice terraces, as well as pristine white sand beaches and craggy coastlines, all of which provide a picturesque backdrop to its vibrant, deeply spiritual, and distinctive culture. Bali is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and a perennial winner of travel awards due to its world-class surfing and diving, as well as a wide variety of cultural, historical, archaeological sites, and a vast selection of lodgings. Subak, the irrigation system for rice fields in Jatiluwih (central Bali) was designated a Natural UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2012. Bali was awarded the Traveler’s Choice award by TripAdvisor in March 2017 and January 2021 for being the best travel destination in the world.Table of Contents
Are You Planning to Visit or Move to Bali? Here’s What You Need to Know!
Questions to Ask Yourselves
Before we start talking about anything you need to know and prepare to visit/move to Bali, you need to ask yourselves some questions:
- In what region of Bali would you reside?
- How much time do you have to cook? Do you prefer eating at home, or do you prefer dining out?
- Do you have children who must attend school?
- Do you like going out and drinking alcohol?
- Will you hire housekeepers?
- How are you going to travel around?
After that, pick and choose the information listed below that suits your needs.
The most generally spoken languages in Bali are Balinese and Indonesian; despite this, the great majority of Balinese are multilingual. Although Balinese is quite different from Indonesian and more challenging, anybody who makes an attempt to learn a few phrases will be much appreciated by the locals. Due to the demands of the tourist sector, as well as the sizeable English-speaking community and Chinese-Indonesian population, English and Chinese are the second most prevalent languages (and the main foreign languages) of many Balinese. Other foreign languages, such as Japanese, Korean, French, Russian, and German, are often used in multilingual tourist signage.
Bali is Indonesia’s sole Hindu-majority province, with 86.9% of the population adhering to Balinese Hinduism.
Dance & Music
Balinese dancing and music are also well-known and popular among tourists to the island. The gamelan orchestra and wayang kulit shadow puppet theatre prevails, as they do in neighboring Java. The most renowned dances are barong (also known as “lion dance”), calonarang (also known as “monkey dance”), and legong keraton.
People in Bali enjoy a laid-back pace of life. The inhabitants are quite tolerant and hospitable to tourists. However, they are also very modest and courteous people, so dress and act modestly. As throughout Indonesia, public display of affection (PDA) is discouraged; although the Balinese are more tolerant than the rest of the country, and 60% of visitors to Bali come from the mainland. Hence, public kissing and nudity are not permitted. Balinese tradition also forbids grumbling and yelling in front of others.
The Day of Absolute Silence (Nyepi)
Balinese people are deeply religious, and rituals permeate every aspect of daily life, and Nyepi is particularly a significant one. On this day, they must deceive the demons of Bali into believing that no one is on the island. They believe if they are successful, the bad spirits will leave Bali Island alone for another year. Nyepi is a complete shutdown of the island between 6 a.m. on the first day of the new year and 6 a.m. on the second day. Tourists as well as locals are required to remain inside and be as quiet as possible for the duration of the event. Light must be kept to an absolute minimum after dark. The beaches and streets are off limits to the public. A team of police and security personnel is on standby to enforce this order. The only exceptions to this rule are in the event of a true emergency. The airports and ferry harbors are closed all day, so there are no flights in or out of Bali for a full 24 hours. Nyepi’s exact date varies every year and isn’t finalized until later in the year prior. If your flight has been moved up or back because of Nyepi day, you may have to change your hotel reservation.
Climate, Weather, and Natural Environment/Landscape
Daytime temperatures are pleasant, varying between 20-33⁰ C (68-93⁰ F) year-round, with the average temperature around 30°C (86°F) with a humidity level of about 85%. The west monsoon is in place from approximately October to April (wet/rainy season), and this can bring heavy showers and high humidity, particularly from December to March. From May to September (dry season), the humidity is low, and it can be quite cool in the evenings. At this time of the year, there is hardly any rain in the lowland coastal areas.
Regions and Cities in Bali. What Are the Differences?
In general, Bali is divided into 6 different regions, namely:
- Southern Bali (Kuta, Bukit Peninsula, Canggu, Denpasar, Jimbaran, Legian, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak, Tanah Lot)
Kuta and Seminyak, in particular, are the most popular destinations on the island.
- Kuta: surfer mecca, and by far Bali’s most developed region. Lots of shopping and nightlife, as well as the epicenter of Bali’s lower-end party scene.
- Bukit Peninsula: the southernmost point of Bali, home to world-class surfing, beautiful beaches and the stunning cliffside Uluwatu Temple.
- Denpasar: a thriving city that serves as the island’s administrative headquarters and transportation hub but is not a popular tourist destination.
- Jimbaran: seafood restaurants, seaside resorts, sheltered beach.
- Legian: the name of the major street in Kuta; located between Kuta and Seminyak
- Nusa Dua: home to upscale resorts and a stretch of golden sand beach
- Sanur: seaside resorts and beaches favored by senior citizens
- Seminyak: tranquil, premium seaside resorts and villas to the north of Legian, with chic upmarket restaurants and hip designer nightclubs and dance clubs.
- Central Bali (Ubud, Bedugul, Tabanan)
The cultural center and core mountain range of Bali.
- Ubud: the epicenter of art and dance in the foothills, with a number of museums, the monkey forest, and several arts and crafts stores. It is also the number one destination for people interested in Yoga and meditation.
- Bedugul: a golf course, botanical gardens, beautiful alpine lakes, and the renowned Ulun Danu Bratan Temple
- Western Bali (Negara, Gilimanuk, Medewi Beach, Pemuteran, West Bali National Park)
Ferries to the West Bali National Park and to Java are available.
- West Bali National Park: Bali’s only significant natural protected area, offers bird viewing, trekking, and diving.
- Northern Bali (Lovina, Munduk, Singaraja).
Historical capital city and peaceful black sand beaches.
- Lovina: magnificent beaches with black volcanic sand and coral reefs.
- Eastern Bali (Amed, Besakih, Candidasa, Kintamani, Klungkung, Mount Agung, Padang Bai, Tirta Gangga)
Relaxed coastal villages, Mount Agung, and an active volcano.
- Amed: a region of tranquil, traditional fishing villages with black sand beaches, coral reefs, and good freediving or scuba diving.
- Candidasa: a serene coastal town that serves as the Bali Aga and entryway to the island’s eastern coast
- Kintamani: Bali’s biggest lake, lower temperatures, Mount Batur (an active volcano), beautiful mountain scenery, fruit and vegetable farming.
- Mount Agung: Bali’s tallest peak and the mother temple of Besakih.
- Padang Bai: a peaceful traditional fishing hamlet with several tourist attractions. A fantastic location for relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, diving, and eating fish.
- Southeastern Islands (Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan)
Peaceful offshore islands that are well-known amongst divers.
- Nusa Lembongan: Fantastic for snorkeling, diving, and surfing.
- Nusa Penida: wild, untamed, rocky, popular for its Kelingking Beach.
Food & Restaurants
Balinese cuisine is delicious, and the traditional meals are fairly healthy (many of them are vegetarian friendly). Local eateries, known as warungs, provide cheap and good meals. Rice, chicken, and even tempeh are common ingredients in many cuisines. If you stick to local restaurants, you can eat on a budget. Fresh fruits and vegetables are very beautiful, making it simple to purchase local goods and prepare at home. It’s also celiac-friendly since it’s a rice-based society. Due to the large number of new-age hippie types residing in Bali, the locals are acquainted with vegetarianism and gluten-free diets. In general, it’s a fantastic choice for those who have dietary limitations. Eating out will only cost you a few bucks, particularly if you dine at a local warung or restaurant. However, if you love foreign cuisine, it becomes somewhat more costly, yet still inexpensive in comparison to costs at your home country. Going to the local daily markets is the most cost-effective method to shop. You’ll find them in every town, and the produce is generally sourced from surrounding farmers, so you’re not only receiving the freshest food, but also contributing to the local economy. There are also foreign food outlets on the island. Naturally, imported things are more costly, but many individuals are willing to splurge on the few items they may miss from home. Local markets provide all of the fruit, vegetables, eggs, meat, and fish you’ll need, and a trip to the grocery store for additional necessities like coffee, milk, and cheese will keep the cabinets stocked neatly. If you are really busy, you may also utilize on-demand delivery apps (Grab/GoJek/Shopee/Traveloka) to get meals delivered from the mentioned partnering restaurants. However, bear in mind that the food portions at Indonesian restaurants are modest by Western standards; you may need to order more than one portion of the meal.
Bali’s tap water is unfit to drink. If you drink from the tap, you’ll get a bad case of “Bali belly.” You can get 1L bottles for $0.50 a piece or large 20L bottles for $1.80. The money spent on alcohol is particularly significant for many foreigners. Alcohol is heavily taxed in Bali, and it is out of reach for people on a shoestring budget. Consider other Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Vietnam if you want to reside someplace that is both economical in general and affordable for a daily drink. Bintang, the native beer, is the cheapest choice, costing $1.50 in a store and $2 – $3 in a pub or restaurant. Imported beer or cider may be twice as costly, and wine is also highly expensive – the unsatisfactory local stuff is about $15, while an imported bottle of typical Australian wine begins at $20. Drink “arak” with caution; unscrupulous merchants may put methanol into the arak (this mixture may cause blindness or death). As a result, always get it from reputable vendors/bars. Arak may be prepared from coconut blossoms, sugar cane, grain, and a variety of fruits, although it is often manufactured from rice or coconut palm sap.
The good thing is that you have a variety of alternatives when it comes to choosing where you will reside in Bali! You may rent everything from modest rooms at a homestay to magnificent villas with full facilities, and anything in between. A modest room at a homestay will cost you roughly $300 per month; this price often includes air conditioning, hot water, occasionally a small kitchenette, and frequently your Internet connection. If you choose to stay in a private home or villa, size, location, and whether or not it has a pool and/or furnishings will all affect the price. In average, a 2–3-bedroom villa with a pool will begin around $8,000 per year. However, it is not unusual for luxurious villas in prime locations to cost up to $25,000 per year.
There are various means of transport in Bali, for instance, bus, bemo, bicycle, self-drive car/motorbike, rental car with a driver, local taxi, and on-demand transportation apps (Grab/GoJek). Unfortunately, traveling by train amongst cities in Bali is not an option.
- Self-Drive Car/Motorbike
Driving on the left side of the road is the norm in Bali. Car and motorcycle rentals are readily accessible, but you should carefully consider your ability to navigate Bali’s lack of official traffic laws. Consider renting a vehicle with a driver so that you may relax, be safe, and avoid getting lost. Renting a four-door Toyota Avanza or Daihatsu Xenia should cost 200,000-500,000 IDR/day ($13.36-$33.39). If you have a smaller budget, you should be able to rent an old, Suzuki Jimny for 90,000-110,000 IDR ($6-$7.35)/day.
Renting motorbikes may be an exciting and terrifying experience at the same time; a 125cc, with automatic gearboxes will cost 40,000-100,000 IDR ($2.67-$6.68)/day (for renting more than a week, you can get a cheaper price). In regions outside of the tourist enclaves of south Bali, a motorcycle is a fantastic way to explore the island. However, where traffic is dense, the likelihood of an accident is significantly higher. The International Driving Permit (IDP) will be required to rent your vehicle and will also be asked by the police when they stop you.
Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is banned throughout Indonesia, and local police in Bali often enforce this rule. Helmets are reasonably priced in Denpasar; however, the renter should give an appropriate helmet with the motorbike rental. In 2009, the road traffic laws were revised to demand the lighting of a motorcycle’s headlight and rear lights during daylight hours. This is a safety program that requires lights to be turned on at all times while riding a motorcycle on any route in Bali.
Because the motorcycle rental company does not offer insurance, you are personally liable for any damage. If you injure a local on foot, on a motorbike, or in a car, you might be expected to pay a hefty compensation. Check your travel insurance policy thoroughly to confirm that your coverage is still in effect when riding a motorcycle or driving a car. Turn signals are obligatory; even though local drivers seem to not care about it, you still need to follow the rule.
- Rental Car with A Driver
Depending on your negotiating abilities and the class/age of the car, you may expect to pay anywhere from 300,000 IDR to 600,000 IDR ($20-$40) each day (often considered as 10 hours); make sure the price covers the cost of the gasoline, the driver, and parking for the whole day. Please take a note that the distance driven is a consideration if you have not established a fixed daily renting price. You should also consider whether or not you need to provide lunch for your driver. With certain government subsidies removed in recent years, the price of gasoline has risen substantially (although it is still extremely inexpensive by international standards). Most of Bali’s main tourist attractions may be seen in three days or less if you hire a vehicle and have a driver accompanying you. In Bali, drivers are often available to accompany tourists to popular tourist spots. Many destinations are unknown to the general public and have not been included in any travel guidebooks.
- On-Demand Transportation Apps (Grab/GoJek)
I personally prefer to use Grab/GoJek, as they are cheap, fast, and hassle-free. The only issue with these apps is that the English translation is inaccurate; you might face a language barrier/miscommunication with the driver. We suggest you prepare your personal mask and hair cap, as most drivers do not bring them with them nowadays. The GPS is also sometimes inaccurate; hence the drivers might find it difficult to find your address/precise location. We suggest you go to the nearby well-known cafes/restaurants to make it easier for the driver to pick you up. However, I still believe this is the best transport option.
Compared to New York (US)
- You would need around $2,483 (36,829,214 IDR) in Bali to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with $ 8,700 in New York, NY (assuming you rent in both cities).
- Consumer Prices in Bali are 60.16% lower than in New York, NY (without rent)
- Consumer Prices Including Rent in Bali are 71.46% lower than in New York, NY
- Rent Prices in Bali are 84.01% lower than in New York, NY
- Restaurant Prices in Bali are 78.73% lower than in New York, NY
- Groceries Prices in Bali are 56.79% lower than in New York, NY
- Local Purchasing Power in Bali is 82.09% lower than in New York, NY
Compared to Sydney (Australia)
- You would need around A$3,567 (36,551,045 IDR) in Bali to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with A$8,200.00 in Sydney (assuming you rent in both cities).
- Consumer Prices in Bali are 49.15% lower than in Sydney (without rent)
- Consumer Prices Including Rent in Bali are 56.49% lower than in Sydney
- Rent Prices in Bali are 68.92% lower than in Sydney
- Restaurant Prices in Bali are 67.48% lower than in Sydney
- Groceries Prices in Bali are 42.36% lower than in Sydney
- Local Purchasing Power in Bali is 84.21% lower than in Sydney
Compared to Toronto (Canada)
- You would need around C$3,176 (36,605,655 IDR) in Bali to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with C$6,900 in Toronto (assuming you rent in both cities).
- Consumer Prices in Bali are 46.12% lower than in Toronto (without rent)
- Consumer Prices Including Rent in Bali are 53.97% lower than in Toronto
- Rent Prices in Bali are 67.21% lower than in Toronto
- Restaurant Prices in Bali are 70.27% lower than in Toronto
- Groceries Prices in Bali are 39.63% lower than in Toronto
- Local Purchasing Power in Bali is 82.28% lower than in Toronto
Compared to London (England, UK)
- You can rent a luxury villa with a pool in Bali for less than the cost of a flat in London.
- You would need around £2,030 (36,723,816 IDR) in Bali to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with £5,100 in London (assuming you rent in both cities).
- Consumer Prices in Bali are 49.60% lower than in London (without rent)
- Consumer Prices Including Rent in Bali are 60.19% lower than in London
- Rent Prices in Bali are 74.84% lower than in London
- Restaurant Prices in Bali are 74.72% lower than in London
- Groceries Prices in Bali are 25.51% lower than in London
- Local Purchasing Power in Bali is 76.90% lower than in London
Laws & Regulations
You need to keep in mind of some things that are considered to be illegal in Bali, namely:
The drug regulations in Indonesia are extremely strict. Prohibited substances include marijuana, heroin, and cocaine and many more. Possession of these substances is punishable by life in prison, while drug trafficking is punishable by the death.
Some prescription medicines are forbidden in Indonesia, so if you rely on sleeping pills, codeine, morphine, or ADHD medication, you should double-check with the Indonesian Embassy beforehand. The embassy may give a Certified Document of Approved Medicines for a charge, but the website states: “The letter is not legal nor an assurance that you will be immune from any checks and legal implications that may emerge.”
- Alcohol consumption
The legal drinking age in Indonesia is 21; if you want to buy alcoholic drinks or enter pubs/clubs/bars, you must show your ID.
- Damaged or nearly expired passport
Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months, otherwise you may be refused ewntering the country. Additionally, you might be deported if you enter the country with a damaged passport.
In Indonesia, all types of gambling are outlawed.
Is Bali a suitable destination for remote work, blogging, or other location-independent endeavors? Ten years ago, the response was categorically “no.” The internet infrastructure was just too sluggish, and power shortages throughout the rainy season made it difficult to have an online conference. Now, however, things have changed, and Bali’s internet in 2022 is different. When it comes to expats who require lightning-fast internet to operate an online company, Bali is still merely mediocre.
Banking & Payment
It is feasible to open an Indonesian bank account, and you may desire to do so if you plan to reside in Indonesia for an extended period of time. Bali is still predominantly a cash-based culture. Larger, more westernized businesses will probably take card payments, while smaller, more ethnic enterprises will almost certainly not. Having said that, bank-to-bank transfers are also quite common for services. Online money applications such as GoPay and OVO require simply a local phone number for registration. There are lots of ATMs in Bali’s tourist destinations, but they are less common in the countryside, rural communities, and local neighborhoods. Always use ATMs located inside stores or banks; random out-of-the-way ATMs may have been tampered with by skimmers. Paying using your home country’s bank card can cost you a lot of money in transaction fees, so it’s advisable to avoid doing so. As an alternative, we suggest having a few different travel banking cards, each of which offers free ATM withdrawals up to a specified limit. This means you will be able to withdraw roughly $600 a month using Wise, Revolut, or Monzo cards. Payoneer is a great option for making and receiving international bank transfers without paying any fees.
- Child Friendliness
Bali is a good place for kids; but, if you’re moving to Bali with school-aged children, you will need to think about where they will go to school. Even if they accept your children, the local public schools in Bali are not a good alternative for your children as international schools have much more extensive and in-depth curricula; hence, you should enroll your children in a private or international school. A significant expat community means that there are a number of excellent international schools in the area. A term at an international private school might cost between $8k-$20k per student.
- Pet Friendliness
It is risky to bring your pet with you to Bali. The island is overrun with stray animals, some of which were brought there by expatriates who believed it would be a good idea to bring their pet from a rabies-free area to Bali. There have been instances in the recent past when it was hard to take your pet with you while leaving due to the presence of rabies. You should plan on a 14-day pet quarantine on one side or the other and be okay with periods spanning months or years during which you cannot leave the nation with your animal companion. Unless you are certain that Bali will be your permanent home, rehoming your pet with relatives or friends may be less traumatic both for you and your furry friend as well.
Bali is generally a safe and joyful place to live. However, things may still go wrong; while uncommon, criminality does occur. Similarly, visitors and expatriates are equally susceptible to scooter accidents, surfing mishaps, and tropical illnesses. Some expats who are contemplating coming to Bali are concerned about the quality of medical treatment available. Denpasar is home to Sanglah Hospital, the city’s primary medical facility; in the event of a serious sickness or injury, here is where you should get treatment. Despite the existence of clinics in other parts of the island, the Denpasar hospital is the only place where patients with life-threatening injuries may be treated. If you ever find yourself in need of significant medical attention while on vacation in Bali, your best chance is to seek treatment abroad; Singapore is a popular destination for patients requiring complex procedures. If you are in good health, the medical facilities in Bali should be enough for your needs.
For a long-term stay in Bali, a foreigner might pick from a variety of visas and permissions. Foreign tourists may generally get the following sorts of visas:
- Visa Exemption
Visitors with passports from 169 countries are permitted to enter Indonesia visa-free for up to 30 days beginning in 2016. The exemption only applies to people going to Indonesia for activities like tourism. Visitors who use the visa-free option can’t extend their stay or change it into a different kind of visa. Only the following types of activities are permitted with this visa: leisure, tourism, family, social, artistic, and cultural activities; government visits; giving lectures or attending seminars; attending meetings held by head offices or representative offices in Indonesia; and continuing a journey to another country.
- Visa on Arrival (VoA)
Citizens of a select group of nations—62 nations as of 2017—may apply for a Visa on Arrival (VoA, costs $35) at a number of Indonesian airports and seaports for a 30-day maximum stay that may be extended by another 30-day period at the immigration office. Return tickets must be presented in advance. Foreign nationals must apply for a visa at an Indonesian embassy or consulate in their home country if they want to make multiple entries, have their visa renewed, or are not qualified for Visa-Free Short Visit entry or Visa on Arrival (VoA). Afghanistan, Cameroon, Guinea, Israel, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, and Somalia nationals would need authorization from Indonesia’s Immigration Office before visiting for business, tourism, or social visits (this regulation is known as the “Indonesian Calling Visa”).
- Single Entry Visa
One of the most popular choices for medium-to long-term stays in Bali is the single-entry visa. The visa permits stay in Indonesia of up to six months. Foreign nationals may reapply for a single-entry visa after the first six months if they want to extend it for an additional six months. Repeating procedures several times is possible, but, foreigners who perform this procedure too often could be scrutinized by immigration officials. There are many single-entry visa categories; the most popular varieties are:
- Social single-entry visa (sosial budaya visa), this often permits foreigners to participate in social events when sponsored by an Indonesian national. This kind of visa has a 60-day validity period that may be renewed four times for another 30-day period.
- Single-entry business visa, where a firm from Indonesia must serve as the sponsor. Foreigners may have business meetings in Indonesia with this visa.
- Multiple Entry Visa
Although it may be used for other reasons as well, the multiple entry visa is often utilized for business travel; other purposes include seeing relatives, going to seminars, and engaging in art and culture. Foreigners may travel multiple times and remain in Indonesia for up to 60 days each visit throughout the visa’s 12-month validity term. Only Indonesian corporations may sponsor the multiple entry visa. The multiple entrance visa, like the single-entry visa, does not allow foreigners to work in Indonesia.
- Limited Stay Permit (also known as ITAS or KITAS)
- Depending on the kind of stay permission, the limited stay permit may be extended inside the nation for up to two years. Furthermore, holders of a restricted stay permit are issued a multiple re-entry permit. This enables individuals to enter and exit Indonesia without jeopardizing the validity of their restricted stay permission. There are many forms of restricted stay permits, which we shall discuss briefly below:
- The working stay permit, allows foreign nationals to work and reside in Indonesia. The foreigner acquires a work permit (from the ministry of manpower) as well as a stay permit (ITAS/KITAS) from immigration. Foreigners who are employed by an Indonesian firm often apply for a working stay permit.
- The investor stay permit, applies to foreigners who hold stock in an Indonesian limited liability firm (PMA). There are a few benefits to the investment permit. First off, it eliminates the need for a work permit from the ministry of labor, saving the bureaucracy costs of up to $1,200/ year. Second, the permit has a longer validity period than other forms of stay permit—two years as opposed to one. Foreigners save money on processing costs since they only need to renew their licenses once every two years.
- The family stay permit, requires a sponsor by an Indonesian spouse. With this form of stay visa, a foreigner may dwell in Indonesia for an extended period of time but cannot work. The foreigner needs a work permit from his or her employer in order to be permitted to work.
- The retirement stay permit, is accessible to non-citizens over the age of 55. The permit is sponsored by an organization authorized by the general directorate of immigration. The retirement stay permission prohibits foreign nationals from working in Indonesia. It just permits them to spend their retirement in Indonesia.
- Permanent Stay Permit (also known as ITAP or KITAP)
There are two options for obtaining the permission. Several criteria, including status transfer from ITAS, qualify you as a permanent resident; nevertheless, in order to get your ITAP through this route, you must at a minimum:
- Reside in Indonesia for more than three years in a row
- Get married for at least two years to an Indonesian national.
- You must meet a number of requirements in order to immediately be eligible to acquire ITAP, including:
- You had dual citizenship as a child
- You are a child of an ITAP holder who was born in Indonesia
- Former Indonesian citizen who lost citizenship
You will have to pay taxes if you work or run a company in Bali. If you are an employee of Indonesian company, your company will handle this for you. However, if you plan to start a company, get an accountant who will advise you on what you need to do. If you want to live in Bali independently or as a digital nomad, you will certainly be required to pay taxes in your home country. Indonesia has tax treaties with a number of Western nations; check to see what applies to you. However, if you want to live in Bali full-time, you should pay your taxes there since you will benefit from the island’s clean air, policies, and social stability.
Due to its pleasant environment and affordable cost of living, Bali is already a preferred location for remote workers. But sadly, present visa regulations don’t make it easy for digital nomads to remain for extended periods of time. Digital nomads may now apply for a temporary visa that would allow them to work from Indonesia. The Visa on Arrival (VoA), which is good for 30 days, the tourist visa, which may be extended for a total of 60 days, and the business visa, which can be extended for up to 180 days are the available options. Visitors who remain longer are considered local tax residents and must pay Indonesia’s tax rates on their foreign income.
However, in the coming years, Bali will provide “digital nomad visas,” which will be valid for 5 years, to anybody who relocates there permanently and “works from home.” As long as their income originates from outside the nation, it permits remote employees to live there tax-free. The anticipated five-year visa for digital nomads will be issued. The minister said that the nation anticipates receiving 3.6 million visitors from outside in the next year. The goal of the digital nomad visa and the increased promotion of eco-tourism and spiritual retreats is to attract visitors who are willing to spend more and stay longer. This concept was already in the works in 2021, but the epidemic compelled the island to seal borders and impose tourist restrictions, causing preparations to fall through.
Things to avoid
- Don’t go into temples with your shoes on, in clothes that show too much skin, without a sarong or something to cover your waist, or when you have your period.
- Avoid drinking tap water, it is not hygienic.
- Don’t give or take things with your left hand, as that is considered rude.
- Don’t bring drugs with you, buy them, keep them, or use them. You can go to jail if you have drugs or use them.
- Maintain decorum throughout nyepi.
- It is against the law to honk for no reason.
- Don’t point your toes at a statue or sign of Buddha.
- Don’t point with your index finger; instead, point with the thumb of your right hand, palm up.
- Do not laugh at religious processions.
- Don’t eat raw or undercooked meat or milk that hasn’t been pasteurized.
- Don’t step on the ritual offerings to the gods (sesajen) that people have put on the ground.
- Don’t get mean with the monkeys.
- Don’t wear a cross-body bag, especially if you’re on a motorcycle, so thieves don’t take it from you.
- Don’t drive a car or motorcycle if you don’t have a license.
- You should never ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
- Watch out for the bites of stray dogs, cats, and monkeys. Rabies is quite common.
- Don’t get the wrong visa or stay longer than you’re allowed.
- Don’t go anywhere without getting travel insurance.
- Don’t touch the head of a Balinese person or child. People think of the head as a holy part of the body.
- Don’t put your feet up on a table or chair so that the bottoms of your feet are visible. It is a very rude thing to do.
- Don’t use a red pen to write a letter to someone from Bali. People think that red ink shows anger.
- Don’t rent autos unless you have insurance. If you damage the car without insurance, it could cost you a lot of money.
- Only bargain at the markets if you actually intent to buy things.
- Don’t talk about sensitive topics.
- At the beach, be careful when you swim and surf.
- Don’t leave your drinks and other things lying around without watching them.
- Stay out of fights with the locals.
- Do not urinate in public and sacred places.
Living in the ups and downs of Bali
Before visiting or moving to Bali, it is good to know to know the pros and cons, so that you can manage your expectations. Here are some pros and cons from our points of view:
If you want to start a business, Bali is a great place to start, particularly for young entrepreneurs. It’s easy to get by on a tight budget because of the low cost of land, labor, and investment capital. As a result, a large number of new businesses opt to begin their operations in this location since they are able to start small while gaining a foothold in the market.
- Climate, Weather, and Natural Beauty
When you visit Bali, you don’t need to bring a lot of different kinds of clothing, you don’t need to constantly check the weather app before making plans or deciding on your outfit of the day (OOTD), crops grow all year long, and you don’t have to deal with sudden mood shifts due to weather changes (time to say good bye to winter depression). Are you suffering from eyestrain from spending all day in front of a computer screen? No need to be alarmed! Go to the beach and watch the sun go down! In the neighbourhood of Petitenget (Seminyak), it’s a short stroll (free entry). You’ll fall in love with the country’s diverse environment, which includes mountains, coastlines, rice terraces, and volcanic slopes, as previously stated. In addition, Bali’s outdoor activities are top-notch. Bali’s biodiversity is well-known due to its location in a tropical nation. It’s a great way to get a taste of some of the more extreme activities in Bali, like Bali Buggy Adventure in Ubud, Bali Marine Sport and Bali Water Sport at Tanjung Benoa Beach-Nusantara. Bali is also a major world surfing destination with popular breaks dotted across the southern coastline and around the offshore island of Nusa Lembongan. In the Coral Triangle, Bali and the island of Nusa Penida have a broad variety of reefs and tropical marine life to explore. The Asian Beach Games were held in Bali in 2008. It was Indonesia’s second time hosting an Asian multi-sport event, after the Asian Games in Jakarta in 1962.
- Relaxation Center
After a full day of work, do you feel tense? Isn’t it time for a relaxing spa experience at a reasonable price? For those who like massages, Bali is a haven. Mandi Lulur, which includes an exfoliation and nourishing yogurt body mask, may cost up to 150,000 IDR ($10) at a local salon. Creambath is a 45-minute scalp and shoulder massage in which a rich conditioning cream is massaged into the hair and scalp. The average cost of a creambath in Indonesia is 60,000 IDR ($4). In a high-end hotel, you’ll pay a lot more for the same services. Small fish chew dead skin off your feet and hands in a fish spa treatment, which costs roughly 35,000 IDR ($2.34) for 15 minutes. The world’s best yoga and wellness facilities and retreats can be found in Bali.
- Limited Job Opportunities
Life in Bali may be wonderful if you have a company or a private source of money. It is not a nice area for a foreigner to be if when it comes to looking for employment.
- Internet Speed
Despite being a veritable mini-mecca for digital nomads, Bali’s internet may be spotty at times. If you need to get some serious work done, there are several coffee shops and co-working spaces that provide dependable internet service. While the internet at hostels and vacation rentals is often enough to operate a blog, it does suffer with activities that need more data, such as video chatting or cryptocurrency trading. Moving to a more rural area of town may mean you are continuously struggling to get online and might even result in losing clients; believe us, we have been there. If work is a priority, we advise thinking about sticking to Ubud or Canggu. Co-working spaces are a fantastic choice for the growing population of digital nomads. While you don’t even need to get dressed to work from your bed, co-working spaces provide a lot of advantages. They have better internet, the opportunity to connect with like-minded others, and the psychological impact of “getting to work” may be quite effective in combating procrastination, an old enemy.
Scams are common in Bali, just like in many other places. Some popular scams in Bali include ticket touts, market touts, shady commission drivers, police corruption (pungli), and unscrupulous merchants putting methanol into arak (this mixture may cause blindness or death). Some individuals have a “bule” pricing perspective as well. “Bule” is an Indonesian term for foreigners and/or non-Indonesian nationals, particularly those of European ancestry (‘white,’ ‘Caucasian’). Be wary of getting overcharged by the counter employees, who may cite reasons such as new prices. Do some research before going on a shopping spree. Knowing ahead what prices are reasonable will help you avoid being scammed.
When you reach your location, you can run into challenging walking circumstances since most of Bali’s sidewalks are nothing more than the covered tops of storm-water drains, and many of them are barely 60 cm (2 feet) wide. This makes walking in a single line adjacent to traffic awkward. Frequently, a motorcycle or a caved-in portion blocks the walkway, forcing people to risky dash into traffic. The majority of the island’s traditional roadways are just not made for pedestrians. Large tourist districts and coastal locations are easy to navigate on foot. Sanur, for instance, has a broad beachside route lined with several cafés and restaurants. The walking conditions are challenging, but they are by no means impassable. Numerous visitors and residents use the roadways on foot, and even the traffic normally gives walkers plenty of room if it has time to respond.
- Health and Social Services
There isn’t much assistance or a support system for you if you become sick or have financial difficulty. Make sure you have funds, insurance, and a local support system in case you ever need assistance.
Visiting Bali for a holiday is always a good idea. We recommend you stay at least 1 week there, since visiting less than 1 week will not be enough to explore the beauty of Bali. However, moving to Bali from your home country is a personal preference. For example, if you want to disconnect from the world, love nature, and enjoy a slow living pace, Bali is a perfect place for you. But, if your work needs high and stable internet speed (e.g., crypto mining), prefer fast-paced living (e.g., like in Silicon Valley), have a beloved pet in your home country, and have serious medical conditions, then Bali is probably not a good place for you. It is important to do prior research (e.g., by reading many articles such as this) before visiting or moving to Bali to know what to expect and prepare. You are on the right track!
Your Guide to I Bonds
As an investor, the rising prices in every industry may be particularly alarming. You may be looking for safer ways to invest your wealth yet still significant returns. I Bonds, also known as Series I Savings Bonds or Series I Bonds, are inflation-protected, low-risk investments. Before investing your hard-earned cash, it is crucial to understand all the ins and outs of this strategic move. Follow along below to learn:Table of Contents
What Are I Bonds?
A large portion of deciding if you should invest in I Bonds lies in understanding what they are and how they work. First, I Bonds are a type of federal-backed bond, meaning you are loaning money to the government. In return, they pay out a rate of return upon your investment.
The bond earns interest over time from the fixed-rate and the variable inflation rate. The fixed interest rate is straightforward: it uses the same percentage throughout the bond’s life. Conversely, the inflation rate changes twice a year. Together, in a unique formula, these two rates create a composite rate or the actual interest rate that your investment will earn.
The variable inflation rate is precisely what makes this type of bond unique. The rate adjusts itself twice yearly to offset any inflation changes and keep up with rising prices. In effect, it helps protect the value of your investment against inflation. In particular, this makes Series I Bonds attractive during periods of high inflation.
Every year, you can purchase up to $10,000 in I Bonds. You can also buy an additional $5,000 I Bonds when you receive your tax return. In total, you can purchase up to $15,000 in I Bonds annually. You will earn interest on your investment monthly, although your interest earned will only be added to your total every six months. Likewise, your interest rate will change every six months due to the variable inflation rate.
Additionally, it is helpful to know that I Bonds should be long-term investments. You cannot cash out any I Bonds before one year is complete, although you will pay penalties if you cash out before five years. If you wait five years or more to cash out your I Bonds, you will receive all the interest you earned upon them in that period.
Are Series I Bonds Good Investments?
For many investors, Series I Bonds are excellent investments. They offer many advantages over other types of investment opportunities, especially during a time of inflation. If you decide to purchase I Bonds, you may garner any of the following benefits:
- No brokerage commissions or fees upon purchase.
- Your invested wealth remains inflation-protected.
- Current I Bond holders earn higher returns because of the high inflation rate.
- I Bond returns can be higher than other low-risk investments like savings accounts.
- You cannot lose principal as the interest rate will never fall below 0%.
- Low-middle income families may qualify for tax exemption for IBond income if you use it to pay for tuition.
- I Bonds are only subject to federal income tax but are exempt from state income tax.
- You can defer reporting interest income on your taxes until you cash in on the interest or your thirty-year maturity is complete.
Are There Downsides to I Bonds?
I Bonds may not be ideal for many, especially after considering the possible risks and downsides of purchasing these types of bonds. As with any investment, these possibilities should be taken seriously before investment:
- You can only buy up to $10,000 of I Bonds annually (and an additional $5000 with tax returns).
- You can only buy Series I Bonds through the U.S. Treasury Department
- Since you do not purchase I Bonds through a bank or broker, you need to keep track of your investment on your own.
- You run the risk that the inflation rate will decline.
- You need to hold I Bonds for at least a year. You will receive no interest if you remove your I Bonds before one year, you will receive no interest.
- If you cash out IBonds before five years, you will pay three months of earned interest as a penalty.
- A full-term for I Bonds is thirty years.
What Is the Difference Between I Bonds and EE Bonds?
I Bonds and EE Bonds are low-risk savings bonds offered by the U.S. Treasury Department. Although they have similar elements, they are very different investments. It is important to know whether I Bonds or EE Bonds would benefit your investment strategy.
EE Bonds, also called Series EE Savings Bonds or Series EE Bonds, are bonds with a fixed interest rate. Like the I Bond, they earn monthly interest, adding to your principal every six months. You cannot withdraw them before one year, although you will pay a penalty before five years. Likewise, their full term is also thirty years. Exceptionally, at the twenty-year mark, the Treasury guarantees your bond value will double. If you purchase a $25 bond today, you can cash out at least $50 in twenty years.
As you may notice, EE bonds only have a fixed interest rate. Since this is the case, they may be a safer investment for many people. On the other hand, these investments are not inflation-protected. The investment may double in twenty years, but inflation may affect its value. Typically, investors choose one over the other according to the current interest rate and the forecasted inflation rate for the conceivable future.
What Is the Current Interest Rate on I Bonds?
If you are interested in I Bonds, you may be excited to learn I Bonds currently have an exceptional interest rate. Since the fixed interest rate is 0% and the inflation rate is 4.81%, the interest rate is now 9.62%. You can benefit from this rate if you purchase your Series I Bond before October 2022. Remember that the interest rate will change as the inflation rate adjusts again.
In comparison, you may wish to know the current rate on EE Bonds. Currently, EE Bonds have an interest rate of .10%. If you purchase them at this rate before October 2022, you will keep this fixed rate for the thirty-year term.
How to Navigate Tax Residency in Two Countries
Whether you live in the United States, Canada, or Europe, personal taxes can be a challenging task. Yet, it can be even more difficult if you live or work in two different countries or reside in one country and gain income from another. You may not know which country is your tax residence, if you should pay taxes in each country, or if you can avoid paying high taxes in one country. This guide will help you navigate this complicated and often confusing situation. Follow along below to learn:Table of Contents
What Is Tax Residency?
Tax residency refers to any country where you are required, by law, to pay taxes to the government. As you may assume, residency refers to the country in which you reside or live. Yet, how countries determine if you qualify for tax residence varies. In the past, most countries stated that if you lived and worked more than six months on their soil, you were considered a tax resident and, therefore, needed to pay taxes on your income. Today, some countries still use this rule, making it easy to determine your tax residency. However, other countries have changed their practices to make it harder to avoid taxes.
What is Tax Residency in Canada?
In Canada, it is relatively easy to become a tax resident and challenging to remove yourself as a tax resident. If you are a Canadian citizen by birth and have many connections within the country, such as work or family, you are a tax resident. Likewise, you are a tax resident if you spend six months or more annually in Canada or if you have a Canadian employer. As a result, if you work abroad or incur income from another country, you must pay Canadian taxes.
Canadian taxes are considered very high. These taxes may be even higher depending on your province of residence, as you also owe provincial taxes. Since this is the case, many tax residents wish to become tax residents in other low-tax countries and remove their Canadian tax residency. In this way, they no longer need to pay Canadian taxes on their income.
What is Tax Residency in Europe?
Most European countries are similar to Canada in that you are a tax resident if it is your home country or if you spend more than six months annually in that country. However, each country has its own rules, and these may vary. Since some European countries have incredibly high taxes, citizens may be looking for a way to avoid those taxes and take on low tax rates on their income from a different country.
What is Tax Residency in the United States?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you are automatically a tax resident, even if you spent time in another country. You are also considered a tax resident if:
- You have a Permanent Resident Card or Green Card
- You stayed 31 days or more in the country this year and more than six months in the past three years
While you may wish to avoid American taxes by becoming a tax resident in another country, it is impossible to revoke tax residency without renouncing your citizenship.
How Do You Determine Your Tax Residency?
If you wish to determine if you are a tax resident of one or more countries, it is crucial to consult tax experts in specific counties. Since every country has different regulations, you may be surprised by your tax residency status.
In most cases, you will be considered a tax resident if:
- You have always lived in the country
- You have stayed in the country for more than six months per year
- You live in the country permanently
What Is Tax Residence Vs. Domicile?
Many people confuse tax residency and domicile, or their country of permanent residence. You are not necessarily a tax resident simply because you reside in a country, or are a citizen of that country (although this may be the case in some countries like the United States). Likewise, since tax residency is determined annually, it is possible to be a tax resident in many different counties throughout your life. However, permanent residency is more long-term and often takes many years even to obtain. That said since many people work in the same country as their permanent residence, they are usually tex residents of their domicile.
Can You Be a Tax Resident in More than One Country?
Living or working in more than one country, you may be subject to dual or multiple tax residency. This is considered double taxation if you need to pay taxes on the same income in both countries. You will need to pay taxes at the source, to the county where the income was earned, and taxes to your country of tax residence.
Paying two sets of taxes on the same income is a substantial burden. It is rare for individuals to deal with double taxation, but it may be more commonplace for business activities and investments.
How Can You Avoid Double Taxation?
Thankfully, most countries have agreements with each other to avoid double taxation. Double taxation agreements lay out rules to determine which country should receive income taxes. Typically, this country is where the person has the most ties or connections. As such, if a person is a tax resident of Canada and England yet has the most social and economic relations in Canada, they will pay Canadian income taxes.
If double taxation is unavoidable, many countries, such as the United States and Canada, offer tax credits. Credits can significantly reduce or eliminate the taxes owed to the residence country.
Can You Avoid Tax Residency?
Many who garner income through work or other means wish to avoid tax residency in a high-tax country. In these situations, people consider citizenship, residence, and work in a low-tax or zero-tax country. They may seek to either revoke a tax residency in their primary country to pay one or no tax.
Tax residency in your home country is difficult to renounce. If you have always lived and worked in a high-tax country, it is challenging to convince the government that you do not have strong connections to the country. However, it is certainly possible if you spend time building a life in another country and do not reside in the country for a good portion of each year. In some countries, such as the United States, you cannot remove tax residency without renouncing your US citizenship.
Can You Be a Tax Nomad?
In other situations, people may wish to avoid tax residency at all. Naturally, you will need to look up what would cause you to become a tax resident in any country you visit. Sometimes, it may be as little as leaving personal property behind for more than a few months. Generally, you can only stay less than six months in any given country. You will also need to give up your tax residency in your home country. This way, you can avoid being taxed on your income completely.
Whether you have one or more citizenship, there are plenty of solutions to optimize your taxation, but we can agree on the fact that if you are operating as a company, you will have more space and you will be able to align better with your chosen country’s tax policy. Deductible taxes of offered goods or services – and their extent – are also need to be considered, there could be various regulatory environments where you can’t do it and when you can, but everything depends on how you operate and what type of service/value you provide to your customers.
Here is How To Find Your Business Idea Easily
Are you fed up being an employee and making money for other people? You decided that you want to start a business, but you don’t have any ideas? Let us guide you through your journey and help ensure that the odds of creating a successful business are in your favor.Table of Contents
Everyone is familiar with the statistics regarding the extremely high failure rate of new businesses. Most people blame their failure on a multitude of factors such as the lack of funding, incompetent business partners, not choosing the right employees, being unlucky, and a plethora of other ones. The truth is, most people get the first step wrong, the business idea itself. You can have all the funding, all the right people, hard work, determination, and even luck if the idea itself was not a good one, it will never work out.
You must understand what a “business” is
A business produces value for others
Many people do not think fondly of some of the biggest businesses in the world. You can join the haters as well, but the truth is, they are successful because they are providing value, otherwise people would stop giving them money. Want to have a cheap burger fast that always tastes the same? There’s McDonald’s. You don’t wanna carry a bunch of cash and want to be able to pay with the same card wherever you are? There’s Visa or Mastercard. Want to reconnect with old friends and see how they are doing? There’s Facebook. You can argue that these companies are not the most popular, but they all have something in common: They all solved ‘problems’ that millions of people were facing and they did it better than any of their competitors.
While it’s unlikely you’ll build the next McDonald’s or Facebook, you must ask yourself the question: What is the value proposition of my business? What ‘problem’ does it solve? If you do not have a clear answer, your idea will probably not work out. Think about what kind of product or service would make your life better that doesn’t exist. If you came up with a few ones, do your research to find out whether there are others who feel the same before investing any of your money.
It is a system, and you must operate it
There are several moving pieces when it comes to managing a business. While you do not have to do everything by yourself – delegating tasks is actually quite beneficial – you do have to understand all the processes that go into making your enterprise a reality. Without proper oversight and management, no company has a chance to survive today’s highly competitive business environment. If you found the right people, you do not have to micromanage every aspect, but you’ll certainly have to keep a close eye on everything. You have to have a wider view of the business and while consulting with employees before making important decisions is recommended, in the end, you are the one who calls the shots, and you alone will be responsible if things do not work out the way you wanted.
It should work without you
While in the beginning, everything will go through you, the end goal should be to create an enterprise that is more than capable of running without your oversight, Remember, your goal is not to create yourself a high-paying job or to make yourself feel important. It should be creating a business that basically runs itself or at least can be run by others. I personally know people who created successful businesses employing 50-100 people but are deeply unhappy. They are the ‘boss’ and there are the employees who need constant direction, and without their ‘beloved leader’, they are lost. Due to the lack of middle management, and proper delegation of responsibilities, the ‘boss’ has to put in 60–70-hour workweeks to keep the business running, knowing that without his or her extraordinary effort, all his employees could become unemployed at any second. These ‘bosses’ are already rich, not doing it for the money or success, they keep grinding due to a feeling of responsibility towards their employees. Do not become a boss like this. From the very beginning, plan for the different professionals needed, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks, and run the company in a way that you’ll have fewer and fewer responsibilities, so in the end, it will be able to run itself.
You need a legal entity and abide by all the laws
Going through all the bureaucracy that comes with creating a business and dealing with tax and legal obligations can be daunting, but absolutely necessary. Do not even consider running a shady or semi-legal business hoping you can get away with it. Think for the long term and realize, that all shortcuts have their drawbacks and, in the end, you will have to deal with the legal or financial consequences of your actions. Not knowing the law or rules is not an excuse. Maybe this worked with your parents when you were a kid, but I can promise you, that the tax authorities will not care for your excuses. It is time-intensive, and you’ll likely need to hire help, but absolutely essential if you want your company to have any chance to survive.
On a personal note, I have invested about 500 hours in developing a phone game that had to be removed from the App Store due to copyright infringement. After publishing the app, I received a ‘cease-and-desist-letter’ telling me that in case I do not remove the app, I’ll be facing a billion-dollar company in court. That company copyrighted the same title I used for my app for their future unannounced game. I was not angry with the company, only with myself. If I had done proper research before creating the app, I wouldn’t have wasted all those hours. Do not make the same mistake!
Choose something you really understand and are interested in
Find things you are good at or at least keen on
Starting a business just because a similar one worked out for others you know is never a good idea. You need to have a certain amount of knowledge of the field, know what the customer preferences are and most importantly you must feel passionate about it so you can stay focused and positive when you are facing challenges. Let’s say you’re an animal lover, have several pets, and spend a bunch of time looking for products and services for your beloved companions. If that’s your passion, try to come up with ideas related to that. Don’t start learning to make computer games just because your neighbor made a killing with that decision. As an avid pet lover, you know well what your target audience wants, while you probably have much less grasp on what the newest gaming trends are.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel
Most people give up on having their own business because they feel that they have to come up with some kind of revolutionary idea. While it certainly doesn’t hurt to have such an idea, it is really not necessary. Staying with the pet example, it can be enough to just come up with ideas on how certain products or services you are already using could be improved. I personally know a guy who wanted a dog collar with a personalized design that also uses an ‘extra safe’ safety buckle. To his surprise, there was no company that could satisfy his wish, so he made it by himself. After receiving countless compliments on the collar he made, first, he started making ones for family and friends, and not long after, he had his own successful business making thousands of custom-made collars every year.
Even if you can’t come up with any creative ideas, don’t give up. Look for services that do well in other regions but are not available in yours. With some research, you might find that for example, the neighboring town has 3 doggy daycares and all of them are thriving while there is none in your town. There you have it. After doing a bit of research, you can conclude that opening a doggy daycare in your town could be a good business opportunity. You did not need much creativity or a fancy business degree, just plain common sense, and a bit of time investment.
Always start small
Do not quit your job instantly!
I know you’re excited about your new idea and feel that you must dedicate all your time and energy to making it successful. Unless you have a substantial amount of savings, do not risk your career and your livelihood on an idea that may or may not work out. Try dedicating most of your free time to your venture, use your day-offs to develop it or you can consider going part-time to be able to build your business while still being employed. Of course, everyone’s situation is different. If you have a strong CV with at least a decade of experience in high-demand professions, you can consider quitting knowing that you’ll be hired in days if your business venture doesn’t turn out as expected. Unfortunately, most of us are not in this position, so please be patient and don’t risk being out of a job for longer periods if things south.
Build a prototype!
I know you have the burning desire to build the biggest possible business, sell the best possible product or provide a service that is equal to none. The reality is that while having a long-term vision is necessary, first you should focus on creating a so-called ‘minimal viable business’, focusing on a very limited amount of products or services. Jeff Bezos didn’t start Amazon as the ‘online retailer of everything’. He focused on one thing. Creating the best online bookstore. Only after that segment turned out to be a success, he developed the company further, utilizing the profits generated by the business itself. McDonald’s didn’t start out as a major franchise business with dozens of different offerings. It was just a single restaurant with a fairly limited menu. All in all, feel free to think big, but always start small!
Start marketing before having the product or service itself
As a part of market research, you can start marketing without even starting the business. Once I was considering starting a supplement business that I was extremely passionate about. Since I planned to create a quite unique product I had no idea what the demand will be like. I consulted a marketer who suggested me not to invest in having the supplement produced due to high initial costs. Instead, I was told to have a basic website and social media profiles for the product and do some basic advertising. All advertisements led to my webpage where people could ’click to order’ my product. When they did so, a pop-up let them know that the product was out of stock but by providing their email address, they would be notified if it is available again. This way I could find out at a low cost what the demand is for the product and also collected data on some potential customers before making substantial investments in the production. I didn’t even have to go through the legal process of establishing the company at this point, since I technically wasn’t selling anything.
As for the doggy daycare idea, you could do something similar. By going to all the nearby dog parks and pet-related events, you could grasp the expected demand. You could start offering people discounted monthly or yearly passes to the daycare with a promise that you’ll provide a full refund in case it is not opened by a certain time. This way you not only find out how many people would be interested in the service you are planning to provide, but also have some funds to cover the initial costs of establishing the business.
Tips after you decided to go through with the plan
It’s not gonna be smooth sailing, just accept it. You have to be prepared to weather the storms that come with establishing a new venture. There will always be unforeseen issues to deal with, but you must keep grinding till you make it. Having talked to dozens of successful entrepreneurs, it became clear to me that the stress that comes with starting a business is unavoidable. While making a list of all the issues you feel might encounter will definitely help, there will be ones you are not prepared for. These will test not only your business skills but your determination as well. Try to stay rational and face issues head on.
Don’t be afraid to fail!
As I have already mentioned, most new businesses fail. Just accept the fact that even if you do your best, there is a chance it will not work out. As Henry Fords famously said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. Most entrepreneurs don’t get it right the first time. Many of them had quite a few ventures before they achieved success. The reason they did and others did not is that they were willing to learn from their mistakes. If your company fails due to your business partner’s incompetence or dishonesty, it’s your fault, since you chose to work with that person. If the business fails because an employee destroys the reputation of your beloved venture, it’s still your fault, you made the hiring decision. Always take full responsibility, never blame others, learn from your mistakes and just keep grinding!
Learn to work with other people!
There is a good chance you will create a company that will have employees and there will be tasks you’re gonna have to outsource. No matter what company you are planning to have, you’ll have to learn how to work well and manage others. Don’t try to be ‘the boss’ constantly instructing and correcting everyone while ignoring everyone’s feedback. Be a ‘leader’ who inspires people to do their best and constantly ask how you can help others be happier with their jobs and in return more satisfied and productive. It is quite unfortunate that Steve Jobs became a person many wannabee businessmen inspire to be like thinking that his harsh, unempathetic style of managing people was somehow the key to his success. These people must understand that he became successful despite his terrible personality traits, not because of them. In reality, almost all highly successful businessmen have excellent people skills. If you want to have a chance to build a great business, you must invest time in improving your communication skills.
Educate yourself continuously
Being a lifelong learner is the key not only to reaching success but to being able to stay ahead of the competition. Many make the mistake of getting comfortable after building a profitable company. In every single market, the competition is higher than ever. Markets and customer preferences can change almost instantly, and more and more up-and-coming entrepreneurs are trying to take your place. It is vital to keep ahead and the only way to do so is by staying up to date with everything related to your chosen market and keep learning and improving.
Living in Spain as a Non-Resident
Did you know there are more than 1,500,000 Americans in Spain right now? This shouldn’t surprise you since after all, Spain is one of the cheapest countries to live in, even as a foreigner. A country that provides easy access to countries in the EU region and the United States and has some of the most beautiful cities you’ll ever set your eyes on – it’s no surprise that people are looking to retire and spend the remainder of their lives there.Table of Contents
If you, as an American, would love to move to Spain, either as a student or as an expatriate, then you’re reading the right article. In this article, we will discuss the practicalities of residing in Spain, including the benefits, job opportunities, and much more.
Why is Spain So Popular for US Expats?
For many, what comes to mind when they hear the word Spain is the lovely scenery and mild weather. Spain is known for its Flamenco, food, siesta, arts, literature, Moorish heritage, wine, and of course, bullfights. Read on for some reasons why people choose to move to Spain.
High Quality of Life
Spain’s active lifestyle is much more relaxed than some from the US are accustomed to. Instead, everything revolves around the Spanish spirit – one that recommends enjoying life as much as possible. You’ll leave behind the culture of hustle and rushing in the US for a slower, relaxed pace.
In Spain, many typically enjoy an afternoon siesta. It is common for businesses to close during this time and many will nap or rest, taking a break from work. This happens during the hottest parts of the day, from around 2pm to 5pm. After this, people go out for dinner or continue their everyday routines.
Rich History, Art and Culture
Many associate Spain with its rich history and culture, contributing to the quality of life there. With all sorts of excellent food and impressive architecture, the culture continues to thrive and attract new people. This manes Spain a popular destination for vacations and long stays alike. Tapas, bullfighting, night life, soccer games, historic architecture – there is truly something for everyone.
Many Expat Communities
Moving to a new country is complex, and it’s indeed a challenging process. Leaving behind families and friends ultimately means that all new residents must build a new social circle. However, it seems that this isn’t difficult at all in Spain. Since there are already pre existing groups of American expatriates, this assures many people that there will already be a community for them in Spain.
Top Benefits of Living in Spain
So, what exactly drives people to stay in Spain, rather than just visit? This can be answered by looking into the country’s culture and comparing it to that of the US. When you choose to live in Spain, you join a vibrant expat community and rich culture and food scene.
Retirement and Family Friendly
When looking for places to retire, it is a priority for many that their family and friends are able to stay close to them and maintain family relationships. There are even visas in place, like the family reunion Visa, that allow loved ones to easily join their families in Spain. Without a doubt, Spain is a retirement-friendly country with a free top-notch healthcare system and low property costs.
Excellent, Dependable Healthcare
Spain’s healthcare system is one of the best public healthcare systems in the world. And those that work and live in Spain also get free access to their general healthcare. Gaining access to their healthcare system isn’t as complex as one might think, and is significantly more straightforward than doing so in the US.
Easy to Acquire Visa
Getting a visa in Spain as an American is relatively easy. The Investor visa called the Golden Visa grants you and your entire family working access. All you have to do is invest a minimum of €500,000 in any property you choose. Meanwhile, the non-lucrative visa is another type of visa that lets you reside in the country under the condition that you have enough money to support yourself.
Ideal Jobs in Spain for Americans and Other International Citizens
Is it possible for expats to find legal job opportunities in Spain? The answer to that question is yes. While the job market is a bit complex and challenging, some job sectors and industries are constantly searching for skilled workers. So, if, as an expat, you need a job in Spain, make sure you’ve got the skills to do these jobs, and you’ll be a step closer to finding your preferred position.
If you have the skills to work competently in the IT industry, there are lots of IT jobs available for you to try out. For example, you can find employment doing software testing, programming, coding, and iOS and Android development. Programming skills translate across languages and cultures, making them a good fit for work abroad.
Medical Practitioner Jobs
Medicine is another industry whose skill set translates across languages and cultures. Childcare professionals, elderly care professionals, and childcare professionals are some of the famous and in-demand medical jobs in Spain right now.
Tourism and Hospitality
If you plan to travel to Spain as an expat, this is one industry worth exploring if you know that you’ll need an easy to acquire job during your travels. Restaurant, bartending, and catering are some options you have to explore as an American if you need a job in Spain. You’ll also have a high chance of finding these types of work in popular tourist destinations like Seville, Madrid, and Barcelona. This is a great fit for younger travelers or those who want a more flexible job.
If you are contemplating traveling to Spain and would love to experience a quality life, Spain will give you most (if not all) of that and much more. Contrary to what you might have heard, living in Spain as a non-resident isn’t as hard as one might think. At the end of it all, you won’t regret that decision.
How to get rid of bad car loans
If you’re struggling to keep up with your monthly car loan payments: don’t worry, it’s more common than you think. In this article, we’ll cover the possible solutions to help you or anyone you know with managing bad car loans. We hope that after reading through the article, you’ll feel a lot more in control of your situation and what your next steps should be to significantly improve your financial situation.Table of Contents
With the average monthly car payment in the U.S. amounting to 576 U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter of 2020, it’s no wonder that many people are finding it difficult to settle their debts.
Understandably, unexpected events in life events that are entirely out of our control happen to all of us. Consequently, many people fall into financial hardship and find themselves with a mountainous pile of debt. Let’s see the possible solutions!
What is a car loan?
Before going through bad car loan solutions, let’s quickly go over what car loans are and how they work. If you’re already knowledgeable about this, please feel free to skip this section.
As a short summary, when a financial lender provides you with a loan on a car, they’ll secure it against the approximated value of the car so that you can buy it. The car is therefore used as collateral, which means that if you were to consistently default on your payments and demonstrate that you could longer consistently meet your monthly repayments, your lender would have the right to repossess your vehicle and sell it in order to recoup as much of the original loan amount as possible.
The payable interest on a purchaser’s loan is entirely dependent mainly on their credit score and the individual deal they’ve agreed with a finance company or salesperson.
What does a bad car loan look like?
So, with the above in mind, what exactly makes a car loan bad? Surprisingly, they’re quite common and easy to accidentally agree to. Many people get swept up in the excitement of owning a new car and, consequently, overlook just how much their monthly payment, with the additional interest, will actually cost them over the span of the entire loan (which is, on average, 3 or more years).
Additionally, prior loans that were once within someone’s price range can turn sour. This could be as a result of a purchaser losing their main income stream, such as their job, meaning they can no longer meet their monthly payments.
What are the solutions for getting rid of a bad car loan?
It’s important to note that serious financial and debt struggles are absolutely nothing to scoff at. They can be seriously detrimental to somebody’s overall well-being and mental health if they’re not dealt with.
So, if you are feeling completely overwhelmed by a daunting car loan, in addition to some of the solutions we’ve listed below, please don’t be afraid to seek out professional finance and mental health advice.
1. The first thing you should do? Negotiate with your lender
Before dong away with your loan entirely, it’s highly recommended that first speak to your car loan lender and see if you can re-negotiate your previous agreement.
You’d be surprised by how understanding and forgiving many lenders can be, so it’s always worthwhile being honest and upfront with them about your financial situation.
For instance, if you can prove to your lender that your financial challenges are temporary, you may be able to negotiate a forbearance. This would pause your monthly payments for a short period whilst you find another income stream to pay your lender.
Even if forbearance isn’t possible, many lenders can temporarily decrease your monthly payments, or at the very least make them more manageable, whilst you find an alternative way to pay.
2. Try refinancing your loan
If you’re unable to negotiate a better deal with your lender on your current loan, the next best step could be to refinance.
Refinancing is especially advised if your credit score or the market interest rate has improved as you may be able to strike a better deal on your next loan amount.
The main pro? Reduced monthly payments
Refinancing your current loan agreement usually means you’ll extend your loan term agreement to spread out your monthly repayments.
This would mean that your monthly repayments would be reduced as it’s spreading out your payments over a more extended period of time in comparison to your original loan period.
The main con? Increased payable interest
The unfortunate downside of extending your term is that you’ll ultimately end up paying more in interest over the entire course of your loan. Therefore, it’s only advisable to do this if you have a ‘Great’ or ‘Excellent’ credit score, where your interest is as low as possible.
If from reading the above you think that refinancing is a good fit for your bad car loan situation, it’s highly recommended to shop around and compare deals offered by different lenders.
Many comparison websites such as Comparethemarket or Uswitch exist so you can achieve the largest savings possible on your next refinance deal. However, it’s also important to consider all the administrative fees that may be associated when refinancing your current loan.
3. Move your debt to a balance transfer credit card
If for whatever reason refinancing doesn’t work, another option could be to move your entire debt onto a balance transfer credit card.
The main pro? 0% APR promotions
Even if a credit card comes with a higher rate than your current car loan, you may be able to take advantage of a 0% APR promotional period that many credit card companies often offer in your first year. Although in many instances, some can even be as long as 18 months.
By transferring to a credit card, instead of owing a larger sum usually required by a car loan, you’ll only be expected to pay the minimum monthly repayments, which gives you more flexibility and space in your budget.
The main con? Must have an already good credit score
This option might not be the best if you have a poor credit score or low income, as you will find it more difficult to successfully apply for a credit card with a high enough limit to pay off your car loan with favourable rates.
4. Consider trading in your car for a less expensive one
If both refinancing and moving your debt onto a separate credit card are not an option, many lenders allow you to downgrade to a less expensive used car and use the difference in value to significantly reduce your debt balance.
The main pro? You can significantly reduce your loan
Although it’s not ideal to trade down your car, it might be necessary if you’re in real financial hardship. If your lender agrees, you may be able to put a serious dent in your bad car loan.
The main con? You’ll have a less expensive car
Of course, the main drawback of trading in your car is that you’ll have to sacrifice the comfort of your original, likely newer and more expensive car. However, if that means reducing your overall bad car debt? It’s totally worth the sacrifice.
If all else fails, it’s probably time to sell
If you’ve exhausted all the other possible solutions provided above, it may be time to sell your car and cut the losses. Obviously, this is only advised if you’re willing to take the most radical solution.
Yet, selling your car may not even be possible if you desperately need it to commute to work or transport your family. What’s more, selling your vehicle may not even guarantee you completely pay off your loan, as it’s possible you may still have a sizeable amount of interest that’s accumulated throughout your loan term. However, sadly, you may end up losing your vehicle anyway if you can’t reasonably keep up with your monthly repayments.
So at least by selling the vehicle on your own terms, ultimately, you’re more in control of the process than if your lender were to demand to repossess it. Perhaps even more importantly, you’ll save your credit score from taking a massive hit by taking action sooner rather than later. To conclude, we hope this article has helped provide you with some possible options for helping you get rid of a bad car loan. Please do try some of the methods listed above, such as negotiating with your lender, refinancing or trading in your current car for a more expensive one.
If none of these prior things works, it may be time to sell and get rid of that bad car loan as soon as possible. Most people would agree that relieving the stress, anxiety and overall fear associated with a bad car loan is worth far more than owning the car itself!
How to Save Money on Groceries
Groceries can be one of the largest expenses for any household. Putting food on the table is equally as important as having a roof over your head. But sometimes it can be difficult to save money on groceries when your appetite has other ideas, and you don’t realize how the prices of food items can quickly add up. It’s easy to learn how to save money on groceries and with some guidance, you’ll be saving in no time.Table of Contents
Create a Grocery List
Having a solid, well-planned out grocery list is arguably one of the most important strategies for saving money on groceries. This will keep you on track to stick with what you need, not whatever you want. Going to the grocery store hungry and without a list can make your bill much larger than needed. In fact, some people say they save money by doing grocery store pickup or delivery orders because it limits the temptation of unnecessary products in the store.
Shop at Budget Grocery Stores
You’ll get full whether you shop at Aldi or Whole Foods Market. Compare local grocery stores in your area to see which ones have the best prices overall, and shop weekly deals for the best value.
Aldi and Walmart are two of the most cost-effective grocery options available in the United States. When comparing the Great Value brand vs. Aldi (who relies on lack of brand name recognition to keep prices low), price depends on the item. Aldi generally has better prices on meat and produce, while Walmart is better for pantry staple items such as rice and beans. Having a good foundation of groceries at home like potatoes, rice, eggs, and soups is great to stretch your budget when you don’t have the funds to stock your pantry.
It is worth looking into local farms for cheaper prices on meat, dairy and produce. The food quality is often better, too. If you follow a specific diet such as gluten free or keto, it can be even more challenging to accommodate a budget, but it’s not impossible. Even cheaper grocery stores stock items for every dietary need.
Sign up for the Loyalty Program
No matter where you shop, signing up for the store’s loyalty program will be worth it. Loyalty programs help you save money by offering weekly deals that you can build a grocery list around, making your shopping even more strategic.
If you have a large family, you can join a wholesale club like Sam’s, BJ’s or Costco. The savings typically aren’t worth it for a single person, but can quickly make a difference if you have many mouths to feed. Even better, you can find deals to sign up for the wholesale clubs at a discount throughout the year by checking Groupon and social media.
Digital coupons will be available even if you’re not a member. Keep your eye out for coupons that you would use before heading to the store.
Where and When to Shop
Some people, such as college students, may not have a kitchen to prepare food. But for those of us who are able to prepare food, there are no excuses for buying pre-made foods, as you pay for the convenience and time saved with your own money. Skipping the prepared foods aisle can save you money, as these items are typically more costly than if you made them from scratch. Even if you’re short on time, having a dedicated meal prep day can help to keep your grocery expenses in check.
Shopping late at night before the stores close or early in the morning increases your chances of finding marked down food. There is nothing wrong with buying food that will expire soon if you can cook it immediately or freeze it until you are able to use it, and this can cut the price of meat in half!
Say you have $25 and already have a few staples at home like rice, beans, and canned goods. You can get a few items to last you until better (pay)days.
Rotisserie chicken: $6.47
Rotisserie chicken can be split up into several meals and used in a variety of ways.
Great Value 12 count large white eggs: $2.52
Eggs are a great source of protein and can be used for breakfast or as an added bonus in ramen.
Great Value Pasta: $0.92
Great Value Mushroom Pasta Sauce: $1.50
Ground Beef (73% lean, 47% fat): $4.34
3 lb. bag Gala Apples: $3.78
This puts you at 19.53. Condiments and spices will go a long way to make this food filling and satisfying. You want to save a few dollars for sales tax, but you were able to get meat and produce. That said, this budget assumes that you don’t have any dietary restrictions. Excluding meat can help you save money, so if you do follow a specific diet, splurging on a protein powder will benefit you.
Buy Frozen and Canned Goods
Frozen food is commonly mistaken as less fresh than its non-frozen counterparts, but that’s not the case. Buying frozen meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables will greatly reduce overall spending. Buying single-serve microwave meals is not advisable for spending or nutrition, but buying frozen chicken, broccoli, etc. will give you the option to cook when you want while saving a few dollars.
As mentioned above, if you dislike frozen food or try to eat a whole foods diet, your best option might be finding a local farm where poultry, dairy and produce are much cheaper than common grocery stores.
Use Cash Back Apps
Using Cash Back apps consistently can lead to serious savings over time. Well known apps like Ibotta, ReceiptHog, FetchRewards, Rakuten, and Checkout 51 save you .50 to several dollars per item. It can take a while to cash in on savings, but that depends how often you grocery shop and use the apps. If you’re dedicated to saving every penny you can, we recommend signing up for one app, sticking to it, and racking up as many rewards as possible.
Of course, one final option is to use a credit card to earn cash back on everyday purchases like groceries. However, credit is not the best long-term option for saving money since it can lead to overextending your budget.
Go Forth and Save!
Hopefully these tips have helped you plan your next trip to the grocery store. Ask friends or family how much they spend on groceries, and use this helpful monthly grocery budget calculator to see how your spending stacks up. With so many options available to save money on groceries, you can eliminate the stress of overspending next time you go shopping. We hope this article empowered you to take your financial wellbeing in your own hands, and showed you how simple behavior changes can lead to big results.
Long-term investing for a secure financial future
No one knows what the future will bring. One thing that is certain, having a firm financial background will help us keep our family safe and secure and ensure that we’ll be able to face any challenges. Amid the pandemic, the threat of the third world war, and fears of a global recession, it could be extremely challenging to pick the right assets to ensure a bright financial future for yourself and the whole family. In this article, our team set out to showcase investment options that have stood the test of time and will give you the best chance to achieve your goals.Table of Contents
As the golden rule of long-term investing says: “it’s not about timing the market, but about time in the market”. Countless research has proven that passive investors, who are not trying to pick the tops and bottoms and stay invested for longer periods of time, have been constantly outperforming those who do the opposite. To be blunt, no one knows what will happen in the next months and years in the markets. Whoever says otherwise is either delusional or just trying to get in your pocket. On the other hand, making long-term predictions is fairly easy and can be done with decent certainty. Maybe we are heading into a recession, and maybe there will be other global pandemics, but we can still make smart investment decisions that are highly likely to do well in the long run.
Why you should hold hard precious metals?
Precious metals as a form of money and investment date back thousands of years. Metals such as gold and silver have been regarded as the ‘soundest form of money’ for ages. They are considered the best hedge against recession and have been historically outperforming many other assets, especially in high inflationary periods. While keeping your whole net worth in these metals is certainly not recommended, most serious investors dedicate 1-10% of their portfolio to ensure having purchasing power, in case the economy collapses. While a global economic meltdown is unlikely, in case it happens, you’ll be greatly rewarded for being prepared.
Why you should hold hard assets
Besides precious metals, there are several other so-called hard assets that can prove to be a great long-term investment. Holding assets such as real estate, commodities such as oil or natural gas, collectibles, classic cars, and art pieces are becoming more and more popular among conscientious investors. Many prefer these alternative forms of investments due to their tangibility and physicality. They can also add diversity to a traditional investment portfolio of stock and fixed-income instruments. These are typically considered the ‘sit back and relax’ type of investments that you are unlikely to regret in the long run. Big proponents of hard assets argue that while ‘soft assets’ can be endlessly reproduced, hard assets are limited by nature and due to this, they are bound to outperform their counterparts in the long run. The number of plots for real estate is limited, natural resources that can be extracted are not endless, there will never be new 67 Mustangs made and we can also be sure that Picasso won’t crawl out of his grave to make new paintings, devaluing the current ones.
Hold art, classic vehicles, and collectibles as a hedge against the financial system
No matter what the future hold for the world economy, no matter whether the currency will be gold, Bitcoin, or even coffee beans, there will be people who will benefit from the world order. Even in an apocalyptic scenario, an elite class will emerge, and members of this group will certainly appreciate, art, beauty, and the historical value of different collectibles. The point is, that these items do not correlate to other, more traditional forms of investments and due to this trait, could be valuable assets to your current investment portfolio.
The demand for collectibles has been constantly rising. Making investments in historically important pieces – whether these are comic books, stamps, coins, paintings, or muscle cars – has been producing insane returns for some. A 1938 copy of Action Comics #1 was sold in 2014 for a mind-boggling $3.21 million. While buying already highly appreciated paintings from famous artists or first editions of 90-year-old comics is probably out of the question for most, you can make smaller, smart bets on pieces that will likely appreciate in the future. For example, in every country, there are limited edition coins issued every year. Usually, these can be directly bought from the government institution and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Garage sales can also be great places to find treasures that have long-term historical value.
If you are willing to invest a substantial amount in art, classic vehicles, or collectibles, we highly recommend you consult a professional. Since it is a widely lucrative space, it attracts many scammers due to most people having very limited knowledge about the field. Remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Hold dividend stocks or high-yield ETFs
Holding a portfolio of stocks that are constantly paying an increasing dividend is probably the most popular way to ensure financial freedom nowadays. It is considered the tried-and-true way of building generational wealth. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. While picking good, so-called ‘dividend champions’ is easy, knowing when to buy or in rare cases, when to get rid of them can be immensely challenging. Due to the nature of the stock market, the best buying opportunities arise, when there is panic in the market, while selling should mostly be done at times, when euphoria kicks in and most are buying the stock hand over fist. Only those who are willing to invest the necessary time to learn should attempt to build such a portfolio by themselves. If you need help picking the right stocks for you, we highly recommend subscribing to The Falcon Method. The owner, David will not only provide excellent stock recommendations, but he will also support your journey with educational content in his highly regarded newsletter.
If you do not wish to dedicate a substantial amount of time to investing, ETFs are meant for you. ETF stands for Exchange-Traded Fund and contains funds that track specific indexes like the NASDAQ or the S&P 500. By investing in an ETF, you receive a bundle of assets, which will provide exposure to a diversified collection of equities. ETFs tend to be less volatile and considered lower risk compared to other investment alternatives. Compared to stocks, ETFs also benefit from substantially lower fees and have some tax advantages as well. Our team has dedicated a whole article to this topic. If you haven’t checked it out already, and are interested in finding ones that will grant you instant passive income, read our article titled: The fastest ways to earn passive income immediately
Refinance your property to buy another one for renting
Investing in real estate has always been a popular form of investing. If you have a wholly-owned piece of real estate, free of mortgage, you should consider refinancing it to buy another one for renting. Smart investors are often able to rent the place for a higher fee than what they are paying for the bank, hence instantly having a net positive cash flow investment. Do not rush to purchase the first one you see on the market though, since rental yields can widely vary from 2% all the way up to around 20%. Be sure to do your research, check the regional prices, trends of rental fees, and tax obligations in that specific region. Although paying for the consultation fee of a true professional real estate investor might seem way too expensive, it can save you a lot of headache by helping you select the right property fitting your individual needs.
In this short article, we introduced you to some of the most popular asset classes to invest in to build generational wealth. We believe any of them have the potential to ultimately lead to financial freedom, but combining them is probably the smartest way to invest. Markets tend to move in cycles and often the asset classes mentioned are not positively correlated, meaning that if you have a portfolio that is exposed to all the mentioned asset classes above, no matter the cycle, some of your investments will be doing exceptionally well. A more advanced strategy could be moving your wealth based on the cycles. Let’s say there is a housing bubble, while at the same time the stock market is significantly down. This might be the best time to sell your property and heavily invest in quality stocks or ETFs. If there is a financial crisis where hard assets tend to do extremely well, while real estate suffers, it might be best to sell some of those overprice precious metals you have been holding onto and buy real estate dirt cheap. All in all, if you are exposed to all these asset classes, you’ll be guaranteed to do well long term.
How I Make Passive Income with Idle Cash?
In the previous article series (“How Can I Make Passive Income with No Money?”), we discussed a lot of the possibilities to generate passive income from scratch. When you have time but have no money. What if it’s the opposite, you have the money, but you don’t have enough time? In this article, we will discuss how to utilize and optimize your idle cash: making the money work for you while you are sleeping!
- Open a High-Yield Savings Account
You’re not alone if you have excess money in your bank account. In 2018, the average American checking account balance reached a new high. If you have money put aside, even if you may need to take it at some time, a high-yield savings account can provide a greater APY (annual percentage yield). Many of the greatest savings accounts are also free of fees and have minimal or no minimum balance requirements.
- Investing in Stocks
You can invest your money instead of putting your money in the bank. You can even get dividends if you invest in some blue-chip companies. If you need help picking the right stocks for you, I highly recommend subscribing to The Falcon Method . The owner, David will not only provide excellent stock recommendations, but he will also support your journey with educational content in his highly regarded newsletter.
- Get into Index Funds or ETFs
An index fund is a collection of stocks designed to match or track a market index, like the S&P 500, while an ETF is like a basket of stocks, bonds, and other assets. The greater diversification offers less risk, and taxes and fees are lower as well. And because index funds and ETFs are hands-off, your investment can truly be considered passive income. You’ll be able to sit back and watch the returns pour in overtime. When you invest in an index fund, let’s say $1,000 in the S&P 500, that basically means that your $1,000 is distributed amongst the top 500 biggest companies in the US, weighted by how big they are. If you wish to start, you’ll need a good broker. Although there are hundreds of options, right now we believe Interactive Brokers provides the highest quality service with reasonable fees.
- Build a Bond Ladder
A bond ladder is an investing strategy that consists of a broad portfolio of bonds with varying maturities. “Laddering bonds may be appealing because it may help you manage interest rate risk, and to make ongoing reinvestment decisions over time, giving you the flexibility to invest in different credit and interest rate environments,” says Richard Carter, vice president of fixed-income products and services at Fidelity. However, if your objective is diversity, you’ll need a large amount of cash to begin, since bonds are often issued in minimum quantities of $1,000 or $5,000. Building a passive income stream requires some risk and work upfront, but it is a terrific method to generate money without losing what is most valuable to you: your time!
- Real Estate Investing
If you have enough money saved, real estate investing might be one of the best investments you can make. You may purchase a building and employ a property manager to run it for you, or you can purchase a duplex and rent out one apartment while living in the other. A typical passive income approach is to generate rental revenue. While monitoring the property and finding tenants may be time-consuming, there are real estate investment organizations that make it easy to search, buy, and manage investment properties.
- Become a Real Estate Crowdfunder
If you don’t have enough money to buy an entire building, you can still invest in real estate. All you need to get started with online real estate investing company DiversyFund is $500, and you can own your share of a real estate investment trust (REIT). Other real estate crowdfunding sites include Prodigy Network, Fundrise, RealtyShares, RealtyMogul, Crowdstreet.
- Own Digital Real Estate
Digital real estate is emerging as a result of the advancement of blockchain technology. You may now own and benefit from digital property in the same way that you can own and profit from physical property. This may seem to be a far-fetched passive income notion, but consider Facebook’s rebranding as “Meta”, the corporation is relying significantly on the digital world’s development (i.e., the metaverse). As a result, it could be an excellent moment to dabble in this interesting field.
- Buy Music Royalties
If you appreciate finding new musicians and enjoy listening to music, this may be the enterprise for you. Royalty Exchange allows you to bid on a percentage of an artist’s royalties. When royalty-paying organizations, such as radio stations and streaming services, utilize the piece of music, you’ll get a return on your investment. You may look at the song’s revenue history to see how much you could make over time. Furthermore, since royalties are not linked to the global financial market, there is less danger that prices may fluctuate.
- Vending Machine
If you put a vending machine for feminine products in a very busy public restroom, chances are a lot of women will gravitate towards it. Or you can set up a soda or snack machine at a busy junction, there’s a good chance it will be popular. The point is, if you have the right products and the right location, you could be generating income. You can buy an existing business or a franchise opportunity, like Kytch’s Frobots, which require very little upkeep. Some management will be required the owner to stock and maintain the machines, so you may also want to consider hiring someone to help.
- Build an App
Building an app is a difficult process that will take a large amount of time. However, after you’ve delivered your final product, this business needs little to no work to continue making money. There are even businesses that will develop your app for you if you have a fantastic concept but don’t know how to code. You will, however, require some money to explore this alternative.
- Buy Equity in a Small Business
When you purchase stock in a small firm, you are giving cash in return for a portion of the earnings or losses. There might be a lot of risk involved, so make sure you’re as confident in a company’s future as possible before investing. It is probably wise to invest in multiple companies at the same time to ‘spread out your bets’ and increase the chances of ‘hitting a home run’.
- Peer-to-Peer Lender
Peer-to-peer lending is a method in which an online platform allows individual investors (like you) to lend money to individual borrowers. The borrower then repays the loan with interest. There is a risk that the borrower would default on the loan, but you may discover that you will earn a higher return than with other investing possibilities. Furthermore, you will be able to assist someone in need in avoiding the financial pressure of high-interest credit. Some websites enable you to finance loans in increments, allowing you to invest a modest sum or lend money to a large number of individuals. Platforms such as Upstart, Prosper, and Peerform are examples.
To generate passive (or mostly passive) revenue from your franchise, you must be an absentee or semi-absentee owner. This simply implies that you are not engaged in the day-to-day operations of the company. Semi-absentee franchises are intended to be managed by a manager. Although the semi-absentee owner must check in on a regular basis and assist as needed, they still have plenty of time to explore other employment and possibilities in the workforce. The executive/absentee owner, on the other hand, is the least hands-on style of ownership. Keep in mind that most smaller franchise operations are not handled in this manner.
- Buy Some Parking Spots or A Storage Facility
Renting out a parking place in a high-traffic city, such as Chicago, New York, or Washington, DC, may be tremendously profitable and has a cheaper initial cost than owning a rental apartment. That’s what Chicago, IL resident Moustafa Mohamed, 28, discovered when he started looking into purchasing a home. His location earns him an additional $250 to $300 every month, and he’s trying to acquire more. “It will take me 4.5 years to recoup the $15,000 I paid on it,” he added, adding that the work required was modest. “I’ve probably spent a few hours a week researching and completing the paperwork for the deed.” His ambition is to acquire four to five rental properties before moving on to condominiums. Storage facilities have the same income profile. The required time to invest will be higher than in the case of rental apartments, but so as the yield you can expect from such an investment.
- Own Cloud/Ghost/Virtual Kitchen
A ghost kitchen is a professional food preparation and cooking facility that is set up to prepare meals for delivery alone. Some ghost kitchens have permitted takeaway or even drive-throughs. They lack a storefront and indoor seats for consumers. Cloud kitchens allow restaurateurs to launch a virtual brand or expand an existing restaurant at a low cost.
According to the IRS’s widely cited report, “Over the Top: How Tax Returns Show That the Very Rich Are Separate from You and Me,” millionaires had an average of seven different income streams. Capital gains, earned income, interest income, investment income, profits (from a company that you own), rental income, and royalty income were the top seven sources. Having several income sources (a combination of active and passive revenue streams) is one of the keys to accumulating true wealth. It not only provides additional options, but it is also a far less risky method than having just one active revenue source. Regardless of where you are in your financial path, each of these ideas may help you generate actual passive income, whether it’s a few hundred dollars per year or money that can someday let you leave your current empoyer.
- Open a High-Yield Savings Account
Building Passive Income Streams (Part 3)Table of Contents
In the previous articles, we discussed how to generate passive income from selling digital products & creating online courses (Part 1), and affiliate marketing & licensing ideas (Part 2). But, if all of the above-mentioned are not for you, let’s try some other alternatives in this article.
If you can find the right niche, a dropshipping business can be lucrative without requiring too much effort. There’s also a relatively low start-up cost since you don’t need to stock inventory ahead of time. It’s a good idea to sell something unique with a low shipping cost that people frequently search for.
You can get started by finding some products to sell on Oberlo and creating a Shopify ecommerce website to sell your items. From there, you’ll need to invest some money in getting people to visit your site, whether that’s through content that helps your search engine ranking or through Facebook ads.
Renting Unused Room
If you have a spare room and you don’t mind having strangers in the house, you could rent it out on a website, such as AirBnB. There are a lot of people who even turn their garages into a little room so that they can rent them out and make extra money that way. You might even choose to list your entire home while traveling to help offset the cost of your trip.
Renting Unused Car
Infrequent drivers may be better served by an app that lets you rent out your car to other drivers. Services include HyreCar lets you rent out your car to rideshare drivers to make up to $12,000 annually. Turo lets you rent out your car to travelers and make hundreds per month. Use the Carculator to find out how much your car could earn. Travel Car rents out your car for you while you travel; simply park at qualifying airports.
Utilising Sign-Up Bonus, Cash Back, and Gift Cards
Check your debit and credit card T&C, you might be eligible for sign-up bonus, cashback, and Gift Cards. Also check some apps and sites like Fetch Rewards, Swagbucks, Ibotta, Drop, and Seated.
Running Apps/Websites/Plugins in the Background
This method is truly passive without any effort. However, you need to keep in mind that since these apps/websites/plugins will be running in the background, you might give consent to them to access your data or activity. If you are the type of person who is concerned about data privacy, this method is not for you. Please make sure you do deeper research and read some reviews, for example from websites such as Trustpilot, and then you can judge them yourselves. Even though we do not recommend a method that offers you a “completely passive” income like this, it is good to know these methods are available. Please be very mindful and careful, and use it at your own risk!
Rakuten is a plugin you put on your computer and as you go shopping on the internet coupon codes will pop up and you’ll get cashback when you’re buying something It’s basically to save you money. However, if you refer someone, you send your link, it’s basically your affiliate link or your referral link from your Rakuten account to someone else. For example, if the person who used your referral link installed the plug-in and ended up purchasing $25 worth of things online, he/she gets $10 from Rakuten, and you get $25 for referring them.
Nielsen Computer & Mobile Panel
This is a panel you can just install on your phone and computer. However, it depends on where they currently are looking for members. It’s not available in all countries, which countries it’s available in will change from time to time. You can earn by just having it running on your device because it will gather data anonymously about how you use the internet, and this will be used for market research; you just need to be aware of that.
Another way you do not have to do anything once it has been set up, you just simply install it, and then you let it run in the background whenever you are online. You will earn by sharing your unused internet bandwidth. You can use this from all countries while earning some nice extra money on the side. You only need to earn $2 before you can get paid. You can get paid in cash in different ways.
Mediarewards is where you can get paid just by watching TV or listening to the radio. When you install this app, it will be in the background. Register what kind of media exposure you have, and then you will get paid for having that running in the background. So, if you ever watch TV o listen to the radio, it doesn’t matter which channel they are, you can make some money. You just need to be aware that it’s not available in all countries. They are not always accepting new members and they also fill up; so, you have to be a little bit lucky to get a spot, but then, it can be an easy and fun way to earn a bit extra passively.
It is very similar to Peer2Profit; you earn the same way, you install it and you earn some having it in the background whenever you are online by just sharing your unused internet bandwidth. You can use it no matter in which country you live. If you join through an invitation link, you will get a $5 joining bonus. Honeygain has several different payout options; you can get paid via PayPal, Bitcoin, or JumpToken; but you will need to earn $20 to get paid.
This is a little bit different from other methods that we have mentioned earlier. This will only be relevant if you are into cryptocurrencies and accepting payments from the above-mentioned methods in cryptocurrencies. You can earn up to 18% per year just by having your cryptocurrencies here.
This is the end of the “How Can I Make Passive Income with No Money?” series. Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” We provide you with a lot of alternatives to generate passive income, now it’s time for you to decide which one is suitable for you. Or, if you can’t decide yet, at least try out all the different options, and let’s see which one works for you. Don’t give up! Once you have saved a certain amount of money, you can start making your money work while you are sleeping.
Check our next article on How I Make Passive Income with Idle Cash?