How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

How to Make Money With Affiliate MarketingThis post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

There are several different ways to make money with your blog. Getting paid by advertisements, sponsored content and affiliate marketing are just a few of the ways that are out there. I’ve used all three of those ways before, but affiliate marketing is the one that peaks my interest the most. The sky is the limit when it comes to how much you can make. If you’re new to blogging, you may be wondering what the heck affiliate marketing is. In today’s post, I will be going over what affiliate marketing is, and I will share some programs that you should consider joining. After you finish reading it, you should be able to make money with affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is when you earn commission by promoting a product or a business’s service. You are given a unique link that tracks your traffic and sales. Whenever someone clicks on your link and make a purchase, you receive a small commission.

As a blogger, you should consider adding affiliate links to your posts. Don’t make the mistake that I did. I had waited a while before I started doing affiliate marketing. Once you get some good content up, you should add a link or two to some of the posts. Just don’t be spammy with it. The products you promote should always provide value or be something that your audience is interested in.

There are a lot of programs that you can sign up for. Below are a few that you can start with.

CJ Affiliate (Formerly Commission Junction)

CJ Affiliates is one the biggest affiliate programs out there. Several big name and popular brands work with them. TripAdvisor, GoDaddy, and Priceline are some of the brands that you can find on CJ Affiliates. For example, I’ve promoted GoDaddy and their domain specials that they have.

Amazon Affiliates

Amazon Affiliates was the first affiliate program that I signed up with. Amazon is one of the biggest online marketplaces in the world. They have thousands of items that you can promote in various niches. Some of the things that I’ve promoted from Amazon are books, shirts, and gift cards.

Your Hosting Company

Many bloggers promote their hosting company. If you like your hosting company, then you should promote it to others. The Butler Journal is hosted by Bluehost. I’ve been with them for over four years. I haven’t had any problems with them.

If you’re thinking about starting a blog, check out my post “Creating a Website with Bluehost“.

FlexOffers

Flexoffers is another program that has hundreds of brands that you can choose from. Some of the categories that you can search through are Entertainment, Digital Products, Financial Services, and Health and Wellness. Sign up for Flexoffers here.

Shareasale

The next program on the list is Shareasale. Similar to some of the other programs, Shareasale has a large selection of companies that bloggers can choose from. Grammarly and the NBA store are two of the brands that I work with through Shareasale. Get more info about them here.

Other Programs

Here are a few more programs that you can sign up for. Some of them will pay you in cash while others will give you credit.

Airbnb

I stayed at an Airbnb apartment when I went to Cuba last year. I fell in love with it. Airbnb offers you other options when it comes to lodging. If you don’t feel like paying high hotel prices, give Airbnb a chance. New users get a $40 travel credit when they sign up. If you don’t want to overpay for a hotel room check out Airbnb today.

Tailwind

Tailwind is one of my favorite tools that I use to help me with my Pinterest pinning. You can get a free month of Tailwind when you sign up for it. If you’re a blogger, it’s something that you should at least try. If you don’t like it, just cancel it before the first month is over.

Uber

I’m a huge fan of Uber. I’ve used it in several cities including Miami and Washington D.C. It’s saved me so much on rental cars. If I know that I’m going drinking, I use Uber. I’d rather be safe than sorry. Your readers can get a free ride up to $20 when they sign up using your affiliate link.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is one of the few legit sites that you can make money with. You can earn points which are called “Swagbucks” by doing surveys, watching videos, shopping online and more. The points can be redeemed for gift cards or cash. You can get more information about Swagbucks here.

Sunfrog

Sunfrog is one of the websites that I use to design and sell my shirts. You may have seen my Sallie Mae design or my new Blog Life design. Sunfrog is free to sign up with. If you become a designer on their site, you can promote other artists designs. You receive a percentage of any sales that happens when someone clicks on your affiliate link.

Capital One 360

I have an online emergency account with Capital One 360. I have money automatically transferred from my main account to my 360 savings account each month. New customers get a $25 bonus when they open up a qualifying savings or checking account. If you’re ready to open an account with Capital One 360, get more info here.

I enjoy blogging. I’ve been doing for over four years. I want to tell you the truth though; it takes work. You have to create good content, promote your blog and keep things up to date. It can be done if you’re focused. If you’ve considered starting a blog, I’d suggest you do it today. There isn’t a reason to wait.

Have your already started a blog, but still need some help with things? Here are some related posts:

13 Tools That You Need as a Blogger

10 Things They Don’t Tell You about Blogging

Why You Should Start a Blog

There are several ways to make money with a blog. A lot of bloggers make money with affiliate marketing. You could be the next one.

If this post helped you, please share it or pin today!

Have you done any affiliate marketing before? What has worked for you? What hasn’t?

 




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What Would You Do Different Financially In Your 20’s?

 

what-would-you-dodifferent-financiallyin-your-20s

This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

Most of my 20’s were a wonderful time. Some years were better than others depending on the situation I was in. I graduated from college (Savannah State University) at the age of 24. I also had the chance to live in wonderful cities such as Savannah, GA, and Orlando, FL. I did a lot of things right during that time. One thing that I didn’t do right was take good care of my finances. I made a couple mistakes financially that I wish I didn’t. Below are a few things that I would do differently.

Save More

I always had a job or a side hustle during my time in college. I never really experienced being a broke college student. I saved a little money here and there, but looking back, I could have easily saved a couple thousand dollars for a “rainy day”. Once I graduated from college a couple “rainy days” happened.  Having a decent savings account could have helped me struggle less during those times. If you are looking for a savings account to start for your rainy day fund, check out the Capital One 360 savings account. I’ve had an emergency account with them for years. They are currently offering a $25 bonus for new users who make a deposit of $250 or more. Click this link for more info.

Pay Attention to Interest Rates

I didn’t fully understand what interest rates were until it was too late. I could have saved myself some money by taking the time to read my statements and get a true understanding of interest. I could have chosen a credit card or a student loan with much better rates than the ones that I have now.

If Traveling With People For The 1st Time, Get Money Upfront!

I’ve had a couple situations where I’ve had to pay extra money on a trip because people canceled at the last minute. It’s not a good feeling having to pay an extra $200 for a hotel room when you didn’t budget for it. Fortunately, this hasn’t happened to me since 2007, but I can still remember that extra charge to the credit card like it was yesterday. I’ve made sure that will never happen again by getting money from people in advance.

Invest

I would have done more investing. I had a 401 K with one of my jobs, but in my opinion, that wasn’t enough. Even if I would have put some money in a mutual fund that would have been better than nothing. I refuse to let my 30’s be like that. I recently started investing with Stockpile. They allow you to purchase stock for as low as $10. They are giving all new members $5 when they open up a free account. Sign up for that deal here.

Paying on Student Loans

I promise for at least 2 years I was the king of deferments and forbearances. I thought I was doing it by not paying on my student loans. Fast forward to today. Not only was that not the smartest idea, but the amount that I owe to my lenders (especially Sallie Mae) has damn near doubled. Even though I didn’t have the best-paying jobs immediately after graduation I should have at least paid $50 per month on the loans. My situation would be a little better than it is right now.

Using Credit When I Had Cash

Earlier this year, I paid off my credit card debt. If I was smarter, I would not have had it this long. I could have paid for a couple trips from back in the day with my debit card. Also, I could have relaxed on a few of those Irish Car Bombs for me and my friends.

Now that I’m in my 30’s I refuse to let those things happen again. Over the past couple years, I’ve gotten much better with my finances. I know this is a struggle for many people. There are a few places online that can help you get organized. Personal Capital is a website that has a free tool that shows you your net worth among other things.

What would you do different financially in your 20′? What is one thing that you would tell anybody in their 20’s to do today?

 

Life, Money, Motivation , , , ,

June 2017 Debt & Life Update

June 2017 Debt & Life UpdateThis post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

What’s going on everyone? I hope y’all had a good June. Things have pretty good since my last update in May. I’m not freelancing as much. Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken the time to figure out my angle. I decided to focus on finding ways on how to grow traffic. For the longest, I’ve heard people say that you can’t be 100% active on every social media website. I decided to listen to them. I have started focusing more on Pinterest and Facebook. I recently started back using Tailwind after being away from over a year. I’ve been using their Tribes feature and also scheduling hundreds of pins. I’m starting to see some more growth. If you’re interested in trying Tailwind, you can get a free month of their service here.  I also use Boardbooster for Pinterest as well.

If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, make sure that you check out my step by step guide on creating a website with Bluehost. Use my link to get your hosting for as little as $3.45 per month (this low price is only available through my link). It usually costs $7.99 per month. You also get a free domain when you sign up through my link.

I’ve also continued to focus more on eBay. Because of that, my sales have increased. I’ve also been able to find more merchandise during the weekends. I had two swift sales last this month. The first item that sold quickly was a Johnny Unitas jersey.

June 2017 Debt & Life Update

It sold in 11 minutes. At the time that was my fastest sale ever. A few weeks later I sold a Memphis Grizzlies jersey in three minutes.  It sold for $100. At first, I was super excited and then I thought for a second. It sold quickly for a reason. I could have listed it for a higher price and made more money off of it. I wasn’t too mad though. I paid $6 for the jersey. I’m not complaining about a $94 profit.




Because I’m getting more items to sell on eBay, I had to do something about space. I had things spread all over the right side of my living room. It was beginning to be a bit much. I found this storage rack on eBay. My living room looks so much better now.  Below is a picture of the storage rack and my items.

June 2017 Debt & Life Update

Posts of the Month

How to Sell Something on Craigslist Safely

Side Hustle Series: Investing in the Stock Market

5 Habits That are Keeping You From Success

Five Smart Money Moves 

Debt Update

My total debt went from $63,088.10 to $62,660.22. That’s a decrease of $427.88. It was better than last month’s decrease. I know it will be better in July. I have a few affiliate payments coming through, and I may have another regular client. One thing that is certain, I have to start applying more to the debt. Earlier this year the debt was dropping by $800 for a few months. I want it to fall by $1000 each month sooner than later. I have to get on it.

Loan 2 – Down from $4520 to $4200

Navient – Down from $23,737.23 to $23,634.17

Nelnet – Down from $34,830.87 to $34,826.05

Navient fixed my account after they messed it up last month. There is a huge difference in being charged 10% interest instead of 5%. More money is going to the principal again.

How was your June?

 

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Common Credit Card Mistakes People Tend to Make

Common Credit Card Mistakes People Tend to MakeIf you’re walking around Walmart or any other major shopping store you probably don’t have a wallet stuffed with a thousand dollars in cash. However, should you see a 65-inch flat screen TV you like, you could actually bring it home within minutes with one swipe of your credit card.

Credit cards are the most convenient, most ubiquitous method of payment we have. There was a time their use was limited to certain retail stores. Now you can use them almost anywhere. Coffee shops take credit cards. Fast food restaurants take credit cards. There are probably some garage sales equipped to take them now.
With this increased convenience comes an increase in potential pitfalls of credit card use. Before you swipe, make sure you don’t make these common credit card mistakes.

Lacking Restraint

It can be too easy sometimes. You want something. All you have to do is swipe that card, and it’s yours. It almost feels like it’s free, but it certainly isn’t. You are going to have to pay for those clothes, that computer, that gaming system. Not only will you have to pay for it, you are going to pay interest on it as long as the balance is unpaid.

Ideally, you should not charge more than what you can pay off each month. Yes, emergencies will arise. Having the newest techno gadget is not an emergency. Showing restraint will give you the credit you may need when unexpected financial demands arise.

Ignoring Your Statement

Be sure to check your statement each month, whether it comes in the mail or whether you can view it online. If you don’t, you may miss fraudulent activity, payments which may not have been credited to your account, or fees you did not authorize by your card issuer. Read and understand your statement. It’s your money. Make sure you keep an eye on it.

Maintaining a Balance

Credit card companies compete for your business, so many have no annual fee. If you pay no annual fee, and you pay your balance off each month, you are using your credit card for free. However, once you maintain a balance after the grace period, you will accrue interest charges.

That is what the credit card company is hoping for because that’s the most common way for them to make money. Pay off your balance each month to avoid interest payments and potential late fees, and compound interest on top of them.



Making Only Minimum Payment

You may owe $1,500.00 on your statement. But your credit card company says it’s OK to just send them $30 that month. Seems tempting. This can give you some financial breathing room for the month. However, if you continue to do this, you will be paying only the interest charges and not the principle, the amount of money you charged in the first place.

Depending on how your minimum fees are calculated you could make your minimum payments each month, and after an entire year, have no appreciable reduction in your balance. Never mind that you will likely continue to make charges.

Paying Late

Better to pay at least the minimum fee on your credit card than to pay late. When you pay late, you get reported to the credit bureaus, and your credit rating will suffer. You will incur late fees, according to your card member agreement. If your balance and late fees are not paid off, you will incur interest payments not only on the balance but on the late fees as well.

Maxing out Your Limit

Credit cards are a convenient tool, but they have their limits. If you max out your credit limit, you will have no room to deal with emergencies. Also, having a balance beyond 30% of your credit limit can damage your credit score and make you appear to be a riskier borrower. If you are finding your balance rising, you are living beyond your means. Make adjustments as soon as possible.

Having Too Many Credit Cards

Once you have one, you will get flooded with offers to get another. Credit card companies make it quite easy for you to be approved, even without proof of employment. You will have another credit card in your mailbox in no time. Then what? More debt.

Your credit rating will suffer, and you may find yourself in irreversible financial hardship. There are times when credit cards offer “balance transfers” where you can move your higher interest rate credit card debt to a lower interest rate card, usually for a specified time period. This can be useful in the short term, but if you don’t pay off your balance, you may be worse off financially than you were before.

Credit cards are a convenience. Keep telling yourself that. They are not free money, not magical purchasing power. They are simply a contract between you and a lending institution which makes it easier to buy things. You still have to pay for them. And if you aren’t careful, you will be paying for a lot more than just what you bought with them. Don’t end up working for your credit cards. Keep your spending under control and make them work for you.

Related Reading: Guide on Business Credit Cards

Anum Yoon recently joined the blogging bandwagon to write about money management, frugal advice, and financial trends. She started and maintains her personal finance blog, Current on Currency. You can also sign up for her newsletter to read her weekly updates.

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5 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

5 Reasons You Didn't Get the JobWe’ve all been there. We’ve applied for jobs and didn’t get there. It sucks, especially if you need a new job ASAP. The truth is that no one is offered every job that they interview for. Sometimes it can take a while to get a new gig. I had interviewed with six companies before I was hired for my recent position. There are numerous reasons you didn’t get the job that you applied for. In today’s post, I want to share with you five of those reasons.

You weren’t prepared for the interview

Believe it or not, some people are not prepared for their interview. They don’t research the company. That’s a huge mistake. You should always take the time to research the company that you’re interviewing with. Some key things that you want to know are the founder and the date the company began. You also want to know who the president or the CEO is. If you don’t take the time to learn a little bit about the company you will be screwed. In every interview that I’ve had after college, someone asked me what I knew about the company. Make sure that you can answer that question once you get asked.

You didn’t dress the part

You have to dress the part for the interview. Even though it seems like common sense, you’d be surprised at how many people don’t dress correctly for interviews. For most interviews, you should dress up for your interview. A black or navy blue suit should work for men and women. Don’t expect to get a job coming to an interview with your jeans sagging and a t-shirt on. That’s not a good look. Your first impression means a lot.



Your hygiene was not good

Some people don’t get hired because of their hygiene. You would think every adult would know to shower and smell their best for an interview. Unfortunately, they don’t. Make sure that you use deodorant. Don’t smoke weed before your interview. The smell can linger in your clothes. Also, don’t drink heavily the night before your interview. If you are the type of person that sweats a lot, the alcohol smell can seep through your pores. If the person that interviews you smells that, you can kiss that opportunity goodbye. Do what you have to do to make sure that your hygiene is good before the interview.

You didn’t have enough experience

Sometimes people aren’t hired because they don’t have enough experience. That has happened to me before. Sometimes it’s understandable, and sometimes it’s not. How can you gain experience if you can’t get into the industry?  If this happens to you, don’t give up. You have to keep on applying. You will eventually get your opportunity. Don’t give up.

You talked too much

The final reason you didn’t get the job is that you talked too much. Talking too much can turn off your interviewers. You could say the wrong thing and piss the interviewer off. When you are being interviewed, make sure that you actively engage with your interviewer, but stay on topic. Don’t talk yourself out of your future job.

Those were five reasons you didn’t get the job. Hopefully, none of those have happened to you. If so, I hope you learned from the situation. That way it won’t happen again.

Do you know of any other reasons that people may not have gotten the job? Feel free to comment below.

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Should You Quit Your Job

Should You Quit Your JobThis post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

June 28th will mark four years since I quit my job in 2013. I left that job because I was in a dead-end situation. There was no room for growth. I pretty much hated that job. A lot of things happened since that time. Today, I want to share with you what took place when I quit, but first, let me give you some background info.

At the time, I was working as a financial aid rep at a college south of Atlanta. That job started out fine. After a while, it began to get very repetitive. I was doing the same things over and over again. I began to feel stuck.  In October of 2013, I would be turning 30 years old. I know that I couldn’t stay at that job for too much longer.  At the beginning of 2013, I started saving money and made June 28 my end date. Once that time came I was a little nervous, but I knew I made the correct decision. Below are some things that happened when I quit.

Travel

I’m going to be totally honest with you. Part of the reason that I quit my job in 2013 was to do some traveling. I set a bucket list goal in 2008 that I was never able to accomplish. That goal was to drive across the United States from coast to coast. The timing for the trip wasn’t right in 2008, but in 2013 I knew it was time. I was 29 and wanted to complete the trip before I turned 30. Cross country trips are looked at as a rite of passage.

I wanted to make the trip during the summer time, so on July 1st, it was on and popping. I drove from Atlanta to Jacksonville, Florida to Santa Monica, California. The trip was epic. I’m not going to hijack this post with all the details. You can read about my cross-country trip here. It’s broken down into four parts.

I-10 Trip 1

I -10 Trip 2

I-10 Trip 3

I-10 Trip 4

Relaxed

I returned from my cross country trip on July 14th. I didn’t have a job, but I had money saved up, so I took some time to relax. During the first couple of weeks back, I watched TV, did a little bit of eBay stuff and wrote some blog posts. Looking back, I could have done so much more especially with the site. I didn’t get serious with TBJ until 2015, though. I started to get bored, so I had to find something to do.

One of my friends posted online that he was looking for people to help him with a canvassing job. I contacted him immediately. I was hired and worked that “job” from August 2013 – November 2013. The job was very easy. We went to several neighborhoods and talked to people about the candidate. We only worked 20 hours a week and got paid in cash every week.

The Struggle

After the canvassing job had ended, I was able to find a temp job working for the post office during the month of December. Once December was over, I was back to chilling again. It was around January that I started slowly applying for jobs again. I had previously worked in a financial aid office, and I didn’t want to do that again. I only applied to certain positions. I wasn’t too serious about it. Looking back, I should have been. I wasn’t getting too many call backs, and the money that I had was starting to disappear. By March of 2014, I was almost at my last dollar. I was using credit cards to gas up my tank every other week. I went over my credit limit every month. I started being late on most of my bills. Hell, I wasn’t even paying on my student loans. Things were getting real. I couldn’t be picky about jobs anymore. I had to find a job and do it quickly.



Working 2 Jobs

I was almost at $0 when I saw a job opportunity near me on Craigslist. Jimmy Johns restaurant was looking for delivery jobs. I applied on a Tuesday and got hired on a Thursday. I was glad to be working again, but I knew that wasn’t going to be enough. Luckily I had applied with the Atlanta Braves a few weeks before, and they got back with me. I started working for them the following week.

Both jobs were part-time positions that paid hourly. The good thing with Jimmy Johns was that I was taking money home every day in tips. After not having a job for nearly four months I was happy to be working again. Sometimes in life, you have to do what you have to do. Did I want to be working two jobs at 30 with a college degree? No, but I needed money. It was a humbling experience that I needed at that time in my life.

Got Serious

During this time, I started to get a little more serious about life. My twenties were a blue. I had a lot of fun. I didn’t focus on some that things that I should have been. At 30, things began to change. I started paying attention to my money more. I also started reading more and started watching less TV.

Began Working Full-Time Again

In November 2014, I started working full-time again. The struggle was over. I only worked those part time jobs for six months. That was a short period. When I started working full-time again, I knew it was time to do better. I started to pay all my bills again. By March or 2015, I was current again. I wanted to start saving more too. I opened an online account with Capital One. I started depositing money in that account automatically each month. Capital One currently has a promo where new users can get $25 when they open a qualifying account. Check here for more details.

I had my ups and downs when I quit my job in 2013. If I could go back in time, I’d probably redo it. Everything was worth it. The struggle allowed me to grow and expand my comfort zone. I learned so much about myself during that time. My faith also got stronger as well. I learned how to be patient.

Should you quit your job? That decision is 100% on you. Everyone’s situation is different. If you’re considering quitting, please have some money saved and a plan.

Have you ever considered quitting a job without a backup plan?

Disease Called Debt

Life, Motivation , , , ,

Why Life Insurance is Important

Why Life Insurance is ImportantToday, I have a guest post from Chris Huntley. Enjoy

For Hanna Boykin, losing both parents in a 14-month span was devastating for her and her five siblings. Her parents had no life insurance coverage, and Hanna and her siblings didn’t have enough financial support to stay together.

…they were forced to move into different homes.

Hanna, recipient of our inaugural “Huntley Wealth Cares Scholarship,” is the perfect example of why life insurance is important.

Life insurance provides quick financial relief to the policy’s beneficiaries.  It can help pay bills, pay off debts, and pay for basic burial and final expenses.

In Hanna’s case, since she had an adult sibling, life insurance could have allowed her siblings to save their home, provide for food, clothing, and to go to college.

Even if you don’t have children, you may need life insurance.

In this article, we’ll look at the most common reasons people need life insurance, as well as the types of coverage and estimated costs for each.

Why people buy life insurance

According to LIMRA, a research and consulting firm, the top three reasons why people buy life insurance are:

  1. To cover burial and other final expenses
  2. To transfer wealth or leave an inheritance
  3. To help replace lost income

Let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.

#1 – To Cover Burial and Other Final Expenses

Number one is pretty straightforward.

If you are concerned about burdening your family with the expense of your funeral and burial (roughly $5,000 to $10,000), life insurance is an excellent way to mitigate that risk.

Please don’t rely on GoFundMe to pay for your final expenses.  A $10,000 guaranteed universal life insurance plan, which can provide coverage to age 90, 95, 100, or 120, can be purchased for less than $20 per month in many cases.

#2 – To Transfer Wealth or Leave an Inheritance

As of 2016, individuals can leave up to $5.45 million to their loved ones without paying any federal estate taxes. But if your estate is valued higher than that, the difference is subject to a whopping 40% federal estate tax.

Life insurance can pay for some or all of any applicable taxes your estate will owe. That way, more of your money goes to your heirs instead of the government.

Life insurance can also make it easier to divvy up your assets between your heirs. For example, if you have a lot of real estate and other illiquid assets, it can be tough to split those up equally.

Life insurance can be used to equalize the shares of your estate for everyone involved.

Just make sure your life insurance benefit is paid out properly. Otherwise, it could be included in your estate and be considered taxable. Read this article to learn more.

Leaving a Nest Egg

Perhaps you simply never acquired the amount of wealth you had hoped to in life, but would like to leave your children an inheritance when you pass.

You can do so for pennies on the dollar with a permanent life insurance policy, such as whole life insurance or universal life insurance (I recommend the latter).

For example, say a 60-year-old female who earns $40,000 per year would like to leave her children $100,000.

If she’s starting with nothing, she would have to set aside $3,000 per year for 20 years and consistently earn 5% after tax, in order to save up $100,000.

… and that’s assuming she lives to age 80.

Instead, the same 60-year-old, if she’s in good health, could buy a $100,000 guaranteed universal life insurance policy to age 95 for as little as $1,200 per year!

Of course, if she went the life insurance route, it would pay out the full $100,000 at any point, even if she only lived for a few weeks after buying the policy!


 #3 – To Help Replace Lost Income

If you’re the breadwinner in your home, a premature death could be financially devastating to your family.

Perhaps you have 10, 20 or 30 years left in your working career.  Your family is probably counting on you to earn that money to help pay for food, the rent or mortgage, health care, and other bills.

Scott Johnson, owner of WholevsTermLifeInsurance.com, put it this way:

“An extended member of my own family passed away in middle age with not nearly enough life insurance to support his family. Life was much more difficult for the survivors.  The event is one of the reasons that I got into the insurance business.”

LIMRA estimates that half of the households in America would feel the financial impact from the loss of their primary wage earner in a year or less, and 40% said they would feel the impact within 6 months!

The best way to protect your family from loss of income is with a term life insurance policy.

Term life insurance plans often cover you for 10-, 20-, 30- and even 40-year terms.  They are considered short term plans, and because you’ll likely outlive a term policy, they’re very affordable.

For example, a 40-year-old man could buy a 20-year term policy with $500,000 of coverage for as little as $28 per month.

While these are the three most common reasons to buy life insurance, I believe there are two more important (commonly overlooked) reasons I’d like to cover before we close.

#1 – You have a child with special needs

It’s common to have life insurance to cover final expenses, debt and lost income. But if you have a child with special needs, the financial devastation can be so much worse if you pass away prematurely.

Bill Humphrey from TermHut.com shares this story:

“A client of mine recently passed away unexpectedly. She left behind a devastated husband and three young children, one with special needs. Her life insurance policy gave her husband the money he needed to keep their home, pay for the cost of their special needs daughter and help their family heal.”

If you have a child with special needs, consider setting up a special needs trust and set up a life insurance policy with the trust as the beneficiary. Having funds for that specific purpose can save your loved ones a lot of grief.

#2 – If you have a business

Running a business can be risky, but even a successful business can fail if a partner or key employee passes away.

One specific type of life insurance policy for businesses is called a buy-sell agreement. If you have one or more business partners, this setup arranges for the transfer of each member’s portion of ownership to the surviving partner(s).

By including life insurance in the agreement, you ensure that your heirs get fair value for your portion of the business.

Key person insurance is another option for businesses. With this policy, you can secure a death benefit to protect your business from losing someone whose death could ruin the company overnight (i.e. a key executive or a salesperson responsible for 80% of the company’s contracts).

How to get life insurance

If you’re interested in getting life insurance, I highly recommend you work with an independent life insurance agent to get a quote. Independent agents have much better access to a variety of policies than an agent who sells insurance for just one company.

In most situations, you’ll want to buy term insurance. Permanent insurance policies can be very expensive and only make sense in a few situations.

Chris Huntley is president of Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services in San Diego. He also owns eLifeTools, a site dedicated to online marketing for insurance agents. He can be reached on Twitter @mrchrishuntley.

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