10 Earn From Home Sources of Extra Income

Do you have some extra time to kill and need another source of income? There are several ways to generate a secondary source of income without leaving the comfort of your own home. It’s surprising how many home employment opportunities exist. Anyone with a few hours to spare can earn extra money.

Check out these ways to stay at home and earn money in your free time:

1. Freelancing. With the capabilities of the internet and associated technologies, working from home is a snap. Whether your talent is writing, graphics, building websites, or voiceover work, there’s no end to the amount of work available for a freelancer.

  • No matter what your skills might be, there’s someone out there looking for you. Check out one of the many freelance websites to get started.

2. Telemarketing. Any place with a telephone is suitable for your telemarketing headquarters. It’s a job that few enjoy, so there are usually employers looking for callers. If you have a pleasant voice and can deal with rejection, telemarketing can be an easy and flexible way to earn some money.

3. Grow and sell vegetables. Okay, you might have to leave home to do this. On the other hand, you might be able to convince someone else to sell them for you at the local farmer’s market. Seeds are very inexpensive. Mother Nature will take care of the rest, minus weeding.

4. Make scrapbooks. Not everyone has the skill to make a custom scrapbook. Create scrapbooks for those who are unable or unwilling to do it themselves. A few supplies are all you need to get started.

  • Begin with offering your scrapbooking service to family, friends, and neighbors. You might be able to generate enough referrals to stay busy without additional advertising.

5. Data Entry. Most jobs pay for each entry rather than by the hour. It’s a great job if you have a few spare minutes here and there. It’s super flexible and can work around any schedule. With focus and fast fingers, you can generate a reasonable income.

6. Tutoring. Part-time tutors can make $30 or more per hour. You might have to brush up on your geometry or Latin, but tutoring can be a lucrative way to spend your free time.

7. Translate. Are you skilled in a second language? There are many opportunities to translate conversations and documents. While certifications are required to translate for large companies and government agencies, they’re totally unnecessary for translating a love letter or a conversation on Skype.

8. Rent out a room. If you have the space to spare, rent out a room. A good roommate can be a blessing and help you cover the bills. It might help your social life, too.

9. Host a party. There are parties for Tupperware, candles, and numerous other types of products. While these parties are typically held in the homes of others, host the parties yourself.

  • You could also allow your friends to use your home as a party location, and then keep a percentage of the profits.

10. Sell ad space on a personal blog. Create a blog and then sell ads on your website. You can sell the ad space directly or sign up with Google Adsense. With Google, they’ll post relevant ads for you, and you’ll receive money whenever someone clicks on the ad.

Whether you’re in financial pain or just need an activity to fill your spare time, a secondary or part-time source of income could be the solution. Someone almost certainly has a need that fits your skill set perfectly. Find them and provide your services. It might be the most enjoyable money you’ll ever earn.

8 Steps to Becoming a Top Earner in Your Field

In most fields, whether medicine, law, business, consulting, or accounting, there are a select few that make far more money than the rest. There are steps you can take to become a top earner in your field of employment. Is it luck? Do you need to be extremely charismatic? Do you require some special talent? No, no, and no.

Consistently being a little bit better than your peers and focusing on success is all that’s required.

Separate yourself from the rest in these ways:

1. Have a goal. Achieving exceptional results requires a goal or luck. Luck is uncontrollable, so focus on creating a goal instead. Have a specific goal in mind that includes a specific dollar amount and deadline. Wanting “a lot of money” isn’t an effective goal.

2. Keep money in mind when making decisions. When choosing a career, consider the earning potential. A personal trainer could choose to focus on bodybuilders or high school athletes. One that works with famous actors, executives, or professional athletes has far more opportunities to earn a large income.

3. Find a mentor. A suitable mentor is someone that has accomplished what you wish to accomplish. It would also be advantageous if they had a genuine interest in providing guidance and advice.

  • Following in the footsteps of someone that’s already successful can save a lot of time.

4. Spend time with those with similar goals. There are others with the same goals and aspirations as you. Seek them out and become friends. Find those that are already successful at the level you hope to attain. You’ll learn things you’re unlikely to learn from your current crowd.

5. Seek to enhance your performance each day. There are a few fields where the participants regularly attempt to enhance their performance. Musicians, artists, and athletes regularly spend time getting better at their craft.

  • How often have you seen a lawyer or a manager set aside time to boost their skills? Rarely, if ever.
  • If no one else is striving to become more skillful, how much competition do you have?

6. Increase your knowledge each day. Gaining more knowledge will allow you to apply your skills more effectively.

  • Thirty minutes each day is enough to get ahead. Spend this time reading books or researching your field online to seek a higher level of understanding.

7. Get used to being uncomfortable. As you stretch yourself to think and do new things, you’re going to feel that uncomfortable twinge we’ve all felt. It’s just a physical sensation, like a sore toe or a hand that’s fallen asleep. There’s no reason to let it control your thoughts and actions.

  • Why would you quit because of a slight queasy feeling in your stomach? Your subconscious knows which buttons to push to encourage you to quit. Avoid giving in.

8. Persevere. If there’s one trait found in all top earners, it’s perseverance. It’s not difficult to be incredibly successful if you’ll keep getting better and refuse to quit. In fact, it’s just about impossible to fail. Some days are more promising than others, but great days are on the way.

Becoming a top earner is well within your reach. Have a goal and keep it in the front of your mind. Find a successful mentor. Continue to learn and increase your skills and knowledge. Persevere until your goal of becoming a top earner has been reached.

Invest Like Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is one of the richest people in the world and almost universally considered to be the greatest stock picker the world has ever known.

Though Mr. Buffett has never officially written down his process for evaluating and choosing stocks, there is a lot that can be learned from his letters to his shareholders.  While you might not ever be worth $50 billion, if you follow the following rules based on those shareholder letters, you may certainly learn a thing or two from “The Oracle” and greatly increase your wealth over time.

Rule #1: Don’t lose money. Buffett’s basic philosophy is to purchase a stock for less than it’s worth and then let the rest of the world finally figure it out, too. This is commonly referred to as value investing and has been the cornerstone of his philosophy from the very beginning.

In fact, the rest of the rules are really strategies for finding these value investments.

Rule #2: Look for companies with strong profitability. Buffett prefers companies that are already profitable as opposed to companies that may someday become profitable. There are several measures he utilizes to determine this. Some of these include Return on Equity (ROE), Return on Invested Capital (ROIC), and the profit margins.

  • ROE – While no one knows for sure, by observing his investing patterns, it would seem that Buffet wants to see an ROE of 15% or more.
  • Profit Margins – In this case, we’re talking about dividing net income by net sales. Obviously, the higher the better.

Rule #3. The company must have low debt. Too much debt is bad for anyone, including businesses.  In case you thought we skipped ROIC above, we’re getting back to it now. Sometimes a company will appear to have a high ROE, but the number is actually artificially inflated. This can happen when the company is using debt to pay its bills. This is where ROIC comes into play.

  • ROIC removes debt from the calculation by adding it back to the shareholder equity prior to completing the ROE calculation. You can simply divide the company’s total liabilities by the shareholder equity. The higher the ratio is, the more a company is using debt to grow the company. Be careful.
  • Companies with a lot of debt can be harmed when either interest rates rise or credit becomes harder to acquire.

Rule #4. Look for companies with excellent management. Buffett has always placed a lot of emphasis on a company’s management team. He favors intelligent, humble management that doesn’t simply follow the crowd. He has stated that his company simply allocates capital; it does not provide management.

Rule #5. Invest in something you understand.  You will find that the businesses in which Buffett invests are relatively simple. He largely avoids the technology companies, because as he has stated, he doesn’t really understand that type of business.  If you can’t get a handle on how it works, you probably shouldn’t be tying up your money in it.

Rule #6. Be patient. Buffett has held many stocks for 5 years or more before the stock ever rose even 1%.  However, value investing can pay big rewards if you’re not looking for a get-rich-quick scheme.  Remember, slow and steady wins in the end.

While we may not all be Warren Buffett, we can certainly follow his example and improve our own investing results. Focus on under-priced companies you understand, with a history of profitability, little debt, and a competent management team. With patience, you’ll be surprised at the amount of wealth you can gain!

Tax Advantages of Being Self-Employed

Many people worry about the risk involved in being self-employed, but there are some excellent financial advantages.  For one, being self-employed allows many opportunities to minimize your taxable income by turning your current expenses into tax-deductible business expenses.

Here are some of the great tax deductions that are available to the self-employed:

1. Health insurance premiums. While this is technically a personal deduction, it is only available to the self-employed. In a nutshell, if you’re self-employed and not eligible to enroll in your spouse’s health plan, you can deduct your premiums from your income. This would include health, dental and long-term care insurance.

  • This deduction also applies to premiums paid for your spouse and dependents.

2. Automobile expenses. This is a nice deduction that can really add up. You have 2 options available:

  • Mileage method: In this case, you would simply keep track of the number of miles you drive for business related purposes. Then simply multiply the number of miles by the mileage rate provided by the IRS.
  • Actual Expense method: You will have to determine the percentage of your mileage that was spent on business and then multiply that percentage by the total expenses related to your automobile. This would include, gas, repairs, oil changes, and more.
  • Which method is best? The one that gives you the greatest deduction is best. In general, if you have an inexpensive car or a car that is paid off, then the mileage method is best. Otherwise, the actual expense method is usually the best.

3. Home office. Basically, any square footage that is used both regularly and exclusively for your business is tax deductible. This would include that portion of your home’s rent / mortgage, property taxes, insurance, utilities and home maintenance. So if your office is 20% of your home’s square footage, you could deduct 20% of all of those expenses.

  • This deduction is not the simplest one to pull-off. Fortunately, it is largely based on the honor system; however, you should be prepared to defend it in the case of an audit. It is a deduction that is commonly attacked by the IRS because the requirements are difficult for many to maintain.

4. Entertainment and meals. This expense is only deductible at 50%, but includes things like tickets to sporting events and the cost of a round of golf. You must be with a client or business partner and discuss at least some business, but this deduction can be used frequently with a little planning.

5. Self-Employed retirement plans. Contributions to self-employed retirement plans are tax deductible. This include retirement vehicles such as SEP-IRAs, solo 401(k)s, Keogh plans, and SIMPLE IRAs. In 2010, you could contribute up to 20% of your net income plus $16,500 to a solo 401(k). Based on the maximum allowable net income, that totals over $49,000 of contributions!

Being self-employed certainly gives you freedom to be your own boss and from the drone of punching a time clock, but, surprisingly, it can also give you much more freedom from the IRS.  From housing, transportation, and food to entertainment, insurance, and retirement, by turning your personal expenses into business deductions, you can keep more of your hard-earned money and enjoy a better financial future.

8 Financial Considerations When Starting a New Job

Getting a job offer is always an exciting time. Whether you’re getting your first job, a promotion, or changing careers, there’s a lot to be happy about. But it’s always wise to consider the financial aspect of any decision; starting a new job is no exception.

Before You Accept the Job

1. Negotiate your pay. It never hurts to ask for a little more money. Keep in mind that any increase in salary you can get now will only compound your future raises. Respectfully asking for more money doesn’t cause any harm.

  • Negotiating is the highest paying activity you’re likely to ever to take part in. Consider that just a minute or two could result in thousands of dollars in additional income for many years. When was the last time you made that much money for a couple of minutes of work?

2. Ask about the benefits. Typically, you’ll be told the general aspects of the company benefits. Don’t be afraid to ask for details. For example, some medical insurance plans are much more expensive than others. A job with a slightly lower salary might be much better when you have all the details.

After You Start Your New Job

1. Deal with your previous 401(k). Either roll the money into an IRA or move it into your new 401(k). Resist the temptation to withdraw the money; the tax penalties are significant. Ask your new human resources department about your options and then make the smart choice.

2. Keep your lifestyle in check. Just because you get a raise doesn’t mean you have to buy a more expensive house or car. If you can maintain your spending level for even one year, you can save a lot of money. If you do increase your lifestyle, then be sure to bank at least part of your raise.

  • Getting a raise is a great opportunity to save a lot of money or aggressively pay down your debt.

3. Start paying yourself first. Set up your bank account with automatic savings of part of your increased income so you start saving money immediately. It will be easier to start saving now than later because you won’t miss money that you’ve never seen.

4. Ensure you’re withholding enough for taxes. It’s not financially smart to get a huge refund every year. On the other hand, it can be pretty challenging both financially and psychologically to have to pay more at tax time. Be confident your withholding is enough to guarantee a small refund each year.

5. Make benefit choices wisely. Set up your life, health, and disability insurance and other benefits intelligently for your own unique needs. For example, the most expensive medical plan might not be the option you want if you’re young and in perfect health. Your life insurance needs will vary depending on your family situation.

6. Have your paycheck deposited into an interest-earning account. Interest rates are so low right now that it might not matter a whole lot, but it makes sense to deposit your paycheck into an account that pays interest. You can always transfer what you need into your checking account later.

Being financially healthy is the result of making smart decisions consistently. A job opportunity is a time for celebration; just ensure you’re making positive financial moves to take your best advantage of this occasion.

6 Important Tips For Getting Small Business Loans

It once was relatively easy to get a small business loan, but this is no longer true. Because of the recent problems with the economy, it has become more challenging to acquire loans of any type.

If you want to acquire one of these coveted small business loans, you will need to be well informed and then you will need to use your knowledge wisely to improve your odds.  You can increase your odds of success dramatically if you are willing to do things in the most advantageous way.

Use these 6 important tips to your best advantage:

1. Keep your day job. Lenders today want to see a secondary source of income, ideally one that is capable of repaying the loan. If your only source of income is going to be the business for which you are seeking the loan, it’s going to be a tough sell right now. Keep your job, at least until after you’ve gotten the loan.

2. Have some collateral. Be prepared to have liens placed against any significant assets you may have. It’s more difficult to get a loan if you have few assets.

  • If you don’t have a lot of assets, it simply means the other parts of the process will have a greater significance. If you have a good idea and the expertise to make it work, you’ll find someone willing to help.

3. Maintain excellent records. The single-page application is rarely found in today’s economy. You’ll need a lot of qualifying information just to apply. You may as well have hard copies of everything ready to go. This includes income tax information, pay stubs from your current job, verification of assets, and more.

4. Have a business plan ready. Having a solid business plan helps to put the lender’s mind at ease. Include all the information related to how the business will operate, the people involved in the running of the business, their experience, and reasonable income projections.

  • Remember, lenders see business plans every day; if you’re projections are unreasonable, they’ll know it, and your credibility will be shot.

5. Appear respectable. Your prospective lender will certainly crunch a lot of numbers during the decision-making process. However, there is also subjective evaluation going on as well. Your lender will be questioning whether or not they believe you’re the type of person likely to repay your loan.

  • They will also try to figure out if you’re the type of person capable of turning a loan into a stream of income. Your education, experience, and references will all be considered.

6. Ensure your credit is solid. Your credit history is a very important part of the loan application process. Be aware of everything in your credit report, both the good and the bad. If there are any mistakes to your detriment, have them corrected before filling out the loan application. In addition, do everything you can to repair negative information, too.

As with many things, the devil is in the details. Following the above tips is not a guarantee that your application will be approved, but it will greatly increase your odds of success. Take the time to put the odds in your favor. Getting a small business loan might not be easy, but it can be done!

Common Money Beliefs That Aren’t True

It’s not the things you don’t know, but rather the incorrect things you believe, that cause many of the real challenges in life. A few errors in your thinking can be a detriment to your finances. Enhancing your understanding of money and personal finances is an effective way to get on the path to prosperity.

Avoid these money myths:

1. Income equals wealth. People that make more have a tendency to spend more. Lottery winners are notorious for losing everything. Many of the families that earn over $1 million per year manage to outspend their income. You can earn a very high income and still live paycheck to paycheck.

  • Wealth is what’s left over after you’re done spending. The more money you’re able to invest in appreciating and income-producing assets, the more you can expect your wealth to grow. A high income provides opportunity. It doesn’t provide a guarantee.

2. More money equals more happiness / Money has nothing to do with happiness. Studies have consistently shown that more income results in greater levels of happiness to a point. The break-even mark appears to be $75,000 per year.

  • If you’re earning less than $75,000, you can expect your feelings of happiness to increase with a greater income.
  • If you’re already earning that much or more, more money isn’t going to make you feel any better.

3. Wills are for rich people. Everyone with children or assets needs a will. Unless you want the courts to decide who will raise your children and receive your assets, you need a will. A simple will is only a few hundred dollars. You might even be able to do it yourself for less.

4. Owning is better than renting. From a financial viewpoint, it depends. Mortgage interest is deductible, but it’s still a significant expense. Home ownership also includes property taxes and maintenance. The upside is the potential for appreciation and a place to call your own. Crunch the numbers and decide for yourself.

  • Renting is generally advantageous in the short-term.

5. Quality and price go hand-in-hand. There are many examples of this statement being false. Generic drugs are identical to the brand name version and cost much less. Companies price goods and services in order to maximize profit. That means the perceived value affects pricing, not the actual value.

  • Many items are priced to accommodate expensive marketing campaigns. The Beats headphones so popular with teenagers are considered by experts to be only worth half the common retail price. In this case, you’re not paying extra for higher quality.

6. An index fund never wins. Over time, index funds outperform the majority of managed funds. More often than not, the lower expenses and turnover rate of an index fund are more important than a professional stock-picker. Take advantage of the ability to match market returns for very little expense.

7. You should never have a credit card. Credit cards are a wonderful invention if used properly. However, credit cards also provide a means to spend money you don’t have. This can be a challenge or a godsend, depending on the circumstances. Credit cards can also help (or damage) your credit.

Are your erroneous beliefs limiting your financial growth? Consider all of your money beliefs and question if they might be incorrect, too. Having accurate beliefs enhances decision-making and results. Avoid buying into the myths.

7-Step Process for Getting Community Support for Your Grant Proposal

If you’re going to go after a significant amount of grant money, you’ll likely need the resources and support of your local community.

Grant money is expected to benefit many people, so your project will probably require a fairly large operation, with office space, workers, utility bills, and a multitude of other resources and costs.

Grants are generally not provided if you cannot show that the program will continue to function and flourish after the grant money has been exhausted. In the long run, the government agency providing the grant likes to see plans for your project to ultimately reach a state of self-sufficiency.

This usually means volunteers, fundraising efforts and support from the local government.

Follow these steps to get the community involved so you can get that grant: …Click to Continue Reading

Increase Your Income by Boosting Your Attitude

Allowing our emotions to rule our actions happens far too often. It’s a matter of fact: negative thoughts and feelings have a detrimental effect on every aspect of our lives, from our family life to our work and social lives.  And it is definitely true in regard to our financial lives.

What would things be like if we transformed negative thoughts into positive ones? Changing how we feel about ourselves can truly change our direction in life!

Living in the present and having a positive outlook about our future can help us reach goals we once thought were impossible.

Having a brighter outlook on life can open our eyes to more possibilities and encourage us to move in new and exciting directions.

How can you attain a better outlook on life? It all has to do with the way you see yourself. Having a positive and outgoing attitude is the key to changing your self-concept, boosting your income, and improving your life.

Here are some techniques you can use to boost your attitude: Continue Reading

Overcoming Financial Strain

Financial strain may very well be the greatest cause of stress today, especially with the economy the way it is. Many people have lost their jobs, and just knowing this and trying to make ends meet can cause a lot of added stress to our already stressful lives. The good news is that there’s a way out!

You’ve Heard It Before – Make a Plan

If you are not on a budget, you really must get on one. I know the word budget seems like a bad word, and it does require effort and planning, but… Continue Reading