freelancing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10859/all en-US The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000081820163_Large.jpg" alt="Learning to budget on a freelance income" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If the <a href="https://www.upwork.com/press/2014/09/03/53-million-americans-now-freelance-new-study-finds-2/">53 million freelancing Americans</a> agree on one thing, it's that their lifestyle gives an unbeatable level of flexibility, and can be an extremely lucrative working model. If there was a second thing the global freelance community might agree on, however, I would bet that it's the fact that managing your money as a freelancer can be a nightmare.</p> <p>With income varying month by month, budgeting can be tricky &mdash; but having a solid budget is all the more important because of the normal fluctuations of income most freelance workers experience. So how do you go about setting a budget as a freelancer? The following steps can guide you.</p> <h2>Step One: Determine What You're Spending</h2> <p>Before you can start creating a budget, you need to get a picture of how your spending looks today. Set a challenge for yourself to record all your expenses over the course of a month. This could be using pen and paper, collecting receipts, and then adding them all up later, or using one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">great spending tracker apps</a>.</p> <p>Once you have some measurable data about your spending patterns, group different expenses together, and add in the known costs that did not occur during your test month. If you pay annual insurance premiums, or other annual bills, for example, divide the total by 12, and add that figure to your monthly calculation.</p> <p>As an example, you may put together the following categories:</p> <ul> <ul> <li><strong>Housing</strong> &mdash; rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance</li> <li><strong>Debt</strong> &mdash; credit or store cards, student loans</li> <li><strong>Transport and commuting</strong> &mdash; public transit ticket costs, or car loan, petrol, parking and servicing costs, as well as any insurance you pay</li> <li><strong>Taxes</strong> (As a freelancer this is especially important!)</li> <li><strong><strong>Savings</strong></strong></li> <li><strong>Personal expenses</strong> &mdash; food, phone bills, vacations, clothes, gifts, parties, and regular health costs</li> <li><strong>Fun</strong> &mdash; all entertainment</li> </ul> </ul> <p>The categories you choose will vary according to your lifestyle, but by grouping them like this, you have an overview &mdash; which is helpful if you later decide you need to trim the budget a little.</p> <h2>Step Two: Create a Baseline Budget</h2> <p>Your goal now is to create a <em>survival </em>budget, and an <em>ideal </em>budget. The survival version is your baseline, and should not include any unnecessary costs. This is your worst case scenario information about how much you need to spend, even if there is a problem and you're out of work for a while.</p> <p>The ideal version can be much more relaxed &mdash; covering your preferred spending levels and any discretionary spending on hobbies and entertainment.</p> <p>Scrutinize your recorded spending by category. Remove any optional costs, and add the categories together for your baseline monthly budget. Once you have done this, you can put the fun stuff back into your budget &mdash; along with your preferred levels of saving, and any discretionary spending, like donations to charities. You should now have a monthly total for your minimum and ideal levels of spending.</p> <h2>Step Three: Optimize Where Possible</h2> <p>Now is the time to look at your monthly income. As a freelancer, this might vary significantly month-to-month, so taking your annual income and dividing it by 12 for an average can make the process easier. If you are more risk averse, or have little or no financial cushion at the moment, then you may choose to take your lowest month's income as your model instead of an average.</p> <p>How does your monthly income match up with your projected baseline and ideal budget? This exercise should give you a view of how realistic your figures are, but if your income falls below your survival budget, then you need to think about how you can make the numbers match.</p> <p>Are there other items you can remove from your budget, or can you reduce regular costs such as utilities or insurance premiums? Alternatively, can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">bring in some extra income</a> on top of your usual workload to help balance the books?</p> <h2>Step Four: Pay Yourself</h2> <p>Set yourself a trial budget, factoring in both your expected income and your necessary expenses. If it looks like you can be quite comfortable on the income you expect on a monthly basis, then go with your ideal budget. But if you're concerned, then try the baseline budget for a while to see how it works out.</p> <p>Whichever spending level you go for, pay yourself a paycheck to help you smooth out the ups and downs. You could do this quite literally, by billing clients to one account and transferring only a fixed amount to your main spending account on a monthly basis.</p> <p>Your aim is to even out your spending, so any additional income you make in a lucrative month can be saved, and added to an emergency fund or used as a financial cushion for periods when income falls.</p> <h2>Step Five: Make a Long-Term Plan</h2> <p>If you're able to earn enough to support your chosen lifestyle, then over time you will be able to create a financial buffer and build savings. If you use any extra income mindfully, rather than allowing your spending to creep up without noticing it if your earnings increase, then you can repeat the budgeting exercise as your personal circumstances and needs change.</p> <p>More of us are now working in a freelance model, and studies suggest that anything from 40%&ndash;50% of workers will be working freelance by 2020. With freedom-loving Millennials quickly becoming the largest segment of the working population, this is hardly surprising. But with the struggles faced by freelancers trying to budget effectively, the Gen Y trailblazers already reshaping the future of work now need to turn their attentions to planning their finances.</p> <p><em>How do you manage your freelance budget? Share your tips in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle">5 Unexpected Side Benefits of Your Side Hustle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-festive-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-the-holidays">16 Festive Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-great-side-jobs-for-outdoorsy-types">12 Great Side Jobs for Outdoorsy Types</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-morning-commute">6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Morning Commute</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Extra Income extra money freelance freelancing side business side hustle side job Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Claire Millard 1693788 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000023241641.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Extra money is great. At a minimum, extra income is more change in your pocket. Beyond that, it can diversify your income sources and make your finances less vulnerable to a disruption.</p> <p>There are many types of non-salary income, but one way they're often divided up is passive versus non-passive. Consider these 12 sources of additional income.</p> <h2>Passive Income</h2> <p>Passive income tends to be investment income: Money you get for letting someone use your money or your stuff. Here are the classic categories of passive income. (By and large, this whole category is only available if you have money to invest.)</p> <h3>1. Interest</h3> <p>Interest is money you get from something like a bond, CD, or savings account, where someone pays you to use your money.</p> <p>Not so long ago &mdash; before the financial crisis &mdash; there were plenty of reasonably safe interest-bearing investments that paid 3%, 4%, or even 5% over inflation. Those days are long gone. Now, CDs or bonds can barely beat inflation, and that's only if you're willing to tie your money up for a long time. Still, interest income can serve as a secondary income stream, and the opportunities are likely to get better in the near the future. (So, be careful about locking up your money for the long term at current rates.)</p> <h3>2. Dividends</h3> <p>Dividends are your share of the income earned by companies in which you own stock, and are also earned from baskets of investments that hold stocks, such as ETFs or mutual funds. Unlike the interest earned on a bond or CD, dividends can rise or fall unpredictably, depending on the success of the firm or the fund. Although some risky companies can pay high dividends, stable companies tend to offer modest returns, typically under 5%.</p> <h3>3. Rents</h3> <p>In theory, rents can be pure investment income, like interest and dividends, but in practice, being a landlord is more like taking on a second job &mdash; you have to find tenants, accept rent payments, keep the building maintained, deal with broken appliances, and so on. You can hire a management company to do that work, but that's an extra expense &mdash; and the income still isn't purely passive, because you still have the work of managing your relationship with the management company.</p> <p>Still, rental income can be an incredibly flexible second income stream. Airbnb, RelayRides, and similar companies now enable individuals to rent out things like spare bedrooms, vehicles not in use, and earn extra income with less effort.</p> <h3>4. Royalties</h3> <p>Royalties are money that you get for letting someone make more limited use of something that you own. If an oil company operates a well on your land, they'll pay royalties. If a publisher sells a book that you wrote, they'll pay royalties. The possibilities are vast, and in essence include anything people can use &mdash; land, books, photos, patents, trademarks, etc.</p> <p>It's worth noting that most people who sit down to write a book don't end up getting any significant income from it. That's probably even more true of people who sit down to invent something. Still, books, online stock photography, and even less-successful inventions can all generate extra income and diversify your earnings.</p> <h2>Non-Passive Income</h2> <p>Non-passive means you have to get out there and hustle up this extra income in your spare time. Some take a lot of hustle.</p> <h3>5. Working Another Regular Job</h3> <p>For someone working for wages, a second (or third or fourth) job is a classic source of extra income. If you're working for a salary, you'd probably be breaking your employment agreement to work another job, but there are ways to work for pay without breaking the rules. Check with your employer to determine your company's specific policies.</p> <h3>6. Working at an Irregular Job</h3> <p>Not all jobs require a regular time commitment. Some can be done on an ad-hoc fashion, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Casual labor, like a handyman, house painter, gardener, house cleaner, or dog walker.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Freelance work (usually skilled or semiskilled labor done outside the range of regular employment), such as a web designer, photographer, adult education instructor, bicycle messenger, etc. Many occupations that fall into this category require special training, certification, or even licensing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Seasonal work, such as a department store Santa, sheep shearer, etc.</li> </ul> <h3>7. Service Something That Makes Money</h3> <p>The classic option here is a vending machine. Your investment is modest &mdash; the cost of the machine, and the cost to stock the machine the first time. Your labor is modest &mdash; visiting the machine to restock it and remove the cash.</p> <p>Vending machines used to be a great way to make a modest amount of money, especially if you knew someone who would let you put a machine in a reasonably high-traffic area either for free, or for a piece of the action. You could start small and then buy more machines. Back in the day when coin-operated video games were a thing there wasn't even any restocking needed &mdash; you just went as often as necessary to take out the money.</p> <h3>8. Running a Small Business</h3> <p>Running a small business can be a great way to make money from a source other than your salary. The range of options for small business are infinite. Just for starters, virtually all the &quot;irregular job&quot; items from the previous section could be just as easily arranged as a small business. Instead of painting houses or walking dogs, you start a house painting or dog walking business. Plus, running a business may confer certain tax advantages (deductions, anyone?) which can make it an even healthier secondary income source. The next two ideas can also be structured as small businesses.</p> <h3>9. Sell Something You Make</h3> <p>The list of things you can make and sell is endless &mdash; jellies and jams, soaps, jewelry, garden produce, baked goods, maple syrup, pottery, scarves, etc. I wrote a bit about the line between hobby and small business in my post <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a>.</p> <h3>10. Sell Copies of Something You Made</h3> <p>This is a variation on the point above about royalties. Instead of letting another company sell copies of something that you've created in return for royalties, you can sell the copies yourself.</p> <p>The classic case is self-publishing a book, but there are a lot of other possibilities that fall into this category. For example, If you know how to do something, you could create a video teaching how to do it, and then sell it on DVD.</p> <p>This option really lends itself to digital sales, because the cost of production is zero &mdash; ebooks, online video courses, phone apps, etc.</p> <p>It's tough to make much money this way, because there's so much stuff out there already, often for free. Sales are likely to be low, and unless you have a very narrow, very focused niche, you're going to face a lot of competition.</p> <p>Still, this can be a win, especially if you want to create something for your own reasons &mdash; a phone app that does something you want a phone app to do, a drawing that speaks to you, etc. If you're making the thing because you want to, the extra effort to sell copies is quite small, and will probably bring in a little money.</p> <h3>11. Sell Something You Gather</h3> <p>There are still places where it's legal to collect things and sell them &mdash; mushrooms, pine boughs, sea shells, rocks, insects, etc. Success requires access to a place where you can collect, and usually requires more than a little skill in knowing what's worth collecting, and how to sell it.</p> <h3>12. Sell Something You Buy</h3> <p>If you can buy something cheap and sell it for more than it cost, you can make money on the markup. To make a reasonable profit, you usually have to add value in some way. The two classic ways are: Import the item, or repackage a cheap, bulky item into smaller units.</p> <p><strong>Importation</strong>: Say you find something sold overseas that you really like &mdash; a clothing item or a gadget or a tool &mdash; that just isn't a thing in the U.S. You can find the manufacturer, buy a modest quantity at wholesale, import them into the US, and sell them at a markup. Your added value is the capital to buy the stock and the effort handling the complexities of importation.</p> <p><strong>Repackaging</strong>: Almost anything is cheaper in bulk, sometimes a lot cheaper. My wife buys a brand of quilt soap that's good for washing wool. She can get it in 8-ounce bottles for $8 or $9 dollars &mdash; about $17 a pound. The stuff has a single ingredient: sodium lauryl sulfate, the detergent in baby shampoo. If you buy by the barrel, sodium lauryl sulfate costs less than $1 a pound &mdash; highly profitable, even after paying for bottles. Anybody can do the same thing with anything that's cheap in bulk but can be sold for more in reasonable quantities.</p> <h3>13. Teach a Class</h3> <p>If you have some skill &mdash; and if you also have some skill at teaching &mdash; you can make money offering classes. Where I live, people can arrange to teach classes through the park district, recreation center, the local library, YMCA, community college, and at least two different senior organizations. Many of the stores that sell arts or craft supplies also offer classes with local artists and craftspeople as teachers. And if you're adequately entrepreneurial, you don't need to teach under the auspices of some other organization at all. You can find your own students and teach out of a location of your choice.</p> <h3>14. Put Ads on a Website</h3> <p>Creating a blog or static website and putting Google Ads (or other affiliate programs) on it can generate extra income &mdash; just how much depends on the traffic and ad clicks your site generates. It's a competitive space, but if you can produce a quality site with adequate traffic, it may provide a regular source of additional income.</p> <p>If you have some sales skills, you can also market your site to individual companies and get them to buy ads for a lot more money. That's another piece of work, however. It would make your income a little less passive, because now you're a salesman on top of everything else.</p> <h3>15. Create a YouTube Channel or Podcast</h3> <p>If you like making videos, this can be a source of modest income. If making videos seems like a lot of work, you're going to quit before you make any money from Google Ads on your YouTube channel. Still, if you make videos that go viral, there's the potential to make quite a bit of money. Some YouTube stars derive significant income from their videos.</p> <p>Podcasts are a little more complex to monetize, because you don't have the option of just putting ads on the page somewhere; you actually have to include the ad in the podcast itself. On the other hand, the ads are worth more, because the listener is pretty much stuck listening to the ad from beginning to end.</p> <p>There are podcast networks that offer tools to help with creating and making them easy for listeners to find. Some of them also have ad networks, although you'd probably make more money if you did the work of selling your podcast to sponsors.</p> <p><em>How do you earn extra income?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-new-income-streams-anyone-can-create">5 New Income Streams Anyone Can Create</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-retirement-jobs">6 Great Retirement Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income freelancing investments non-passive income passive income selling side jobs Thu, 19 Nov 2015 19:03:04 +0000 Philip Brewer 1615339 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Grow Your Savings Without a Steady Paycheck http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-grow-your-savings-without-a-steady-paycheck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-grow-your-savings-without-a-steady-paycheck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_piggy_bank_000031080258.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways to grow her savings without a steady paycheck" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're a freelancer or part-time employee, not having a regular salary can disrupt your progress toward big financial goals. Money fluctuations can mean you either have to stop the savings transfers, or withdraw money out of the account to cover bills.</p> <p>But saving money without a regular paycheck isn't impossible, and with these tips you can learn to create a savings habit that sticks!</p> <h2>1. Separate All Your Savings Goals</h2> <p>Even if you have a separate savings account, it's too tempting to have all the money in one account while simply allocating the funds to different savings goals. For this reason I recommend <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-to-consider-before-you-open-an-online-savings-account">opening a new savings account</a> for each individual goal.</p> <p>My husband and I recently did this as an experiment, and for two months in a row we've had a surplus of money in our bank accounts, and have been able to save money toward all of our goals. And we're both self-employed so you know how difficult this can be!</p> <p>While it is possible to have too many accounts, this strategy works for us, and has allowed us to pay all of our bills, self-employment taxes, and save extra money toward various specific goals.</p> <h2>2. Pay Yourself a Regular Salary</h2> <p>As a freelancer, temp, or someone who works on commissions, it's still important to pay yourself a &quot;salary&quot; on a regular basis. I deposit a regular salary from my business account to the household account every Monday &mdash; no matter how little or how much my freelance business brings in.</p> <p>Giving yourself a regular &quot;paycheck&quot; will help combat the inconsistent income that comes with being self-employed. It may take a few months for your budget to adjust to the changes, but it can drastically <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-improve-your-finances-in-5-minutes">improve your finances</a> and allow you to finally get into the habit of saving money.</p> <h2>3. Try a Microsaving Tool</h2> <p>Microsaving is when you save extremely small amounts of money &mdash; like $2 or $5 a week. As your budget adjusts to the savings, and you begin to see your small balance grow, you can increase the savings amounts. Next thing you know, you've saved a couple hundred dollars that can be used towards anything you want.</p> <p>To make it even easier to save money without thinking, there are several different <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-microsaving-tools-to-help-you-start-saving-now">microsaving apps</a> available that will put saving money into automatic mode.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://digit.co/">Digit</a> is a popular tool that allows you to start saving money via text message. Once you link your account, Digit will start withdrawing a few dollars every week and deposit into your new Digit account, based on your bank balance and only if you can afford it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a> is a microsaving investment tool that helps beginner investors or students get their feet wet in the market. Everyone has to start somewhere and Acorn's round-up payment withdrawals makes saving money very easy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.smartypig.com/">SmartyPig</a> allows you to create individual accounts for each savings goal and keeps you updated on the progress. You can also earn rewards, cash back, and gift cards as incentives to save money.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Find What Motivates You to Save</h2> <p>What motivates you to save money? Are you a competitive person who likes to turn saving money into a challenge? Find a few friends who will commit to a savings competition with you. Whoever reaches the goal first gets a free dinner, night out, or other incentive (paid for by the losers, of course!).</p> <p>Are you an artist or visual person? Try mapping your progress by coloring in circles for each $50 or $100 you save. Whether it's goal tracking, paying off debt, or saving for a particular event, try coloring your way to reaching your goal. And when you've reached your goal you can hang the artwork in your home as a motivational reminder.</p> <h2>5. Join a Savings Challenge</h2> <p>Much like a diet helps you jumpstart your weight loss plan or workout regimen, a savings challenge can help you get your spending under control, and create a regular savings habit.</p> <p>There are lots of different challenges available. You can go on a 14-day spending diet, a 60-day&nbsp;<a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/cash-budget-challenge/">cash budget challenge</a>, a year-long shopping ban. Last year I participated in a 12-month money challenge from inspiration I found on Pinterest. But the options are basically limitless, so start out small and then increase the challenge as you become more comfortable with it.</p> <p>Experiment with different methods and test out strategies based on your money personality and saving style. Don't be afraid to try out new ideas to see how they work for you.</p> <p><em>How do you save money without a regular paycheck? Share your best tips!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-grow-your-savings-without-a-steady-paycheck">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-often-do-you-get-your-paycheck">How often do you get your paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-creating-your-emergency-fund">A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-easy-college-savings">5 Tips for Easy College Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance freelancing paychecks savings account savings plan self-employment Thu, 10 Sep 2015 15:00:27 +0000 Carrie Smith 1553947 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Gadgets Every Work at Home Professional Needs http://www.wisebread.com/6-gadgets-every-work-at-home-professional-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-gadgets-every-work-at-home-professional-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/female_student_000056371408.jpg" alt="Woman using gadgets every work at home professional needs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Desk jockeying from the comfort of your home? Make your home office way more awesome with these six gadgets. They can help increase your productivity, reduce boredom, and make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-worst-work-from-home-jobs">working from home</a> much easier.</p> <h2>1. Multi Device Keyboard</h2> <p>Need to switch from iPad to laptop, and back again without fumbling for cables or constantly restarting the Bluetooth connection? This <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MUTWLW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00MUTWLW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5CYHDAML4NWYGBQR">multi-device keyboard</a> makes it easy &mdash; as simple as turning a dial. It's wireless and completely mobile, making it easy to move around the house or pack on business trips.</p> <h2>2. Smart Light Bulb</h2> <p>I've been on spreadsheet grinds that go so long that when I look up, the sun's set and it's dark as a cave in my office. It's time to consider switching the home office lighting to the new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TJ4WMZE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00TJ4WMZE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PXVTF3FRNDVCHGYE">GE Wink</a>, which can be controlled by both your home dimmer and from anywhere with a smartphone app. Try one in your office and one in the living room, so you can brighten, dim, or turn off the light without having to leave the desk.</p> <h2>3. Bluetooth Headphones or Speaker</h2> <p>My Bluetooth speaker has been a lifechanger. When playing back a video for work, I can actually hear it without tethering myself to the computer with corded headphones. If you want a big sound for less, try the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D6OHHEE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00D6OHHEE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2VIIEZBOSHOE5DCW">Photive Bluetooth speaker</a>, which is by far the best value in the Bluetooth speaker market. It also holds a single charge for days.</p> <p>For those who like lush headphones, these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MR8Z28S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00MR8Z28S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IFTL42CB5APW6QWD">Jabra Bluetooth headphones</a> are awesome. They're comfortable, have well rounded sound, and work within a decent range. You can finally enjoy work tunes and grab something from the fridge at the same time!</p> <h2>4. USB Key</h2> <p>This really handy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A3U7IS4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A3U7IS4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QMPCHVGQGAS6MOVJ">USB stick by LaCie</a> fits onto your key ring, but it's also shaped and sized like a key! This makes it lightweight and less bulky than your current USB drive. You'll also find it very hard to fill because it holds a sizable 32GB of drive space, making this the perfect goto on-the-go USB solution.</p> <h2>5. Desk Elliptical</h2> <p>Everyone knows it now: Sitting is a disease. But even if you work from home, you probably also need to work at a desk. There are options such as the standing desk, or the treadmill desk. But, If you want to remain sitting most of the time yet keep your blood flowing (perhaps even burning some extra calories), try this <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SIBYETQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00SIBYETQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=E2CQUHTE3LOAKWEC">under-desk elliptical</a>. It's compact, light, and easy to use. Plus, it's a great value compared to full-size home gym equipment.</p> <h2>6. Tylt Vu Charging Pad</h2> <p>This is really cool: An affordable and convenient <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DG8NUC8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DG8NUC8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YY3JNJKHK5OP4BYB">home charging pad</a> that's good for any smartphone. No more misplacing cords, then scrounging for them in a hurry when your phone is at 3% battery. It's also small enough to keep on your desk and take along on business trips.</p> <p><em>What are some other gadgets you can't work from home without?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-gadgets-every-work-at-home-professional-needs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-stay-productive-while-working-from-home">5 Ways to Stay Productive While Working From Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-your-smartphone-is-hurting-your-career">7 Ways Your Smartphone Is Hurting Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-working-from-home">The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Working From Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-tools-for-telecommuting">5 Essential Tools for Telecommuting</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Technology freelancing gadgets home office telecommute work work from home Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:00:13 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1467957 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Fun Money Boosts That Grow Your Savings http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-money-boosts-that-grow-your-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-fun-money-boosts-that-grow-your-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_scarf_000022078327.jpg" alt="Woman shopping and getting money boost to grow her savings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Earning extra money is my go-to method for boosting any savings goal. Saving dough is one way to boost your nest egg, but earning extra cash can really put it into overdrive.</p> <p>My husband and I are <a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/achieve-your-goals/">planning to move across the country</a> during the summer, so we need extra money to put into our relocation fund. We're both self-employed, so this allows us to have a flexible work schedule and take on extra part-time work. Below are some unusual and fun ideas I'm personally using to build up extra funds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online?ref=seealso">11 Easy Ways to Make Money Online</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Paid for Your Skills</h2> <p>Depending on your skills, you can offer editing, designing, or writing work in exchange for pay. And the best part is, you can do it from the comfort of your own home and on your own time. You get to work with clients virtually and bring in money<em> right now</em>.</p> <p>Freelance writing sites such as <a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a>&nbsp;and micro-jobs sites such as <a href="http://tracking.fiverr.com/aff_c?offer_id=1441&amp;aff_id=4437">Fiverr</a> enable you to turn your talents into a viable second income stream. Who knows? In time, you might even be able to make your passion into your full-time gig. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-freelance-gigs-anyone-can-do-to-make-extra-money?ref=seealso">8 Freelance Gigs Anyone Can Do</a>)</p> <h2>2. Work as a Brand Ambassador</h2> <p>If you enjoy local events and interacting with people, then becoming a brand ambassador a few times a month could be right up your alley. What is a brand ambassador?</p> <p>You know the people that give out free samples at the grocery store or local festivals? They are getting paid to represent a specific brand and give out coupons and freebies &mdash; and it can be a fun job for extroverts.</p> <p>If you have experience in a certain field, you can reach out to specific companies directly. My husband did this, and since he's a chef, he's worked as a brand ambassador for Organic Valley promoting several of their dairy products. Recently he spent four days giving out free samples and coupons, and was compensated well for his time.</p> <h2>3. Flip Thrift Store and Yard Sale Finds</h2> <p>This method probably won't make you as much money as it used to, but it's still a viable way to make extra cash. In the past I've made an average of $1,000 per month flipping thrift store finds for a profit on sites like eBay or Craigslist.</p> <p>You'll have to spend some time digging through the &quot;trash&quot; to find the treasure, but if you look for specific items (like brand-name clothing or electronics), and do your research, you can still make good money on the weekends.</p> <p>Plus, it's a fun activity to do with your spouse, or a frugal friend. With a creative eye, you can spot good-as-new pieces or shine up some dusty items and sell them for extra money.</p> <h2>4. Rent Out Your Assets for Cash</h2> <p>One of the smartest ways to bring in extra cash, without doing any additional work, is to leverage what you already have. Can you rent out a spare bedroom, or an extra couch in your house, on a site like <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a>? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb</a>)</p> <p>Do you have a coveted parking space in the city? You can use this to make extra money by renting out your parking spot while you're at work during the day. You can even rent out your car if it's not being used often. There are lots of new apps and startups that allow you to use the assets you have to bring in extra cash.</p> <h2>5. Make It a Competition</h2> <p>It's always fun to have a healthy dose of competition among your spouse and kids. This principle also applies when you're saving towards any type of financial goal. If you get the whole family involved, not only is it more fun, but it teaches everyone that <em>hard work equals results.</em></p> <p>When my husband and I create a new goal and begin working towards it, we each choose one type of money-making idea to focus on for 30 days. Our focused attitude makes it less overwhelming, and turns the whole idea into a friendly competition.</p> <p>Whoever brings in the most money at the end of the month gets a bonus from the other (like a shoulder massage, cleaning the house, or cooking dinner).</p> <p><em>What's another fun way you can boost your savings goal by earning extra cash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-money-boosts-that-grow-your-savings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash">13 Surprising Things You Can Rent for Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets">Extra Income Online: 5 Websites That Can Seriously Pad Your Pockets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-rid-of-stuff-frugally">10 Ways to Get Rid of Stuff Frugally</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income brand ambassadors freelancing renting saving money thrift stores yard sales Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:00:25 +0000 Carrie Smith 1382369 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 New Income Streams Anyone Can Create http://www.wisebread.com/5-new-income-streams-anyone-can-create <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-new-income-streams-anyone-can-create" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash-5188537-small_0.jpg" alt="cash" title="cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If money were water, your income would be the fresh mountain spring&hellip; the source of your spending power. This income &quot;stream&quot; could be your answer to financial independence. So, how do we tap into this spring?</p> <p>Here is a list of potential new income streams anyone can create (or find).</p> <h2>1. Bank Your Annual Raise</h2> <p><strong>Potential Yearly Income: $1,500</strong></p> <p>It's amazing how quickly new income gets burned through when people get raises. In 2014, the average raise is expected to be 3% in the United States. When they get raises, many people seem to forget that they were getting by with their prior salary, and before too long, they are just getting by with the new one. It's not mandatory that your expenses increase in step with your salary. All you have to do is take that additional 3% raise and sock it away in a savings account.</p> <p>If you make $50,000 and get a 3% raise, you will earn an additional $1,500 the following year. To avoid taxes, you could simply increase your 401(k) contribution by that amount. Otherwise, that $1,500 may look more like $1,125 after federal taxes&hellip; and more like $1,000 after state, Social Security, and Medicare taxes hit. But, that's still a nice lump sum. And, it may even go up again the following year! Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a savings account as soon as the raise hits, and you'll never feel a thing.</p> <h2>2. 401(k) Match</h2> <p><strong>Potential Yearly Income: $1,500</strong></p> <p>Many companies offer a retirement plan at work. Typically, this comes in the form of a 401(k) plan. If the employee elects to contribute to such a plan, a certain percentage of pay is taken out pre-tax from each paycheck and invested in his or her 401(k) account. Often, the company may sweeten the deal by offering a match. Herein lays your first new income stream.</p> <p>For example, the match may be $0.50 for every dollar you invest up to a maximum of 6% of your salary. Assuming you earn $50,000 per year and choose to invest 6% of your salary into your 401(k), you will have contributed $3,000 by the end of the year. And, you also get your match of $0.50 on the dollar, which means your company contributes an additional $1,500 per year!</p> <h2>3. Credit Card Points</h2> <p><strong>Potential Yearly Income: $500</strong></p> <p>We all spend money, right? So, let's get paid to spend it! Many credit cards offer points for making purchases on your credit card. Often, you'll receive points based on a percentage of the money you spend. I see another potential income stream here.</p> <p>Let's say you spend $25,000 every year and you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards">find a credit card</a> that provides you with points equaling 2% of all expenses paid on the card. To be realistic, not all expenses can be paid for on a credit card. However, if you take advantage of all opportunities (and pay off your credit card each month), you can certainly create a nice little income each year.</p> <p>Just 2% of $25,000 is still $500 additional income to you.</p> <h2>4. Consulting or Freelancing</h2> <p><strong>Potential Yearly Income: $1,000 (and up!)</strong></p> <p>Now take a look at the skills that you possess. What do you love doing that you can teach others in your free time? Are you a great musician, tech geek, writer, marketing genius, artist? In the age of the Internet, it seems everyone is creating some sort of service based business.</p> <p>Let's consider one simple idea. Do you have a knack for growing your social media followers? Turn that into a business. Something that comes naturally to you might seem impossible for others. You could charge $0.50 for every new Facebook &quot;like&quot; you obtain for a non-tech savvy small business owner. The business gets 200 new followers, and you pocket $100! Plus, if it's easy for you, it won't even feel like work. Do that for 10 people, and you'll pull in $1,000.</p> <p>The possibilities here are nearly limitless, but here are some ideas to get you started:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-freelance-gigs-anyone-can-do-to-make-extra-money">8 Great Freelance Gigs</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Parents</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-great-side-jobs">30 Great Side Jobs</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash </a></li> </ul> <h2>5. Craigslist/eBay Sales</h2> <p><strong>Potential Yearly Income: $1,200</strong></p> <p>Everyone has junk in their home that they just don't need anymore. And, as the saying goes, your junk could be another person's treasure. The problem is that no one wants to spend time sorting through things and taking pictures for the Internet. Well, suck it up and create another income stream for yourself!</p> <p>Just think&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;Craigslist is loaded with old books, clothes, toys, video games, furniture... and whatever else you can find in your attic or basement. You could easily sell a coach ($200), TV ($100), a few cell phones ($50), several books ($50), a nice piece of wooden furniture ($300), and a box of video games ($150); and you'll be well on your way. Throw in some power tools ($250) and a canoe ($100), and you'll have a handful of cold hard cash!</span></p> <h2>6. Fitness Benefit Reimbursement</h2> <p><strong>Potential Yearly Income: $150</strong></p> <p>We all love to talk about how expensive our health insurance is, but it's something we are required to pay. So let's take advantage of the fitness benefit offered by most insurance companies. All you need to do is spend money on a gym membership (which you probably already do)!</p> <p>Many insurance companies refund a portion of the cost of a gym membership. For example, my health plan gives me $150 every year just for showing them that I spent at least that much to pay for my gym membership. I'm going to the gym anyway, so why not get paid to do it?</p> <p>So let's stop here and total up our five recently uncovered revenue streams. Yup, that's $5,850! Now multiply that by five years, and you've just generated almost $30,000 &mdash; not including interest earned or investment returns. Just think of what you could do with this additional cash flow over your lifetime!</p> <p><em>How else have you generated income for yourself? Do you have any tips to share with us? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eric-roberge-cfp">Eric Roberge CFP</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-new-income-streams-anyone-can-create">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-side-jobs-for-people-who-are-good-with-money">6 Side Jobs for People Who Are Good With Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-extroverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Extroverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-legit-ways-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads-to-earn-some-extra-cash">12 Legit Ways for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads to Earn Some Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-earn-more-money-heres-how">You CAN Earn More Money — Here&#039;s How</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income extra income freelancing side jobs Wed, 14 May 2014 08:00:18 +0000 Eric Roberge CFP 1139228 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Time and Money Saving Apps for Freelancers http://www.wisebread.com/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tablet-158908829.jpg" alt="tablet" title="tablet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It is becoming increasingly easier and more popular for people to leave their 9-to-5 jobs and take on a freelancing career. Whether you are a writer, an editor, a social media manager, or a photographer, there are online and mobile apps that you can use to be more productive, make more money, and work more efficiently. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelancing-a-beginner-s-guide-to-doing-it-right?ref=seealso">Guide to Freelancing</a>)</p> <h2>Apps for Task Management</h2> <p>The ability to juggle multiple tasks and clients at one time is a freelancer's lifeline. These apps will help you do that for the short-term, the long run, and when you are on-the-go.</p> <h3>1. Dropbox</h3> <p><a href="https://www.dropbox.com/">Dropbox</a> provides the user with the ability to save their files in the cloud, so files can be accessed anywhere there's an Internet connection. Whether you are at a client meeting, in your home office, or on the go, you can access all your client files easily with the mobile app or online product.</p> <h3>2. NowDoThis</h3> <p><a href="http://www.nowdothis.com">NowDoThis</a> takes your to-do list and places it on your web browser. If you struggle with focusing on one task at a time, check out this simple interface. Just type in your list of things to do for the day, create your list, and click &quot;Done&quot; each time you finish a task. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you?ref=seealso">10 Best Productivity Apps</a>)</p> <h3>3. TeuxDeux</h3> <p><a href="https://teuxdeux.com/">TeuxDeux</a> (pronounced &quot;to do&quot;) helps you manage your list of things to do on a grand scale. Prioritize each activity that you need to do each day of the week. There's a mobile app available for on-the-go productivity and any tasks not finished one day will be automatically transferred to the next day. TeuxDeux also gives you the ability to organize lists for things like grocery trips, packing, and children's chores.</p> <h3>4. Google Calendar</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.google.com/calendar">Google Calendar</a> app works great on the web, your phone, or your tablet. It is available in virtually all platforms and is perfect for managing multiple deadlines, clients, and jobs. Create a different calendar for each client and assign each a different color so you are able to see at a quick glance which one has an approaching deadline. Use Google Calendar as a to-do list, for scheduling client meetings, conference calls, and much more.</p> <h2>Time Management</h2> <p>If you bill by the hour, it is important that you are able to keep track of your time. These apps will help you do just that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-have-it-all-4-tips-for-doing-more-with-your-time?ref=seealso">4 Tips for Doing More With Your Time</a>)</p> <h3>5. Cluckodo</h3> <p>Manage your time-on-task easily with <a href="http://www.clockodo.com/en">Cluckdoo</a>. This tool has both a web-based and a smartphone app for when you are working away from your computer. Cluckdoo will track your time and categorize it by client. It can be used with employees if you need to and will provide you a report to see which clients are requiring more of your time. It will also generate timesheets so your clients can see which part of the job required the most time and money.</p> <h3>6. OfficeTime</h3> <p><a href="http://www.officetime.net/">OfficeTime</a> is easy-to-use, available for the iPad or iPhone, and comes with a 100% money back guarantee. It offers easy access for when you change client jobs and the ability to recognize when you have stepped away from the job. OfficeTime will pause your time when need be and pick it back up when you have returned to work. It also provides reports to share with clients that export to Excel as well as the ability to invoice directly from the app.</p> <h2>Invoicing</h2> <p>Easy-to-use invoicing is an essential tool for the freelancer, especially those just starting out. These invoicing apps will help you look and feel professional while providing a user-friendly experience.</p> <h3>7. PayPal</h3> <p>If you are receiving client payments through <a href="http://paypal.com">PayPal</a>, why not invoice them with it? It provides your client a quick and easy way to pay you. PayPal allows you to import a logo so your invoice looks professional. You can keep track of which client has been invoiced and how much they have paid you quarterly and yearly. PayPal invoicing allows you to create a report that helps out at tax time as well.</p> <h3>8. Dwolla</h3> <p><a href="https://www.dwolla.com/">Dwolla</a> offers similar features as PayPal with much smaller fees. You can receive funds for only 25 cents per transaction with Dwolla. It has an online and mobile app to make sending and receiving money easier when you are away from home.</p> <h3>9. Freshbooks</h3> <p><a href="http://www.freshbooks.com/">Freshbooks</a> offers an easy-to-use, intuitive accounting product that will allow you to track time for client work, invoice them, and create reports to determine which products are cost-effective. You can also keep track of expenses within the app. It has mobile apps for most operating systems, automatic updating to the cloud, and fabulous customer support. Bonus? If you process your PayPal payments through Freshbooks, you can sign up for PayPal Business, which caps PayPal fees at 50 cents per transaction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a>)</p> <h2>More Apps to Check Out</h2> <p>There are many great apps out there that can make the life of a freelancer easier, more productive, and calmer.</p> <h3>10. BunkerApp</h3> <p><a href="http://www.bunkerapp.com/tour">BunkerApp</a> is an all-in-one time management, invoicing, and expense-tracking tool, with various pricing plans for your needs. A unique inclusion is a simple tool for creating RFP's and pitching projects to potential clients.</p> <h3>11. PayMo</h3> <p><a href="http://www.paymo.biz/">PayMo</a> is probably best used as a time-tracking tool, with an assortment of ways to use it, including a cloud-based interface and browser add-ons that make working from any device a painless process.</p> <h3>12. CurdBee</h3> <p><a href="http://curdbee.com/">CurdBee</a> is a budget-friendly invoicing and expensing tool, with a free-for-life plan for its basic features (which include customized invoices with your own logo!)</p> <h3>13. Evernote</h3> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote/id281796108?mt=8">Evernote</a> is a high-tech replacement for all of those sticky notes and napkin doodles. Collect the bits and pieces of your next project in an easy-to-retrieve organizational tool you can use virtually from anywhere.</p> <h3>14. ShoeBoxed</h3> <p><a href="https://www.shoeboxed.com/">ShoeBoxed</a> gives you a hassle-free way to scan and store documents with their prepaid mailing envelopes. Send your paper clutter off to be saved to the cloud and never lose a receipt or article again.</p> <h3>15. SignEasy</h3> <p><a href="http://getsigneasy.com/">SignEasy</a> takes the convenience of electronic document signing and delivers it to your mobile device. Just &quot;sign&quot; your important paperwork with your touchscreen and say goodbye to the old &quot;scan and email&quot; method.</p> <h3>16. Harvest</h3> <p><a href="http://www.getharvest.com/">Harvest</a> wins the award for &quot;plays well with others&quot; giving you a time management and tracking tool that can share info with 80+ other popular apps, including Basecamp, Fresh Desk, Salesforce, and more!</p> <p><em>What are your favorite freelancer apps? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-before-your-first-day-at-a-new-job">5 Things to Do Before Your First Day at a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-tools-for-telecommuting">5 Essential Tools for Telecommuting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-wanna-be-a-travel-writer">So You Wanna Be a Travel Writer?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building apps business tools freelancing productivity Fri, 28 Feb 2014 10:36:34 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1125966 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Work Experience Without Having a Job http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/desk-5322554-small.jpg" alt="woman at desk" title="woman at desk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Need experience to get a job; need a job to get experience&quot; is one of the most frustrating paradoxes faced by those who are still in school or in the midst of a career change. Although unemployment numbers are slowly falling, the race to land an entry-level job is not only hyper-competitive, but also somewhat deceptive, since some employers require a couple years of experience before applicants qualify for even an entry-level position. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/awesome-accomplishments-50-questions-to-ask-yourself-and-figure-out-what-youve-done">Awesome Accomplishments: 50+ Questions to Ask Yourself and Figure Out What You've Done</a>)</p> <p>If you're currently searching for a job but don't have extensive work experience to back you up, boost your resume and make valuable contacts in the industry you want to work in by exploring some alternatives.</p> <h2>Internships</h2> <p>One of the most popular ways of getting your foot in the door is by completing an internship. Depending on the industry, these may be paid or unpaid, part time or full time, short term or for several months, and for college credit or just for another bullet point for your resume.</p> <p><a href="http://www.internships.com/">Internships.com</a> and <a href="http://www.internmatch.com/">InternMatch</a> are great resources for finding internships in your area (remote/virtual internships are also available). If you go above and beyond what is expected of you during your internship, your boss might write a letter of recommendation, which will help you stand out from the crowd when you apply for your next job. Or better yet, your internship could potentially lead to a full time, paid position with the company.</p> <h2>Volunteer</h2> <p>If you want to make a difference in your community and gain valuable experience while you're at it, consider becoming a volunteer. Like many internships, this isn't paid work, but compared to the regular job market, volunteer positions are much more readily available. Although there are certainly differences between regular jobs and volunteer positions, you could perform similar tasks at a nonprofit as you would in a normal work environment (office work, teaching, researching, event planning, etc.). At the very least, you'll likely improve your communication skills and make connections that can serve as references later on when you're job hunting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/translating-volunteer-experiences-and-skills-to-workplace-credentials">Translating Volunteer Experiences to Workplace Credentials</a>)</p> <h2>Take Specialized Classes</h2> <p>Being a college student or graduate is almost mandatory for decent-paying jobs these days, but employers want more than employees who learned everything in a classroom. Consider taking some hands-on classes that relate to the industry you want to work in. This can be anything from wood or metal shop to culinary classes. Many community colleges offer trade-specific classes, and some high schools have a <a href="http://rop-smcoe-rop-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1315636664350/1316353355363/2008991174234172131.pdf">Regional Occupational Program</a> (ROP) for their students. ROP offers hands-on courses to prepare students for careers in industries such as health care, engineering, manufacturing, tourism &amp; hospitality, and more.</p> <h2>Start Up Your Own Startup</h2> <p>Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone, but if you're really determined to get your foot in the door, you could run your own side business until you amass the experience needed for your dream job. This is probably the most complex way of getting experience, but you may find that working for yourself is more rewarding after all. Either way, entrepreneurship will help you add valuable experience to your resume, as well as show you both the employer and employee's perspectives in your industry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-great-startup-business-is-doomed">6 Reasons Your Great Startup Business Is Doomed</a>)</p> <h2>Freelance</h2> <p>If running a business isn't your cup of tea, and you offer services rather than products, consider getting into freelancing.</p> <p><a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a> is a popular website for new freelancers, although there's one thing you should know about bidding sites &mdash; it's a race to the bottom. You'll be competing with other freelancers, many of whom are willing to charge minimal prices just to get work. An alternative to this is building a portfolio in which you have several pieces of your work available for potential employers to peruse prior to hiring you. As an independent contractor, you could also offer your services for free for a couple clients when you're just starting out (in exchange for portfolio samples and references). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-year-new-resume">New Year, New Resume</a>)</p> <h2>Final Word</h2> <p>Landing a new job &mdash; even in a struggling economic climate &mdash; isn't impossible. It's admittedly harder for those who don't have firsthand experience required by many employers, but as you can see from the points above, there are ways around this problem.</p> <p><em>How have you gotten experience without first having a job? Tell us your job search story in the comment section below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-spending-3-on-you-will-advance-your-career">Here&#039;s How Spending 3% On You Will Advance Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-jobs-proven-to-make-you-live-longer">5 Jobs Proven to Make You Live Longer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self">7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Personal Development employment entrepreneurship freelancing internships resume volunteering Fri, 30 Aug 2013 09:48:29 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 981181 at http://www.wisebread.com Coworking Spaces: The Office Alternative http://www.wisebread.com/coworking-spaces-the-office-alternative <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/coworking-spaces-the-office-alternative" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5869798689_f7a9cbb984.jpg" alt="People in a coworking facility" title="People in a coworking facility" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Telecommuting is becoming an increasingly popular approach to working these days, and starting your own business is as popular as ever. Both options mean that you need a place to work of your own, though, because an employer won&rsquo;t be providing it.</p> <p>A home office may be an easy option, but there are a lot of downsides to working in the same environment your kids are playing in or your chores need to be done in. The main alternative &mdash; renting office space &mdash; can be an expensive proposition, especially if you&rsquo;re just starting out. A new trend may offer a much easier option, though &mdash; coworking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/setting-up-a-home-office-on-the-cheap">Setting Up a Home Office on the Cheap</a>)</p> <h3>A Brief History of Coworking</h3> <p>Coworking spaces are shared offices. Usually one person or a small organization rents a larger office space and then makes parts of it available to other individuals. The trend started in San Francisco in 2005 with the Hat Factory, a place where three people lived, and, during the day, made the space available to others to work in. The concept gained traction and has spread like wildfire. Most major cities have at least one coworking space these days, and there are an estimated 700 locations in the U.S. alone. The <a href="http://wiki.coworking.info/w/page/29303049/Directory">Coworking Directory</a> serves as the best resource for checking into what&rsquo;s available near you.</p> <p>Coworking spaces are meant to provide an improvement over working in a coffee shop (you don&rsquo;t have to keep buying an ever increasing number of cups of coffee) or at home (you can reduce the overlap between work time and your personal life). The movement, as a whole, also provides an organic approach to office space. No one needs a license or a franchise to open a coworking space. That&rsquo;s how they can pop up all over, and why each one is very different from the next.</p> <h3>How to Get the Most Out of Coworking</h3> <p>Just about any coworking space offers you a place to plunk down with your laptop and work, completely tuning out everyone else. Most of us need that sometimes &mdash; when we&rsquo;re on deadline, paying for the privilege of quiet workspace makes sense. But the rest of the time, there are a lot of other benefits you can get from a coworking space.</p> <p>Most coworking spaces operate on the assumption that if a bunch of people are going to work in the same area, they might as well form a community. Many spaces host events, but even those that don&rsquo;t offer plenty of informal opportunities to sit down and talk with other people in the space. Depending on your own background, this can be an easy way to find new clients, a freelancer to help you with a project, or even a team member for a new company. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">human interaction</a> can be one of the biggest benefits of a coworking space, especially for those of us who are used to sitting home alone to work.</p> <h3>Understanding the Amenities and Prices</h3> <p>Most coworking spaces make a point of posting both their amenities and prices on their websites. If you&rsquo;re lucky enough to be in an area with multiple spaces, this information can help you decide where you should work, but it&rsquo;s also important to understand what you&rsquo;re getting.</p> <p>You may be able to choose between a variety of different plans, from a one-day drop in option to monthly plans giving you full-time access and your own key. You may have access to a range of amenities:</p> <ul> <li>A key allowing you access anytime you want</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee">Coffee</a> and other beverages</li> <li>Storage spaces</li> <li>Reduced costs for events</li> <li>Membership discounts for other businesses</li> <li>Access to printers, fax machines, and other office equipment</li> </ul> <p>Every coworking space is different, so if there&rsquo;s a feature you really need, it&rsquo;s important to ask about it. If an amenity isn&rsquo;t available, your request may prompt the space organizer to look into it.</p> <p>Prices are mostly influenced by location &mdash; the simple fact that office space in New York City is more expensive than in Austin means that you&rsquo;ll pay more to join a coworking space in New York. I&rsquo;ve usually paid around $25 per day for dropping in at spaces in California, Oklahoma, and along the East Coast. Monthly memberships are often tiered to allow for different levels of access. In my experience, full-time access starts around $200 and goes up from there, based on location and features.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coworking-spaces-the-office-alternative">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-being-an-entrepreneur-isnt-sexy">When Being an Entrepreneur Isn&#039;t Sexy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship coworking space freelancing office savings small business Fri, 06 Apr 2012 09:48:16 +0000 Thursday Bram 915082 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Raise Your Rates and Keep Your Clients http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-to-raise-your-rates-and-keep-your-clients <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-to-raise-your-rates-and-keep-your-clients" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-to-raise-your-rates-and-keep-your-clien...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-to-raise-your-rates-and-keep-your-clients" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008595913Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It doesn't matter whether you're a freelancer, a small business owner, or a large corporation &ndash; every service provider wants to raise their rates.</p> <p>Of course, most of us never do it.</p> <p>Why? Because we're terrified.</p> <p>We ask ourselves, &quot;Am I really worth more?&quot;</p> <p>We worry, &quot;What if our clients leave?&quot;</p> <p>We wonder, &quot;If I screw this up, can I fix it?&quot;</p> <p>I can tell you from experience that most of these worries are unfounded. In fact, not only will raising your rates increase your profit margin, in many cases it will make you more desirable to the client as well!</p> <p>Here are five tips for making the transition to higher pay a bit easier.</p> <h3>Be More Specific about the Services You Offer</h3> <p>Generalists have a hard time charging higher rates because no client feels compelled by a vague service offering. Clients want to feel like your service was made for them.</p> <p>Have you ever noticed how most photographers specialize in weddings or senior portraits? That's because they know that if they have a service targeted to that specific clientele, then they can charge a higher price.</p> <p>If you can solve a more specific problem, then you can charge a much higher rate.</p> <p>This usually means offering your current services in a more targeted way. Take some time and think about how you can solve a more specific problem for your customers. Then charge them for it.</p> <h3>Make Rate Increases a Regular Part of Business</h3> <p>It's hard for some of us to increase our rates because we never had a plan to do so in the first place. We just roll out of bed one morning and say, &quot;Man, I wish I was charging more.&quot;</p> <p>Of course, even though we feel that way, we rarely do anything about it. We hesitate to raise our rates until it&rsquo;s the &ldquo;right time.&rdquo;</p> <p>As you probably know, waiting for the right time usually means waiting for a long time. Instead, I suggest scheduling rate increases into your business.</p> <p>If you plan to raise your hourly rate by $10 after every 5 clients, then you remove the emotions associated with rate raising. It&rsquo;s simply a business decision that you were planning on making. When client number six shows up, you increase the price. And that's that.</p> <p>This strategy also makes rate hikes easier to explain to clients (if they ask).</p> <h3>Offer an Upsell or Cross-Sell</h3> <p>Another alternative is to offer an upsell (some type of add-on service) or a cross-sell (an additional product or service) to your current offering.</p> <p>This allows you to keep the current price of your services the same, while making more money overall.</p> <p>For example, if your service is knitting blankets, then maybe you could sell limited edition patterns as an upsell. Or perhaps you could offer special bows to go with the blankets or sell a matching storage bin for the blankets ... you get the idea.</p> <p>Offering a closely related upsell is often a great idea because it continues to solve the problem that the customer has, but in a more complete way. These options allow you to make more money from the same number of customers &ndash; even if you aren&rsquo;t directly raising your rates.</p> <h3>Sell Your Service in Different Blocks of Time</h3> <p>If you are currently charging an hourly rate, then consider switching to a weekly or monthly rate &ndash; or even longer if that works.</p> <p>Say you charge $20 per hour. That's $800 in a 40-hour week. Could you switch to charging clients weekly for $850? That&rsquo;s a $50 raise with no additional effort.</p> <p>Quick changes like this can give you an instant rate increase &ndash; and because the client is viewing the package in a new time frame, they rarely put up a fuss. Supermarkets play this game all the time with different unit sizes and prices.</p> <p>Moreover, the longer the time frame you sell, the less you have to worry about selling. If you sell your service in three month blocks, then you only need to find four clients per year. One month blocks? Twelve times a year. One hour blocks? Yikes. That's a lot of selling.</p> <h3>Let your Clients Choose to Pay You More</h3> <p>Another excellent solution is to offer price tiers.</p> <p>Price tiers are simply different levels of service at different prices. For example, let's say that right now you sell your services for $50/hr. With a price tier, you could offer your basic service for $50/hr and extended support for $60/hr. And then maybe you offer a rush service for $70/hr.</p> <p>These are just examples, of course. You'll have to figure out how to divide the price tiers in your business. That said, you'll be surprised how many people choose the higher price tier if you give them the option. Some clients always want the best &ndash; and they will pay you for it!</p> <p>Price tiers are a great way to get comfortable with the idea of charging more. Once you realize that people are willing to pay more money &ndash; and that higher prices won't drive them away &ndash; then you might be ready to take the leap and raise all of your prices instead of just offering a few high-end options.</p> <p>Regardless of which route you choose, you should try raising your rates. Pricing products and services is not an exact science and the only way you can discover the right price for your business is to try to find it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/james-clear">James Clear</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-to-raise-your-rates-and-keep-your-clients">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coworking-spaces-the-office-alternative">Coworking Spaces: The Office Alternative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-being-an-entrepreneur-isnt-sexy">When Being an Entrepreneur Isn&#039;t Sexy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center billing cross-sell fees freelancing rates service fees small business upsell Thu, 21 Jul 2011 19:42:29 +0000 James Clear 620272 at http://www.wisebread.com When Being an Entrepreneur Isn't Sexy http://www.wisebread.com/when-being-an-entrepreneur-isnt-sexy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-being-an-entrepreneur-isnt-sexy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired_working.jpg" alt="Tired and working" title="Tired and working" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When looking at the fabric walls of your small chunk of cubicle nation, it's easy to think that the entrepreneurial life is sexy. After all, anything seems sexier than staring at the gray-walls, white-ceiling combination that most cube farms sport. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/is-now-the-time-to-start-your-own-business">Is Now the Time to Start Your Own Business?</a>)</p> <p>While it may be true that the entrepreneurial life is the one for you, before you leave cube-sweet-cube, you should remember that the entrepreneurial life isn&rsquo;t always sexy. In fact, there are times when the cube life seems damn sexy indeed. If you don&rsquo;t believe me, consider the following scenarios.</p> <h3>1. When You&rsquo;re Up All Night to Meet a Deadline</h3> <p>Granted, some employers make their employees do this sort of thing, too, but it&rsquo;s much more common for entrepreneurs. Whether you take a huge job because it&rsquo;s too good an opportunity to pass up, you take on a tight deadline because you need the money, or you&rsquo;ve got to work at night because you played Wii all day, the morning after one of these all-nighters will leave you feeling worse than hung over. Definitely not sexy.</p> <h3>2. When You Can&rsquo;t Buy Groceries Until You Get Paid</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re an entrepreneur, it&rsquo;s easy to buy the line that the check is in the mail. Even if it really is, sometimes it can&rsquo;t get to you soon enough. When you&rsquo;re starving and standing in the grocery store looking at food you can&rsquo;t buy while frantically checking your bank account to see if some money cleared, you&rsquo;ll definitely feel something less than sexy.</p> <h3>3. When You Realize You Spent All Day in Your Pajamas</h3> <p>Entrepreneurial work can become all-consuming, particularly when you absolutely have to make money and don&rsquo;t see how you can, or when you&rsquo;ve taken on a large project that you now have to figure out how to do. When you&rsquo;re working by yourself, for yourself, out of your home, it&rsquo;s easy to roll out of bed and spend most of the day on the computer, only to roll back in bed at the end of the day. When you&rsquo;re feeling rumpled, smelly, and downright nasty, sexy will be the farthest thing from your mind.</p> <h3>4. When It Dawns on You That Most of Your Recipes Contain Ramen</h3> <p>Now you&rsquo;re past the point where you can&rsquo;t afford food. However, there&rsquo;s a time in many entrepreneurs' lives when cheap staples &mdash; rice, beans, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sayonara-ramen-san">Top Ramen</a> &mdash; become central parts of the diet. There&rsquo;s money in the bank, but not quite enough to buy that steak. The thought of bringing home a date (or, face it, your mother) and only being able to feed her beans and rice is somewhat less than sexy, too.</p> <h3>5. When You're Compromising to Make a Buck</h3> <p>Most entrepreneurs start out with high principles and a strong sense of calling. They have a vision for what they want to do, how they want to do it, and who needs their services. But when getting started takes longer than you&rsquo;d hoped, it&rsquo;s tempting to take contracts that aren&rsquo;t exactly what you wanted to do simply because you&rsquo;ll get paid for completing them. When you feel like a hack or like the reality of working for yourself is less than what you&rsquo;d hoped for, it&rsquo;s hard to feel like a sex god.</p> <p>None of this is to say that you shouldn&rsquo;t try the entrepreneurial life if it calls to you. But it&rsquo;s good to have a reality check, so you remember the costs of all that freedom. Is it worth it? You&rsquo;ll have to decide that for yourself.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-being-an-entrepreneur-isnt-sexy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coworking-spaces-the-office-alternative">Coworking Spaces: The Office Alternative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship downsides of entrepreneurship freelancing small business Fri, 04 Mar 2011 13:00:32 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 500026 at http://www.wisebread.com Freelance to Small Business: 10 People Who Made the Transition http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/freelance-to-small-business-10-people-who-made-the-transition <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/freelance-to-small-business-10-people-who-made-the-transition-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/freelance-to-small-b...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/freelance-to-small-business-10-people-who-made-the-transition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004765169XSmall.jpg" alt="Water bottles" title="Water bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you start out as a freelancer, there aren't a lot of options for moving forward: You can increase your rates or land bigger and better clients. But as long as you keep the title of &quot;freelancer,&quot; your path can be very limited. Just a name change can make a big difference. Many freelancers start out thinking of themselves as on their own, but when they start thinking of themselves as small business owners and entrepreneurs, the opportunities available to them boom. These business owners started out as traditional freelancers, but have moved far beyond what that title can describe:</p> <p><strong>1. Andy Hayes</strong></p> <p>While <a href="http://andyhayes.com/">Andy Hayes</a> may have started out as a freelance writer, he's gone on to become a speaker, a consultant, and the owner of Hayes Media Group. &quot;In the beginning, I was blissfully unaware of the difference between freelancer and entrepreneur,&quot; says Hayes. &quot;It didn't take very long for me to realize that I had traded one employer for another (and I wasn't a very kind manager to myself). Being freelance is fairly easy if you've got in-demand skills, but entrepreneurship requires you take risks and leaps. Doing so gives you leverage to start earning a lot more money, dreaming a lot bigger, and most importantly, helping to bring bigger/better change to the lives of your customers.&quot;</p> <p><strong>2. Mason Gentry, Faucet Face</strong></p> <p>Gentry took the skills he learned as a freelance art director and used them to create a line of artistic water bottles. &quot;I started <a href="http://www.faucetface.com">Faucet Face</a> about 20 months ago, working on it at night and during the downtime in between freelance gigs,&quot; says Gentry. Now the business offers artistic drinking bottles that Gentry designed and had manufactured.</p> <p><strong>3. Nathalie Lussier, Raw Foods Witch</strong></p> <p>&quot;When I started freelancing I didn't have a bigger business in mind at all,&quot; says Lussier. &quot;But after a few months of freelancing, also of seeing what other freelancers and business owners were doing, I realized I could start a business that went beyond freelancing. So the <a href="http://rawfoodswitch.com/">raw food business</a> came out of the 'ashes' of my freelancing business.&quot; She made the switch from writing and translating on a freelance business to offering coaching and creating products around raw foods.</p> <p><strong>4. Lisa Tener</strong></p> <p>Getting her first book published tipped <a href="http://www.lisatener.com/">Tener</a> over the line between entrepreneur and small business owner, but it took talking to a coach to help her see it. &quot;Only when I met (and began working with) my first business/life coach did I begin to see myself as an entrepreneur. As a stay-at-home-mom working part-time, I needed to make around $3,000 that summer and had been making just a couple hundred a week. My coach helped me set specific goals (like the $3,000), which opened my eyes to an opportunity to do some consulting in a previous field (nonprofit management) and make exactly what I'd hoped...$3,000.&quot;</p> <p><strong>5. Brian Casel, CasJam Media</strong></p> <p>Many freelancers hit a plateau in their ability to keep growing, and Casel is no exception: &quot;My rates are at a comfortable level, so I needed to look for other ways to grow my business. Releasing products was a way to do that. I've been specializing in designing WordPress-powered websites for clients, so I built on that expertise to <a href="http://casjam.com/">create and sell WordPress themes</a> that meet the needs of bootstrapped businesses.&quot;</p> <p><strong>6. Chris Davis, The Swizzle Collective</strong></p> <p>Just because a freelancer becomes a small business owner doesn't mean that he has to change what he's been doing. Davis moved from freelancer to agency without a big change: &quot;I was a freelance copywriter in the advertising industry, working for any and all agencies that needed creative help. One such assignment was to write some radio spots for Velocity Credit Union on behalf of an agency that went out of business shortly after the spots were produced...But thankfully my relationship with Velocity didn't end when that agency went belly up. In fact, it prospered. I become their go-to guy when it came to concepting and producing their advertising work, and eventually I was able to start <a href="http://swizzlecollective.com/">my own agency</a> because of that relationship.&quot;</p> <p><strong>7. Jennifer Maciejewski, Atlanta on the Cheap</strong></p> <p>Maciejewski started her <a href="http://www.atlantaonthecheap.com/">blog</a> as a way to brush up on her skills and demonstrate her abilities to her freelance writing clients. But her sites have become her focus. &quot;Once I started depositing checks, I realized that I could potentially grow that revenue into a solid income stream, so I started investing more time into the sites. Over the past year, they've taken over the bulk of my work hours, but treating it as a business has definitely paid off,&quot; says Maciejewski.</p> <p><strong>8. Allison Torneros, Circledot</strong></p> <p>Starting as a freelancer in high school, Torneros knew she could fall back on her skills when she didn't have a job offer after graduating college. &quot;Since I had been freelancing for such a long time, the natural step was to establish something more permanent. I began to set up my freelance business as <a href="http://www.thecircledot.com/">a design studio</a> and started building a team, and when I did that, even bigger jobs came in, and the stigma thats usually attached to the word freelancer was gone.&quot;</p> <p><strong>9. Joy Gendusa, PostcardMania</strong></p> <p>As a freelancer, Gendusa wanted to print up postcards to market her services. A run-in with the printer gave her a clear direction for her business: When Gendusa got the proof back, the printer had listed his own phone number and name on the cards and was asking $50 to remove it. That was enough for Gendusa to set up shop in order <a href="http://www.postcardmania.com/">offer businesses better services and marketing help</a> &mdash; at least as far as postcards go.</p> <p><strong>10. Heather Whaling, Geben Communication</strong></p> <p>Whaling took on public relations, social media, and writing projects on a freelance basis before launching <a href="http://www.gebencommunication.com/">her own company</a>. She had to start seeing herself as the client to really succeed with her business, says Whaling. &quot;I knew it would be challenging going from being an employee to being an entrepreneur, so I wrote a marketing plan for myself, had a logo professionally designed, created a website, and implemented a 'launch strategy.' Basically, I tried to think about myself as a 'client' &mdash; how would I advise any other small business to go about launching itself? Looking back, I feel like taking this 'formal' approach to launching a company was invaluable. It helped me hit the ground running and secure new businesses far better than if I had just all of a sudden started calling myself a small business owner.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/freelance-to-small-business-10-people-who-made-the-transition">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coworking-spaces-the-office-alternative">Coworking Spaces: The Office Alternative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resources-for-freelancers">Resources for Freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-being-an-entrepreneur-isnt-sexy">When Being an Entrepreneur Isn&#039;t Sexy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center freelance income freelancing small business Wed, 12 Jan 2011 19:38:15 +0000 Thursday Bram 427091 at http://www.wisebread.com Extra Income Online: 5 Websites That Can Seriously Pad Your Pockets http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5183892164_9b675611b1_z.jpg" alt="$20 in front of screen" title="$20 in front of screen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the national unemployment rate creeping toward 10%, it&rsquo;s fair to reason that some of us could use extra cash.</p> <p>Frankly, even if you&rsquo;ve still got a 9-to-5, more money in the bank is never a bad thing. Instead of taking on a second, or in some cases, third job to elevate your earnings, consider making use of these websites that can take you from rags to debatable riches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash When Money Is Tight</a>)</p> <h2>Craigslist</h2> <p><a href="http://www.craigslist.com">Craigslist</a> has long been a freelancer&rsquo;s dream, and there are always tons of projects listed in every region that are ripe for the picking. But the classifieds site isn&rsquo;t just for scoping out potential work. Think about the converse, too &mdash; placing ads touting your services. For instance, I run a home-based copywriting and creative consulting business on a limited advertising budget. To expose myself to prospective clients who are seeking someone like me, I create posts in relevant sections describing my capabilities. As a result, I receive at least one inquiry a week, many of which have turned into steady work.</p> <p>Otherwise, Craigslist is a great way to get rid of unwanted-but-still-valuable junk. Whenever my husband and I upgrade any device &mdash; like our iPhones &mdash; we list the old ones on Craigslist. They&rsquo;ve <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers">sold quickly</a> every time and at the listed price, which is set at what we paid for the new devices. To be honest, there&rsquo;s a buyer for just about anything you list, so long as the item is desirable and in good-to-great condition. Best of all, you get the full amount of your proposed price (even if you have to negotiate here and there), whereas you&rsquo;ll have to pay listing and other fees elsewhere.</p> <h2>Airbnb</h2> <p>Let me start by saying that I think <a href="http://www.airbnb.com">Airbnb</a> is one of the best new websites in recent years &mdash; and I&rsquo;m not the only one: the San Francisco-based startup recently received $7.2 million in Series A funding from investors. The concept is so simple, too, that it makes you wonder, &ldquo;Why didn&rsquo;t I think of that?&rdquo;</p> <p>The concept is that if you have extra space in your home, you can turn it into guest quarters for tourists who will pay you to stay there. All you have to do is list your vacant room, add photos, and complete a profile. Airbnb does the rest, including blocking off reserved dates on your calendar to avoid double bookings and holding rental fees in escrow until guests arrive, at which time you can have the funds sent via check or direct deposit.</p> <p>In the interest of full disclosure, we&rsquo;ve been listing our guest bedroom on Airbnb since its launch in February 2009. To date, we&rsquo;ve made more than $19,000 in extra income (that we duly pay taxes on, by the way. Don&rsquo;t get all hot and bothered, IRS). It&rsquo;s become such a success for us that my neighbors have hired me to manage their properties on the site, resulting in even more dough in my pocket because I charge them a percentage. Winner-winner, chicken dinner.</p> <h2>Agent Anything</h2> <p>If you have ample space in your schedule (and if you&rsquo;re unemployed, you do; playing Angry Birds is not your new job, just so ya know), check out <a href="http://www.agentanything.com">Agent Anything</a>, a service that allows any <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-college-freshman-budget">college student</a> (verified by having a current dot edu college email account) to register to run &ldquo;missions&rdquo; that can include grocery shopping, pet sitting and walking, house cleaning, etc. As a mission runner, you can set your fee by making an offer on a listed task. If the mission poster thinks your fee is reasonable, you&rsquo;ll be hired. Agent Anything currently only serves the New York City area, but it promises to expand soon.</p> <h2>RentAFriend</h2> <p>When I saw <a href="http://www.rentafriend.com">RentAFriend</a> posted on a friend&rsquo;s Facebook page, I laughed. &quot;Who rents friends?&quot; I thought. As it turns out, plenty of people want a paid, platonic companion. According to <a href="http://outofthestormnews.com/2010/12/22/why-be-lonely-on-christmas-eve-because-no-one-from-rentafriend-com-is-available-to-hang-out/">Out of the Storm News</a> (in which I was quoted about my participation on the site), 2,700 lonely folks are seeking play pals. Registering is a breeze and the site allows you to set your fee from $10 to $50 per hour of your time, depending on how much you think you&rsquo;re worth. My fee is set middle of the road at $30 because I&rsquo;m not greedy or an egomaniac, though some may beg to differ.</p> <p>In addition, the renter is required to pay any other fees associated with the outing &mdash; bar tab, tickets, whatever. Although I haven&rsquo;t had any confirmed bookings, I did have one inquiry from a guy who was coming to Manhattan on business and wanted someone to go to dinner and a movie with while he was in town. In the end he didn&rsquo;t hire me, so I&rsquo;m still looking forward to my first RentAFriend experience. Which means that you should pass me along.</p> <h2>Amazon.com &amp; eBay</h2> <p>Much like Craigslist, <a href="http://www.amazon.com">Amazon.com</a> and <a href="http://www.ebay.com">eBay</a> can help you rid your home of unwanted clutter and get you paid for it. Still, there are differences between the former and the latter. Craigslist is great for selling electronics and furniture locally, while the other two sites are more conducive to shilling CDs, DVDs, books, and other shippable wares.</p> <p>When my husband and I moved in together, I had rows of media that I no longer wanted. Hours after listing the items, they were flying off my shelves. I&rsquo;ve been a consistent user of the sites for years now, and in the past 12 months alone I&rsquo;ve pocketed about $500 in cash. In my opinion, that&rsquo;s much better than $500 worth of dust collecting paraphernalia hiding around my house. Translated, the moolah I&nbsp;made paid my cell phone bill for six months. Not too shabby.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online">Effortless Ways to Make Money Online That Don&#039;t Require Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers">The 9 Secrets of Highly Successful Craigslist Sellers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reselling-antiques-the-five-principles-of-power-picking">Reselling Antiques: The Five Principles of Power Picking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">15 Ways to Make Money Outside Your Day Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income earning money on craigslist extra cash freelancing make money online resell Mon, 10 Jan 2011 13:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 442302 at http://www.wisebread.com So You Wanna Be a Travel Writer? http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-wanna-be-a-travel-writer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/so-you-wanna-be-a-travel-writer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laptop-78295320.jpg" alt="laptop" title="laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Becoming a travel writer is much more difficult than people think, probably because many of us have delusions of grandeur when it comes to the business. <em>What? I get to travel around the world for free, getting wined and dined and enjoying the best of the best, and all I have to do is write about it? Sign me up, baby!&nbsp;</em>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel?ref=seealso">Ways to Make Money While You Travel</a>)</p> <p>Sadly, it&#39;s not that simple. Here are some of the hard truths I&#39;ve learned about travel writing:</p> <ul> <li>You and everybody else would like to be a travel writer. Because of this, the competition is fierce.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A writing career of any sort takes years of hard work<b> </b>(with very little income) to build up.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The average travel writer makes (drumroll please): $6,000/year.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The print industry is in crisis, and formerly lucrative (relatively speaking, for the industry) roles are being eliminated and farmed out to freelancers, sometimes even for free. The Huffington Post, for example, recently <em>stopped paying </em>its writers (and there are enough writers who are hungry for the exposure that they can get away with this).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2009/12/the-plight-of-a-writer-living-abroad-lessons-learned-about-getting-support/">Getting professional and moral support as a writer</a> is like pulling teeth.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sitting on a beach, being plied with free drinks, and writing leisurely is far from the reality of travel writing. Picture this instead: If you are lucky enough to get a free trip, expect to be ushered in a maniacal fashion from attraction to attraction, pressed with the personal agendas of local tourism boards. Downtime is usually spent holed up in your room, desperately typing notes and trying to keep up at the expense of sleep.</li> </ul> <p>Are you still with me? Don&#39;t want to poke your eye out with a spoon? Great: That&#39;s the bad news, mostly out of the way. Once you rid yourself of the illusions of the travel writing industry, you can evaluate it a little more critically to decide if it&#39;s still something you want to do. As <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/faqs/">I&#39;ve said elsewhere</a>, people who are writers usually choose the profession because they simply <em>must </em>write. It&#39;s as natural as eating or sleeping.</p> <p>In the past few years, I&#39;ve learned many of the lessons of travel writing by making mistakes, reading between the lines in volumes upon volumes of industry periodicals, and occasionally being blessed with a dose of unwitting luck.</p> <p>Recently though, I came across a book about travel writing that, had I read it when I got started, could have significantly eased my learning curve. It&#39;s called <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1609101081/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1609101081&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Travel Writing 2.0: Earning Money From Your Travels in the New Media Landscape</a></em>, and if you would like to get into the industry, I would recommend it as a place to start.</p> <p>With a dose of (at times) harsh reality, the author (Tim Leffel, a multi-award-winning travel writer) debunks the glamour of the business and instead identifies things that a travel writer needs to focus on &mdash; like business skills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-great-startup-business-is-doomed?ref=seealso">Reasons Your Great Startup is Doomed</a>)</p> <p>Leffel describes the realities of freelancing as follows:</p> <blockquote><p>Your hours are your own, but you end up working more of them than most office drones.</p> <p>You can go on vacation when you want, but you often end up working while you&#39;re away.</p> <p>You have freedom, but not much certainty.</p> <p>You report to nobody, but there&#39;s no mentor in the next room either.</p> <p>You can pick and choose what you work on, but sometimes that means having no work.</p> </blockquote> <p>And then he caps off the business of travel writing<b> </b>with this pearl of wisdom: &quot;If you get one point of reality from this book, let it be this: travel writing is not something to go into because of the potential earnings.&quot;</p> <p>Amen, brother. If I didn&#39;t keep my travel expenses minimal by regularly <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2010/10/16-useful-travel-applications-and-websites/">volunteering in trade for my accommodation</a>, my full-time travels wouldn&#39;t be financially sustainable.</p> <p>The book also addresses the &ldquo;new climate&rdquo; of the writing industry (hence the &ldquo;2.0&rdquo; in the title), where self-publishing and e-books are taking the place of some of the former traditional mediums of newspapers and books. In this brave new world, there&#39;s a focus on self-promotion, differentiating yourself from others, utilizing new media like the internet for brand development, and in many cases, simply creating your own opportunities as opposed to finding existing jobs or positions.</p> <p>Following are some of the areas covered, tips provided, and concepts that I found to be particularly useful in the world of <em>Travel Writing 2.0</em>:</p> <h2>Find a Niche</h2> <p>One of the bigger lessons taught in the book (one that I thankfully fluked into), is that if you want to be a successful travel writer, you need to have an area of expertise that you can combine with travel to give your writing an edge. (For me it&#39;s personal finance and lifestyle design.) This narrows the competition and makes you an expert of sorts, which creates a niche &mdash; and in turn, more business for you. If you don&#39;t know of a beat that you can call yours, the book also helps give you some food for thought on the topic.</p> <h2>The Ins-and-Outs of the Business</h2> <p>I really enjoyed Leffel&#39;s &ldquo;no holds barred&rdquo; approach to travel writing. He minces no words, makes no promises, and in turn, delivers some solid advice on the following topics:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Developing a website that fulfills a need</strong>: Addressing a specific audience and meeting their needs increases the potential for your site to take off. Leffel outlines the criteria required to achieve this.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Traditional media outlets</strong>: You learn what to expect from traditional media outlets like&nbsp;magazines, newspapers, trade publications, guidebooks, and corporate writing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Whether to use your name or a business name</strong>: This is an important decision to make at the outset for establishing a credible web presence.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>&quot;You should write a book!&quot;</strong>: Why this phrase (which you&#39;ll inevitably hear at some point) is a dangerous one to take seriously.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Networking</strong>: Leffel highlights some of the benefits of networking with writers, editors, and other industry professionals. I can say from experience that this can&#39;t be underestimated (and it&#39;s fun too)! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks?ref=seealso">Simple Networking Tricks</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>The business of writing</strong>: This requires patience, persistence, tenacity, a good dose of sales skills, and the ability to cope with inevitable rejection.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>How to break into the industry</strong>: Breaking into the writing industry can be done using various&nbsp;vehicles like front-of-book writing, service articles, and blog writing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Different publication styles</strong>: Each different type of publication (e.g.: newspapers, web, etc.) operates differently. You learn how to pitch to them and what to expect of a working relationship (I found this section to be of particular appeal).</li> </ul> <h2>Tips from Experience</h2> <p>Other pearls of wisdom Leffel shares include the following:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Don&#39;t aim too high at the start</strong>: Stave off delusions of selling travel narratives and features from the get-go; they&#39;re like starring roles in movies &mdash; they tend to go to known names.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Edit, edit, and re-edit</strong>: No matter how talented you are,&nbsp;expect to edit, edit, and re-edit your work. Leffel says that successful writers &ldquo;still occasionally get the feeling that what they&#39;ve put on the page is sub-par. One of the writers I respect the most once said quietly, &#39;I still feel like a hack sometimes.&#39;&rdquo;</li> </ul> <h2>Press Trips and Freebies</h2> <p>Given the ethical and moral grey areas that surround travel writers receiving press trips and freebies, a book on travel writing wouldn&#39;t be complete without addressing this topic. Travel writing is particularly under the microscope right now, unlike other industries (like showbiz or food &amp; wine) where writers get freebies all the time without persecution. Irrespective of industry however, it&#39;s important that you approach freebies with honesty and without allowing your writing to be unduly influenced.</p> <h2>Advice From Other Professionals</h2> <p>Interspersed throughout are helpful quotes from other writers, editors, and industry professionals. I really liked these sidebars, which provide solid advice for aspiring writers (and good reminders for experienced ones).</p> <p>At the end of the book each professional has a bio, which I surprisingly found were enjoyable reads unto themselves, since they outlined how the writers carved out their respective niches and found success.</p> <h2>Resources</h2> <p>In addition to sample query letters and itinerary requests, there&#39;s a formidable travel-writing resources section towards the end, which includes databases, associations, conferences, courses, online communities, recommended reading, and book publishers. With all these resources, you won&#39;t be left with the question &ldquo;what&#39;s next&rdquo; at the end of the book, which is often common, especially with e-books.</p> <h2><em>T</em><em>ravel Writing 2.0</em> is Great, but&hellip;</h2> <p>I&#39;m not sure I like this book as much in the e-book format (which is functional but not terribly pretty. Then again, if I owned a Kindle or other e-book reader, maybe I&#39;d feel differently). Despite Leffel&#39;s discussion on the &ldquo;new world&rdquo; of the print industry, I think the overall format and tone of this 254-page mega e-book is better-suited as a paperback. The good news is that you can buy <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1609101081/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1609101081&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>Travel Writing 2.0</em></a> in ebook format&nbsp;or in paperback, so the choice is yours.</p> <p>So if you&#39;re serious about getting into travel writing, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1609101081/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1609101081&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>Travel Writing 2.0</em></a> will help set the stage, give you focus, and put you on the right path. But as with any business (especially in a creative industry), the rest is up to you; so get ready to roll up your sleeves and wear out a few pens.</p> <p><em>Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of </em>Travel Writing 2.0<em>, and there are affiliate links in this post. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-wanna-be-a-travel-writer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work">How to Go on Vacation Without Getting Behind on Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads">Working on the Road: A Book Review for Professional Nomads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-publish-your-travel-stories">Where to Publish Your Travel Stories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers">16 Time and Money Saving Apps for Freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Travel e-books freelancing travel writing Thu, 06 Jan 2011 14:00:09 +0000 Nora Dunn 431290 at http://www.wisebread.com Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2_meg_favreau.jpg" alt="Meg Favreau" title="Meg Favreau" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="313" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hi, I'm Meg. I joined the Wise Bread team as Senior Editor in late October, and I'm thrilled to be here. Wise Bread's motto &ndash; &ldquo;living large on a small budget&rdquo; &mdash; is at the core of my financial philosophy. I believe that with some planning, compromise, and ingenuity, you can enjoy your favorite things and achieve your goals while maintaining a sane relationship with money.</p> <p>I've always been a fan of reusing, recycling, and spending wisely; and I love hunting down good deals. But I really put my financial will to the test a couple of years ago when I left a full-time job that was making me unhappy to strike out on my own as a freelance writer. I had a little work lined up at the time, but not enough, and I was forced to make several financial compromises and live on a drastically reduced budget. But the risk also led to some of the most rewarding experiences I've had, including travel, the time to focus on my own writing, the opportunity to serve as Managing Editor at a food and drink magazine, and now, working at Wise Bread.</p> <p>As you can probably guess from that last bit about the food and drink magazine, I love eating and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">drinking</a>. And I think that being fiscally healthy is a lot like maintaining a healthy relationship with food. If you decide to change your eating habits, some people can make &mdash; and stick to &mdash; drastic diet changes. But more of us are likely to succeed if we work on several small changes over time. After all, if you've traditionally quelled your dessert cravings with chocolate cake topped with enough buttercream to fuel Michael Phelps through a day at the Olympics, suddenly serving yourself a banana for dessert is not going to flip the &ldquo;craving off&rdquo; switch in your brain. The key is moderation &mdash; allowing yourself less cake, switching to a lower-sugar recipe, or dipping the banana in chocolate. After a while, you likely won't find yourself wanting the giant piece of calorie-laden cake like you used to &mdash; and if you do, sometimes you just have to let yourself splurge.</p> <p>Similarly, some of us can make drastic financial changes &mdash; cutting up our credit cards after years of overspending or moving from a multi-story house to a tiny apartment. But most of us do better making little changes and improving our relationship with money over time. That's one of the things I love the most about Wise Bread: It provides the information and tools you need whether you're ready to make a big change or a small one. From teaching you to make more of what you have to planting the seed for a major life change, from helping you get out of debt to teaching you a new skill, it's my hope that Wise Bread empowers you to save money, spend thoughtfully, and get the most out of your life, whatever your circumstances.</p> <p>As Senior Editor, I'll be working with Wise Bread's writers to keep the content you love on the site while improving and adding new areas of coverage. If you ever have any ideas, comments, or questions, feel free to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/contact-wise-bread-writer">contact me</a>; I always look forward to hearing what you think.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/february-roundup">February Roundup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/january-roundup">January Roundup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and freedom</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Career and Income Life Hacks Announcements editor freelancing frugal food Fri, 03 Dec 2010 02:47:24 +0000 Meg Favreau 355812 at http://www.wisebread.com